« ForrigeFortsett »
than it is to "superintend the studies" of a college class; let our first efforts be directed to exceedingly elementary instruction. The want of this is the deficiency in our schools as they
The real district school teacher should be willing and able to act as a missionary-a pioneer in the cause of popular education. New school houses, ventilated rooms, perfect desks, scrapers, mats, and dressing rooms, are not to be despised, as accessories to a good school. Yet, an elm tree, with a true, full-hearted teacher beneath it, will be a better school, than any mere money-earning drudge can make, even though he has a palace for his accommodation.
A teacher must, in these days, work without reward, unless he can realize that wealth which money can never measure; a cheerful, contented spirit, as the reward of an unselfish life. Ye cannot serve school and your own pockets.
In concluding this outline of views, which were presented to the Institute, it seems proper to express the keen enjoyment which the writer experienced in presenting them; the pleasure with which he has now complied with the unexpected request of the teachers, to prepare a sketch for reference and preservation; and the earnest desire which he entertains for the advancement of popular education--not by money, nor by show and public festivities, but by Christian zeal on the part of teachers determined to learn to teach, and by awakened effort on the part of parents and citizens, to really and truly ed
THE RELATION OF SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES.
The following extracts from a Report of Prof. Andrews, of Marietta, upon the relation between schools and colleges, contain so much good sense upon this subject that we are very glad to republish them. We only regret we cannot give the whole address.— We copy from the Ohio Journal of Education:
Another principle universally recognized, is, that there must be classification-classification of schools as well as in schools. The schools themselves must be arranged in classes, as well as the pupils in a particular school. There is no one feature made more prominent than this, by the best instructors in the nation. Its introduction into our towns has wrought a most wonderful transformation. There would be elementary schools for beginners, then others of higher and higher grades, till ample provision should be made for the general education of every child and youth in the State. We should not expect that each pupil would complete the whole Yet the number that would attempt this, would be in pro
portion to the completeness of the classification, and to the excellence of the instruction in the elementary departments. Nor do we now inquire how many or how high grades should be established in any individual township, town, or city; we affirm only that, somewhere, institutions should be provided, in which the wants of all might be met. To equalize perfectly the advantages of any system would be manifestly impossible. The more dense the population, the more complete the classification could be made. In the more sparsely settled regions, after progressing as far as their neighborhood schools could carry them thoroughly and economically, the more studious would seek admission into the High School or Academy of the nearest large town. And if any should wish to make acquisitions beyond what the High School could furnish, they must repair to institutions of still higher grade.
Thus far our supposed system. Now, taking the State as a whole, have we not substantially the system already, so far at least as this feature of classification is concerned? Is there not provision for the child, from his entrance into the primary school, until he shall have finished the whole range of studies deemed necessary to a liberal education? I do not say that these schools, of whatever grade, are, in every particular, precisely what they should be, but that the institutions exist which profess to furnish, each in its sphere, all that a finished general education requires.
From what has been said, we cannot mistake as to the connection between Schools and Colleges. Colleges constitute the highest grade of our non-professional educational institutions. They are an integral part of the system, sustaining to the High School and Academy precisely the same relation which these sustain to the lower schools.
Until recently, all non-professional institutions have been ranged in three divisions-Common Schools, Academies, and Colleges. Of these three, the College has been much the most specific in its character. It has undertaken a more definite work than either of the others. In them a much greater variety of attainment has always been found. The Academy has admitted multitudes that ought to have been in the School, and the School has been compelled to retain many that should have been found in the Academy. In practice, there has been no boundary line between them, except in the case of a very few of our best Academies. But the College has always had its boundaries on either side. It has required a definite amount of literary attainment for entrance, and the completion of the prescribed course of study, is the completion of the student's connection with it. The inmates of the College have also been required to arrange themselves in classes, that the instruction might be rendered as efficient as possible, by giving ample time to the recitations, and by permitting the instructors to confine themselves to particular branches. Thus, Colleges have ever conformed to the two great features of classification.
The other departments of what I have called general education, are now beginning to follow the example of the College, in the mat
ter of classification. Formerly, the common school and the academy had no limitation in the range of studies. The pupil might enter when he chose, and remain as long as he chose. And so long as his teacher was willing to hear him, he might study what he chose. Thus, the Teacher was sometimes required to pass from a recitation in the primer to one in Virgil-from one in the elements of numbers to one in Trigonometry. But an improvement has commenced.The principle of division of labor, so long in use in our colleges, is beginning to be applied to schools. Most of our towns now have their Graded Schools, each possessing a definite course of study, which the pupil must complete before he can pass on to the next higher; and when he has completed it, he must pass on. The advantages of this arrangement are so manifest in theory, and in its practical workings it combines so fully both economy and efficiency, that no doubt can be indulged of its general prevalence.
It is sometimes said that "Colleges are behind the age." It is one of the most general of all generalities, and may mean anything or nothing. Whatever may be intended by it when applied to Colleges, we have seen that one of the greatest improvements introduced into our schools has been adopted from the Colleges; so that, if they are behind the age, they at least have the Union Schools to keep them company.
