Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

RHODE ISLAND.

[From report of State board of education, 1892-93.]

MANL'AL TRAINING AND DRAWING.

Two events have occurred during the year of special significance to the work of education in this State-the completion of the manual training high school by the city of Providence, and the erection of a building for the Rhode Island School of Design. These two institutions stand henceforth for a decided ailvance in the line of true industrial education and development. This State has been unduly slow to move along these new lines of erlucational growth, and some of our sister Commonwealths lave obtained quite a start in the race for honors along this line.

Bit with these two institutions in Providence, another of similar character to the manual training school now in process of erection in the city of Newport, and .the prospect of similar facilities in other sections of the State, there seems to be no reason why we should not now enter upon a new career of progress. When art and skill join hands under the guidance of a definite purpose, there is nothing unattain. alle within the limits of human effort. Let the study of drawing be taught in every grade of our scliools, from the lowest primary up to the high school, so that every child shall always have at his command the two modes of expression for his ideas--words and pictures; let his eye and hand be thus trained to work for each other; and also let the ordinary curriculuun of the schools be supplemented by such means as shall suggest to the pupil that school life is but the preparation for, the open door to, the real life of the world, and a new atmosphere will be created in onr schoolrooms, and an impulse will be given to every form of industrial efort in the State. Boys and girls will go out of school into the shop with definite purpose3 already formed, with both taste and capacity for original work.

At whatever stage in his education the child may leave school, he wil havo acquired some skill with the land, itleas of an entirely new nature will have been made familiar to him, and they must influence his whole after life, both his thoughts and his actions. But if he can stay on through the various grades, and finally completo his purely intellectual training in such a school as tliese new manual training schools, if he has any natural aptitudo for these things, he must become thoroughly alive to their every detail and grow to a thorough mastery of them. If to this preparation he can add the benefits conferred by the school of design he can not help becoming a master workman-than whom there is no one more honorable. Here is, indeed, a field of labor most inviting, and as yet but little occupied. Shall we not enter in and possess it?

RIIODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN.

The annual report from the board of management of the school of design shows an increasing field of activity and usefulness, and commends the school more and more to the fostering care of the State.

Within the year the school has been presented with a beautiful building on Waterman street, between North Main and Benefit streets, through the liberality of one of the citizens of Providence, a leading manufacturer of the State. Through the enlargement of its facilities the school will be able to do far better work than ever before, and also to accommodate much larger numbers.

Already the funds provided for state scholarships have provedl wholly inaıleqnate to meet the demand, and there is no doubt but that a much larger sum could be readily and wisely employed for this purpose. One hundred and twenty-three scholarsbips have been given out-20 for the day classes, 5 for the Saturday ciass, and the remainder for the evening classes. The applicants for these scholarships, for the most part, come directly from the factories and shops of Providence and vicinity, and they realize their need of just suen training that they may be success. ful in their several lines of labor. There can be no doubt but that every dollar invested by the state in this way will pay a large interest in the added skill and productive power of the pupils. Some addition should certainly be made to the fund for scholarships unless we propose to put a decided check upon a movement among the younger wage earners of our community, which we have labored earnestly to arouse and which we believe is fraught with great benefits to the State if properly trained and developed.

FREE PUBLIC LIBRARIES. Forty-two libraries aro now receiving State aid annnally. As a whole there is not much change in the condition of affairs from that of last year. Slight iluctuations in the circulation up and down are to be noticed, but no marked change which demands special attention.

In a very few libraries, however, there have been improvements in circulation which call for a word. These are in the direction of a general increase in circulation, and especially an increase in the proportion of good literature read. In every instance these results have come about, not by chance, but through the wise, intelligent etforts of the librarian, who considered it her task not merely to hand ont what wsa called for, but to so guide and direct that she should really determine what should be called for.

There is not much use in piling up great masses of books unless it is proposed to placo some one in charge of them who shall know how to make all of their hidden treasures available to the average man and woman, boy and girl. These persons are lost in such a place and need a pilot to steer them through its unknown waters. But in too many cases the librarian knows but little more than the visitor, and it becomes a case of the blind leading the blind.

