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children. Hence her success, especially in the primary departments of school work, suffers nothing by comparison with that of the other sex. And in higher departments also, and in positions requiring executive or administrative talent, her work is often at a premium rather than at a discount. Doubtless the best results in education are to be secured under the influence of accomplished teachers of both sexes. As skilled artists, the delicate feminine touch of the one and the vigorous masculine touch of the other are both necessary to give the highest beauty of form and finish to the plastic nature of youth.
The small proportion of male teachers to be deplored.-State Superintendent John W. Dickinson, of Massachusetts: The standard of qualifications for teaching has considerably advanced in ten years, so that the demand for men and women fitted to take important positions far exceed the supply. As a consequence women of experience are now called to positions formerly occupied by men who taught for a brief term to obtain pecuniary aid in preparing for other pursuits. The policy is doubtless as wise in many instances as it is cconomical, but the small proportion of male teachers is certainly to be deplored.
Why so?-The Chicago Evening Post: Shall a woman of strong character and great ability, who has made a long and honorable record in the public schools of Chicago, be refused promotion because she is a woman?
Why should they not do so?-Educational News: A New York journal publishes it as a fact that the Mercantile Library of New York has but one member who reads educational books, and adds that teachers ask for novels. Well, probably teachers find a better supply of novels in the Mercantile Library than elsewhere. If so, why should they not enjoy them? Probably, also, these same teachers have a supply of pedagogical literature at their homes, and they seek for the lighter and more entertaining reading elsewhere. If so, why should they not do so? The statement might mean much, and it may mean but little. We know of no class of people who would more fully enjoy the classical fiction or even the lighter literature of our language than teachers. Surely the constant strain which they suffer during the working hours of the day entitles them to whatever inno cent recreation they can get, even if it be the novels of the Mercantile Library
The supreme question.-Superintendent Henry Sabin (Iowa): Except only the question of moral training, all other questions sink into insignificance compared with this of supplying the schools in our smaller cities and towns and in our country districts with competent teachers.
The pensioning of teachers recommended. The following resolution was adopted by the department of superintendence of the National Educational Association at its Philadelphia meeting (February, 1891):
Justice, as well as the best public service, requires the retirement and pensioning of teachers after a service of thirty years and upon carefully devised conditions. We recommend the enactment of laws in the several States to permit and to regulate the retirement and pensioning of professional teachers.
Against pensions.-C. W. Bardeen (Syracuse, N. Y.): Pensions after a certain amount of service will make it only the more difficult to get rid of incompetent teachers who wish to complete that term of service.
Master teachers wanted-How to secure them.-President D. C. Gilman in the Cosmopolitan: The tendency of our times is not toward the fostering of such teachers (as Arnold, Thring, Abbott, Taylor]. Many of the brightest Americans are attracted by business. The three professions traditionally called learned and the modern scientific pursuits enlist great numbers. Of those who devote themselves to teaching the most prefer to enter the service of the college or the university. Few only, so far as my acquaintance goes, seek permanent careers in the service of boys' schools; few declare that they will be satisfied with the opportunities and emoluments of a good and faithful teacher. Hence one of the most delightful of intellectual pursuits, one of the most useful, one of the most honorable, one of the most sacred, is in danger of falling into the hands of inferior men. The only remedy that I can see is for the head masters, trustees, and parents to be on the watch, and when a born teacher appears engage him, reward him, encourage him, retain him. See that his path is free from stones, that he is not overworked or harassed, and that he is kept contented in his lot. Let him be sure that as much respect and as much income will be his as would fall to his portion were he to enter the pulpit or be called to the bar. Let it never be forgotten that the teacher's gifts are as rare as the poet's. The methods of education can make scholars, pedants, specialists, and a very narrow man
may live in his den and benefit the world by patient observations and minute researches. But no process has been discovered for making teachers. They are like gems, that must be found, for they can not be produced. I would rather place a schoolboy under one "all-round man" whose manners, morals, and intellectual ways were exemplary, and who was capable of teaching him Homer and Euclid, than under a group of specialists selected simply as mathematicians, physicists, and linguists. Later on, when the character of a boy is established, when his habits are formed, when he knows how to study, when he has learned the art of acquiring knowledge and the graces of expression, let the specialists take hold of him. Even then let it be provided that the specialists shall not
be too narrow.
The valid objection to free text-books.-S. S. Parr: All things considered, free books promise most to our schools. There is but one valid objection to this system, and that is the communistic one. The State undertakes to do what the individual should be left to do for himself. Doubtless, free books would be a long step towards solving the knotty problem of how to more efficiently educate the children of foreign-born parents, who are deterred from the full benefit of the public schools by the cost of books and appliances. They would also solve the questions of cost and economy.
A warning voice from out of the past.—Azariah C. Flagg (State superintendent, New York, in 1830): Great improvements are constantly going on in the character of school books. The greatest experience and much of the best talent of the country are enlisted in this business, and the fruits of their labors are constantly giving them new claims to the approbation of the public. The adoption of a particular book would amount to a prohibition upon all improvements and subject the inhabitants to a loss of the prohibited books on hand. The interests of the common schools may be seriously endangered and can not be essentially benefited by the adoption by law of any book or set of books.
