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The editor takes great pleasure in presenting this work to the public, as the first noteworthy attempt at a general history of education in the United States. It forms a tolerably complete inventory of what exists, as well as an account of its origin and development.

Ever since the Oracle uttered the admonition “Know thyself," civilized man has been slowly turning his attention to the importance of studying the deeds and institutions of his race. He finds in them a revelation of human nature altogether above and apart from the self-knowledge that comes to each individual through his own consciousness. For in the history of deeds and institutions there stands out prominently the effigy of human nature in its essential outlines. In contrast to this the individual consciousness offers a picture in which the essential is obscured or obliterated by the complications of the passing moment, which assume undue importance.

Modern science has caught most fully the meaning of the Oracle. It has become fully aware of the importance of knowing every object in the light of its history. How it began and how it developed must lead to a knowledge of what it is. The knowledge of a thing only as a dead result is very superficial. We learn what it is good for by seeing it in the entire sphere of its action. This reveals its living force and character.

Practical knowledge, in the eminent sense of the word, is to be found in this study of history. The statesman or the teacher knows practically when he knows the trend of the system which he is to direct or manage.

As a mere invert 1y, the results of this history will at first surprise us. Ne see the broad scope of the educational idea—not mere ; its school course from the Kindergarten to the university, but its supplementary institutions, the library, the museum, the reading circle, the scientific association, the variety of special schools; the wide-spread impulse toward founding educational institutions, showing itself in all the colonies at the beginning, and increasing with the growth of the nation. All this becomes impressive only when seen in the solid mass.

But, more than all, the trend of the movement interests us as it becomes apparent through the contrast of beginnings with subsequent stages of unfolding:

1. We see everywhere a movement from private, endowed, and parochial schools toward the assumption of education by the State. The General Government, founded “to promote the general welfare," as the preamble to the Constitution recites, has fostered education from the beginning by extensive donations of lands. States first establish colleges and universities, and next free common elementary schools; and afterward gradually fill in intermediate links of the system, and then add supplementary institutions. By-and-by State systems of education for the unfortunates and criminal classes arise. Then special schools for the training of teachers, and the foundation and support of libraries and museums at public expense begin. Private endowment and religious zeal initiate new lines of educa

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