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A Monthly Journal of Education
OSSIAN LANG, Editor.
Preparation for Active Citizenship
Political campaigns, generally speaking, are conducted on a higher plane than they were in the past. Personal abuse is no longer injected into the discussion of the merits of candidates to as large an extent as in the past. The voter has learned from experience to conclude that the candidate who besmirches the character of his opponent has a poor case and resorts to personalities either in a fit of ill-humor or because he hopes that by reducing the worth of the other in the eyes of the people he may himself appear to somewhat better advantage. Trying to rear one's own reputation on the ruins of that of another almost invariably invites defeat. The "practical politician," socalled, is a close student of the public temper, and has taken account of the lesson, and the tone of political campaigns has been raised thereby. Another gain to be thankful for is that the liquor saloon has lost much of its former prestige as a vote-supplying power. Neither can party allegiance be reckoned upon as surely as in former days. The personalities of the candidates and the issues espoused by them are looming up higher than all other considerations combined. In looking about for things to remember on Thanksgiving Day, these evidences of progress are deserving of attention by patriots.
There is, however, one condition in politics which is not what it ought to be, and as this is one which the schools can help to remedy, it may well engage the serious attention of teachers who have the success of our form of government at heart. Let us put it in the form of a question: Why is it that so few of the men who by training and experience are best qualified to serve their neighbors and their country in a public capacity take an active part in political affairs?
Public service is not keenly enough felt as a duty in which every individual citizen must share. Most citizens content themselves with criticizing public servants, and complaining of the character of the men nominated to office, and of political conditions generally. Nominating conferences and conventions are usually resigned to a few interested party-workers and enthusiasts. The conscientious, efficient, constructive official is too frequently left without
public indifference, too often succeed in discrediting leaders whose achievements for the public good should entitle them to commendation. A more watchful and appreciative attitude on the part of all intelligent citizens toward their chosen agents in governmental affairs is what is most needed.
The schools, as a rule, confine themselves in the teaching of civics, too largely to federal affairs. There is more inquiry after the members of the Presidential Cabinet, and their doings, than the personalities of the town's officers and their duties. The assumption probably is that the children should get hold of universals and that the particulars of local application will take care of themselves. It is as if a child should be confined to the study of a great symphony as a preparation for active membership in a church choir or village orchestra. Experience shows that an interest in local affairs is the best preparation for an intelligent comprehension of the more remote and complicated State and Federal forms of organization.
There is no doubt that the Constitution of the United States should be studied. We have, moreover, United States history in our course, which, if rightly taught, will yield an abundance of information touching State and Federal civics. Now let us make a little more of our own community affairs. Why not invite the various public officials, one at a time, to come before the school, either at the Friday morning assembly or at some afternoon session. And let each explain the scope of his duties and the work involved. In a large city it would not be possible, of course, for the mayor and other important city officials to visit every school. There a number of schools might combine for a meeting which might be limited to the pupils of the seventh and eighth grades, or to the graduating classes only. The suggestion is capable of any number of modifications to suit peculiar conditions.
The point is that plans must be put in operation to interest the young in the personnel of the local government. That will have its effect in later life in a more direct interest in the personal character and qualifications of candidates for public office, and an intelligent and hearty appreciation of the faithful and efficient public
Athletics in the Philippine Islands
By J. R. MCKILLOP, Principal of the High School, Cebú, P. I.
At its inception the Philippines Bureau of Education, with but a handful of American teachers, faced the problem of instructing approximately 1,215,000 Filipino children. The majority of them were of illiterate parentage and entirely without school experience. Forming and applying a plan to impart at least a degree of literacy to this unorganized mass fully absorbed the energies of the Bureau for a number of years. Of necessity especial needs. went unsatisfied for a time. In 1905-'06, however, there began the formulation of an adequate system of industrial instruction, and about the same time attention began to center on the part that might be played by the schools
The Filipino has made it genuinely his own. It is often remarked that in baseball, if in anything, we have given the native an American institution that would persist without American presence. At the present time hardly a barrio, or village, is without its nine, and the members think nothing of walking ten miles out and back in a day for a contest with rivals. Teams have been known to go afoot thirty miles over mountains to settle the question of neighborhood championship. These rural teams, more often than not, lack funds for purchase of outfits and use yarn balls or fruit called "lukban," bats of bamboo, bases crudely represented, or misrepresented, by cocoanuts, gloves made at home, and a mask constructed by the boys themselves of bamboo, rattan, and wire.
