Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

just in accordance with their laws the phenomena or to recognize the adjustments that are made by nature. The same exactness, in short, is required in every branch of study that is required in the so-called exact sciences. In one aspect education is accuracy. One's educa

tion may be limited, but he has not entered into education unless what he does know he knows accurately and teaches concisely and clearly. In another aspect education is perspective. There must be a sense of the illimitableness of truth and of the relations of the particular truth that one has mastered. Discrimination may be second only to accuracy upon the part of the teacher. The conclusion is apparent to every reader. The new education, exalting life, not

resting until it has reached the laws of evolution in each subject, and contemplating the interrelation of studies in an illimitable universe, demands that the teacher as never before shall be a scholar. There is no excuse why every teacher should not be a student, and a student is the germinal scholar. Provision has been made on every hand to help the teacher to be a scholar. The free public school system, including normal school and university, the colleges on every hand, the forms of university or school extension in institutes, lectures, and courses of study are within the reach of all.

GEO. E. MACLEAN, University of Nebraska.

TERRIBLE CALAMITY.

The World in Review

The month of February has been crowded full of stirring incidents and exciting scenes, but overshadowing all of the events of the month is the appalling calamity that befell the battleship Maine in the harbor of Havana on the night of the 15th of February. The dispatch that Cap tain Chas. D. Sigsbee, commanding the U. S. battleship Maine, sent to the secretary of navy will become one of the historic documents of the nation: "Maine blown up in Havana harbor at 9:40 o'clock and destroyed. Many wounded, and doubtless more killed and drowned. Wounded and others on board Spanish man-ofwar and Ward line steamer. Send lighthouse tenders from Key West for crew and few picces of equipment still above water. No one had other clothes than those upon him. Public opinion should be suspended till further report. All officers believed to be saved. Jenkins and Merritt not yet accounted for. Many Spanish officers, including representatives of General Blanco, now with me and express sympathy." The cause of the explosion shattering this splendid engine of war and killing 253 of the crew, may remain a profound mystery. Facts acquiring marked significance are being uncovered as the investigation inaugurated by the United States government proceeds. Suspicious circumstances which indicate Spanish treachery are being carefully analyzed by the commission of naval officers, and the intense excitement prevailing throughout the world is held in check, awaiting anxiously further developments

as to the cause.

The United States government is taking every precaution and making full preparation for war, should the investigation show that the explosion was an act of Spanish duplicity and treachery. No investigation can restore the lives of the brave men who perished in the fearful catastrophe. Every explanation offered of this fearful disaster suggests a crime, either of stupendous neglect or treacherous intent. The outcome will be carefully watched.

The air is full of speculation, and this will undoubtedly bring to a speedy culmination the present outrageous condition in unhappy Cuba. Nothing has stirred our American people to the innermost depths of their soul since that eventful day in '61, when the news flashed northward, and then re-echoed eastward and westward, "Fort Sumter is being fired upon!" The patriotic spirit that has been slumbering these thirty years or more has been stirred again and given our American citizens a realization of the horrors of war.

[blocks in formation]

bee's request is being heeded. The people are waiting, suspending deliberate judgment until all the facts are placed before them.

CAPTAIN DREYFUS.

It was in the autumn of 1894 that Captain Alfred Dreyfus was arrested, and after a secret court-martial was sentenced to public degradation before the army and to life imprisonment to Isle du Diable, off the coast of French Guiana, for having communicated secret military plans to an enemy of France. The method of procedure in his conviction produced a feeling of uneasiness and suspicion among most Frenchmen, and had Dreyfus been friendless, as many another one convicted of treason and sentenced by courtmartial, his case would have attracted no attention. Matthew Dreyfus, a brother of the unfortunate officer, openly accused Major Comte Walsin Esterhazy of being the author of the document and the real traitor. Esterhazy was tried and acquitted. Government still refused to furnish the public with the desired proofs of Dreyfus' guilt. At this juncture Emile Zola, the noted novelist, accused the French army of having knowingly convicted an innocent man, and Zola's accusations were in plain and unmistakable language:

"I accuse Lieutenant Colonel Paty du Clam of being the hellish cause of vile actions, though he may have done wrong without knowing it.

