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When, in 1905, the educational department of the State was reorganized, a syllabus for the eleinentary schools, then comprising eight grades, was adopted. but with the expressed belief that it should be revised at the end of five years. One year prior to the expiration of this five-year period Mr. Draper expressed his conclusions respecting the lines along which the revision of the elementary course should be made. In brief, his conclusions were: That the next syllabus should cover a period of six years instead of eight; that the instruction given all pupils during the first period should be the same, irrespective of the courses pursued thereafter; that near the age of 12 there should begin a differentiation in course of study for different groups of children; that it must not be understood that all elementary work will cease at the end of the sixth grade; and that the proposed six-year syllabus will articulate with the elementary work between that of such six years and the regular academic work and lead to courses in trade schools, commercial schools, and high schools of the present standard.
The intermediate school, as it is developing in the State of New York, seems to afford a particularly fortunate opportunity, for localities desiring it, to introduce work of an industrial and vocational character. The progress of this tendency is sketched by Mr. Draper in the seventh annual report, issued by his department in 1911, under the caption “Intermediate Industrial Schools":
Those cities and union free-school districts which have availed themselves of the provisions of the education law, which provide for industrial education by establishing industrial or vocational schools, have admitted into such schools pupils who would nominally be in the seventh and eighth years of the elementary schools. These pupils in attendance upon vocational schools are taking work based upon the elementary syllabus. Special provision was made in the syllabus for such pupils by introducing commercial and industrial geography, industrial arithmetic, household economy, mechanic arts, and mechanical drawing. In developing the courses of study it was assumed that all pupils in the seventh and eighth years, irrespective of their future plans, would study similar English literature and composition, history, civics, and physiology. Discrimination need not be made in teaching these subjects in the seventh and eighth grades to the various groups of pupils. Facility in the intelligent use of the English language, knowledge of the civic duties and privileges of the citizen, and definite information regarding the functions and care of the body are essential qualities to the development of thinking boys and girls, irrespective of their probable vocations or the higher schools which they may attend.
Primarily these schools do the work preparatory to the trade schools, for. according to the law, one of the requirements for entrance to the latter schools is that the pupils should have completed the general industrial schools. There is, however, nothing to prevent the graduates of the two-year industrial course from entering the regular high schools, as pupils who take industrial work in the seventh and eighth years of the elementary school are also required to take English, history, geography, physiology, and arithmetic. While the treatment of subject matter is somewhat different from that given the regular pupils in the corresponding year of the elementary schools, there need be no doubt that the mental development attained is as great for one class of students as for the other.
At the same time it must be borne in mind that some pupils will wish to enter the regular secondary school. Some pupils are likely to discover that they have little aptitude for industrial vocations, and, furthermore, they may have ample means, both material and mental, to pursue the academic course and to postpone the time when they must think of their future vocations. Experience has already shown, however, that the majority of graduates of the intermediate schools do not desire to enter the regular high schools; but in order to provide for those who do wish to enter such schools the board of regents has made a regulation covering their case. It has been provided that students who have completed eight years in the elementary schools-six years of which have been in the regular elementary work as outlined in the syllabus, and two years of which have been in the intermediate industrial school work corresponding to the seventh and eighth grades--may enter the regular high school.
There has been greater interest shown in the State in the establishment of these intermediate industrial schools open to pupils who are in the seventh and eighth years, or who are 14 years of age, than has been shown in the establishment of trade schools. This is in line with the natural development of the movement for industrial education. It is in the natural order of things to begin with those phases of a new system of education which are most needed and which are most logical in the complete development of an entire system. Everywhere it is recognized that one of the main arguments for industrial education is that it will provide educational facilities for children who would otherwise leave school at the fourteenth year and enter unskilled industries. Furthermore, the problem of holding children in school until they have attainments which can never be taken away from them is worthy of great consideration. Every child should remain in the elementary school until he is prepared to enter a higher school or until he has a training which fits him to know what he wants to do in life, some preparation for his chosen vocation, as well as a solid grounding in the fundamentals. Industrial training aims to meet these conditions, and as the intermediate industrial schools increase in number, and as their graduates clamor for advanced training for the industries, we may expect that the localities will provide for the other class of schools outlined in the law.
