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influence the higher institutions of learning have upon the lower, and upon the development of civilization. In the discussion of these questions it has brought together the foremost men of all sections of the country, whose searching investigations and clear and forcible presentation of their several views have contributed largely to getting the best things known and done. Within the period of its existence perhaps not many great, and original measures have had their origin, but those already rooted have been nourished and strengthened. Normal Schools have largely increased in numbers and efficiency; graded schools have multiplied many fold, and through them the schools of our cities and towns have become the best in the world, -ample proof of which statement will be presented in an address to be delivered at the present meeting. With the growth of the graded-school system, has extended the plan of having schools supervised by professional educators, with which no merely non-professional supervision can for one moment compare, and by this professional supervision have vitality and skill been introduced into every department of our public-school systems to an extent before unknown. In all these progressive movements, it is fair to claim this Association has exercised a full share of influence, reinforcing everywhere the efforts of more provincial organizations. There has, however, been one great educational agency established since the foundation of this Association, and of which the Association may be said to have been the special champion. I refer to the Bureau of Education. The defence of this institution when it has. been attacked, and the support of its measures with an unflagging zeal, I regard to have been among the most useful and honorable of the labors of the Association.
Of the Centennial Exhibition, so grand in all its features, and so admirable in its management-a wondrous university to which people from every quarter of the earth came to learn lessons not taught in ordinary institutions of learning-the one feature most attractive to intelligent foreigners, was our Educational Exhibit. This showed them, as no other department of the exhibition could, the source of the activity of our people as inventors, and the substantial foundation on which their prosperity rests. This exhibition of the actual work done by our schools in their different grades, from the lowest primary to the senior class of the High School, was made in accordance with rules prepared by this Association, and a large part of its success was due to the active exertions of its membership in the several States.
Having thus briefly glanced at the early history of the Association, and more briefly to the work in which it has borne a part, the question which bears itself home upon us in this the completion of its twenty-first year, is, What enterprises shall it now set before itself for future accomplishment? Many of those who were active in its foundation have laid down their burden of labor to take it up no more forever; and those who remain of that early band have grown gray in service. We must then look to the younger members, with their greater vigor and higher courage, to push forward to greater achievements.
A few years ago the public mind was more nearly a unit on some questions of gravest import to our people than it seems to be now. One of these is the question whether the high school ought to constitute a part of a system of free schools. This department of the system has within a few years been violently assailed by an influential portion of the public press, by politicians who would fain bear the name of statesmen, and by others in high places; but as yet the people have not been among these assailants, and if I mistake not both their intelligence and their temper, they never will be. Our national progress depends as much upon the diffusion of the higher learning as it does upon the universality of the elementary; and if this Association has but the courage of its convictions, it will oppose itself in the most aggressive way to every measure which shall tend to restrict this higher learning to a favored class. That democracy is a vain pretense which does not do what it lawfully may, and its means will allow, to give all its youth a fair start in life.
Another question which has lately assumed a prominent place in our discussions, is destined, I am sure, to occupy a place still more prominent; and that is the question how, if at all, we are to unite in our public school systems the training of brain and hand. Technical schools, whether to supplement the training of academic institutions, or whether as a substitute for it, have secured a fixed place in our schemes of public education, But this other question has a much wider sweep. Instead of reaching but a few, it proposes to extend whatever advantages which may accrue from the training of the hand to the mass of youth in all schools above the most elementary. The theory of its advocates is that an entirely worthy education is one which teaches to do as well as to think. Say these advocates, “The scheme of manual training, aside from its practical value, will prove an important element in mental training, and those who take it will be possessed of as much mind-power at the end of their course as they would be if they gave their whole time to the usual course in book learning.” That the union of the two kinds of training is highly desirable is coming to be acknowledged with considerable unanimity; but there lie many difficulties in the practical realization of the scheme in our schools. To determine the limitations of the theory-for some of its advocates are already becoming extravagant in their claims-and to overcome the practical difficulties referred to, is another important work for the Association.