"I accuse General Mercier of weakness in becoming a party to the greatest act of injustice of the century.

"I accuse General Billot, minister of war, of being in possession of proofs that Dreyfus was innocent; but he kept these proofs secret and committed the crime of perversion of justice in order to save the deeply compromised general staff."

"I accuse General Boisdeffre and General Grouse of being parties to this crime, the one from clericalism, the other from a mistaken sense of esprit de corps, which makes him think the minister of war is a veritable sanctum.

"General Pellieux and Major Rovary I accuse of monstrous partiality.

"I accuse the war office of having started a shameful campaign in the daily papers in order to lead astray public opinion.

"The court-martial I accuse of violation of justice and law by having convicted the accused upon evidence contained in a secret document.

"I do not know personally the men whom I

accuse. I have never seen them, am not vengeful against them, do not hate them. To me they are only representatives of a social evil. I only wish for light-in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and has so much right to be happy. My fiery protest is only the outery of my heart.

"Bring me before the court of assizes and let my examination be in the glare of day! "I am waiting for it."

And Zola has had his trial.

ZOLA'S

TRIAL.

The newspapers of the United States follow closely and comment freely upon the manner of selecting the jury and of conducting the trial and the rendering of the verdict in the celebrated case of Emile Zola in France. The republic of France may be a marked success in many particulars, but the history of this case shows that French procedure in such trials still clings to the monarchial institutions that were in vogue before the revolution of 1789. That eminent author, Zola, published letters of accusation in the famous paper, l'Aurore, against the war department and others that were concerned in the court-martial trial that acquitted Count Esterhazy from the charge of being author of the evidence upon which Dreyfus was exiled. For this, he, with Editor Pellieux, is arrested upon a charge of libel, and the survival of this old monarchial institution of court method finds him guilty. The judge dominated everything. Evidence for or against the prisoner, as best pleased his will, was admitted or suppressed, to enable him to prove the man guilty because he wanted him condemned. There probably never was a more irregularly conducted prosecution than the Zola case. reality the case passed out of the range of jurisprudence into that of the highest form of French politics. The verdict was not unexpected and Zola becomes the most extensively advertised novelist in the world. What he writes now will be read with zeal and fervor.

ZOLA'S

NEW NOVEL.

In

Emile Zola, before the trial, had determined to write a new novel of Parisian life and manner, in which the best genius of his marvelous imagination would be brought in play. He can write it now; but instead of basing it upon an imaginary conception he has facts; he can base it purely upon facts of the sensational Dreyfus case and the outcome of his own trial. Avail

ing himself of the intensely dramatic situation, he can give a realistic word-picture of the politics and government of Paris. He is thor oughly acquainted with all of the extraor dinary events that set forth this desperate struggle between justice and selfishness, and make out of it in reality a historical romance of the present situation. The plot of his story can be facts and not imagination, the central types of which it is difficult often to find in facts. He can have his innocent victim, Dreyfus; he can have the actual criminal; he can have the man who is working might and main to bring the truth to light; he can have the fierce encounter of right and wrong; he can have the actual date, February, 1898; and this brainy man does not need a richer field for his historical delineation, and by the time the novel is ready his year of confinement in prison will be up and he will be at the end of the drama. He can show the prostituted and riotous press, the trampling of human sentiment underfoot, and the deliberate obscuring and befogging of everything that would unravel mystery. The Dreyfus trial and the Zola trial of the past month will furnish the key-note to the novel that will be a curious sequel to the famous "Paris."

THE DE LOME INCIDENT.