The Philippine Islands, Department of Education. It is interesting to observe how nearly the men who shaped the educational system of the Philippines have approached the grouping toward which American cities are now tending. The bureau of education of the Philippines was established in 1900to give to every inhabitant of the Philippine Islands a primary-but thoroughly modern-education, to thereby fit the race for participation in self-government and for every sphere of activity offered by the life of the Far East, and to supplant the Spanish language by the introduction of English, as a basis of education and a means of intercourse and communication.
The beginning of the educational system was laid during the superintendency of Dr. Fred W. Atkinson, but assumed its present form of organization, which in its important features is doubtless permanent, under the direction of Dr. David P. Barrows, general superintendent of education (1903–1909)."
As originally planned by Dr. Barrows, provision was made for a school period covering 12 years, of which the elementary division embraced 6 years; the secondary period 4 years, with the last 2 years reserved for subjects of study usually found in a college course—the whole leading to the granting of the bachelor of arts degree. It was believed that the essentials of the academic courses, which in the United States require eight years, could be given in six years. Inasmuch, however, as the resources at the command of the department were not sufficient to guarantee to all of the children a schooling period of six years, this division was broken into two parts, of three years each, covered, respectively, by the “primary” and “intermediate” schools.
The work of the primary school, it was expected, would in the course of 10 years practically eliminate illiteracy among the children of the rising generation, and would give to those who could not afford to spend more than three years in school a knowledge of essentials and a moral, physical, and mental training “ sufficient to equip them for the modest demands of a modest life.” To fill the interval in the child's training between the primary school and the secondary courses of the high school, as well as to enable those who could afford to do so to continue their work beyond the brief course of the first three years, the intermediate schools, covering the last three years of the elementary division, were devised. It was found, however, that while the academic work deemed essential could be given in the six years covered by the primary and intermediate schools, it was impossible to give, in addition, as much attention to
1 See reports of the secretary of public instruction and of the general superintendent of education in Reports of Philippine Commission,
preparation for industrial efficiency in the primary grades as the need required. In 1907, therefore, the course of study was revised and one year added to the work of the primary school.
As the length of the intermediate course was not changed, the elementary division now comprises a period of seven years, instead of six, as originally outlined, although it is possible for a child who is planning for a professional life to limit himself to the academic work of the elementary period and thus complete the course in six years. In other departments the original time scheme still holds, so that the entire period of schooling provides for 12 or 13 years, instead of the 12 only which obtained prior to 1907.
While provision has not yet been made, except in Manila, for the training corresponding to that given in the freshman and sophomore courses of American colleges, yet the scheme which has been planned provides that opportunity for work of this character shall ultimately be given in the high schools of the several territorial divisions. When this step shall have been taken the Philippine educational system will, in the essential features respecting the grouping of grades and their articulation, be in close correspondence with the arrangement which is coming rapidly to obtain in America—that of six years in the elementary division and six or eight years in the secondary division—the whole leading to the “junior certificate,” or possibly, as some are urging, to the bachelor of arts degree.
It may be of interest to mention the school organizations of Argentina and of Japan, which, in many respects, are similar to that toward which the progressive movement in this country is growing.
Argentina, Department of Education.-For more than 50 years the National Government of Argentina has been actively engaged in reorganizing its educational system and practice. In its present form the system dates back to 1884, when the form of organization which now obtains was instituted. The elementary division covers six grades of one year each, and is well organized, especially in the city of Buenos Aires. The constitution of Argentina places upon the Provinces the obligation of maintaining primary schools, but, owing to the lack of resources which characterizes many of the Provinces, the Republic has been obliged to contribute to their support.' The course of instruction among the secondary schools, which are known as liceos and colegios, covers a period of five years and articulates with the elementary division. The pupil enters at about the age of 12, and by the time he reaches 17 he is prepared for the professional courses, four years in length for the most part, of some one of the three national universities.”
Japan, Department of Education.—While the educational organization of Japan is of remote origin, extending back to the second century after Christ, it was not until 1871 that a department of education was created, and not until 1886 that the foundations of the present system were laid. Since 1886 very earnest and intelligent attention has been given to the improvement of the system then established. In consequence of these modifications the system, articulated in all of its parts, now embraces an elementary division covering a minimum of six years, a secondary division of six years, and a division of higher education which provides the opportunity for three years of college work and five years of graduate work, the whole leading to the doctor's degree.
