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ples of pupils in graded schools, who, with very limited schoo. terms, prepare for the high school at the age of 14. Under the guidance of painstaking and intelligent parents or private tutors, children cover in a very brief time the studies of the grammar school. All have noted, under favoring conditions, a surprising development at an early age in understanding of history, literature, and common phenomena, a growth far beyond that reached at the same age in the schools. These facts simply show the possibilities of the period of elementary education. We understand that ultimately those best prepared to judge must determine the modifications, if any are needed, of the elementary courses. Some say the courses are already overcrowded, it is impossible to add anything. Is it not true, however, that by placing less stress upon a few things, by arousing mental activity through the stimulus of the scientific method, and by improving the skill of the teachers, the work suggested by these conferences may be easily accomplished? All these experiments are already old in many schools in the country.
Consider the logical order of studies. Each child, almost from the dawn of consciousness, recognizes relations of number and space, observes phenomena, and draws crude inferences, records in his mind the daily deeds of his associates, and employs language to express his thought, often with large use of imagination. Already has begun the spontaneous development in mathematics, science, history, and literature. Nature points the way and we should follow the direction. These subjects in their various forms should be pursued from the first. Hill's True Order of Studies shows that there are some five parallel, upward-running lines representing the divisions of knowledge, and that development may be compared to the encircling onward movement of a spiral which at each turn cuts off a portion of all the lines. If we accept this view, we must grant that geometry on its concrete side belongs to the earliest period of education; that the observation of natural phenomena with simple inferences will be a most attractive study to the child; that the importance of observation of objects of natural history is foreshadowed by the spontaneous interest taken in them before the school period; that tales of ancient heroes, and the pleasing myths of antiquity, together with the striking characters and incidents of Greek and Roman history, belong to the early period of historic knowledge; that the whole world of substance and phenomena that constitutes our environment should be the subject of study under the head of physiography or physical geography; that the thoughts of literature, ethical and imaginative, appeal readily to the child's mind. We may add that the taste of children may be early cultivated and that the glory which the child discovers in nature makes possible the art idea and the religions sentiment. The reason for beginning a foreign language early is somewhat independent, but all agree that early study of a living language is
Should we not reconsider our analysis of the elementary courses? Superintendents and teachers will find the necessary changes not impossible, but easy. The sum of all that is recommended for the elementary schools by the conferences is not so formidable as at first appears.
IDENTITY OF INSTRUCTION.
The relation of the mind to a study is determined by the nature of the mind and the nature of the study, and there seems to be no reason in psychology why a college preparatory subject should be taught differently to one fitting for the duties of life. Besides, it is economy to make identical the work of different courses as far as possible. There was perfect unanimity in the opinion that the same studies should be pursued by all in the same way as far as taken.
Everyone knows that many teachers are unskilled to present in the elementary schools the beginnings of geometry, science, history, or literature, and that the failures in this work are due to the mechanical efforts of those who have had no higher
or special training. The demands of present methods are imperative for improved power in instruction. Science is well taught in but a few schools. I have seen within a few months a school which taught biology from a manual without specimen, microscope, or illustrations. It was a humiliating confession of the committee that the classical course is superior, for the reason that it is difficult to find enough instructors competent to teach modern subjects by modern methods.
POSTPONING CHOICE OF COURSES.
A very important principle recognized by the committee is the advantage of postponing the necessity of making a final choice of courses as long as possible. In this country we have no fixed conditions of rank, and the poor man's son has the same privileges as the sons of men of position and wealth. Hence, the station in life is not determined by the differentiation in courses at an early period. Very few parents decide upon the final character of the children's instruction much before the beginning of the college period.
For these reasons I would not agree with the conference recommendation to begin Latin at an earlier period. It would not be cconomy; there is enough else that belongs to the elementary stage of education, and I would not recommend a plan that is founded upon the foreign view of caste and fixed condition in life.
Uniformity in requirements for admission to college was the subject of the report that finally led to this investigation. Although uniformity is not prominently urged in the report of the committee of ten, I think that the logical outcome of the latter report will be a tendency toward uniformity. There is a vigorous conflict of opinion to-day as to nationalism and individualism, with a strong tendency, especially in education, toward individualism. In my judgment there exists a harmful slavery of the high and preparatory schools to the erratic and varied demands of different colleges, and also a slavery to ignorance and caprice in some schools themselves, which would be removed by a general agreement to uniformity. Men are not enslaved, but are emancipated, by organization, and freedom of the individual is found in the good order of society and government. In a facetious criticism of the committee's report by a man with whom I have had many a friendly tilt, I read the following. The writer is arguing for extremo individualism in choice of studies: "Please tell us if you and your colleagues on the conference considered any methods for the encouragement of cranks." No; for the encouragement neither of cranks nor of crankiness, but for the encouragement of the best kind of rational education. While there are a few wise, independent investigators who need no enforced uniformity and will not be bound by the recommendations of others, nine-tenths of the schools are largely imitators, or, worse, are working independently with limited insight, and this nine-tenths would be vastly improved by adopting courses and methods growing from a consensus of the best opinions of the country. The lowest would thereby tend to rise to the highest and from that plane a new advance could be made. Meantime the original thinkers would be free to push forward toward higher results to be generally adopted later. Through contact of various ideas some principles are settled, and the world is free to move on toward fresh discovery.
