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I. PARENT EDUCATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA FROM 1925TO 1932 ORGANIZATION OF PROGRAM Parent education as an organized movement in Minnesota dates from the foundation of the Institute of Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota in July, 1925, "for the purpose of making scientific studies of the development of the young child, training future workers in the field, and bringing to parents through an extension program the information accumulated in its own and other research centers." Since no organization had previously assembled data on clientele, methods, and results of parent education programs, a major objective of the Institute was the accumulation of such facts through the keeping of detailed records. Analysis of these records, it was felt, would not only constitute a measure of accomplishment,but would also serve as a basis for recommendations of future policy. During this fact-finding period of a developing program the Institute felt justified in offering its parent education services to the people of the state free of charge, thus forestalling most of the objections that might otherwise have been made by parents to filling out the necessary information blanks. It is possible, therefore, to trace the growth and expansion of interest in parent education in Minnesota over a period of seven years during which the factor of financial cost to the individual or organization was entirely eliminated. The only additional interest that may have been aroused was due to the efforts of such organizations as the Parent-Teacher Association, which urged its local branches to form child study groups so as to meet the requirements for standard or superior associations. The Institute has never done promotional work. It has merely offered the services of trained leaders to any local organization that undertook to guarantee regular attendance of fifteen or more persons and to arrange the time and place of meetings. Responsibility for starting and maintaining the group has always been taken by the sponsoring organization. Table i shows a steady increase in number of groups and enrollment from year to year. 93 94 PARENT EDUCATION TABLE I. — ANALYSIS OF ENROLLMENT ANDMEETINGS FOR VARIOUS YEARS Year 1025—26 1026—27 1927-28 1028—20 1929—30 1010-31 1931—32 Numberof Groups 1A 6? 76 77 2O3 16? ... 188 Enrollment 669 1438 1,307 1,561 3,53° 7,012 8,414 Average Average Number Enrollment Meetings per Group 19.7 22.1 17.2 2O.3 174 I9.I 21.7 4-5 5-7 6.1 6.1 S-6 6.0 6.0 1925-32 1,210 23,931 19.8 J.7 There has been expansion in scope of activities as well as in number of people interested. With the years, more and more communities outside the Twin Cities have asked for leaders, and a wider range of organizations have offered sponsorship. The Agricultural Extension Division and the Home Demonstration Service of the University of Minnesota have cooperated with the Institute from the beginning. The subject matter taught has expanded from lessons centering around the preschool child to courses dealingwith older children,adolescence, and family relationships . Reading courses have been prepared and mailed to parents unable to attend study groups. Books on child care and training have been loaned to groups. Since 1927 a large number of radio talks for parents have been broadcast. ACTIVITIES IN VARIOUS FIELDS Twin Cities center. — The central office for parent education is very advantageously located at the Institute of Child Welfare on the main campus of the University of Minnesota. A staff varying in different years from two to seven persons was responsible for the leadershipof study groups, preparation of materials, exhibits, research, radio talks, individual conferences, and miscellaneous activities. From 1928 to 1932 a center was maintained in Duluth, and since 1929 an extension specialist has been located on the farm campus, in the Agricultural Extension Division. The remainder of the staff go out from the main office in the Twin Cities to different parts of the state as the need arises. Several members of the staff have taught university undergraduate and graduate courses in child development and parent education along with their extension activities. AT MINNESOTA 95 Duluth center. — Duluth was chosen for a four-year demonstration program in parent education, beginning in the fall of 1928, because of its size, its location in the state, and the interest and support the community had given to parent education for a number of years. Previously groups had been sponsored by the...


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