Imágenes de páginas

In Table 9 is given a summary of Table 8 by geographical divisions, and also a general summary for the United States. These sammaries enable one to see at a glance the principal features of the educational systeins of the different sections of the country brought into juxtaposition with each other, thus furuishing material for the study and discussion of educational questions in a more complete and general form tban has been before attempted by this Office. Care has been taken in working up these summaries to obtain the most accurate results which the imperfect data at the disposal of the Office permitted. It is my intention to have this mode of treatment of the returns received from the correspondents of the Office continued and extended from year to year, thereby furnishing to future educators and statisticians a ready means of tracing, so far as it can be done by statistics, the growth of educa tion throughout the country.


Some account of the sums disbursed by the agencies established by the late George Peabody will be found in Apper.dix VIII, page 651.

The results of the work undertaken by the trustees of the John F. Slater Fund, and other information relating to tlie education of the colored race, are given in the saine appendix, pages 650–654.


The condition of secondary instruction, its true province, its appropriate purposes, and the means by which these may be best accomplished, are at this time among the most prominent topics of inquiry and discussion in countries that take the lead in education.

Material collected during the last fifteen years enables this Office to present in systematic order the provision made for this grade of instruction by private schools, seminaries, and academies. It is, however, impossible to set forth the ideal of secondary instruction which exists among us, to show how far this ideal corresponds with that of other countries, or how much the secondary schools of the United States are contributing, or are prepared to contribute to the solution of problems relating to this grade of instruction, without a fuller presentation of the public high schools of the country than has heretofore been attempted. Special efforts will be made for securing this additional information for use in the next Report. In this effort I hope to have the hearty co-operation of the school officers and teachers engaged in this particular department of public school work.


Seldom in the history of the United States have superior institutions of learning occupied so large a share of public attention or given signs of such vigorous and fruitful life as at the present time. In the cato. gory specified must be included not only the classical colleges and professional schools, but also schools of science, “ pure and applied,” which have greatly increased the provision for superior instruction, extended its province, and borne an important part in the adjustment of its processes to the demands arising from the extraordinary increase of scientific knowledge and its applications to the leading industries of modern times.

A careful analysis of the work of individual colleges and universities, as set forth in their catalogues and in answers to special inquiries sent out by this Office, shows a gradation of functions not unlike that represented by the gymnasia, real schools, and universities of Germany, or by the great public schools, universities, and professional schools of England.

The union of professional schools or departments with colleges of arts and science is a characteristic feature of the organization of superior institutions in the United States. This relation operates, in some measure at least, to check the tendency of students to rush into professional training without the previous preparation of disciplinary study and liberal culture.

The theological profession exerts the largest influence in favor of thorough scholarship. The lack of this influence in the other professions is deplored by their ablest representatives, who are in hearty sympathy with the efforts made by the presidents and faculties of universities to raise the standard of professional training. The chief obstacle to the success of these efforts appears to be the length of time and the increased expense to the student involved in the more extended coarse. This difficulty, as repeatedly observed by the presidents of colleges and of professional schools, would be measurably overcome by endowments for the latter, which would make them less dependent upon tuition fees, and by adaptations of the undergraduate or graduate curriculum. The possibility of such adaptation is discussed by President Eliot, of Harvard University, in his report for the current year, as quoted in Appendix VI, page 471.

Efforts directed to the elevation of law and medicine are not, however, likely to effect any very decided improvement in these professions, unless the laws regulating admission to practice operate to the same end. As regards medicine, the present status of these laws is set forth in Appendix VI, pages 561-569.

Provision for special lines of study bearing upon the requirements for a high order of medical and legal service is a feature of university development in the United States.

Of equal importance, as touching one of the vital interests of national life, are the chairs of didactics, or pedagogics, whose influence is gradually but surely penetrating to every grade of instruction, imparting clearer conceptions of educational principles, inducing freer and sounder methods of instruction, and raising the ideal of popular education.

Among other lines of special study and investigation fostered by the universities and promising results of immediate practical value, are those relating to the English language and to the history of our own people. To the last mentioned belongs the early history of educational institutions, a line of research which may very properly be encouraged by this Office.


Wbile provision for liberal culture and for a bigh order of professional and special training is increasing among us, and our leading colleges and universities are attracting the attention of foreign educationists and writers, by reason both of their material resources and their scholastic excellence, the opinion is gaining ground among us that the number of young men who avail themselves of this provision is relatively smaller than at an earlier period of our history,

The material collected by this Office during the last fifteen years is undoubtedly sufficient, if properly analyzed, to throw much liglit upon this matter. In order, however, that definite conclusions should be reached, more time must be given to the investigation than is afforded in a single year, and in the case of many colleges special inquiries instituted. The results of some preliminary studies in this directiou are given in Appendix VI, page 468.

At this early stage of the inquiry the inference seems to be justified that the number of students pursuing the branches which were comprised in the old uniform college curriculum has relatively declined, but that this loss is more than compensated by the attendance upon advanced scientific and special courses.


