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Assembly activities in the senior high schools of California

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ASSEMBLY ACTIVITIES
IN THE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOLS OF CALIFORNIA
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
by
Bella F. Reid
June 1940
UMI Number: EP53909
All rights reserved
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T h is thesis, w r i t t e n u n d e r the d ire c tio n o f the
C h a ir m a n o f the c a n d id a te ’s G u id a n c e C o m m i t ­
tee a n d a p p r o v e d by a l l mem bers o f the C o m ­
m itte e, has been pre sen ted to a n d accepted by
the F a c u l t y o f the S c h o o l o f E d u c a t io n 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 .
Date
?™e. 8_,__1?40.......
Guidance Committee
Louis P. Thorpe
Chairman
Win. G. Campbell
D. Welty Lefever
re/ ? / 1 J
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I.
PAGE
THE PROBLEM AND P R O C E D U R E ..................
1
The p r o b l e m ..............................
1
Statement of the problem
..............
1
Importance of the s t u d y ................
2
Definition of terms u s e d ..................
3
A s s e m b l y ................................
3
Sponsor
................................
4
High s c h o o l ............................
4
Limitations of the investigation ..........
4
Scope of the study
................
4
Weaknesses of the s t u d y ................
5
Statement of procedure
..................
6
Sources of information ..................
6
Method of t r e a t m e n t ..................
.
Organization of the remainder of the thesis
II.
7
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE....................
8
History of the a s s e m b l y ................
8
Present day trends ......................
9
Related studies and research
..........
Periodical a r t i c l e s ..........
III.
6
11
17
INSTRUMENTS USED IN THE S T U D Y ..............
18
The qu e s t i o n n a i r e ........................
18
iii
CHAPTER
IV.
PAGE
Field of the s u r v e y ........................
19
Additional sources of d a t a ................
20
CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING ASSEMBLY PRACTICES
Bases for selection
. .
21
......................
21
Objectives of the a s s e m b l y ................
22
Organization and administrationof the assembly
Details of organization
................
23
23
Part of the regular p r o g r a m ..........
24
Preparation of assembly schedule
........
25
.........
27
Student participation ....................
28
Types of participation
. . . . . . . . . .
28
Types of assembly p r o g r a m s ................
29
Outstanding m o d e s ........................
30
Setting up program standards
..........
31
......................
32
Fine a t t i t u d e s ..........................
33
Good audience h a b i t s ....................
33
Leadership and followership ..............
34
Duties of assembly committee
Social-civic values
Opportunity for parents to share in
assembly activities.............
Summary of opinions of authorities
V.
34
....
35
ANALYSIS OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE................
38
Schools responding
........................
38
iv
CHAPTER
PAGE
Purpose of the assembly..............
43
O b j e c t i v e s ...............................
Administration of the a s s e m b l y ......
46
Assembly attendance.............. . . . .
46
Scheduling of a s s e m b l i e s ..........
49
Attitude toward a s s e m b l y ..........
51
Time and length of assembly periods
....
Supervision of the assembly.............
Planning assemblies
54
57
Sponsorship of assemblies..........
The assembly committee
43
57
..................
65
....................
70
Evaluation of assembly p r o g r a m s ....
73
Record of student participation ..........
76
Pupil participation in assembly activities
76
Helping manage the assembly budget
....
80
Caring for materials and properties
....
80
Types of assembly p r o g r a m s ..........
83
Programs growing out of classroom activities
83
Programs developed from extra-curricular
a c t i v i t i e s ......................
Use of outside speakers and artists
Exchange programs
87
....
......................
87
Use of "sings,” "rallies," and special
day p r o g r a m s ....................
87
90
V
CHAPTER
PAGE
Attitude toward assembly programs on the
part of students, faculty and patrons . .
90
Civic-social values ascribed to assemblj'a c t i v i t i e s ..........................
94
Service of the assembly in unifying the
school and giving opportunity for
leadership and followership ..........
Freedom and opportunity for initiative
.
94
. .
98
Value of the assembly as a guidance agency
98
Attitude toward the question,"Is the
assembly meeting the needs of the students
of your s c h o o l ? " ..................
Democratic organization of
98
the assembly . .
102
Opportunity for parents toattend assemblies
Difficulties encountered
..................
105
................
105
Audience behavior ........................
105
Student interest
107
Preparation of programs
VI.
102
........................
Time schedule ........................
107
S U H O E Y AND CONCLUSIONS..................
112
Summary
..................................
112
C o m p a r i s o n ................
Conclusions............................
113
121
Recommendations............................
122
vi
CHAPTER
PAGE
BIBLIOGRAPHY
APPENDIX
......................................
124
................................................
131
LIST OF TA3LL3
TABLE
I.
II.
PAGE
Humber of Questionnaires Send and Returned
High Schools Grouped According to Type of
Organization
III.
............................
42
Standards of the Assembly Most Frequently
A c c e p t e d ................................
V.
41
High Schools Included in Survey Grouped
According to S i z e ........................
IV.
39
44
Percentage of Assembly Attendance by Pupils
per W e e k ................................
47
VI.
Attitude toward Assembly Attendance ........
48
VII.
Manner of Scheduling Assembly Periods . . . .
50
VIII.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
XIII.
XIV.
XV.
XVI.
Place of the Assembly in the High School
P r o g r a m ..................................
52
Status of the Assembly in the High School . .
53
Time Preferred for Assembly P e r i o d ........
55
Choice of Day for Holding Assemblies
56
Length of Assembly Periods
....
...............
58
Current Practices in Sponsorship of Assemblies
59
Manner of Selecting S p o n s o r ...............
61
Sponsor Selected for Special Fitness for Work
62
Sponsor Selected for Knowledge of Life and
Operations of School
.
................
63
viii
TABLE
XVII.
PAGE
Adjustment of Sponsor*s Schedule to Extra
L o a d ..........................
XVIII.
XIX.
. . . .
Frequency of Use of Assembly Committee
. .
64
66
Composition of Assembly Committee........
67
XX.
FacultyMembership of Assembly Committee
.
68
XXI.
Student Membership of Assembly Committee
.
69
XXII.
Methods of Planning A s s e m b l i e s .........
71
XXIII.
Facts Regarding Announcing Assemblies . . .
72
XXIV.
Timing of A s s e m b l i e s ....................
74
XXV.
Frequency of Effort to Evaluate Assembly
P r o g r a m s ..............................
XXVI.
Student Participation in Helping to Evaluate
Assembly Programs
XXVII.
XXVIII.
....................
77
Keeping Record of Student Participation . .
78
Pupil Participation by Presiding and Taking
Part in Assembly Programs ..............
XXIX.
82
Student Participation in Caring for
Materials and Properties
XXXII.
81
Student Participation in Helping Manage
Assembly Budget ........................
XXXI.
79
Pupil Responsibility for Making Assemblies
S u c c e s s f u l ............................
XXX.
75
..............
84
Provision Made for Various Types of
Assemblies
......................
85
ix
TABLE
XXXIII.
PAGE
Use of Programs Growing out of Glass Room
Activities............................
XXXIV.
Use of Programs Growing out of Extra­
curricular A c t i v i t i e s ................
XXXV.
86
88
Use and Selection of Outside Artists and
Speakers ..............................
89
XXXVI.
Use of Exchange Programs with Other Schools
91
XXXVII.
Facts Concerning Use of "Sings," "Rallies,"
and Special Day Programs ..............
XXXVIII.
9£
Attitude of Students toward Assembly . . .
93
XXXIX.
Attitude of Faculty toward Assembly
...
95
XL.
Attitude of Patrons toward Assembly
...
96
XLI.
Service of the Assembly in Unifying School
and Giving Opportunity for Leadership
and Followership......................
XLII.
Opportunity for Freedom and Initiative on
Part of S t u d e n t s ......................
XLIII.
XLIV.
The Assembly as a Guidance Agency
....
XLVI.
99
100
Status of the Assembly in Meeting Needs of
S c h o o l ................................
XLV.
97
Democratic Organization of Assembly
. . .
101
103
Opportunity for Parents to Attend
Assemblies............................
104
TABLE
XLVII.
PAGE
Difficulty of Preparation of Good
Assembly Pro g r a m s ...................
XLVIII.
Difficulty of Developing Correct Audience
H a b i t s ............................
XLIX.
L.
106
Problem of Securing Student Interest
108
. . .
Problem of Arranging Suitable Time Schedule
109
110
LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE
1.
PAGE
Geographical Distribution of Schools Answering
Questionnaire
..............................
40
CHAPTER I
THE PROBLEM AND PROCEDURE
Educational leaders of today believe that young people
should be given an opportunity for active, intense, living
participation in the affairs of the school where society is
in the making.
Pupils have their rights, duties and privi­
leges, and it is in the meeting of their obligations and
opportunities that they develop mental attitudes, habits, and
skills that make them increasingly good citizens.
The
assembly period with its varied and attractive features has
become a vital and integral part of the modern high school,
welding diverse interests and personalities into a unified
whole.
I.
THE PROBLEM
Statement of the problem.
The purpose of this study
was (1) to determine the extent to which large public high
schools of California make use of the assembly, (E) to
analyze the assembly practices found in those senior high
schools enrolling 500 or more pupils, and (3) to evaluate
the practices found in these schools in the light of ideal
practices as stated by authorities in the field.
It is hoped that the study will prove useful to school
administrators and sponsors who desire data concerning the
various phases of assembly activities such as (1) student
participation, (2) control, (3) types of programs, and
(4) civic-social values.
Importance of the study.
Although considerable
attention has been paid to the problem of the assembly in
secondary schools during the past few years, there is still
a wide spread feeling that its implications are not fullyrecognized and that it will prove its worth in our schools
only when it is undertaken seriously.
The assembly occupies a place that is rapidly in­
creasing in importance.
Its first asset is its similitude
to democratic society with opportunity for the exercise of
initiative, the development of judgment through exercise of
choice, and growth through self-direction.
In this age of fear and confusion when there is so
much callous indifference to the common good by those who
seek special privileges for themselves, educators realize
more than ever that they must utilize every means to prepare
young people to cope with problems with more effectiveness
and with more enlightened attitudes.
2
Contacts with our
^ Edward J. Eaton, "Basic Conceptions for ExtraCurricular Activities," Education, 56:68, October, 1935.
2
Paul W. Terry, "Democratic Principles of Supervision
for Extra-Curricular Activities," The School Review, 45:655,
November, 1937.
fellowmen, association with our neighbors, ability to do our
social share in a world of human kinship— these are things
that count.
living.
The school is the place to practice the art of
Boys and girls carrying on their activities learn
to make decisions, to control their emotions, and to think
in terms of the common good.
Authorities are of the opinion
that no single feature in the life of the school can accom­
plish more for the good of the school than the assembly.
II.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
For the sake of clarity certain terms used in the
study should be defined.
Assembly. What is an assembly?
much in agreement.
Authorities are very
Joseph Roemer says:
We may define the assembly generally as that all
school activity in which pupils and teachers participate
for the unification and enrichment of school life."*
W. W. Charters makes the following statement:
The assembly is an extra-curricular activity conducted
by pupils and teachers and recognized by the school as a
means of training in that phase of constructive democratic
citizenship which has to do with mass instruction through
public meetings.5
5 Joseph Weintrob, "'Preparation for Auditorium Periods,"
The Journal of the National Education Association. 17:140,
MSy,“ 928":---------------------- --- -------^ Joseph Roemer, Charles F. Allen, and D. A. Yarnell,
Basic Student Activities (New York: Silver Burdett and
Company, 1935), p. 307.
5 w. W. Charters. The Teaching of Ideals (Boston:
Macmillan Company, 1927;, pp. 177-78.
The
4
H. C. McKown defines the assembly in this way:
The assembly is a common meeting ground, a place
where all co-operate for the pleasure and well-being
of the whole; where all bring their best and choicest
experiences in the most attractive form.
Sponsor.
The sponsor is that faculty member who is
chosen or appointed to assume supervision and direction of
assembly activities.
Relations between principal and spon­
sor are the same as between principal and teacher.
High school.
High school, or secondary school, in
this survey is used to indicate any type of organization
which includes grades ten to twelve and is designated as a
senior high school in the California School Directory.
III.
LIMITATIONS OF 'THE INVESTIGATIONS
Scope of the study.
This study has been confined to
the senior high schools of California having enrollments of
500 or more.
This limits the study to 185 schools, which is
a unit sufficiently large to show tendencies and trends.
In
this group of 185 schools there were forty-seven schools with
enrollments of 500 to 750; thirty-six with enrollments of
751 to 1,000; thirty-four with enrollments of 1,001 to 1,500;
twenty-six with enrollments of 1,501 to 2,000; nineteen with
A
H.
C. McKown, Assembly and Auditorium Activities
(New York: The Macmillan Company, 1951), p. 2.
enrollments of 2,001 to 2,500; and twenty-three with enroll­
ments of over 2,500.
Of the 185 schools included in the groups above, 144
co-operated in the study bjr providing the information sought.
Weaknesses of the study.
As yet there are no satis­
factory instruments for measuring the learning or evaluating
the results which come from assembly activities.
The outcome
of these activities so far as the student is concerned is the
change that has been effected in his ways of meeting life and
the ease and certainty of his habitual contacts with his
fellow men, his choice of values, and his willingness to
share.
Those closest to the assembly necessarily have to
judge these results somewhat subjectively.
Evaluations are
often tempered by the zeal of the sponsor.
Since no criteria were available by which to judge
the assembly practices of the schools of the survey, it was
necessary to make a composite picture of the assembly under
ideal conditions by means of a study of the writings of
authorities in the field.
There was no way of ascertaining definitely whether
the schools responding were of the newer type schools or
operating along traditional lines.
6
IV.
STATEMENT OF PROCEDURE
Sources of information.
The information and material
for this thesis were gained from two sources.
In the first
place, a library study was made of the literature relating
to the aims, organization, direction, and values of assembly
activities.
This analysis included a search for desirable
standards for the organization and carrying on of such
activities.
The second source was a questionnaire study of current
practices in 185 senior high s-chools of California.
Since
California has so many high schools of various sizes and
types of organization, it was found necessarj^ to limit the
study to those senior high schools enrolling 500 or more
students.
Method of treatment.
The first step was to establish
a set of criteria for aims and functions of assembly
activities by an analysis of the available literature per­
taining to the problem.
The next step was a questionnaire
study of typical practices in the 185 schools selected.
An evaluation was made through a comparison of the
aims and procedures discovered by a study of the literature
and the practices revealed by the survey.
The conclusions
and recommendations were based on the results of this
comparisons.
7
V.
ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
To effect a clear analysis of the problems involved
in this study, the survey and its subsequent findings have
been organized as follows:
Chapter I presents the problem and shows its importance
in the high school of today.
Chapter II tells of the origin of the assembly, reviews
the few surveys available, and shows current trends.
The questionnaire and its concomitant problems are
discussed in Chapter III.
Criteria for evaluating assembly
practices are set up in Chapter IV.
These are based on the
opinions of leaders in the field and are used as a basis for
the analysis of the questionnaire in Chapter V.
Findings and recommendations serve as a general
summary in bringing the study to a close in Chapter VI.
An annotated bibliography of books, magazine articles,
and unpublished materials, useful in carrying on this study,
immediately follows Chapter VI.
CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Many books and articles have been -written on the
general subject of extra-curricular activities in the high
school, but very few deal exclusively with the subject of
the assembly.
General references were first read to secure a broader
background and trace the historical development of assembly
activities carried on within the school.
