« ForrigeFortsett »
tional disturbance lie the germs of or. must determine the age, which shall be ganic mischief, and that frequent repe. included in the operation of this law. titions of this cause will undoubtedly This will be attended with some dif. end in organic disease. "We can at ficulty. Select any five years of a child's most," says Hufeland, " breathe the same life, and there will be some difficulty to air only four times; for it is then, from say that the law shall lay its hand upon the finest support of life, converted by the child, and take him from the control ourselves into the most deadly poison." of the parent who may need his services
in manual labor. Executive Session of the State Teachers' Asso
2. This measure involves the superseciation. MADISON, Wis., Dec. 29, 1878.
dure of parental authority, or rather the Pursuant to public notice, the Execu- assumption of parental authority by the tive Committee of the Wisconsin Teach. State. This is an innovation. At first ers' Association, with a large number of thought this may not seem far out of the the teachers of the state, met in the room way. As we look at the dangers of the of the bank comptroller, in the state cap- State from ignorance, and the right of itol, and organized under the chairman. the State, it may not seem very objectionship of B. M. REYNOLDS, of La Crosse, able, but it is an innovation, and one President of the Wisconsin State Teach- which will meet with opposition. And ers' Association. J. Q. EMERY, of Fort it may be questioned whether the State Atkinson, was chosen Secretary.
has the right to assume all the authority Prayer was offered by Dr. CHAPIN, of which the enforcement of this law would Beloit College.
require. This supersedure of parental The discussion of the first topic upon authority involves other matters — it the programme, “Compulsory Attend. brings with the question the right of the ance,” was opened by Supt. CHANDLER parents to exercise their judgment as to of Dane county.
the propriety of patronizing certain Mr. CHANDLER said that the pressure schools. Certain parents felt loth to patof official business had prevented him ronize the public schools, and knowing from making a full preparation, but he the circumstances surrounding the public would make no apology. This subject schools, he himself would not only neg. had been fully discussed elsewhere, and lect, but refuse to send to the public a strong pressure was being brought to school. adopt this measure here. All of us, no It was a serious question whether the doubt, wished to do right. He would assumption that the merest rudiments of call attention to a few points which learning wonld make the child a better should be attended to. The topic of com
citizen. He would not argue against pulsory attendance, involves :
learning, but he thought that a little learn. 1st. The enforced attendance of every ing was a dangerous thing. child upon the public school long enough 3. It involves the assumption that the to enable him to read, write and cipher in merest fragment of learning thus acquired simple numbers. We must insist that would render the child a better citizen. this attendance be long enough to reach He was in not in favor of ignorance. He these results. This cannot be accom- was in favor of the most widely spread plished in as brief a time as one would at education. But take away the stimulus first think. It usually takes from five to of love and bring him into bondage to eight years. This then, involves the en. compulsion, and he did not believe that forced attendance upon school during we would gain as good results as now. this length of time. We must look at This law implies, this question i. all its bearings. We 1st. Such an indifference to and neglect of our present school facilities, as to re. The figures taken from his notes of quire it. It would be unwise to ask for visits showed that but one-half of the such a law if there is not the most seri. children in 29 districts were attending ous demand for it. Is there such indiffer- school. But this was not the fact. His ence! To answer this we must fall back visits were all before Christmas: if he to statistics. The figures published show should make his visits now he would find that a large number of our children are fifty per cent. of these absentees at school. not attending school, and our last census The school-houses in his district avershows that illiteracy is on the increase. aged $600 in value. There was expended He had a theory on this point, and did on an average $4.25 for every pupil in the not think it proved this indifference. district. This did not argue indifference.
2. Such an absence of parental care He had a better remedy. It was to have and such indifference to the future wel better schools. He was fearful that in fare of their children as to demand such our great zeal to have schools of a certain a law. It might be well in some cases to kind, we had lost sight of one of the pass laws to provide against some future greatest aims of the common school. It evils. If the depraved tendencies of our is the duty of the teachers, if there are nation are such as to warrant us in be- scholars in the district who do not attend, lieving that our citizens will thus neglect to know the reason why. The old plan their children, then it might be well to of boarding round was not an unmiti. pass such a law. But we need the most gated evil. It would be a good thing if positive proof that such depravity exists. we could have a missionary or two in
3. Such a mercenary spirit and prac. every district. tice in the employment of children of J. Q. EMERY, of Ft. Atkinson contin. tender age in manual labor, as to demand ued the argument. He found himself such a law. If this is the case here alone in his advocacy of compulsory at. among us, we ought to protect the chil. tendance. If he believed in the question dren, and give them at least the care we as stated by Mr. CHANDLER he would also give to dumb animals. But does this state oppose it. The child had a right to an of things exist in Wisconsin? On one education, and no person had a right to side of his district they raised tobacco, take it from him it. He would not favor and it interfered with the schooling of sending all children to the public schools. the children. He would go so far as to We have academies and colleges which favor a law forbidding children to be kept are not public schools. He would hold out of school to tend tobacco. But on that the child had a right to an educathe other side of his district they raised tion and that the State has the right to onions, and to be consistent, he must also enforce this education. The State has a prohibit children from being employed right to say how much we must know at in weeding onions.