One of the sensational things of the past month was the publication of the confidential letter written by the Spanish minister, De Lome, at Washington, to the Senor Canalejas, editor of the Madrid Heraldo. At first De Lome denounced the letter as a forgery; but when the fac-simile was published he withdrew his denunciation and cabled his resignation to the government at Madrid. When the department of state at Washington demanded from Minister Woodford an explanation of De Lome's conduct toward President McKinley and our government, Premier Sagasta replied, "De Lome has resigned and his resignation was accepted." How the letter was obtained is not clearly stated. Several methods have been announced, but that is of minor importance compared to the reference in disparaging terms toward President McKinley. It is the strongest Spanish evidence that Spanish diplomacy at this state of affairs meant simply Spanish lying. The letter was filled with duplicity of the Spanish min ister in dealing with our government. We quote only the allusion to President McKinley:

"The president's message has undeceived the insurgents, who expected something else, and has paralyzed the action of congress, but I consider it bad. Besides the natural and inevitable coarseness with which he repeats all that the press and public opinion of Spain has said of Weyler, it shows once more what McKinley is— weak and catering to the rabble, and, besides, a low politician, who desires to leave a door open to me and to stand well with the jingoes of his party. Nevertheless, as a matter of fact, it will only depend on ourselves whether he will prove bad and adverse to us."

The end of course is not yet; De Lome is gone and another minister has come in his place.

THINGS

RELIGIOUS.

The attention of the world has been directed this month to the great foreign mission field. The sixth conference of the foreign mission boards of the United States and Canada just closed its session in New York city, and the outcome of the meeting shows that the evening of the nineteenth century sees the great work from the religious standpoint. The missionary movements of the world are comparatively new, and the growth of the work is encouraging, as the following summary will show:

There are thirty-three foreign missionary societies of the evangelical churches of the United States, the oldest of which is the American Board, Boston, organized in 1810. The work of these societies includes 1,093 principal stations, 6,247 out-stations, 3,574 American laborers, 15,564 native laborers, 3,836 churches, 430,266 communicants, 34,870 additions last year; 232,563 children and young people under instruction; native contributions last year of $348,150, and a total income last year of $4,333,611. These statistics are exclusive of the work done by some of the societies in Protestant Europe. There are six foreign missionary societies in Canada, whose work includes 89 principal sta tions, 227 out-stations, 242 Canadian missionaries, 506 native laborers, 112 native churches, 9,141 communicants, 1,040 additions last year; native contributions last year of $32,339, and contributions in Canada last year of $283,706. It is certainly the hour of opportunity. Ev erything is pointing out to the religious world her duty. Most profound interest has been awakened by the persecutions in Armenia, China, Persia, and other parts of the world. Christendom turns with greater vigor toward

the unsaved lands. The bankers and speculators of England risk $70,000,000 to open the way and secure the trade of China, but in that purely financial undertaking they open the way for its Christianization. The great and powerful Mohammedanism, and other kindred systems, are losing their sacred charms and trembling in the face of the rapid strides of Christianity.

STUDENT

A spirited and enthusiastic convention of the Student Vol

VOLUNTEERS. unteers has just been held in the city of Cleveland. The outcome of this monster student movement is to increase the interest and force of foreign missions. It is not an independent movement, but stands in closest touch and strongest loyalty to the general missionary agencies of the church. It has multiplied the friends of foreign missions and increased the volume of prayer, and at the same time brought larger funds into the treasury. And this broad line of work must increase because of the close fellowship of students, each student volunteer having back of him a splendid constituency who will be left in the home. field to increase the interest and ever maintain

National Superintendents' Association, This annual meeting of the superintendents has come to be one of great value to educational affairs. One point of importance is the mingiing together of school superintendents from all parts of the country. About 600 superintendents attended this meeting, and the d.scussions were helpful and profitable to all, and the mingling together of still greater profit.

We can give but very brief abstracts of the leading discussions.

The association met on Tuesday morning, February 22, and lost time, as usual, in wearying addresses of welcome and responses, filled with very beautiful platitudes.