Earlier reviews
of literature on the assembly and studies of selected aspects
of it were analyzed to determine the extent of the contri­
butions already made in the field of research and to obtain
suggestions for the organization and treatment of materials
used in this study.
History of the assembly.
In the old time school the
assembly period was an occasion for worship, for talks on
morals, and for delivery of orations.
As early as 1913, how­
ever, Miss Flora Cooke of the Francis W. Parker School of
Cook County, Illinois, speaks of the assembly there as having
an "active, unifying influence" in spite of its formality.
She says further:
We do not remember definitely much that we learned
there, but the singing together, the habit of contri­
buting our small best to the common good was a
soul-expanding and heart-warming process, which is the
very essence of social education.^
When athletics became a preeminent interest the assembly was
to a great extent given over to "pep" rallies and celebrations
of victory.
p
Within recent years, however, a new conception
has appeared in which the assembly is regarded as a place to
educate students in the integrating knowledges, ideals,
aspirations, and socially desirable attitudes of society.^
Present day trends.
The progressive secondary school
uses the whole life of the school for educative purposes and
is unconcerned whether the desirable outcomes are the result
of curricular or extra-curricular activities.
The ideal is
to so dignify assembly activities that they shall cease to
be called "extra-curricular" and
school work.
be recognized as important
If the curriculum of the secondary school
succumbs to the continued attacks of modern educational
theory, then the assembly will no longer be "extra-curricular"
but will merge with the curricular.
Wrightstone says, "The
more co-ordinate pupil activities become part and parcel of
1
IL* barker School Year Book, 1913, p. 7. Quoted
by Harry Graves Miller and Newton W. Chaffie in The Auditorium
Social Arts (New York: D. C. Heath and Company, 1932T, p. 11.
2
Paul W. ferry, Supervising Extra-curricular Activities
(New York: HcGraw-Kill Book Company" Inc ., 1930 j, p .""T5I5".
^ Joseph Roemer, Basic Student Activities (New York:
Silver Burdett and Company, 1935), P* 315.
10
the class room activities, the more they become means for
meeting needs that arise m
the class room." 4
Although
co-ordinate activities should be intelligently integrated
with other phases of the curriculum, they should, however,
perform some special functions.
Today it is believed that assembly activities planned
by teachers alone rob students of valuable responsibility
and experience.
An increasingly widely accepted plan is to
have both teachers and pupils assume responsibility, plan,
and guide the development and presentation of assembly
programs.
Participation in school assemblies, it is believed,
contributes to the growth of the child.
Development of clear
thinking, of good oral expression; ability to plan and
execute interesting and varied programs, to anticipate
difficulties and prevent them; these are but a few of the
worth-while outcomes of the assembly as seen by the progressive educator of today.
Roemer
R
.
.
.
says that participation by
all pupils in some phase of the assembly is at all times
desirable.
^ J. Wayne Wrightstone, Appraisal of Experimental
High School Practices (New York: Bureau of Publications,
Teachers College, Columbia University, 1936), p. 96.
R
Joseph Roemer, ojo. cit. , p. 315.
II
Related studies and research.
The most exhaustive
presentation of assembly activities was made by Harry C.
McKown in 1951.
His Assembly and Auditorium Activities** is
the most complete discussion of the subject available today.
Assembly Programs by M. Chanmng Y/agner' not only presents
the case of the assembly but suggests innumerable types of
programs actually produced in schools throughout the country.
Although Fretwell,8 Roemer,9 Foster,-1-0 and Terry-1--1- deal with
extra-curricular activities as a whole, they have given
special attention to assembly practices, and are authorities
in the field.
In 1923 Evan E. Evans
ip
.
made a survey of practices m
the high schools of Kansas with reference to the use of the
assembly.
Questionnaires were sent to 148 schools, including
® Harry C. McKown, Assembly and Audit or lura Activities
(New York: The Macmillan Company, T9Hl"JR
^ M. Channing Wagner, Assembly Programs (New York:
A. S. Barnes and Company, 193CT).
® Elbert K. Fretwell, Extra-curricular Activities in
Secondary Schools (Boston: The Macmillan Company, 19&1).
9 Joseph Roemer,
0£.
cit.
10 Charles R. Foster, Extra-curricular Activities in
the High School (Richmond: Johnson Publishing Company, HJ25).
-1-1 Paul W. Terry, o£. cit .
12 E. E. Evans, "What to Do with the High School
Assembly,tf The School Review, 31:282-286, 1923.
all schools in the first and second class cities and the
county high schools.
Replies were received from 112 schools.
Sixty per cent of the high schools in the first-class cities,
79 per cent of the high schools of the second-class cities,
and 50 per cent of the country high schools sent in reports.
The questionnaire covered the following points:
(1) number
of assemblies, time of day, and length of period; (2) methods
of arranging programs, and general apportionment of time;
(5) the practice in regard to devotional exercises; and
(4) suggestions of programs for assemblies "different" and
unique.
He discovered that the medium length of the assembly
was thirty minutes and the average thirty-four minutes.
The
general practice was to have a longer assembly period where
only one per week was held.
The schools in the first class
averaged fifty-seven minutes, per week, the schools of the
second class fifty-eight minutes and the county high schools
62.5 minutes.
All the high schools averaged 58.5 minutes per
week.
Of ninety-five principals, fifty-three arranged their
own assembly programs.
Of the remaining forty-two, almost
one-half served as chairmen of faculty committees which
arranged all programs.
In only a few instances was the student
body represented on these committees.
In eleven cases the
members of the faculty by turns arranged the programs.
In
13
twenty per cent of the cases, classes supervised by sponsors
were responsible for some programs.
Various clubs were men­
tioned in a few7 reports as being responsible for special
programs.
The replies concerning the general apportionment of
time were so incomplete as to make that part of the report
practically worthless.
Twenty-three high schools reported no religious
service; thirty-four had one devotional service a week;
nineteen had more than one per week; sixteen had them only
occasionally.
The investigator considered that the most valuable
results obtained from the questionnaire were the suggested
programs for assemblies.
In 1926 at Northwestern University, kiss Mary Thompson
in a Master's thesis entitled f,A Study of the High School
General Assembly Period Practices throughout the States of
the North Central Association"^® studied the assemblies in
232 high schools.
The same year at Colorado State Teachers1
College, Paris D. R e m y ^ made a study of high school assem­
blies.
Their findings were very similar.
Elbert K. Fretwell, ojo. cit., 219-220.
14 I^id., p. 220.
14
Miss Thompson found that 65.5 per cent had assemblies
once a week, 17 per cent twice a week, 6 per cent three times
a week, 0.8 per cent four times, and 10.7 per cent, five
times a week.
The average time per week devoted to the
assembly was forty-nine minutes.
Mr. Remy discovered that of 134 schools studied,
representing schools in forty states, 63 per cent had assembly
once a week, 17.4 per cent twice, 10.5 per cent three times,
4.3 per cent four times, and likewise 4.3 per cent five times
a week.
The time devoted to the assembly period was about
that found by kiss Thompson.
The objectives of the assembly as reported to Miss
Thompson and Mr. Remy were exceedingly widespread.
The
fifteen objectives found most often by kiss Thompson in the
order of their frequency are:
cultivation of school spirit,
105; general information, 72; inspiration, 37; development
of poise and self-control before an audience, 32; recreation,
30; entertainment, 24; motivation of extra-curricular activity,
19; moral training, 16; development of appreciation, 13; cul­
tivation of high ideals of citizenship, 11; development of
leadership, 10; some acquaintance with business and everyday
activities, 9; vocational guidance, 8; direction of public
opinion, 7; training in self-expression, 6.
15
In 1935 at the University of Southern California,
Loren Jerome Beaufait
15
m
a blaster* s thesis presented a
study, "The Use of the School Assembly as a Device for
Character Training and Subject Integration.’' To discover
what were the legitimate objectives in an assembly period
program which would develop the desirable character traits
in the individuals composing the audience, Lr. Beaufait
searched the known literature in the field and assembled as
many aims as possible from that source.
In the light of the
twenty objectives found, he classified and listed a number
of assembly programs given at metropolitan High School,
Los Angeles, which is a continuation school.
He presented to
the students a questionnaire the purpose of which was to find
out what the students thought of the various types of
assemblies and to improve the assemblies as a result of the
summation of his conclusions.
He found that 39.5 per cent
preferred the recreational type of program; 25.6 per cent
enjoyed the musical programs most; 21.7 per cent favored the
inspirational type; 12.2 per cent preferred the instructional
type; but only 1.0 per cent enjoyed the studentbody type
program.
Although Hr. Beaufait felt his study too limited to
15 Loren Jerome Beaufait, "The Use of the School
Assembly as a Device for Character Training and Subject
Integration," (unpublished Master*s thesis, University of
Southern California, Los Angeles, 1935).
16
permit any sweeping generalizations, he considered these
findings rather striking:
(1) While the student body pro­
grams seemed to be richest in developing certain character
traits, yet according to the results indicated by the student
questionnaire, these programs were the least desired by the
majority of students; (2) In reply to a question as to which
type of program helped the student most in developing the
kind of personality or character most admired in others, or
that he would like to possess himself, it was noted that
41.8 per cent declared for the inspirational program, 19.3
per cent for the instructional types, 19.3 per cent for the
musical program, 19.0 per cent for the recreational type,
but only 0.6 per cent for the student body type program.
Although a large per cent indicated that the inspirational
type program helped them, an even greater number were quite
evenly divided in their opinion that the instructional, the
musical, and the recreational types were valuable to them.
Out of a total of 325 votes, only twelve, less than
4 per cent, were in favor of abolishing the assembly.
Out of
282 votes, 36.1 per cent felt that the assembly should be
held weekly.
The students of this school were not required
to attend assembler.
Mr. Beaufait felt that the low percentage of the
student body programs was due to the extremely limited number
of persons actually touched by this type of assembly.
17
Periodical art 1cles.
Special attention was given to
material contained in recent periodicals because this was
considered to represent the latest ideas and principles of
assembly activities.
New goals, new plans of organization,
and new activities are usually first presented to the public
in periodical form.
Of these magazine articles, three were
found especially interesting and instructive.
"Assembly
Programs Integrated with the Instructional Activities of the
School,” by Nora E. Dodson^ presented practical suggestions
of value for basing assembly programs upon the instructional
activities of the school.
In "The Assembly Program— Why and
How," Gretchen Kyne-^ discussed her own experiences with the
assembly in University High School, Oakland, California.
"School Assemblies in Central High School, Tulsa, Oklahoma"
by Alphild Larson-*-8 was valuable also because the experiences
and suggestions were the result of the writerTs own problems
while dealing with the assembly.
The fact that these people
were conducting practical experiments for the improvement and
vitalization of the assembly made their articles of real worth.
Nora E. Dodson, "Assembly Programs Integrated with
the Instructional Activities of the School," Clearing House,
10:109-13, October, 1935.
17
Gretchen Kyne, "The Assembly Program--Why and How,"
University High School Journal, 16:28-33, October, 1937.
18 Alphild Larson, "School Assemblies in Central High
School, Tulsa, Oklahoma," Harvard Educational Review, 7:48291, October, 1937.
CHAPTER III
INSTRUMENTS USED IN THE STUDY
This survey was made with the purpose of discovering
in what measure senior high schools of California are recog­
nizing the assembly as a vital activity of the school and are
giving their students an opportunity for active, intense,
living participation in the affairs of the school.
Consider­
ation was given the belief that the integrating function of
the assembly" is realized through two large phases of parti­
cipation, (1) pupil activity and (2) administrative control.
I.
THE QUESTIONNAIRE
With the hope that replies might be received from a
large number of schools, a questionnaire was compiled which
could be answered easily and quickly by checking f,yestf or
?Tno,tf or by filling in a one word answer.
The questionnaire
was given to two school administrators for criticism before
it was presented to the schools chosen for the survey.
The questions were segregated into six groups; namely,
(1) objectives, (2) problems of administration, (3) problems
of supervision, (4) types of programs, (5) civic-social
values, and (6) difficulties encountered.
Opportunity to
make remarks or suggestions was given those who replied to
the questionnaire.
19
The questionnaire was distributed early in the second
semester.
This was considered a favorable time since all
plans for the year would be fully under way.
A copy of the questionnaire and of the letter which
accompanied it will be found in the Appendix.
In most cases the questions were answered by the prin­
cipal, a vice-principal, or the director of assemblies; a
few were answered by the counselor or the registrar.
A recapitulation was sent to each school official
co-operating in the study who expressed an interest in the
survey and a desire to have the findings.
II.
FIELD OF THE SURVEY
Only high schools in the state of California listed in
the California School Directory as senior high schools and
having enrollments of 500 or more were selected for this
survey.
This group offered a total of one hundred eighty-
five schools.
Some of these schools included the seventh
grade, some the eighth grade, but the great majority en­
rolled either grades nine to twelve or grades ten to twelve.
A very small number included in their enrollments students
beyond the twelfth grade.
Of the 185 schools, forty-seven
had enrollments of 500 to 750; thirty-six enrollments of
751 to 1,000; thirty-four, 1,001 to 1,500; twenty-six, 1,501
to 2,000; nineteen, 2,001 to 2,500; and twenty-three, over 2,500.
20
The response was excellent.
147 answered the questionnaire.
Out of 185 schools,
Of these 147 replies, 144,
or 77.8 per cent, were usable.
III.
ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF DATA
The problem of the assembly was discussed with as many
persons in close touch with assembly activities as possible.
All current articles in educational magazines were read care­
fully, and a thorough study was made of the writings of those
educators who have made the assembly their special study.
Using information gathered from these sources, a resume
of ideal assembly practices under favorable conditions was
constructed as a basis for discussion and evaluation of find­
ings established by the questionnaire.
Only those points
generally agreed upon by the authorities were included in this
summary.
CHAPTER IV
CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING ASSEMBLY PRACTICES
In order to establish a set of criteria for objectives,
organization, and functions of the assembly, a careful study
was made of literature available on the subject.
This in­
cluded books by well-known authorities, unpublished writings,
and current magazine articles written by persons in close
touch with assembly activities.
Among these writers there
was enough uniformity of opinion to make possible a composite
picture of assembly procedures under favorable conditions.
I.
BASES FOR SELECTION
The discussion of assembly activities made by Harry C.
LcICown in 1931 was first thoroughly analyzed since his is the
most complete study of the assembly available today.
This was
followed by a careful study of “Assembly Programs" by Wagner
which was published in 1930.
Extra-curricular studies by
Fretwell, Foster, Roemer, and Terry, all of whom have given
special attention to assembly practices, were found to be
both helpful and enlightening.
Magazine articles written by
those actually in touch with assembly management were most
helpful.
Many of these people were putting into practice the
very ideas advocated by the authorities mentioned.
The
22
unpublished thesis by Ruth Margaret Mathis entitled, "Vitalizing the
Assembly
in the Secondary S c h o o l , p r e s e n t e d a very
stimulating study of the possibilities of the high school
assembly.
II.
03JECTIVES OF THE ASSEMBLY
E. K. Fretwell says:
We have come to recognize the way to develop pupils
into good citizens of the future is to organize our
educational system so that pupils of elementary and
secondary school age are good citizens of the school and
in all their activities in the community now. Pupils in
our schools have their rights, duties, and privileges
now, and it is in the meeting of these obligations and
opportunities that they develop the mental attitudes,
habits, and shills that make them increasingly good
citizens.
