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Title: Report of the Committee of Fifteen - Read at the Cleveland Meeting of the Department of - Superintendence, February 19-21, 1884 With the Debate
Author: Harris, W. T., Tarbell, H. S., Draper, A. S.
Language: English
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  W. T. HARRIS, LL. D., A. S.
  19-21, 1895, WITH





The undersigned Committee agrees upon the following report, each member
reserving for himself the expression of his individual divergence from
the opinion of the majority, by a statement appended to his signature,
enumerating the points to which exception is taken and the grounds for


Your Committee understands by correlation of studies:--

_1. Logical order of topics and branches._

First, the arrangement of topics in proper sequence in the course of
study, in such a manner that each branch develops in an order suited
to the natural and easy progress of the child, and so that each step
is taken at the proper time to help his advance to the next step in
the same branch, or to the next steps in other related branches of the
course of study.

_2. Symmetrical whole of studies in the world of human learning._

Second, the adjustment of the branches of study in such a manner that
the whole course at any given time represents all the great divisions
of human learning, as far as is possible at the stage of maturity at
which the pupil has arrived, and that each allied group of studies
is represented by some one of its branches best adapted for the epoch
in question; it being implied that there is an equivalence of studies
to a greater or less degree within each group, and that each branch
of human learning should be represented by some equivalent study; so
that, while no great division is left unrepresented, no group shall
have superfluous representatives, and thereby debar other groups from a
proper representation.

_3. Psychological symmetry--the whole mind._

Third, the selection and arrangement of the branches and topics within
each branch, considered psychologically, with a view to afford the best
exercise of the faculties of the mind, and to secure the unfolding of
those faculties in their natural order, so that no one faculty is so
overcultivated or so neglected as to produce abnormal or one-sided
mental development.

_4. Correlation of pupil’s course of study with the world in which he
lives--his spiritual and natural environment._

Fourth and chiefly, your Committee understands by correlation of
studies the selection and arrangement in orderly sequence of such
objects of study as shall give the child an insight into the world
that he lives in, and a command over its resources such as is obtained
by a helpful co-operation with one’s fellows. In a word, the chief
consideration to which all others are to be subordinated, in the
opinion of your Committee, is this requirement of the civilization
into which the child is born, as determining not only what he shall
study in school, but what habits and customs he shall be taught in
the family before the school age arrives; as well as that he shall
acquire a skilled acquaintance with some one of a definite series of
trades, professions, or vocations in the years that follow school;
and, furthermore, that this question of the relation of the pupil to
his civilization determines what political duties he shall assume and
what religious faith and spiritual aspirations shall be adopted for the
conduct of his life.

To make more clear their reasons for the preference here expressed
for the objective and practical basis of selection of topics for the
course of study rather than the subjective basis so long favored by
educational writers, your Committee would describe the psychological
basis, already mentioned, as being merely formal in its character,
relating only to the exercise of the so-called mental faculties.

It would furnish a training of spiritual powers analogous to the
gymnastic training of the muscles of the body. Gymnastics may develop
strength and agility without leading to any skill in trades or useful
employment. So an abstract psychological training may develop the will,
the intellect, the imagination, or the memory, but without leading to
an exercise of acquired power in the interests of civilization. The
game of chess would furnish a good course of study for the discipline
of the powers of attention and calculation of abstract combinations,
but it would give its possessor little or no knowledge of man or
nature. The psychological ideal which has prevailed to a large extent
in education has, in the old phrenology, and in the recent studies
in physiological psychology, sometimes given place to a biological
ideal. Instead of the view of mind as made up of faculties like will,
intellect, imagination, and emotion, conceived to be all necessary to
the soul, if developed in harmony with one another, the concept of
nerves or brain-tracts is used as the ultimate regulative principle
to determine the selection and arrangement of studies. Each part
of the brain is supposed to have its claim on the attention of the
educator, and that study is thought to be the most valuable which
employs normally the larger number of brain-tracts. This view reaches
an extreme in the direction of formal, as opposed to objective or
practical grounds for selecting a course of study. While the old
psychology with its mental faculties concentrated its attention on
the mental processes and neglected the world of existing objects and
relations upon which those processes were directed, physiological
psychology tends to confine its attention to the physical part of the
process, the organic changes in the brain cells and their functions.

Your Committee is of the opinion that psychology of both kinds,
physiological and introspective, can hold only a subordinate place in
the settlement of questions relating to the correlation of studies. The
branches to be studied, and the extent to which they are studied, will
be determined mainly by the demands of one’s civilization. These will
prescribe what is most useful to make the individual acquainted with
physical nature and with human nature so as to fit him as an individual
to perform his duties in the several institutions--family, civil
society, the state, and the Church. But next after this, psychology
will furnish important considerations that will largely determine the
methods of instruction, the order of taking up the several topics so as
to adapt the school work to the growth of the pupil’s capacity, and the
amount of work so as not to overtax his powers by too much, or arrest
the development of strength by too little. A vast number of subordinate
details belonging to the pathology of education, such as the hygienic
features of school architecture and furniture, programmes, the length
of study hours and of class exercises, recreation, and bodily
reactions against mental effort, will be finally settled by scientific
experiment in the department of physiological psychology.

Inasmuch as your Committee is limited to the consideration of the
correlation of studies in the elementary school, it has considered
the question of the course of study in general only in so far as this
has been found necessary in discussing the grounds for the selection
of studies for the period of school education occupying the eight
years from six to fourteen years, or the school period between the
kindergarten on the one hand and the secondary school on the other. It
has not been possible to avoid some inquiry into the true distinction
between secondary and elementary studies, since one of the most
important questions forced upon the attention of your Committee is
that of the abridgment of the elementary course of study from eight or
more years to seven or even six years, and the corresponding increase
of the time devoted to studies usually assigned to the high school and
supposed to belong to the secondary course of study for some intrinsic


Your Committee would report that it has discussed in detail the several
branches of study that have found a place in the curriculum of the
elementary school, with a view to discover their educational value for
developing and training the faculties of the mind, and more especially
for correlating the pupil with his spiritual and natural environment in
the world in which he lives.

_A. Language studies._

There is first to be noted the prominent place of language study
that takes the form of reading, penmanship, and grammar in the first
eight years’ work of the school. It is claimed for the partiality
shown to these studies that it is justified by the fact that language
is the instrument that makes possible human social organization. It
enables each person to communicate his individual experience to his
fellows and thus permits each to profit by the experience of all. The
written and printed forms of speech preserve human knowledge and make
progress in civilization possible. The conclusion is reached that
learning to read and write should be the leading study of the pupil in
his first four years of school. Reading and writing are not so much
ends in themselves as means for the acquirement of all other human
learning. This consideration alone would be sufficient to justify their
actual place in the work of the elementary school. But these branches
require of the learner a difficult process of analysis. The pupil must
identify the separate words in the sentence he uses, and in the next
place must recognize the separate sounds in each word. It requires a
considerable effort for the child or the savage to analyze his sentence
into its constituent words, and a still greater effort to discriminate
its elementary sounds. Reading, writing, and spelling in their most
elementary form, therefore, constitute a severe training in mental
analysis for the child of six to ten years of age. We are told that it
is far more disciplinary to the mind than any species of observation of
differences among material things, because of the fact that the word
has a twofold character--addressed to external sense as spoken sound to
the ear, or as written and printed words to the eye--but containing a
meaning or sense addressed to the understanding and only to be seized
by introspection. The pupil must call up the corresponding idea by
thought, memory, and imagination, or else the word will cease to be a
word and remain only a sound or character.

On the other hand, observation of things and movements does not
necessarily involve this twofold act of analysis, introspective
and objective, but only the latter--the objective analysis. It is
granted that we all have frequent occasion to condemn poor methods of
instruction as teaching words rather than things. But we admit that we
mean empty sounds or characters rather than true words. Our suggestions
for the correct method of teaching amount in this case simply to laying
stress on the meaning of the word, and to setting the teaching process
on the road of analysis of content rather than form. In the case of
words used to store up external observation the teacher is told to
repeat and make alive again the act of observation by which the word
obtained its original meaning. In the case of a word expressing a
relation between facts or events, the pupil is to be taken step by
step through the process of reflection by which the idea was built up.
Since the word, spoken and written, is the sole instrument by which
reason can fix, preserve, and communicate both the data of sense and
the relations discovered between them by reflection, no new method
in education has been able to supplant in the school the branches,
reading and penmanship. But the real improvements in method have led
teachers to lay greater and greater stress on the internal factor of
the word, on its meaning, and have in manifold ways shown how to repeat
the original experiences that gave the meaning to concrete words, and
the original comparisons and logical deductions by which the ideas of
relations and causal processes arose in the mind and required abstract
words to preserve and communicate them.

It has been claimed that it would be better to have first a basis of
knowledge of things, and secondarily and subsequently a knowledge of
words. But it has been replied to this, that the progress of the
child in learning to talk indicates his ascent out of mere impressions
into the possession of true knowledge. For he names objects only after
he has made some synthesis of his impressions and has formed general
ideas. He recognizes the same object under different circumstances of
time and place, and also recognizes other objects belonging to the same
class by and with names. Hence the use of the word indicates a higher
degree of self-activity--the stage of mere impressions without words
or signs being a comparatively passive state of mind. What we mean by
things first and words afterward, is, therefore, not the apprehension
of objects by passive impressions so much as the active investigation
and experimenting which come after words are used, and the higher forms
of analysis are called into being by that invention of reason known as
language, which, as before said, is a synthesis of thing and thought,
of outward sign and inward signification.

Rational investigation cannot precede the invention of language any
more than blacksmithing can precede the invention of hammers, anvils,
and pincers. For language is the necessary tool of thought used in the
conduct of the analysis and synthesis of investigation.

Your Committee would sum up these considerations by saying that
language rightfully forms the centre of instruction in the elementary
school, but that progress in methods of teaching is to be made, as
hitherto, chiefly by laying more stress on the internal side of the
word, its meaning; using better graded steps to build up the chain of
experience or the train of thought that the word expresses.

The first three years’ work of the child is occupied mainly with the
mastery of the printed and written forms of the words of his colloquial
vocabulary; words that he is already familiar enough with as sounds
addressed to the ear. He has to become familiar with the new forms
addressed to the eye, and it would be an unwise method to require
him to learn many new words at the same time that he is learning to
recognize his old words in their new shape. But as soon as he has
acquired some facility in reading what is printed in the colloquial
style, he may go on to selections from standard authors. The literary
selections should be graded, and are graded in almost all series of
readers used in our elementary schools, in such a way as to bring those
containing the fewest words outside of the colloquial vocabulary into
the lower books of the series, and increasing the difficulties, step by
step, as the pupil grows in maturity. The selections are literary works
of art possessing the required organic unity and a proper reflection
of this unity in the details, as good works of art must do. But they
portray situations of the soul, or scenes of life, or elaborated
reflections, of which the child can obtain some grasp through his
capacity to feel and think, although in scope and compass they far
surpass his range. They are adapted, therefore, to lead him out of and
beyond himself, as spiritual guides.

Literary style employs, besides words common to the colloquial
vocabulary, words used in a semi-technical sense expressive of fine
shades of thought and emotion. The literary work of art furnishes a
happy expression for some situation of the soul, or some train of
reflection hitherto unutterable in an adequate manner. If the pupil
learns this literary production, he finds himself powerfully helped
to understand both himself and his fellow-men. The most practical
knowledge of all, it will be admitted, is a knowledge of human
nature--a knowledge that enables one to combine with his fellow-men,
and to share with them the physical and spiritual wealth of the race.
Of this high character as humanizing or civilizing, are the favorite
works of literature found in the school readers, about one hundred and
fifty English and American writers being drawn upon for the material.
Such are Shakespeare’s speeches of Brutus and Mark Antony, Hamlet’s
and Macbeth’s soliloquies, Milton’s L’Allegro and Il Penseroso, Gray’s
Elegy, Tennyson’s Charge of the Light Brigade and Ode on the Death of
the Duke of Wellington, Byron’s Waterloo, Irving’s Rip Van Winkle,
Webster’s Reply to Hayne, The Trial of Knapp, and Bunker Hill oration,
Scott’s Lochinvar, Marmion, and Roderick Dhu, Bryant’s Thanatopsis,
Longfellow’s Psalm of Life, Paul Revere, and the Bridge, O’Hara’s
Bivouac of the Dead, Campbell’s Hohenlinden, Collins’ How Sleep the
Brave, Wolfe’s Burial of Sir John Moore, and other fine prose and
poetry from Addison, Emerson, Franklin, The Bible, Hawthorne, Walter
Scott, Goldsmith, Wordsworth, Swift, Milton, Cooper, Whittier, Lowell,
and the rest. The reading and study of fine selections in prose and
verse furnish the chief æsthetic training of the elementary school.
But this should be re-enforced by some study of photographic or other
reproductions of the world’s great masterpieces of architecture,
sculpture, and painting. The frequent sight of these reproductions is
good; the attempt to copy or sketch them with the pencil is better;
best of all is an æsthetic lesson on their composition, attempting to
describe in words the idea of the whole that gives the work its organic
unity, and the devices adopted by the artist to reflect this idea in
the details and re-enforce its strength. The æsthetic taste of teacher
and pupil can be cultivated by such exercises, and once set on the road
of development, this taste may improve through life.

A third phase of language study in the elementary school is formal
grammar. The works of literary art in the readers, re-enforced as they
ought to be by supplementary reading at home of the whole works from
which the selections for the school readers are made, will educate
the child in the use of a higher and better English style. Technical
grammar never can do this. Only familiarity with fine English works
will insure one a good and correct style. But grammar is the science of
language, and as the first of the seven liberal arts it has long held
sway in school as the disciplinary study _par excellence_. A survey
of its educational value, subjective and objective, usually produces
the conviction that it is to retain the first place in the future. Its
chief objective advantage is, that it shows the structure of language,
and the logical forms of subject, predicate, and modifier, thus
revealing the essential nature of thought itself, the most important
of all objects, because it is self-object. On the subjective or
psychological side, grammar demonstrates its title to the first place
by its use as a discipline in subtle analysis, in logical division
and classification, in the art of questioning, and in the mental
accomplishment of making exact definitions. Nor is this an empty,
formal discipline, for its subject-matter, language, is a product of
the reason of a people, not as individuals, but as a social whole, and
the vocabulary holds in its store of words the generalized experience
of that people, including sensuous observation and reflection, feeling
and emotion, instinct and volition.

No formal labor on a great objective field is ever lost wholly,
since at the very least it has the merit of familiarizing the pupil
with the contents of some one extensive province that borders on
his life, and with which he must come into correlation; but it is
easy for any special formal discipline, when continued too long, to
paralyze or arrest growth at that stage. The overcultivation of the
verbal memory tends to arrest the growth of critical attention and
reflection. Memory of accessory details too, so much prized in the
school, is also cultivated often at the expense of an insight into the
organizing principle of the whole and the casual nexus that binds the
parts. So, too, the study of quantity, if carried to excess, may warp
the mind into a habit of neglecting quality in its observation and
reflection. As there is no subsumption in the quantitative judgment,
but only dead equality or inequality (A is equal to or greater or less
than B), there is a tendency to atrophy in the faculty of concrete
syllogistic reasoning on the part of the person devoted exclusively
to mathematics. For the normal syllogism uses judgments wherein the
subject is subsumed under the predicate (This is a rose--the individual
rose is subsumed under the class rose; Socrates is a man, etc.). Such
reasoning concerns individuals in two aspects, first as concrete wholes
and secondly as members of higher totalities or classes--species and
genera. Thus, too, grammar, rich as it is in its contents, is only a
formal discipline as respects the scientific, historic, or literary
contents of language, and is indifferent to them. A training for four
or five years in parsing and grammatical analysis practiced on literary
works of art (Milton, Shakespeare, Tennyson, Scott) is a training of
the pupil into habits of indifference toward and neglect of the genius
displayed in the literary work of art, and into habits of impertinent
and trifling attention to elements employed as material or texture,
and a corresponding neglect of the structural form, which alone is
the work of the artist. A parallel to this would be the mason’s habit
of noticing only the brick and mortar, or the stone and cement, in
his inspection of the architecture, say of Sir Christopher Wren. A
child overtrained to analyze and classify shades of color--examples of
this one finds occasionally in a primary school whose specialty is
“objective teaching”--might in later life visit an art gallery and make
an inventory of colors without getting even a glimpse of a painting as
a work of art. Such overstudy and misuse of grammar as one finds in the
elementary school, it is feared, exists to some extent in secondary
schools and even in colleges, in the work of mastering the classic

Your Committee is unanimous in the conviction that formal grammar
should not be allowed to usurp the place of a study of the literary
work of art in accordance with literary method. The child can be
gradually trained to see the technical “motives” of a poem or prose
work of art and to enjoy the æsthetic inventions of the artist. The
analysis of a work of art should discover the idea that gives it
organic unity; the collision and the complication resulting; the
solution and _dénouement_. Of course these things must be reached
in the elementary school without even a mention of their technical
terms. The subject of the piece is brought out; its reflection in the
conditions of the time and place to heighten interest by showing its
importance; its second and stronger reflection in the several details
of its conflict and struggle; its reflection in the _dénouement_
wherein its struggle ends in victory or defeat and the ethical or
rational interests are vindicated,--and the results move outward,
returning to the environment again in ever-widening circles,--something
resembling this is to be found in every work of art, and there are
salient features which can be briefly but profitably made subject of
comment in familiar language with even the youngest pupils. There
is an ethical and an æsthetical content to each work of art. It is
profitable to point out both of these in the interest of the child’s
growing insight into human nature. The ethical should, however, be kept
in subordination to the æsthetical, but for the sake of the supreme
interests of the ethical itself. Otherwise the study of a work of art
degenerates into a goody goody performance, and its effects on the
child are to cause a reaction against the moral. The child protects
his inner individuality against effacement through external authority
by taking an attitude of rebellion against stories with an appended
moral. Herein the superiority of the æsthetical in literary art is
to be seen. For the ethical motive is concealed by the poet, and the
hero is painted with all his brittle individualism and self-seeking.
His passions and his selfishness, gilded by fine traits of bravery and
noble manners, interest the youth, interest us all. The established
social and moral order seems to the ambitious hero to be an obstacle
to the unfolding of the charms of individuality. The deed of violence
gets done, and the Nemesis is aroused. Now his deed comes back on
the individual doer, and our sympathy turns against him and we
rejoice in his fall. Thus the æsthetical unity contains within it the
ethical unity. The lesson of the great poet or novelist is taken to
heart, whereas the ethical announcement by itself might have failed,
especially with the most self-active and aspiring of the pupils.
Aristotle pointed out in his Poetics this advantage of the æsthetic
unity, which Plato in his Republic seems to have missed. Tragedy purges
us of our passions, to use Aristotle’s expression, because we identify
our own wrong inclinations with those of the hero, and by sympathy we
suffer with him and see our intended deed returned upon us with tragic
effect, and are thereby cured.

Your Committee has dwelt upon the æsthetic side of literature in this
explicit manner because they believe that the general tendency in
elementary schools is to neglect the literary art for the literary
formalities which concern the mechanical material rather than the
spiritual form. Those formal studies should not be discontinued, but
subordinated to the higher study of literature.

