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(3) That this committee consist of the following gentlemen:
Charles W. Eliot, president of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. chair
William T. Harris, Commissioner of Education, Washington, D. C.
James B. Angell, president of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
John Tetlow, head master of the girls' high school and the girls' Latin school,
James M. Taylor, president of Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y.
Oscar D. Robinson, principal of the high school, Albany, N. Y.
James H. Baker, president of the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.
Henry C. King, professor in Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio.
These recommendations of the conference were adopted by the National Council of Education on the 9th of July, and the council communicated the recommendations to the directors of the National Educational Association, with the further recommendation that an appropriation not exceeding $2,500 be made by the association toward the expenses of these conferences. On the 12th of July the directors adopted a series of resolutions under which a sum not exceeding $2,500 was made available for this undertaking during the academic year 1892–93.
Every gentleman named on the above committee of ten accepted his appointment; and the committee met, with every member present, at Columbia College, New York City, from the 9th to the 11th of November, 1892, inclusive.
In preparation for this meeting a table had been prepared by means of a prolonged correspondence with the principals of selected secondary schools in various parts of the country, which showed the subjects taught in 40 leading secondary schools in the United States, and the total number of recitations, or exercises, allotted to each subject. Nearly 200 schools were applied to for this information; but it did not prove practicable to obtain within three months verified statements from more than 40 schools. This table proved conclusively, first, that the total number of subjects taught in these secondary schools was nearly 40, 13 of which, however, were found in only a few schools; secondly, that many of these subjects were taught for such short periods that little training could be derived from them; and thirdly, that the time allotted to the same subject in the different schools varied widely. Even for the older subjects, like Latin and algebra, there appeared to be a wide diversity of practice with regard to the time allotted to them. Since this table was comparative in its nature-that is, permitted comparisons to be made between different schools-and could be easily misunderstood and misapplied by persons who had small acquaintance with school programmes, it was treated as a confidential document; and was issued at first only to members of the committee of ten and the principals of the schools mentioned in the table. Later, it was sent-still as a confidential paper-to the members of the several conferences organized by the committee of ten.
The committee of ten, after a preliminary discussion on November 9, decided on November 10 to organize conferences on the following subjects: (1) Latin; (2) Greek; (3) English; (4) other modern languages; (5) mathematics; (6) physics, astronomy, and chemistry; (7) natural history (biology, including botany, zoology, and physiology); (8) history, civil government, and political economy; (9) geography (physical geography, geology, and meteorology). They also decided that each conference should consist of ten members. They then proceeded to select the members of each of these conferences, having regard in the selection to the scholarship and experience of the gentlemen named, to the fair division of the members between colleges on the one hand and schools on the other, and to the proper geographical distribution of the total membership. After selecting 90 members for the nine conferences, the committee decided on an additional number of names to be used as substitutes
for persons originally chosen who should decline to serve, from two to four substitutes being selected for each conference. In the selection of substitutes the committee found it difficult to regard the geographical distribution of the persons selected with as much strictness as in the original selection; and, accordingly, when it became necessary to call on a considerable number of substitutes, the accurate geographical distribution of membership was somewhat impaired. The lists of the members of the several conferences were finally adopted at a meeting of the committeo on November 11; and the chairman and secretary of a committee were then empowered to fill any vacancies which might occur.
The committee next adopted the following list of questions as a guide for the discussions of all the conferences, and directed that the conferences be called together on the 28th of December:
"(1) In the school course of study extending approximately from the age of 6 to 18 years-a course including the periods of both elementary and secondary instructionat what age should the study which is the subject of the conference be first introduced?
"(2) After it is introduced, how many hours a week for how many years should be devoted to it?
"(3) How many hours a week for how many years should be devoted to it during the last four years of the complete course; that is, during the ordinary high school period?
"(4) What topics, or parts, of the subject may reasonably be covered during the whole course?
"(5) What topics, or parts, of the subject may best be reserved for the last four years?
"(6) In what form and to what extent should the subject enter into college requirements for admission? Such questions as the sufficiency of translation at sight as a test of knowledge of a language, or the superiority of a laboratory examination in a scientific subject to a written examination on a text-book, are intended to be suggested under this head by the phrase 'in what form.'
