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his professional skill, to determine what is best for the school, not what will please the public. He is there as an expert to direct public opinion, not to be controlled by it. When he shall determine that culture rather than machinery shall determine the excellence of the school, the public will not be slow to adopt that standard. I do not undervalue good order and examination tests. Every good school is orderly and able to hear these tests. But a school may be all this and yet be a poor school. That which is best or worst in a school cannot be discovered by arithmetical computation. It is neither the earthquake nor the storm, but the still small voice.
Now the relation that this machinery bears to the integrity and perpetuity of the public-school system it is important to consider. The unfavorable criticism of which we have heard so much during the past few years, is a reason for the teacher's giving heed to the matter. Objections come, sometimes in one form, sometimes in another, but they all indicate dissatisfaction with the results obtained. They are telling us that these results are not commensurate with the time and money spent obtaining them.
If I were talking to an audience of teachers west of the Alleghany Mountains, I should say that there is much ground for this complaint, This same public that took the Superintendent at his word, and pronounce that a good school which can obtain good per cents, are beginning to question the value of these products. They have not yet begun to inquire whether they are measuring the school by the right standard, and whether, possibly, the Superintendent may not be wrong in parading his order and his per cents. They suppose the schools to be good schools. But they say they are not worth what they cost; and, immediately, they begin to inquire how this expense can be made less.
Naturally the High School is first attacked. The people are dissatisfied with these results, for the reason that the teacher is so much absorbed in the machinery of the school that he neglects to give the pupil any sufficient preparation for the machinery of life. But this is not the bottom
Without detracting from the average American's loyalty to machinery, it can be said that there is in his mind a thought, of which he is half conscious, that power is of more importance than the machine; that a practical education after all means the possession of those elements of power that may be applied everywhere. If the public were to formulate their objections to the High School, they would be expre:sed somewhat as follows:
The pupil of average ability who graduates from our High School cannot read. Put him to the test, you will find that he cannot read intelligently any of our English classics. He has formed no taste for reading good books. He has made no start in acquiring a knowledge of the best that has been thought or said in the world. His knowledge of literature, as tested by the stated examination, is limited to a brief biography of a few authors and one or more brief selections from their writings. He will repeat some author's comparison of Pope and DRYDEN or of GOETHE and BYRON, without having ever read ten lines from either, He is thus encouraged to think that he knows something of literature,
but there is little that interests him in such knowledge, and nothing that will urge him on to further research and a more extended reading. The following examination test was thought worthy of a place in the Educational exhibit made at the Centennial, and will therefore be considered a fair illustration of this statement :
The question asked was:-“Who were ARISTOTLE, CICERO, and QuintilIAN? Give an account of their systems, and point out their defects when submitted to modern criticism ?" The answer was as follows:
“ARISTOTLE, a Greek rhetorician, is called the founder of criticism and of grammar, but his works are rather outlines than perfect models.” Then follows an apology for ARISTOTLE, and the damage done to his reputation is repaired by reminding us of the back ward state of science at that time. For CICERO, there is only censure for having “made rhetoric to consist of invention, and not in conviction;" and QUINTILIAN receives quite as little approval. His definition of Rhetoric is pronounced too general, since it comprises the following conditions:-“To think correctly which belongs to logic, to construct well which belongs to grammar; and to reason well which belongs to the science of reasoning! There was great unanimity of opinion among all the members of the class, and great uniformity of language.
Now this high-sounding criticism was made by girls, who in all probability, had never read a page of the writings of either of these authors. No inducement remains to read them, for has it not been ided in advance that they are blind guides ? It is easy for us to agree with the learned President of the French Educational Commission, that “it is better to be forever ignorant of QUINTILIAN, A RISTOTLE, and the rest than to know them after this fashion."
But the graduate from our High School not only cannot read, and has no foundation laid for acquiring a knowledge of the best things that have been thought and said in the world; he cannot write. Test him and it will be found that he has practically no power of independent thought or expression. There is no method in the little thinking that he does, and he has no power of discrimination or generalization. His power of criticism has never been exercised, unless we call the caricature just quoted criticism.
He has no proper development of his own powers and no mastery of himself by which he can lay hold of the knowledge he has acquired and put it to practical use.
In short, no foundation has been laid for the development of that tact and delicacy of judgment which is one of the elements of culture and which is so essential to good citizenship and rational conduct.
I might continue to point out other deficiencies of our High-School graduate, but will complete this unpleasant summary of short-comings by the general statement, that he knows nothing thoroughly. He has a smattering of many things, but nothing whole.
I believe that more power is required of the kind necessary to culture by the thorough and complete mastery of a single subject, so that the student shall feel at home in it than by spending his time in receiving introductions to twenty. Unless I have failed to express the thought that has been in my mind from the beginning, it has been already suggested that to promote culture among the people the elementary schools and the High Schools also must teach reading and writing better than they are now taught. Civilization has changed from the primitive, plodding, patriarchal life of fifty years ago to the busy, bustling world of to-day.
The distinction of city and country no longer exists. The railroad, the telegraph, and the daily papers have made these one, and that one is the city.
The circle of the sciences has been enlarged, and the applications of these sciences to practical life have been multiplied. Philological researches have awakened new interest in the study of language. New inventions have created new vocations for which a special education is required. All this has tended to distract the attention of people and of teachers from the pre-eminent importance of a thorough teaching of the three R’s. Hardly has the pupil developed age and strength sufficient to make the study of these subjects profitable as a means of culture, ere they are dropped from the course, and he is set to learning the elementary definitions of some other study, which in turn gives place to something else ere it is fairly begun.