The emancipation of more than four millions of slaves, brought about by the late civil war, has imposed upon the nation and upon every great educational organization a burden and responsibility not to be easily borne. Their education and that of the poor whites—who in this regard are often but little better off-involves in it the perpetuity of the government. In this vital matter this Association has been no idle looker-on. It has taken the ground that this is a national question, in which every section has an interest, and that the general government is morally bound, so far as the limitation of its powers will permit, to render aid. The Association has many times declared that the proceeds of the sales of public lands should be exclusively devoted to educational purposes. And as a body it has memorialized Congress to distribute such proceeds among the several States on the basis of illiteracy, with the intent that, as. the South is poor and her needs great, she should, for many years to come, receive the greater amount of aid. And no objectionable partiality will be shown by this course, for what strengthens her will strengthen all. I speak confidently when I state that the efforts of the Association in this direction have been gratefully appreciated by our friends of the South; and I speak with equal confidence in assuring those friends that the Association will never relax its exertions until such a measure has become a law. Nor will the Association stop there. It will join heart and hand with the people of the South in support of any other practical measure for the establishing among them a great and strong free-school system. By such mutual co-operation, and through the kind feelings it will engender, we may expect to cement the different sections of our country into a union strong, harmonious, and enduring.
It was one of the original purposes of this Association, as is witnessed by the call for its creation, to elevate teaching into a noble profession. This cannot be done except by the aid of professional schools. We may therefore expect that it will continue to be, as it has heretofore been, the bold and uncompromising defender of Normal Schools, and that it will persistently labor to increase their numbers and to make them a greater educational force than they have ever been, by giving breadth and exaltation to their purposes.
It is a question worthy serious consideration whether the Association should not devote more of its effort toward influencing legislation. Our discussions on practical themes too often come to nothing, because their conclusions are not embodied in laws, which might often be effected if united exertions were made to that end. With most legislative bodies the views of such an Association as this on educational matters, if properly presented, would, in the very nature of things, have great weight.
My immediate predecessor in the office I am now called upon to fill, in his inaugural address spoke with a charming eloquence of the value of books and the creation of a general taste for good reading. The establish. ment of free libraries is scarcely less important than the establishment of free schools. Few of our cities and towns are unprovided with these valuable adjuncts to a school education, but the mass of our population is in the country districts; and how to get into the hands of the children of these districts, aye, of the men and women too, good books, books which shall refine and ennoble, is a question of the highest moment. To cultivate a taste for good reading is the most efficacious, possibly the only way of uplifting the great people.
In this connection, and believing it to be one of the attributes of this Association, both in its organized and individual capacity, to encourage all worthy educational movements wherever they may arise, I take pleasure in referring to the scheme of Rev. J. H. Vincent, of the Chautauqua Reading and Scientific Circles, for carrying into homes in sequestered country places as well as into the homes of the city and town, the best kind of reading on the best of topics. The scheme includes more than than this. He sets the inmates of these homes-old and young--at work upon regular courses of study, bringing, in a sense, a university to every man's door. He does not claim that these courses can be profitably substituted for the more thorough and systematic ones of the schools; but I think he may justly claim that they will be of inestimable value to those whose school privileges have been few, and even to scholars who possess a desire to add to the store of their school learning. To many minds which would otherwise have groped in darkness they bring an enduring light. The whole country is now dotted with Dr. Vincent's reading and studying "circles,” with a membership of nearly ten thousand and the plan is capable of indefinite extension. Thus in accordance with an idea which seems almost an inspiration, goes on in uncounted homes the study of history, of general literature, of astronomy, of the science of every-day life - lifting the inmates of these homes out of their life of daily toil into a region of pure intellectual delights. No one can have observed in his own community the results of this scheme without feeling that the work is worthy the highest commendation.
