Imágenes de páginas

quired the use of the entire fund. When the State Legislature was called upon to accept a generous donatiou for the university from Governor Washburn, the State awoke to see an ideal university as a possibility, and has since become as generous as it had been parsimonious. The past twenty-five years have been years of rapid growth and expansion,

As has been stated, Illinois gave its university lands for the establishment of a Normal University, which has continued as a normal school of high rank. When the Agricultural College Grant was available and trustees were appointed, a bitter fight was waged against the purpose of the first president to introduce classical studies into its curriculum. The victory was on the side of President Gregory, but his enemies named the institution "The Illinois Industrial University" (Industrial in large letters). By degrees the title Industrial grew smaller, was nearly obscured, and at last disappeared. To-day Illinois. University is aspiring to a high place in University ranks, and is beginning to realize its ideal.

Iowa University began in 1855, with two professors and one instructor. One year later it had a nominal president and six professors, one hundred and twenty-four students, nineteen in college classes. In 1858 one student received the degree of B.S., and the collegiate work was suspended until 1860, when it was resumed with an overtopping Normal Department. Requirements for admission were along two lines (outside of a few elementary studies)-Mathematics and Latin and Greek. The first catalogue shows twenty-two collegiate students pursuing a prescribed course of limits corresponding with subjects upon which examination was had at entrance. By 1878 ninety students were found in four college classes. The following year witnessed the cutting off the preparatory department. Today, of the fourteen hundred students properly called university students nearly seven hundred are in the Collegiate Department, to which they have been admitted upon examination fully two years in advance of the requirements of twenty-five years ago.

But progress stops not here, for the number of graduate students is rapidly increasing, this year numbering in all departments at least one hundred and fifty,-ninety of whom are studying for a Master's degree or for a Doctorate in Philosophy.

The course in all professional departments has been doubled in length of time.

Demands for advanced instruction have been met by liberal equipment in apparatus, illustrative material and reference libraries. The three institutions just sketched report their value at $1,600,000, the accumulation of twenty-five years.

Greater opportunities have encouraged a wider range of studies, and on the part of individuals the selection of some definite line of study with more of original research.

Subjects once prescribed are subdivided, and elective courses multiplied. The teaching force must, of course, be increased. The number of professors and instructors for the three institutions is three hundred and sixteen, with an average of twelve students each.

I have chosen the three institutions cited because they are fairly representative of the acceptance of the university ideal, and stand midway between those of highest and lowest degrees of attainment, and because of my better knowledge of them through a half century's acquaintance with their struggles and their triumphs.

All the State universities of the West are co-educational.



Mysterious moonlight! dripping with soft beams,
Like a great opal on the heart of night,

The city lies asleep. O fair the sight,

Where drifting barges ripple silvery streams

Toward ghostly gates and streets of chrysoprase,

That, murmurous with music, wait for them in dreams.
The new Jerusalem, whose white soul seems
Waiting for heavenly splendor's sheeted blaze
To flood its domes and temples, could not be
More lovely than these earthly scenes that wear
Celestial beauty. Like a falling star

Such thoughts come down to artists; they can see
Eternal cities, royal, ever fair—

Blessed abodes where all pure pleasures are.





LETTER was recently sent to twenty school superintendents in as many Massachusetts cities and towns asking certain questions about the use of corporal punishment in their several schools. Ten cities and ten towns were selected. In choosing these it was the intention to make the list a representative one. The proportion of large and small places, manufacturing and residential towns, seashore and country districts was nearly uniform, thus securing a fair general average of the State in the answers given. The questions were as follows: I. Is corporal punishment employed in your schools? II. If so, to what extent? III. Under what regulations? (a) Administered by the teacher, principal or yourself? (b) In private or in the presence of others? (c) What instrument is used? IV. For what kind of offenses? V. Is it accompanied or followed by moral suasion"? VI. What is your opinion of its value? VII. Do you think it could be dispensed with?

It will be noticed that questions I. to V. inclusive have to do chiefly with matters of fact; while questions VI. and VII. concern personal judgments or opinions. Eighteen of the twenty busy superintendents addressed granted us the courtesy of a more or less extended reply,-a favor which was deeply appreciated. There is a general agreement in the answers relating to matters of fact, except that the extent to which corporal punishment is actually used in various places varies considerably. There is a wide divergence of judgment or opinion as to the necessity and wisdom of its use. Yet a trend of opinion in one direction is noticeable, as will appear presently.