Your Committee reserves the subject of language lessons, composition
writing, and what relates to the child’s expression of ideas in
writing, for consideration under Part 3 of this Report, treating of

_B. Arithmetic._

Side by side with language study is the study of mathematics in the
schools, claiming the second place in importance of all studies. It
has been pointed out that mathematics concerns the laws of time and
space--their structural form, so to speak--and hence that it formulates
the logical conditions of all matter both in rest and in motion. Be
this as it may, the high position of mathematics as the science of
all quantity is universally acknowledged. The elementary branch of
mathematics is arithmetic, and this is studied in the primary and
grammar schools from six to eight years, or even longer. The relation
of arithmetic to the whole field of mathematics has been stated (by
Comte, Howison, and others) to be that of the final step in a process
of calculation, in which results are stated numerically. There are
branches that develop or derive quantitative functions: say geometry
for spatial forms, and mechanics for movement and rest and the forces
producing them. Other branches transform these quantitative functions
into such forms as may be calculated in actual numbers; namely,
algebra in its common or lower form, and in its higher form as the
differential and integral calculus, and the calculus of variations.
Arithmetic evaluates or finds the numerical value for the functions
thus deduced and transformed. The educational value of arithmetic
is thus indicated both as concerns its psychological side and
its objective practical uses in correlating man with the world of
nature. In this latter respect as furnishing the key to the outer
world in so far as the objects of the latter are a matter of direct
enumeration,--capable of being counted,--it is the first great step
in the conquest of nature. It is the first tool of thought that man
invents in the work of emancipating himself from thraldom to external
forces. For by the command of number he learns to divide and conquer.
He can proportion one force to another, and concentrate against an
obstacle precisely what is needed to overcome it. Number also makes
possible all the other sciences of nature which depend on exact
measurement and exact record of phenomena as to the following items:
order of succession, date, duration, locality, environment, extent
of sphere of influence, number of manifestations, number of cases of
intermittence. All these can be defined accurately only by means of
number. The educational value of a branch of study that furnishes the
indispensable first step toward all science of nature is obvious. But
psychologically its importance further appears in this, that it begins
with an important step in analysis; namely, the detachment of the idea
of quantity from the concrete whole, which includes quality as well as
quantity. To count, one drops the qualitative and considers only the
quantitative aspect. So long as the individual differences (which are
qualitative in so far as they distinguish one object from another) are
considered, the objects cannot be counted together. When counted, the
distinctions are dropped out of sight as indifferent. As counting is
the fundamental operation of arithmetic, and all other arithmetical
operations are simply devices for speed by using remembered countings
instead of going through the detailed work again each time, the hint
is furnished the teacher for the first lessons in arithmetic. This
hint has been generally followed out and the child set at work at
first upon the counting of objects so much alike that the qualitative
difference is not suggested to him. He constructs gradually his tables
of addition, subtraction, and multiplication, and fixes them in his
memory. Then he takes his next higher step; namely, the apprehension
of the fraction. This is an expressed ratio of two numbers, and
therefore a much more complex thought than he has met with in dealing
with the simple numbers. In thinking five-sixths, he first thinks five
and then six, and holding these two in mind thinks the result of the
first modified by the second. Here are three steps instead of one,
and the result is not a simple number, but an inference resting on an
unperformed operation. This psychological analysis shows the reason
for the embarrassment of the child on his entrance upon the study of
fractions and the other operations that imply ratio. The teacher finds
all his resources in the way of method drawn upon to invent steps and
half steps, to aid the pupil to make continuous progress here. All
these devices of method consist in steps by which the pupil descends
to the simple number and returns to the complex. He turns one of the
terms into a qualitative unit, and thus is enabled to use the other
as a simple number. The pupil takes the denominator, for example, and
makes clear his conception of one-sixth as his qualitative unit, then
five-sixths is as clear to him as five oxen. But he has to repeat
this return from ratio to simple numbers in each of the elementary
operations--addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and
in the reduction of fractions--and finds the road long and tedious at
best. In the case of decimal fractions the psychological process is
more complex still; for the pupil has given him one of the terms, the
numerator, from which he must mentally deduce the denominator from
the position of the decimal point. This doubles the work of reading
and recognizing the fractional number. But it makes addition and
subtraction of fractions nearly as easy as that of simple numbers and
assists also in multiplication of fractions. But division of decimals
is a much more complex operation than that of common fractions.

The want of a psychological analysis of these processes has led many
good teachers to attempt decimal fractions with their pupils before
taking up common fractions. In the end they have been forced to make
introductory steps to aid the pupil, and in these steps to introduce
the theory of the common fraction. They have by this refuted their own

Besides (_a_) simple numbers and the four operations with them, (_b_)
fractions common and decimal, there is (_c_) a third step in number;
namely, the theory of powers and roots. It is a further step in ratio;
namely, the relation of a simple number to itself as power and root.
The mass of material which fills the arithmetic used in the elementary
school consists of two kinds of examples: first, those wherein there
is a direct application of simple numbers, fractions, and powers;
and secondly, the class of examples involving operations in reaching
numerical solutions through indirect data and consequently involving
more or less transformation of functions. Of this character is most
of the so-called higher arithmetic and such problems in the text-book
used in the elementary schools as have, not inappropriately, been
called (by General Francis A. Walker in his criticism on common-school
arithmetic) numerical “conundrums.” Their difficulty is not found in
the strictly arithmetical part of the process of the solution (the
third phase above described), but rather in the transformation of
the quantitative function given into the function that can readily
be calculated numerically. The transformation of functions belongs
strictly to algebra. Teachers who love arithmetic, and who have
themselves success in working out the so-called numerical conundrums,
defend with much earnestness the current practice which uses so much
time for arithmetic. They see in it a valuable training for ingenuity
and logical analysis, and believe that the industry which discovers
arithmetical ways of transforming the functions given in such problems
into plain numerical operations of adding, subtracting, multiplying,
or dividing is well bestowed. On the other hand, the critics of this
practice contend that there should be no merely formal drill in school
for its own sake, and that there should be, always, a substantial
content to be gained. They contend that the work of the pupil in
transforming quantitative functions by arithmetical methods is wasted,
because the pupil needs a more adequate expression than number for
this purpose; that this has been discovered in algebra, which enables
him to perform with ease such quantitative transformations as puzzle
the pupil in arithmetic. They hold, therefore, that arithmetic pure
and simple should be abridged and elementary algebra introduced after
the numerical operations in powers, fractions, and simple numbers
have been mastered, together with their applications to the tables of
weights and measures and to percentage and interest. In the seventh
year of the elementary course there would be taught equations of the
first degree and the solution of arithmetical problems that fall under
proportion, or the so-called “rule of three,” together with other
problems containing complicated conditions--those in partnership, for
example. In the eighth year quadratic equations could be learned, and
other problems of higher arithmetic solved in a more satisfactory
manner than by numerical methods. It is contended that this earlier
introduction of algebra, with a sparing use of letters for known
quantities, would secure far more mathematical progress than is
obtained at present on the part of all pupils, and that it would enable
many pupils to go on into secondary and higher education who are now
kept back on the plea of lack of preparation in arithmetic, the real
difficulty in many cases being a lack of ability to solve algebraic
problems by an inferior method.

Your Committee would report that the practice of teaching two lessons
daily in arithmetic, one styled “mental,” or “intellectual,” and the
other “written” arithmetic (because its exercises are written out with
pencil or pen), is still continued in many schools. By this device the
pupil is made to give twice as much time to arithmetic as to any other
branch. It is contended by the opponents of this practice, with some
show of reason, that two lessons a day in the study of quantity have a
tendency to give the mind a bent or set in the direction of thinking
quantitatively, with a corresponding neglect of the power to observe,
and to reflect upon, qualitative and causal aspects. For mathematics
does not take account of causes, but only of equality and difference in
magnitude. It is further objected that the attempt to secure what is
called thoroughness in the branches taught in the elementary schools
is often carried too far; in fact, to such an extent as to produce
arrested development (a sort of mental paralysis) in the mechanical and
formal stages of growth. The mind, in that case, loses its appetite for
higher methods and wider generalizations. The law of apperception, we
are told, proves that temporary methods of solving problems should not
be so thoroughly mastered as to be used involuntarily, or as a matter
of unconscious habit, for the reason that a higher and more adequate
method of solution will then be found more difficult to acquire. The
more thoroughly a method is learned, the more it becomes part of the
mind, and the greater the repugnance of the mind toward a new method.
For this reason, parents and teachers discourage young children from
the practice of counting on the fingers, believing that it will cause
much trouble later to root out this vicious habit and replace it
by purely mental processes. Teachers should be careful, especially
with precocious children, not to continue too long in the use of a
process that is becoming mechanical; for it is already growing into
a second nature, and becoming a part of the unconscious apperceptive
process by which the mind reacts against the environment, recognizes
its presence, and explains it to itself. The child that has been
overtrained in arithmetic reacts apperceptively against his environment
chiefly by noticing its numerical relations--he counts and adds; his
other apperceptive reactions being feeble, he neglects qualities and
causal relations. Another child who has been drilled in recognizing
colors apperceives the shades of color to the neglect of all else. A
third child, excessively trained in form studies by the constant use
of geometric solids, and much practice in looking for the fundamental
geometric forms lying at the basis of the multifarious objects that
exist in the world, will, as a matter of course, apperceive geometric
forms, ignoring the other phases of objects.

It is, certainly, an advance on immediate sense-perception to be able
to separate or analyze the concrete, whole impression, and consider the
quantity apart by itself. But if arrested mental growth takes place
here, the result is deplorable. That such arrest may be caused by too
exclusive training in recognizing numerical relations is beyond a

Your Committee believes that, with the right methods, and a wise use
of time in preparing the arithmetic lesson in and out of school, five
years are sufficient for the study of mere arithmetic--the five years
beginning with the second school year and ending with the close of
the sixth year; and that the seventh and eighth years should be given
to the algebraic method of dealing with those problems that involve
difficulties in the transformation of quantitative indirect functions
into numerical or direct quantitative data.

Your Committee, however, does not wish to be understood as recommending
the transfer of algebra, as it is understood and taught in most
secondary schools, to the seventh year, or even to the eighth year of
the elementary school. The algebra course in the secondary school, as
taught to the pupils in their fifteenth year of age, very properly
begins with severe exercises, with a view to discipline the pupil
in analyzing complex literate expressions at sight, and to make him
able to recognize at once the factors that are contained in such
combinations of quantities. The proposed seventh-grade algebra must
use letters for the unknown quantities and retain the numerical form
of the known quantities, using letters for these very rarely, except
to exhibit the general form of solution, or what, if stated in words,
becomes a so-called “rule” in arithmetic. This species of algebra
has the character of an introduction or transitional step to algebra
proper. The latter should be taught thoroughly in the secondary school.
Formerly it was a common practice to teach elementary algebra of
this sort in the preparatory schools, and reserve for the college a
study of algebra proper. But in this case there was often a neglect
of sufficient practice in factoring literate quantities, and, as a
consequence, the pupil suffered embarrassment in his more advanced
mathematics; for example, in analytical geometry, the differential
calculus, and mechanics. The proposition of your Committee is intended
to remedy the two evils already named: first, to aid the pupils in the
elementary school to solve, by a higher method, the more difficult
problems that now find place in advanced arithmetic; and secondly,
to prepare the pupil for a thorough course in pure algebra in the
secondary school.

Your Committee is of the opinion that the so-called mental arithmetic
should be made to alternate with written arithmetic for two years, and
that there should not be two daily lessons in this subject.

_C. Geography._

The leading branch of the seven liberal arts was grammar, being the
first of the _Trivium_ (grammar, rhetoric, and logic). Arithmetic,
however, led the second division, the _Quadrivium_ (arithmetic,
geometry, music, and astronomy). We have glanced at the reasons for
the place of grammar as leading the humane studies, as well as for
the place of arithmetic as leading the nature studies. Following
arithmetic, as the second study in importance among the branches that
correlate man to nature, is geography. It is interesting to note
that the old quadrivium of the Middle Ages included geography, under
the title of geometry, as the branch following arithmetic in the
enumeration; the subject-matter of their so-called “geometry” being
chiefly an abridgment of Pliny’s geography, to which were added a few
definitions of geometric forms, something like the primary course in
geometric solids in our elementary schools. So long as there has been
elementary education there has been something of geography included.
The Greek education laid stress on teaching the second book of Homer,
containing the Catalogue of the Ships and a brief mention of the
geography and history of all the Greek tribes that took part in the
Trojan War. History remains unseparated from geography and geometry
in the Middle Ages. Geography has preserved this comprehensiveness of
meaning as a branch of the study in the elementary schools down to the
present day. After arithmetic, which treats of the abstract or general
conditions of material existence, comes geography with a practical
study of man’s material _habitat_, and its relations to him. It is not
a simple science by itself, like botany, or geology, or astronomy,
but a collection of sciences levied upon to describe the earth as the
dwelling-place of man and to explain something of its more prominent
features. About one-fourth of the material relates strictly to the
geography, about one-half to the inhabitants, their manners, customs,
institutions, industries, productions, and the remaining one-fourth
to items drawn from the sciences of mineralogy, meteorology, botany,
zoölogy, and astronomy. This predominance of the human feature in a
study ostensibly relating to physical nature, your Committee considers
necessary and entirely justifiable. The child commences with what
is nearest to his interests, and proceeds gradually toward what is
remote and to be studied for its own sake. It is, therefore, a mistake
to suppose that the first phase of geography presented to the child
should be the process of continent formation. He must begin with the
natural difference of climate, and lands, and waters, and obstacles
that separate peoples, and study the methods by which man strives to
equalize or overcome these differences by industry and commerce, to
unite all places and all people, and make it possible for each to
share in the productions of all. The industrial and commercial idea
is, therefore, the first central idea in the study of geography in
the elementary schools. It leads directly to the natural elements of
difference in climate, soil, and productions, and also to those in
race, religion, political status, and occupations of the inhabitants,
with a view to explain the grounds and reasons for this counter-process
of civilization which struggles to overcome the differences. Next
comes the deeper inquiry into the process of continent formation,
the physical struggle between the process of upheaving or upbuilding
of continents and that of their obliteration by air and water; the
explanation of the mountains, valleys, and plains, the islands,
volcanic action, the winds, the rain-distribution. But the study
of cities, their location, the purposes they serve as collecting,
manufacturing, and distributing centres, leads most directly to the
immediate purpose of geography in the elementary school. From this
beginning, and holding to it as a permanent interest, the inquiry into
causes and conditions proceeds concentrically to the sources of the raw
materials, the methods of their production, and the climatic, geologic,
and other reasons that explain their location and their growth.

In recent years, especially through the scientific study of physical
geography, the processes that go to the formation of climate, soil, and
general configuration of land masses have been accurately determined,
and the methods of teaching so simplified that it is possible to lead
out from the central idea mentioned to the physical explanations of the
elements of geographical difference quite early in the course of study.
Setting out from the idea of the use made of the earth by civilization,
the pupil in the fifth and sixth years of his schooling (at the age of
eleven or twelve) may extend his inquiries quite profitably as far as
the physical explanations of land-shapes and climates. In the seventh
and eighth year of school much more may be done in this direction.
But it is believed that the distinctively human interest connected
with geography in the first years of its study should not yield to the
purely scientific one of physical processes until the pupil has taken
up the study of history.

The educational value of geography, as it is and has been in elementary
schools, is obviously very great. It makes possible something like
accuracy in the picturing of distant places and events, and removes
a large tract of mere superstition from the mind. In the days of
newspaper reading one’s stock of geographical information is in
constant requisition. A war on the opposite side of the globe is
followed with more interest in this year than a war near our own
borders before the era of the telegraph. The general knowledge of the
locations and boundaries of nations, of their status in civilization,
and their natural advantages for contributing to the world market, is
of great use to the citizen in forming correct ideas from his daily

The educational value of geography is even more apparent if we admit
the claims of those who argue that the present epoch is the beginning
of an era in which public opinion is organized into a ruling force by
the agency of periodicals and books. Certainly neither the newspaper
nor the book can influence an illiterate people; they can do little to
form opinions where the readers have no knowledge of geography.

As to the psychological value of geography little need be said. It
exercises in manifold ways the memory of forms and the imagination; it
brings into exercise the thinking power, in tracing back toward unity
the various series of causes. What educative value there is in geology,
meteorology, zoölogy, ethnology, economics, history, and politics
is to be found in the more profound study of geography, and, to a
proportionate extent, in the study of its merest elements.

Your Committee is of the opinion that there has been a vast
improvement in the methods of instruction in this branch in recent
years, due, in large measure, to the geographical societies of this
and other countries. At first there prevailed what might be named
sailor geography. The pupil was compelled to memorize all the capes
and headlands, bays and harbors, mouths of rivers, islands, sounds,
and straits around the world. He enlivened this, to some extent, by
brief mention of the curiosities and oddities in the way of cataracts,
water-gaps, caves, strange animals, public buildings, picturesque
costumes, national exaggerations, and such matters as would furnish
good themes for sailors’ yarns. Little or nothing was taught to give
unity to the isolated details furnished in endless number. It was
an improvement on this when the method of memorizing capital cities
and political boundaries succeeded. With this came the era of map
drawing. The study of watersheds and commercial routes, of industrial
productions and centres of manufacture and commerce, has been adopted
in the better class of schools. Instruction in geography is growing
better by the constant introduction of new devices to make plain and
intelligible the determining influence of physical causes in producing
the elements of difference and the counter-process of industry and
commerce by which each difference is rendered of use to the whole
world, and each locality made a participator in the productions of all.

_D. History._

The next study, ranked in order of value, for the elementary school is
history. But, as will be seen, the value of history, both practically
and psychologically, is less in the beginning and greater at the
end than geography. For it relates to the institutions of men, and
especially to the political state and its evolution. While biography
narrates the career of the individual, civil history records the
careers of nations. The nation has been compared to the individual
by persons interested in the educational value of history. Man has
two selves, they say, the individual self, and the collective self
of the organized state or nation. The study of history is, then, the
study of this larger, corporate, social and civil self. The importance
of this idea is thus brought out more clearly in its educational
significance. For to learn this civil self is to learn the substantial
condition which makes possible the existence of civilized man in all
his other social combinations--the family, the Church, and the manifold
associated activities of civil society. For the state protects these
combinations from destruction by violence. It defines the limits
of individual and associated effort, within which each endeavor
re-enforces the endeavors of all, and it uses the strength of the whole
nation to prevent such actions as pass beyond these safe limits and
tend to collision with the normal action of the other individuals and
social units. Hobbes called the state a Leviathan, to emphasize its
stupendous individuality and organized self-activity. Without this,
he said, man lives in a state of “constant war, fear, poverty, filth,
ignorance, and wretchedness; within the state dwell peace, security,
riches, science, and happiness.” The state is the collective man who
“makes possible the rational development of the individual man, like a
mortal God, subduing his caprice and passion and compelling obedience
to law, developing the ideas of justice, virtue, and religion, creating
property and ownership, nurture and education.” The education of the
child into a knowledge of this higher self begins early within the
nurture of the family. The child sees a policeman or some town officer,
some public building, a court house or a jail; he sees or hears of an
act of violence, a case of robbery or murder followed by arrest of the
guilty. The omnipresent higher self, which has been invisible hitherto,
now becomes visible to him in its symbols and still more in its acts.

History in school, it is contended, should be the special branch for
education in the duties of citizenship. There is ground for this claim.
History gives a sense of belonging to a higher social unity which
possesses the right of absolute control over person and property in
the interest of the safety of the whole. This, of course, is the basis
of citizenship; the individual must feel this or see this solidarity
of the state and recognize its supreme authority. But history shows
the collisions of nations, and the victory of one political ideal
accompanied by the defeat of another. History reveals an evolution
of forms of government that are better and better adapted to permit
individual freedom, and the participation of all citizens in the
administration of the government itself.

People who make their own government have a special interest in the
spectacle of political evolution as exhibited in history. But it
must be admitted that this evolution has not been well presented
by popular historians. Take, for instance, the familiar example of
old-time pedagogy, wherein the Roman republic was conceived as a
freer government than the Roman empire that followed it, by persons
apparently misled by the ideas of representative self-government
associated with the word _republic_. It was the beginning of a new
epoch when this illusion was dispelled, and the college student became
aware of the true Roman meaning of _republic_, namely, the supremacy
of an oligarchy on the Tiber that ruled distant provinces in Spain,
Gaul, Asia Minor, Germany, and Africa, for its selfish ends and with
an ever-increasing arrogance. The people at home in Rome, not having
a share in the campaigns on the borderland, did not appreciate the
qualities of the great leaders who, like Cæsar, subdued the nations by
forbearance, magnanimity, trust, and the recognition of a sphere of
freedom secured to the conquered by the Roman civil laws, which were
rigidly enforced by the conqueror, as much as by the violence of arms.
The change from republic to empire meant the final subordination of
this tyrannical Roman oligarchy, and the recognition of the rights of
the provinces to Roman freedom. This illustration shows how easily a
poor teaching of history may pervert its good influence or purpose into
a bad one. For the Roman monarchy under the empire secured a degree
of freedom never before attained under the republic, in spite of the
election of such tyrants as Nero and Caligula to the imperial purple.
The civil service went on as usual administering the affairs of distant
countries, educating them in Roman jurisprudence, and cultivating a
love for accumulating private property. Those countries had before
lived communistically after the style of the tribe or at best of the
village community. Roman private property in land gave an impulse
to the development of free individuality such as had always been
impossible under the social stage of development known as the village

To teach history properly is to dispel this shallow illusion which
flatters individualism, and to open the eyes of the pupil to the true
nature of freedom, namely, the freedom through obedience to just laws
enforced by a strong government.

Your Committee has made this apparent digression for the sake of a more
explicit statement of its conviction of the importance of teaching
history in a different spirit from that of abstract freedom, which
sometimes means anarchy, although they admit the possibility of an
opposite extreme, the danger of too little stress on the progressive
element in the growth of nations, and its manifestation in new and
better political devices for representing all citizens without
weakening the central power.

That the history of one’s own nation is to be taught in the elementary
school seems fixed by common consent. United States history includes
first a sketch of the epoch of discoveries and next of the epoch of
colonization. This, fortunately, suits the pedagogic requirements. For
the child loves to approach the stern realities of a firmly established
civilization through its stages of growth by means of individual
enterprise. Here is the use of biography as introduction to history.
It treats of exceptional individuals whose lives bring them in one
way or another into national or even world-historical relations. They
throw light on the nature and necessity of governments, and are in turn
illuminated by the light thrown back on them by the institutions which
they promote or hinder. The era of semi-private adventure with which
American history begins is admirably adapted for study by the pupil
in the elementary stage of his education. So, too, the next epoch,
that of colonization. The pioneer is a degree nearer to civilization
than is the explorer and discoverer. In the colonial history the pupil
interests himself in the enterprise of aspiring individualities, in
their conquest over obstacles of climate and soil; their conflicts with
the aboriginal population; their choice of land for settlement; the
growth of their cities; above all, their several attempts and final
success in forming a constitution securing local self-government. An
epoch of growing interrelation of the colonies succeeds, a tendency
to union on a large scale due to the effect of European wars which
involved England, France, and other countries, and affected the
relations of their colonies in America. This epoch, too, abounds
in heroic personalities, like Wolfe, Montcalm, and Washington, and
perilous adventures, especially in the Indian warfare.