The permanent librarian, trained for his duties, or constantly studying to perfect himself therein, is the great need of the free public library. Who will champion the cause of the librarian as, next to the teacher, the most important servant of the people, and hence as worthy of his hire, so that for all of these two score we may soon have competent librarians in charge, and the treasures of the libraries brought clearly before the eager gaze of the people? We fully believe, if this arrangement could be made, that our public libraries would take on a new lease of life, and that they would soon sink their roots down so deep into the life of the State that they would draw as unfailing a supply of nourishment as do the public schools.

[From report of Hon. Thoinas B. Stockwell, State school commissioner.)

GAIN IN COLLEGE-EDUCATED TEACHERS.

In the education of the teachers there has been quite a gain in those who are college educated. This is partly due to the fact that more and more women with college education are entering into our schools. Already the supply of collegeeducated women is in excess of the available places in the high schools, and I look before long to see the upper rooms in our grammar schools occupied by college grailuates. The more general diffusion of college training will inevitably lead to its laying hold upon a wider range of occupations and positions. The most significant features in the report upon the education of the teachers are the marked falling off in those reported as from high schools, and the more than twice as large increase in the number from normal schools. This shows that mere knowledge is not considered, so much as heretofore, a sufticient qualification for becoming a teacher, but that some special training for the work is required. In this comection I am glad to recognize the contributions made to our teaching corps the past year by normal schools outside of our own State, notably by the Bridgewater, Mass., school, in supplying men for grammar school positions. The demand for this class of persons in this State is so limited that practically men have been driven out of the business, so that for two years or more we have not had in our normal school a single man engaged in the work of preparation for teaching.

MITIIODS OF INSTRUCTION.

Within a few years quite a fundamental change has taken place in the methods of instruction in many branches. What is now known as the laboratory method of study has quite largely supplanted the text-book method of former years. This is specially true of the natural sciences, but has worked its way into such studies even as history, literature, mathematics. The fundamental principle is that of individual work by the pupil with original materials.

Whilo there liave undonbtedly been some, perhaps many, excesses in the manner in which this new method has been pushed, there is as truly much of good in it. For tlie stronger student it is by far the better course to pursue, and even for the average pupil its advantages outweigh its weaknesses. It brings the student into much closer touch with the real subject of study; he sees it with his own eyes, instead of through those of the writer of the book'; and the reality of the truth, whatever its nature may be, appeals to him as it can not possibly do through the pages of a book.

These changed conditions in the actual work of the schoolroom call for a class of teachers of a different character from those who have heretofore been selected. Book knowledge alone is not the main test; there must be an acquaintance to some extent with the sources whence the book knowledge has been derived. The teacher must be able to guide the pupils along the path by which they are to gain for themselves and by themselves the facts whose acquisition is thought to be desirable.

To this end it will be necessary to modify very materially our methods of preparing teachers for their work. For those who are to enter the profession hereafter the normal schools and colleges with their enlarged resources and improved equipments will afford adequate facilities. But what is to be done for those already in the schools, who have never had these opportunities?

The teachers' institute has for many years been recognized as a most valuable factor in the work of improving the qualifications of the teachers, and it has wrought a most excellent work. The time has now come when it must be enlarged into something more than a transient gathering of teachers for the illustration of some new method, the enforcing of some new principle, or the emphasizing of somo old truth. The demand of the times is that it shall furnish some systematic and connected series of instruction in certain subjects, so that teachers who now know little or nothing of these topics may be to some extent qualified to teach them; or in case of subjects heretofore familiar inay be drilled in the new and better way of presenting them,

SOUTH CAROLINA.

[From report of State Supt. W. D), Mayfield, 1893.]

MORE MONEY NEEDED.

The expense of operating the public schools has increased year by year with the increased attendance, while the increase in the amount of money devoted to public eiluration has been but slight, the most of this increase coming from special taxes raised in towns and cities having grade school systems.