least that we may be safe citizens; and it He had alluded to the census report of has the right to demand this education. growing illiteracy. His theory was that The child may get it anywhere, at home the illiteracy does not grow out of neg. or in college, but he must have this. lect of our schools, but it was imported Prof. North of Pewaukee, said he did illiteracy. It was largely composed of not question the right of the State to see grown up young people who were kept that each child should have an educa. from school by their pride. He knew of tion. He would go further, it was the cases where young men grown were read- duty of parents to bring up their chiling in the same class with children of dren to habits of industry. A close logi. six or seven years. This did not look cian might go on and prove that law. like neglect of school privileges.
It is not expedient, for it would fail. No board of supervisors would dare to school. Looking at the working of the put it in force. The dog law could not laws in European countries and in the be enforced.
States in this country where it has been It is not necessary. In Waukesha Co., adopted, and looking at the 54,000 perthe per centage of attendance from 7 to sons in this State who could not write, he 14, was over 86.
thought that the law should step in. Mr. CHANDLER said the attendance in There were over 50,000 children in Wis. his district was over 90.
consin who never attended school at all. Mr. NORTH said he knew that Wauke. Dr. CHAPIN asked if Gen. Fallows had sha county was not at the head, but he discovered any way by which the law held that an attendance of 86 per cent. could be enforced ? gave no caase for alarm for the common. Dr. Fallows said he had not. wealth, and this was the only reason for i Dr. CHAPIN said that GuIZOT said that this law.
GREGORY failed as a reformer from atIn Waukesha county cach child had on tempting too much. an average 40 weeks schooling. A per.
Dr. TWOMBLY said that he was in favor son so educated was not a dangerous cit- of compulsory attendance. This involv. izen.
ed a necessity for it. If there were no A man was not nece
cessarily a bad citi. children to be educated, then there was zen because he could not read and write. need for it, but if children were being He knew plenty of them in Waukesha neglected, then he would be in favor of county. Whenever there was a really a law compelling them. He was satisgood school, there was a good attendance. fied that educational statistics were unre. The idea that every good-for-nothing liable. He knew the law had worked teacher should have the power to compel well at the east. But he was not in favor the children to drink of his muddy water of laws which the moral sentiment of the was an outrage. To make a horse eat, people would not enforce. The first duty give him something better than an empty would be the missionary work. rack. To give better advantages was all Mr. Marsi criticised the statistics. He the compulsion necessary.
knew that many clerks made out these Dr. Chapix, of Beloit College, said: figures without leaving the house. In Two or three questions had arisen in his one instance he visited every family in mind which had been partially answered, the district, and found the number twen. These questions were:
ty-five too high in the clerk's report. 1st. Is it necessary to attain the end : Mr. Rait, of Sheboygan, said that he con. 2d. Is it practicable !
gratulated Messrs. North and CHAND3d. Supposing such a law was enacted, LER upon living in such enlightened rewould it accomplish the object? In some gions. He did not; of all the children communities such might be the only in Sheboygan, only about one-half of the remedy. But such did not seem to be census attended school. He said tnat in the case in Wisconsin. He thought that the factories there were boys deformed illiteracy had been referred to its true by being put to labor before they were cause. He thought that other agencies strong enough, and he knew they were would reach the end quicker than legisla deformed. mentally. tion, of which he thought we had ten
Rev. Mr. PRADT said it was unsafe to times too much.
reason from exeeptional cases; and he Dr. Fallows said that he had been , knew that the state of things at Sheboy. slow in reaching the conclusion that in gan was wholly exceptional. He thought this State the law should step in and com. that our present work should be to make pel the parent to send his children to the schools better; and he thought that
where the schools were good, nearly the | hold institutes. Let each County Superwhole of the children attended school; intendent notify each teacher of the that the effort of attraction should be institute, and publish a list of teachers more thoroughly tried before we resort in attendance, and give to each teacher so to compulsion.
attending five per cent. additional on Superintendent Shaw, of Madison, also examination ; hold the institute in the presented a paper on the subject.
