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twenty-five hundred persons had signified their willingness to participate. M. Gréard was asked to occupy the chair at the opening of the congress, which was to be divided into three sections; the minister of instruction had also promised to be present at the opening.
The assembly, which was well attended, was principally occupied with the consideration of four questions, to wit: (1) The benefit derived from national and international educational congresses; (2) instruction in manual labor in the public schools, and organization of schools for mechanics; (3) teachers' salaries in different countries; in what proportion should state and community contribute to the salaries of teachers? (4) the question of practical preparation of candidates for the position of teachers in the normal schools.
The discussions of the third question excited the greatest degree of interest, because the law of the 16th of January, 1781, relating to gratuitous instruction in the public schools afforded some natural advantages to the older teachers, but contained some rather unfavorable passages for the younger men. A rectification of this matter was demanded as far as the finances would permit. The demands of the assembly on this point were comprised in these, which were submitted to the government. The second and fourth numbers of the programme were also thoroughly considered; and again, a renewed interest was manifested in the question of manual training, the plan of which had been determined by the law of December 11, 1880, and by that of March 23, 1882. This subject, which, like no other one, is in need of the warm advocacy of inspired enthusiasts and requires as low penetration into the consciousness of the people at large, was also brought up before the international congress of the year 1889; yet even now it has not been settled in an entirely satisfactory manner, though all are convinced of the importance of this discipline in the educational work of the public schools, and would not agree to abandon it as a branch of instruction?
The question of the benefits of national and international congresses naturally could not be disposed of in one session; the discussion therefore ensued as to the intervals after which such conventions should be held; what persons should be invited as deputies, and what means should be employed for defraying the expenses. It was proposed to elect a permanent committee from the assembled delegates for the purpose of organizing congresses; but the idea was dropped at the request of the minister of education, who had himself expressed his will-. ingness to convene such an assembly in case of necessity.
Mention should here be made of another, namely, the international, technical, commercial, and industrial congress, held in Bordeaux in 1886, which fell between the international congress of Havre and that of Paris in 1887, and enjoyed the patronage of the ministers of commerce and instruction and other high officials. The first subjects brought up were those relating to technical and commercial instruction; the next under consideration was that of the means of promoting the interests of the merchants and tradesmen of the future through public school instruction.
The Congress of Havre had expressed a strong desire to hold a similar congress in Paris in 1887. A journal entitled "Les Congrés Instituteurs" had been started in 1885, which had assumed the task of preparing the way for the Congress of Paris. The first appearance of this journal, issued by an educational society, at once opened the campaign for the idea suggested in Havre of forming a central union composed of the entire body of teachers in France. This journal desired to assemble a congress independently, although it was wellknown that the minister had expressed his willingness to act in the matter. The result of the numerous meetings which were held for the purpose of preparing a national congress, was the unanimous adoption of the following resolutions: First. A friendly league should be formed of all the teachers in each department. These unions collectively, are to form the Union of Teachers of France," Second. The delegates, and all taking part in the congress of 1887, were to take upon themselves the organization of these unions. Third. The "union of the teachers of France" shall endeavor the establishment of permanent international educational congresses.
The most determined adversary of the project of a permanent congress was the minister of education at that time, M. Spuller. In a circular of September 27, 1887, addressed to the prefects, he announced his firm intention to oppose this idea, and also any confederation designed to carry it out. In his opinion the congress would not subserve the purposes of progressive thought, or afford a place for the free interchange of opinions, but would degenerate into a mere wrestling place of passions and a scene of disorder. The circular met with the most violent resistance. The teachers were of the opinion that as they were in
no sense state officials the rights to protect themselves against all political interference should at all times be permitted them.
It may easily be imagined that this delicate matter was broached at the Congress of Paris, yet, as the element of prudence was a prominent one, very little time was devoted to it. Besides, the work before the congress was of such a a serious nature as to absorb all the time and attention of the delegates. The work was divided into five sections, viz, pedagogy, professional interests, provision for old age, the organization of congress, and gratuitous instruction. As the greater part of the questions had been prepared at former discussions the congressional debates could be essentially shortened. The questions submitted to debate were those that occupied the teachers all over France, and their selec-. tion had been made by preliminary inquiries, so that from the beginning these topics met the approval of the majority.
The next and latest international congress in the interest of common-school affairs was held, opportunely, during the Paris Exposition of 1889. It was the result of efforts of the earlier educational congresses, and took the shape of an earnest manifestation of sympathy on the part of foreigners for the aspirations of the promoters of the educational system of France. The resolutions of this congress are still well remembered by all. (After L. Fleischer, Vienna.)
Book production.-The London publishers' circular presents the following analysis of the business done by the publishing trade in England during 1889:
In looking over the analytical table of books published during 1889, which was printed on the last day of that year, an exceptional literary activity was revealed. The figures for 1889 are not quite so large, but still they mark a production of between three and four hundred books more than were counted up and classified in 1888. In other words, the statistics go to show that the year 1889 has produced about one work per diem, Sundays included, more than the output of 1888. Comparing or contrasting the number of publications in 1889 with those of 1888, we find in theology a slight decline, both in new books and new editions. In educational works, also, 1889 has fewer works to show than its predecessor. Books for young people, on the other hand, show a good increase. Of novels and stories there are noted no less than 1,010 new books, besides 364 new editions. This gives the ardent novel-reader as many as three novels for each week day, with a balance to spare, and one new edition for every day.