"The Township High School" was the subject of a paper read by State Superintendent C. J. Baxter, of New Jersey. The strong plea of Mr. Baxter's paper was for a better education for the pupils of the rural schools. The value of an education, as looked at from a national or state standpoint, was the same whether pupils lived in the country districts or in the cities. As the condition is at present, boys and girls of the towns and cities are enabled to prepare for college at public expense; the pupils of the country must not only leave their homes, but, at present, must pay tuition in order to prepare for college. The township high school, then, is a necessity and ought to be established, (1) as a measure of justice to our rural population; (2) educational equality is essential to progress and domestic harmony; (3) more liberal public education is in the interest of economy; (4) better advantages are required to make our rural population more contented and their environments more attractive; (5) will bring great improve

a deep sympathy for the work. The student volunteer movement is answering the cry for "more men" for missions and it will undoubtedly be the means of solving the money problem in this great question.

FRANCES E.
WILLARD.

The death of this great worker and noble woman on the 18th of February must prove a great loss to our nation, and especially to the educational forces. From the day of her graduation in 1859 to 1874 she occupied a strong position as an educator. From the latter date until the day of her death she occupied a national position of growing force and power, not only in the Woman's Temperance Union, but in all of the movements for the uplifting of women in the latter half of this nineteenth century. While she quit the schoolroom she continued a teacher as long as she lived, and was constantly giving a fresh inspiration to a host of workers who were associated with her in the great warfare for truth and sobriety in the new age of recognized womanhood. Truly of her it may be said, "Her works do follow her." The frail tenement has given way, but the beautiful soul has leaped into immortality.

Chattanooga, February 22-24, 1898.

ment to the rural schools by giving better training for teachers.

State Superintendent J. Q. Emery, of Wisconsin, followed in the discussion and concurred most heartily in the reasons urged by Superintendent Baxter for the establishment of such schools. In Wisconsin these township high schools began to be established in 1874. There are now about 100 such schools and they are a great power in the state educational system. Their influence is great with the work of the lower grades and on the work in surrounding rural schools, and another advantage is that they give an added educational opportunity to thousands of boys and girls who otherwise would not attend anything above the grammar school.

State Superintendent Stetson, of Maine, spoke in support of the rural high school and added that nothing but a thorough English course of study with, possibly, some industrial training, should be given in these schools.

While many suggestions were made by the above speakers and others, no one suggested then, or ever has suggested, a plan equal to the Nebraska plan of utilizing city and town high schools already in existence.

AFTERNOON SESSION.

"Educational Problems in the South" was the general subject for the afternoon, with the subordinate subjects of "Normal Training," Better Supervision," and "The Negro Question." Professor Branson, of the Georgia State Normal School, opened the first subject with a very able paper, making the following important suggestions: (1) Normal schools should be open throughout the year; (2) the expenses of the student

should be reduced to a minimum; (3) the faculties of the normal schools should do much field work, in institutes, associations, and at other public occasions; (4) the normal schools ought to be more thoroughly advertised and brought to the attention of all the teachers, school officers, and people; (5) normal students have a right to expect in those schools the very best possible instruction from men and women of great ability and thorough training; (6) the normal school must preach everywhere and at any and all times, not only the importance of methods, but the gospel of scholarship.

State Superintendent Sheats, of Florida, led in the discussion, and while concurring heartily with all of the ideas advanced by Professor Branson, said that much had been gained in the South even from a lower standard. The normal school of the South must have, for many years, preparatory departments, reaching as low as the grammar school. We must insist at all times upon thoroughness of instruction and instruction by able and well-qualified men and women.

Professor Charles B. McIver, of the normal school of Greensboro, N. C., led in the discussion of "Better Supervision of the Common Schools." Better supervision can only be had from better supervisors. What we need in every community is an educational evangelist who, in addition to his power of training teachers and inspecting their work, will have power to arouse the people and cause them to cease trifling with the great questions of education. He must show, even from labor reports, that there is no kind of work calling for skilled laborers for which the public is not willing to pay many times as much as they are now willing to pay for the teaching of their children.

The subject was further discussed by a number of Southern superintendents and by others, but it seeras to me that the sooner the people of the South recognize that there are very few elements in their educational problems that are not found in every section of tis country the better it will be for them. Everywhere, no matter how much we talk to the contrary, the two great and fundamental evils and weaknesses of our school system are poor teachers and indifference on the part of the public. The only difference is in the character of the indifference. In the North people talk and brag about their interest in the public schools and then elect men on the school boards who will employ indifferent teachers, while in the South a large number of people seem, as yet, to be indifferent as to whether or not their schools have even a good reputation.