The schools in the towns and cities, in the main, are supplying the needs of the people. This is true because the people have voted an additional tax for the purpose of operating them. As a rule, such is not the case with the country schools, a few of them only having the benefit of an extra tax. These schools are inadequate, many of thein inferior, some of them almost worthless, and it is impossible to improve them to any appreciable exteut without more money. It is needless to try to shut our eyes to this fact. All efforts of school officers to improve them must continue to be fruitless without more money. There is, perhaps, nothing in the State to be more regretted than the insufficiency of the country schools. The money spent annually in the maintenance of these schools is proportionately small. The amount cloes not oxceed two and a half dollars for each pupil in attendance on them, including the graded schools of the State. The graded schools run about nine months in the year, while the country schools will not average more than three. This is a burning shame and a cruel wrong to the boys and girls of the State who live in the country and are limited principally to the country schools for their education. The legislature has always been liberal in supporting State institutious for higher learn ing; and I trust I may be excused for calling your attention to the fact, without intending to injure these institutions, that there is spent annually in the support of the four State institutions for higher learning of whites, which have not an aggregate of seven hundred pupils, an amount in the neighborhood of one-half as much as is spent on the education of ninety-odd thousand white children who attend the public schools of the State.

The above facts should appeal to every lover of education, which each of you is supposed to be, with such force as to demand provision for an increase in the public school fund. There are now but three ways provided by law for the raising of money for the public schools. One is by a tax on each poll, which is limited by the constitution of the State to $1 per capita. The statutory law of the State now fixes the liability to this tax on all able-bodied male citizens between the ages of 21 and 50 years. The only way by which an increase from this source can be had is to extend the age to its liability, which should be done. Another is the constitutional tax on property, which can not be less than 2 mills on the dollar and can not be more except by your permission. It is advisable that you empower the county commissioners to levy more than two mills on property, the question having been first submitted to a vote of the qualified electors of a county before the 1st day of April in each year. The third is by what is known as the "act of 1888," which provides for the levying of special tax on property. This act contains so many requirements which have to be repeated each year that it is practically inoperative. It should be simplified so as to render it easy of execntion, and allow a tax when once voted to continue from year to year until the people decide by vote to discontinue it. This is the preferred way through which to increase the fund, provided the law be simplified and the work allowed to stand, when once done, until the people say they want it no longer.

PRIVATE COLLEGES. Information received shows that the private colleges in the State, male and female, have begun the new year most auspiciously. Fears existed that the financial depression, and the losses occasioned by recent severe storms, would operate against them. Their openings, however, show this not to have been the case, many of them haring more pupils than ever before, and the prospects of all seem to be good. In fact, a new female college (Chicora), under the auspices of the Presbyterian denomination, has been established in the city of Greenville during the summer. The people of the entire Stato feel a just pride in these institutions, anıl it is gratifying to note that they are meeting with meriteel success. Considering the size and population of our State, there are few, if any, States in the Union which surpass us in the number and character of our colleges. We have for the eclucation of white males three institutions supported by the State-the South Carolina Coliege, South Carolina Military Academy, and Clemson Agricultural and Mechanical College; and several institutions supported by private means-Wofford College, Furman University, Patrick's Military Institute, Erskine College, Newberry College, Charleston College, and Porter Academy. For the elucation of white females we have one State institu. tion-the South Carolina Industrial and Winthrop Normal College; and supported by private means is Converse College, Greenville Female College, Chicora Female College, Williamston Female College, Due West Female College, Columbia Female College, South Carolina College for Women, Sunter Institute, Limestone Institute, Charleston Female Seminary, and Union Seminary.

SOUTII CAROLINA COLLEGE.

Your attention is called to the special report of the president of the South Carolina College to this department given in this report.

The college buildings have been thoroughly repaired and repainted. They are in better condition now than they have been in many years. The work done on thein has been substantial and will last for years to come. The grounds have been put in thorough order, and really the campus “is a thing of beauty.”

You can juugo the futuro prospects of this college as well as I can. The number of pupils in attendance on it last year was small, and this year it is smaller, it I am correctly informed. The faculty is strong and able, and the work done is above criticism. In fact there is nothing lacking to make it a first-class college except students.