It Is the business of the school today to organize its assem­
blies so that the pupil has a favorable opportunity to
practice the qualities of the good citizen.
That this may be
accomplished the ideal assembly should aim to:
(1) Develop socially minded individuals ready to
accept the duties of leadership and followership.
(2) Widen and deepen student interests and appre­
ciations .
Ruth Margaret Mathis, "Vitalizing the Assembly,"
(unpublished Master1s thesis, University of Southern Cali­
fornia, Los Angeles, 1938).
2 E. K. Fretweli, The Assembly (Sixth Year Booh,
National Association of Secondary School Principals, 1931),
p. 147.
23
(3) Unify the school, making the students realize
their relationships to one another and to the group.
(4) Emphasize correct audience habits and encourage
appropriate recognition of achievement.
(5) Help pupils to develop poise, self-control,
initiative, reliability, and clear-thinking.
(6) Promote a spirit of loyalty, respect, and in­
telligent patriotism.
(7) Develop a high standard of program material
regardless of type presented.
(8) Encourage the greatest amount of student parti­
cipation.
(9)
Correlate school and community interests.
(10)
Provide relaxation, andr/give pupils a feeling of
well-being, joy, and happiness.0
II.
ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE ASSEMBLY
Details of organization.
Authorities believe that
assemblies should occur regularly and with such planning that
each student will be given an opportunity to be present at
one assembly period each week.^
McICown regards the morning
5
as the most desirable time for holding assemblies.
Most
^ II. C. McKown, Assembly and Auditorium Activities
(New York: The Macmillan Company, 1931), pp. l-lO.
4 Joseph Roemer, Charles F. Allen, and D. A. Yarnell,
Basic Student Activities (New York: Silver Burdett and
Company, 1935), p. 305.
5
H. C. LcKown, op. cit., p. 25.
24
. .
authorities
favor the early periods of the school day. 6
Although assembly periods necessarily vary with the types of
programs being presented, it is generally agreed that they
7
should not exceed one recitation period m length.
The
assembly should be held within school hours.
begin on time and dismiss promptly.
It should
When young people recog­
nize unity and definiteness of purpose in activities, they
respond much more whole-heartedly.®
Foster believes that an
assembly should be divided if it is larger than 1,500
students.9
Part of the regular program.
There is a rapidlj'
growing belief that the assembly is a vital part of the
school program— that it is a direct means of educating its
citizens.^*0
It is the thing that makes each student con­
scious of himself as a part of one unified group.
The prac­
tice of basing as many programs as possible upon the instruc­
tional activities of the school is of tremendous value to
6 M. Charming Wagner, Assembly Programs (New York:
A. S. Barnes and Company, 19 3(1) , p . 26.
7
Joseph Eoemer,
ojd.
cit., p. 516.
8 Ibid., p. 316.
9 Charles R. Foster, Extra-curricular Activities ill
the High School (Richmond, Virginia: Johnson Publishing
Company, 1925), p. 121
Joseph Roemer,
0 £.
cit. , p. 305.
25
both the class room and the assembly.*^
Dr. Fretwell says,
"Extra-curricular activities should grov; out of curricular
activities and return to curricular activities to enrich
1?
them."
Every effort should be made at all times to main­
ly
tain democratic ideals.
Because of the importance of the assembly period,
administrators should make every effort to incorporate the
assembly period into the regular time
s c h e d u l e ^
and provide
opportunity for those not attending the assembly to make
worthy use of the time.
Programs should be of such high
caliber that students will not want to miss assemblies.
Preparation of assembly schedule.
If the assembly is
to be one of the chief educational factors of the school, it
must be carefully planned in advance, preferably for at
15
least a semester.
This does not mean that the details of
the program need be worked out that far in advance, but it
should be known that a certain organization or class is to
have the responsibility for taking charge of an assembly on
11 Joseph Roemer,
0 £.
cit., p. 317.
^
E. K. Fretwell, The Assembly (Sixth Year Book,
National Association of Secondary School Principals, 1931),
p . 165.
13
li. Channing Wagner, ojd. cit., p. 27.
Joseph Roemer, op. cit., p. 305.
15 Ibid., p. 317.
a definite date.
There should always be a few open dates
available for unexpected opportunities.
Often groups within
the school will wish to make special request to present an
assembly.
Therefore, a schedule should be slightly flexible.
The preparation of the assembly schedule should be the
work of the assembly sponsor, or director of activities, in
conjunction with a committee composed of faculty and students.
The principal should always be considered an ex-officio mem­
ber of the committee.
The faculty sponsor should be a person
vitally interested in student activities and the enrichment of
assembly programs.
His program of work should be fairly and
properly proportioned.
17
Faculty members of the committee
should act for the most part in an advisory capacity.
Re­
gardless of the manner of choosing the assembly committe,
student members should be selected for their executive
ability, scholarship, and good citizenship.
Assembly planning by teachers alone robs students of
valuable experience and opportunity to share responsibility,
while planning done by students unguarded is likely to be
Id. Charming Wagner, op. cit., p. 24-25.
Paul W. Terry, "Democratic Principles of Supervision
for the Extra-curricular Activities," The School Review,
45: 658, November, 1957.
27
vague and unproductive.
1ft
V/rinkle says, “’Students in any
kind of school need assistance in remembering their high
19
responsibilities.s'
Duties of assembly committee.
The assembly committee
should:
(1) Work out a procedure acceptable to the school
making it possible for organizations and departments
to obtain the privilege of presenting worthy programs.
(2) Initiate and receive suggestions for the im­
provement of assemblies.
(3) Schedule programs several weeks in advance and
arrange for appropriate publicity.
(4) Insure that all programs are carefully prepared
and timed before they are presented.
(5)
Censor all programs.
(6}
Work out a technique for evaluating assemblies.
(7)
Keep a file of programs given.
(8) Encourage high standards, regardless of the type
of material being presented.
(9) Provide an interesting variety of program
material.2^
Terry says it is not enough to give children an understanding
pi
of problems; they must be taught to manage institutions.
Miriam Eldridge, "The Secondary School Assembly,Tt
Education, 56:94, October, 1935.
William L. Wrinkle, The Key; High School in the
Making (American Book Company, 1938) , p. 63.
20 MeMown, 0 £. cit., p. 47.
21
Paul W. Terry, o£. cit. , p. 659.
28
Student participation. Every assembly committee should
strive toward having as many students of the school as possible
participate.
22
If a few people appear again and again, the
O '*
real purpose of the assembly is defeated.
A live assembly
committee can find many ways of bringing to light student
talent.
Every organization should be made to feel the re­
sponsibility of using as many students as possible.
Since the
purpose of the assembly is to aid in training and educating
citizens, the control as far as possible should be in the
hands of the pupils.2^
Participation does not necessariljr de­
pend upon performance in an assembly program.
There are many
OR
other types of interesting and profitable participation.
Types of participation. Miss Dodson, who has had much
experience with assembly programs, says, "The more students
participate the greater the personal interest, and as a result
the greater the personal benefit.*?
P
ft
Following are a few types
of participation suggested:
22
Charles R. Foster, op. cit., p. 120.
W. Channing Wagner, op. cit., p. 32.
24 Paul W. Terry, op. c_it., p. 658.
25 W. Channing Wagner, op. cit., p. 15.
Nora E. Dodson, "Assembly Programs Integrated with
the Instructional Activities of the School," Clearing House,
10:111, October, 1935.
29
(1) Presiding at assemblies.
(2) Taking part in stage performances.
(3) Being part of the stage crew, or the make-up crew.
(4) Designing and making costumes.
(5) Making sets and painting them.
(6) Regulating stage lights and assisting in the
projection room.
(7) Making posters and preparing other advertising.
(8) Reporting assemblies for the school paper.
(9) Taking pictures of scenes for the school annual.
(10) Ushering.
(11) Displaying good audience habits.
(12) Helping to make student government function in
the assembly.27
17.
TYPES OF PROGRAMS
By presenting varied programs the school is drawn
together as a social whole since matters of common interest
are involved.
By including all branches of the school in
programs, the programs are likely to be more interesting to
all.28
Those responsible for the assembly program should be
constantly aware that lack of interest in what is going on
on the platform not only creates discipline problems2^ but
detracts from what educational value the program may possess.
If vitality, originality, or "punch” is lacking, interest
lags, and the time spent becomes detrimental rather than
beneficial to the group.
2^ Ibid., p. 109.
2® W. Channing Wagner,
29 Ibid., p. 36.
0 £.
cit., p. 25.
Outstanding modes. There are seven general types of
50
assembly programs.
First, the program growing out of the
51
instructional activities of the school.
Illustrations of
these are dramatizations and readings by the drama classes,
recitals and concerts by the different music classes, panel
discussions by the social problems classes, demonstrations of
gymnastics and dancing by the physical education classes.
"If there is a carry-over from assembly to class room and
from class room to assembly, the school can become a closely
knit unit, of which the assembly programs express the spirit."32
Second, programs growing out of organization or club activities.
These programs depend upon the types of clubs in the school.
A clever program presented early in the term shewing the work
of the various clubs is always enlightening for students
entering the school for the first time.
on the interests of the whole school.
Third, programs based
These programs include
programs celebrating special days, "rallies" and "sings,"
student body meetings, presenting awards, etc.
Fourth, pro­
grams awakening social and civic consciousness.
Examples of
50 Harry C. McKown, Extra-curricular Activities (New York
The Macmillan Company, 1927), PP
31
J. Wayne Wrightstone, Appraisal of Experimental High
School Practices (New York: Bureau of J^ubTTcatlons/“Teachers
College"7^olumbia University, 1936), p. 96.
32 jjora
j-9
Dodson, ££. cit.» p. 109.
51
these are safety programs, community chest programs, "clean­
up" campaigns, good manners programs, and the like.
Fifth,
programs presented by outside speakers and artists selected
for their abilities and for their understanding of adolescent
audiences.
Talks on scientific matters, "know your city”
talks, illustrated travel talks, and recitals are but a few
of this type of program that might prove valuable.
Sixth,
exchange programs with other schools of the vicinity.
Seventh, occasional constructive talks by the principal on
questions of policy, civic responsibility, human relationships,
and ideals.^
Setting up program standards. Every program should be
interesting and profitable.
If assembly programs are to
prove truly valuable to students, there should be devised some
way of judging the worth of assembly programs.
55
Most author­
ities believe that a rating chart should be worked out by the
assembly sponsor and the assembly committee.
36
The points of
criticism should be thoroughly discussed with students either
in the home room or in the social living classes.
33
^
Charles R. Foster,
0 £.
cit., p. 121.
M. Channing Wagner, op. cit., p. 34.
H. C. McKown, op♦ cit., p. 38-39.
36
Russell C. Hartman, "High School Assembly Programs,"
The School Executive, 57:226-27, January, 1938.
32
Wagner presents the following as the test of a good
assembly:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
The joy the pupils get in it.
The economy of time shown in means and methods
employed.
The real benefit accruing to pupils from the
satisfaction of doing.
The extent to which the assembly
(a) Grows out of curricular activities and
returns dividends.
(b) Explores the various subject matter depart­
ments, thus revealing higher types of
activity, making them desirable and to an
extent possible.
The evidence of the gradual extension of interest
in social service
(a) From interests in the whole school
(b) To interests in relationships and responsi­
bilities outside of school.3'
V.
CIVIC-SOCIAL VALUES
The assembly Is one means which the school uses for the
direct education of its citizens through (1) the formation of
public opinion and (2) as an aid in developing a sense of unity
in the school by stressing factors and interests common to all.3®
Many high school problems that depend largely on public opinion
demand the united effort of the whole group for their solution.
Eartshorne says, "The normal unit for character educa­
tion is the group or small community which provides through
co-operative discussion and effort the moral support required
M. Channing Wagner, op. cit., p. 41.
38 E. K. Fretwell, o£. cit., p. 150.
33
for the adventurous discovery and effective use of ideals in
39
the conduct of affairs.”
Fretwell says, ”The test of the
work of the assembly will be found not in theory but in the
effect on the life and character of the pupil as a citizen
of the school and upon the spirit and work of the school in
developing good citizens.”4^
Fine attitudes.
The assembly should play its part in
the development of wholesome attitudes that govern action.
Ever3r program should serve to deepen the interests of pupils
in the school community.
Roemer says, ”The morale of a school
is determined to a very large extent by the degree of effective41
ness with which assemblies function.”
Good audience habits.
One of the aims of student
participation in government is practicing self-control since
an individual who cannot control himself can never be in a
position to control others.
Every student should recognize
himself as an integral part of the school community and that
42
his school community will be just as good as he makes it.
H.
Hartshorne and M. A. May, Studies in the Organ
zation of Character Development (New York: TKeTSacmillan
Company, 19%o7, p .~3
^
E. K. Fretwell,
^
Joseph Roemer,
42 E. K. Fretwell,
0 £.
ojd.
cit.., p. 147.
cit.» p. 318.
ojd.
cit., p. 213.
34
Good behavior as a result of a student’s recognizing his own
responsibility is much more valuable than any super-imposed
system of control.
Leadership and followership.
Pupils should share in
the responsibilities of their organizations as well as in
their opportunities.
The theory of a democratic society
places responsibility upon each individual.
The assembly in
its similitude to democratic society should give opportunity
for the exercise of initiative, the development of judgment
through exercise of choice, and growth through self-direction.
43
The assembly offers real opportunity for the development of
leadership.
Office holding, however, should be a privilege
as widely distributed as compatible with social efficiency.
Throughout life certain people lead and others follow.
It is
just as important in life to be a good follower as to be a
good leader.
Learning to work harmoniously with other students,
learning to respect the feelings of others, their wishes and
opinions— these are lessons of inestimable importance in life.
44
Opportunity for parents to share in assembly activities.
If it is possible, the school should invite parents to attend
43 Edward J. Eaton, "Basic Conceptions for Extra­
curricular Activities ,n Education, 56:66, October, 1935.
Paul W. Terry, Supervising Extra-curricular Activi­
ties (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Gompany, 1930), p. 658.
35
assemblies.
When parents come to well planned, interesting,
orderly assemblies presenting the activities of the young
people, they are sure to be well impressed with the work of
45
the school.
Summary of opinions of authorities.
A survey of the
opinions of authorities in the field reveals such close
uniformity of opinion in the majority of instances that the
aims of the assembly, the means of accomplishing these aims,
the guiding principles, and the ultimate values of the
assembly may be summarized as follows:
1.
The purpose of the assembly should be to unify the
school and develop socially minded individuals; to give
students opportunity for developing poise, self-control,
initiative, and clear thinking; to widen student interests
and appreciations; and to correlate school and community
interests.
E.
Assemblies should be held regularly, giving each
student opportunity to attend one assembly each week.
3.
Assemblies should be held, preferably, in the
morning and should not exceed a recitation period in length.
They should begin and end promptly.
4.
The assembly should be regarded as an integral
part of the school program, and every effort should be made
to establish democratic ideals.
5.
Preparation of the assembly program, which should
be made at least a semester in advance, and supervision of all
programs should be the work of the assembly sponsor in con­
junction with a committee composed of both faculty and
students.
6.
The sponsor should be chosen for his special fit­
ness for his duties, and his program of work should be fairly
proportioned.
Student members of the committee should be
chosen for their ability, scholarship, and citizenship.
Faculty members should act in an advisory capacity.
7.
The assembly committee should be responsible for
planning and organizing assembly programs of high standard
and interesting variety; for keeping a record of programs and
of student participation; for timing and censoring all programs
and for working out a technique for evaluating assemblies.