The next subject was "The Education of the Negro," and the leader in this was Hon. G. R. Glenn, state superintendent of education of Georgia. Mr. Glenn believed that education was the only remedy by which the condition of the negro could be improved. The South has spent $500,000,000 within the past twenty-five years for education, of which $100,000,000 has gone to the education of the negroes, who have thus received from $5 to $10 for every $1 in taxes that they have paid. I am in favor of giving the negro all the education he will take; if we do not educate him the time will come when we cannot stay in this country with our families. The negro race is a teachable people."

It seems to me that the problem after all is to make the negro a taxpayer. Industrial training will do this better than grammar or algebra.

The evening session was largely devoted to a report of a committee on elementary schools. The committee did not seem to have much to report, except to ask that their time be extended and to ask for an appropriation of money. It seems to me that if this committee would outline, in plain English, some of the things they are working after the superintendents would be better pleased with what the committee is trying to do. There is too much psychology and wordiness.

Dr. M. G. Brumbaugh, of the University of Pennsylvania, next read a very thoughtful and scholarly paper on "The Mission of the Elementary School." We hope to give quite a complete abstract of this paper in a later number, and will only mention a few points that we think ought to be brought home to every teacher. He held that the first thing that the elementary school should accomplish is the training of the feelings. The second purpose of the school is to enrich the child, and this will be best done in a system that provides as carefully for reflective activity as for expressive activity. The curriculum must be so simplified as to give greater prominence to the culture side of education. He must emphasize the mastery of language as the central possession of the child. We must promote the virtues of politeness, conscientiousness, and humility. We must place in the elementary schools teachers so thoroughly trained and enthused with the ideals of the school as to render the school career of the child marvelously successful by making it supremely pleasant.

WEDNESDAY MORNING.

The Wednesday morning discussion was devoted mainly to "What Can Child Study Contribute to the Science of Education?" We hope to give quite a complete abstract of these papers in our April number, and will not discuss them here.

THURSDAY MORNING.

"Vacation Schools" was the subject of one of the most valuable papers read before the association. This was read by Richard Waterman, Jr., of Chicago, and in his paper he gave an outline of the work done in one school in Chicago last summer. Mr. Waterman holds that the effect of our present vacations among thousands of children is anything but beneficial. Children lose, not only by forgetting much of their previous instruction, but by losing the habit of study and by gaining very much evil instruction from the streets. This is especially true in the large cities and among the poorer people where the children are allowed to roam at will from daylight till late at night. The effect of vacations upon the regular school for the winter has been excellent. The curriculum for vacation schools should, in Mr. Waterman's opinion, consist of manual training for boys, housework for giris, printing, sewing, drawing, modeling, shoemaking, basket weaving, music, nature study, and general instruction in citizenship. We hope to give a complete abstract of this paper in another number or to have a separate paper by Professor Waterman himself. "Continuous Sessions at Normal Schools" was the subject of a paper read by Irwin Shepherd, president of the Winona State Normal school. Mr. Shepherd suggested the dividing of the normal school year into four quarters of twelve weeks each: new classes being organized at the beginning of each new quarter and students to be admitted at each quarter; teachers and students may be excused for their vacations quarterly, as desired by the individual. By this plan, students may be graduated at the end of any twelve weeks and hundreds of country teachers may thus be enabled to teach for twenty-four weeks and attend chool the other twenty-four weeks. Millions of dollars of capital are invested in normal school buildings and this capital ought to be utilized in the way to get the best possible advantages for the great body of teachers. Mr. Shepherd sees no reason why this same policy may not be carried out in the public schools. Many children are physically able to attend school regularly for fortyeight weeks and should be allowed to do so.

The officers elected were: President, E. H. Marks, Louisville, Ky.; first vice president, G. H. Conley, Boston, Mass.; second vice president, A. T. Barrett, Chattanooga, Tenn.; secretary, J. H. Van Sickle, Denver, Colo.

« AnteriorContinuar »