Imágenes de páginas

In 75 institutions for the education of the colored race, from which special reports have been received, there are nearly 20,000 students in nonprofessional courses, not quite 4 per cent of whom are reported as being of collegiate grado, 35 per cent as being of secondary grade, and 61 per cent as of elementary grade. It has been remarked above that tho absence of an elementary department at Howard University may be attributed to the very efficient work of the system of public colored schools of Washington City; for the constant complaint of the universities and colleges for the colored is that they are obliged to instruct their pupils in the elementary branches, showing that if those pupils have been taught in the public schools they have been poorly taught or have failed to profit by tho teaching. The probability is that tho child has been poorly taught, and the whole effort of the management of two of the three great funds for tho education of the populations of the Sonth is the training of home teachers. If the efforts of the trustees of these great funds are supported by a State system of examination adequate to prevent persons moro necessitous than able from being foisted upon the children, the colleges and universities for the colored race may dispense with their elementary classes, though probably with a loss of the moiety, or even more, of their present attendance. However this may be, those who support the higher named institutions for the education of the colored race are fully convinced not only of the negro's desiro and of his capacity for culture, but also of the necessity. The only obstacles they can seo are illiteracy and porerty, which they are striving to overcome by supporting institutions in thie South as shown above.

The great majority of the students at these institutions, though pursuing an elenientary course of instruction, have one of two objects in viow. These are tho desire to become a teacher or a minister of the gospel. In every catalogne of an institution for the higher education of the colore:l raco there is to be found either a normal or a minister's course, most frequently both. As for the so-called normal course, it has been very accurately stated by the Hartshorn College that it is but the beginning of an education, and the instruction in the minister's course is greatly hampered by the lack of a sound elementary education. In the case of the institutions supported by the Baptist Home Mission Society, it was decided in 1892 that the instruction in theology, except in the case of the Richmonil Theological Seminary, be restricted to a minister's course especially designed for those lacking an education that would permit them to take up the studies of a theological seminary proper. Yet the catalogue of the Richmond Seminary shows but 27 per cent of its 59 students in the regular theological course. In the Gammon Theological Seminary, with a single curriculum which is lower than the theological courso proper of the Richimonal Seminary though higher than the minister's course of that institution, about half the students are unclassified or aro in special courses.

The best and highest education given the negro, as far as numbers go, is offered in the ubiquitous normal course or department. This course is merely concerned with the elements of a plain English mathematical education. The effort there is to make the student as far as possible catch the principle involved in the subject under consideration rather than to memorize the printed page. Too frequently, perhaps, the early training of the student has not made him sufficiently familiar with thio subject-matter of the elementary branches to enable him to grasp their essence, but, notwithstanding this drawback, a thorougliness is given to the instruction that is elsewliere lacking.

The length of the normal course can not be given with any special accuracy. What is called the normal course generally requires three years of study to complote. Very frequently four years are devoted to the course, and occasionally two. In fact, the arrangement given by the Avery Normal Institute, or Straight Univer: sity, seems to be practically that of the great majority of the institutions with various names for the education of the colored people. At tho Avery Institute the curriculum begins with the fourth grade and the normal course with the ninth grade and continues on through the twelfth and final grade; thus the institution is assimilable to a graded system of public schools. At Straight University tho normal course also begins with the ninth grade, but the eleventh grade, or year, is called the middle year of the normal course, and the twelfth grade is called the senior year. Instead of grades preparatory, normal and subnormal courses are sometimes established. Still another form of the normal course is shown by the curriculum of this Southern university, where the “normal department contains the high school, the freshman year of the college course, and an addition of a course of pedigogics, with an emphasis on practice teaching." Very frequently the normal course is or may be used as a preparatory department, while at the branch normal college of the Arkansas Industrial University the normal course is stated to be fully equivalent to the first two years of a regular college course; and further, that it is the course which most of the students content themselves with taking.

It may be a matter of surprise that institutions necessarily conducted so economically as those for the education of the colored race should not be more economical in the variety of the courses they offer; in short, that they have not consolidated their teaching. It is quite evident that tko normal course at its best is merely it secondary or preparatory course of study which aims at general intellectual culture rather than professional expertness, for it has very freqnently elementary Latin and Greek, which are distinctively preparatory studies. For the purposes of comparison the second and third years of a normal course may be so arranged as to bring out the points of similarity it has with the preparatory course of the same institution. Normal Course (Middle and Senior Years). Normal Course, etc.-Continued. Complete Arithmetic, White.

Methods of Teaching. Algebra, Wentworth.

School Laws of State.
General history, Barnes.

Practice Teaching.
Latin Grammar, Allen and Greenough.
inductive Method, Harper and Burgess, Preparatory Course (One Year).
Physics, Gage.
Chemistry, Steele.

Complete Arithmetic, White.
English, Word Analysis and Rhetoric.

Algebra, Wentworth. Civil Government and Economics.

General History, Barnes. Bookkeeping.

Latin Grammar, Allen and Greenough.

Inductive Latin Method, Harper and Drawing.