8.
Participation by students in every type of assembly
activity should be encouraged.
9.
Many programs should grow out of the instructional
activities of the school and out of club and organization
activities; many programs should be based on the interests of
the student body; other programs should awaken social and
civic consciousness.
There should be some programs by outside
talent and some exchange programs.
Occasional constructive
talks by the principal, or by members of the faculty, should
be included.
Wide variety of programs should be encouraged.
37
10. Every program should be of value.
Authorities
believe that effort should be made within a school to set
standards by which programs may be judged.
11.
The assembly should play a strong part in
developing wholesome attitudes that govern action.
Every
student should recognize himself as an integral part of his
school community and should realize that his school com­
munity will be just as good as he makes it.
In the assembly
is a real opportunity for developing leaders and followers
who work together harmoniously.
12.
As far as possible the assembly should serve as a
link between school and community.
Authorities are so uniformly agreed upon the above
twelve points that they have been accepted in this study as
criteria for assembly activities.
CHAPTER V
ANALYSIS OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE
A questionnaire three pages in length was sent to the
principal of each of the 185 senior high schools in the state
of California enrolling 500 or more pupils.
were arranged in six sections.
The questions
The first dealt with objec­
tives of the assembly; the second with the administration;
the third with supervision; the fourth with types of pro­
grams; the fifth with civic-social values; and the sixth with
difficulties encountered.
The questions were answerable by checking "yes” or
"no,” or by filling in a one word answer.
Opportunity was
given for remarks or suggestions at the conclusion of the
questionnaire.
A copy of the questionnaire and of the letter accom­
panying it will be found in the Appendix.
Percentages in the tables which follow are of those
schools which definitely answered the questions under con­
sideration.
I.
SCHOOLS RESPONDING
As shown in Table I, 185 questionnaires were mailed
and 147, or 79.4 per cent, were returned.
Of this number
144, or 77.8 per cent, were usable, although not every question
on each of the questionnaires was answered.
39
TABLE I
NUMBER OF QUESTIONNAIRES SENT AND RETURNED
Total numbers
Number sent
Per cent
185
Number returned
147
79.4
Usable
144
77.8
3
1.6
Not usable
©•
©o,
FIGURE
G E O G R A P H IC A L
OF SCHOOLS
1.
D IS T R IB U T IO N
A H 5 W E R tM O
Q U E S T IO N N A IR E
All schools classified in the California School
Directory as senior high schools were considered, if the en­
rollment was 500 or over.
Some few of these schools included
grades as low as the seventh.
Table II shows that seventeen
schools, or 11.8 per cent, included grades seven to twelve;
two, or 1.4 per cent included grades eight to twelve.
By far
the largest group was of the type including grades nine to
twelve.
There were eighty schools in this group, or 55.5
per cent.
The next largest group was the forty-one schools,
28.5 per cent, which included grades ten to twelve only.
Two schools, 1.4 per cent, were composed of grades hine to
fourteen; one school included grades ten to thirteen; one was
ungraded.
Since enrollment rather than type of organization
according to grade makes for greater problems in the adminis­
tration and supervision of the assembly, it seemed advisable
to group the high schools of this survey according to size.
Table III shows this grouping.
Of the largest group, Group A,
schools having enrollments of 500 to 700 pupils, thirty-five
schools returned the questionnaires.
This was 24.3 per cent
of the total number of usable questionnaires.
Group B, en­
rolling 751 to 1,000 pupils, sent back twenty-nine question­
naires, or 20.1 per cent of the total number.
Group C,
enrolling 1,001 to 1,500 pupils, and Group D, enrolling
1,501 to 2,000 pupils, returned twenty-four questionnaires
41
TABLE II
HIGH SCHOOLS GROUPED ACCORDING TO TYPE OP ORGANIZATION
Types of
organization
Number
Percentage
Grades 7-12
17
11.8
Grades 8-12
2
1.4
Grades 9-12
80
55.5
Grades 9-14
2
1.4
Grades 10-12
41
28.5
Grades 10-13
1
.7
Ungraded
1
.7
Total
144
TABLE III
HIGH SCHOOLS INCLUDED IK SURVEY GROUPED ACCORDING TO SIZE
Enrollment of
high, schools
Number of schools
reporting
Percentage
Group A
500-750
35
24.3
Group B
751-1,000
29
20.1
Group C
1,001-1,500
24
16.7
Group D
1,501-2,000
24
16.7
Group E
2,001-2,500
14
9.7
Group F
2,501-3,900
18
12.5
Total
144
43
each, or 16,7 per cent.
Of Group B, enrolling 2,001 to
2,500 pupils, fourteen schools, or 9.7 per cent reported;
of Group F, enrolling over 2,501 pupils, eighteen schools, or
12.5 per cent, returned the questionnaires.
Hereafter in this study the grouping of the 144 schools
will be according to size of enrollment as designated in
Table III.
II.
PURPOSE OF THE ASSEMBLY
In the questionnaire eight rather inclusive objectives
of the assembly were suggested, and opportunity was given for
others to be added.
Since the aims of the high school
assembly are the same for any group regardless of size, no
attempt was made in Table IV to group the schools according
to size of enrollment.
Objectives.
The objective receiving the highest
approval, as shown in Table IV, was that of inspiring and
deepening student interests and appreciations.
Out of the
144 schools reporting, 138, or 95.8 per cent accepted this
standard as important.
In second place was the desire to
encourage a spirit of co-operation.
One hundred thirty-six
schools, or 94.4 per cent, indicated their approval of this
objective.
The desire to encourage a spirit of reverence
and school loyalty ranked third.
Of the 144 schools reporting
44
TABLE IV
STANDARDS OF THE ASSEMBLY MOST FREQUENTLY ACCEPTED
Number of
schools
Percentage
To inspire and deepen
student interests and
appreciations.
138
95.8
To encourage a spirit
of co-operation*
136
94.4
To encourage a spirit
of reverence and
school loyalty.
135
93.8
To provide for experience
in large group situations
132
91.7
To obtain through care­
fully selected, planned,
and directed programs
public enlightenment.
128
89.6
6.
To correlate school and
community interests.
127
88.2
7.
To develop socially
minded individuals.
126
87.5
To stimulate emotional
power and provide
opportunity for growth
in emotional control
119
82.6
1.
2.
3•
4.
5.
8.
45
135, or 93.8 per cent, indicated their acceptance of this
standard.
Two schools objected to the word "reverence,"
however, thinking of it in a religious sense only.
One
hundred thirty-two schools, or 91.7 per cent, considered the
aim of providing experience in large group situations im­
portant.
One hundred twenty-eight schools, or 89.6 per cent,
approved the objective of obtaining through carefully
selected, planned, and directed programs public enlighten­
ment.
The aim of correlating school and community interests
received the approbation of 127 schools, or 88.2 per cent.
One hundred twenty-six schools, or 87.5 per cent, included
the aim of stimulating emotional power and providing oppor­
tunity for grov7th in emotional control.
Many of the additional objectives suggested by those
answering the questionnaire seemed already to be included in
the eight mentioned.
However, those mentioned at least three
times were the following:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
To provide wholesome entertainment
To provide an opportunity for self-expression
To afford opportunity for the manifestation
of talent
To improve audience behavior
To encourage student participation and
responsibility
The aims of the assembly seemed to be very closely
aligned with those expressed by leaders in the field.
6
5
4
3
3
46
III.
ADMINISTRATION OF THE ASSEMBLY
Assembly attendance.
Table V shows the number of
assemblies each pupil is given the opportunity of attending
each week.
Out of the i2u schools who answered this question,
eighteen, or 15 per cent, offered less than one assembly per
week; eighty-nine, or 74 per cent, offered one assembly per
pupil per week; thirteen, or 11 per cent, averaged two
assemblies each week.
It is noticeable that the smallest
schools averaged the least number of assemblies per pupil per
week.
Of Group A, having enrollments of 500 to 750 students,
24 per cent averaged less than one assembly per pupil each
week; whereas, Group F , having enrollments of over 2,500, had
26 per cent that averaged two assemblies per pupil each week.
The largest per cent in every group averaged one assembly
period per pupil per week.
A number who failed to answer this
question said that irregularity of scheduling assemblies made
it impossible for them to make an estimate.
The attitude taken toward assembly attendance is shown
in Table VI, page 48.
Out of the 129 schools that responded
to this question twenty schools, or 15.5 per cent, made
attendance optional, while 109 schools, or 84.4 per cent, made
attendance compulsory.
Group F, which enrolls 2,500 or more
pupils, gave the greatest amount of student freedom.
Out of
the seventeen schools in this group seven, or 41 per cent,
47
TABLE V
PERCENTAGE OF ASSEMBLY ATTENDANCE BY PUPILS PER WEEK
Schools
Number
of
schools
Periods of attendance per pupil per week
Less than
Per
Per
Per
one
cent One
cent
Two
Cent
Group A
29
7
24
20
69
2
7
Group B
25
2
8
21
84
2
8
Group C
21
3
14
17
81
1
5
Group D
20
4
20
14
70
2
10
Group E
10
1
10
7
70
2
20
Group F
15
1
7
10
67
4
26
120
18
15
89
74
13
11
Total
NOTE: Periods of attendance per pupil per week means
the average number of assembly periods a pupil attends in a
week.
TABLE VI
ATTITUDE TGUARD ASSEMBLY ATTENDANCE
Schools
Number of
schools
Attendance
optional
Group A
31
2
6.0
29
94
Group B
27
4
15.0
23
85
Group C
19
2
10.5
17
89.4-
Group D
21
2
9.5
19
90.4
Group E
14
3
21.4
11
78.5
Group F
17
7
41.0
10
59.0
129
20
15.5
109
84.4
Total
Per
cent
Attendance
required
Per
cent
made attendance optional, although ten, or 59 per cent re­
quired attendance.
The general tendency seemed to be toward
requiring assembly attendance.
Several schools who reported
optional attendance made the comment that although attendance
was a matter of choice about 99 per cent attended.
Certain
schools emphasized the point that students who did not attend
assemblies were required to go to study hails or the library
but must not "loaf."
The general idea expressed in the
replies was that if programs are interesting enough students
will prefer to attend.
Scheduling of assemblies.
There are so many methods of
grouping students for assemblies that only those commonly used
could be presented in the questionnaire.
The size of the
school and the auditorium facilities play an important part.
Table VII shows that 140 schools replied to this question and
out of this group twenty-nine, or 20.7 per cent, used two
divisions— upper assembly for the older pupils and lower
assembly for the younger pupils.
Only seven schools, or 5
per cent, held assemblies by grades.
The largest group,
eighty-two schools, or 58.5 per cent, assembled the entire
school at one time.
Twenty-two schools, or 15.7 per cent,
used irregular methods.
Many of these assembled pupils by
buildings or by departments.
In Groups A and B where enroll­
ments are not over a thousand the largest number reported
50
TABLE VII
MANNER OF SCHEDULING ASSEMBLY PERIODS
Schools
Number
of
schools
Upper and
lower
Num­ Per
ber cent
Assemblies scheduled by
By grades As one group Irregular
Num - Per
ber cent
Num­
ber
Per
cent
50
85.7
2
5.7
21
72.4
4
13.7
10
45
5
14
50
-5
14
71.4
Num­- Per
ber cent
Group A
55
2
5.7
1
Group B
29
4
15.7
0
Group C
22
8
56
1
Group D
22
8
56
0
11
Group E
14
2
14.5
0
2
14.5
10
Group F
18
5
27.7
5
27.7
8
44.4
0
140
29
20.7
7
5
82
58.5
22
Total
2.9
5
15.7
CD CO
NOTE: "Upper and lower assembly11 means two assemblies—
one for older pupils and one for the younger pupils; nby grade
means any combining of pupils by grades for assembly attendanc
Has one group” means bringing the entire school together at one
time; "irregular grouping” means assembling pupils by buildings,
by departments, etc.
bringing the entire school together as one group.
Thirty
schools of Group A, or 72.4 per cent, were able to use this
method.
It was rather surprising that eight schools of
Group F, or 44.4 per cent, were able to hold one assembly for
the entire group.
However, five schools of this group, or
27.7 per cent, used upp,er and lower assemblies, and an equal
per cent assembled pupils by grades.
Group E schools, which
have enrollments of 2,001 to 2,500, had no facilities for
accommodating the entire student body in one group.
Ten of
these schools, or 71.4 per cent, used irregular methods of
assembling pupils.
Attitude toward assembly.
In the majority of the
schools reporting, the assembly met at a regular period.
Of
the 136 schools replying 103, or 76 per cent, allocated the
assembly as a regular period.
This is presented in Table VIII.
Only thirty-three schools, or 24 per cent, did not regard it
as a regularly scheduled period.
The practice of affixing
regularity to the assembly period seemed quite general regard­
less of the size of the school.
In Keeping with this practice, the questionnaires
revealed
that
out
of 142 schools 115, or 81 per cent, regarded
the assembly as part of the regular curriculum.
page 53, shows this.
Table IX,
Only twenty-seven schools, or 19 per
cent, still held it to be extra-curricular.
Several remarked
52
TABLE VIII
PLACE OF THE ASSEMBLY IN THI
high
SCHOOL PROGRAM
Schools
Number
of
schools
Regular
period
assigned
Per
cent
Group A
35
26
74
9
26
Group B
27
21
78
6
22
Group C
21
15
71
6
29
Group D
23
17
74
6
26
Group E
14
11
79
3
21
Group F
16
13
81
3
19
136
103
76
33
24
Total
No regular
period
assigned
Per
cent
53
TABLE IX
STATUS OF THE ASSEMBLY IN THE HIGH SCHOOL
Schools
Number
of
schools
Part of
regular
program
Per
cent
Extra­
curricular
activity
Group A
35
27
77
8
23
Group B
29
25
86
4
14
Group C
24
21
87.5
W
12.5
Group D
22
20
91
2
9
Group E
14
10
71
4
29
Group F
18
12
67
6
33
142
115
81
27
19
Total
Per
cent
that they considered the assembly too vital to the interests
and needs of the school to be regarded as less than a curri­
cular activity.
Time and length of assembly periods.
Table X shows
that one hundred fourteen schools replied to the question,
"Is a morning assembly more successful than one held in the
afternoon?"
Out of this number eighty-six, or 76 per cent,
answered in the affirmative.
A number of schools in Groups
E and F stressed their preference for a morning period.
There was considerable variation in choice of day.
In Table XI, page 56, it will be seen that Group A, schools
having enrollments of 500 to 750 pupils, preferred Friday.
Of the thirty-two schools of this group 37.5 per cent men­
tioned Friday.
Both Groups B and C indicated preference for
the last three days of the week.
Out of twenty-two schools
responding in Group D, 32 per cent approved Wednesday.
The
schools with the largest enrollments, Groups E and F, ex­
pressed preference for Thursday.
Out of a total of 136
schools replying, three schools, or 2 per cent, chose Monday;
fifteen schools, or 11 per cent chose Tuesday; twenty-three
schools, or 17 per cent, chose Wednesday; thirty schools, or
22 per cent chose Thursday; and twenty-five schools, or 18
per cent chose Friday.
Forty of the schools, or 29 per cent,
said they had no choice of day.