fall; give at the spring examination cerThe subject was still further discussed tificates for only six months. Let each by Prof. O. R. Smith and Mr. MARSH. County Superintendent pledge an attend
The discussion of the subject of Attend. I ance of fifty per cent. of teachers, and a ance on Teachers' Institutes was opened failure to secure this, forfeit the State aid by Prof. Robt. GRAHAM: No one could the next year. He believed that this plan doubt that intelligence was necessary to would secure an enlarged attendance. the well being of a republic. What means He would emphasize particularly the shall be used to secure this intelligence? point of requiring the publication, by Wisconsin has placed upon her Constitu- the County Superintendent, of the work tion that district schools shall always be to be done, so that teachers might come free. To supply these schools requires prepared. If they were well prepared, 6,000 teachers, and to properly train these they would be anxious to come, while it teachers requires special instruction. He they were consciously ignorant, they showed that 90 per cent. of the teachers would shrink from exposing themselves in Wisconsin had received no special to unexpected criticism. training Can a supply of properly The discussion was continued by Prof. trained teachers be obtained? The nor- SALISBURY, of Whitewater. He said the mal schools furnish about 600; colleges cause of education does not command so and high schools will furnish as many much money that it can afford to waste a more, but not one-quarter the number re- dollar of what it has. Our teachers are quired. In this state of things, the mea- not yet so well equipped that they can gre aid of Institutes may be of great afford to neglect any means of improveservice. This Institute work was dis- ment. How shall institutes be made heartening, but faith is necessary. The worth their cost? In compulsory attendNormal Board and the State have both ance, says one; deny licenses to non-at. made ample provision for these institutes. tending teachers, say others. The first Every County Superintendent is obliged essential to an increased and satisfactory to hold one each year. They should be attendance upon the institutes of the held mainly in September and October, State, is that they be made to command to be immediately followed by examina- the confidence of the educational public. tion. They should be held five days,with To secure this, institutes must be made two sessions a day. Work to be done really valuable. But grant perfection to will be as follows: one-half given to in the institute itself, there is yet a class of struction; one-third given to school so-called teachers who will not voluntamethods; one-sixth to model class-work rily seek the aid offered. They have no and criticism. Teachers do not attend love for perfection even, if it demand of these institutes,--not 50 per cent. of the them any intellectual exertion or pecuni. the teachers attend.
ary outlay. How shall they be brought Let the State Superintendent see that to the fountains, except they be comeach County Superintendent holds an in- ! pelled? The institute can do but little stitute, as required by law. Let the State for such. Superintendent publish a list of County The superintendent who asks for comSuperintendents, who do, and do not, pulsory legislation gets no sympathy of mine. He, of all men, can, if he will, do of the ancient classics in our high schools most to improve the teaching force, and and colleges, and fully believed in the to keep out the cheats and the drones, to practical utility of classical studies. He awaken enthusiasm in the worthy, and 10 had observed that pupils who had been lead them to all sources of inspiration drilled in the ancient tongues graduated and improvement. But there are certain from the high school with a far superior outward and, so to speak, mechanical culture, and a better preparation for the measures, the adoption of which will do higher courses of instruction, than those much to assist both superintendent and who had not pursued such studies. teacher in overcoming untoward circum- Prof. SALISBURY thought that these stances. Let it be once understood that studies should be required in the Normal the institute is a fixed institution of reg. School, as the power of discrimination ular recurrence at convenient seasons and by this study was precisely what the places, and a great step is gained. Punc- teacher needs. quality on the part of conductors and President CHAPin asked if it would not lecturers is important. Satistactory and be advisable to begin the study of gramdefinite arrangements for cheap board mar with Latin rather than with English, and good accommodations are of the as is the custom. He said that at ten highest consequence. But if we must years of age he had acquired a sort of have any compulsion in the matter, let it knowledge of English grammar, and was be local and indirect. This is the conclu- pronounced competent to parse any Eng. sion of the whole matter: the institutes lish sentence. Then he went to grammar must be made strong, practical, reliable, school and began Latin grammar. Here attractive, even though they cost more a new world opened to him, and he saw money and labor than has yet been ex- that all he had learned in English grampended. But above all and behind all mar was a mere mechanical exercise; there must stand an intelligent, honest, but here he saw that no sense could be live supervision. Time and patience are got out of a Latin sentence before the necessary; good work must be done and grammar of it was understood. And he continue, and in this we will put our would raise the question whether it trust.
would not be advisable for children to Prof. MCGREGOR, of Platteville, said it begin the study of grammar in the Latin would be the merest impertinence for him grammar.' to aitempt to add anything to what had Prof. KERR said that his experience been said; but he would most heartily would lead him to answer the question endorse the views presented by Prof. by President CHAPIN in the affirmative. SalisBURY.
He had always considered the time spent Prof. ALLEN, of the State University, in the abstrusities of English grammar then presented a paper upon the “Utility as entirely wasted. of classical studies as a means of mental Prof. CARPENTER stated that the reason discipline."
why English grammar is so generally [This paper is given in full in the pres. useless is because it is not English grament number of the JOURNAL.]
mar, but Latin grammar in an English Prof. WINCHELL, of Milwaukee,said that form. he would not attempt any remarks in ad. Prof. FELLING said that he was surdition to the able and admirable essay of prised to find this topic brought up as a Prof. ALLEN. He considered the subject question for discussion, as he supposed it as one of great interest, and one worthy long ago settled. He thought the great the careful attention of the teachers. He benefits of the study of language were was heartily in sympathy with the study due to the formative elements; and in