Germany. The following table of new publications is from the Berliner Börsenblatt:
It is significant that the book production in Germany since 1886 has been steadily increasing, and that the increase is altogether in the direction of the more solid branches of literature, as theology, law, medicine, and natural history. In fiction the advance is almost imperceptible, the increase in the whole department of socalled Schöne literatur (Romane, Gedichte, Theater, etc.) being but sixteen new works.
Germany-In Germany, during late years, the conflict between the gymnasia (classical high schools) and the realschulen (modern high schools) became heated, because all petitions for admission of realschulen graduates to the university were refused by the Government and the university faculties. This is a vital point if we consider that the conditio sinc qua non of a professional man (no one speaks of women in this connection in Germany) is to have gone through the classical high school, i. c., to have spent in the study of Latin and Greek respectively nine and six years. People that opined that one may become, if not a philologist and theologist, at least a physician or scientist and lawyer, without the knowledge of Greek, laid more stress on modern languages and insisted upon a combination of gymnasia and realschulen under the name of real-gymnasia. This kind of school was a hybrid which could not expect to live long, considering the capacity of the juvenile brain. The real-gymnasium endeavored to combine the advantages of the classical and modern high schools, and, of course, overburdened the pupils.
For twenty years the authorities permitted the problem to stand unsolved. Almost unbearable hardships resulted from the fact that the curricula of the high schools were inflexible, non elastic, cast-iron. Ambitious parents of small means made heroic efforts at securing for their sons a better future than thought possible in modest occupations, such as trades and commerce. When the boys failed during their protracted course of professional training (ie., three years in preparatory classes, nine years in the classical high school, and four years in the university), their future was blighted; being "studied men" they were considered "spoiled" for tra les and commerce, and thought themselves too good for manual work. Hence they joined the army of malcontents. Every kind of high school in Germany has special aims in view, hence shapes its course and modes of training accordingly. That a school, and even a college, should be what it is in England and America, a school of general culture, and not a place in which to obtain an education ad hoc, was vigorously preached by Dr. Wichard Lange, Dr. O. Frick, and many others. The educational press devoted much space to plans for a simplifications of curricula and a unification of schools. The literature of Germany on the subject of secondary schools, especially the "Einheitschule" (common school) is quite copious, but the reform made little if any progress.
Conservatism embodied in the highest school authorities of the leading states of Germany adhered to time-honored customs, until recently Emperor Wilhelm II, who has himself been a pupil of a gymnasium, and is fully aware of the un
bearable conditions arising from the attempts at education ad hoc, and chiefly prompted by his desire to counteract the socialistic tendencies (centrifugal, destructive tendencies, as he calls them) of the present time, took the initiative in his capacity as King of Prussia, and called together a number of well-reputed educators, journalists, scientists, legislators, and representatives of the church for a special inquiry into the conditions of secondary instruction in his kingdom. This commission held its sessions from December 4 till December 17, 1890, in Berlin, and formulated a number of propositions for reform of higher education, among which are some that materialize a portion of the hopes of the advocates of ** Einheitschulen."
In future, this commission decided, only two kinds of the sample card of secondary schools now existing shall be preserved: The Gymnasium and the realschule; that is, the classical and modern high school. The former is to prepare for entrance into the university where the learned professions are recruited; the latter to prepare for polytechnicums, for administrative officers, for commerce, agricultural, and technical colleges, etc. The hybrid form, “realgymnasia,” is to be abandoned, all other secondary schools shall in due course of time conform with either of the kinds mentioned. Instead of a uniform, a dual system is advocated, not an "einheitschule," but a "zweiheitschule." Where not enough pupils are found in a small town to construct the entire nine years' course, the upper grades of the high schools of several towns are to be combined in one school in the most centrally located town. But in order to enable these two kinds of high school to follow their course undisturbed, it is thought best to give each its own preparatory classes. This latter measure makes illusory the efforts at unifying or fusing at least the lower classes, and the fiat has gone forth to establish a gulf between those who have means, inclination, or ambition to obtain a higher education and those who have not.
While the work performed by the commission may be said to be a step in the right direction, it does not seem in harmony with the democratic tendencies of the age, since it still necessitates an early decision on the part of the parents as to what the boy (mark the word boy, for the girls are not considered in this connection) is to become. It reestablishes the predestination theory as it were, especially so, because a common substructure for both kinds of high school in form of a common preparatory department is rejected. When we see that the French Republic, with true insight into the best means for its perpetuation, establishes a common school which terminates in a high school and brings the lycées into organic connection with elementary schools; when we see the same organization adopted in the Swiss Republic we conclude that Germany will have a common school ("einheitschule") as soon as it becomes a republic, and not until then. [R. K., in Ed. Review.]