The fourth epoch is the Revolution, by which the colonies through
joint effort secured their independence and afterward their union as
a nation. The subject grows rapidly more complex, and tasks severely
the powers of the pupils in the eighth year of the elementary school.
The formation of the Constitution, and a brief study of the salient
features of the Constitution itself, conclude the study of the portion
of the history of the United States that is sufficiently remote to
be treated after the manner of an educational classic. Everything
up to this point stands out in strong individual outlines, and is
admirably fitted for that elementary course of study. Beyond this
point, the War of 1812 and the War of the Rebellion, together with the
political events that led to it, are matters of memory with the present
generation of parents and grandparents, and are, consequently, not so
well fitted for intensive study in school as the already classic period
of our history. But these later and latest epochs may be, and will be,
read at home not only in the text-book on history used in the schools,
but also in the numerous sketches that appear in newspapers, magazines,
and in more pretentious shapes. In the intensive study which should
be undertaken of the classic period of our history, the pupil may be
taught the method appropriate to historical investigation, the many
points of view from which each event ought to be considered. He should
learn to discriminate between the theatrical show of events and the
solid influences that move underneath as ethical causes. Although he
is too immature for very far-reaching reflections, he must be helped
to see the causal processes of history. Armed with this discipline in
historic methods, the pupil will do all of his miscellaneous reading
and thinking in this province with more adequate intellectual reaction
than was possible before the intensive study carried on in school.

The study of the outlines of the Constitution, for ten or fifteen weeks
in the final year of the elementary school, has been found of great
educational value. Properly taught, it fixes the idea of the essential
three-foldness of the constitution of a free government and the
necessary independence of each constituent power, whether legislative,
judicial, or executive. This and some idea of the manner and mode of
filling the official places in these three departments, and of the
character of the duties with which each department is charged, lay
foundations for an intelligent citizenship.

Besides this intensive study of the history of the United States in the
seventh and eighth years, your Committee would recommend oral lessons
on the salient points of general history, taking a full hour of sixty
minutes weekly--and preferably all at one time--for the sake of the
more systematic treatment of the subject of the lesson and the deeper
impression made on the mind of the pupil.

_E. Other branches._

Your Committee has reviewed the staple branches of the elementary
course of study in the light of their educational scope and
significance. Grammar, literature, arithmetic, geography, and history
are the five branches upon which the disciplinary work of the
elementary school is concentrated. Inasmuch as reading is the first
of the scholastic arts, it is interesting to note that the whole
elementary course may be described as an extension of the process
of learning the art of reading. First comes the mastering of the
colloquial vocabulary in printed and script forms. Next come five
incursions into the special vocabularies required (_a_) in literature
to express the fine shades of emotion and the more subtle distinctions
of thought, (_b_) the technique of arithmetic, (_c_) of geography,
(_d_) of grammar, (_e_) of history.

In the serious work of mastering these several technical vocabularies
the pupil is assigned daily tasks that he must prepare by independent
study. The class exercise or recitation is taken up with examining
and criticising the pupil’s oral statements of what he has learned,
especial care being taken to secure the pupil’s explanation of it in
his own words. This requires paraphrases and definitions of the new
words and phrases used in technical and literary senses, with a view
to insure the addition to the mind of the new ideas corresponding
to the new words. The misunderstandings are corrected and the pupil
set on the way to use more critical alertness in the preparation of
his succeeding lessons. The pupil learns as much by the recitations
of his fellow-pupils as he learns from the teacher, but not the same
things. He sees in the imperfect statements of his classmates that they
apprehended the lesson with different presuppositions and consequently
have seen some phases of the subject that escaped his observation,
while they in turn have missed points which he had noticed quite
readily. These different points of view become more or less his own,
and he may be said to grow by adding to his own mind the minds of

It is clear that there are other branches of instruction that may lay
claim to a place in the course of study in the elementary school; for
example, the various branches of natural science, vocal music, manual
training, physical culture, drawing, etc.

Here the question of another method of instruction is suggested.
There are lessons that require previous preparation by the pupil
himself--there are also lessons that may be taken up without such
preparation and conducted by the teacher, who leads the exercise and
furnishes a large part of the information to be learned, enlisting
the aid of members of the class for the purpose of bringing home
the new material to their actual experience. Besides these, there
are mechanical exercises for purposes of training, such as drawing,
penmanship, and calisthenics.

In the first place, there is industrial and æsthetic drawing, which
should have a place in all elementary school work. By it is secured the
training of the hand and eye. Then, too, drawing helps in all the other
branches that require illustration. Moreover, if used in the study of
the great works of art in the way hereinbefore mentioned, it helps to
cultivate the taste and prepares the future workman for a more useful
and lucrative career, inasmuch as superior taste commands higher wages
in the finishing of all goods.

Natural science claims a place in the elementary school not so much
as a disciplinary study side by side with grammar, arithmetic, and
history, as a training in habits of observation and in the use of
the technique by which such sciences are expounded. With a knowledge
of the technical terms and some training in the methods of original
investigation employed in the sciences, the pupil broadens his views
of the world and greatly increases his capacity to acquire new
knowledge. For the pupil who is unacquainted with the technique of
science has to pass without mental profit the numerous scientific
allusions and items of information which more and more abound in all
our literature, whether of an ephemeral or a permanent character.
In an age whose proudest boast is the progress of science in all
domains, there should be in the elementary school, from the first, a
course in the elements of the sciences. And this is quite possible; for
each science possesses some phases that lie very near to the child’s
life. These familiar topics furnish the doors through which the child
enters the various special departments. Science, it is claimed, is
nothing if not systematic. Indeed, science itself may be defined as
the interpretation of each fact through all other facts of a kindred
nature. Admitting that this is so, it is no less true that pedagogic
method begins with the fragmentary knowledge possessed by the pupil
and proceeds to organize it and build it out systematically in all
directions. Hence any science may be taken up best on the side nearest
the experience of the pupil and the investigation continued until the
other parts are reached. Thus the pedagogical order is not always
the logical or scientific order. In this respect it agrees with the
order of discovery, which is usually something quite different from
the logical order; for that is the last thing discovered. The natural
sciences have two general divisions: one relating to inorganic matter,
as physics and chemistry, and one relating to organic, as botany and
zoölogy. There should be a spiral course in natural science, commencing
each branch with the most interesting phases to the child. A first
course should be given in botany, zoölogy, and physics, so as to treat
of the structure and uses of familiar plants and animals, and the
explanation of physical phenomena as seen in the child’s playthings,
domestic machines, etc. A second course, covering the same subjects,
but laying more stress on classification and functions, will build on
to the knowledge already acquired from the former lessons and from
his recently acquired experience. A third course of weekly lessons,
conducted by the teacher as before in a conversational style, with
experiments and with a comparison of the facts of observation already
in the possession of the children, will go far to helping them to an
acquisition of the results of natural science. Those of the children
specially gifted for observation in some one or more departments of
nature will be stimulated and encouraged to make the most of their

In the opinion of your committee, there should be set apart a full hour
each week for drawing and the same amount for oral lessons in natural

The oral lessons in history have already been mentioned. The spiral
course, found useful in natural science because of the rapid change in
capacity of comprehension by the pupil from his sixth to his fourteenth
year, will also be best for the history course, which will begin with
biographical adventures of interest to the child, and possessing an
important historical bearing. These will proceed from the native
land first to England, the parent country, and then to the classic
civilizations (Greece and Rome being, so to speak, the grandparent
countries of the American colonies). These successive courses of oral
lessons adapted respectively to the child’s capacity will do much to
make the child well informed on this topic. Oral lessons should never
be mere lectures, but more like Socratic dialogues, building up a
systematic knowledge partly from what is already known, partly by new
investigations, and partly by comparison of authorities.

The best argument in favor of weekly oral lessons in natural science
and general history is the actual experiences of teachers who have for
some time used the plan. It has been found that the lessons in botany,
zoölogy, and physics give the pupil much aid in learning his geography,
and other lessons relating to nature, while the history lessons
assist very much his comprehension of literature, and add interest to

It is understood by your Committee that the lessons in physiology
and hygiene (with special reference to the effects of stimulants and
narcotics) required by State laws should be included in this oral
course in natural science. Manual training, so far as the theory and
use of the tools for working in wood and iron are concerned, has just
claims on the elementary school for a reason similar to that which
admits natural science. From science have proceeded useful inventions
for the aid of all manner of manufactures and transportation. The child
of to-day lives in a world where machinery is constantly at his hand. A
course of training in wood- and iron-work, together with experimental
knowledge of physics or natural philosophy, makes it easy for him to
learn the management of such machines. Sewing and cookery have not
the same, but stronger claims for a place in school. One-half day in
each week for one-half a year each in the seventh and eighth grades
will suffice for manual training, the sewing and cookery being studied
by the girls, and the wood- and iron-work by the boys. It should be
mentioned, however, that the advocates of manual training in iron- and
wood-work recommend these branches for secondary schools, because of
the greater maturity of body, and the less likelihood to acquire wrong
habits of manipulation, in the third period of four years of school.

Vocal music has long since obtained a well-established place in all
elementary schools. The labors of two generations of special teachers
have reduced the steps of instruction to such simplicity that whole
classes may make as regular progress in reading music as in reading

In regard to physical culture your Committee is agreed that there
should be some form of special daily exercises amounting in the
aggregate to one hour each week, the same to include the main features
of calisthenics, and German, Swedish, or American systems of physical
training, but not to be regarded as a substitute for the old-fashioned
recess, established to permit the free exercise of the pupils in the
open air. Systematic physical training has for its object rather the
will training than recreation, and this must not be forgotten. To go
from a hard lesson to a series of calisthenic exercises is to go from
one kind of will training to another. Exhaustion of the will should be
followed by the caprice and wild freedom of the recess. But systematic
physical exercise has its sufficient reason in its aid to a graceful
use of the limbs, its development of muscles that are left unused or
rudimentary unless called forth by special training, and for the help
it gives to the teacher in the way of school discipline.

Your Committee would mention in this connection instruction in
morals and manners, which ought to be given in a brief series of
lessons each year with a view to build up in the mind a theory of the
conventionalities of polite and pure-minded society. If these lessons
are made too long or too numerous, they are apt to become offensive to
the child’s mind. It is of course understood by your Committee that the
substantial moral training of the school is performed by the discipline
rather than by the instruction in ethical theory. The child is trained
to be regular and punctual, and to restrain his desire to talk and
whisper--in these things gaining self-control day by day. The essence
of moral behavior is self-control. The school teaches good behavior.
The intercourse of a pupil with his fellows without evil words or
violent actions is insisted on and secured. The higher moral qualities
of truth-telling and sincerity are taught in every class exercise that
lays stress on accuracy of statement.

Your Committee has already discussed the importance of teaching
something of algebraic processes in the seventh and eighth grades with
the view to obtaining better methods of solving problems in advanced
arithmetic; a majority of your Committee are of the opinion that formal
English grammar should be discontinued in the eighth year, and the
study of some foreign language, preferably that of Latin, substituted.
The educational effect on an English-speaking pupil of taking up a
language which, like Latin, uses inflections instead of prepositions,
and which further differs from English by the order in which its words
are arranged in the sentence, is quite marked, and a year of Latin
places a pupil by a wide interval out of the range of the pupil who has
continued English grammar without taking up Latin. But the effect of
the year’s study of Latin increases the youth’s power of apperception
in very many directions by reason of the fact that so much of the
English vocabulary used in technical vocabularies, like those of
geography, grammar, history, and literature, is from a Latin source,
and besides there are so many traces in the form and substance of human
learning of the hundreds of years when Latin was the only tongue in
which observation and reflection could be expressed.

Your Committee refers to the programme given later in this report for
the details of co-ordinating these several branches already recommended.

_The difference between elementary and secondary studies._

In recommending the introduction of algebraic processes in the seventh
and eighth years--as well as in the recommendation just now made to
introduce Latin in the eighth year of the elementary course--your
Committee has come face to face with the question of the intrinsic
difference between elementary and secondary studies.

Custom has placed algebra, geometry, the history of English literature,
and Latin in the rank of secondary studies; also general history,
physical geography, and the elements of physics and chemistry. In
a secondary course of four years trigonometry may be added to the
mathematics; some of the sciences whose elements are used in physical
geography may be taken up separately in special treatises, as geology,
botany, and physiology. There may be also a study of whole works of
English authors, as Shakespeare, Milton, and Scott. Greek is also
begun in the second or third year of the secondary course. This is the
custom in most public high schools. But in private secondary schools
Latin is begun earlier, and so, too, Greek, algebra, and geometry.
Sometimes geometry is taken up before algebra, as is the custom in
German schools. These arrangements are based partly on tradition,
partly on the requirements of higher institutions for admission, and
partly on the ground that the intrinsic difficulties in these studies
have fixed their places in the course of study. Of those who claim
that there is an intrinsic reason for the selection and order of these
studies, some base their conclusions on experience in conducting pupils
through them, others on psychological grounds. The latter contend, for
example, that algebra deals with general forms of calculation, while
arithmetic deals with the particular instances of calculation. Whatever
deals with the particular instance is relatively elementary, whatever
deals with the general form is relatively secondary. In the expression
a + b = c algebra indicates the form of all addition. This arithmetic
cannot do, except in the form of a verbal rule describing the steps
of the operation: its examples are all special instances falling
under the general form given in algebra. If, therefore, arithmetic
is an elementary branch, algebra is relatively to it a secondary
branch. So, too, geometry, though not directly based on arithmetic,
has to presuppose an acquaintance with it when it reduces spatial
functions into numerical forms, as, for example, in the measurement
of surfaces and solids, and in ascertaining the ratio of the
circumference to the radius, and of the hypothenuse to the two other
sides of the right-angled triangle. Geometry, moreover, deals with
necessary relations; its demonstrations reach universal and necessary
conclusions, holding good not merely in such material shapes as we
have met with in actual experience, but with all examples possible,
past, present, or future. Such knowledge transcending experience is
intrinsically secondary as compared with the first acquaintance with
geometric shapes in concrete examples.

In the case of geometry it is claimed by some that what is called
“inventional geometry” may be properly introduced into the elementary
grades. By this some mean the practice with blocks in the shape of
geometric solids, and the construction of different figures from the
same; others mean the rediscovery by the pupil for himself of the
necessary relations demonstrated by Euclid. The former--exercises of
construction with blocks--are well enough in the kindergarten, where
they assist in learning number, as well as in the analysis of material
forms. But its educational value is small for pupils advanced into
the use of books. The original discovery of Euclid’s demonstrations,
on the other hand, belongs more properly to higher education than
to elementary. In the geometrical text-books, recently introduced
into secondary schools, there is so much of original demonstration
required that the teacher is greatly embarrassed on account of the
differences in native capacity for mathematics that develop among
the pupils of the same class in solving the problems of invention. A
few gifted pupils delight in the inventions, and develop rapidly in
power, while the majority of the class use too much time over them,
and thus rob the other branches of the course of study, or else fall
into the bad practice of getting help from others in the preparation
of their lessons. A few in every class fall hopelessly behind and
are discouraged. The result is an attempt on the part of the teacher
to correct the evil by requiring a more thorough training in the
mathematical studies preceding, and the consequent delay of secondary
pupils in the lower grades of the course in order to bring up their
“inventional geometry.” Many, discouraged, fail to go on; many more
fail to reach higher studies because unable to get over the barrier
unnecessarily placed before them by teachers who desire that no pupils
except natural geometricians shall enter into higher studies.

Physical geography in its scientific form is very properly made a part
of the secondary course of study. The pupil in his ninth year of work
can profitably acquire the scientific technique of geology, botany,
zoölogy, meteorology, and ethnology, and in the following years take
up those sciences separately and push them further, using the method
of actual investigation. The subject-matter of physical geography is
of very high interest to the pupil who has studied geography in the
elementary grades after an approved method. It takes up the proximate
grounds and causes for the elements of difference on the earth’s
surface, already become familiar to him through his elementary studies,
and pushes them back into deeper, simpler, and more satisfactory
principles. This study performs the work also of correlating the
sciences that relate to organic nature by showing their respective
uses to man. From the glimpses which the pupil gets of mineralogy,
geology, botany, zoölogy, ethnology, and meteorology in their necessary
connection as geographic conditions he sees the scope and grand
significance of those separate inquiries. A thirst is aroused in him to
pursue his researches into their domains. He sees, too, the borderlands
in which new discoveries may be made by the enterprising explorer.

Physics, including what was called until recently “natural
philosophy,” after Newton’s _Principia_ (_Philosophiæ naturalis
principia mathematica_), implies more knowledge of mathematics
for its thorough discussion than the secondary pupil is likely to
possess. In fact, the study of this branch in college thirty years
ago was crippled by the same cause. It should follow the completion
of analytical geometry. Notwithstanding this, a very profitable study
of this subject may be made in the second year of the high school or
preparatory school, although the formulas can then be understood in
so far as they imply elementary algebra only. The pupil does not get
the most exact notions of the quantitative laws that rule matter in
its states of motion and equilibrium, but he does see the action of
forces as qualitative elements of phenomena, and understand quite
well the mechanical inventions by which men subdue them for his use
and safety. Even in the elementary grades the pupil can seize very
many of these qualitative aspects and learn the explanation of the
mechanical phenomena of nature, and other applications of the same
principles in invention, as, for example, gravitation in falling
bodies: its measurement by the scales; the part it plays in the pump,
the barometer, the pendulum; cohesion in mud, clay, glue, paste,
mortar, cement, etc.; capillary attraction in lamp-wicks, sponges,
sugar, the sap in plants; the applications of lifting by the lever,
pulley, inclined plane, wedge, and screw; heat in the sun, combustion,
friction, steam, thermometer, conduction, clothing, cooking, etc.;
the phenomena of light, electricity, magnetism, and the explanation
of such mechanical devices as spectacles, telescopes, microscopes,
prisms, photographic cameras, electric tension in bodies, lightning,
mariner’s compass, horseshoe magnet, the telegraph, the dynamo. This
partially qualitative study of forces and mechanical inventions has
the educational effect of enlightening the pupil, and emancipating him
from the network of superstition that surrounds him in the child world,
partly of necessity and partly by reason of the illiterate adults
that he sometimes meets with in the persons of nurses, servants, and
tradespeople, whose occupations have more attraction for him than those
of cultured people. The fairy world is a world of magic, of immediate
interventions of supernatural spiritual beings, and while this is
proper enough for the child up to the time of the school, and in a
lessening degree for some time after, it is only negative and harmful
in adult manhood and womanhood. It produces arrested development of
powers of observation and reflection in reference to phenomena, and
stops the growth of the soul at the infantine stage of development.
Neither is this infantine stage of wonder and magic more religious
than the stage of disillusion through the study of mathematics and
physics. It is the arrest of religious development, also, at the stage
of fetichism. The highest religion, that of pure Christianity, sees
in the world infinite mediations, all for the purpose of developing
independent individuality; the perfection of human souls not only in
one kind of piety, namely, that of the heart, but in the piety of the
intellect that beholds truth, the piety of the will that does good
deeds wisely, the piety of the senses that sees the beautiful and
realizes it in works of art. This is the Christian idea of divine
Providence as contrasted with the heathen idea of that Providence,
and the study of natural philosophy is an essential educational
requisite in its attainment, although a negative means. Of course
there is danger of replacing the spiritual idea of the divine by the
dynamical or mechanical idea, and thus arresting the mind at the stage
of pantheism instead of fetichism. But this danger can be avoided by
further education through secondary into higher education, whose entire
spirit and method are comparative and philosophical in the best sense
of the term. For higher education seems to have as its province the
correlation of the several branches of human learning in the unity
of the spiritual view furnished by religion to our civilization. By
it one learns to see each branch, each science or art or discipline,
in the light of all the others. This higher or comparative view is
essential to any completeness of education, for it alone prevents
the one-sidedness of hobbies, or “fads,” as they are called in the
slang of the day. It prevents also the bad effects that flow from the
influence of what are termed “self-educated men,” who for the most part
carry up with them elementary methods of study, or at best, secondary
methods, which accentuate the facts and relations of natural and
spiritual phenomena, but do not deal with their higher correlations.
The comparative method cannot, in fact, be well introduced until the
student is somewhat advanced, and has already completed his elementary
course of study dealing with the immediate aspects of the world, and
his secondary course dealing with the separate formal and dynamical
aspects that lie next in order behind the facts of first observation.
Higher education in a measure unifies these separate formal and dynamic
aspects, corrects their one-sidedness, and prevents the danger of what
is so often noted in the self-educated men who unduly exaggerate some
one of the subordinate aspects of the world and make it a sort of first

Here your Committee finds in its way the question of the use of the
full scientific method in the teaching of science in the elementary
school. The true method has been called the method of investigation,
but that method as used by the child is only a sad caricature of the
method used by the mature scientific man, who has long since passed
through the fragmentary observation and reflection that prevail in the
period of childhood, as well as the tendencies to exaggeration of the
importance of one or another branch of knowledge at the expense of
the higher unity that correlates all; an exaggeration that manifests
itself in the possession and use of a hobby. The ideal scientific man
has freed himself from obstacles of this kind, whether psychological
or objective. What astronomical observers call the subjective
coefficient must be ascertained and eliminated from the record that
shows beginnings, endings, and rates. There is a possibility of perfect
specialization in a scientific observer only after the elementary and
secondary attitudes of mind have been outgrown. An attempt to force the
child into the full scientific method by specialization would cause
an arrest of his development in the other branches of human learning
outside of his specialty. He could not properly inventory the data of
his own special sphere unless he knew how to recognize the defining
limits or boundaries that separate his province from its neighbors. The
early days of science abounded in examples of confusion of provinces
in the inventories of their data. It is difficult, even now, to decide
where physics and chemistry leave off, and biology begins.