The elementary schools afford too little instruction in reading and writing. Not too little time, perhaps, but too little thought and study are given to these subjects. I was in a good school” recently. The machinery was working perfectly. Per cents in order and examination were undoubtedly high. A class was reading the “Old Oaken Bucket.” The lesson was completed in good order. Pronunciation, enunciation, position, modulation, quality of tone, all near the standard. After the exercise was finished, the teacher, with a gratified look, requested me to ask the class some questions. I asked first how many buckets were in the well. The reply came quickly from several that there were three-“the old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket, and the moss-covered bucket.” I then called their attention to the couplet
“And soon, with the emblem of truth overflowing,
and inquired what was the emblem of truth here spoken of. After some hesitation one of the bolder pupils said she thought it was an eagle.
Now is it too much to say that this teacher gave heed to the anise and cummin and neglected the weightier matters?
Composition, other than the formal construction of sentences that express no thought, is neglected in every grade of school. The way is here open to start the pupil in the work of analysis, comparison, discrimination, and criticism, that shall in time develop into “tact and delicacy of judgment” which belong to culture.
And, finally, I believe it is through the study of reading and of composition in every grade of the school, that study which shall have for its object the gaining of knowledge of the “ best that has been thought and said in the world,” and the formation of that tact and delicacy of judgment which a careful comparison of these thoughts in conversation and written composition shall develop, and the discovery of those relations in the thought of
all time that tend to steady and strengthen our faith in the final working of all things for good-it is in and through all this, I say, that will grow that third element of culture which is the crowning excellence of every man or woman who possesses it; the active, earnest desire to make reason and the will of God prevail,
In the discussion Dr. John HANCOCK, of Ohio, said that he feared that too much is expected of the boys and girls. The subject of literature is a broad one, and many questions may be asked that those mature in life and well read in books cannot answer. Persons frequently go before a class and ask certain questions, and because they are not answered correctly draw the conclusion that the class knows nothing. They seem to forget that what is unknown is always greater than what is known by any one of ordinary culture in this line. Machinery in school is too much decried: proper machinery properly used is an element of great strength in education. We should criticize discriminatingly the faults of our public schools.
A. L. WADE, of Morgantown, West Virginia, was pleased with the spirit of the address : its principal fault was its tendency to fault-finding.
Mr. Brown said that no one should excel him in his loyalty to the public schools, and insisted that nothing was to be gained by covering up their defects.
Miss LELIA E. PATRIDGE, of Philadelphia, insisted that Mr. Brown's illustrations were fair, and claimed that many things are very poorly taught in the public schools.
W. T. HARRIS, LL. D., Superintendent of Public Instruction at Saint Louis, Mo., delivered an address on
THE RELATIONS OF THE KINDERGARTEN TO THE SCHOOL.
What are the claims of the Kindergarten as a department of PublicSchool Education ?
This question involves a consideration of many subordinate questions relative to the province of the school in the education of human life as a whole-for it is clear life itself as a whole is a system of education; for man is a being of constant development, and in every epoch of his life an education goes on. There are well-defined epochs of growth or of education—that of infancy in which education is chiefly that of use and wont, the formation of habits as regards the care of the person and the conduct within family life,—that of youth wherein the child learns in the school how to handle those instrumentalities which enable him to participate in the intellectual or theoretical acquisitions of the human race, and wherein, at the same time, he learns those habits of industry, regularity, and punctuality, and self-control which enable him to combine with his fellow-men in civil society and in the State—then there is that education which follows the period of school education, the education
which one gets by the apprenticeship to a vocation or calling in life. Other spheres of education are the state or body-politic and its relation to the individual wherein the latter acts as citizen making laws through his. elected representatives and assisting in their execution, the church wherein he learns to see all things under the form of eternity and derive thence the ultimate standards of his theory and practice in life.
The question of the Kindergarten also involves—besides this one of province, i. e. the question of whether there is a place for it—the consideration of its disciplines or what it accomplishes in the way of giving theoretical insight or of practical will power; these two and the emotional nature of the human being. Exactly what does the Kindergarten attempt to do in these directions? And then, after the what it does is ascertained, arises the question whether it is desirable to attempt such instruction in the school, whether it does not take the place of more desirable training which the school has all along been furnishing—or whether it does not on the other hand, trench on the province of the education within the family, a period of nurture wherein the pupil gets most of his internal or subjective, emotional life developed. If the Kindergarten takes the child too soon from the family and abridges the period of nurture it must perforce injure his character as a whole ; for the period of nurture is like the root-life of the plant, essential for the development of the above-ground life of the plant, essential for the public life of the man, the life wherein he combines with his fellow-men.
Then, again, there is involved the question of education for vocation in life, the preparation for the arts and trades that are to follow school life, as the third epoch in life-education. Should the education into the technicalities of vocations be carried down into the school life of the pupil, still more should it be carried down into the earliest period of transition from the nurture period to the school period ?
Besides these essential questions there are many others of a subsidiary nature, those relating to expense, to the training of teachers and their supply, to the ability of public-school boards to manage such institutions, to the proper buildings for their use, the proper length of sessions, the degree of strictness of discipline to be preserved, &c., &c. The former essential questions relate to the desirability of Kindergarten-education, the latter relate to the practicability of securing it.
In order to present these issues to you in their most interesting aspects. I shall first speak of the merits claimed by its advocates for the Kindergarten, and attempt to set forth some of the results which I have seen accomplished by it.
The most enthusiastic advocates of the Kindergarten offer as grounds for its establishment such claims for its efficiency as might be reasonably claimed for the totality of human education in its fivefold aspect of nurture, school, vocation, state, and church. If what they claim for it were met with as actual results, we certainly should realize the fairest ideals of a perfected type of humanity at once. Such claims, however, can be true only of a life-long education in its fivefold aspect, and not of any possible education which lasts only from one to four years in the life of the individual. Notwithstanding this exaggeration it may prove to be the case