The State las mado no provision for normal instruction for males. There is sufficient room here to accommodate such as desire to take the regular college course, judging from present prospects, and still leave room enough for a normai college for males. This is advisablo if the college is to be filled. Something should be done to bring it pupils to justify its continuation at so great a cost to the State.

Spartanburg County had this year 13,179 pupils in attendance on her public schools, and spent on their education inuch less money than was spent on the education of the few pupils who attended this college during the year. A normal college for males, with scholarships, would greatly increase the attendance. With the same amount now appropriatel to the collego a normal college could be organized and operated with quite a number of such scholarships.

TENNESSEE.
[From report of President Charles W. Dabnes, jr.]

ADMISSION OF WOMEN TO THE STATE UNIVERSITY.
On the 5th of June, 1893, the board of trustees of the State University adopted
the following declaration and regulations:

“The University of Tomessee declares its intention hereafter to admit women of the full age of 17 years to all the benefits and privileges of this institution; but for their safety and proper protection they will be subject to the following regulations, viz:

“(1) They will have no dormitory or clomicile on the university grounds, except in the families of the faculty.

“ (2) They will not board or lodge in any family in which male students board or lodge at the same time, and then only in families approved in writing by the faculty, or their own parents or legal guardians.

“ (3) The.sin of $300 is hereby appropriated for repairs and improvements upon the Janney Building, on the university grounds, which is set apart temporarily for their use is reception rooms whilst awaiting their recitations.

“(4) The faculty is charged with the utmost diligence in the observance of these regulations, and such others as may be adopted by them, under the supervision of the board; and those who accept the benefits of this school thereby pledge them. selves to dutiful acquiescence in the same.”

This action was promptly published to the people of the State, and all the examiners and accredited schools were duly notitied. The result was that 48 young women were admitted in the regular way to the departments at knoxville.

11

The young promen who have entered are well preparel and are doing admirablo work. They were admitted on the same terms precisely as men—that is, upon examination, high-school certificates, or certificates from other reputable colleges and seminaries. They were all carefully examineil, as the men are, with regard to their past school record and purposes in going to college, and only those who were thought to be well prepared, and were supposed to have the proper age, were admitted. The women take one of the regular courses hitherto provided for men.

Not a single class was changed, nor a new one started, for their special benefit. They wanted the benefit of the facilities for higher clucation and scientific training previously provided at the university, and we simply admitted them to what we had. They are required to take a full quota of work (fifteen hours a week), unless physically disipualified or especially exempted by the faculty, and all women wanting only special classes, liko literature, French, etc., were thus excluded. The university otiers as yet no instruction in music, art (other than free-hand and ind118trial drawing), or any of the other so-called "accomplishments." Two competent persons were licensed to teach music at the university privately and outside of class hours; but the institution has nothing further to do with this instruction, and it has not affected the situation one way or the other. Everything was thus done to disconrage that class of young women who merely wanted to be polished or “finished," from entering the institution; but everything reasonable was done to encourage women who wanted a thorough, liberal education, training in some specialty, or education for some profession. The majority of the women are seeking a liberal elucation or training in some specialty, either literary or scientific. Some are preparing themselves thoroughly for the profession of the teacher.

FREE TUITION FOR STUDENTS.

The board of trustees hare also passed the following resolutions relating to the free admission of students:

Be it resolved by the board of trustees of the University of Tennessee, That all students who shall have completed the prescribed course of study in any State secondary school, town or city high school, high school department, private school, academy or college in this state, whose course of study shall have been approved by the president and faenlty of the university, as provided in the regulations for accredited schools, shall be admitted, upon i certificate or diploma from the said school, to the lowest class of the said college, and receive free tuition.

** 2. That it shall be the duty of the faculty of the university, luring the months of May, June, July, or August, of each year, to holl, or canse to be belel at con- . venient points througliout the State, examinations, for the purpose of giving opportunity to snel persons as are not provider for in the foregoing paragraph to become students, with free tuition, in thú university.”

« AnteriorContinuar »