The elementary schools, according to imperial ordinance, are designed “to give children the rudiments of moral education and of education specially
1 For a survey of the educational progress in Argentina see Rep. of U, S, Commis, Ed. (1909), ch. 7.
adapted to make of them good members of the community, together with such general knowledge and skill as are necessary for practical life, due attention being paid to their bodily development.” These schools are divided into groups, “ ordinary” elementary schools with a course of four years, obligatory for all who have reached 6 years of age; and “higher” elementary schools, wherein the course may be of two years, three years, or four years, as the particular locality determines. Inasmuch as the two-year course articulates with the schools of secondary grade, and as provision is made whereby pupils from higher elementary schools having a three or four year course are given advanced standing in the secondary schools, it is correct to say that the Japanese system is built upon an elementary division of six years.'
The secondary education of the country is given in middle schools, girls' higher schools, and in some of the technical, commercial, and agricultural schools which have been rapidly established since the war with Russia. The middle schools provide for the boys and afford instruction in such arts and sciences as are necessary in the preparation for higher and special education. The course of study covers five years, but a supplementary course of one year may be added for further training he branches already studied. The work in these schools is departmental. Only those students who have completed the four-year course of the ordinary elementary schools and the two-year course of the higher elementary schools, or the equivalent of such courses, and who are 12 years of age are admitted to the middle schools. Graduates of these schools of secondary rank are admitted to the “higher schools,” corresponding to our colleges, only upon competitive examination, as these schools can accommodate no more than a fifth of the number of students who apply.
The higher education of Japan is comprised in the imperial universities of the country and in the so-called higher schools. The latter are predominantly preparatory in character. The courses of study therein cover three years, and three lines of work are offered, each preparing for particular departments in the universities. The imperial universities have for their object “ the teaching of such arts and sciences as are required for the purpose of the State and the prosecution of original researches in such arts and sciences.” Each university consists of a “university hall” and “colleges,” the university hall being established for the purpose of pursuing original research and the colleges for instruction, theoretical and practical.”
1 For courses of study see Appendix, pp. 173–176.
2 For a comprehensive description of the system as it was in 1904 see Education in Japan, prepared by the Department of Education (Japan), 1904, for the St. Louis Exposition.
THE PLAN ADOPTED BY BERKELEY, CAL.
CONTENTS.—The American school system in contrast with European systems-The Ger
man system—The French system-The Italian system—The English system—The secondary schools of Ireland—The secondary schools of Scotland—The Swiss system-School mortality in the American system; the studies of Thorndike, Ayres, Strayer--The plan adopted in Berkeley, Cal.—The difficulties met in its inauguration; internal organization; principals and teachers; legal difficulties; congested schools-A campaign of publicity-Jurisdiction of departmental heads—The lower high school; a transition period-Results of the arrangement-Effect on school attendance-Opportunity for changing the content of the courses of study.
The public school system, as it has developed in America, in respect to the grouping of years and the articulation of its chief divisions, is a system which is based, in the main, on remote practices of the church, sanctioned by custom, and formulated by legal enactment. In so far as it sought to provide a mechanism whereby a child may pass, by successive steps, from division to division, on his
way from the kindergarten to the university, the system has done well. Indeed, in this respect the American child, until he ultimately leaves the system, is never off the main track. At no step of the way is it incumbent upon him or his parents finally to determine his career. Moreover, having determined it, he can, at any step of the way, without loss or waste, recheck and reformulate his judgment. A child is limited in his advancement only by his ability and his application. There are no derailing switches in the American system, and in this particular it stands out in striking contrast with the systems of the Old World.
In Germany the parent must decide before his child enters school whether he is to be some kind of a mechanic or small business man, or is to adopt for his vocation some one of the professions. If the decision favors the former, then he sends his child to the Volksschule, which carries the masses of both sexes to the age of 14. At this age the school education of the child ceases, except that in some Prussian cities "middle" schools (Mittelschulen) have been established for those who are able to pay a yearly tuition fee of from $10 to $25, and which offer a course nearly parallel to the eight-year course of the elementary school. Some further instruction in direct preparation
1A brief characterization of the Mittelschulen of Prussia is given in Rep. of U. S. Com. Ed. (1910), vol. 1, pp. 477–479.