The text-book system of Ontario.-Hon. George W. Ross, minister of education: No text-books can be used in any public or high school of the province until sanctioned by the department. There is now but one text-book in each of the subjects taught in the public schools. In the case of high schools more than one text-book is used in some of the subjects, although the tendency is towards the same limitation as prevails in the public schools. When a text-book ceases, in the opinion of the department, to serve its purpose it is set aside and a more advanced one substituted. The price of the text-book, the quality of the paper, style of binding, typography, etc., are all regulated by the department. Under a statute, boards of trustees may provide free text-books for pupils in cities, towns, and incorporated villages.
NOTES FROM EUROPEAN EDUCATIONAL PERIODICALS.
Associations.-2. Bibliography.-3. Classic Languages.-4. City School Systems.-5. Compulsory Attendance.-6. Crime.-7. Exhibitions.-8. Hygiene.-9. Illiteracy.—10. Language Study.-11. Libraries for Pupils and for Teachers.-12. Manual Training.-13. Medical Supervision.-14. Miscellaneous.-15. Museums.-16. National School Systems.-17. Pensions.-18. Psychology.-19. Religious and Moral Instruction.-20. Salaries.-21. Secondary Education.-22. Secular Sunday Schools.-23. Special Schools.-24. Superior Education.-25. Teachers.
Denmark. From the 6th to the 8th of August, 1891, was held the sixth Scandinavian school meeting in Copenhagen. These meetings were at first frequented chiefly by primary teachers, as the topics discussed concerned primary schools solely, and secondary teachers had their separate philologists' meetings; but at the last two meetings there have been also lectures and discussions on subjects concerning secondary schools, the result of which has been a discontinuation of the previous philologists' meetings. The last conference numbered 5,300 visitors, 3,000 of whom were from Denmark, 1,100 from Norway, 1,000 from Sweden, and 200 from Finland. (Allg. D. Lztg.)
Germany.—The German National Teachers' Union hau 44,449 members on July 1, 1891. Seventeen local teachers' associations joined the union during the last half year. (Paed. Ztg.)
Saxony. The "Pedagogical Circle" of the women teachers in Dresden has closed the twenty-sixth year of its existence. The number of its members exceeds 300. The society has listened to several courses of professional lectures, and special courses in botany, French, drawing, and gymnastics that were arranged for the younger members. The society maintains a bureau of information for teachers without positions. It has a sick fund from which during the year 1899 eight members were supported for several weeks and even months. (Die Lehrerin.)
Prussia. The pastoral letter of the bishop of Ermland (province of Prussia), in which he objects to independent teachers associations, has had quite the contrary effect to what he aimed at. The teachers are clubbing together more than ever before. In resolutions couched in respectful terms, they say that while they shall never be found wanting in respect for the clergy, they energetically protest against ecclesiastical interference, and all inroads made into their natural and political rights. (Allg. D. Lztg.)
France. The first timid attempts at holding national teachers' meetings in France for the purpose of discussing professional affairs date back to the year 1840; they were kept up for ten years, and then ceased, until revived in 1871. Not until that year did these meetings show a firm organization, adapted to promote the successful exchange of professional ideas and practical coöperation. The example of other states was decisive. The great educational meetings in Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland induced the French teachers to attempt similar meetings, and they were well and readily supported by the centralized state authority.
The first large teachers' meeting was held in 1878 in Paris. Though the elementary or common school claimed the lion's share of attention, it did not occupy the meeting exclusively. The elementary school did not then have the
excellent organization which to-day we have reason to admire; on the other hand, owing to several important events, political personages had to be drawn into the proceedings, persons who carried the discussions into the domain of higher education. Here, naturally, principles of pedagogy and general educational questions claimed the attention. The claim to an equal education for all citizens was urged. Upon this basis it was thought the endeavor to combine the different branches of instruction, as well as the different kinds of schools, might be successful. The result of this discussion was the adoption of ideas indicating fundamental reforms, according to which education was to be conducted "with motives of justice, freedom, and love for the young." Besides these questions, others relating to gratuitous, obligatory, and secular instruction were discussed.
As the work which had been laid out for this congress could not well be finished within the prescribed limit of time, another session was held in Paris in the year 1879, in which questions were discussed touching the protection of children, freedom of instruction, moral education, and instruction in civics, also concerning the teaching of language, drawing, and manual labor.
Although it can not be denied that the members of this congress were actuated by a great love for the cause of youth, one is on the other hand obliged to admit that their demands were pushed rather too far. They put in the claim that every school should possess a workshop, a garden, a library, a museum, and a laboratory; also a panorama of history and geography, and a hall for musical and other entertainments. They further insist that the site of the school buildings should be as attractive as possible, and that the buildings should have a handsome exterior. All these demands were naturally shipwrecked on the rock expense, especially as instruction was gratuitous; however, the congress had this good result: that public attention was directed towards the school question, and the school officers and functionaries spurred to renewed activity in this department, in which so much remained to be done. The school authorities henceforth gave much closer and more constant attention to the subject of instruction in manual labor, since they recognized how very important to a comprehensive education is the early training of hand, eye, and taste.