Your Committee does not attempt to state the exact proportion in which
the child, at his various degrees of advancement, may be able to
dispense with the guiding influence of teacher and text-book in his
investigations, but they protest strongly against the illusion under
which certain zealous advocates of the early introduction of scientific
method seem to labor. They ignore in their zeal the deduction that is
to be made for the guiding hand of the teacher, who silently furnishes
to the child the experience that he lacks, and quietly directs his
special attention to this or to that phase, and prevents him from
hasty or false generalization as well as from undue exaggeration of
single facts or principles. Here the teacher adds the needed scientific
outlook which the child lacks, but which the mature scientist possesses
for himself.

It is contended by some that the scientific frame of mind is adapted
only to science, but not to art, literature, and religion, which
have something essential that science does not reach; not because of
the incompleteness of the sciences themselves, but because of the
attitude of the mind assumed in the observation of nature. In analytic
investigation there is isolation of parts one from another, with a view
to find the sources of the influences which produce the phenomena shown
in the object. The mind brings everything to the test of this idea.
Every phenomenon that exists comes from beyond itself, and analysis
will be able to trace the source.

Now, this frame of mind, which insists on a foreign origin of all
that goes to constitute an object, debars itself in advance from the
province of religion, art, and literature as well as of philosophy.
For self-determination, personal activity, is the first principle
assumed by religion, and it is tacitly assumed by art and literature,
Classic and Christian. The very definition of philosophy implies this,
for it is the attempt to explain the world by the assumption of a
first principle, and to show that all classes of objects imply that
principle as ultimate presupposition. According to this view it is
important not to attempt to hasten the use of a strictly scientific
method on the part of the child. In his first years he is acquiring
the results of civilization rather as an outfit of habits, usages, and
traditions than as a scientific discovery. He cannot be expected to
stand over against the culture of his time, and challenge one and all
of its conventionalities to justify themselves before his reason. His
reason is too weak. He is rather in the imitation stage of mind than in
that of criticism. He will not reach the comparative or critical method
until the era of higher education.

However this may be, it is clear that the educational value of science
and its method is a very important question, and that on it depends the
settlement of the question where specialization may begin. To commence
the use of the real scientific method would imply a radical change also
in methods from the beginning. This may be realized by considering the
hold which even the kindergarten retains upon symbolism and upon art
and literature. But in the opinion of a majority of your Committee
natural science itself should be approached, in the earliest years of
the elementary school, rather in the form of results with glimpses into
the methods by which these results were reached. In the last two years
(the seventh and eighth) there may be some strictness of scientific
form and an exhibition of the method of discovery. The pupil, too, may
to some extent put this method in practice himself. In the secondary
school there should be some laboratory work. But the pupil cannot
be expected to acquire for himself fully the scientific method of
dealing with nature until the second part of higher education--its
post-graduate work. Nevertheless this good should be kept in view from
the first year of the elementary school, and there should be a gradual
and continual approach to it.

In the study of general history appears another branch of the secondary
course. History of the native land is assumed to be an elementary
study. History of the world is certainly a step further away from
the experience of the child. It is held by some teachers to be in
accordance with proper method to begin with the foreign relations
of one’s native land and to work outward to the world-history. The
European relations involved in the discovery and colonization of
America furnish the only explanation to a multitude of questions that
the pupil has started in the elementary school. He should move outward
from what he has already learned, by the study of a new concentric
circle of grounds and reasons, according to this view. This, however,
is not the usual course taken. On beginning secondary history the
pupil is set back face to face with the period of tradition, just
when historic traces first make their appearance. He is, by this
arrangement, broken off from the part of history that he has become
acquainted with, and made to grapple with that period which has no
relation to his previous investigations. It is to be said, however,
that general history lays stress on the religious thread of connection,
though less now than formerly. The world history is a conception of the
great Christian thinker, St. Augustine, who held that the world and its
history is a sort of antiphonic hymn, in which God reads his counsels,
and the earth and man read the responses. He induced Orosius, his
pupil, to sketch a general history in the spirit of his view. It was
natural that the Old Testament histories, and especially the chapters
of Genesis, should furnish the most striking part of its contents. This
general history was connected with religion, and brought closer to
the experience of the individual than the history of his own people.
To commence history with the Garden of Eden, the Fall of Man, and the
Noachian Deluge was to begin with what was most familiar to all minds,
and most instructive, because it concerned most nearly the conduct of
life. Thus religion furnished the apperceptive material by which the
early portions of history were recognized, classified, and made a part
of experience.

Now that studies in archæology, especially those in the Nile and
Euphrates valleys, are changing the chronologies and the records of
early times and adding new records of the past, bringing to light
national movements and collisions of peoples, together with data
by which to determine the status of their industrial civilization,
their religious ideas, and the form of their literature and art, the
concentric arrangement of all this material around the history of the
chosen people as a nucleus is no longer possible. The question has
arisen, therefore, whether general history should not be rearranged
for the secondary school, and made to connect with American history
for apperceptive material rather than with Old Testament history. To
this it has been replied with force that the idea of a world history,
as St. Augustine conceived it, is the noblest educative ideal ever
connected with the subject of history. Future versions of general
history will not desert this standpoint, we are told, even if they take
as their basis that of ethnology and anthropology, for these, too, will
exhibit a plan in human history--an educative principle that leads
nations toward freedom and science, because the Creator of nature has
made it, in its fundamental constitution, an evolution or progressive
development of individuality. Thus the idea of divine Providence is
retained, though made more comprehensive by bringing the whole content
of natural laws within his will as his method of work.

These considerations, we are reminded by the partisans of humanity
studies, point back to the educative value of history as corrective of
the one-sidedness of the method of science. Science seeks explanation
in the mechanical conditions of, and impulses received from, the
environment, while history keeps its gaze fixed on human purposes, and
studies the genesis of national actions through the previous stages of
feelings, convictions, and conscious ideas. In history the pupil has
for his object self-activity, reaction against environment, instead of
mechanism, or activity through another.

The history of English literature is another study of the secondary
school. It is very properly placed beyond the elementary school, for
as taught it consists largely of the biographies of men of letters.
The pupils who have not yet learned any great work of literature
should not be pestered with literary biography, for at that stage
the greatness of the men of letters cannot be seen. Plutarch makes
great biographies because he shows heroic struggles and great deeds.
The heroism of artists and poets consists in sacrificing all for
the sake of their creations. The majority of them come off sadly
at the hands of the biographer, for the reason that the very sides
of their lives are described which they had slighted and neglected
for the sake of the Muses. The prophets of Israel did not live in
city palaces, but in caves; they did not wear fine raiment, nor feed
sumptuously, nor conform to the codes of polite society. They were no
courtiers when they approached the king. They neglected all the other
institutions--family, productive industry, and state--for the sake of
one, the Church, and even that not the established ceremonial of the
people, but a higher and more direct communing with Jehovah. So with
artists and men of letters, it is more or less the case, that the
institutional side of their lives is neglected, or unsymmetrical, or if
this is not the case, it will be found prosaic and uneventful, throwing
no light on their matchless productions.

For these reasons, should not the present use of literary biography
as it exists in secondary schools, and is gradually making its way
into elementary schools, be discouraged, and the time now given to it
devoted to the study of literary works of art? It will be admitted
that the exposure of the foibles of artists has an immoral tendency on
youth: for example, one affects to be a poet, and justifies laxity and
self-indulgence through the example of Byron. Those who support this
view hold that we should not dignify the immoral and defective side of
life by making it a branch of study in school.

_Correlation by synthesis of studies._

Your Committee would mention another sense in which the expression
correlation of studies is sometimes used. It is held by advocates of
an artificial centre of the course of study. They use, for example,
De Foe’s Robinson Crusoe for a reading exercise, and connect with
it the lessons in geography and arithmetic. It has been pointed out
by critics of this method that there is always danger of covering
up the literary features of the reading matter under accessories of
mathematics and natural science. If the material for other branches
is to be sought for in connection with the literary exercise, it will
distract the attention from the poetic unity. On the other hand,
arithmetic and geography cannot be unfolded freely and comprehensively
if they are to wait on the opportunities afforded in a poem or novel
for their development. A correlation of this kind, instead of being
a deeper correlation, such as is found in all parts of human learning
by the studies of the college and university, is rather a shallow and
uninteresting kind of correlation, that reminds one of the system of
mnemonics, or artificial memory, which neglects the association of
facts and events with their causes and the history of their evolution,
and looks for unessential quips, puns, or accidental suggestions with a
view to strengthening the memory. The effect of this is to weaken the
power of systematic thinking which deals with essential relations, and
substitute for it a chaotic memory that ties together things through
false and seeming relations, not of the things and events, but of the
words that denote them.

The correlation of geography and arithmetic and history in and through
the unity of a work of fiction is at best an artificial correlation,
which will stand in the way of the true objective correlation. It is
a temporary scaffolding made for school purposes. Instruction should
avoid such temporary structures as much as possible, and when used
they should be only used for the day, and not for the year, because of
the danger of building up an apperceptive centre in the child’s mind
that will not harmonize with the true apperceptive centre required by
the civilization. The story of Robinson Crusoe has intense interest
to the child as a lesson in sociology, showing him the helplessness
of isolated man and the re-enforcement that comes to him through
society. It shows the importance of the division of labor. All children
should read this book in the later years of the elementary course,
and a few profitable discussions may be had in school regarding its
significance. But De Foe painted in it only the side of adventure that
he found in his countrymen in his epoch, England after the defeat
of the Armada having taken up a career of conquest on the seas,
ending by colonization and a world commerce. The liking for adventure
continues to this day among all Anglo-Saxon peoples, and beyond other
nationalities there is in English-speaking populations a delight in
building up civilization from the very foundation. This is only,
however, one phase of the Anglo-Saxon mind. Consequently the history of
Crusoe is not a proper centre for a year’s study in school. It omits
cities, governments, the world commerce, the international process,
the Church, the newspaper and book from view, and they are not even
reflected in it.

Your Committee would call attention in this connection to the
importance of the pedagogical principle of analysis and isolation as
preceding synthesis and correlation. There should be rigid isolation
of the elements of each branch for the purpose of getting a clear
conception of what is individual and peculiar in a special province
of learning. Otherwise one will not gain from each its special
contribution to the whole. That there is some danger from the kind of
correlation that essays to teach all branches in each will be apparent
from this point of view.


In order to find a place in the elementary school for the several
branches recommended in this report, it will be necessary to use
economically the time allotted for the school term, which is about two
hundred days, exclusive of vacations and holidays. Five days per week
and five hours of actual school work or a little less per day, after
excluding recesses for recreation, give about twenty-five hours per
week. There should be, as far as possible, alternation of study-hours
and recitations (the word recitation being used in the United States
for class exercise or lesson conducted by the teacher and requiring the
critical attention of the entire class). Those studies requiring the
clearest thought should be taken up, as a usual thing, in the morning
session, say arithmetic the second half hour of the morning and grammar
the half-hour next succeeding the morning recess for recreation in the
open air. By some who are anxious to prevent study at home, or at least
to control its amount it is thought advisable to place the arithmetic
lesson after the grammar lesson, so that the study learned at home
will be grammar instead of arithmetic. It is found by experience that
if mathematical problems are taken home for solution two bad habits
arise; namely, in one case, the pupil gets assistance from his parents
or others, and thereby loses to some extent his own power of overcoming
difficulties by brave and persistent attacks unaided by others; the
other evil is a habit of consuming long hours in the preparation of a
lesson that should be prepared in thirty minutes, if all the powers of
mind are fresh and at command. An average child may spend three hours
in the preparation of an arithmetic lesson. Indeed, in repeated efforts
to solve one of the so-called “conundrums,” a whole family may spend
the entire evening. One of the unpleasant results of the next day is
that the teacher who conducts the lesson never knows the exact capacity
and rate of progress of his pupils; in the recitation he probes the
knowledge and preparation of the pupil, plus an unknown amount of
preparatory work borrowed from parents and others. He even increases
the length of the lessons, and requires more work at home, when the
amount already exceeds the unaided capacity of the pupil.

The lessons should be arranged so as to bring in such exercises as
furnish relief from intellectual tension between others that make
large demands on the thinking powers. Such exercises as singing and
calisthenics, writing and drawing, also reading, are of the nature of a
relief from those recitations that tax the memory, critical alertness,
and introspection, like arithmetic, grammar, and history.

Your Committee has not been able to agree on the question whether
pupils who leave school early should have a course of study different
from the course of those who are to continue on into secondary
and higher work. It is contended, on the one hand, that those who
leave early should have a more practical course, and that they
should dispense with those studies that seem to be in the nature of
preparatory work for secondary and higher education. Such studies as
algebra and Latin, for example, should not be taken up unless the
pupil expects to pursue the same for a sufficient time to complete the
secondary course. It is replied, on the other hand, that it is best to
have one course for all, because any school education is at best but an
initiation for the pupil into the art of learning, and that wherever
he leaves off in his school course he should continue, by the aid of
the public library and home study, in the work of mastering science
and literature. It is further contended that a brief course in higher
studies, like Latin and algebra, instead of being useless, is of more
value than any elementary studies that might replace them. The first
ten lessons in algebra give the pupil the fundamental idea of the
general expression of arithmetical solutions by means of letters and
other symbols. Six months’ study of it gives him the power to use the
method in stating the manifold conditions of a problem in partnership,
or in ascertaining a value that depends on several transformations of
the data given. It is claimed, indeed, that the first few lessons in
any branch are relatively of more educational value than an equal
number of subsequent lessons, because the fundamental ideas and
principles of the new study are placed at the beginning. In Latin,
for instance, the pupil learns in his first week’s study the, to him,
strange phenomenon of a language that performs by inflections what
his own language performs by the use of prepositions and auxiliaries.
He is still more surprised to find that the order of words in a
sentence is altogether different in Roman usage from that to which he
is accustomed. He further begins to recognize in the Latin words many
roots or stems which are employed to denote immediate sensuous objects,
while they have been adopted into his English tongue to signify fine
shades of distinction in thought or feeling. By these three things his
powers of observation in matters of language are armed, as it were,
with new faculties. Nothing that he has hitherto learned in grammar
is so radical and far-reaching as what he learns in his first week’s
study of Latin. The Latin arrangement of words in a sentence indicates
a different order of mental arrangement in the process of apprehension
and expression of thought. This arrangement is rendered possible by
declensions. This amounts to attaching prepositions to the ends of the
words, which they thus convert into adjectival or adverbial modifiers;
whereas the separate prepositions of the English must indicate by
their position in the sentence their grammatical relation. These
observations, and the new insight into the etymology of English words
having a Latin derivation, are of the nature of mental seeds which will
grow and bear fruit throughout life in the better command of one’s
native tongue. All this will come from a very brief time devoted to
Latin in school.

_Amount of time for each branch._

Your Committee recommends that an hour of sixty minutes each week be
assigned in the programme for each of the following subjects throughout
the eight years: physical culture, vocal music, oral lessons in natural
science (hygiene to be included among the topics under this head), oral
lessons in biography and general history, and that the same amount of
time each week shall be devoted to drawing from the second year to the
eighth inclusive; to manual training during the seventh and eighth
years so as to include sewing and cookery for the girls, and work in
wood and iron for the boys.

Your Committee recommends that reading be given at least one lesson
each day for the entire eight years, it being understood, however,
that there shall be two or more lessons each day in reading in the
first and second years, in which the recitation is necessarily very
short, because of the inability of the pupil to give continued close
attention, and because he has little power of applying himself to
the work of preparing lessons by himself. In the first three years
the reading should be limited to pieces in the colloquial style, but
selections from the classics of the language in prose and in poetry
shall be read to the pupil from time to time, and discussions made
of such features of the selections read as may interest the pupils.
After the third year your Committee believes that the reading lesson
should be given to selections from classic authors of English, and
that the work of the recitation should be divided between (_a_) the
elocution, (_b_) the grammatical peculiarities of the language,
including spelling, definitions, syntactical construction, punctuation,
and figures of prosody, and (_c_) the literary contents, including the
main and accessory ideas, the emotions painted, the deeds described,
the devices of style to produce a strong impression on the reader.
Your Committee wishes to lay emphasis on the importance of the last
item,--that of literary study,--which should consume more and more of
the time of the recitation from grade to grade in the period from the
fourth to the eighth year. In the fourth year and previously the first
item--that of elocution, to secure distinct enunciation and correct
pronunciation--should be most prominent. In the fifth and sixth years
the second item--that of spelling, defining, and punctuation--should
predominate slightly over the other two items. In the years from the
fifth to the eighth there should be some reading of entire stories,
such as Gulliver’s Travels, Robinson Crusoe, Rip Van Winkle, The
Lady of the Lake, Hiawatha, and similar stories adapted in style and
subject-matter to the capacity of the pupils. An hour should be devoted
each week to conversations on the salient points of the story, its
literary and ethical bearings.

Your Committee agrees in the opinion that in teaching language care
should be taken that the pupil practices much in writing exercises
and original compositions. At first the pupil will use only his
colloquial vocabulary, but as he gains command of the technical
vocabularies of geography, arithmetic, and history, and learns the
higher literary vocabulary of his language, he will extend his use of
words accordingly. Daily from the first year the child will prepare
some lesson or portion of a lesson in writing. Your Committee has
included under the head of oral grammar (from the first to the middle
of the fifth year) one phase of this written work devoted to the study
of the literary form and the technicalities of composition in such
exercises as letter writing, written reviews of the several branches
studied, reports of the oral lessons in natural science and history,
paraphrases of the poems and prose literature of the readers, and
finally compositions or written essays on suitable themes assigned
by the teacher, but selected from the fields of knowledge studied in
school. Care should be taken to criticise all paraphrases of poetry in
respect to the good or bad taste shown in the choice of words; parodies
should never be permitted.

It is thought by your Committee that the old style of composition
writing was too formal. It was kept too far away from the other work of
the pupil. Instead of giving a written account of what he had learned
in arithmetic, geography, grammar, history, and natural science,
the pupil attempted artificial descriptions and reflections on such
subjects as “Spring,” “Happiness,” “Perseverance,” “Friendship,” or
something else outside of the line of his school studies.

Your Committee has already expressed its opinion that a good English
style is not to be acquired by the study of grammar so much as by
familiarity with great masterpieces of literature. We especially
recommend that pupils who have taken up the fourth and fifth readers,
containing the selections from great authors, should often be required
to make written paraphrases of prose or poetic models of style, using
their own vocabulary to express the thoughts so far as possible, and
borrowing the _recherché_ words and phrases of the author, where their
own resources fail them. In this way the pupil learns to see what the
great author has done to enrich the language and to furnish adequate
means of expression for what could not be presented in words before, or
at least not in so happy a manner.

Your Committee believes that every recitation is, in one aspect of it,
an attempt to express the thoughts and information of the lesson in the
pupil’s own words, and thus an initial exercise in composition. The
regular weekly written review of the important topics in the several
branches studied is a more elaborate exercise in composition, the pupil
endeavoring to collect what he knows and to state it systematically
and in proper language. The punctuation, spelling, syntax, penmanship,
choice of words, and style should not, it is true, be made a matter
of criticism in connection with the other lessons, but only in the
language lesson proper. But the pupil will learn language, all the
same, by the written and oral recitations. The oral grammar lessons,
from the first year to the middle of the fifth year, should deal
chiefly with the use of language, gradually introducing the grammatical
technique as it is needed to describe accurately the correct forms and
the usages violated.

Your Committee believes that there is some danger of wasting the time
of the pupil in these oral and written language lessons in the first
four years by confining the work of the pupil to the expression of
ordinary commonplace ideas not related to the subjects of his other
lessons, especially when the expression is confined to the colloquial
vocabulary. Such training has been severely and justly condemned as
teaching what is called prating or gabbling, rather than a noble use
of English speech. It is clear that the pupil should have a dignified
and worthy subject of composition, and what is so good for his purpose
as the themes he has tried to master in his regular lessons? The
reading lessons will give matter for literary style, the geography for
scientific style, and the arithmetic for a business style; for all
styles should be learned.