"(7) Should the subject be treated differently for pupils who are going to college, for those who are going to a scientific school, and for those who, presumably, are going to neither?
"(8) At what stage should this differentiation begin, if any be recommended? "(9) Can any description be given of the best method of teaching this subject throughout the school course?
"(10) Can any description be given of the best mode of testing, attainments in this subject at college admission examinations?
"(11) For those cases in which colleges and universities permit a division of the admission examination into a preliminary and a final examination, separated by at least a year, can the best limit between the preliminary and final examinations be approximately defined?"
The committee further voted that it was expedient that the conferences on Latin and Greek meet at the same place. Finally, all further questions of detail with regard to the calling and the instruction of the conferences were referred to the chairman with full power.
During the ensuing six weeks, the composition of the nine conferences was determined in accordance with the measures adopted by the committee of ten. Seventy persons originally selected by the committee accepted the invitation of the committee, and 69 of these persons were present at the meetings of their respective conferences on the 28th of December. Twenty substitutes accepted service, of whom 12 were persons selected by the committee of ten, and 8 were selected under the authority granted to the chairman and secretary of the committee in emergencies. One of these 8 gentlemen was selected by a conference at its first meeting. Two gentlemen who accepted service-one of the original members and one substitute-absented themselves from the meetings of their respective conferences without giving any
notice to the chairman of the committee of ten, who was therefore unable to fill their places. With these two exceptions, all the conferences met on December 28 with full membership.
The places of meeting were as follows: For the Latin and Greek conferences, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.; for the English conference, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y.; for the conference on other modern languages, the Bureau of Education, Washington, D. C.; for the conference on mathematics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.; for the conference on physics, astronomy, and chemistry, and on natural history, the University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.; for the conference on history, civil government, and political economy, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.; for the conference on geography, the Cook County normal school, Englewood, Ill. The committee of ten and all the conferences enjoyed the hospitality of the several institutions at which they met, and the members were made welcome at private houses during the sessions. Through the exertions of Mr. N. A. Calkins, chairman of the trustees of the National Educational Association, important reductions of railroad fares were procured for some members of the committee and of the conferences; but the reductions obtainable were less numerous and considerable than the National Council of Education had hoped. In filling a few vacancies of which notice was received shortly before December 28, it was necessary to regard as one qualification nearness of residence to the appointed places of meeting; but on the whole the weight and effectiveness of the several conferences were not impaired by the necessary replacement of 20 of the members originally selected by the committee of ten. The list of the members of the conferences on the 28th of December was as follows:
Prof. Charles E. Bennett, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y.
Rev. William Gallagher, principal of Williston Seminary, Easthampton, Mass.
Julius Sachs, principal of the Collegiate Institute for Boys, 38 West Fifty-ninth street, New York City.
E. W. Coy, principal of the Hughes high school, Cincinnati, Ohio.
A. F. Fleet, superintendent of the Missouri Military Academy, Mexico, Mo.
Ashley D. Hurt, head master of the high school, Tulane University, New Orleans, La. Robert D. Keep, principal of the Free Academy, Norwich, Conn.
Prof. Abby Leach, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y.
Clifford H. Moore, Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.
Prof. Edward A. Allen, University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.
Prof. Edward E. Hale, jr., University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
W. II. Maxwell, superintendent of schools, Brooklyn, N. Y.
4. OTHER MODERN LANGUAGES.
Prof. Joseph L. Armstrong, Trinity College, Durham, N. C.
Thomas B. Bronson, Lawrenceville school, Lawrenceville, N. J.
Prof. Alphonse N. van Daell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Mass. Charles H. Grandgent, director of modern language instruction in the public schools, Boston, Mass.
Prof. Charles Harris, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio,
William T. Peck, high school, Providence, R. I.
Prof. Sylvester Primer, University of Texas, Austin, Tex.
John J. Schobinger, principal of a private school for boys, Chicago, Ill.
Prof. William E. Byerly, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Arthur H. Cutler, principal of a private school for boys, New York City.
