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Teachers who pass a satisfactory examination and receive appointments as assistant teachers are usually assigned to fill temporary vacancies until they have demonstrated their ability sufficiently to warrant success in a permanent position. By this practice each new teacher learns by experience in different schools the general customs prevalent.
The annual demand for teachers is about one hundred. Of this number the Normal School furnishes more than one-third.
The subjects embraced in the examination of applicants for the position of Principal of the District Schools or for Assistant in the High or Normal Schools are as follows:
Mathematics.-Algebra and geometry.
Natural Science.-Philosophy, chemistry, physiology, astronomy, geology, botany, and zoology.
Language.—Latin, history and grammar of English language, English literature, general history, theory and history of educa. tion.
Candidates for applicants for the position of Assistants in the District Schools are examined in spelling, arithmetic, algebra, geography, grammar, history and Constitution of the United States, theory and art of teaching, important common facts in natural science.
The examinations of applicants for the positions of Assistants in District Schools are held on the last Wednesday in August, also in October, December, and March.
The examinations of applicants for the positions of Principals of District Schools, or Assistants in the High or Normal Schools, are held whenever applicants present themselves.
THE COMPULSORY LAW OF NEW YORK.
DURING 1874 a bill aiming to enforce education was introduced into the Legislature of New York. Notwithstanding the act encountered organized opposition it ultimately passed both Houses and received the Governor's signature. The following are the main features of the measure, which takes effect January Ist, 1875:
All parents and guardians are required to instruct children in their charge, or cause them to be instructed in spelling, reading, writing, English grammar, geography, and arithmetic. All chil
dren not physically or mentally incapacitated, between the ages of eight and fourteen years, must attend some public or private day-school at least fourteen weeks each year, eight of which shall be consecutive, or they must be taught at home fully fourteen weeks each year in the branches named above.
No person shall employ any child under fourteen years of age during the established school hours of the locality, unless such child shall have attended some public or private day-school fourteen weeks of the fifty-two weeks next preceding any and every year in which such child shall be employed, or shall have been instructed at home during the time above-mentioned, and in the branches above specified. The child must deliver to his employer a certificate to this effect in the handwriting of his teacher. The penalty for disobeying this provision of the bill is $50, to be paid into the school fund by the employer, for each offense.
Trustees are required to inspect the situation of all children employed in manufacturing establishments, in February and September of each year, and to report all violations. Manufacturers are compelled to furnish correct lists of the children in their employ between eight and fourteen years of age.
For violating any provisions of this bill, $i fine shall be paid. For each succeeding violation, after having been properly notified, the offender shall pay $5 for each and every week's continuance, not exceeding thirteen weeks in any one year. All these penalties are to be devoted to school purposes.
Trustees are required to furnish text-books for the children on the written statement of parents or guardians that they are unable to do so. . On the statement of any parent or guardian that he or she cannot compel a child to conform to this act, the latter shall be regarded as an habitual truant and so dealt with.
Boards of Trustees and Instruction are authorized and directed to make all needful provisions, arrangements, and regulations for the discipline, instruction, and confinement of habitual truant children found in the streets, subject to the approval of the Justice of the Supreme Court of the district. Two weeks attendance at a half-term or evening school shall, for all purposes of this act, which takes effect on the ist day of January, be counted as one week at a day school.
EDUCATIONAL AND SCIENTIFIC GATHERINGS
IN 1874. THE National Educational Association convened at Detroit, Michigan, August 4, and continued in session for three days. Over six hundred delegates were present, representing twentynine States and two Territories, and the annual gathering was regarded as a decided success. At the election of officers of the Association for the ensuing year, William T. Harris was chosen President; William R. Abbott, Secretary; and A. P. Marble, Treasurer. The following resolutions were adopted :
Resolved, That this Association reaffirms the declaration of opinion voted at its last annual meeting, that the proceeds of the sales of the public lands should be set apart by Congress, under such conditions as it may deem wise, as a perpetual fund for the support of public education in the States and Territories.
Resolved, That this Association is earnestly in favor of the establishment of a true National University.
