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less ward of the great city, under the care of one child-woman, who needed no certificate to assure me that the New Teacher had come to that corner of New America. She told me her story. “I was the daughter of a family of wealth and social rank in Cuba. In a late revolution there, the family fortunes went to wreck and I was left, an orphan, afloat in the wide world. One good friend brought me to New York, and another friend sent me down here to teach the freedmen. I went where I was drifted by a hard fate, as I thought, but was led as I now see, by a gracious Providence. For see what these little reprobates are teaching me! A year ago I had a temper like gunpowder and no faculty of self-control. Now, I must rule myself, or this mob will destroy me. And every day I am taking a step forward towards a womanhood of which I never dreamed in my father's house."

Was not that little schoolmistress a “mother in Israel,” reading us all a lesson on the mighty art of government in these days of reconstruction upon which we have come ? We can glare at each other out of the depths of our old hatred, in the Congress of the United States, a hundred years; and what will come of it all but new disaster, endless hatred, and final calamity for mankind, But if we can all forget each other's grievances, and turn our back on the past, while, with one accord we bend together and “take the little children in our arms and bless them ;” if we can learn the sovereign art of self-control in the effort to train them up into a broad, intelligent, and loving type of the American woman and man; may it not be that, like her, we shall discover that no hard fate, but a gracious Providence, has brought us face to face with this supreme duty of the hour? And then may the old prophecy, like so much of the ancient wisdom of the world, turn out the latest revelation of the present hour; while in the New Teacher of New America shall appear the latest disciple of the great Teacher of souls, of whom it was said in the ancient days :—“The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD: And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD; And he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears : But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousneşs shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.'

After music Miss Mary McCurdy, Teacher of Elocution in the Girls' Normal School of Philadelphia, read a humorous selection.

On motion of the Hon. John Eaton, a committee of five, on Necrology, was appointed by the President:-Committee, HENRY BARNARD, of Connecticut, ZALMON RICHARDS, of the District of Columbia, W: E. SHELDON, of Massachusetts, J. P. WICKERSHAM, of Pennsylvania, and J: D. PhilBRICK, of Massachusetts.

At the request of Mr. BARNARD his name was dropped from the committee.

After a solo the Association adjourned till next morning.


The Association was opened with prayer by the Rev. C. K. NELSON, D. D., of Annapolis, Md.

On motion of the Hon. JOHN Eaton, the Committee on Census, appointed by the Department of Superintendence at its Washington meeting, last February, was continued, and directed to report either to that Department or to the General Association.

On motion of the same the Committee on State School Systems was also continued.

Mr. Eaton then read the following papers:


IN 1880. The Kingdom of Belgium celebrates in 1880, the 50th anniversity of its national independence. Brilliant festivals, exhibitions, and conferences will be held. It has also been decided to hold at Brussels an International Educational Congress, at which, questions relating to Kindergärten, primary and industrial schools, secondary and superior education, school hygiene, educational museums, etc., will be discussed.

A committee of arrangements consisting of 30 educators, has been appointed. Mr. COUVREUR (member of the Chamber of Deputies) is president, and Mr. CHARLES Buls, secretary of this committee.—(Freie Paedagog. Blätter, Vienna, July 16, 1879.)

THE VICTORIA UNIVERSITY. The authorities of Owens College, Manchester, and of the Yorkshire College of Science, Leeds, have already taken the initiatory steps for preparing a constitution of the new University for the North of England, for which a charter has recently been granted. The council of Owens College have appointed a committee of their body, and on Friday they met in conference at the college in Manchester, with representatives of the council of the Yorkshire College of Science, for the purpose of considering a draft constitution for the new institution. The basis of the deliberations of the conference is to be found in the series of suggestions contained in an appendix to the memorial which was presented to the Privy Council some time ago, but various questions will come before the meeting for consideration, including the power of granting degrees to women, and the better representation of the graduates and the teaching staff upon the board of governors. Considerable progress was made at the last meeting in preparing suggestions for a draft of a proposed charter, though each of the clauses was very fully discussed before adoption. When the conference has completed its task it will report to the council previous to the scheme being submitted to the law officers of the Crown. -(London Times, July 14.)

ALEX. Hogg, of Texas, offered resolutions in relation to the Higher Education of Women, which were referred to the Committee on Resolutions.

The Hon. J. P. WICKERSHAM, then proceeded to discuss the paper of Mr. PHILBRICK. The following abstract of his remarks is taken from the Pennsylvania School Journal, edited by Mr. WICKERSHAM, and hence is presumed to have passed under his inspection.


Mr. WICKERSHAM stated by way of introduction that the social and political institutions of the Old World are so different from those of the New, that it is difficult to find a fair common standard by which to compare systems of education at home and abroad. He agreed with Dr. PhilBRICK that our own system has elements of strength and elements of weakness when compared with the systems in operation in European countries; but he could hardly agree with those who thought the latter predominated. He believed the American system on the whole is best for America.

As Dr. PHILBRICK had confined himself to pointing out the respects in which the American system is strong, he would supplement his paper by briefly referring to some points in which he considered it weak. But, first, he would make a few comments on the conclusions reached by the author of the paper, whose views should have much greater weight than his own, as his opportunities of observation had been greater.