Physics, Gage.

Chemistry, Williams.
Psychology and Moral Philosophy.

[In other institutions having a preparGeometry.

atory and a normal course the former School Management.

requires more than one year to complete.] History of Education.

The studies of the normal course are determined by the character of the examinations for State certificates to teach. But as Latin and probably other studies of the normal course given above are not pursued far enough to give the pupil any serviceable teaching knowledge of them, it would seem that they have been introduced for the special purpose of culture, and certainly there is no better way to teach “technical” grammar than through the grammar of a synthetic language, such as that of ancient Rome.

Motives of culture, however, are not the ruling ones that induce so many to attend the normal schools or departments of the class of institutions under review. Completion of a course of study in such a school entitles the holder to a certificate and the course itself is especially arranged to meet the requirements of the State examiners. Though these institutions inculcate the elements of an education, they may therefore be looked upon as professional schools. Indeed, to illustrate this conclusion, it will suffice to quote from the catalogue of the school whose programme has just been given, where it is said that the normal course has special reference to preparing the student to become a successful teacher, and that it is on that account that most of the students naturally turn to it. A university candidly states that a majority of its students attend its courses with the expectation of becoming teachers for a longer or shorter perio:).

It is clear that the opportunity opened by State aid and northern philanthropists to mature colored persons to gain entry into a field of usefulness of quasi-gentility at a small cost in money and a cousiderable expenditure of time is one that is particularly charming and has great effect in filling the normal schools and department3.'

"Parents, patrons, and studeuts," says the Hartshorn Memorial College, “ must ' remember that the completion of the normal course is but the beginning of educa

tion. Well-educated women, preparel for the best service of life, are the product of moro extended and broader training. It is the desire of this college to develop the higher courses as speedily as possible. But instruction in advanced courses can be given so far only and so fast as students are prepared to receive it.

“For the successful prosecution of advanced studies, four conditions are--each and all-absolutely essential:

“(1) There must be natural ability and the love of learning on the part of the student. Not few do well and achieve a good standing in the common-school studies, who, for lack of ability or aspiration, utterly fail in the higher.

“(2) There must be careful instruction in the elements and a mastery of them sufficient to lay a good foundation for after progress. Many pupils pass over the lower courses with so much carelessness that they fail, and for lack of preparation must needs fail as soon as they touch the higher.

“(3) Time is requisite. For the primary and grammar school studies, the normal, the college preparatory, and the collegiate many years are required. To completo long courses of study pupils must begin early and remain in school continuously. Those who begin at 16 or 18 years of age have not time to complete advanced


“(+) Moans also for the payment of moderate expenses are required. If the parents or patrons of a student count their duty done when she becomes able to teach a conntry school of low grade, advancement beyond the elements becomes for her impossible.

“The pressing needs of the people wait for women of broader education and completer discipline. To meet this need Hartshorn Memorial College was founded. The time when ability, aspiration for learning, early training, and the requisite means shall meet together and render higher education possible ought not to linger. The colored people theinselves should see that the time does not delay.”

The foregoing remarks show the lack of higher education among the African race in America. This is particularly unfortunate for this portion of the community since it, more than any other, requires a body of cultured persons within itself to oppose those adventurous persons who, by reason of their pleasing theories or ingenious arguments, are not apt to be the best of advisers, and in a stablo goverument are always bridled by the calm wisdom of a small but all-powerful class of thoughtful people. As before remarked, tho colored race is located in the distinctively agricultural States of the Union. It therefore has neither press nor libraries, and the rank and file of the race must depend upon their leaders for their opinions. Thus is explained the pertivacious efforts of thoughtful people to provide a higher education for the negro—their efforts to remove the obstacles which his intellectual and pecuniary disabilities put in their way, and their appeals for aid. The education of the colored race, as far as it is acquired within the walls of an educational

Lest this be misconstrued into a jibe at the colored student it is well to remark that at the German universities it is stated that fully one fourth of all the students are in needy circumstances and take advantage of the fact to demand aid and enjoy free dinners. (Sce p. 366 of this Report for 1891–92. Compare also what is said by Professor Paulsen on p. 288 of the samo volume.) Monsieur Dreyfus. Brisac, in his Université de Bonn et l'Enseignement Supérieur en Allemagne, says that the remis. sion of fees is frequently unwarranted, and, at the University of Bonn, is moditied by a system of deferred payments (stündung)--over 13 per cent of which aro lost.

edifice, is practically clementary; but that fact is by no means conclusive evidence that its higher education is an hallucination.

The systems of public schools supported by States insisting on the separation of the races, their work, necessities, and the results accomplished by them, are matters of which the public is well informed. Since the report of 1885-86 a portion of this annual volume has been devoted to compiling what was known of the subject, while the debates in Congress and the discussions in the public prints lave illuminated every side of it. The usual ures of attendance, etc., follow.

[blocks in formation]

a In 1869-90.

