restricted access ORGANIZATION AND RECORDS OF STUDY GROUPS
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II. ORGANIZATION AND RECORDS OF STUDY GROUPS It has not been possible hitherto to answer definitely from experience certain specific questions about parent education that are important in a beginning program. How often should a group meet? At what time of day? Do certain topics stimulate special interest and attendance? What are the differences in groups sponsored by different organizations? What variation in educational and occupational background is found within a single group? Are there differences in rural, suburban, and urban groups? Does the number of members affect attendance, interest, and amount of discussion? Does the personality of the leader affect attendance and discussion? What percentage of the mothers enrolled in a group studying a certain period of development actually have children of the ages studied? How many people register for more than one course? The present study proves that, without hampering the work of leaders or groups, records of parent education activities can be kept in a form that visualizes some of the accomplishmentsof the program and serves as a basis for specific recommendations. Such records, summarizing the parent education work of the Institute over a period of seven years, may suggest, to those about to establish a similar program, methods of handling the many problems of organization. PROCEDURE OF ORGANIZING A GROUP Upon receipt of a request from a leader, the chairman of a prospective group was sent the Manual for Organization of Study Groups and a bulletin called Parent Education, which discussed details of organization. She was also sent a form on which to enroll her members. The form provided space for the name of the group, names of persons who pledged themselves to enroll, and their addresses and telephone numbers. A copy of this form was returned to the Institute, where a folder for the group was started, and all information and records concerning that group were kept together in a central file. The leader to whom the group was assigned, or the person in charge of 100 ORGANIZATION AND RECORDS 101 scheduling, obtained the data necessary to fill out a second form, headed "General Information on Study Groups,"which included the place of meeting, the names of the chairman, secretary, and librarian, the sponsorship of the group, the number of meetings, comments on the group, and topics asked for (see page 102). The leader was responsible for filing all this information, and a secretary at the Institute checked the files frequently, so that if information was missing, it was often possible to obtain it before the group disbanded. It has been found that all arrangements for scheduling and assigning groups can be most efficiently handled by a single person, since the schedule becomes very complex with a number of leaders and with groups meeting at different intervals and hours. Then too, chairmen feel more free to discuss any difficulties or complaints with a person who is not the leader of the group. Each leader kept her own schedule for the year on a monthly calendar which was so arranged that the meetings for a whole month were recorded on the same page. Each meeting of the group was listed with its time and place. The schedule was made out in advance, and new assignments were added from time to time. The person in charge of scheduling kept a master schedule for all groups and leaders, that showed at a glance where each leader was to go and the time of her meeting. A typed schedule was also posted in the general office of the Institute for the use of students who observed groups as one phase of their training. The data recorded for each group were in such detail that in an emergency a substitute could take over the leadership of a group, knowing exactly what had been done before. Directions for getting to each study group were given, so that a great amount of time and confusion was saved when one leader had to substitute for another in a strange place. Each member who enrolled in a study group was asked to fill out a registration blank at the first meeting she attended (see page 104). While the form has been changed slightly the essential information obtained has been the same since the beginning, except for the year 1925, when the record blanks were not completely worked out. Information concerning the age and amount of education of the registrant, her husband's occupation, and 102 PARENT EDUCATION SAMPLE OF FORM FILLED OUT BY GROUPCHAIRMEN...


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