A committee was appointed to further the project of a National University.
The American Philological Association began its sixth Annual Session in Hartford, July 14. Professor F. A. March, of Lafayette College, Pa., in the Chair. The session continued for four days. It was decided to hold the next one at Newport, Rhode Island, July 13, 1875. The following officers were elected for the ensuing year:
President-Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull, of Hartford, Conn.
Vice-Presidents-Professor S. S. Haldeman, of the University of Pennsylvania ; and Professor Charles Short, of Columbia College, New York.
Secretary and Curator.—Professor Samuel Hart, of Trinity College, Hartford, Conn.
Treasurer-Professor Albert Harkness, of Brown University, Providence, R. I
The annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, began at Hartford, Conn., on the 12th of August, and adjourned on the 18th. The most important business was the adoption of a new Constitution.
A resolution was passed urging upon Congress the importance and desirability of having a new census taken in 1875, with reference to the Centennial celebration.
The following officers were elected for the coming year : President, Professor J. E. Hilgard, of Washington ; Vice-President for Section A, Professor H. A. Newton, of New Haven; Vice-President for Section B, Professor J. W. Dawson, of Montreal; General Secretary, Professor S. H. Scudder, of Boston ; Permanent Secretary for five years, F. W. Putnam, of Salem, Mass.; Treasurer, W. S. Vaux, of Philadelphia ; Secretary of Section A, Professor S. P. Langley, of Pittsburgh ; Secretary of Section B, Professor N. S. Shaler, of Newport, Ky.
It was decided to hold the next meeting at Detroit, Mich., beginning on the second Wednesday in August.
The New York State Teachers' Association assembled at Binghamton, July 28, and continued in session three days. The attendance was large. Henry R. Sandford, of Middletown, was elected President for the ensuing year.
“A GOOD schoolmaster should be a man who knows much more than he is called upon to teach, that he may teach with intelligence and taste; a man who has a noble and elevated mind, that he may preserve that dignity of sentiment and deportment without which he will never retain the respect and confidence of families; a man obsequious and cringingly servile to no man, yet not ignorant of his rights, but thinking much more of his duties, and showing to all good example, and serving as counsellor, satisfied with his business because it gives him power to do good, by serving his God and his fellowcreatures. We must have teachers with these high qualifications or we have done little for elementary education. A bad schoolmaster, like a bad parish minister, is a scourge to the community.”—M. Guizot.
EDUCATION IN OTHER COUNTRIES.*
AUSTRIA. SINCE 1848 public education has been thoroughly reorganized in Austria. In the Cisleithan provinces it is chiefly regulated on the basis of the law of May 14, 1869, being compulsory. Children are compelled to attend school from their sixth to their fourteenth year. The common schools are of two grades. In those of the lower grade, reading, writing, ciphering, religion, singing, and gymnastic exercises are taught. In those of the higher grade, composition, arithmetic, geometry, bookkeeping, and drawing are added. There are now in Austria, exclusive of Hungary, fourteen thousand Elementary Schools, sixty Normal Schools, six Polytechnic Schools, and six Universities, the latter with eight thousand students. Most of the teachers in the country are compelled to spend four years in the Normal Schools, and then to pass an examination before an independent commission, appointed by the government. Superintendent Philbrick, of Boston, one of the United States Commissioners to the Vienna Exposition, speaks in the highest terms of the schools of Vienna, and thinks they will fully compare with those of his own city.
One of the Normal School buildings in Vienna cost $300,000. The middle schools of the city, corresponding to our American High Schools, are, Mr. Philbrick asserts, beyond anything we have conceived of in the United States. The teachers are well paid, have a high social position, rank as government officials, and at the end of thirty years' service, are entitled to a pension equal to their maximum salary. The Austrians devote much attention to the study of gymnastics. There are one hundred and eleven teachers of gymnastics in Vienna alone, and one of the gymnasiums cost $50,000.
ENGLAND. The system of public instruction in England is remarkable for its complete independence of the government. Except the
* Compiled for the “ Annual” from various sources.