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nation lays stress. They will do this for the sake of the pupils, who will be the first to feel and to suffer from an unfavorable judgment, from a failure to come up to his expectations. A particularly zealous teacher will also be apt to familiarize himself with the predilections and weaknesses of the man, and to avail bimself of them. We know how a change of inspectors acts in the army.
In this case, the thing may be said to be necessary; in the army, uniformity and the subordination of one's own judgment to that of a superior are absolutely necessary. It is all-important in this case that there should be unity in the carrying out of orders, whether the order itself be the best possible or not. In mental life, on the other hand, unity and uniformity are by no means essential considerations; on the contrary, power and wealth here rest upon diversity and individuality. Similarly, examination makes for the average and for mediocrity; it has a tendency toward uniform, satisfactory marks for every one in every branch. In all mass examinations superior merit has but a modest opportunity to make itself felt. The tasks must be set for the average; that which is below attracts more attention than that which is above. This is true of the individual candidate; it is true of the individual branches also.
A decided deficiency in one branch is more noticeable than excellence in another. And, in itself, such lack of uniformity in culture, even if the examination regulations tolerate it by the admission of compensatory work, is looked upon as a tendency to irregularity and eccentricity. In all examinations, therefore, those will have the best chances who, without strongly marked special inclinations and talents, tread the beaten track of uniform task-work; whereas persons with a decided, pronounced individuality and special bent in talent suffer thereby. Without doubt the former represent a very respectable type of pupil and official; but there can be no doubt that in all departments of intellectual life progress proceeds not from conventional mediocrity, but from strong, even one-sided and irregular natures. Conventionality is good for many things, but not for hewing out new paths for thought and action.
It appears, then, after all has been said, that official examinations have a tendency to suppress individuality, to foster lack of independence, to magnify the importance of external knowledge and to blunt the power of independent judgment. The whole unfortunate business, which at present goes by the name of "culture,” the " having studied,” and “ being able to talk about" things, is evidently also connected with the development of the system of public examination.
Examinations compel the taking up of studies without regard to the inner needs and natural faculty; they foster a habit of having studied things and of being able to speak about them; they prevent the search for what is suited to individual talent. Finally, by the certificate, they tempt the student to a false self-confidence and selfesteem, for, naturally, if the official seal certifies to the “ maturity” or to the “ facultas,” it follows that it must exist. Am I mistaken if I say that in the eighteenth century the spontaneity of the desire for culture and the feeling of personal responsibility were greater in the world of learned professions than they are to-day?
While Dr. Paulsen points out their injurious effects, he would not abolish examinations altogether. Some of these effects may be reduced or averted; at any rate, he gives rules that look that way. As for the rest of them, they will have to be regarded as necessary evils. Dr. Paulsen concludes as follows:
Practical Conclusions. - The exposition of the injurious accessory effects of examinations does not justify the demand for their abolition. Examinations are necessary evils. We cannot wish to return to the system of individual pleasure and patronage; but it is well to realize that such concomitant effects exist, and are unavoidable. For our first rule of conduct we shall, therefore, have to adopt the maxim, “Examinations must not be multiplied beyond necessity.”
Examinations that can be dispensed with should be discontinued (for instance, the examination at the close of the sixth year). Bureaucracy favors them; they suit its predilection for regularity and mediocrity. Hence, Prussia is most richly blessed with them. As has been said by H. v. Treitschke, a man who in other respects accords abundant appreciation to the Prussian system, “ Our pernicious examination nuisance — in fact, really a curse of Germany - is unfortunately of Prussian origin.” (In the recently published Lectures on Politics, I., 43.)
But for the examiners it might be well to observe the following rules :
(a) Look for the positive acquisitions of the student. Examination as such has the opposite tendency, - it gives prominence to the deficiencies.
(6) Begin with easy, simple, definite questions. The missing of a question and answer in the beginning frequently confuses and upsets the whole affair.
(c) Treat errors and blunders in accordance with Galatians vi., 1 ; “ Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself lest thou also be tempted.”
(d) Do not forget that for most men an examination does not afford a good opportunity to appear in a favorable light; for this reason subjoin, as occasion may require, additis addendis.
(e) On the other hand, while attending to the suaviter in modo do not forget the fortiter in re. To recommend the lazy and ignorant is equivalent to robbing the diligent and capable.
The Spirit of the Normal School Admission Examinations. - Now normal school admission questions are framed, candidates examined and final judgments rendered in the spirit, it is believed, of the five foregoing rules of Dr. Paulsen. In the entire process prominence is given (1) to the candidate's attainments, and not to his deficiencies; (2) to simplicity and diversity of themes, that he may have a choice of subjects and a choice within his range; (3) to considerate treatment of his errors, blunders and omissions ; (4) to supplementary facilities, of which he may take advantage to show his fitness; and (5) to the rejection, at last, in the interests of those who are accepted, of any
in whom the various acts of indulgent treatment fail to discover signs of promise. One principal thing, however, demanded from all candidates, and that is the use of reputable English. If, in addition, the idea of sharply marking papers with definite percentages is abandoned, as in general it ought to be, and the idea of putting a general estimate upon them, as showing power or a lack thereof, is adopted, then it becomes feasible in an examination to abandon formulas, rules, definitions, dates and such things as may be memorized or recited, and resort to a class of exercises that compel a little more of thinking, a little more of the marshalling and arranging of material, a little more of attention to the forms of expression, a little larger revelation of one's mental power. Now, the latter class of exercises does not tend so much to foster cramming in the schools below as the former. Facts can be crammed, but not culture. It would be a lamentable result if the examinations for admission to the normal schools should seriously swerve the high schools from their obvious duty of doing their best for the growth and culture of their pupils into special efforts to anticipate the questions of examiners. The normal schools should be a stimulus to the schools below, but not in
Preliminary Examinations. — In order to reduce the pressure of the admission requirements, if such there is, upon the high schools, the Board recently authorized their division into preliminary and final examinations, the former being taken a year in advance of the latter. Sixty-four candidates availed themselves in June, 1899, of this privilege.
KINDERGARTENS. Public Kindergartens. — The following is a table of the public kindergartens in the State :
XXXV. Table of Kindergarten Statistics for the State.
* Established September, 1898.