The selection of studies is to be determined largely by the nature of the mind and the universal character of natural and civil environments, and this fact points toward the possibility of uniformity. The period of secondary education is not the period for specializing, and even if it is there should be some uniformity in differentiation, In the United States there is a general uniformity of tradition of government, of civilization, and the educated youth of San Francisco bears about the same relation to the world as the educated youth of Boston; hence, so far as elementary and secondary education is pursued, there is no reason why it should not be substantially the same in various schools, not in details belonging to the individual teacher, but
in paper requirements and important features of methods. This is an argument for the general adoption of such recommended courses as shall be the final outcome, after free discussion of the investigations of these conferences and of the committee.
CONNECTION BETWEEN HIGH SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES.
Nothing in the whole report is more important than the proposed closer connection between high schools and colleges, and this is clearly and forcibly urged. Whatever course of study properly belongs to a secondary school is also a good preparation for higher education, else either secondary or higher education is seriously in error. Whenever a youth decides to take a college course, he should find himself on the road toward it. No one can doubt that in the coming years pupils from properly arranged high school courses must be admitted to corresponding courses in higher education. The divorcement between higher education and all lower grade work, except the classical, has been a fatal defect in the past. The entire course of education should be a practical interest of college professors, and there should be a hearty cooperation between them and school superintendents and principals in considering all educational problems.
STANDARD OF PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS.
It is a fact of significance that a committee on which some leading institutions are represented urges the professional schools of the country to place their standard of admission as high as that of the colleges; and we hope that aid will thus be given the institutions endeavoring to raise the prevailing low requirements of law, medical, and divinity schools.
The reports of most of the conferences asked for continuous and adequate work for each subject, that it might become a source of discipline and of valuable insight. No doubt part of the work in high schools is too brief and fragmentary to gain from it the best results, and I regret that the committee report did not more clearly present this defect.
In fact, I believe the aim should be to reduce the number of courses, the number of subjects, and the number of topics under a subject. It is not necessary that the entire landscape be studied in all its parts and details if a thorough knowledge of the most prominent features is gained.
CHOICE OF SUBJECTS.
In one important point I was constrained to differ from the reading of the report, as finally submitted, although the expressions to which exceptions were taken were due rather to the standpoint of the writer of the report than the resolutions of the committee. I refer to those paragraphs in which it is implied that the choice of studies in secondary schools may be a matter of comparative indifference, provided good training is obtained from the subjects chosen. This view makes education formal without giving due regard to the content. Here are the world of nature and the world of mind. Nature, when its meaning is realized, has the same meaning for all, and in its various phases affects all in substantially the same way. The history of mankind in its various kinds and degrees of development has the same content for all. The nature of mind in generic characteristics and the universal truths that belong to the spiritual world are the same for all. Mind has the same powers in all human beings. We all know, feel, and will; all persons acquire through attention; retain in memory under the same conditions; obey the same laws of association; reason, so far as rightly, from the same principles; act from motives. Men may be classed crudely according to the motives that will appeal to them. While there are infinite variations in details of men's natures, in power of insight, degree of development, methods of acquisition, predominant motives, in interests and tendencies, all persons in their growth obey the laws of human nature. Hence I argue that a
science of education is possible; that it is possible to select studies with a view to their universal use in the primary development of the powers and with the assurance of superior value as revealing to man his entire environment and the nature of his being.
Mere form, mere power, without content, means nothing. Power is power through knowledge. The very world in which we are to use our power is the world which we must first understand in order to use it. The present is understood not by the power to read history but by what history contains. The laws of nature and deductions therefrom are not made available by mere power, but by the power which comes from the knowledge of them. Hence the education which does not include something of all views of the world and of the thinking subject is lacking in data for the wise and effective use of power.
ANALYSIS OF STUDIES.