The question as to whether Kindergarten schools shall constitute an integral part of our common-school systems is one claiming more and more of the public thought. If such a measure should be adopted, it would exercise a most powerful influence on the whole scheme of public instruction -an influence more powerful than has resulted from any educational measure adopted within the last half century. Its results would be even more far-reaching, and, as I believe, more beneficial, than those wrought. by the introduction of the natural methods of instruction, grand as they have been. The subject has already been discussed with some fulness in the Association, and is to come before one of the departments at the present session. When it has been discussed in all its bearings, the conclusion reached by the Association should be expressed in that way that shall give it greatest weight.
In what I have said in the foregoing pages, I have attempted to give voice to what I conceived to be the general mind of the Association as to what its future work should be. I now beg to express, in a word, views entertained probably by only a minority of the Association, and certainly by only a minority of the people. Important as I deem the different lines of work I have pointed out, I do not think them grand enough to call out all the powers of the National Educational Association. I believe it ought to test its strength on measures greater than the greatest of these. One of these
- the supreme one as I view it is compulsory education. I weary of half-way measures. If education is what we profess to believe it-the one earthly good to be chosen before all others-why should we hesitate to throw ourselves into the advocacy of a measure that will make it universal. To carry learning into all homes and to make it the possession of every creature, so that there shall no more be a neglected class in this country of ours—that, as it seems to me, is a work altogether worthy the full powers of this great organization.
On motion of the Secretary, W: D. HENKLE, T. MARCELLUS MAESHALL, of West Virginia, and W: T. Seal of Pennsylvania, were appointed respectively first and second assistant Secretaries.
On motion of the Treasurer, J. ORMOND Wilson, JOSEPH M. Wilson and CLARENCE B. RHEEM, of the District of Columbia, were elected respect. ively first and second Assistant Treasurers.
The Rev. Geo. P. Hays, of Pa., offered the following resolution, which was adopted :
Resolved, That the thanks of this body are due and are hereby tendered to those inviting members of this Association to the special privileges stated by Mr. SHIPPEN.
Announcements were made as to the place of meeting of the different Departments and on motion of the Hon. J. P. WICKERSHAM, of Pennsylvania, the time of the meetings of the Departments was fixed at 3 P. M., for July 29 and 30.
E. A. Singer of the Local Committee of Invitation, announced that free tickets were ready for delivery to members for the Concert and Evening Address in the Academy of Music. He also announced an excursion to Cape May on Friday.
Prof. W: F. PAELPs, of Minnesota, read the paper of the Hon. J: W. DICKINSON, of Massachusetts, entitled
THE HIGH-SCHOOL QUESTION. Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen :
I have been invited to read to you a brief paper on High Schools and Secondary Instruction. What I shall say will seem to have almost exclusive reference to the history and character of High Schools in Massachusetts, and of the rights and duties of Massachusetts to give them public support. If one of the free States of the Republic differed essentially from another in so far as rights and duties with reference to its educational institutions are concerned, my arguments would be out of place here. If the natural rights of individual men were not the same wherever individual men exist, then, my reasons could have only a limited and special significance; but as the destiny of all States and of individuals controlled by self-imposed rules, is determined by the same causes, the particular statements I shall make, and which seem to refer to one State only, may be considered to have a general application. With this caution to my hearers. I will ask them to think of general truths while I describe what in some respects seems to refer to an individual.
In 1642 the colony of Massachusetts Bay, through its representatives in the general court, passed an act enjoining upon the municipal authorities the duty of providing for the education of every child within their respective jurisdictions.
In 1647 every township containing one hundred families or householders was required to maintain a grammar school, whose master should be able to fit the boys for the University. The character of these schools may be inferred from the conditions established in 1642, by President DUNSTER, for admission of boys to Harvard College. The conditions were as follows:—“When any scholar is able to read Tully, or such like classical Latin authors extempore, and make and speak true Latin in verse and prose ‘Suo (ut aiunt) marte,' and decline perfectly the paradigms of nouns