The next congress, which also held two sessions in Paris in the years 1880 and 1881, owed its existence to private initiative exclusively. It met to give expression to the wishes of the friends of education in France and other countries, who were joined by a small number of French public school teachers. The idea of educational congresses periodically meeting had not taken root very deeply among teachers of the public schools, and yet it was necessary to make teachers of the primary schools acquainted with important educational questions and to afford them an opportunity for exchange of opinions. Moreover, there were brought to discussion in parliament, owing to the interposition of the minister of instruction, Jules Ferry, legislative questions relating to school matters, the solution of which was anxiously looked for in every direction. The French Government, particularly at that time, voluntarily favored the wishes and endeavors of teachers.
Formerly, the national administration of education had been satisfied with assembling certain teachers to hold a sort of professional conference in which the wishes and projects of the government were submitted and discussed. But now the administration frequently called together conventions of teachers; their opinions were asked, and they were invited to propose principles and methods for the better regulation of instruction; but the administrative officers held themselves far aloof from all direct influences of teachers. This mode of procedure is still in vogue at the present time, and although the learned and far-famed M. Gréard, vice-rector of the Paris Academy and as such the representative of the government, constantly appears as the chairman of the teachers' convention in France, this surely is not done with the idea of winning the teachers over to the views of the government, or to allure them into the government's camp. The honorable character of the great savant is a sufficient guaranty againstall that. The respect which is so universally manifested toward his experience and his stately presence, excludes anything like underhanded actions. He endeavors most strenuously to exclude every personal matter from the debates, and to insure free discussion to all. His work consists chiefly in devoting his ripe experience and his talents to the service of the good cause. He only takes part in debates in order, as he himself once remarked, "to obtain result (by means of votes) which may be recognized as the expression of the common views of those present."
Animated by this truly liberal-minded spirit the congresses met in the years
1880 and 1881, but their work not being finished, it was resolved to hold a third congress in the following year.
The first assembly united the male and female principals of the normal schools and a number of public school inspectors. The second consisted of the public school teachers, whilst the third saw in its midst the faculties of all the normal schools and the practice departments connected with them.
The questions discussed were as follows:
In the year 1880:
1. The educational organization of ungraded public schools.
2. The methods of obtaining a better preparation of students for the normal schools.
In the year 1881:
1. Means for improvement of school attendance.
2. Instruction and education in the lower grades of public schools.
In the year 1883:
1. What are the experiences that have been made up to this time with the newly organized normal schools in regard to teaching force, supervision, and dormitories?
2. What difficulties are encountered in carrying out the new courses of study, especially in regard to psychology and morals?
3. Organization of practice schools and their extension.
4. Questions concerning the service which a normal school can render the teachers of the province.
All these questions were discussed in a practical and definite manner; most of them had already been considered in the assemblies of the cantons and departments. After the congress had disbanded, its proceedings were given to the public on the part of the ministry. Cours Pédagogiques de 1881 et 1883 (Paris, Imprimerie Nationale).
The reproach has been cast upon this congress that it was entirely official; but although we recognize the importance of conventions perfectly independent and free from any official interference, yet, on the other hand, we must also admit that a liberal ministry not disinclined to reform will surely avoid everything that might arouse a suspicion of partiality. Judging by the spirit which characterizes the French educational administration, it can not be doubted that its aim was and is merely to learn the views of its most important fellow-workers in the great cause of education, and these most assuredly are the teachers. It invites them to conferences, follows their labors, tests their results, and carries out their plays as far as it is practicable. Although financial difficulties often frustrate the good intention of the French Government, we must for that reason not think that the government in its cooperation with superiors and subordinates fails to see the best solution of the difficult educational problems.
Thus, then, the first step toward inaugurating large teachers' meetings was made. Those who participated in the congress returned to their homes with the consciousness of having fulfilled their duty, but also with the wish that they might soon again take part in such an assembly; for they had the satisfaction of seeing that Parliament and school authorities hastened to embrace in legisla tive bills some of the requests which had been brought up in the congress. It was not long before the next great convention was held. It took place in the city of Havre, in the year 1885.
Havre had always been noted for her friendliness to the schools, as well as her excellent school institutions. Her public and business schools are considered the best in the whole country; her school buildings, as far as elegance and stately architecture are concerned, are unequaled in France. The city from time to time sends teachers to foreign countries in order that they may learn other systoms of education, and it was first in Havre where a "Society for Objective Instruction" displayed in schools and societies by means of lantern slides the most important discussions of modern times. the miracles of nature and industry, in a manner suited to the ordinary understanding.
The suggestion to hold an International Congress of Teachers was made by the mayor of the city. M. Jules Siegfried. In his resolution relating to this measure, he emphasized the importance of congresses in all the departments and especially in that of education, because it was only in this way that valuable and tried improvements could find entrance. All partake of the benefit derived from them, teachers, pupils, families, and the country itself. The resolution was adopted, and a committee composed of representatives of the teaching profession and of the state officials was intrusted with the preparatory work. The assembly was to take place at the end of September, and at the beginning of August