On every vacant space in the cities one may see groups of urchins playing. Nature's closefitting suit of brown is rather set off than concealed by the single short "camiseta" they wear. No school acquaintance with English hampers their free expression, but they have just as good a time as their white cousins across the Pacific, and the "Tukboo, tukboo," "Madali ang home base" of the half naked coach, or "Shree strikes, y'out" of the barelegged umpire comes with as much enthusiasm as the corresponding cries from the American corner lot player. Given experience and some competent coaching, these little chaps make players of surprising proficiency.
Cebú, Manila, Iloilo, Nueva Ecija, and other places have teams that would make creditable
in the physical improvement of the Filipino showing against the average high school nine race thru athletic activity.
Filipino boys, whose first knowledge of active competitive sport came slowly as they stood on the side lines of the diamond or chased balls for American soldiers in various encampments, soon became interested and were encouraged by their teachers to form teams of their own.
ance was given by Americans from all departments of the government. In towns near army posts it was not long before boys had their own teams and outfits. Neighboring towns caught the spirit, and soon baseball came to be played in all the large towns of each province.
A new arrival from the States is astonished at the general, even universal, acceptance of our national game. It is more than an acceptance; it is an adoption.
in this country.
The Filipinos yield most cordial support to their teams. The writer has seen 5,000 spectators at a game between Filipino school boys and American soldiers. From 2,000 to 5,000 attended the interscholastic games during the Carnival at Manila last February, when the championship of the Islands was the reward of the winning team. The rooting is organized, prodigious, and so actively enthusiastic that frequently it might easily become rioting. Individual players and the umpire are roasted with tropical fervor. So keen is the interest that the national vice of the Filipinos, cockfighting, is powerless to hold its devotees in profitable numbers when favorite teams are contending.
Gradually and naturally, interest in baseball has been utilized to direct attention to other forms of athletic enterprise. Many provincial and some intermediate schools have their tennis clubs supported by both boys and girls. Some players do fairly well, but tennis among the Filipinos is still in the first stages of development.
Basketball is somewhat more advanced, but does not yet approach the skill and speed of the American game. Next year, for the first time, it will be one of the events of the annual meet of the large Intervisayan Athletic Association. Basketball for girls met with much opposition and very slowly attained its present important position among Filipino sports. The improvement of the girl who participates in this sport is very marked. She improves her carriage and increases her gracefulness; she becomes keener in her work and more vivacious in her social life; and, finally, she accepts rivalry with better nature, is more self-reliant, and forms judgment with more justice. Basketball for girls deserves
Football has no place in the tropics. No attempt has been made nor is any contemplated to introduce it among Filipino youth.
Field and track athletics found their first patronage four or five years ago among the Bicol provinces of Southern Luzon. There an association of four provinces was formed and an annual meet instituted. In 1909, the Intervisayan Amateur Athletic Association of twelve provinces was formed. In 1911, Central Luzon organized a league of four provinces. Manila schools have their own organization. Athletic ability in a teacher is considered just as carefully as any other qualification in deciding upon assignment, and athletic members of the teaching force are designated for as many schools as possible.
An effective refutation of the statement that the Filipino is not athletic by nature and cannot be made so by training is found in the records he has already established. While the Filipino records are not yet up to the American mark, they are far ahead of those made in Yale, Harvard, and Princeton in 1875, when the teams of those schools had about the same amount of training as the victorious Filipino team at the Manila Carnival last February.