The College then is, chronologically, the last school in our general school system. Using the most general classification and nomenclature, we have five departments-the Primary, the Secondary, the Grammar School, the High School, and the College, occupying from two to four years each. They all have the same end in view, and differ only in the order of succession. Some think that Colleges are intended specially for professional men; and so many think that High Schools and Academies are for the special benefit of the rich. The two opinions are deserving of equal credit. From the day the boy commences the alphabet, to the day that terminates his collegiate course of study, he is pursuing those studies which the intelligent voice of mankind has pronounced to be the best adapted to the development of his intellectual faculties. Examine the course of study in all the best Union Schools in Ohio, and you will find a remarkable similarity. Go to other States, and it is still the same.Whence has it arisen? Manifestly from the conviction, in the minds of intelligent men engaged in the work of instruction, that these studies, each in its place, are just what the wants of the pupils require.
If, as I have before supposed, the whole school system were to be reconstructed, should we not have, substantially, the same grades as now exist? It would hardly be affirmed that the highest grade is unnecessary, because some of our young men are too highly educated. Nor would it be said that the studies of that grade could be better pursued without instructors. Professional education is obtained by the aid of teachers, and that, in most of the professions, at a very heavy expense. Much more, then, does general education, which precedes professional, require instructors.
What institutions shall furnish the closing portion of a good general education? Were our High Schools to attempt it with their present organization, they would violate the principle that lies at the basis of Graded Schools. Give them a large corps of instructors, and increase the time to six or eight years, and they might do it.-In that case, however, they must be divided into at least two grades ; the upper of which would be, in substance, a College. But, except in the case of our large cities, the expense of such an arrangement would be an insuperable obstacle. The Metropolitan City is now making the experiment with her Free Academy, and we doubt not that it will be successful.
But even if all our large cities had institutions of the highest grade for their own youth, they could not meet the wants of the citizens of our towns and townships. Parents would not send their children to the cities. There must be institutions, located at eligible points, to meet these wants. We have them already, and they are called Colleges. What link is wanting in the system? It may be enlarged and perfected, but it now seems to be a continuous system-an uninterrupted succession of links.
I have dwelt more upon the relation of Colleges to the other parts of the system, because of the vagueness which exists in the minds of not a few, as to the precise place which Colleges occupy in our educational machinery. If the view now presented is the true one, the College is the highest of our institutions for general education, as distinct from professional. The culture which it gives may be more essential to certain occupations than to others, but it is because these require a higher culture. In this, it is not peculiar. It is the same from the beginning of the school course. Especially is it true of the High School and Academy. But who calls these professional? Or what Teacher, who is worthy of the name, would hesitate to affirm that the studies of the High School would be of incalculable value to every lad, no matter what might be his future employment? From beginning to end, through every stage of the educational process, which commences in the primary school and closes with the college, the culture is intended for the future man, as man-as a being endowed by his Creator with noble faculties, which need development; and not for him as a merchant, or a farmer, or a lawyer, in distinction from the other pursuits of life.
When a lad applies for admission to the public schools of this city, is the inquiry made, what is to be his future avocation, and are his studies arranged accordingly? By no means. Who can tell, in this land of ours, what is to be a lad's future career? The only inquiry is, what are his present attainments? These known, certain studies are assigned him, which are precisely what he needs; and no material alteration would be made, could the instructor pierce the veil of futurity and know absolutely the occupation of the future man.Neither, I venture to assert, does any superintendent excuse a lad from the study of arithmetic because he avows that he has no love for the study, or because a phrenological examination should develop the fact, that the mathematical bump was rather below than above
the average. And yet, because Colleges do precisely in this respect what is done in the best schools in the land, we find men, otherwise well informed, declaring that the present college system does not meet the wants of the age.
Let it be remembered, that the principles of these objections, so far as they are based on any principles, legitimately carried out with respect to the other parts of our great school system, would utterly annihilate its highest excellencies. Every blow aimed at what is called the "compulsory" principle in our Colleges, is just as truly a blow at the system of Graded or Union Schools. They are parts of the same great and beautiful system, and are based on one and the same principle-perfect classification.
To remodel the College System by taking away the "compulsory" principle, i. e., the principle of complete classification, and permitting each student to make his own selection of studies, would be like giving up our Graded Schools and going back to the single district system. Yet such a plan has its advocates, who claim, withal, to be in the very van of the world's progressives. They say, a young man's tastes must be consulted-the studies must be adapted to his mental idiosyncracy-or there will be no real discipline of the faculties; and, again, his proposed pursuit in life must determine his course of study. They do not tell us what is to be done, when his future occupation pulls him in one direction, and his mental idiosyn cracy in the opposite.
If an institution attempts to fit one young man to be a farmer, another to be a merchant, and so on, through all the multiplied avocations of society, its right to do so cannot be questioned: this is a free country. But just so far as it does this, it becomes a profess ional school, and withdraws itself from the work of general education. And yet, strangely enough, it is on this professional characteristic, that the claims of such institutions to public favor are based. The points of difference between them and other Colleges, are just those between them and the best Graded Schools. So far forth as they differ from other Colleges, they have no closer affinity for the general school system than the Starling Medical College.
The system of general education has then its completion in the College proper. The College is the continuation of the course commenced years before in the most elementary department. It sustains to the High School and Academy, exactly the relation that one of these does to the next before it in order of time. The whole forms a complete school system. The object of each department is the same as that of the others, and if any one fails perfectly to accomplish that work, it furnishes but another proof that imperfection attaches to all human works.
Let us now consider the influence which Schools and Colleges exert upon each other.
The influence of the School upon the College is direct and immediate. The road to the latter lies through the former. The college having always adhered to the principle of the division of labor, must receive its pupils from the school. According to the character of the