Switzerland. The pastoral conference of the Canton Granbuenden, Switzerland, recently expressed its views concerning the teaching of the classic languages by adopting the following series of theses presented by Rev. Truog:
(1) Latin has become the language of learned men through school, asceticism, and humanism; but since the natural sciences have made their astonishing upward start the classic languages as a study have lost their position. Despite of that they have remained, or rather were kept the leading study in high schools, because they were, or their acquisition was, thought of peculiar pedagogical value.
(2) But the pedagogical value of (particularly) Roman classics is, as far as their contents are concerned, questionable. For the purpose of formative training of the mind, other branches of study are much better suited; moreover their acquisition will aim at general culture, a thing that can not be said of the contents of Latin authors.
(3) For theologians a certain limited quantity of Latin and Greck, however, seems an indispensable thing on account of the necessity of referring to original texts. The same may be true of other learned professions. But while we grant that a knowledge of Greek and Latin is desirable it would seem as though "less would be more -that is to say, the knowledge referred to could be acquired during the last two years of the course.
(4) If, however, we can not do without the classics we might introduce them in translations. All church authorities who have written in Latin have been translated almirably, and there seems to be no urgent necessity for the physicians and lawyers either to surround themselves with a high wall of Latin.
(5) It is in our opinion best to replace Latin and Greek in the lower grades of secondary schools by other branches of study, such as stand in close relation to the urgent demands of modern life.
(6) Every high-school course should be so arranged as to offer during the first
two-thirds of the course a general culture desirable for everybody, and only during the last third of the course the demands of the learned professions should be heeded by offering Latin and Greek. (It must be borne in mind that European high schools have a six to eight, or even nine years' course, beginning with 9 or 10 years, and terminating rarely before the nineteenth year of age.)
(7) If the school is thus designed it will be able to do more for citizenship by teaching history better; more for man himself by teaching hygiene and physiology; more for the business career of thousands of young men by teaching commercial geography, bookkeeping, and modern languages; more for literary culture by teaching the literature of modern times, and more for the prosperity of the country by teaching physics, chemistry, mathematics, and engineering more thoroughly than heretofore; finally, something might be done in the way of technical and industrial training. But as long as the classics claim time and energy of teachers and students, we rear generation after generation of discontented men who can not find a place in this busy li e of modern times.,
We refrain from all reflections, and leave the thinking reader to rhyme these theses with his own views. Many will find it hard work; others will chime in readily. At any rate, there is no half way shilly-shallying about these theologians. And a decided view, be it right or wrong, is better than no v ew at all; hence the expressions couched in the foregoing seven paragraphs have a peculiarly refreshing flavor. (Schweitzer-Schularchiv.)
VIEWS CONCERNING THE PEDAGOGICAL VALUE OF LATIN AND GREEK-A
Since this subject is still a point of pedagogical controversy, a few recent utterances of noted men may be quoted. (Editor "Paed.")
I. Johann von Asboth. (Proceedings of the Hungarian Parliament, Budapest, 1890.)
"If it is the policy of the State to eliminate the study of Greek, if it excludes the antique world from the secondary schools, that is from general national education, it robs the nation of that which can not be replaced. From that moment, especially since the religious ideas of the people are already shaken, a generation will arise that has no contact with the past; a society in which people will think it useless to know where their grandfathers are buried, and still more useless to know what they lived and died for. A generation will spring up which from its lofty summit of enlightenment will look down with derision upon its ancestor's piety and prejudices; it will, with strict logic, come to the conclusion. sooner or later, that reverence for parents has a practical justification only so long as the parents may be immediately useful to us. A generation will grow up indifferent to the past, indifferent also to the future, knowing no other interests than enjoyment, comfort, and tangible gain.
"And when this American view of things, this extreme of Western spirit, meets with the spirit of the East; when this Western longing for enjoyment and profit is not coupled with the feverish activity of the West, when Oriental indolence is not coupled with Oriental temperance and want of pretension, but when the longing for pleasure and gain meets with Oriental indolence and want of habits of industry-as they do with us, alas, so frequertly-then this match will result in a degenerate and ever-sinking society, under whose guidance we shall become a depraved race, but never a nation.
"The proud-spirited Hungarian nation can not, in its present numerical relation to others, be satisfied with playing a subordinate rôle. My opinion is that it will be one of the most fatal errors to nurse the illusion that we, with our numerical strength in this portion of Europe, surrounded as we are geographically and ethnographically, could be able to maintain a state of the second or third rank-a state that need not trouble itself about others, and about which others would not trouble themselves. Such a so-called neutral middle state has never been able to be preserved in the southeast of Europe. The Hungarian nation will either occupy a prominent position in the empire which it supports (and that was the policy of the Arpades, the Anjous and the Hunyadys, and I venture to say was the fundamental principle of Francis Deák's policy), or it will be nothing but an oppressed and degenerate nationality. An intellectual prominence, or the most energetic exertion toward reaching it, is that with which we supplement our unfavorable numerical proportion.
"With this mission it in no way accords that we should eliminate from our national education those studies in which intellectual prominence is represented;
1 Translated from "Paedagogium" (Vienna).