W. A. Greeson, principal of the high school, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Prof. Simon Newcomb, Johns Hopkins University, and Washington, D. C.
James L. Patterson, Lawrenceville school, Lawrenceville, N. J.
6. PHYSICS, ASTRONOMY, AND CHEMISTRY.
Prof. Brown Ayers, Tulane University, New Orleans, La.
Alfred P. Gage, English high school, Boston, Mass.
George Warren Krall, manual training school, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. Prof. William W. Payne, Carleton College, Northfield, Minn.
William McPherson, jr., 2901 Collinwood avenue, Toledo, Ohio.
Prof. Ira Remsen, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.
Prof. James H. Shepard, South Dakota Agricultural College, Brookings, S. Dak.
Prof. William J. Waggener, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.
George R. White, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, N. H.
7. NATURAL HISTORY (BIOLOGY, INCLUDING BOTANY, ZOOLOGY, AND
Prof. Charles E. Bessey, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebr.
Arthur C. Boyden, normal school, Bridgewater, Mass.
Prof. Samuel F. Clarke, Williams College, Williamstown, Mass.
Prof. Douglas H. Campbell, Leland Stanford Junior University, Palo Alto, Cal. President John M. Coulter, Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.
Principal S. A. Merritt, Helena, Mont.
W. B. Powell, superintendent of schools, Washington, D. C.
Charles B. Scott, high school, St. Paul, Minn.
Prof. Albert H. Tuttle, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
O. S. Westcott, principal of the North Division high school, Chicago, Ill.
8. HISTORY, CIVIL GOVERNMENT, AND POLITICAL ECONOMY.
Ray Greene Huling, principal of the high school, New Bedford, Mass.
Prof. James Harvey Robinson, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.
Henry P. Warren, head master of the Albany Academy, Albany, N. Y.
Prof. Woodrow Wilson, College of New Jersey, Princeton, N. J.
9. GEOGRAPHY (PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, GEOLOGY, AND METEOROLOGY).
Prof. Thomas C. Chamberlin, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
Prof. George L. Collic, Beloit College, Beloit, Wis.
Prof. W. M. Davis, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Delwin A. Hamlin, master of the Rice Training School, Boston, Mass.
Prof. Mark W. Harrington, the Weather Bureau, Washington, D. C.
Francis W. Parker, principal of the Cook County Normal School, Englewood, Ill.
The 90 members of the conferences were divided as follows: Forty-seven were in the service of colleges or universities, 42 in the service of schools, and 1 was a Government official formerly in the service of a university. A considerable number of the college men, however, had also had experience in schools. Each conference, in accordance with a recommendation of the committee of ten, chose its own chairman and secretary; and these two officers prepared the report of each conference. Six of the chairmen were college men and 3 were school men, while of the secretaries 2 were college men and 7 school men. The committee of ten requested that the reports of the conferences should be sent to their chairman by the 1st of April, 1893-three months being thus allowed for the preparation of the reports. Seven conferences substantially conformed to this request of the committee; but the reports from the conferences on natural history and geography were delayed until the second week in July. The committee of ten, being of course unable to prepare their own report until all the reports of the December conferences had been received, were prevented from presenting their report, as they had intended, at the education congress which met at Chicago July 27-29.
All the conferences sat for three days. Their discussions were frank, earnest, and thorough; but in every conference an extraordinary unity of opinion was arrived at. The nine reports are characterized by an amount of agreement which quite surpasses the most sanguine anticipations. Only two conferences present minor.cy reports, namely, the conference on physics, astronomy, and chemistry, and the conference on geography; and in the first case the dissenting opinions touch only two points in the report of the majority, one of which is unimportant. In the great majority of matters brought before each conference the decision of the conference was unanimous. When one considers the different localities, institutions, professional experiences, and personalities represented in each of the conferences, the unanimity developed is very striking, and should carry great weight.
Before the 1st of October, 1893, the reports of the conferences had all been printed, after revision in proof by the chairmen of the conferences, respectively, and had been distributed to the members of the committee of ten, together with a preliminary draft of a report for the committee. With the aid of comments and suggestions received from members of the committee a second draft of this report was made