TABUS X
TIME OF ASSEMBLY PERIOD PREFERRED
Schools
Number
of
schools
Group A
26
19
73
Group B
27
21
78
Group C
18
12
67
Group D
18
12
67
Group E
11
10
91
Group F
14
12
84
114
86
76
Total
Prefer
morning
assembly
Per
cent
56
TABLE XI
CHOICE OF DAY FOR HOLDING ASSEMBLIES
Schools
Choice of day for holding assemblies
Number
of
schools Non, Per Tues, Per Wed.. Per Th. Per Fri. Per
cent
cent
cent
cent
cent
Group A
32
1
3
5
16
2
6
2
6
12
Group B
29
0
0
2
7
7
24
6
21
5
17
Group C
22
1
4.5
2
9
4
18
6
27
4
18
Group D
22
0
3
14
7
32
4
18
2
9
Group E
13
1
1
8
0
5
38
1
8
Group F
18
0
2
11
3
17
7
39
1
6
136
3
15
11
23
17
30
22
25
18
Total
8
2
37.5
NOTE: Forty of these schools or 29 per cent hold their
assemblies irregularly and have no choice of day.
57
As indicated in Table XII the length of assembly periods
varied from twenty minutes to one hour.
Seventeen out of the
123 schools reporting, or 14 per cent, set no regular length
for assemblies.
One school reported some assemblies lasting
as long as seventy minutes.
Twenty-three schools, or 19 per
cent, averaged twenty to thirty minutes; fifty-two schools,
or 42 per cent, averaged thirty-five to forty-five minutes;
and thirty-one schools, or 25 per cent averaged fifty to
sixty minutes.
The mean length of assemblies, therefore, of
the 123 schools reporting was thirty-five to forty-five
minutes.
The one group showing decided preference for the
longer period was Group A.
Of the thirty schools of this
group which replied, 33.3 per cent used the fifty to sixty
minute period.
Several of those answering the questionnaire
observed that it was difficult to sustain student interest
for longer than forty-five minutes.
Authorities very generally
agree that forty-five minutes is a good length for an assembly.
IV.
SUPERVISION OF THE ASSEMBLY
Sponsorship of assemblies.
As noted In Table XIII,
page 59, 119 schools, or 87 percent of137 schools answering
this part of the questionnaire, had faculty sponsors.
This
indicated a rather general feeling that a faculty sponsor is
needed.
The schools of Group F were 100 per cent in using the
services of a faculty sponsor.
Strangely, though, Group E
58
TABLE XII
LENGTH OF ASSEMBLY PERIODS
Schools
Length of as sembly period in minutes
Number
of
20-30 Per 35-45 Per 50-60 Per
Irregu­ Per
schools m m . cent m m . cent rain. cent lar
cent
Group A
30
7
23.3
Group B
27
4
15
Group C
17
4
Group D
19
Group E
Group F
Total
6
20
10
33.3
7
23.3
12
44
15
18.5
6
22
23.5
7
41
6
35
0
4
21
9
47
4
21
£
13
2
15
7
54
3
23
1
8
17
2
12
11
65
3
17
1
6
123
23
19
52
42
31
25
17
14
10.5
59
TABLE XIII
CURRENT PRACTICES IN SPONSORSHIP OF ASSEMBLY
Schools
Number
of
schools
Have
faculty
sponsor
Per
cent
Have no
faculty
sponsor
Per
cent
Group A
55
26
74
9
26
Group B
26
24
92
2
8
Group C
23
22
96
1
4
Group D
24
22
92
2
8
Group E
14
10
71
4
29
Group E
15
15
100
137
119
87
18
13
Total
60
acknowledged the least use of a faculty sponsor.
Only ten
schools of this group, or 71 per cent, had faculty sponsors.
Table XIV shows the various ways in which sponsors
are chosen.
By far the most common pradtice was selection of
the sponsor by the principal.
One hundred nine schools out
of 122 reporting used this method.
That is
89 per cent.
Only one school allowed the students themselves to select
the sponsor.
Only 2.4 per cent left the matter of choice to
the faculty.
Nine of the 122 schools, or 7.3 per cent,
allowed the student council, with the approval of the prin­
cipal, to select the sponsor.
It is interesting to note that
this was not permitted in any of the schools of Groups E and F.
It wall be noticed in Tables XV and XVI, pages 62 and
63, that those responsible for selecting the assembly sponsor
endeavored to choose someone especially fitted for the work
and well informed as to the life and operations of the school.
In each case over 95 per cent of those reporting indicated
that this practice of careful selection prevailed.
The question was asked as to whether the sponsorfs
schedule was adjusted to take care of the extra load.
7/hile
a large per cent did attempt to make an adjustment, the prac­
tice was far from general as can be seen in Table XVII, page
64.
Out of 106 schools answering the question, sixty-five,
or 61 per cent, indicated that an adjustment was made; fortyone schools, or 39 per cent, made no adjustment.
Conditions
61
TABLE XIV
MANNER OF SELECTING SPONSOR
By
stu­
Number By
By
prin­ Per dent Per fac­ Per
of
Schools
schools cipal cent coun­ cent ulty cent
cil
Group A
27
23
85
1
Group B
26
20
77
Group C
22
21
Group D
22
Group E
Group F
Total
3.7
By
council
approved Per
by prin- cent
cipal
1
3.7
2
0
1
4
5
19
95
0
0
1
5
20
91
0
1
1
4.5
10
10
100
0
0
0
15
15
100
0
0
0
122
109
89
1
.8
3
4.5
2.4
9
7.4
7.3
62
TABLE XV
SPONSOR SELECTED FOR SPECIAL FITNESS FOR WORN
Schools
Number
of
schools
Group A
23
22
96
Group B
22
22
100
Group C
18
18
100
Group D
21
21
100
Group E
9
8
89
Group F
14
13
93
107
104
97
Total
Sponsor well
suited to work
Per
cent
63
TABUS XVI
SPONSOR SELECTED FOR KNOWLEDGE OF LIFE AND OPERATIONS OF SCHOOL
Schools
Number
of
schools
Group A
25
25
100
Group B
26
25
96
Group C
21
21
100
Group D
22
22
100
Group E
9
9
100
Group F
14
14
100
117
116
99
Total
Sponsor selected
for knowledge
of school
Per
cent
64
TABLE XVII
ADJUSTMENT OF SPONSOR’S SCHEDULE TO EXTRA LOAD
Schools
Number
of
schools
Schedule
adjusted
Per
cent
Schedule
not
adjusted
Per
cent
Group A
23
12
52
11
48
Group B
25
14
56
11
44
Group C
19
13
69
6
31
Group D
18
13
72
5
28
Group E
7
6
86
1
14
Group F
14
7
50
7
50
106
65
61
41
39
Total
65
seemed to be rather similar regardless of the size of the
school.
The schools of Groups D and E appeared to make the
greatest effort to adjust the sponsorfs schedule for the
additional work.
One school, in making an estimate, found
that the sponsoring of assemblies was equivalent to teaching
one class five days a week throughout the entire year.
The assembly committee.
The use of an assembly com­
mittee for planning, arranging, and managing assemblies was
rather prevalent in schools of all sizes.
Table XVIII shows
that out of 128 schools, 106, or 83 per cent, had function­
ing assembly committees.
Of these schools, 9 per cent had
committees made up entirely of faculty members, and 4 per
cent had committees composed of students only.
By far the
largest group, ninety-two schools, or 87 per cent, had com­
mittees composed of both faculty and students.
shown in Table XIX, page 67.
This is
Most of the schools had from
one to three faculty members on the committee.
Table XX,
page 68, shows that eighty-one schools, or 76 per cent, had
from one to three faculty members; twenty-one schools, or
20 per cent, had four to seven faculty members; four schools,
or 4 per cent, had more than eight faculty members.
Table XXI, page 69, shows that there was much less
agreement in student membership of the assembly committee.
Forty-nine per cent of the one hundred that replied to the
66
TABLE XVIII
FREQUENCY OF USE OF ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE
Schools
Number
of
schools
Using
assembly
committee
Per
cent
Group A
32
23
72
9
28
Group B
26
20
77
6
2*3
Group C
20
19
95
1
5
Group D
21
20
95
1
5
Group E
14
10
71
4
29
Group F
15
14
93
1
7
128
106
83
22
17
Total
Having
no
committee
Per
cent
67
TABLE XIX
COMPOSITION OF ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE
ssrr—
Schools
Number
of
schools
Faculty
only
Group A
23
1
4
2
Group B
20
1
5
Group C
19
4
Group D
20
Group E
Group F
Total
Per
cent
Students
only
Per
cent
9
Faculty
and
Per
students cent
20
87
0
19
95
21
0
15
79
1
5
2
17
85
10
1
1
0
9
90
14
2
14
0
12
86
106
10
9
4
92
87
10
4
68
TABLE XX
FACULTY MEMBERSHIP OF ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE
Schools
Number
of
schools
1-3
members
Per
cent
4-7
members
Per
cent
8-15
members
Group A
23
18
78
5
22
0
Group B
20
19
95
1
5
0
Group C
19
15
79
3
16
1
5
Group D
20
12
60
6
30
2
10
Group E
10
5
50
4
40
1
10
Group F
14
12
86
2
14
0
106
81
76
21
20
4
Total
Per
cent
4
69
TABLE XXI
STUDENT MEMBERSHIP- OF ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE
Schools
Number
of
schools
1-3
Members
Per
cent
4-7
Members
Per
cent
8-15
Members
Per
cent
Group A
19
6
32,
9
47
4
21
Group B
20
15
75
3
15
2
10
Group C
17
9
53
6
35
2
12
Group D
20
6
30
7
35
7
35
Group E
10
4
40
4
40
2
20
Group F
14
9
64.2
3
21.4
2
14.2
100
49
Total
49
32
32
19
19
70
question had one to three members; thirty-two per cent had
four to seven members; nineteen per cent had eight to
fifteen members.
One school which had had an assembly committee
operating for four years reported a definitely noticeable
rise in quality of assembly programs, audience behavior, and
interest since the institution of the system.
Planning assemblies.
The schools replying to the
questionnaire indicated that assemblies are planned by the
month, by the semester, and by the year.
Some schools
planned certain types of assemblies for a semester, or for a
year, and other types for a much shorter period in advance.
In Table XXII this is indicated under "irregular periods."
One hundred thirty-three schools indicated their methods of
planning assemblies.
The largest number of schools, 45 per
cent, planned assemblies by the semester.
This was especially
evident in Groups E and F; here 86 per cent and 72 per cent
respectively used this method.
Group A had the highest per
cent in planning programs by the year.
Thirty-five per cent
of the thirty-four schools in the group planned by the year.
One hundred eleven schools, 92.5 per cent of 120
schools replying to the question, indicated that assembly
plans are made public sufficiently in advance.
There was
considerable uniformity here as is shown in Table XXIII,
page 72.
Only nine schools, or 7.5 per cent, felt that they
71
TABLE XXII
METHODS OF PLANNING ASSEMBLIES
Schools
Number
of
Per By se­ Per By
Per By ir­ Per
By
schools month cent mester cent year cent regular cent
periods
Group A
34
10
29
6
18
12
35
6
18
Group B
26
8
31
8
31
6
23
4
15
Group C
23
5
22
10
43
6
26
2
9
Group D
18
1
■5. 5
12
67
4
22
1
5 •5
Group E
14
1
7
12
86
1
7
0
Group F
18
1
5. 5
13
72
3
17
1
133
26
61
45
32
24
14
Total
20
5.1
11
72
TABLE XXIII
FACTS REGARDING ANNOUNCING ASSEMBLIES
Sufficient
advance notice
given
Schools
Number
of
schools
Group A
29
26
90
3
10
Group B
24
23
96
1
4
Group C
22
21
95
1
5
Group D
16
15
94
1
6
Group E
14
12
86
2
14
Group F
15
14
93
1
7
120
111
92. 5
9
7.5
Total
Per Insufficient
cent notice given
Per
cent
73
erred in this matter.
Several stressed the importance of
educating the students in the values of the assembly by
acquainting them with the type of material to be presented
before the day of the assembly.
Table XXIV shows that 89 per cent of the 133 schools
which replied to the question, "Do assembly periods begin
and end on time?" endeavored to begin and end programs
promptly.
G-roup E, consisting of fourteen schools, was 100
per cent in this effort.
No attempt was made to tabulate results to the
question, "Do teachers co-operate willingly in preparing
assembly programs?"
Although 115 schools said "yes," the
tendency was to qualify the answer by "most of the time,"
"some do," "fairly well," "most of the time."
Only nine
schools out of 124 said "no" definitely.
Evaluation of assembly programs.
Out of a total of
115 schools only 20 per cent had developed a system of
evaluating assemblies.
The greatest effort seemed to have
been made by the schools of Groups D and E.
in Table XXV, page 75.
This is shown
No schools of Group F had any special
method of evaluating programs.
Many said they tried to test
the value of assemblies but could not call their methods
systematic.
An effort seemed to be made to have students
take part in appraising assembly programs although not
74
TABLE XXIV
TIMING- OF ASSEMBLIES
Schools
Number
of
schools
Begin and
end on time
Per
cent
Group A
32
27
84
Group B
28
25
89
Group C
23
21
91
Group D
19
16
84
Group E
14
14
100
Group F
17
16
94
133
119
89
Total
75
TABLE XXV
FREQUENCY OF EFFORT TO EVALUATE ASSEMBLY PROGRAMS
System of
evaluating
assemblies
in use
Schools
Number
of
schools
Group A
31
8
Group B
21
2
Group C
20
4
Group D
16
Group E
Group F
Total
Per
cent
26
No system of
evaluating
assemblies
in use
Per
cent
23
74
19
90.5
20
16
80
5
31
11
69
14
4
29
10
71
13
0
13
100
115
23
92
8G
9.5
20
76
officially.
Table XXVI shows that 57 per cent of the 110
schools replying to this question tried to give students a
part in helping to evaluate assemblies, while 43 per cent
did not.
The large schools of Groups E and F indicated a
greater amount of informal student participation in assembly
evaluation than did the smaller schools.
Record of student participation.
In response to the
question, "Does the management of the assembly keep a system­
atic record of student participation?" replies were received
from 122 schools.
Of this number, as indicated in Table
XXVII, page 78, only forty-one schools, or 34 per cent kept
systexnatic record.
Of the 66 per cent that kept no record,
the schools of Groups A, B, and G showed the least effort.
Sixty-four per cent of the schools of Group E kept a system­
atic record; 44 per cent of Group F; and 37 per cent of
Group D.
Pupil participation in assembly activities.
Two of the
most common types of pupil participation are presiding at
assemblies and taking part in programs.
Table XXVIII, page
79, presents the results of replies from 141 schools as to
these types of participation.
Ninety-nine per cent of these
schools allowed students to preside at assembly programs, and
100 per cent had students take part in programs.
77
TABLE XXVI
STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN HELPING EVALUATE ASSEMBLIES
Schools
Number
of
schools
Group A
25
Group B
Students help
evaluate
assemblies
Per
cent
No student
evaluation
of assem­
blies
Per
cent
13
52
12
48
21
8
38
13
62
Group C
20
10
50
10
50
Group D
19
11
58
8
42:
Group E
12
9
75
3
25
Group F
13
12
92
1
8
110
63
57
47
43
Total
TABLE XXVII
KEEPING RECORD OF STUDENT PARTICIPATION
Schools
Number
of
schools
Keep systematic record
Group A
30
9
30
21
70
Group B
23
3
13
20
87
Group C
20
6
30
14
70
Group D
19
7
37
12
63
Group E
14
9
64
5
36
Group F
16
7
44
9
56
Total
122
41
Per
cent
34
Do not
keep
record
81
Per
cent
66
79
TABLE XXVIII
PUPIL PARTICIPATION BY PRESIDING AND TAKING PART
IN ASSEMBLY PROGRAMS
Per
cent
Pupils take
part in
programs
34
97
35
100
29
29
100
29
100
Group C
23
23
100
23
100
Group D
23
23
100
23
100
Group E
14
14
100
14
100
Group F
18
18
100
18
100
141
140
99
141
100
Schools
Number
of
schools
Group A
35
Group B
Total
Pupils preside
at programs
Per
cent
Table XXIX indicates that 93 per cent of 125 schools
believed that students showed sensitiveness to their
responsibilities in making programs successful.