Interest in the subject of “manual training” has shown no abatement during the year under review. Although few new experiments in this direction have been reported, distinct progress in respect to the general understanding of the subject is noticeable. This progress appears chiefly in the clearer recognition of the relation that manual training bears to general development, or, in other words, in the clearer recog. nition of its educational function. Physiologists have long been telling us that muscular exercise invigorates the brain ; in addition to this important result which the exercise of the band shares with all other bodily exercise, the advocates of manual training have urged its effects in quickening observation, in increasing the range and acuteness of the perceptive faculties, and in establishing an "intimate familiarity between the mind and things.” This broad conception is gradually replacing that narrower view in which manual training is regarded merely as a means of promoting industrial aptitude, or of affording preparation for specific arts. In a number of cities public opinion seems to be prepared to give practical effect to the idea forcibly expressed by Dr. J. D. Rankle, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that "to give hand instruction its full educational value it should be incorpo. rated into the school course and pursued systematically in connection with cognate studies."

The advance in public opinion here noted is due to several causes. Among them must be included the influence of manual-training schools or courses co-ordinated to public grammar and high schools, as in Baltimore and Boston, or created by private endowment, as in St. Louis and Chicago While the main purpose of these schools is professedly educational, they do undoubtedly promote among their pupils a disposition toward mechanical pursuits, and shorten by their training the period of apprenticeship for such of their pupils as eventually apply themselves to particular trades. Thus manual-training schools of the class referred to contribute somewhat toward the solution of the great industrial problems of the day.

As regards provision for training skilled workmen for the various trades involving the application of science and design, little has been accomplished in the United States. The demand for such provision has, however, sensibly increased during the year, and the public discussion of this requirement has led to a clearer understanding of the province of existing technical schools, and of the direction in which future efforts are most nrgently required.

In the larger cities private individuals and associations are doing much to provide industrial training for the children who can only thus be kept from the ranks of the vagrant and vicious. The Industrial Edu. cation Association of New York is perhaps the most conspicuous example of organized effort for this particular purpose.

Every year affords new evidence of the wisdom of the Congressional act of 1862, under which “colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts” have been established in the several States of the Union. Very few of these colleges have, indeed, as yet realized the whole purpose of their foundation In some sections of the country their practical work has been confined to the agricultural department, in others to the departinent of mechanic arts, while in a few instances the practical work has been sacrificed to the literary and theoretic. In the main, however, these partial developments are due to accidents of time or place, and present no obstacle to fuller development in the future. On the whole, these colleges have proved to be efficient instrumentalities for the practical education of the people, and their experience throws much light upon the kind of education demanded by the classes engaged in agricultural and mechanical pursuits and the means by which the demand may best be met. New laboratories, the erection and equipment of machine shops, and the extension and improvement of experimental farms and stations are general features of these colleges for the current year. This group of colleges, together with the scientific schools not endowed by the land grant of 1862, afford large provision for a

ED 86—II

high order of technical and scientific training throughout the country. The extent to which the South is participating in the general movement for manual and industrial training should not be overlooked. The colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts in Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi bave materially increased their equipment for practical work during the year ; the Legislature of Georgia has appropriated $65,000 for the building and furnishing of a technological school, the Tuskegee Normal School, Alabama, is developing a work for the colored people of that State which embodies the best features of the Hampton Institute ; and Tulane University has thrown its powerful inficence on the side of a full, rounded, symmetrical education in which manual training is a recognized feature. In connection with the work in the South

a particular interest attaches to provision for manual and technical train. ing in the cities of Washington and Baltimore.

Successful experiments have been made during the year in the intro. duction of manual training into the public schools of Washington; the Baltimore Manual-Training School reports progress for the year, and the city has continued to be a special centre of interest for those who are watching the development of technical instruction in the United States through the action of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company in establishing a technological school in the interests of their service. The investigations made in preparation for this enterprise, and the ex. ceedingly valuable and comprehensive report* in which the results have been embodied, throw great light on the whole subject of technical instruction, and cannot fail to exercise a stimulating influence on similar enterprises throughout the country, and more particularly in that section to which Baltimore belongs geographically.

REPORT ON EDUCATION IN FINE AND INDUSTRIAL ART. Part I of this report, on drawing in public schools," was finally made ready for the press, and the volume printed during the spring of 1886. It being a Senate document, only a small edition of 250 copies was obtained, by kindness of the Department, for distribution by this Office. An additional number was ordered by Congress, however, of which 2,000 copies were allotted to this Office for distribution.

Work on Part II has progressed to such an extent as to warrant the expectation that it will be ready for the printer during the year 1887.


Ever since the Centennial Exhibition, when the Department made an instructive and suggestive display of articles illustrating progress in adapting the native Indians of the United States to the conditions of civilized life and thought, this Office has collected material, printed and written, upon this subject.

* Service Report on Technical Education, with special reference to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad service, by Dr. W. T. Barnard.

« AnteriorContinuar »