As this page is being written, seven thousand delegates are participating in the Golden Anniversary White House Conference on Children and Youth. Three volumes of background material under the title, The Nation’s Children, have been edited by Dr. Eli Ginzberg, the distinguished economist. Published by the Columbia University Press, these volumes present in the main a faithful portrayal of the potentialities, needs, and problems of American youth today. Unlike much current writing on education, many of the chapters attain a refreshing directness and incisiveness of expression. For Christian educators—and this includes pastors who, according to St. Paul are also teachers (Eph. 4:11)—this trilogy is required reading.
Several far-reaching trends are faced in these volumes. Because Christians, whether they like it or not, are to some extent affected by them, these trends give us pause. There is, for example, the change in the American family brought about by the exodus of American mothers from their homes. As Dean Henry David of the New School for Social Research shows, back in the thirties little more than a tenth of all married women were employed; today almost one third of married women living with their husbands work outside the home. Inevitably there has been a shift in balance from the biblically-patterned home to one where, as Prof. Arensberg of Columbia writes, “The father … is not so much a man, a model of adult manhood for his son, as a ‘pal’ and another boy, absent and out of sight in the important, non-familial roles of his work existence,” a fact that “has already worried psychiatrists, especially in our newer, dormitory suburbs, with their enforced segregation ...1
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