A system has been evolved whereby athletes meet first in provincial competitions. The best are selected to compose the team entered in the interprovincial meet. The leading teams from these contests meet at Manila in February to contend for the championship of the archipelago. Last February twelve teams, representing eighteen provinces, met in a general contest that lasted more than a week. Some of the teams come long distances. The winning team, for instance, traveled more than four hundred miles by water to participate. Transportation is furnished by the Insular Government and subsistence funds are appropriated by the provincial governments or raised by subscription.
On casual view the time and money consumed in the support and encouragement of athletics in the Philippines may appear excessive, but it must be remembered that athletics there has a far greater and more varied usefulness than in this country. The tropical climate does not lead to steady exercise or industry. A living is easily found. The Filipino physique, consequently, is below normal in size, endurance, and vitality. The oft-repeated muscular exertion required in out-of-door sports greatly improves the native's body, and its value will be demonstrated in the greater strength of succeeding generations as well as in the bettered condition of the present generation. But the greatest value of athletics is not physical. It is disciplinary. From the realization of the demonstrated necessity of punctuality, regularity, judgment, hard work, and perseverance in reaching athletic success, it is but an easy step to realization of the value of these same qualities in professional and industrial life. It is already evident in the achievements of some Filipino athletes that they make application of the lessons of persistent industry
learned on field and track.
Our avowed purpose in the Islands is the preparing of the natives to become a national entity. We want them to be democratic as well as educated. We Americans in the Orient are not shining examples of democracy, but we illustrate it in our own sports and teach it in our development of sports for the native. Tape and tally, records and referees are no respecters of wealth or social position. In their mingling on the court and diamond Filipino youths come closer to social equality than anywhere else. They must talk to each other, and the fact that they hail from different provinces compels them to use English. This is doubly valuable in that it emphasizes their need of a common language and accustoms them to the use of English in conversation among themselves. In the athletic meets, with their keen but goodnatured rivalry, their close association of large numbers of the best educated young Filipinos from many different sections, and their effect upon the development of a common medium of communication, is found one of the most potent single influences working to-day toward the nationalization of the Filipino.
N. E. A. News
President Charles E. Chadsey, of the Department of Superintendence, N. E. A., announces that the next meeting of the Department will be held in St. Louis, February 27 to 29, 1912. The National Council and the Department of Normal Schools will meet at the same time and place. Headquarters will be at the Planters Hotel. An unusually large attendance is looked
Progress in Porto Rico
Dr. Edwin C. Dexter, Commissioner of Education in Porto Rico, stated at the recent Lake Mohonk conference that more than 145,000 pu
pils were enrolled in the schools of the island last school year. This means that one person in every eight, of the total population, attended school, a larger percentage than for any other Spanish-speaking people in the world. Every one of the thousand school buildings has the Stars and Stripes floating over it. Each morning's session is opened with the flag salute, the children repeating the words, "I pledge allegiance to my flag, and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
While Spanish is the language of Porto Rico, and for the most part the only language the child possesses on entering school, all subjects are taught in English, excepting in the rural schools. The children are made proficient in both English and Spanish. The school year is nine months, of twenty school days each, being fully one school month longer than the average for the United States. The secondary schools are developing rapidly. Fifty-seven towns and cities maintain public school playgrounds. School gardening, elementary agriculture, sewing, domestic science and other forms of industrial training are receiving every encouragement, at the hand of the school authorities. Commissioner Dexter is doing a splendid work, and the progress is most gratifying.
A School Girl's Creed
I believe in absolute truthfulness, the first essential characteristic in all truly great men and women.
I believe in obedience, not only to the commands of the teachers, but to the unwritten laws of what is right.
I believe in the fellowship of the student body, the perfect harmony and understanding between instructors and pupils, which insure a lasting friendship.
I believe in true sportsmanship, a fair deal, and a square deal in athletics as well as in the daily routine of school life.
I believe in laughter and light-heartedness in the schoolroom, so that it may not seem to be a place to be dreaded, but rather a place of happiness.
I believe in scholarship, that the boys and girls who are good scholars, whether they are born scholars, achieve scholarship, or have scholarship thrust upon them, are later the men and women who make names for themselves, and who successfully fight the battle of life.ELEANOR HATCH, Arlington, Mass., High