Your Committee recommends that selected lists of words difficult to
spell be made from the reading lessons and mastered by frequent writing
and oral spelling during the fourth, fifth, and sixth years.

Your Committee recommends that the use of a text-book in grammar
begin with the second half of the fifth year, and continue until the
beginning of the study of Latin in the eighth grade, and that one daily
lesson of twenty-five or thirty minutes be devoted to it.

For Latin we recommend one daily lesson of thirty minutes for the
eighth year. For arithmetic we recommend number work from the first
year to the eighth, one lesson each day, but the use of the text-book
in number should not, in our opinion, begin until the first quarter
of the third year. We recommend that the applications of elementary
algebra to arithmetic, as hereinbefore explained, be substituted for
pure arithmetic in the seventh and eighth years, a daily lesson being

Your Committee recommends that penmanship as a separate branch be
taught in the first six years at least three lessons per week.

Geography, in the opinion of your Committee, should begin with oral
lessons in the second year, and with a text-book in the third quarter
of the third year, and be continued to the close of the sixth year with
one lesson each day, and in the seventh and eighth years with three
lessons per week.

History of the United States with the use of a text-book, your
Committee recommends for the seventh and the first half of the eighth
year, one lesson each day; the Constitution of the United States for
the third quarter of the eighth year.

The following schedule will show the number of lessons per week for
each quarter of each year:--

    Reading. Eight years, with daily lessons.

    Penmanship. Six years, ten lessons per week for first two
    years, five for third and fourth, and three for fifth and sixth.

    Spelling Lists. Fourth, fifth, and sixth years, four lessons
    per week.

    Grammar. Oral, with composition or dictation, first year to
    middle of fifth year, text-book from middle of fifth year to
    close of seventh year, five lessons per week. (Composition
    writing should be included under this head. But the written
    examinations on the several branches should be counted under
    the head of composition work.)

    Latin or French or German. Eighth year, five lessons per week.

    Arithmetic. Oral first and second year, text-book third to
    sixth year, five lessons per week.

    Algebra. Seventh and eighth years, five lessons per week.

    Geography. Oral lessons second year to middle of third year,
    text-book from middle of third year, five lessons weekly to
    seventh year, and three lessons to close of eighth.

    Natural Science and Hygiene. Sixty minutes per week, eight

    History of United States. Five hours per week seventh year and
    first half of eighth year.

    Constitution of United States. Third quarter in the eighth year.

    General History and Biography. Oral lessons, sixty minutes a
    week, eight years.

    Physical Culture. Sixty minutes a week, eight years.

    Vocal Music. Sixty minutes a week, eight years.

    Drawing. Sixty minutes a week, eight years.

    Manual Training, Sewing, and Cooking. One-half day each week in
    seventh and eighth years.

Your Committee recommends recitations of fifteen minutes in length in
the first and second years, of twenty minutes in length in the third
and fourth years, of twenty-five minutes in the fifth and sixth years,
and of thirty minutes in the seventh and eighth.

The results of this programme show for the first and second years
twenty lessons a week of fifteen minutes each, besides seven other
exercises occupying an average of twelve minutes apiece each day; the
total amount of time occupied in the continuous attention of the
recitation or class exercises being twelve hours, or an average of two
hours and twenty-four minutes per day.

For the third year twenty lessons a week of twenty minutes each, and
five general exercises taking up five hours a week, or an average of
one hour per day, giving an average time per day of two hours and
twenty minutes for class recitations or exercises.

In the fourth the recitations increase to twenty-four (by reason of
four extra lessons in spelling) and the time occupied in recitations
and exercises to thirteen hours and an average per day of two hours
thirty-six minutes.

  BRANCHES.     | _1st   | _2d    | _3d    | _4th   | _5th   | _6th   | _7th   |  _8th
                | year_  | year_  | year_  | year_  | year_  | year_  | year_  |  year_
  Reading       |  10 lessons a   |              5 lessons a week
                |      week    -  |
  --------------+-------------- --+-----------------+-----------------+-------------------
  Writing       |  10 lessons a   |   5 lessons a   |   3 lessons a   |
                |      week       |      week       |      week       |
  Spelling      |        |        |        |    4 lessons a week      |
      lists     |        |        |        |                          |
  English       |     Oral, with composition lessons    |   5 lessons a week   |
    Grammar     |                                       |    with text-book    |
  Latin         |        |        |        |        |        |        |        | 5 lessons
  Arithmetic    |Oral, 60 minutes |  5 lessons a week with text-book  |        |
                |a week           |                                   |        |
  Algebra       |        |        |        |        |        |        |    5 lessons a
                |        |        |        |        |        |        |       week
  Geography     | Oral, 60 minutes a   |   [1]5 lessons a week with     | 3 lessons a
                | week                 |       text-book              |    week
  Natural       |
   Science      |                        Sixty minutes a week
     +Hygiene   |
  U. S.         |        |        |        |        |        |        |  5 lessons a |
     History    |        |        |        |        |        |        |    week      |
  U. S.         |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |     |[1]5
  Constitution  |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |     |ls
  General       |                         Oral, sixty minutes a week
     History    |
  Physical      |                             Sixty minutes a week
     Culture    |
  Vocal Music   |                             Sixty minutes a week
                |                            divided into 4 lessons
  Drawing       |                             Sixty minutes a week
  Man’l Train.  |        |        |        |        |        |        |   One-half day
    or Sewing + |        |        |        |        |        |        |     each week
       Cookery  |        |        |        |        |        |        |
  Number of     | 20 + 7 | 20 + 7 | 20 + 5 | 24 + 5 | 27 + 5 | 27 + 5 | 23 + 6 | 23 + 6
      Lessons   |  daily |  daily |  daily |  daily |  daily |  daily |  daily |  daily
                |  exer. |  exer. |  exer. |  exer. |  exer. |  exer. |  exer. |  exer.
  Total Hours   |   12   |   12   | 11⅔    |   13   | 16¼    | 16¼    | 17½    | 17½
  of Recitat’ns |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |
  Length of     | 15 min | 15 min | 20 min | 20 min | 25 min | 25 min | 30 min | 30 min
  Recitations   |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |

  [1] Begins in second half year.

In the fifth and sixth years the number of recitations increases to
twenty-seven per week, owing to the addition of formal grammar, and the
total number of hours required for all is 16¼ per week, or an average
of 3¼ per day.

In the seventh and eighth years the number of lessons decreases to
twenty-three, history being added, penmanship and special lessons in
spelling discontinued, the time devoted to geography reduced to three
lessons a week. But the recitation is increased to thirty minutes in
length. Manual training occupies a half-day, or 2½ hours, each week.
The total is 19 hours per week, or 3¾ per day.

The foregoing tabular exhibit shows all of these particulars.


Your Committee is agreed that the time devoted to the elementary school
work should not be reduced from eight years, but they have recommended,
as hereinbefore stated, that in the seventh and eighth years a modified
form of algebra be introduced in place of advanced arithmetic, and
that in the eighth year English grammar yield place to Latin. This
makes, in their opinion, a proper transition to the studies of the
secondary school and is calculated to assist the pupil materially in
his preparation for that work. Hitherto, the change from the work of
the elementary school has been too abrupt, the pupil beginning three
formal studies at once, namely, algebra, physical geography, and Latin.

Your Committee has found it necessary to discuss the question of
methods of teaching in numerous instances, while considering the
question of educational values and programmes, because the value and
time of beginning of the several branches depend so largely on the
method of teaching.

The following recommendations, however, remain for this part of their

They would recommend that the specialization of teachers’ work should
not be attempted before the seventh or eighth year of the elementary
school and in not more than one or two studies then. In the secondary
school it is expected that a teacher will teach one, or at most, two
branches. In the elementary school, for at least six years, it is
better, on the whole, to have each teacher instruct his pupils in all
the branches that they study, for the reason that only in this way can
he hold an even pressure on the requirements of work, correlating it in
such a manner that no one study absorbs undue attention. In this way
the pupils prepare all their lessons under the direct supervision of
the same teacher and by their recitations show what defects of methods
of study there have been in the preparation.

The ethical training is much more successful under this plan, because
the personal influence of a teacher is much greater when he or she
knows minutely the entire scope of the school work. In the case of the
special teacher the responsibility is divided and the opportunities of
special acquaintance with character and habits diminished.

With one teacher, who supervises the study and hears all the
recitations, that there is a much better opportunity to cultivate
the two kinds of attention. The teacher divides his pupils into two
classes and hears one recite while the other class prepares for the
next lesson. The pupils reciting are required to pay strict attention
to the one of their number who is explaining the point assigned him
by the teacher--they are to be on the alert to notice any mistakes of
statement or omissions of important data, they are at the same time
to pay close attention to the remarks of the teacher. This is one kind
of attention, which may be called associated critical attention. The
pupils engaged in the preparation of the next lesson are busy, each
one by himself, studying the book and mastering its facts and ideas,
and comparing them one with another, and making the effort to become
oblivious of their fellow-pupils, the recitation going on, and the
teacher. This is another kind of attention, which is not associated,
but an individual effort to master for one’s self without aid a
prescribed task and to resist all distracting influences. These two
disciplines in attention are the best formal training that the school

Your Committee has already mentioned a species of faulty correlation
wherein the attempt is made to study all branches in each, misapplying
Jacotot’s maxim, “all is in all” (_tout est dans tout_).

A frequent error of this kind is the practice of making every
recitation a language lesson, and interrupting the arithmetic,
geography, history, literature, or whatever it may be, by calling the
pupil’s attention abruptly to something in his forms of expression,
his pronunciation, or to some faulty use of English; thus turning
the entire system of school work into a series of grammar exercises
and weakening the power of continuous thought on the objective
contents of the several branches, by creating a pernicious habit of
self-consciousness in the matter of verbal expression. While your
Committee would not venture to say that there should not be some degree
of attention to the verbal expression in all lessons, it is of the
opinion that it should be limited to criticism of the recitation for
its want of technical accuracy. The technical words in each branch
should be discussed until the pupil is familiar with their full force.
The faulty English should be criticised as showing confusion of
thought or memory, and should be corrected in this sense. But solecisms
of speech should be silently noted by the teacher for discussion in the
regular language lesson.

The question of promotion of pupils has occupied from time to time
very much attention. Your Committee believes that in many systems
of elementary schools there is injury done by too much formality in
ascertaining whether the pupils of a given class have completed the
work up to a given arbitrarily fixed point, and are ready to take up
the next apportionment of the work. In the early days of city school
systems, when the office of superintendent was first created, it was
thought necessary to divide up the graded course of study into years
of work, and to hold stated annual examinations to ascertain how many
pupils could be promoted to the next grade or year’s work. All that
failed at this examination were set back at the beginning of the year’s
work to spend another year in reviewing it. This was to meet the
convenience of the superintendent, who, it was said, could not hold
examinations to suit the wants of individuals or particular classes.
From this arrangement there naturally resulted a great deal of what is
called “marking time.” Pupils who had nearly completed the work of the
year were placed with pupils who had been till now a year’s interval
below them. Discouragement and demoralization at the thought of taking
up again a course of lessons learned once before caused many pupils to
leave school prematurely.

This evil has been remedied in nearly one-half of the cities by
promoting pupils whenever they have completed the work of a grade. The
constant tendency of classification to become imperfect by reason of
the difference in rates of advancement of the several pupils owing to
disparity in ages, degree of maturity, temperament, and health, makes
frequenter classification necessary. This is easily accomplished by
promoting the few pupils who distance the majority of their classmates
into the next class above, separated as it is, or ought to be, by an
interval of less than half a year. The bright pupils thus promoted have
to struggle to make up the ground covered in the interval between the
two classes, but they are nearly always able to accomplish this, and
generally will in two years’ time need another promotion from class to

The procrustean character of the old city systems has been removed by
this device.

There remain for mention some other evils besides bad systems of
promotion due to defects of organization. The school buildings are
often with superstitious care kept apart exclusively for particular
grades of pupils. The central building erected for high school
purposes, though only half filled, is not made to relieve the
neighboring grammar school, crowded to such a degree that it cannot
receive the classes which ought to be promoted from the primary
schools. It has happened in such cases that this superstition prevailed
so far that the pupils in the primary school building were kept at work
on studies already finished, because they could not be transferred to
the grammar school.

In all good school systems the pupils take up new work when they have
completed the old, and the bright pupils are transferred to higher
classes when they have so far distanced their fellows that the amount
of work fixed for the average ability of the class does not give them
enough to do.

In conclusion, your Committee would state, by way of explanation, that
it has been led into many digressions, in illustrating the details of
its recommendations in this report, through its desire to make clear
the grounds on which it has based its conclusions and through the hope
that such details will call out a still more thorough-going discussion
of the educational values of branches proposed for elementary schools,
and of the methods by which those branches may be successfully taught.

With a view to increase the interest in this subject, your Committee
recommends the publication of selected passages from the papers sent
in by invited auxiliary committees and by volunteers, many of these
containing valuable suggestions not mentioned in this report.

Organization for City School Systems.


    [This is the report of a sub-committee of the Fifteen, of which
    President Draper of the University of Illinois is chairman.]

It is understood that the committee is to treat of city school systems,
which are so large that persons chosen by the people to manage them,
and serving without pay, cannot be expected to transact all the
business of the system in person, nor to have personal knowledge of all
business transactions, and which are so large that one person employed
to supervise the instruction cannot be assumed to personally manage or
direct all of the details thereof, but must, in each case, act under
plans of organization and administration established by law and through
assistants or representatives.

The end for which a school system exists is the _instruction of the
children_, attaching to the word instruction the meaning it attains
in the mind of a well-educated person, if not in the mind of an
educational expert.

To secure this end, no plan of organization alone will suffice. Nothing
can take the place of a sincere desire for good schools, of a fair
knowledge of what good schools are, and what will make them, of a
public spirit and a moral sense on the part of the people, which are
spontaneous, or which can be appealed to with confidence. Fortunately,
the interest which the people have in their own children is so large,
and the anxiety of the community for public order and security is so
great, that public sentiment may ordinarily be relied upon, or may be
aroused to action, to choose proper representatives and take proper
measures for the administration of the schools. If, in any case, this
is not so, there is little hope of efficient schools. Wherever it _is_
so, it alone will not suffice, but proper organization may become the
instrument of public sentiment, and develop schools which will be
equal to the needs of all, and become the safeguards of citizenship.
Efficient schools can be secured only by providing suitable buildings
and appliances, and by keeping them in proper order on the one hand,
and, on the other hand, by employing, organizing, aiding, and directing
teachers, so that the instruction shall have life and power to
accomplish the great end for which schools are maintained.

The circumstances of the case naturally and quickly separate the duties
of administration into two great departments, one which manages the
business affairs, and the other which supervises the instruction. The
business affairs of the school system may be transacted by any citizens
of common honesty, correct purposes, and of good business experience
and sagacity. The instruction will be ineffective and abnormally
expensive unless put upon a scientific educational basis and supervised
by competent educational experts.

There will be a waste of money and effort and a lack of results, unless
the authorities of these two departments are sympathetic with each
other; that is, unless, on the one hand, the business management is
sound, is appreciative of good teaching, looks upon it as a scientific
and professional employment, and is alert to sustain it; and unless, on
the other hand, the instructors are competent and self-respecting, know
what good business management is, are glad to uphold it, and are able
to respect those who are charged with responsibility for it.

To secure efficiency in these departments, there must be adequate
authority and quick public accountability. The problem is not merely
to secure some good schoolhouses, but good schoolhouses wherever
needed, and to avoid the use of all houses which are not suitable
for use; it is not to get some good teaching, but to prevent all bad
teaching, and to advance all the teaching to the highest possible point
of special training, professional spirit, and of life-giving power. All
of the business matters must be entrusted to competent business hands
and managed upon sound business principles; and all of the instruction
must be put upon a professional basis. To insure this, there must be
deliberation and wisdom in determining policy, and then the power to do
what is determined upon must be present and capable of exercise, and
the responsibility for the proper exercise of the power must, in each
case, be individual and immediate.

It is imperative that we discriminate between the legislative and
executive action in organizing and administering the schools. The
influences which enter into legislative action, looking to the
general organization and work of the schools, must necessarily and
fundamentally flow directly from the people and be widely spread. The
greater the number of people, in proportion to the entire population,
who can be led to take a positive interest and an active part in
securing good schools, the better will the schools be, provided the
people can secure the complete execution of their purposes and plans.
But experience has clearly shown that many causes intervene to prevent
the complete execution of such plans, that all the natural enemies
of sound administration scent plenty of plunder and are especially
active here, that good school administration requires much strength of
character, much business experience, much technical knowledge, and can
be only measurably satisfactory when the responsibility is adequate,
and the penalties for maladministration are severe. Decentralization in
making the plan and determining what shall be done, and centralization
in executing the plan and in doing what is to be done, are, perhaps,
equally important.

It should be remembered that the character of the school work of a city
is not merely a matter of local interest, and that the maintenance of
the schools does not rest merely or mainly upon local authority. The
people of the municipality, acting, and ordinarily glad to act, but, in
any event, being obliged to act, under and pursuant to the law which
has been ordained by the sovereign authority of the state, establish
and maintain schools. They must have the taxing power which the state
alone possesses in order to enable them to proceed at all. They must
regard the directions which the state sees fit to give as to the
essential character of the schools, when it exercises in their behalf,
or when it delegates to them the power of taxation.

The plan should be flexible for good, while inflexible for evil.
Meeting essential requirements, the people of the municipality may well
be empowered to proceed as much farther as they will in elaborating a
system of schools. The higher the plane of average intelligence, and
the more generally and the more directly the people act in deciding
what shall be done, and the greater the facility and completeness
with which the intelligence of the city is able to secure the proper
execution of its plans by officers appointed for that purpose, the more
elaborate and the more efficient will be the schools, and this should,
of course, be provided for.

It is idle to suggest that centering executive functions is unwisely
taking power away from the people. The people cannot execute plans
themselves. The authority to do it must necessarily be delegated. The
question simply is, “Shall it be given to a number of persons, and if
so, to how many? Or to only one?” This question is to be decided by
experience, and it is, of course, true that experience has not been
uniform. But it is doubtless true that the general experience of
the communities of the country has shown that where purely executive
functions are conferred upon a number of persons jointly, they yield
to antagonistic influences and shift the responsibility from one to
another; and that centering the responsibility for the proper discharge
of executive duties upon a single person, who gets the credit of good
work and must bear the disgrace or penalty of bad work, and who can
quickly be held accountable for misdeeds and inefficiency, has secured
the fullest execution of public plans and the largest results. To call
this “centralization,” with the meaning which commonly attaches to the
word, is inaccurate. Instead of removing the power from the people,
it is keeping the power closer to the people, and making it possible
for the citizen in his individual capacity and for organized bodies
of citizens to secure the execution of plans according to the purpose
and intent with which those plans were made. Indeed, it is safe to
say that experience has shown that this is _the only way_ in which to
prevent the frequent thwarting of the popular will and the defiance of
individuals whose interests are ignored or whose rights are invaded.

But all the people of a city whose population is numbered by hundreds
of thousands or millions cannot meet in a legislative assemblage to
formulate plans. They cannot gather in mass meetings, and, if they
could, mass meetings cannot deliberate. Even their legislative action
must flow, not from a primary, but from a representative assembly.

What shall such a representative legislative body be called? How shall
it be chosen? Of how many members shall it be composed? And what shall
be its powers? These and other similar questions are all important
and must be determined by the law-making power of the state. The
sentiments of the city, as expressed through the local organizations,
and particularly the newspapers, must, of course, have much weight
with the legislature if there is anything like unanimity or any very
strong preponderance of opinion in the city, for the plan for which
a community expresses a preference will surely be likely to operate
most effectually in that community. But the local sentiment is not
conclusive. When divided, it is no guide at all. The legislature is
to take all the circumstances into consideration, take the world’s
experience for its guide, and, acting under its responsibilities, it
must exercise its high powers in ways which will build up a system of
schools in the city likely to articulate with the state educational
system and become the effective instrument of developing the
intelligence and training the character of the children of the city up
to the ideals of the state.

The name of the legislative branch of the school government is not
material, and the one to which the people are accustomed may well
continue to be employed. There is no name more appropriate than the
“Board of Education.”