Although the
schools of Groups A and B showed less assurance of students
taking responsibility seriously, the percentage was high,
being 37 per cent and 83 per cent respectively.
Groups D and
E indicated 100 per cent in student responsiveness to their
obligations and responsibilities.
Ninety-three per cent of
the 125 schools reporting indicated pupil participation
through evidence of good audience behavior.
All of the
groups showed high percentages in this, especially Group A
which was 100 per cent.
Table XXIX would indicate that
audience habits were somewhat better in the smaller schools.
Helping manage the assembly budget.
A number of
schools said that they had no assembly budget.
However,
112 schools answered the question regarding student parti­
cipation in managing the budget.
Of this number, fifty-eight,
or 52 per cent, said they allowed students to give some help
in managing the budget, while fifty-four, or 48 per cent,
did not.
Table XXX, page 82, shows this.
Size of school
seemed to have very little bearing upon this situation.
Caring for materials and properties.
Costumes, stage
settings, and the mechanical devices necessary for various
performances require much attention and care.
Students can
81
TABLE XXIX
PUPIL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAKING ASSEMBLIES SUCCESSFUL
Schools
Number
of
schools
Through
sensitive­
ness to
responsibility
Per
cent
Through
evidence of
Per
good audience cent
habits
Group A
31
27
87
31
100
Group B
24
21
83
23
96
Group C
22
21
91
21
91
Group D
19
19
100
16
84
Group E
13
13
100
11
85
Group F
16
15
94
14
88
125
116
93
116
93
Total
82
TABLE XXX
STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN HELPING NANAGE ASSEMBLY BUDGET
Students have
no part in man­ Per
aging budget
cent
Schools
Number
of
schools
Group A
30
13
43
17
57
Group B
23
12
52
11
48
Group C
19
9
47
10
53
Group D
16
10
63
6
37
Group E
11
5
45
6
55
Group F
13
9
69
4
31
112
58
52
54
48
Total
Students help
manage budget
Per
cent
83
have a large part in the oare of these.
Table XXXI shows
that 96 per cent of the 134 schools replying to the question
gave their students the responsibility of caring for
materials and properties.
The schools of Groups B, E, and
F were 100 per cent in this.
V.
TYPES OF ASSEMBLY PROGRAMS
It is interesting
to
note that almost all the schools
reporting made an effort to provide various types of
assemblies.
Table XXXII, page 85, shows that 99 per cent
of 138 schools responding gave attention to providing
variety in assembly programs.
Many commented on the diffi­
culty of providing this variety.
Programs growing out of class room activities.
Several schools made the comment that the majority of their
programs grew out of class room activities.
Several said
they had been increasing the number of this type of program
since they seemed more valuable than many programs from the
"outside."
Table XXXIII, page 86, shows that 104 schools out of
130, or 80 per cent, made use of programs growing out of
class room activities.
A
This was especially evident in Group
where 91 per cent of the thirty-three schools reporting
developed programs from regular class room work.
There was
84
TABLE XXXI
STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN CARING FOR MATERIALS AND PROPERTIES
Schools
Number
of
schools
Group A
31
Group B
Per
cent
No responsi­
bility given
students
Per
cent
29
94
2
6
26
26
100
0
Group C
23
22
96
1
4
Group D
23
21
91
2
9
Group E
14
14
100
0
Group F
17
17
100
0
134
129
96
5
Total
Responsibility
given students
4
85
TABLE XXXII
PROVISION MADE FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF ASSEMBLIES
Schools
Number
of
schools
Provide various
types of assemblies
Group A
34
34
100
Group B
29
29
100
Group C
23
22
96
Group D
20
20
100
Group E
14
14
100
Group F
18
18
100
138
137
99
Total
Per
cent
86
TABLE XXXIII
USE OF PROGRAMS GROWING OUT OF CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
Schools
Number
of
schools
Using programs growing out of
classroom activities
Yes
Per cent
No
Per cent
Group A
33
30
91
3
9
Group B
26
20
77
6
23
Group C
20
17
85
3
15
Group D
21
17
81
4
19
Group E
14
9
64
5
36
Group F
16
11
69
5
31
130
104
80
2:6
20
Total
87
less use of the program growing out of olass room activities
of the schools of Groups E and F.
Out of fourteen schools in
Group E, 64 per cent used this type of program; out of
sixteen schools in Group F, 69 per cent used programs developed
from the class room work.
Programs developed from extra-curricular activities.
Table XXXIV indicates that 90 per cent of 130 schools re­
sponding used programs developed from extra-curricular
activities.
Groups A, C, E, and F, especially found this
source of programs fruitful.
Use of outside speakers and_ artists♦
There were
137 schools that replied to the questions concerning the use
of outside talent, as shown in Table XXXV, page 89.
Of these,
134, or 98 per cent, said they used outside speakers and
artists.
Ninety-two per cent indicated an endeavor to select
those capable of appealing to adolescent audiences.
At least
eleven schools deplored the lack of this type of talent
obtainable at reasonable prices.
Exchange programs.
Of the 138 schools replying to this
part of the questionnaire, ninety schools, or 65 per cent,
made use of exchange programs with other schools in the
vicinity, and sixty-nine schools, or 77 per cent, found them
to be satisfactory.
The smaller schools, Groups A and B,
88
TABLE XXXIV
USE OF PROGRAMS GROWING CUT OF EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Schools
Number
of
schools
Using programs growing out of extra­
curricular activities
Yes
Per cent
No
Per cent
Group A
33
31
94
2
6
Group B
26
22
85
4
15
Group C
20
18
90
2
10
Group D
21
18
86
3
14
Group E
14
13
93
1
7
Group F
16
15
94
1
6
130
117
90
13
10
Total
89
TABLE XXXV
USE AND SELECTION OF OUTSIDE ARTISTS AND SPEAKERS
Schools
Number
of
schools
Using outside
speakers and
artists
Group A
34
34
100
30
88
Group 8
39
28
97
28
97
Group G
32
22
100
22
100
Group D
21
20
95
20
95
Group E
14
13
93
11
79
Group F
17
17
100
17
100
137
134
98
128
92
Total
Per
cent
Selected for
appeal to
adolescents
Per
cent
90
seemed to make more use of exchange programs than the larger
schools.
This is shown in Table XXXVI.
Some few said they
felt that too much time was lost in having exchange programs.
Use of "sings," "rallies,ft and special day programs .
As may be noted in Table XXXVII, page 92, 140 schools re­
plied to this question.
and "rallies."
Ninety-six per cent had both "sings"
Groups C, E, and F were 100 per cent in this.
There was evidenced also a strong effort to make special
day programs meaningful and interesting.
One hundred thirty-
five schools, or 96 per cent, stressed this.
Several schools made the comment that it is better to
have informal "rallies" elsewhere than in the auditorium
since attention, type of applause, etc., are different in
some respects from that expected at the more serious types of
assemblies.
Some of the smaller schools expressed a lack of
suitable leadership for "sings."
Attitude toward assembly programs on the part of
students, faculty, and patrons.
Table XXXVIII, page 93,
shows that 99 per cent of 137 schools answering this question
found that students like the assembly and enjoy attending.
Many made note of the fact that students are favorable toward
the assembly when programs are well-planned, interesting, and
not too long.
91
TABLE XXXVI
USE OF EXCHANGE PROGRAMS WITH OTHER SCHOOLS
Schools
Number
of
schools
Use exchange
programs
Per Found to be
cent satisfactory
Per
cent
Group A
35
27
77
22
81
Group 3
29
21
72
16
76
Group C
23
11
47
9
82
Group D
22
15
68
11
73
Group E
13
6
46
4
67
Group F
16
10
63
7
70
138
90
65
'69
77
Total
92
TABLE
IXXVI1
FACTS CONCERNING USE OF "SINGS" AND "RALLIES"
AND SPECIAL DAY PROGRAMS
Schools
Number
of
schools
"Sings" and
"rallies"
are held
Per
cent
Group A
35
32
Group B
29
Group C
Special day
programs are
made inter­
esting and
different
Per
cent
91
34
97
28
97
29
100
23
23
100
21
87
Group D
23
22
96
22
96
Group E
14
14
100
13
93
Group F
16
16
100
16
100
140
135
96
135
96
Total
93
TABLE X X m i l
ATTITUDE
of students
toward assembly
Schools
Number
of
schools
Favorable
Group A
35
35
100
Group B
29
29
100
Group C
22
22,
100
Group D
23
23
100
Group E
14
13
93
Group F
16
16
100
139
138
99
Total
Per
cent
94
The attitude of the faculty toward the assembly pro­
gram seemed to be favorable also.
Out of 129 schools that
replied, 92 per cent showed a favorable attitude, as indi­
cated in Table XXXIX.
The comments on the questionnaire
would lead one to think that any unfavorable attitude was due
to over-demands upon them in the preparation of programs.
Many schools said that due to overcrowded conditions
it was almost impossible to accommodate more than the student
body at assemblies.
However, 99 per cent of the 113 schools
reporting believed the attitude of school patrons to be
favorable.
7i.
This is shown in Table XL, page 96.
civic-s o c i a l
v a l u e s a s c r i b e d to a s s e m b l y a c t i v i t i e s
Service of the assembly in unifying the school and
giving opportunity for leadership and followership.
Every
school of the 140 replying to the question said the assembly
served as a unifying agency.
page 97.
This is shown in Table XLI,
Ninety-seven per cent said that it affords oppor­
tunity for both leadership and followership.
Several in­
teresting coments such as the following were given by those
answering the questionnaire:
Our assemblies have had a wonderful influence in the
school for the upbuilding of school spirit and loyalty.
The attention is practically perfect due to the high
standard of the programs.
The assembly is a positive asset in carrying on the
activities of a large school.
95
TABLE XXXIX
ATTITUDE OF FACULTY TOWARD ASSEMBLY
Schools
Number
of
schools
Attitude
favorable
Per
cent
Group A
34
33
97
Group B
25
23
92
Group C
22
20
91
Group D
19
19
100
Group E
12
11
. 92
Group F
17
13
76
129
119
92
Total
96
TABLE XL
ATTITUDE OF PATRONS TOWARD ASSEMBLY
Schools
Number
of
schools
Attitude
favorable
Group A
27
27
100
Group 3
24
23
96
Group C
20
20
100
Group D
19
19
100
Group E
11
11
100
Group F
12
12
100
113
112
99
Total
Per
cent
97
TABLE XL I
SERVICE OF ASSEMBLY IN UNIFYING- SCHOOL AND
GIVING OPPORTUNITY FOR LEADERSHIP AND FOLLOWERSHIP
Schools
Number
of
schools
Serves as
unifying
agency
Group A
35
35
100
34
97
Group B
23
28
100
28
100
Group C
23
23
100
22
96
Group D
22
22
100
21
95
Group E
14
14
100
14
100
Group F
18
18
100
17
94
140
140
100
136
97
Total
Per
cent
Gives oppor­
tunity for
leadership and
followership
Per
cent
The assembly is an excellent opportunity for character
building and spiritual training.
Freedom, and opportunity for initiative.
As shown in
Table XLII, 129 schools replied definitely to the question
"Are pupils given all the freedom and opportunity for
initiative that they can v/isely use?"
cent said "yes."
the question
Value
one per cent
Of this number 92 per
In Group A all thirty-one schools answered
in the affirmative.
of the
assembly as a guidance agency.
Seventy-
of 115 schools commenting on the assembly as a
guidance agency
expressed belief in its effectiveness, while
29 per cent said it had none.
Groups C and D seemed least
sure of the value of the assembly as a guidance agency.
In
Group G only 55 per cent checked "yes," and in Group D only
59 per cent.
groups.
There was more uniformity among the other
Table XLIII, page 100, shows this.
Attitude toward the question, "Is the assembly meetirg
the needs of the students of your school?" A number objected
to the use of the word "needs."
way of knowing.
Several said they had no
However, 106 schools answered the question.
Of this group 90 per cent replied in the affirmative as noted
in Table XLIV, page 101.
Only eleven schools said "no."
The
schools of Group D were 100 per cent in believing that their
assemblies met the needs of their students.
On the whole the
99
TABUS XLII
OPPORTUNITY FOR FREEDOM AND INITIATIVE ON PART OF STUDENTS
Schools
Number
of
schools
Are pupils given all the opportunity for
freedom and initiative they can wisely use?
Yes
Per cent
Number
Per cent
Group A
31
31
100
0
Group B
27
24
89
3
11
Group C
20
IS
90
2
10
Group D
22
21
95
1
5
Group E
13
11
85
2
15
Group F
16
14
87.5
2
12.5
129
119
Total
92
10
8
100
TABLE XLIII
THE ASSEMBLY AS A GUIDANCE AGENCY
Schools
Is the assembly an effective
guidance agency?
Number
of
schools
Yes
Per cent
Number
Per cent
Group A
25
21
84
4
16
Group B
24
18
75
6
25
Group C
20
11
55
9
45
Group D
17
10
59
7
41
Group E
14
11
79
3
21
Group F
15
11
73
4
27
115
82
71
33
29
Total
101
TABLE XL IV
STATUS OF THE ASSEMBLY IN MEETING NEEDS OF SCHOOL
Schools
Number
of
schools
Does the assembly meet the needs
of the students •
Yes
Per cent
Number
Per cent
Group A
29
25
86
4
14
Group B
19
17
89
2
11
Group G
17
16
94
1
6
Group D
14
14
100
0
Group E
13
11
85
2
15
Group F
14
12
86
2
14
106
95
90
11
10
Total
largest schools were the least sure that they were meeting
student needs through the assembly*
Democratic organization of the assembly.
Several
schools said they had been endeavoring in recent years to
make their assemblies more democratic.
As Table 2XV shows,
135 schools expressed themselves on this point.
Out of this
number 93 per cent considered their organizations democratic.
The schools of Group F were most sure of their democratic
tendencies, for 100 per cent answered in the affirmative.
Only 7 per cent of all the schools acknowledged a lack of
democratic organization.
Opportunity for parents to attend assemblies.
Some of
the schools said they would be glad to have parents attend
assemblies, and that the parents would enjoy coming, but over­
crowded conditions prevented attendance by any but the student
body.
Some said parents often "dropped in."
Replies to this
question came from 135 schools, and 84 per cent of these said
they gave parents the opportunity to attend assembly programs.
Only twenty-one
schools, or 16 per cent, said they did not.
Many of these said they would like to but did not have seat­
ing capacity in their auditoriums.
Of those schools having
the largest enrollments, Groups E and F, only 69 per cent,
gave parents the opportunity to attend assemblies.
shown in Table XLVI, page 104.
This is
103
TABLE XLV
DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION OF THE ASSEMBLY
Schools
Number
of
schools
Is organization of assembly democratic?
