The Brooklyn Board of Education and John J. Pershing P.S. 220 present a lesson on the geography of Africa.
Complete Station ID. Announcer introduces Mr. Rexford with the Brooklyn Board of Education with a lesson from P.S.220, John J. Pershing Junior High School, on the geography of Africa. A youth choir, accompanied by a piano performs “America the Beautiful” “Is there anything more beautiful than the singing of children?” Song is entire.
Mr. Agustus Ludwig, the principal of P.S. 220 gives a short talk on the nature of geography. This cuts in and out. As with the arithmetic lesson in Catalog # 73674, this lesson emphasizes a departure from rote memorization of isolated facts and definitions of geography terms to a more holistic understanding of how land, the environment and history shape human society and culture. “In no subject is there a better opportunity to show the progress of man physically, commercially, economically and morally. The conservation of resources, the dignity of labor, the exploration of unknown parts of the earth and the depths of the seas, the improvement of commerce by land, by water and air, the circulation of moisture, irrigation, the independence of people; the influence of oceans, winds, forests, mountains and rivers as well as other topics should be taught not as groups of facts to be memorized, but as organized topics which will exert decided influence on ideals and conduct.”
Among the many of lessons in geography, Mr. Ludwig includes: “An understanding of the mutual dependence and helpfulness of different groups of people which will lead to sympathy and respect for the peoples of other lands.”
The P.S. 220 Glee Club sings “Dream of Paradise” by Hamilton Gray. Fades in and out near the end.
Ms. Louise M. Dickenson, a teacher at P.S. 220 gives us a “serious” lesson in geography. “Africa has been the last of the continents to be developed by white men. Let us see if we can discover some reasons for this.” Reasons given for this by students include the presence of “wild savages in the jungle” and “fierce Arabs who roamed over the desert and attacked all travelers.” The loss of territory in Africa by the Germans after the World War I and the Dutch after the Boer War, Africa’s gold mines and varying climate are all briefly discussed. The anniversary of Haile Selassie’s crowning as the Emperor of Ethiopia is mentioned, as is the discovery of ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1924. Finally a problematic discussion of the people of Africa is conducted. The warm climate of northern Africa is described as a force which would make people disinclined to industrial production.
WNYC archives id: 73712