The manner of selecting or appointing the members of this legislative
body may turn somewhat upon the circumstances of the city. We are
strongly of the opinion that in view of the well-known difficulty about
securing the attendance of the most interested and intelligent electors
at school elections, as well as because of the apparent impossibility
of freeing school elections from political or municipal issues, the
better manner of elections is by appointment. If the members of the
board are appointed, the mayor of the city is likely to be the official
to whom the power of appointment may most safely be entrusted. The
mayor is not suggested because his office should sustain any relation
to the school system, but in spite of the fact that it does not and
should not. The school system should be _absolutely emancipated
from partisan politics, and completely dissociated from municipal
business_. But we think the appointments should be made by some one
person, rather than by a board. The mayor is representative of the
whole city and all its interests. While not chosen with any reference
to the interests of the schools, he may be assumed to have information
as to the fitness of citizens for particular responsibilities, and
to be desirous of promoting the educational interests of the people.
If he is given the power of appointment, he should be particularly
enjoined by law to consider the fitness of individuals alone and pay no
regard to party affiliations, unless it be to particularly see to it
that no one political party has an overwhelming preponderance in the
board. The mayor very commonly feels constrained, under the pressure
of party expediency, to make so many questionable appointments, that
he is only too glad, and particularly so when enjoined by the law, to
make very acceptable appointments of members of school boards, in order
that he may gratify the better sentiment of the city. We are confident
that the problem of getting a representative board of education is
not so difficult as many think, if the board is not permitted to
make patronage of work and salaried positions at the disposal of the
public-school system. Under such circumstances, and more and more so
as we have approached such circumstances, appointment in the way we
suggest has produced the best school boards in the larger cities of the

The members of school boards should be representative of the whole
population and of all their common educational interests, and should
not be chosen to represent any ward or subdivision of the territory,
or any party or element in the political, religious, or social life
thereof. Where this principle is not enforced, the members will feel
bound to gain what advantage they can for the district or interests
they represent; bitter contests will ensue, and the common interests
will suffer.

Attempts to eliminate partisanship from school administration,
by arraying an equal number of partisans against each other in
school boards, do not, at best, lead to an ideal organization. In
some instances they have proved fairly successful; in others, very
mischievous. The true course is to insist that all who have any
share in the management of the schools shall divest themselves of
partisanship, whether political or religious, in such management, and
give themselves wholly to the high interests entrusted to them. If
it be said that this cannot be realized, it may be answered, without
admitting it, that even if that were so, it would be no reason why
the friends of the schools should not assert the sound principle and
secure its enforcement as far as possible. We must certainly give no
countenance to make-shifts, which experience has shown to be misleading
and expensive. The right must prevail in the end, and the earlier and
more strongly it is contended for, the sooner it will prevail.

Relatively small boards are preferable to large ones. In a city of less
than a half-million of inhabitants, the number should not exceed nine,
and might well not exceed five. In the very largest cities it might be
enlarged to fifteen.

The term for which members are appointed should be a reasonably long
one, say, five years.

We think it an excellent plan to provide for two branches and sets of
powers in the board of education; the one to have the veto power, or,
at least, to act as a check upon the acts of the other. This may be
accomplished by creating the office of school director and charging
the incumbent with executive duties on the business side of the
administration, and by giving him the veto power over the acts of the
other branch of the board, which may be called the “School Council.”
Beyond the care and conservation which is ensured by two sets of powers
acting against each other, it has the advantage of giving the chief
executive officer of the system just as high and good a title as that
of members of the board, it is likely to secure a more representative
man, and gives him larger prerogatives in the discharge of his
executive duties and better standing among the people, particularly
among the employees and teachers associated with the public-school

If this plan is adopted, the school director should be required to
give his entire time to the duties of his position, and be properly
compensated therefor. He should be the custodian of all property and
should appoint all assistants, janitors, and workmen, authorized by the
board, for the care of the same. He should give bond, with sufficient
sureties and penalties, for the faithful and proper discharge of all
his duties. He should be authorized by law to expend funds, within a
fixed limit, for repairs, appliances, and help, without the action of
the board. All contracts should be made by him, and should run in his
name, and he should be charged with the responsibility of seeing that
they are faithfully and completely executed. All contracts involving
more than a limited and fixed sum of money should be let upon bids
to be advertised for and opened in public. He should have a seat in
the board of education; should not vote, but should have the power to
veto, either absolutely or conditionally, any of the acts of the board,
through a written communication. This officer and the school council
should together constitute the board of education.

The board of education should be vested with legislative functions
only, and be required to act wholly through formal and recorded
resolutions. It should determine and direct the general policy of the
school system. Within reasonable limits, as to amount, it should be
given power, in its discretion, to levy whatever moneys may be needed
for school purposes. It should control the expenditure of all moneys
beyond a fixed and limited amount, which may safely and advantageously
be left to the discretion of the chief executive business officer.
It should authorize, by general resolutions, the appointment of
necessary officers and employees in the business department, and
the superintendent, assistants, and teachers in the department of
instruction, but it should be allowed to make no appointments other
than its own clerk. With this necessary exception, single officers
should be charged with responsibility for all appointments.

This plan, not in all, but in essential particulars, has been on trial
in the city of Cleveland for nearly three years, and has worked with
very general acceptability.

If this plan is adopted, the chief executive officer of the system
is already provided for and his duties have already been indicated.
Otherwise it will be necessary for the board to appoint such an
officer. In that event, the law should declare him independent, confer
upon him adequate authority for the performance of executive duties,
and charge him with responsibility. But we know of no statutory
language capable of making an officer appointed by a board, and
dependent upon the same board for supplies, independent in fact of the
personal wishes of the members of that board. And right here is where
the troubles rush in to discredit and damage the school system.

We now come to the subject of paramount importance in making a plan
for the school government in a great city, namely, the character of
the teaching force and the quality of the instruction. A city school
system may be able to withstand some abuses on the business side of its
administration and continue to perform its functions with measurable
success, but wrongs against the instruction must, in a little time,
prove fatal. The strongest language is none too strong here. The
safety of the republic, the security of American citizenship, are at
stake. Government by the people has no more dangerous pitfall in its
road than this, that in the mighty cities of the land the comfortable
and intelligent masses, who are discriminating more and more closely
about the education of their children, shall become dissatisfied with
the social status of the teachers and the quality of the teaching in
the common schools. In that event they will educate their children at
their own expense, and the public schools will become only good enough
for those who can afford no better. The only way to avert this is by
maintaining the instruction upon a purely scientific and professional
footing. This is entirely practicable, but it involves much care and
expense in training teachers, the absolute elimination of favoritism
from appointments, the security of the right to advancement after
appointment, on the basis of merit, and a general leadership which
is kindly, helpful, and stimulating to individuals, which can secure
harmonious coöperation from all the members, and lends energy and
inspiration to the whole body.

This cannot be secured if there is any lack of authority, and
experience amply proves that it will not be secured if there is any
division of responsibility. The whole matter of instruction must
be placed in the hands of a superintendent of instruction, with
independent powers and adequate authority, who is charged with full

The danger of inconsiderate or improper action by one vested with
such powers is, of course, possible, but it is remote. Regardless of
the legal powers with which he may be individually vested, he is in
fact and in law a part of a large system. He must act through others,
and in the presence of multitudes. There is great publicity about all
he does. When a single officer carries such responsibility, he is at
the focus of all eyes. There are the strongest incentives to right
action. He cannot act wrongfully without it is known, at least to many
persons. If he is required to act under and pursuant to a plan, the
details of which have been announced, and of which we shall speak in
a moment, a wrongful act will be known to the world, and he must bear
the responsibility of it, and the danger of maladministration is almost

Moreover, we must consider the alternative. It is not in doubt. All
who have had any contact with the subject are familiar with it. It is
administration by boards or committees, the members of which are not
competent to manage professional matters and develop an expert teaching
force. Though necessarily inexperienced, they frequently assume the
knowledge of the most experienced. They over-ride and degrade a
superintendent, when they have the power to do so, until he becomes
their mere factotum. For the sake of harmony and the continuance of
his position, he concedes, surrenders, and acquiesces in their acts,
while the continually increasing teaching force becomes weaker and
weaker, and the work poorer and poorer. If he refuses to do this, they
precipitate an open rupture, and turn him out of his position. Then
they cloud the issues and shift the responsibility from one to another.
There are exceptions, of course, but they do not change the rule.

It will be unprofitable to mince words about this all-important matter.
If the course of study for the public schools of a great city is to
be determined by laymen, it will not be suited to the needs of a
community. If teachers are to be appointed by boards or committees,
the members of which are particularly sensitive to the desires of
people who have votes or influence, looseness of action is inevitable,
and unworthy considerations will frequently prevail. If the action
of a board or committee be conditioned upon the recommendation of a
superintendent, the plan will not suffice. No one person is stronger
than the system of which he is a part. Such a plan results in contests
between the board and the superintendents, and such a contest is
obviously an unequal one. There is little doubt of the outcome. In
recommending for the appointment of teachers, the personal wishes of
members of the board, in particular cases, will have to be acquiesced
in. If a teacher, no matter how unfit, cannot be dropped from the list
without the approval of a board or committee after they have heard
from her friends and sympathizers, she will remain indefinitely in the
service. This means a low tone in the teaching force and desolation in
the work of the schools. If the superintendent accepts the situation,
he becomes less and less capable of developing a professional teaching
service. If he refuses to accept it, he is very likely to meet
humiliation; dismissal is practically inevitable.

The superintendent of instruction should be charged with no duty save
the supervision of the instruction, but should be charged with the
responsibility of making that professional and scientific, and should
be given the position and authority to accomplish that end.

If the board of education is constituted upon the old plan, he must
be chosen by the board. If it is constituted upon the Cleveland plan,
he may be appointed by the school director, with the approval of
two-thirds or three-fourths of the council. The latter plan seems
preferable, for it centralizes the main responsibility of this
important appointment in a single individual. In either case, the law
and the sentiment of the city should direct that the appointee shall be
a person liberally educated, professionally trained; one who knows what
good teaching is, but is also experienced in administration, in touch
with public affairs, and in sympathy with popular feeling.

The term of the superintendent of instruction should be from five
to ten years, and until a successor is appointed. In our judgment,
it should be determinate, so that there may be a time of public
examination, but it should be sufficiently long to enable one to lay
foundations and show results, without being carried under by the
prejudices which always follow the first operation of efficient or
drastic plans. The salary should be fixed by law, and not subject to
change in the middle of a term or except by law.

For reasons already suggested, the superintendent, once appointed,
should have power to appoint, from an eligible list, all assistants and
teachers authorized by the board, and unlimited authority to assign
them to their respective positions, and reassign them or remove them
from the force at his discretion.

To secure a position upon the eligible list from which appointments
may be made, a candidate, if without experience, should be required
to complete the full four years’ course of the city high schools,
or its equivalent, and in addition thereto pass the examination of
the board of examiners, and complete at least a year’s course of
professional training in a city normal training school under the
direction of the superintendent. If the candidate has had, say, three
years of successful experience as a teacher, he should be eligible
to appointment by passing an examination held by a general examining
board. This board may be appointed by the board of education, but
should examine none but graduates of the high school and training
school, unless specially requested so to do by the superintendent of
instruction. The number admitted to the training schools should be
limited, and the examinations should be gauged to the prospective needs
of the elementary schools for new teachers. The supply of new teachers
may well be largely, but should not be wholly, drawn from this local
source. The force will gain fresh vitality by some appointments of good
and experienced teachers from outside.

The work of putting a large teaching force upon a professional basis,
of making the teaching scientific and capable of arousing mind to
action, is so difficult that a layman can scarcely appreciate it.
It has hardly been commenced, it has only been made possible, when
the avenues of approach to the service have been closed against the
unqualified and unworthy. After that the supervision must be close
and general, as well as sympathetic and decisive. The superintendent
must have expert assistants enough to learn the characteristics and
measure the work of every member of the force. They must help and
encourage, advise and direct, according to the circumstances of each
case. The work must be reduced to a system and the workers brought into
harmonious relations. Each room must show neatness and life, and the
whole force must show ardor and enthusiasm. By directing the reading,
by encouraging an interchange of visits, by organizing clubs for
self-improvement, by frequent class and grade and general meetings, the
professional spirit may be aroused and the work energized.

Those who show teaching power, versatility, amiability, reliability,
steadiness, and growth must be rewarded with the highest positions:
those who lack fibre, who have no energy, who are incapable of
enthusiasm, who will not work agreeably with their associates, must
go upon the retired list. Directness and openness must be encouraged.
Attempts to invoke social, political, religious, or other outside
influences to secure preferment must operate to close the door to
advancement. In general and in particular, bad teaching must be
prevented. In every room a firm and kindly management must prevail
and good teaching must be apparent. All must work along common lines
which will ensure general and essential ends. Until a teacher can do
this and can be relied upon to do it, she must be helped and directed:
when it is manifest that she cannot or will not do it, she must be
dismissed; when she does show that she can do it and wants to do
it, she must be left to exercise her own judgment and originality
and do it in her own way. In the schoolroom the teacher must be
secure against interference. In all the affairs of the school her
judgment must be trusted to the utmost limit of safety. Then judgment
will strengthen, and self-respect and public respect will grow. The
qualities which develop in the teacher will develop in the school.
To develop these qualities with any degree of uniformity, in a large
teaching force, requires steady and uniform treatment through a long
course of years under superintendence which is professional, strong,
just, and courageous, which has ample assistance and authority, which
is worthy of public confidence, and knows how to marshal facts,
present arguments, and appeal to the intelligence and integrity of the
community with success.

It is the business of the plan of organization to secure such
superintendence. It cannot be secured through an ordinary board
of education operating on the old plan. It is well known what the
influences are which are everywhere prevalent and must inevitably
prevent it. It may be secured in the law, and it must be secured there,
or it will not be secured at all.

In concluding this portion of the report, the committee indicates
briefly the principles which must necessarily be observed in framing a
plan of organization and government in a large city school system.

_First._--The affairs of the schools should not be mixed up with
partisan contents or municipal business.

_Second._--There should be a sharp distinction between legislative
functions and executive duties.

_Third._--Legislative functions should be clearly fixed by statute and
be exercised by a relatively small board, each member of which board
is representative of the whole city. This board, within statutory
limitations, should determine the policy of the system, levy taxes,
and control the expenditures. It should make no appointments. Every
act should be by a recorded resolution. It is preferable that this
board be created by appointment rather than election, and that it be
constituted of two branches acting against each other.

_Fourth._--Administration should be separated into two great
independent departments, one of which manages the business interests
and the other of which supervises the instruction. Each of these should
be wholly directed by a single official, who is vested with ample
authority and charged with full responsibility for sound administration.

_Fifth._--The chief executive officer on the business side should be
charged with the care of all property, and with the duty of keeping
it in suitable condition; he should provide all necessary furnishings
and appliances; he should make all agreements and see that they are
properly performed; he should appoint all assistants, janitors, and
workmen. In a word, he should do all that the law contemplates, and
all that the board authorizes, concerning the business affairs of the
school system, and when anything goes wrong, he should answer for it.
He may be appointed by the board, but we think it preferable that he
be chosen in the same way the members of the board are chosen, and be
given a veto upon the acts of the board.

_Sixth._--The chief executive officer of the department of instruction
should be given a long term, and may be appointed by the board. If
the board is constituted of two branches, he should be nominated by
the business executive and confirmed by the legislative branch. Once
appointed, he should be independent. He should appoint all authorized
assistants and teachers from an eligible list, to be constituted as
provided by law. He should assign to duties and discontinue services
for cause at his discretion. He should determine all matters relating
to instruction. He should be charged with the responsibility of
developing a professional and enthusiastic teaching force and of
making all the teaching scientific and forceful. He must perfect the
organization of his department, and make and carry out plans to
accomplish this. If he cannot do this in a reasonable time, he should
be superseded by one who can.

The government of a vast city school system comes to have an autonomy
which is largely its own, and almost independent of direction or
restraint. The volume of business which this government transacts is
represented only by millions of dollars; it calls not only for the
highest sagacity and the ripest experience, but also for much special
information relating to school property and school affairs. Even
more important than this is the fact that this government controls
and determines the educational policy of the city and carries on the
instruction of tens or hundreds of thousands of children, and this
instruction is of little value, and perhaps vicious, unless it is
professional and scientific. This government is representative. All
citizens are compelled to support it, and all have large interests
which it is bound to promote. Every parent has rights which it is the
duty of this school government to protect and enforce. When government
exacts our support of public education, when it comes into our homes
and takes our children into its custody and instructs them according
to its will, we acquire a right which is as exalted as any right of
property, or of person, or of conscience can be, and that is the
right to know that the environment is healthful, that the management
is kindly and ennobling, and that the instruction is rational and
scientific. It is needless to say to what extent these interests are
impeded or blocked, or how commonly these rights of citizenship and of
parentage are denied or defied, or how helpless the individual is who
seeks their enforcement, under the system of school government which
has heretofore obtained in some of the great cities of the country.
This is not surprising. It is only the logical result of the rapid
growth of cities, of a marvelous advance in knowledge of what is needed
in the schools, of the antagonism of selfish interests, by which
all public administration, and particularly school administration,
is encompassed, and of the lack of plan and system, the confusion of
powers, the absence of individual responsibility, in the government
of a system of schools. By the census of 1890 there are seven cities
in the United States each with a population greater than any one of
sixteen states. The aggregate population of twelve cities exceeds
the aggregate population of twenty states. Government for education
certainly requires as strong and responsible an organization as
government for any other purpose. These great centres of population,
with their vast and complex educational problems, have passed the
stage when government by the time-honored commission will suffice. No
popular government ever determined the policy and administered the
affairs of such large bodies of people successfully, ever transacted
such a vast volume of business satisfactorily, ever promoted high
and beneficent ends, ever afforded protection to the rights of each
individual of the great multitude, unless in its plan of organization
there was an organic separation of executive, legislative, and
judicial functions and powers. All the circumstances of the case
and the uniform experience of the world forbid our expecting any
substantial solution of the problem we are considering until it is
well settled in the sentiments of the people that the school systems
of the greatest cities are only a part of the school systems of
the states of which these cities form a part, and are subject to
the legislative authority thereof; until there is a plan of school
government in each city which differentiates executive acts from
legislative functions; which emancipates the legislative branch of
that government from the influence of pelf-seekers; which fixes upon
individuals the responsibility for executive acts, either performed or
omitted; which gives to the intelligence of the community the power to
influence legislation and exact perfect and complete execution; which
gives every citizen whose interests are ignored, or whose rights are
invaded, a place for complaint and redress; and which puts the business
interests upon a business footing, the teaching upon an expert basis,
and gives to the instruction that protection and encouragement which is
vital to the development of all professional and scientific work.

On the Training of Teachers.


[Report of the Fifteen. Read at the Cleveland meeting of the Department
of Superintendence, February 19, 1895.]

This report treats of the training of elementary and secondary
teachers, considering first that training which should precede teaching
in elementary schools. By elementary schools are meant the primary and
grammar departments of graded schools, and ungraded or rural schools.

That teachers are “born, not made,” has been so fully the world’s
thought until the present century that a study of subjects, without
any study of principles or methods of teaching, has been deemed quite
sufficient. Modern educational thought and modern practice, in all
sections where excellent schools are found, confirm the belief that
there is a profound philosophy on which educational methods are based,
and that careful study of this philosophy and its application under
expert guidance are essential to making fit the man born to teach.

_Conditions for professional training--age and attainments._

It is a widely prevalent doctrine, to which the customs of our best
schools conform, that teachers of elementary schools should have a
secondary or high school education, and that teachers of high schools
should have a collegiate education. Your committee believe that these
are the minimum acquirements that can generally be accepted, that
the scholarship, culture, and power gained by four years of study in
advance of the pupils are not too much to be rightfully demanded, and
that as a rule no one ought to become a teacher who has not the age
and attainments presupposed in the possessor of a high-school diploma.
There are differences in high schools, it is true, and a high-school
diploma is not a fixed standard of attainment; but in these United
States it is one of the most definite and uniform standards that we
possess, and varies less than college degrees vary or than elementary
schools and local standards of culture vary.

It is, of course, implied in the foregoing remarks that the high school
from which the candidate comes is known to be a reputable school, and
that its diploma is proof of the completion of a good four-years’
course in a creditable manner. If these conditions do not exist,
careful examination is the only recourse.

If this condition, high-school graduation or proof by examination of
equivalent scholarship, be accepted, the questions of the age and
attainment to be reached before entering upon professional study and
training are already settled. But if a more definite statement be
desired, then it may be said that the candidate for admission to a
normal or training school should be eighteen years of age and should
have studied English, mathematics, and science to the extent usually
pursued in high schools, should be able to write readily, correctly,
and methodically upon topics within the teacher’s necessary range
of thought and conversation, and should have studied, for two or
more years, at least one language besides English. Skill in music
and drawing is desirable, particularly ability to sketch readily and

_Training schools._

The training of teachers may be done in normal schools, normal classes
in academies and high schools, and in city training schools. To all
these the general term “training schools” will be applied. Those
instructed in these schools will be called pupils while engaged in
professional study, and pupil-teachers or teachers-in-training while
in practice-teaching preparatory to graduation. Teachers whose work
is to be observed by pupil-teachers will be called model-teachers;
teachers in charge of pupil-teachers during their practice work will
be called critic-teachers. In some institutions model-teachers and
critic-teachers are the same persons. The studies usually pursued
in academies and high schools will be termed academic, and those
post-academic studies to be pursued before or during practice-teaching
as a preparation therefor will be termed professional.

_Academic studies._

Whether academic studies have any legitimate place in a normal or
training school is a question much debated. It cannot be supposed that
your committee can settle in a paragraph a question upon which many
essays have been written, many speeches delivered, and over which much
controversy has been waged.