In view of this position I would regard it the duty of the committee to analyze carefully the nature and importance of each leading subject representing a part of the field of knowledge, to the end that a wise correlation of the work of the conferences might be made. The study of number in its concrete form and in its abstract relations, the study of space relations as founded upon axiomatic truths, are necessary as a basis of many kinds of knowledge, as representing an essential view of the world, as a foundation for the possibilities of commerce and structures, and as furnishing important training in exact reasoning. Science includes many things; but chemistry and physics, which explain the manifestations of force in the material world; biology, which reveals important laws of plant and animal life, and physiography, which acquaints us with our entire environment as to location, phenomena, and partial explanation-these are connected with the practical side of civilization and the welfare of humanity, and are a guard against superstition and error. They are indispensable for practice in induction, and they should be well represented in a course of study. History, in which man discovers the meaning of the present and gains wisdom for the future, which is a potent source of ethical thought, must not be omitted. English language, as the means of accurate, vigorous, and beautiful expression, and English literature, which is the treasury of much of the world's best thought, are not subjects to leave to the election of the pupil.
In addition to the training in observation, memory, expression, and inductive reasoning which most studies offer, we must consider the development of imagination, right emotion, and right will. In other words, æsthetic and ethical training is most essential. Secondary schools need not employ formal courses of study to this end, but various means may be employed incidentally. There are a hundred ways in which taste may be cultivated, and literature is one of the best means for developing the art idea. Moral character is developed by right habit, by the right use of the powers in the process of education, by growth in knowledge of ethical principles, by growth of the spirit of reverence, and by the ethical code of religion. All of these means, except the formal use of the last, may be employed by the schools. And the ethical element is inherent in the very nature of right education. To educate rightly is to educate ethically. History, biography, and literature make direct contributions to ethical knowledge.
We now reach the study of foreign classical tongues. If there is nothing more than formal training, for instance, in Latin, the sooner we abandon its study the better. But we find in it also a valuable content. In the process of development some phases of human possibility seem to have been aimost fully realized, while the world has continued to develop along other lines. In such cases we must go back and fill our minds with the concepts that belong to the remote period. The insight into the character of the peoples and their institutions, the concepts of their civilizations, the beauty of their literatures, the practical contribution to the knowledge of our own language, form an important content to be realized by the study of the
Greek and Latin classics. From the foreign modern tongues German may be chosen because of its valuable literature, its contributions to science, its dignity, and its relation to the Anglo-Saxon element of our own language.
We have endeavored to show that the choice of studies is not a matter of indifference, that mathematics, science, history, the English language and literature, foreign language, and art and ethics all belong to the period of secondary education, and we have tried to suggest the inference that all should be employed. The relative importance of each can not be exactly measured, but experience and reason must guide us.
ORGANIZATION OF COURSES.
Granting that these are the subjects to be used in making secondary school programmes, we must consider the time element the most difficult problem of all. But we must grapple with it calmly and firmly, as did each of the conferences in their recommendations, and correlate, in the light of history and reason, the data given by the conference. We must grant the possibility of certain differentiations at some points in the high school courses. For instance, pupils choosing the classical course must depart in a measure from the normal modern programme.
I have placed at the end of this discussion for comparison tables which group subjects under the four heads named in the analysis-mathematics, science, history and English, and foreign language.
Table of subjects as assigned by the committee.-The first table shows, classified, the nine divisions of subjects, as assigned to the nine conferences, respectively.
Table showing recommendations of the conferences.-The second table shows the recommendations of the conferences classified in the same way as above. Since the conferences worked separately this table shows at almost every point need of adjustment. For the first year an aggregrate of 22 periods per week is recommended, for the second 37, for the third 35, for the fourth 374. The programme maker must either choose a few subjects, omitting other essential ones, or must adjust the time and order relations of the table. The latter appears to be the preferable alternative.
Table showing proposed arrangement of courses.—I would base the whole subject of programme making upon the relations of the child to the world of knowledge; would make mathematics, science, history, and literature the foundation, and provide for the foreign languages by additions or by modification and substitution. I would adopt the present standard for mathematics, and would limit the number of sciences recommended by the conferences. Arranging for convenience the studies in four parallel lines, under the heads of mathematics, science, history and English, and foreign language, I would give to history and English the time of one of the four divisions. English is the native tongue and is already familiar, and English literature will be read voluntarily through life if the taste for it and the power to understand it are acquired in the schools. History, if the right method of study be imparted and the interest be cultivated, will also be pursued voluntarily. We may allow for Latin about the usual time, and in the classical course we may substitute Greek for some of the sciences and mathematics. In case an additional foreign language is taken it must be an extra, or the time of each line of work must be shortened or further substitutions must be made as wisely as possible.
The table showing the proposed arrangement of courses is not worked out in detail. It suggests that approximately one-fourth of the time be given to each columu; that in other courses than the classical, if a second foreign language be taken, it should be regarded as an extra if possible; that Greek, if taken, be substituted for the science of the last two years and the mathematics of the last year. This combines simplicity of plan, identity of instruction in the same subject for all courses, and continuous and adequate work with the necessary differentiation.