In 1891-92.

c Approximately. It will be remarked by the patient reader who examines the table that the white pupils show an increase of about 85,000; the colored, a decrease of about 12,000. The number of colored teachers has increased 800, while the number of white teachers has increased but 700. Wero it possible to ascertain what scholastic and personal qualifications these 800 new colored teachers bring to their duties the advantages of this large increment to the teaching force of colored persons might be discussed.

In the academies, schools, colleges, etc., for colored youth, there are, as far as known, 10,191 male and 11,920 female students. In the elementary grades 57 per cent of the attendance are girls; in the secondary grades, 53 per cent; while in the collegiate department only 25 per cent are women. In all schools reporting for 1892-93 there are 25,859 students. In the elementary departments of 75 institutions are 13,176 pupils; in the secondary are 7,363; in the collegiate, 963, and in the professional are 921.

There are several questions connected with the institutional lifo of the colored pupil that deal more particularly with ethics than pedagogics. Under the caption of “Separate education” the authorities of Hartshorn Memorial College observe:

The establishment of this institution for the education of young women affirms nothing, and expresses no opinion touching the abstract question of coeducation or the separate education of the

Either system, doubtless, has its own special advantages and disadvantages. But this enterprise embodies the conviction that for the students whom this institution will gather, under pres. ent conditions and with their present social environment, the balance of advantage is on the side of separation.

It is something, and no small matter, that the necessity of unceasing surveillance, by day and by night, irritating to pupil and burlensomo to teacher, is removed.

It is something that courses of study and of instruction may be more closely adjusted to the special and practical needs of young women.

To those who have seen the conscience broken down, the moral tono deterioratel, babits of duplicity engendered, and the best intellects become rapid through tho unhealthy lifo engendered in a mixed institution, it will seem an important matter that ono chief stimulus of this unhealthy life be removed.


To fathers and mothers, who remember the sad experiences of some mixed schools, present safety for their inexperienced daughters, sent beyond parental watchcare, will, perlaps, outweigh all other consideratious.

The Utopian notion that young people can be brought promiscuously together and counted brothers and sisters, human nature laughs to scorn.

In the presence of such institutions as Mount Holyoke Seminary, Vassar and Wellesley colleges, and others of like worth, few would venture to affirm that the highest womanly worth and strength is dependent upon walking and talking and reciting for a few years with young men.

The strong women of this generation, whoso hand is upon the school work, and the mission work, and the reformatory work, and the social life of the time, received their training largely in soparate schools.

With the heading “Coeducation," the authorities of Bennett College speak with equal positiveness to tho contrary, as follows:

After years' observation and experience we are very decidedly in favor of the education of our young people of both sexes in the same school, provided their association is under proper discipline and suitable care, which we claim is had here.

This is unqnestionably, in our judgment, the normal, healthy, home-like method. The improvement under these circumstances in manners, self-reliance, and social culture, the development of manhood and womanhood, are often very marked. We know that some parents are reluctant to send their daugh. ters to schools for both sexes; but this apprehension, we believe, arises chietly from an insufficient familiarity with the facts. One authority says: "Corrupt intluences are more liablo to abound in schools exclusively for either sex, but particularly in separate schools for girls." "To insure modesty,' says Richter, “I would advise the education of the sexes together; but I will guarantee nothing in a school where girls are alone together, and still loss where boys are.”



In the early efforts for the education of the negro in America the object in view was his enlightenment. That point onco gained it was thought that his welfare would be secure. But owing to his pecessitous condition and tho comparatively small amount of funds at the disposal of the private or corporate schools, an effort was made in a few cases to do what years before ball been tried in different parts of the Union and found to be a failure in the case of institutions for the Caucasian

This scheme was to havo the white student work out his expense while pursuing the studies of the schoolroom, in order that many of our most worthy young meu, who were deprived of the aclvantages of an education through poverty,” might overcome that obstacle to their ambitions. In the case of the negro the effort has persisted longer and has been either more successful than tho experiment of 1830-40 in the North and West, or adventitious circumstances have aided it almost to the extent of floating it to an unwonted degree of prosperity.

From various reasons a wave of industrial training overran the country in the later seventies and early eighties that, as a form of education, was adopted by many city school systems, but reached its most distinguished development in tho manual training schools of St. Louis and Chicago. The scheme of mechanical instruction of these schools was not native to America. It had been elaborated in a Russian technological university, in which there was a feature of practical work in the engineering course, thus bringing it into very sharp contrast with tlo German type of technological university (Technische Ilochschule or polytechnicum). But to give these advanced engineering students of scientific technology a practical insiglit into the processes by which the mechanics whom they were in the future to direct must work out in wood or metal their ideas as engineers, a course of instruction was established which in America was, in the early days of its adoption, called the Russian system of manual training. The anarchy of shop work for profit on the principles of the mechanico-theological or classical schools for poor students of the thirties was now superseded by a well-digested and systematic plan of mechanical instruction without profit. Now, the work of the negro has been much more closely connected with the old mechanico-theological idea than with the Russian system, though the introduction of drawing and machinery gave it dignity as a plan of instruction. This, however, it acquired by the action of the Slater fund trustees.

« AnteriorContinuar »