If training schools are to be distinguished from other secondary
schools, they must do a work not done in other schools. So far as they
teach common branches of study, they are doing what other schools are
doing, and have small excuse for existence; but it may be granted that
methods can practically be taught only as to subjects, that the study
done in professional schools may so treat of the subjects of study,
not as objects to be required, but as objects to be presented, that
their treatment shall be wholly professional.

One who is to teach a subject needs to know it as a whole, made up of
related and subordinate parts, and hence must study it by a method
that will give this knowledge. It is not necessary to press the
argument that many pupils enter normal and training schools with such
slight preparation as to require instruction in academic subjects. The
college with a preparatory department is, as a rule, an institution of
distinctly lower grade than one without such a department. Academic
work in normal schools that is of the nature of preparation for
professional work lowers the standard and perhaps the usefulness of
such a school; but academic work done as a means of illustrating or
enforcing professional truth has its place in a professional school as
in effect a part of the professional work. Professional study differs
widely from academic study. In the one, a science is studied in its
relation to the studying mind; in the other, in reference to its
principles and applications. The aim of one kind of study is power to
apply; of the other, power to present. The tendency of the one is to
bring the learner into sympathy with the natural world, of the other
with the child world. How much broader becomes the teacher who takes
both the academic and the professional view! He who learns that he
may know and he who learns that he may teach are standing in quite
different mental attitudes. One works for knowledge of subject-matter,
the other that his knowledge may have due organization, that he may
bring to consciousness the apperceiving ideas by means of which matter
and method may be suitably conjoined.

How to study is knowledge indispensable to knowing how to teach. The
method of teaching can best be illustrated by teaching. The attitude
of a pupil in a training school must be that of a learner whose mental
stores are expanding, who faces the great world of knowledge with the
purpose to survey a portion of it. If we insist upon a sufficient
preparation for admission, the question of what studies to pursue, and
especially the controversy between professional and academic work, will
be mainly settled.

_Professional work._

Professional training comprises two parts: (_a_) The science of
teaching, and (_b_) the art of teaching.

In the _science of teaching_ are included: (1) Psychology as a basis
for principles and methods; (2) Methodology as a guide to instruction;
(3) School economy, which adjusts the conditions of work; and (4)
History of education, which gives breadth of view.

The _art of teaching_ is best gained: (1) by observation of good
teaching; (2) by practice-teaching under criticism.

_Relative time._

The existence and importance of each of these elements in the training
of teachers are generally acknowledged. Their order and proportionate
treatment give rise to differences of opinion. Some would omit the
practice work entirely, launching the young teacher upon independent
work directly from her pupilage in theory. Others, and much the greater
number, advise some preparation in the form of guided experience before
the training be considered complete. These vary greatly in their
estimate of the proportionate time to be given to practice during
training. The answers to the question “What proportion?” which your
committee has received range from one-sixteenth to two-thirds as
the proportion of time to be given to practice. The greater number,
however, advocate a division of time about equal between theory and

The normal schools incline to the smallest proportion for
practice-teaching, the city training-schools to the largest. It should
be borne in mind, however, that city training-schools are a close
continuation, usually, of high schools, and that the high-school
courses give a more uniform and probably a more adequate preparation
than the students entering normal schools have usually had. Their
facilities for practice-teaching are much greater than normal schools
can secure, and for this reason also practice is made relatively more
important. As to the relative merits of city training-schools and
normal schools, your committee does not desire to express an opinion;
the conditions of education demand the existence of both, and both
are necessities of educational advancement. It is important to add,
however, that in the judgment of your committee not less than half of
the time spent under training by the apprentice-teacher should be given
to observation and practice, and that this practice in its conditions
should be as similar as possible to the work she will later be required
to do independently.

_Science of teaching--psychology._

The laws of apperception teach that one is ready to apprehend new
truth most readily when he has already established a considerable and
well-arranged body of ideas thereon.

Suggestion, observation, and reflection are each most fruitful when
a foundation of antecedent knowledge has been provided. Hence your
committee recommends that early in their course of study teachers
in training assume as true the well-known facts of psychology and
the essential principles of education, and make their later study
and practice in the light of these principles. These principles thus
become the norm of educational thought, and their truth is continually
demonstrated by subsequent experience. From this time theory and
practice should proceed together in mutual aid and support.

Most fundamental and important of the professional studies which
ought to be pursued by one intending to teach is psychology. This
study should be pursued at two periods of the training-school course,
the beginning and the end, and its principles should be appealed to
daily when not formally studied. The method of study should be both
deductive and inductive. The terminology should be early learned
from a suitable text-book, and significance given to the terms by
introspection, observation, and analysis. Power of introspection should
be gained, guidance in observation should be given, and confirmation
of psychological principles should be sought on every hand. The habit
of thinking analytically and psychologically should be formed by every
teacher. At the close of the course a more profound and more completely
inductive study of physiological psychology should be made. In this
way, a tendency to investigate should be encouraged or created.

_Study of children._

Modern educational thought emphasizes the opinion that the child, not
the subject of study, is the guide to the teacher’s efforts. To know
the child is of paramount importance. How to know the child must be
an important item of instruction to the teacher in training. The child
must be studied as to his physical, mental, and moral condition. Is he
in good health? Are his senses of sight and hearing normal, or in what
degree abnormal? What is his temperament? Which of his faculties seem
weak or dormant? Is he eye-minded or ear-minded? What are his powers of
attention? What are his likes and dislikes? How far is his moral nature
developed, and what are its tendencies? By what tests can the degree of
difference between bright and dull children be estimated?

To study effectively and observingly these and similar questions
respecting children is a high art. No common-sense power of discerning
human nature is sufficient; though common sense and sympathy go a
long way in such study. Weighing, measuring, elaborate investigation
requiring apparatus and laboratory methods, are for experts, not
teachers in training. Above all, it must ever be remembered that the
child is to be studied as a personality and not as an object to be
weighed or analyzed.


A part of the work under this head must be a study of the mental and
moral effects of different methods of teaching and examination, the
relative value of individual and class instruction at different periods
of school life and in the study of different branches. The art of
questioning is to be studied in its foundation principles and by the
illustration of the best examples. Some review of the branches which
are to be taught may be made, making the teacher’s knowledge of them
ready and distinct as to the relations of the several parts of the
subject to one another and of the whole to kindred subjects. These
and many such subjects should be discussed in the class in pedagogy,
investigation should be begun, and the lines on which it can be
followed should be distinctly laid down.

The laws of psychology, or the capabilities and methods of
mind-activity, are themselves the fundamental laws of teaching, which
is the act of exciting normal and profitable mind-action. Beyond
these fundamental laws, the principles of education are to be derived
inductively. These inductions when brought to test will be found to be
rational inferences from psychological laws and thus founded upon and
explained by them.

_School economy._

School economy, though a factor of great importance in the teacher’s
training, can be best studied by the teacher of some maturity and
experience, and is of more value in the equipment of secondary than
of elementary teachers. Only its outlines and fundamental principles
should be studied in the ordinary training-school.

_History of education._

Breadth of mind consists in the power to view facts and opinions from
the standpoints of others. It is this truth which makes the study of
history in a full, appreciative way so influential in giving mental
breadth. This general advantage the history of education has in still
larger degree, because our interest in the views and experiences of
those engaged like us in training the young enables us to enter more
fully into their thoughts and purposes than we could into those of
the warrior or ruler. From the efforts of the man we imagine his
surroundings, which, we contrast with our own. To the abstract element
of theoretical truth is added the warm human interest we feel in the
hero, the generous partisan of truth. The history of education is
particularly full of examples of noble purpose, advanced thought, and
moral heroism. It is inspiring to fill our minds with these human
ideals. We read in the success of the unpractical Pestalozzi the award
made to self-sacrifice, sympathy, and enthusiasm expended in giving
application to a vital truth.

But with enthusiasm for ideals history gives us caution, warns us
against the moving of the pendulum, and gives us points of departure
from which to measure progress. It gives us courage to attack difficult
problems. It shows which the abiding problems are--those that can be
solved only by waiting, and not tossed aside by a supreme effort. It
shows us the progress of the race, the changing ideals of the perfect
man, and the means by which men have sought to realize these ideals.
We can from its study better answer the question, What is education,
what may it accomplish, and how may its ideals be realized? It gives
the evolution of the present and explains anomalies in our work. And
yet the history of education is not a subject to be treated extensively
in a training school. All but the outlines may better be reserved for
later professional reading.

_Training in teaching._

Training to teach requires (1) schools for observation, and (2) schools
for practice.

Of necessity, these schools must be separate in purpose and in
organization. A practice-school cannot be a model school. The
pupil-teachers should have the opportunity to observe the best
models of the teaching art; and the manner, methods, and devices of
the model-teacher should be noted, discussed, and referred to the
foundation principles on which they rest. Allowable modifications of
this observed work may be suggested by the pupil-teacher and approved
by the teacher in charge.

There should be selected certain of the best teachers in regular
school work, whom the pupil-teachers may be sent to observe. The
pupil-teachers should take no part in the school work nor cause any
change therein. They should, however, be told in advance by the
teacher what purpose she seeks to accomplish. This excites expectation
and brings into consciousness the apperceiving ideas by which the
suggestions of the exercise, as they develop, may be seized and

At first these visits should be made in company with their teacher
of methods, and the work of a single class in one subject should be
first observed. After such visits the teacher of methods in the given
subject should discuss with the pupil-teachers the work observed.
The pupil-teachers should first describe the work they have seen and
specify the excellences noted, and tell why these thing are commendable
and upon what laws of teaching they are based. Next, the pupil-teachers
should question the teacher of methods as to the cause, purpose, or
influence of things noted, and matters of doubtful propriety--if
there be such--should be considered. Then the teacher in turn should
question her pupil-teachers as to matters that seem to have escaped
their notice, as to the motive of the model-teacher, as to the reason
for the order of treatment, or form of question, wherein lay the merit
of her method, the secret of her power. When pupil-teachers have made
such observations several times, with several teachers, and in several
subjects, the broader investigation may be made as to the organization
of one of the model rooms, its daily programme of recitations and of
study, the methods of discipline, the relations between pupils and
teacher, the “school spirit,” the school movements, and class progress.
This work should be done before teaching groups or classes of pupils is
attempted, and should form an occasional exercise during the period of
practice-teaching as a matter of relief and inspiration. If an artist
requires the suggestive help of a good example that stirs his own
originality, why should not a teacher?

_The practice-school._

During the course in methodology certain steps preparatory to
practice-teaching may be taken. 1. The pupil-teacher may analyze the
topic to be taught, noting essentials and incidentals, seeking the
connections of the subject with the mental possessions of the pupils
to be considered and the sequences from these points of contact to the
knowledge to be gained under instruction. 2. Next, plans of lessons may
be prepared and series of questions for teaching the given subjects.
3. Giving lessons to fellow pupil-teachers leads to familiarity with
the mechanism of class work, such as calling, directing, and dismissing
classes, gives the beginner ease and self-confidence, leads to careful
preparation of lessons, gives skill in asking questions, and in the use
of apparatus.

The practice-teaching should be in another school, preferably in a
different building, and should commence with group-teaching in a
recitation-room apart from the schoolroom. Actual teaching of small
groups of children gives opportunity for the study of the child-mind
in its efforts at reception and assimilation of new ideas, and
shows the modifications in lesson plans that must be made to adapt
the subject-matter to the child’s tastes and activities. But the
independent charge for a considerable time of a schoolroom with a full
quota of pupils, the pupil-teacher and the children being much of
the time the sole occupants of the room,--in short, the realization
of ordinary school conditions, with the opportunity to go for advice
to a friendly critic, is the most valuable practice; and no practice
short of this can be considered of great value except as preparation
for this chief form of preparatory practice. All this work should have
its due proportion only, or evil may result. For example, lesson plans
tend to formalism, to self-conceit, to work in few and narrow lines,
to study of subjects rather than of pupils; lessons to fellow-pupils
make one self-conscious, hinder the growth of enthusiasm in work, and
are entirely barren if carried beyond a very few exercises; teaching
groups of children for considerable time unfits the teacher for the
double burden of discipline and instruction, to bear both of which
simultaneously and easily is the teacher’s greatest difficulty and most
essential power.

A critic-teacher should be appointed to the oversight of two such
pupil-teachers, each in charge of a schoolroom. The critic may also
supervise one or more teachers practicing for brief periods daily with
groups of children.

The pupil-teachers are now to emphasize practice rather than theory,
to work under the direction of one who regards the interests of the
children quite as much as those of the teacher-in-training. The critic
must admit the principles of education and general methods taught by
the teacher of methodology, but she may have her own devices and even
special methods that need not be those of the teacher of methodology.
No harm will come to the teachers-in-training if they learn that
principles must be assented to by all, but that methods may bear the
stamp of the personality of the teacher; that all things must be
considered from the point of view of their effect upon the pupils; the
critic maintaining the claims of the children, the teacher of methods
conforming to the laws of mind and the science of the subjects taught.
The critics must teach for their pupil-teachers and show in action the
justness of their suggestions. In this sense they are model-teachers as
well as critics.

The critic should, at the close of school, meet her pupil-teachers
for a report of their experiences through the day: What they have
attempted, how they have tried to do it, why they did so, and
what success they gained. Advice as to overcoming difficulties,
encouragement under trial, caution if need be, help for the work of
to-morrow, occupy the hour. Above all, the critic should be a true
friend, a womanly and cultivated woman, and an inspiring companion,
whose presence is helpful to work and improving to personality.

_Length of training-school course._

There are three elements which determine the time to be spent in a
training school--the time given to academic studies, the time given
to professional studies, and the time given to practice. The sum of
these periods will be the time required for the training course. Taking
these in the inverse order, let us consider how much time is required
for practice work with pupils. The time given to lesson outlines and
practice with fellow pupil-teachers may be considered a part of the
professional study rather than of practice-teaching. The period of
practice with pupils must not be too short, whether we consider the
interests of the pupils or of the teachers-in-training. An effort is
usually made to counteract the effect upon the children of a succession
of crude efforts of teachers beginning practice by strengthening the
teaching and supervision through the employment of a considerable
number of model and supervisory teachers, and by dividing the pupils
into small groups, so that much individual work can be done. These
arrangements, while useful for their purpose, destroy to a considerable
degree the usual conditions under which school work is to be done, and
tend to render the teachers-in-training formal and imitative.

The practice room should be, as far as may be, the ordinary school,
with the difficulties and responsibilities that will be met later.
The responsibility for order, discipline, progress, records, reports,
communication with parents and school authorities, must fall fully upon
the young teacher, who has a friendly assistant to whom she can go for
advice in the person of a wise and experienced critic, not constantly
at hand, but constantly within reach.

Between the critic and the teacher-in-training there should exist
the most cordial and familiar relations. These relations are based
on the one hand upon an appreciation of wisdom and kindness, on the
other, upon an appreciation of sincerity and effort. The growth of
such relations, and the fruitage which follows their growth, require
time. A half-year is not too long to be allotted for them. During this
half-year experience, self-confidence and growth in power have been
gained; but the pupil-teacher is still not ready to be set aside to
work out her own destiny. At this point she is just ready for marked
advance, which should be helped and guided. To remain longer with her
critic friend may cause imitation rather than independence, may lead to
contentment and cessation of growth. She should now be transferred to
the care of a second critic of a different personality, but of equal
merit. The new critic is bound by her duty and her ambition to see
that the first half year’s advancement is maintained in the second.
The pupil-teacher finds that excellence is not all upon one model.
The value of individuality impresses her. She gains a view of solid
principles wrapped in diverse characteristics. Her own individuality
rises to new importance, and the elements of a growth not at once to be
checked start up within her. For the care of the second critic a second
half year must be allowed, which extends the practice work with pupils
through an entire school year. For the theoretical work a year is by
general experience proven sufficient. The ideal training course is,
then, one of two years’ length.

Provision for the extended practice which is here recommended can
be made only by city training-schools and by normal schools having
connection with the schools of a city. To set apart a building of
several rooms as a school of practice will answer the purpose only
when there are very few teachers in training. In order to give each
pupil-teacher a year of practice the number of practice rooms must
equal the number of teachers to be graduated annually from the
training-school, be the number ten, fifty, or five hundred. In any
considerable city a school for practice will not suffice; many schools
for practice must be secured. This can be done by selecting one
excellent teacher in each of a sufficient number of school buildings,
and making her a critic-teacher, giving her charge of two schoolrooms,
in each of which is placed a pupil-teacher for training.

This insures that the training shall be done as nearly as may be under
ordinary conditions, brings the pupil-teachers at once into the general
body of teachers, makes the corps of critics a leaven of zeal, and
good teaching scattered among the schools. This body of critics will
uplift the schools. More capable in the beginning than the average
teacher, led to professional study, ambitious for the best things, they
make greater progress than they otherwise would do, and are sufficient
in themselves to inspire the general body of teachers. For the sake
of the pupil-teachers, and the children, too, this plan is best. Its
economy also will readily be apparent. This plan has been tried for
several years in the schools of Providence, with results fully equal to
those herein claimed.

_Tests of success._

The tests of success in practice-teaching are in the main those to be
applied to all teaching. Do her pupils grow more honest, industrious,
polite? Do they admire their teacher? Does she secure obedience and
industry only while demanding it, or has she influence that reaches
beyond her presence? Do her pupils think well and talk well? As to
the teacher herself: Has she sympathy and tact, self-reliance and
originality, breadth and intensity? Is she systematic, direct, and
business-like? Is she courteous, neat in person and in work? Has
she discernment of character and a just standard of requirement and

These are some of the questions one must answer before he pronounces
any teacher a success or a failure.

Admission to a training school assumes that the pupil has good health,
good scholarship, good sense, good ability, and devotion to the work
of teaching. If all these continue to be exhibited in satisfactory
degree and the pupil goes through the prescribed course of study
and practice, the diploma of the school should naturally mark the
completion of this work. If it appears on acquaintance that a serious
mistake has been made in estimating any of these elements, then, so
soon as the mistake is fairly apparent and is probably a permanent
condition, the pupil should be requested to withdraw from the work.
This is not a case where the wheat and the tares should grow together
until the harvest at graduation day or the examination preceding it.
With such a foundation continually maintained, it is the duty of the
school to conquer success for each pupil.

Teaching does not require genius. Indeed, genius, in the sense of
erratic ability, is out of place in the teacher’s chair. Most good
teachers at this close of the nineteenth century are made, not
born; made from good material well fashioned. There is, however, a
possibility that some idiosyncrasy of character, not readily discovered
until the test is made, may rise between the prospective teacher and
her pupils, making her influence over them small or harmful. Such a
defect, if it exist, will appear during the practice-teaching, and the
critic will discover it. This defect, on its first discovery, should be
plainly pointed out to the teacher-in-training and her efforts should
be joined with those of the critic in its removal.

If this effort be a failure and the defect be one likely to harm the
pupils hereafter to be taught, then the teacher-in-training should be
informed and requested to withdraw from the school. There should be
no test at the close of the school course to determine fitness for
graduation. Graduation should find the teacher serious in view of her
responsibilities, hopeful because she has learned how success is to be
attained, inspired with the belief that growth in herself and in her
pupils is the great demand and the great reward.

_Training of teachers for secondary schools._

Perhaps one-sixth of the great body of public school teachers in the
United States are engaged in secondary work and in supervision. These
are the leading teachers. They give educational tone to communities, as
well as inspiration to the body of teachers.

It is of great importance that they be imbued with the professional
spirit springing from sound professional culture. The very difficult
and responsible positions that they fill demand ripe scholarship, more
than ordinary ability, and an intimate knowledge of the period of
adolescence, which Rousseau so aptly styles the second birth.

The elementary schools provide for the education of the masses. Our
secondary schools educate our social and business leaders. The careers
of our college graduates, who mainly fill the important places in
professional and political life, are determined largely by the years
of secondary training. The college or university gives expansion and
finish, the secondary school gives character and direction.

It should not be forgotten that the superintendents of public schools
are largely taken from the ranks of secondary teachers, and that the
scholarship, qualities, and training required for the one class are
nearly equivalent to that demanded for the other.

Our high schools, too, are the source of supply for teachers in
elementary schools. Hence the pedagogic influences exerted in the high
school should lead to excellence in elementary teaching.

The superintendent who with long foresight looks to the improvement
of his schools will labor earnestly to improve and especially to
professionalize the teaching in his high school. The management which
makes the high school an independent portion of the school system,
merely attached and loftily superior, which limits the supervision and
influence of the superintendent to the primary and grammar grades, is
short-sighted and destructive.

There ought also to be a place and a plan for the training of teachers
for normal schools. The great body of normal and training schools
in the United States are secondary schools. Those who are to teach
in these schools need broad scholarship, thorough understanding of
educational problems, and trained experience. To put into these schools
teachers whose scholarship is that of the secondary school and whose
training is that of the elementary is to narrow and depress, rather
than broaden and elevate.