Yes
Per cent
Number
Per cent
Group A
35
33
94
2
6
Group B
27
24
89
3
11
Group C
21
20
95
1
5
Group D
22
20
91
2
9
Group E
14
12
86
2
14
Group F
16
16
100
0
135
125
93
9
Total
7
104
TABLE XLVI
OPPORTUNITY FOR PARENTS TO ATTEND ASSEMBLIES
Schools
Number
of
schools
Are parents given the opportunity
to attend assemblies?
Yes
Per cent
Number
Per cent
Group A
34
32
94
2
6
Group B
28
24
86
4
14
Group C
25
21
84
4
16
Group D
19
17
89
2
11
Group E
13
9
69
4
31
Group F
16
11
69
5
31
135
114
84
21
Total
16
105
VII.
DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED
Preparation of prograrns . The chief problem of the
assembly seemed to be the preparation of pood programs.
Out
of 135 schools eighty-six, or 64 per cent, said it was diffi­
cult.
There was rather general agreement of schools in this
matter regardless of size.
Table XLVII presents this.
Only
forty-nine schools, or 36 per cent, seemed to find no diffi­
culty involved.
Some one said, T,It Ns difficult and means
hard work, but we have good programs.tr Several said it was
a problem to find time or place for enough rehearsals to
assure good presentations.
Others indicated that entertaining
students and at the same time injecting other values along
with the good measure of entertainment was a real problem.
Some schools expressed the opinion that when students helped
to develop programs there were fewer problems.
Others said
that the students needed much supervision by the teachers who
already had too heavy loads to give much extra time to pro­
gram preparation.
One school of Group E said that radio,
talking pictures, and "Jitterbug craze” made the giving of
programs satisfactory to all a difficult problem.
Audience behavior.
There were replies from 130 schools
concerning the matter of developing correct audience habits.
Of this number sixty-three schools, or 48 per cent, said they
found it a real problem; on the other hand, sixty-seven
•J
106
TABLE XLVTI
DIFFICULTY OF PREPARATION OF GOOD ASSEMBLY PROGRAMS
Schools
Number
of
schools
Preparation
a difficult
problem
Per
cent
Group A
35
21
60
14
40
Group B
28
17
61
11
39
Group C
22
12
55
10
45
Group D
19
14
74
5
26
Group E
14
10
71
4
29
Group F
17
12
71
5
29
135
86
64
49
36
Total
Preparation
not a diffi­
cult problem
Per
cent
107
schools, or 52 per cent, said it was not difficult.
In
Table XLVIII it will be noted that the larger schools seemed
to find audience behavior a greater problem than the smaller
schools.
Of the schools of Group A,
66
per cent said
they
did not find developing correct audience habits difficult.
The schools of Group B were equally divided on the question.
Of the other groups, a larger per cent in each group con­
sidered the developing of correct audience habits a problem.
Many of the schools observed that fine programs made for
good audience behavior.
Student interest.
In response to the question, "Is
it hard to secure student interest?" 128 schools replied.
Of these, 14 per cent said "yes," but 36 per cent answered
in the negative.
There was not much variation among the
different groups of schools, as Table XLIX, page 109,
shows.
Among the notations made, these were most frequent:
1. If there is plenty of student participation
securing interest is not a problem.
2. Students are interested if assembly programs are
well planned, carefully timed, and interesting.
Time schedule.
Table L indicates that of the 134
schools expressing opinion on the matter of arranging a
suitable time schedule, only 25 per cent considered it a
problem.
Seventy-five per cent said it was not a problem.
Those answering the question seemed to consider time schedule
108
TABLE XLVIII
DIFFICULTY OF DEVELOPING CORRECT AUDIENCE HABITS
Schools
Number
of
schools
Is it difficult to develop correct
audience habits?
Yes
Per cent
Number
Per cent
Group A
35
12
34
23
66
Group B
26
13
50
13
50
Group C
22
12
55
10
45
Group D
19
10
53
9
47
Group E
12
7
58
5
42
Group F
16
9
56
7
44
130
63
48
67
52
Total
109
TABLE XLIX
PROBLEM OF SECURING STUDENT INTEREST
Schools
Number
of
schools
Is it hard to secure student interest?
Yes
Per cent
Number
Per cent
Group A
32
2
6
30
94
Group B
26
5
19
21
81
Group C
22
4
18
18
82
Group D
19
1
5
18
95
Group E
14
4
29
10
71
Group F
15
2
13
13
87
128
18
14
110
86
Total
110
TABLE L
PROBLEM OF ARRANGING SUITABLE TIME SCHEDULE
Difficult to
arrange time
schedule
Schools
Number
of
schools
Group A
32
8
25
24
75
Group B
28
7
25
21
75
Group C
23
8
35
15
65
Group D
21
5
24
16
24
Group E
14
3
21
11
79
Group F
16
3
19
13
81
134
34
25
100
75
Total
Per
cent
Not diffi­
cult to
Per
arrange time cen1
schedule
Ill
from one angle only--the place of the assembly in the weekly
schedule.
This is evident because many schools made note of
the fact that they had difficulty in scheduling rehearsal
periods without interfering too much with regular class work.
CHAPTER VI
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
I.
SUMMARY
As stated in the first chapter, the purpose of this
study was (1 ) to determine the extent to which public high
schools of the state of California, enrolling 500 or more
pupils, make use of the assembly, (2 ) to analyze the assembly
practices of these schools, and (3) to evaluate them in the
light of ideal practices indicated by authorities in the
field.
To provide the necessary data, questionnaires were
sent to the principal of each of the 185 schools in California
enrolling 500 or more pupils.
The answered questionnaires
afforded the working basis far the study.
Replies were re­
ceived from 147 of these schools, and of this number 144, or
77.8 per cent, were usable for the purposes of the survey.
The questions were based upon matters important to the
problem:
(1 ) the aims of the assembly, (2 ) methods of con­
trol and supervision, (3) types of programs, and (4) civicsocial values.
Opportunity was given for comment upon any
special problems or for suggestions.
The amount and type of
student participation were emphasized throughout.
To set up criteria for judging assembly practices of
the schools of this survey, a study of the writings of
113
authorities in the field was made.
This was supplemented by
a perusal of recent periodicals since new plans of organiza­
tion and new activities are often first presented to the
public in periodical form.
Articles written by those dealing
directly with assembly activities were given special consider­
ation.
As a result of the analysis, a composite picture of
ideal practices was evolved.
This was presented and sum­
marized in Chapter IV.
In the comparison which follows the current practices
in the high schools of California, as shown by the question­
naires, were viewed in the light of ideal practices as recom­
mended by the authorities.
II.
1.
COMPARISON
Authorities agreed that the assembly should unify
the school and develop socially minded individuals; that it
should give students opportunity for developing poise, selfcontrol, initiative, and clear tfoinking; that it should widen
student interests and appreciations; that it should correlate
school and community interests.
The majority of schools an­
swering the questionnaire considered the most important aims
of the assembly to be the deepening of student interests and
appreciations, the encouragement of a spirit of co-operation,
and the development of a feeling of reverence and loyalty.
Next in order were the aims of providing experience in large
114
group situations; securing enlightenment through carefully
selected, well-planned programs; correlating school and
community interests; developing socially minded individuals;
and providing opportunity for growth, in emotional control.
As may he seen, these were definitely the objectives advocated
by the authorities, although they did not rank them in any
order of importance.
2
.
In details of organization of the assembly the
authorities agreed that (a) assemblies should be held regular­
ly, giving each student an opportunity to attend one assembly
each week; (b) that they should be held, preferably, in the
morning; (c) that they should begin and end promptly; and
(d) that they should not exceed one recitation period in
length.
The replies from the schools revealed that the average
number of assemblies attended by a pupil each week was one.
The morning was considered the most favorable time for holding
assemblies, and the last three days of the week— especially
Thursday— were found more satisfactory than the first of the
week for holding assemblies.
Assembly periods of thirty-five
to forty-five minutes in length were favored.
There seemed to
be a conscientious effort to have assemblies begin and end on
time.
The authorities were not in agreement as to whether
assembly attendance should be compulsory or not, but the
majority of schools reported compulsory attendance.
115
Authorities recommended that groups of not more than
fifteen hundred pupils should be brought together for an
assembly.
The questionnaires showed that there was no uni­
formity in the manner of bringing student groups together,
although the largest number of schools tried to bring students
together as one group.
Lack of auditorium facilities was
responsible for the irregularity.
3.
Leading educators said the assembly should be re­
garded as an integral part of the school program, and that
every effort should be made to establish democratic ideals.
The replies from the schools indicated, on the whole, a very
modern viewpoint, for the assembly was generally regarded as
a curricular activity and was incorporated in the regular
schedule.
Most of the schools reported a sincere effort to
make the assembly a democratic organization.
4.
Authorities were in agreement that assembly pro­
grams should be under the supervision of a sponsor, chosen
for his special fitness for his duties, and a carefully
selected committee composed of students and faculty.
Replies
to the questionnaire revealed that by far the largest per
cent of the schools approved wise faculty guidance, since
testing pupils 1 opinions, wishes, and interests is important
to the ultimate success of student participation in school
life activities.
Sponsors for the most part were selected by
the principal with due care for their fitness for the type of
116
work, and for their knowledge of conditions and problems of
the school.
Leaders were of the opinion that the sponsor’s
program of work should be fairly proportioned.
In more than
half of the schools reporting an attempt was made to arrange
the sponsor’s schedule to give him more time for the heavy
requirements of the work, but there seemed still to be much
need for meeting this problem.
There was real evidence that
schools were striving to follow the suggestions of educators
who have carefully studied assembly needs.
5.
Authorities agreed that the assembly committee
under the leadership of the sponsor should be responsible for
planning and organizing assembly programs of high standard
and interesting variety; for keeping a record of programs and
of student participation; for timing and censoring all pro­
grams; and for working out a technique for evaluating
assemblies.
They advocated planning assemblies at least a
semester in advance.
A studjr of replies to the questionnaire revealed the
use of an assembler committee as rather general.
Host schools
having the assembly committee system had both faculty and
student members of the committee.
Size of committee varied
somewhat, but the average approved was one to three faculty
members with a larger number of student members.
The general
opinion was that this matter depended upon the size and type
of school and upon its particular problems.
The wide use of
117
the assembly committee indicated a trend toward broader
student participation in school activities.
A high percentage of schools planned their assemblies
at least a month in advance, and many for the entire year.
The ideal of careful planning ahead showed real growth.
The
old idea of impromptu assemblies has become passe, for over
90 per cent of the schools indicated sufficient advance notice
of assemblies.
Authorities advocated the development of a system of
evaluating assemblies, but only a small per cent of the
schools reporting had what they could safely term a plan for
measuring values.
The schools were about equally divided as
to the advisability of letting students participate in evalu­
ation.
The fact that so few had introduced any real system
made this reply rather valueless.
6
.
Leading authorities advocated participation by
students in every type of assembly activity.
There was almost
unanimous report by the schools that students were given the
opportunity of presiding at assemblies, and every school re­
ported frequent participation of students in programs.
Wide
participation on the part of students in the caring for
materials and properities necessary in the presenting of
assembly programs was widely evidenced.
The more difficult
matter of giving students the opportunity of helping to manage
an assembly budget was less favored.
However, it was rather
118
interesting to find that 52 per cent were making an effort
in this direction.
The fact that many schools had no assembly
budget tempered results somewhat.
Although the schools in­
dicated hearty encouragement of student participation in
assemblies, less than 50 per cent made any effort to keep a
record of this.
It wouid seem that in most schools little
effort has been made to avoid the common error of too frequent
appearance by some pupils and none by others.
7.
Leading educators stressed the point that every
program should be of value.
Those replying to the question­
naire gave definite assurance that effort is made to have
orderly, interesting assemblies.
They stated further that
pupils are sensitive to their responsibilities in making
assemblies successful, not only by presenting worth-while
programs, but by giving evidence of good audience habits.
Ninety-nine per cent of the schools indicated a real endeavor
to provide programs of interesting variety.
8
. Authorities said that many programs should grow
out of the instructional activities of the school and out of
club organization activities.
Eighty per
cent of the schools
responding to the questionnaire said they
made use of pro­
grams growing out of class room work.
even larger number of
An
schools mentioned a use of programs growing out of extra­
curricular activities.
Since there is such a loose interpre­
tation of what is "curricular" and what is "extra-curricular,"
there
may
have been some variety of interpretation of these
two ideas.
An important point was the widespread interest
shown in developing programs out of the life activities of
the school.
A high percentage of schools said they made use
of outside artists and speakers.
However, the securing of
persons capable of interesting adolescent audiences seemed a
real problem for many schools.
Exchange programs, which were
used by more than half the schools, were found to be generally
satisfactory where used, but there was some objection to the
loss of time involved.
The general participation of students
in "sings” and "rallies" was widely practiced.
Most schools
seemed to favor bringing the entire school together for
"rallies" although they favored smaller groups for the more
cultural types of programs.
A definite effort was being made
to give life and variety to programs commemorating special
days, a movement that those knowing assembly practices have
heartily advocated.
Whenever program material was interesting
and well presented the students enjoyed assemblies.
not want to be deprived of them.
They did
Hence it may be seen that
the students were favorable to assemblies.
9.
Authorities agree that the assembly should play a
strong part in developing wholesome attitudes that govern
action.
They recognize in the assembly a real opportunity for
developing leaders and followers who work together harmoniously.
120
There was unanimous agreement among the schools responding
that the assembly is a strong unifying agency in a school.
There was evidence also that the assembly is regarded as an
excellent place to develop leadership and a fine spirit of
followership.
The indication was that students are being
given all the opportunit3r for freedom and initiative that they
can wisely use.
This is in accord with the trend toward
democratically organized assemblies which was revealed.
There
seemed to be general recognition of the fact that students
are citizens of the school and that they must share, not only
in its proffered opportunities, but in its responsibilities as
well.
Less than 75 per cent considered the assembly as a
direct guidance agency, but there was wide agreement that
growth of skill and character takes place when young people
assume responsibility spontaneously and seriously, a fact
which most authorities concede.
10.
Authorities agreed that as far as possible the
assembly should serve as a link between school and community.
Host of the schools responding indicated a willingness to have
parents share in assemblies, but were handicapped by lack of
auditorium space.
They were almost unanimous, however, in
their feeling that parents were heartily in sympathy with
assembly activities.
From this comparison it may be seen that replies to
the questionnaire indicated a growing interest in improved
121
assembly activities and a concerted effort on the part of
those concerned with the assembly to put into practice the
ideals advocated by the leaders in the field.
III.
CONCLUSIONS
Analysis of the questionnaire and comparison of results
with ideal procedures advocated by authorities indicated a
rather progressive viewpoint in most schools responding.
The most difficult problems that seemed to confront
those responsible for assemblies were:
(1 ) inadequate
quarters for holding assemblies, (2 ) finding time for rehearsals
without interfering too much with class work, (3) lack of suit­
able places for holding rehearsals, (4) securing enough adult
guidance without placing too great a burden upon teachers, and
(5 ) finding speakers who will stay within,the time limit and
who can appeal to youth.
There was a general feeling that preparation of good
programs was a real problem.
There seemed to be agreement,
however, that with effort and careful planning it could be
done.
Developing correct audience habits was considered
difficult by approximately half of the schools.
A significant
point emphasized was that a high standard of programs greatly
reduced behavior problems.
Similarly, student interest was
12E
not found lacking when programs were good and when there was
plenty of opportunity for student participation.
This is in
harmony with the ideas expressed by leading educators.