Tabulating the replies according to the questions we note that: I. A simple "yes" or its equivalent answers the first question in 16 out of 18 letters. The 17th says that corporal punishment is used" only in primary schools"; and the 18th answers "seldom; practically it has ceased." II. In the 17 cities and towns where it is practiced more or less the following differences are noted. One superintendent, writing from a large

[ocr errors]


city, reports 86 cases in a whole year. Another in a small country district says: For the fall term of 15 weeks there were reported 61 cases. There are 39 teachers and about nine hundred and fifty pupils." Another, in a city, reports "63 cases in 16 weeks in a school enrolment of 1886." This is a manufacturing city; while another superintendent, from a nearby suburban residential section, reports that "discipline is almost entirely by moral suasion." "About one case a year for every 15 pupils;" "very limited; "very limited;""very slight," are other replies. In all, twelve report that the use of corporal punishment is only occasional and exceptional, while five indicate that it is resorted to with comparative frequency. One, who is included in the twelve just named, puts the matter in a sensible fashion, as follows: "When all other means have been tried a reasonable number of times in the judgment of the teacher and have failed, corporal punishment is used as a last resort before taking the child to court."

III. In fourteen of the replies the teacher, and in three others teacher or principal, is specified as the person who inflicts the punishment. In fourteen cases the report is that it is done in private; in two that it is "optional" with the teacher; in one school it is required that another teacher shall be present as a witness. The rattan is the favorite instrument. It is specified in eleven of the letters. Other instruments are the ruler, strap, strings and hand; while one letter says the matter is left entirely to the choice of the teacher.

IV. Open disobedience, flagrant misdemeanor, insubordination, determined disregard of regulations, impudence, laziness, any gross misconduct, actual rebellion against the authority of the teacher, insolence, constant repetition of offenses wherein other means of punishment have failed are the principal causes enumerated.

V. This question is unanimously answered in the affirmative. One writes that "moral suasion always precedes, accompanies and follows corporal punishment" in his schools. Another says: "The supposition is that moral suasion has always been tried to its limit. However, if in the judgment of the teacher' the child is in an especially receptive mood after the infliction of corporal punishment, moral.suasion may follow."

VI. and VII. The most interesting and significant part of this inquiry is found in the answers given to these questions of opinion as to the value of corporal punishment and the feasibility of abolishing it. Condensing the eighteen answers to the rigid requirements of the space at our disposal the essence of them is as follows: 1. Good as a last resort. If I have a teacher whom I cannot trust to punish properly when the necessity arises I try to find one to take her place whom I can trust. 2. Valueless. It could be dispensed with. 3. Sometimes but not always valuable. Cannot be dispensed with but may be reduced. 4. No question but that it sometimes does good. It could be dispensed with but not without loss, as ordinarily the good of the pupil requires not that he be sent out of the school, but that he be made to behave in school. 5. In the hands of prudent teachers it is exemplary and reformative when other means fail. For the rank and file of teachers it cannot well be dispensed with; but still, the heart is mightier than the birch. 6. Of little value in reforming; keeps some in subjection. I think it could be wholly dispensed with, but my committee differ with me on this point. 7. The best teachers use it the least. The right should not be taken from the teacher, but it is more and more passing out of use. 8. It saves one boy in fifty from the street or the reformatory, and cannot be dispensed with. 9. Do not believe much in it. There are but few cases here in which it is used, and these might perhaps be managed some other way; but I am not sure that I should care to have a rule forbidding it. 10. Valuable to retain it rather than allow one disorderly pupil to disorganize the school. Do not think it could be dispensed with. 11. Valuable only in great emergency, and could be dispensed with. 12. Absolutely indispensable to best interests of some children. I am sure there are instances where a sound thrashing would make the pupil submissive, and in the end bring about his reform without placing upon him the lasting disgrace of a term in the reform school. It should be reduced to a minimum, but I believe that it would jeopardize the souls of certain pupils to dispense with it altogether. 13. I know of repeated cases where it has succeeded when other means have failed. I do not think in the present state of social progress it could be dispensed with.

14. Necessary in some cases as alter

« AnteriorContinuar »