Mr. WICKERSHAM said he would hardly agree with Dr. PHILBRICK that the National Bureau of Education is one of the strong features of our system of education in the United States, or one likely to be extensively imitated abroad. He had been from the first a warm friend of the Bureau, and had a high appreciation of the work it had done and was doing; but it is, in its organization, an extremely weak educational agency when compared with the Departments of Public Instruction in France or Germany. In these countries and in other European countries, the Minister of Public Instruction is a full cabinet officer, with all the powers possessed by our National Commissioner of Education, and with many additional powers. Indeed, such officers in Europe have almost as much control of the educational forces of the country as the Ministers of War have of the armies. Centralization like this is contrary to the spirit of our institutions, but there is no good reason why our Bureau of Education should not be a full Department, and our Commissioner of Education a cabinet officer. Until this shall be done he feared thoughtful Europeans would be apt to consider our system, comparatively, rather weak than strong at this point. They may copy our methods of collecting statistics and publishing reports, but they will do it by an agency subordinate to their comprehensive and powerful departments.

Our schools are free. Every State in the Union has a system of public instruction absolutely gratuitous. This is not the case anywhere in Europe except in some of the little cantons of Switzerland. The paper does well in claiming that this is the strong feature of our system.

Nor are the public schools graded in Europe as they are with us. There are public elementary schools in all countries. The several governments provide much more liberally than we do for secondary education, high schools, gymnasia, colleges; and great universities are everywhere in large degree supported by the State. But there is no organic connection between these several classes of institutions. A boy cannot enter a primary school and thence advance directly and in due order to the grammar and high school, and it may be to the university, as in the State of Michigan. Elementary education in Europe is one thing and is under one management; secondary education is another thing, and is in a general way, under a different management, and in most cases there is an unbridged chasm between them. All this comes of the pregnant fact that in the monarchical countries of Europe it is no part of the policy of the educational authorities to lift the common people above the humble sphere in which they and their fathers have moved from time immemorial. For this reason the magnificent school organization of Germany would break to pieces in a day if applied in this country.

I am not so sure as my friend, Dr. PHILBRICK, seems to be that one of the strong points of our system is the settlement we have made of the question of religious instruction in connection with the common schools. Have we settled it at all? Is our practice uniform? We have completely secularized the schools in some places, but in others there are daily religious exercises. The general tendency would seem to be towards the adoption of unsectarian religious instruction, and the drift in some European nations is in the same direction. But, as I understand the matter, this is now substantially the status in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and other countries; and, if so, we are in this respect comparatively behind.

The United States spends much larger sums of money for elementary education in proportion to the population than any other country in the world, and much better provision is made for higher female education here than elsewhere; but on these points the paper read by Dr. PAILBRICK is sufficiently full and strong.

Among the features of our American system of education comparatively weak, is the shortness of our school terms. The elementary public schools in Europe are open everywhere during nine or ten months in the year, Even in the poorest districts there are no school terms of three, four, five, or six months in length. Averaging the school term in all our States, it would probably not exceed five months. There is certainly no room for boasting here.


The tenure of the teacher's office is far more uncertain in this country than abroad. European countries generally require more preparation to enter upon the work of teaching; but when once placed in charge of a school, a teacher is almost sure of his position during good behavior. If in the country, the teacher in most cases has a house and lot in connection with his school, and thousands of teachers never change their location during their whole professional lives. This custom, however, is not an unmixed good. Teachers abroad as well as at home, secure in their position, are apt to allow themselves to become rusty in their studies and to fall into routine methods of teaching that unfit them as instructors of the young. No teaching in America could be more inefficient than some I saw in various parts of Europe done by schoolmasters who had grown gray in the service. Notwithstanding the youth of our teachers and their frequent changes, I believe we do the best teaching in the world. Our teachers seem to have more versatility of knowledge, more flexibility of character, a more inspiring manner, a method that not only helps the pupil to learn present lessons but prompts the ambition to master future

I would rather intrust the average American teacher with a school, unlearned and inexperienced as he often is, than I would the average German or French schoolmaster though he may be a graduate of a university and have spent twenty or thirty years in the school-room. There is something in the free institutions of America, something in the very air we breathe, that fits men and women to become good teachers. Still, it must be acknowledged that the uncertain tenure of the teacher's office is a serious drawback, weakening the whole teaching force of the country.

Schools are better inspected in many of the most enlightened countries in Europe than they are with us. The inspectors are picked men and specially trained for their work. Their tenure of office is such that they can perform their duty fearlessly. The number of schools placed under the care of each is such that he can make his inspection close and critical. And the truth may be added that effective supervision everywhere makes effective schools.

In the United States the fight for Normal Schools has not yet been crowned with victory. There is scarcely a State in which their friends do not at times have reason to tremble for their safety. And yet with us, Normal-School graduates enjoy no monopoly of the work of teaching. No favors are shown them over others. They must win their way by dint of superior qualifications. In European countries educationally the most advanced, no one is allowed to teach who has not been regularly trained for the work. The policy of establishing and supporting a sufficient number of Normal Schools to supply all the teachers needed, is no longer questioned. The Normal Schools have no enemies but the enemies of the public schools themselves. They have quack doctors there as here, and in about the same proportion, but the government tolerates no quack teachers. Little children, at least, are shielded from the touch of the ignorant and the unskilled.

The nations of Europe give much more encouragement to higher education than is done in this country. High schools, lyceums, colleges, gymnasia, polytechnic schools, universities, all are in great measure under

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