No objective measure was made of the results of the
assembly in a school; however, 90 per cent of the schools
felt that their assemblies were attempting to meet the needs
of the students.
Recommendations.
Analysis of the questionnaire re­
vealed a need for greater effort to (1 ) establish a definite
technique for evaluating assemblies, (£) perfect a simple
card file system for keeping record of student participation,
(3 ) arrange for program material far enough in advance that
the problem of finding time and place for rehearsals may be
alleviated, (4) develop more programs from instructional
fields, thus lightening the demands upon teacher time, (5)
compile a file of speakers and artists who have been recom­
mended for their ability to interest youth and give new
impetus or new direction to some phase of school life.
BIBLiU GRAPH!
BIBLIOGRAPHY
A.
BOOKS
Bellingrath, George C., Qualities Associated with Leadership
in the Extra-Curricular AcYivitjYsf of’ the^ High’ School".
New York: Bureau Yf~PubllYatToiis , Teachers College
Columbia University, 1930.
Author endeavors to show just which of the values claimed
for extra-curricular activities are really found in them.
Caswell, Hollis L . , and Doak 3. Campbell, Curriculum Develop­
ment . New York: American Book Company, 1935.
Good material on securing student interest through careful
development of opportunity for sharing experiences.
Charters, W. W . , The Teaching of Ideals.
Mackillan Company, 1928.
New York:
The
Some portions discuss the opportunity of the assembly in
training for good citizenship.
Douglass, Harl R . , Organization and Administration of Secon­
dary Schools. Boston: Ginn and Company, 1932.’
Has two very fine chapters on the organization and ad­
ministration of pupil organizations with some special
material on the assembly.
Foster, Charles R . , Extra-Curricular Activities in the High
School. R ichinond, V ir grniaT ~ Johns on Publishing C omp any,
1925.
Not a late book, but one which presents actual school
situations experienced by the author.
Fretweil, Elbert K. , Extra-Curricular Activities in Secondary
Schools. Chicago: Boughton-Kifflin Corrpany, 1931.
Dr. Fretweil was a pioneer in extra-curricular activities.
He proposes that the home room play a strong part in
preparing assembly programs.
_______, "The Assembly," The Sixth Year Book of the Department
of Secondary School P r i n c i p a l s 1922.' Vol. II, pp. 147154.
A good presentation of assembly needs.
Galvin, Eileen II., and M. Eugenia Walker, Assemblies for
Junior and Senior High Schools. New York: ProfessTonal
and Technical Press, 1929.
Some good principles concerning values and administration,
followed by detailed suggestions for assemblies of many
types. Nothing especially different.
Hartshorne, H . , and M. A. May, Studies in theOrganization of
Character Development. New York: The Macmillan Company,
1930.
Point of view that democracy and character development
become operative through group effort.
Jones, Galen, Extra-Curricular Activities in Relation to the
Curriculum" Hew York: Bureau of Publications, feachers
College, Columbia University, 193 5.
Stresses the value of fostering development of voluntary
interests which grow into many forms of school activities.
McKown, Harry C ., Assembly and Auditorium
The Macmillan Company, X§3l ♦
Activities. New York
A thorough study of the assembly, full of suggestions. No
sponsor should be without it. Has a forward point of view.
_______, Extra-Curricular Activit ies.
Company, 1928.
Chapter V deals with the assembly.
assembly.
New York:
The Macmillan
Gives history of the
Millard, Cecil V . , The Organization and Administration of
Extra-Curricular Activities. New York: A. S."’Barnes and
Company, 1930.
Contains some excellent chart studies and thought-provoking
material on selection of sponsors.
Miller, Harry Graves, and Newton W. Chaffee, The Auditorium
Social Arts. New York: D.C. Heath and Company, 1932.
Stresses the relation of speech to our lives. Not a book
on theory, but very practical. Many helps for teachers.
126
Roemer, Joseph, Charles Forrest Allen and Dorothy Atwood
Yarnell, Basic Student Activities. New York: Silver
Burdett and Company, 1955.
The chapters devoted to the assembly are very good. The
material is clear and enlightening. The viewpoint is
modern and the suggestions given are very excellent.
, and Charles F. Allen, Readings in Extra-Curricular
Activities. New York: Johnson PubiTshTng 6 ompany, 1^29.
Contains more than 100 articles by various authors, all
previously published in educational journals.
Wise, Jacob Hooper, An Evaluation of Extra-Curricular Activi­
ties in Large Southern High Schools. Abstract of
Contribution to Education No. 152, Nashville, Tennessee:
George Peabody College for Teachers, 1935.
Presents picture of the practices of average school as
compared with the standards of a selected group.
Wrightstone, J. Wayne, Appraisal of Experimental High School
Practices . New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers
College^ Columbia University, 1936.
Has several pages discussing programs growing out of class
room activities. Forward point of view.
Wrinkle, William L . , The New High School in the Making.
York: American Book Company, 1938.
New
Very modern viewpoint. Strongly advocates wide student
participation in activities of the school.
B.
PERIODICAL ARTICLES
Cox, H. Theodore, "Our Assemblies— by the Pupils and for the
Pupils," Clearing House, 13:365-66, February, 1939.
Emphasizes student learning through participation in
assembly activities. Gives practical suggestions.
Davis, C. 0., "Citizenship and the High School," Educational
Review, 61:213-20, April, 1921.
Some material on the assembly as a character building aid.
12?
Dodson, Nora E., ”Assembly Programs Integrated with the
Instructional Activities of the School,” Clearing House,
10:109-13, October, 1935.
Article gives actual cases. Shows just how assembly
programs can grow out of class work.
Eaton, Edward J., ”3asic Conceptions for Extra-Curricular
Activities,” Education, 56:65-69, October, 1935.
A well written article, theoretical in type.
Eldridge, Miriam, ”The Secondary School Assembly,” Education,
56:93-6, October, 1935.
Very good material on duties and personnel of assembly
committee.
Evans, E. E., ”VHiat to Do with the High School AssemblyJ* The
School Review, 31:282-36, October, 1932.
Gives material on results of a questionnaire.
Hartman, Russell C., ”High School Assembly Programs,” The
School Executive, 57:226-27, January, 1938,
Offers very good suggestions for methods of evaluating
pupil appreciation of assembly programs.
Jamer, T. Margaret, ”The Assembly Period,” High Points,
20:48-57, January, 1938.
Practical suggestions for scheduling assemblies and
planning programs.
Jacobs, Leland B., "Spirited School Assemblies,” Nation*s
Schools, 23:28, January, 1939.
Suggestions for assembly programs from the Training
School of Michigan State Normal.
Kyne, Gretchen, ”The Assembly program: Why and How,".
University High School Journal, 16:28-33, October, 1937.
Some very practical suggestions from one closely in
touch with assembly management at the University High
School, Oakland, California.
128
Larson, Alphild, "School Assemblies in Central High School,
Tulsa, Oklahoma,” Harvard Educational Review, 7:482-91,
October, 1937.
A fine article. Gives the practical experiences of the
writer. Some very fine suggestions for special day
programs are included.
Lumsden, Florence M . , ”The School Assembly As an Integrating
Force in the Curriculum,” Educational Method. 14:266-71,
February, 1935.
Offers an interesting discussion of the possibilities
of the assembly. Suggestions are given for testing the
value of assembly programs.
Masson, Louis T., "Planning the High School Assembly,” School
Executive, 55:406-7, July, 1936.
Suggestions for programs by outside speakers and from
departments.
Paley, George L . , "Assembly Programs,” High Points. 19:29-34,
September, 1937.
Offers fine criteria for judging assembly programs.
Roemer, Joseph, "Tendencies in the Development of ExtraCurricular Activities,” School Review. 41:670-74,
November, 1933.
Advocates that the assembly be considered as curricular.
Rope, Frederick S., "Assembly Program on Propaganda,” Clear­
ing House. 13:173-74, November, 1938.
Discusses organization of a Forum Club and its influence
upon assemblies.
Terry, Paul W . , "Democratic Principles of Supervision for
Extra-Curricular Activities,” The School Review, 45:65561, November, 1937.
A good article. Excellent on organization and manage­
ment of school activities. A forward viewpoint.
139
0.
UNPUBLISHED MATERIALS
Beaufait, Loren Jerome, "The Use of the Assembly as a Device
for Character Training and Subject Integration."
Unpublished Masterfs thesis, University of Southern
California, Los Angeles, California, 1935.
An analysis of a questionnaire presented to students at
Metropolitan High School, Los Angeles.
Mathis, Ruth Margaret, "Vitalizing the Assembly in the
Secondary School." Unpublished Master1s thesis, University
of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, 1938.
Chapter V, discussing student participation in assemblies,
is particularly good. Good material for those endeavoring
to make the assembly a vital part of the life of the
school.
Pauli, Edna May, ”A Study of the Recent Literature Pertaining
to Extra Curriculum Activities in the High School."
Unpublished Master’s thesis, University of Southern
California, Los Angeles, California, 1936.
An excellent review of the literature. Presents the
principles and standards most widely accepted by
authorities in the field in respect to the functions,
organization, and control of activities.
APPENDIX
131
Los Angeles, California
Dear Sir:
I am making a study of Assembly Activities in Senior
High Schools of California under the direction of Dr. Louis
P. Thorpe of The University of Southern California. The
survey is state wide and seeks to determine the objectives,
organization, and procedures of the assembly in senior high
schools having an enrollment of 500 or more.
Enclosed is a short questionnaire which will aid me in
securing this information. Will you please fill it out as
completely as possible and return it to m e in the enclosed
stamped envelope?
That the study may be a beneficial
to have the co-operation of all the high
mentioned. May I count on you to return
I shall appreciate any comments that you
one, it is necessary
schools of the size
the questionnaire?
may wish to make.
Upon completion of the study, a recapitulation will be
sent to you if you care to have it.
I shall be most grateful for your co-operation and help
in this study.
Very sincerely yours,
132
High school______________________Enrollment___ _Grad.es___to__
Name of person answering q u e s t i o n n a i r e
____________
Position
Please place a check mark (
space following each question.
Example:
) or word in the correct
Do you have assemblies? Yes__No__
How many per week?
One.
OBJECTIVES
1.
Do you accept the following aims for the high school
assembly?
a. To inspire and deepen student interests and
appreciations? ...................... Yes______ No_
b. To encourage a spirit of co-operation? . . Yes_No]
c. To stimulate emotional power and provide
opportunity for growth in emotional
Yes__Ifo
c o n t r o l ? __________
d. To obtain through carefully selected, planned,
and directed programs public enlightenment?Yes__No_
e. To provide for experience in large group
situations?.......................... Yes______Ifo
f . To develop socially minded individuals?
. Yes_No*
g. To encourage a spirit of reverence and
school loyalty?...................... Yes______No_
h. To correlate school and community
interests?
Yes No
ADMINISTRATION
2.
3.
How many assembly periods does each student attend per
week?___
Are assembly periods scheduleda. By upper and lower assemblies? . . . . . .
Yes Ito
135
b. By g r a d e s ? ..........................
Yes__ No_
c. As one group.........................
Yes__ No_
4.
Are assemblies held at a regular period? .
Yes___No_
5.
Is assembly attendance optional?
........
Yes__No 1
6.
Is the assembly period regarded asa. Part of the regular pro g r a m ? ........
Yes__ No_
b. An extra-curricular activity? . . . .
Yes__ _No_
7.
Is a morning assembly more successful than
one held in the afternoon?..............
Yes__ No_
8 . What is the length of the assembly period?_______minutes.
9. On what day of the week is assembly held?______ _________
SUPERVISION
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
Do you have a faculty s p o n s o r ? ..........
Yes__No_
Is the sponsor selecteda. By the p r i n c i p a l ? _________________
Yes__No_
b. By thestudent c o u n c i l ? _____________
Yes__No'
c. By the
f a c u l t y ? __________________
Yes__No]
d. By thestudent council with the approval
of the principal?__________________
Yes__No_
e. Bysome other m e t h o d ? _______________
Yes__No]
Is the sponsor selected for his special
fitness for the w o r k ? __________________
Yes__No_
Is he in close touch with the life and
operation of the s chool? ________________
Yes__No_
Is the sponsor*s schedule adjusted to take
care of the extra load?
__________
Yes__No^
Is there an assembly committee? . . . . . .
Yes_No]
Is the assembly committee composeda. Of faculty o n l y ? ...............
Yes_______ No_
b. Of students o n l y ? .............
Yes_______ No]
c . Of students and faculty?.......
Yes_______ No]
How many faculty members on the assembly
committee?
_________
How many student members on the assembly
committee?___________
Are assemblies planned In advancea. For a month only?...............
Yes_______ No_
b. For a semester o n l y ? ...........
Yes_______ No_
c. For a year?.............. . . . . . ._____ Yes__No]
Is the plan made public sufficiently in
advance?__________________________
Yes__No_
Does the management of the assemblya. Provide for various types of assemblies?
Yes_No_
b. Keep systematic record ofstudent parti­
cipation? __________________________
Yes__No_
c. Have a system for evaluating assemblies?
Yes_No_
134
22.
23.
24.
Do assembly periods begin and end on time?
Do teachers co-operate willingly in pre­
paring assembly programs? ..............
Do pupils participate bya. Presiding at assembly programs? . . .
b. Taking part in programs?............
c. Showing a sensitiveness to their
responsibilities in making a program
a s u c c e s s ? ........................
d. Listening and giving evidence of good
audience training? ................
e. Helping to evaluate programs? . . . .
f. Helping to manage an assembly budget?
g. Caring for materials and properties?
Yes
No
Yes
_No
Yes, No
Yes’ No’
Yes
No__
Yes
Yes]
Yes’
Yes"
No__
No__
No
No
TYPES OF PROGRAMS
25. Do programs grow out of classroom activities? Yes< No
26. Do programs develop from extra-curricular
activities?
..........................
Yes No
27. Are outside speakers and artists used? . .
Yes] No]
28. If so, are those who can appeal to
adolescents selected? ..................
Yes No
29. Has there been any exchange of programs
with other schools?....................
Yes_ No
30. If so, was this s a t i s f a c t o r y ? ...........
Yes] No'
31. Are "sings” and "rallies” held occasionally? Yes] No]
32. Is an effort made to have special day
programs interesting and different? . . .
Yes, No,
33. Is the attitude of the students favorable
to the assembly?........................
Yes^ No
34. Is the attitude of the faculty favorable
Yes< No,
to the a s s e m b l y ? ......................
35. Is the attitude of patrons favorable to
the assembly?..........................
Yes No
CIVIC-SOCIAL VALUES
36.
37.
38.
Does the assembly serve to unify the school?
Is it organized democratically?..........
Does it give opportunity for leadership
and followership?......................
39. Are the pupils given all the freedom and
opportunity for initiative that they can
wisely u s e ? ..........
40. Is the assembly an effective guidance agency?
41. Are parents given an opportunity to attend
assemblies?..............
Yes, No
Yes’ No
Yes^
No
Yes< No
Yes< No]
Yes
No
135
4-2.
Is the assembly meeting the needs of the
students in your s c h o o l ? ..............
Yes
No
DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED
43.
44.
45.
46.
47.
Is preparation of good programs difficult?
Is a suitable time schedule a problem? . .
Is it difficult to develop correct audience
habits? ................................
Is it hard to secure student interest? . .
Other difficulties?
REMARKS, OR SUGGESTIONS FOR ASSEMBLY PROGRAMS
Yes No
Yes__No__
Yes No
Yes__No__
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