If college graduates are put directly into teaching without special
study and training, they will teach as they have been taught. The
methods of college professors are not in all cases the best, and, if
they were, high school pupils are not to be taught nor disciplined as
college students are. High school teaching and discipline can be that
neither of the grammar school nor of the college, but is _sui generis_.
To recognize this truth and the special differences is vital to
success. This recognition comes only from much experience at great loss
and partial failure, or by happy intuition not usually to be expected,
or by definite instruction and directed practice. Success in teaching
depends upon conformity to principles, and these principles are not a
part of the mental equipment of every educated person.

These considerations and others are the occasion of a growing
conviction, widespread in this land, that secondary teachers should be
trained for their work even more carefully than elementary teachers are
trained. This conviction is manifested in the efforts to secure normal
schools adapted to training teachers for secondary schools, notably
in Massachusetts and New York, and in the numerous professorships of
pedagogy established in rapidly increasing numbers in our colleges and

The training of teachers for secondary schools is in several essential
respects the same as that for teachers of elementary schools. Both
demand scholarship, theory, and practice. The degree of scholarship
required for secondary teachers is by common consent fixed at a
collegiate education. No one--with rare exceptions--should be employed
to teach in a high school who has not this fundamental preparation.

It is not necessary to enter in detail into the work of theoretical
instruction for secondary teachers. The able men at the head of
institutions and departments designed for such work neither need nor
desire advice upon this matter. And yet for the purposes of this
report it may be allowable to point out a plan for the organization of
a~secondary training school.

Let it be supposed that two essentials have been found in one locality,
(1) a college or university having a department of pedagogy and a
department of post-graduate work; (2) a high school, academy, or
preparatory school whose managers are willing to employ and pay a
number of graduate students to teach under direction for a portion of
each day. These two conditions being met, we will suppose that pedagogy
is offered as an elective to the college seniors.

Two years of instruction in the science and art of teaching are to be
provided; one, mostly theory with some practice, elective during the
senior year; the other, mostly practice with some theory, elective for
one year as post-graduate work.

During the senior year is to be studied:--

_The science of teaching._

The elements of this science are:--

I. Psychology in its physiological, apperceptive, and experimental
features. The period of adolescence here assumes the prominence that
childhood has in the psychological study preparatory to teaching in
lower schools. This is the period of beginnings, the beginning of a
more ambitious and generous life, a life having the future wrapped up
in it; a transition period, of mental storm and stress, in which egoism
gives way to altruism, romance has charm, and the social, moral, and
religious feelings bud and bloom. To guide youth at this formative
stage, in which an active fermentation occurs that may give wine or
vinegar according to conditions, requires a deep and sympathetic
nature, and that knowledge of the changing life which supplies guidance
wise and adequate.

II. Methodology: A discussion of the principles of education and of the
methods of teaching the studies of the secondary schools.

III. School economy should be studied in a much wider and more thorough
way than is required for elementary teachers. The school systems of
Germany, France, England, and the leading systems of the United States
should also be studied.

IV. History of education, the tracing of modern doctrine back to its
sources; those streams of influence now flowing and those that have
disappeared in the sands of the centuries.

V. The philosophy of education as a division of an all-involving
philosophy of life and thought in which unity is found.

_The art of teaching._

This includes observation and practice. The observation should include
the work of different grades and of different localities, with minute
and searching comparison and reports upon special topics. How does
excellent primary work differ from excellent grammar grade work? How
do the standards of excellence differ between grammar grades and
high school grades? Between high school and college work? What are
the arguments for and against co-education in secondary schools, as
determined by experience? What are the upper and lower limits of
secondary education as determined by the nature of the pupil’s efforts?

In the college class in pedagogy much more than in the elementary
normal school can the class itself be made to afford a means of
practice to its members. Quizzes may be conducted by students upon the
chapters of the books read or the lectures of the professors. These
exercises may have for their object review, or improved statement,
or enlarged inference and application, and they afford an ample
opportunity to cultivate the art of questioning, skill in which is the
teacher’s most essential accomplishment.

The head of the department of pedagogy will, of course, present the
essential methods of teaching, and the heads of other departments may
lecture on methods pertaining to their subject of study; or secondary
teachers of known success may still better present the methods now
approved in the several departments of secondary work.

_Post-graduate year._

To those graduates who have elected pedagogy in their senior year may
be offered the opportunity of further study in this department, with
such other post-graduate work as taste and opportunity permit. From
those selecting advanced work in pedagogy the board in charge of the
affiliated secondary school should elect as many teachers for its
school as are needed, employing them for two-thirds time at one-half
the usual pay for teachers without experience. Under the professor of
pedagogy of the college, the principal, and the heads of departments
of the school these student-teachers should do their work, receiving
advice, criticism, and illustration as occasion requires. The time
for which they are employed would provide for two hours of class work
and about one hour of clerical work or study while in charge of a
schoolroom. These student-teachers should be given abundant opportunity
for the charge of pupils while reciting or studying, at recess and
dismissals, and should have all the responsibilities of members of the
faculty of this school. Their work should be inspected as frequently
as may be by the heads of the departments in which they teach, by
the principal of the school, and by the professor of pedagogy. These
appointments would be virtually fellowships with an opportunity for
most profitable experience.

In the afternoon of each day these students should attend to college
work and especially to instruction from the professor in pedagogy, who
could meet them occasionally with the heads of the departments under
whose direction they are working.

On Saturdays a seminary of two hours’ duration might be held, conducted
by the professor of pedagogy and attended by the student-teachers
and the more ambitious teachers of experience in the vicinity. These
seminaries would, doubtless, be of great profit to both classes of
participants, and the greater to each because of the other. (Such
a training school for secondary teachers in connection with Brown
University and the Providence high school is contemplated for the
coming year.)

It will not be needful to specify further the advantages to the
student-teachers. The arrangement likewise affords advantage to the
affiliated school, especially in the breadth of view this work would
afford to the heads of departments, the intense desire it would beget
in them for professional skill, the number of perplexing problems which
it would force them to attempt the solution of.

The visits of the professor of pedagogy, and the constant comparison
he would make between actual and ideal conditions, would lead him to
seek the improvement, not only of the students in practice, but of the
school as a whole.

When several earnest and capable people unite in a mutual effort to
improve themselves and their work, all the essential conditions of
progress are present.

        HORACE S. TARBELL, Chairman,
  Superintendent of Schools, Providence, R. I.

  Superintendent of Schools, Philadelphia, Pa.

  Superintendent of Schools, Springfield, Mass.

  Superintendent of Schools, Peoria, Ill.

        OSCAR H. COOPER,
  Superintendent of Schools, Galveston, Tex.

Dissent from Dr. Harris’ Report.


I dissent from the majority report of the Committee in regard to the
following points:--


1. AS TO FRACTIONS: In teaching arithmetic there does not exist any
greater difficulty in getting small children to grasp the nature of
the fraction as such than in getting them to grasp the idea of the
simpler whole numbers. It is true that the fractions ½, ⅓, ¼, etc., as
symbols, are a little more complex than are the single digits; but as
to the real meaning, when once the fractional idea has been properly
developed by the teacher and the significance of the idea apprehended
by the pupil, it is as easily understood as any other simple truth.
Children get the idea of half, third, or quarter of many things long
before they enter school, and they will as readily learn to add,
subtract, multiply, and divide fractions as they will whole numbers. In
using fractions they will draw diagrams and pictures representing the
processes of work as quickly and easily as they illustrate similar work
with integers. It is, of course, assumed that the teacher knows how to
teach arithmetic to children, or rather, how to teach the children how
to teach themselves. There is really no valid argument why children in
the second, third, and fourth years in school should not master the
fundamental operations in fractions. Not only this, they will put the
more common fractions into the technique of percentage, and do this
as well in the second and third grades as at any other time in their
future progress. There is only one new idea involved in this operation,
and that consists in giving an additional term--per cent.--to the
fractional symbol. When one number is a part of another, it may be
regarded as a fractional part or as such a per cent. of it. A great
deal of percentage is thus learned by the pupils early in the course.
Children are not hurt by learning. Standing still and lost motion kill.

Every recitation should reach the full swing of the learner’s mind,
including all his acquisitions on any given topic. But if the teaching
of fractions be deferred, as it usually is in most schools, the time
may be materially shortened by teaching addition and subtraction of
fractions together. This is simple enough if different fractions having
common denominators are used at first, such as 6/2 + 5/2 = ?, and 6/2 -
5/2 = ? Then the next step, after sufficient drill on this case, is to
take two fractions (simple) of different units of value, as ½ + ⅓ = ?,
and ½ - ⅓ = ? Multiplication and division may be treated similarly.

In decimals, the pupil is really confronted by a simpler form of
fractions than the varied forms of common fractions.

Devices and illustrations of a material kind are necessary to build up
in the pupil’s mind at the beginning a clear concept of a tenth, etc.,
etc., and then to show that one-tenth written as a decimal is only a
shorthand way of writing 1/10 as a common fraction, and so on. He sees
very soon that the decimal is only a shorthand common fraction, and
this notion he must hold to. This is the vital point in decimals. The
idea that they can be changed into common fractions and the reverse
at will establishes the fact in the pupil’s mind that they are common
fractions and not uncommon ones. Fixing the decimal point will, in a
short time, take care of itself.

In teaching arithmetic the steps are: (1) developing the subject till
each pupil gets a clear conception of it; (2) necessary drill to fix
the process; (3) connecting the subject with all that has preceded it;
(4) its applications; (5) the pupil’s ability to sum up clearly and
concisely what he has learned.

2. AS TO ABRIDGMENT: Under this head, I hold that a course in
arithmetic, including simple numbers, fractions, tables of weights
and measures, percentage, and interest, and numerical operations in
powers, does not fit a pupil to begin the study of algebra. That while
he may carry the book under his arm to the schoolroom, he is too poorly
equipped to make headway on this subject, and instead of finishing up
algebra in a reasonable length of time, he is kept too long at it, with
a strong probability of his becoming disgusted with it.

There are subjects, however, in the common school arithmetic that may
be dropped out with great advantage, to wit, all but the simplest
exercises in compound interest, foreign exchange, all foreign
moneys (except reference tables of values), annuities, alligation,
progression; and the entire subjects of percentage and interest should
be condensed into about twenty pages.

Cancellation, factoring, proportion, evolution, and involution should
be retained. Cancellation and factoring should be strongly emphasized,
owing to their immense value in shortening work in arithmetic, algebra,
and in more advanced subjects. Some drill in the Metric System should
not be omitted.

3. AS TO MENTAL ARITHMETIC: Till the end of the fourth year the pupil
does not need a text-book of mental arithmetic. So far his work
in arithmetic should be about equally divided between written and
mental. At the beginning of the fifth year, in addition to his written
arithmetic, he should begin a mental arithmetic and continue it three
years, reciting at least four mental arithmetic lessons each week. The
length of the recitation should be twenty minutes. A pupil well drilled
in mental arithmetic at the end of the seventh year, if the school age
begins at six, is far better prepared to study algebra than the one who
has not had such a drill. There are a few problems in arithmetic that
can be solved more easily by algebra than by the ordinary processes of
arithmetic, but there are many numerical problems in equations of the
first degree that can be more easily handled by mental arithmetic than
by algebra. To attack arithmetical problems by algebra is very much
like using a tremendous lever to lift a feather. Those who have found a
great stumbling-block in arithmetical “conundrums” have, if the inside
facts were known, been looking in the wrong direction. A deficiency of
“number-brain-cells” will afford an adequate explanation.

4. REARRANGEMENT OF SUBJECTS: There should be a rearrangement of the
topics in arithmetic so that one subject naturally leads up to the
next. As an illustration, it is easily seen that whole numbers and
fractions can be treated together, and that with U. S. money, when the
dime is reached, is the proper time to begin decimals, and that when
a “square” in surface measure first comes up, the next step is the
square of a number as well as its square root, and that solid measure
logically lands the learner among cubes and cube-roots. When he learns
that 1728 cubic inches make one cubic foot he is prepared to find the
edge of the cube. What is meant here is pointing the way to the next
above. All depends upon the teacher’s ability to lead the pupil to see
conditions and relations. My contention is that truth, so far as one is
capable of taking hold of it when it is properly presented, is always a
simple affair.

5. AS TO ALGEBRA: If algebra be commenced at the middle of the seventh
year, let the pupil go at it in earnest, and keep at it till he has
mastered it. Here the best opportunities will be afforded him to
connect his algebraic knowledge to his arithmetical knowledge. He
builds the one on top of the other. The skillful teacher always insists
that the learner shall establish and maintain this relationship between
the two subjects. To switch around the other way appears to me to be
the same as to omit certain exercises in the common algebra, because
they are more briefly and elegantly treated in the calculus. It is
admitted that a higher branch of mathematics often throws much light
on the lower branches, but these side-lights should be employed for
the purpose of leading the learner onward to broader generalizations.
Unless one sees the lower clearly, the higher is obscure. Build solidly
the foundation on arithmetic--written and mental--and the higher
branches will be more easily mastered and time saved.

_History of the United States._

In teaching this branch in the public schools, there does not appear,
so far as I can see, any substantial reason why the pupils should not
study and recite the history of the Rebellion in the same manner that
they do the Revolutionary War. The pupils discuss the late war and
the causes that led to it with an impartiality of feeling that speaks
more for their good sense and clear judgment than any other way by
which their knowledge can be tested. They may not get hold of all the
causes involved in that conflict, but they get enough to understand
the motives which caused the armies to fight so heroically, and why
the people, both North and South, staked everything on the issue. Just
as the men who faced each other for four years and met so often in a
death grapple will sit down now and quietly talk over their trials,
sufferings, and conflicts, so do their children talk over these same
stirring scenes. They, too, so far as my experience extends, are
singularly free from bitterness and prejudice. It is certainly a period
of history that they should study.

_The spelling-book._

In addition to the “spelling-lists,” I would supplement with a good
spelling-book. So far, no “word-list,” however well selected, has
supplied the place of a spelling-book. All those schools that threw
out the spelling-book and undertook to teach spelling incidentally or
by word-lists failed, and for the same reason that grammar, arithmetic,
geography, and other branches cannot be taught incidentally as the
pupil or the class reads Robinson Crusoe, or any similar work. It is an
independent study and as such should be pursued.


While affixing my signature to the report of this Committee, as
expressing substantial agreement with most of its leading propositions,
I beg leave also to indicate my dissent from certain of its
recommendations and to suggest certain additions which, in my judgment,
the report requires.

1. There are other forms of true correlation which should be included
with the four mentioned in the first part of the report and which
should be as clearly and fully treated as are these four.

The first is that form of correlation which is popularly understood
by the name, and which is also called by some writers concentration,
co-ordination, unification, and alludes in general to a division of
studies into content and form; by content meaning that upon which it is
fitting that the mind of the child should dwell, and by form the means
or modes of expression by which thoughts are communicated. Or, it may
be thus expressed: The true content of education is (1), philosophy or
the knowledge of man as to his motives and hidden springs of action
indicated in history and literature, and (2) science, the knowledge
of nature, and its manifestations and laws. Its form is art, which
is the deliberate, purposeful, and effective expression to others of
that which has been produced within man by contact with other men and
with nature, and is commonly referred to as divided into various arts,
such as reading, writing, drawing, making, and modeling. The relation
of content and form is that of principle and subordinate, the latter
receiving its chief value from the former. In a true education they
are so presented to the mind of the child that he instinctively and
unconsciously grasps this relation and is thereby lifted into a higher
plane of thinking and living than if the various arts are taught, as
they too commonly are, without reference to a noble content. This
relation of form to content is vaguely referred to in the report, but
nowhere definitely treated. It seems to me that it is a true form of
correlation, and, as such, deserves special and definite treatment.
Moreover, it is at present much in the minds of the teachers of this
country, often in forms that are misleading and harmful. The fact that
it adds the important element of interest to the dry details of common
school life makes it especially attractive to progressive and earnest
teachers, and this Committee should recognize its importance and make
such an utterance upon it as will guide the average teacher to a clear
comprehension of its meaning and to a wise use of it in the schoolroom.

Second, there is a still higher form of correlation which is definitely
referred to later in the report as that “of the several branches of
human learning in the unity of the spiritual view furnished by religion
to our civilization.” This in the report is assigned absolutely to the
province of higher education. While I do not wish to dissent wholly
from this view, since it is doubtless true that this higher unity
cannot be comprehensively stated for the use of a child, yet a wise
teacher can so present subjects to even a young child that a sense of
the unity of all knowledge will, to a certain degree, be unconsciously
developed in his mind. In regard to certain of the great divisions
of human knowledge, this relation is so evident that they cannot be
properly presented at all unless the relation be made clear. Such
studies are history and geography.

2. The recommendations upon the subject of language should be broadened
to cover the production of good English by the child himself, with the
suggestion of suitable topics and proper methods. This report confines
itself to the absorptive side of education and ignores that development
of power over nature, man, and self, which comes from free exercise
of faculties and free expression of thought. The study of language as
something for the child to use himself, the great means by which he is
to assert his place in civilization, and exert his influence for good,
is nowhere referred to except in the vaguest way. This statement in
regard to language applies almost equally well to drawing, and here is
made evident the importance of the form of correlation to which I have
just referred. The proper material for the training of the child in
expression is that which is furnished by the study of man and nature.
His mind being filled with high themes, he asserts his individuality,
expresses himself in regard to them, and thereby gains at once both a
closer and clearer comprehension of what he has studied, and also the
power by which he may become a factor in his generation.

3. I would wish to omit the word “weekly” where it occurs in the
discussion of the subjects of general history and science, unless it be
understood to mean that an amount of time in the school year equivalent
to sixty minutes weekly be given to each of these subjects. It is often
better to condense these studies into certain portions of the year,
giving more time to them each week, and using them as the basis, to
a certain degree, of language work. I believe that, especially with
young children, clearer concepts are produced by such connected study,
pursued for fewer weeks, than by lessons seven days apart.

4. In my judgment manual training should not be limited to the seventh
and eighth grades, but should begin in the kindergarten with the
simple study of form from objects and the reproduction in paper of the
objects presented, and should extend, in a series of carefully graded
lessons, through all the grades, leaving, however, the heavier tools,
such as the plane, for the seventh and eighth grades. By these means an
interest is kept up in the various human industries, sympathy for all
labor is created, and a certain degree of skill is developed; moreover,
the interest of the pupils in their school is greatly enhanced. Manual
training has often proved the magnet by which boys at the restless age
have been kept in school instead of leaving for some gainful occupation.

5. I desire to suggest that geometry may be so taught as to be a better
mathematical study than algebra to succeed or accompany arithmetic
in the seventh and eighth grades. I do not refer particularly to
inventional geometry, to which the Committee accords a slighting
attention, but to constructive geometry and the simplest propositions
in demonstrative geometry, thus involving the comprehension of the
elementary geometric forms and their more obvious relations. This study
may be made of special interest in connection with manual training and
drawing, while it presents fewer difficulties to the immature mind than
the abstractions of algebra, since it connects more directly with the
concrete, by which its presentation may often be aided.

6. While agreeing fully with the majority of the Committee that the
full scientific method should not be applied to the study of elementary
science by young children, yet I am compelled to favor more of
experimentation and observation by the child, and less of telling by
the teacher than the report would seem to favor.

7. I would go farther than the majority of the Committee, and insist
that, except in rare cases, there should be no specialization of the
teaching force below the high school, and that even in the first years
of the high school, so far as possible, specialization should be
subordinated to a general care of the child’s welfare and oversight of
his methods of study, which are impossible when a corps of teachers
give instruction, each in one subject, and see the student only during
the hour of recitation.

8. While in the main I agree with the bald statements under the head
“Correlation by synthesis of studies,” since reference is made to
only a very artificial mode of synthesis not at all in vogue in this
country, I must dissent emphatically from this portion of the report
as by inference condemning a most important department of correlation,
to which I have referred earlier. The doctrine of concentration is not
necessarily artificial; rather it refers to the higher unity, of which
this Committee has spoken in glowing terms as belonging to the province
of higher education. It also includes the division of the school
curriculum into content and form, which this Committee inferentially
adopts in its treatment of language. I do not believe, any more than
do the majority of the Committee, that the entire course of study can
be literally and exactly centred about a single subject, nor do I
believe in any artificial correlation; but there is a natural relation
of all knowledges, which this Committee admits in various places, and
which is the basis of a proper synthesis of studies, according to the
psychological principle of apperception.

9. If by the term “oral,” as applied to lessons in biography and in
natural science, the Committee means, as the word would imply, that
the instruction is to be given in the form of lectures by the teacher,
I cannot in full agree with the Committee’s conclusions. As I have
already stated, in natural science the work should be largely that of
observation, and in history and biography, while in the very lowest
grades the teachers should tell the children stories, as soon as it
is possible the desired information should be obtained by the student
through reading. To this end the reading lesson in school should be
properly correlated with his other studies, and he should be advised
as to his home reading. The information thus obtained should be the
subject of conversation in the class, and should furnish the material
for much of the written language work of the children.

10. I must dissent emphatically and entirely from that portion of the
report which recommends that a text-book in grammar be introduced into
the fifth year of the child’s school life. It is a question in my mind
whether it would not be better if the text-book were not introduced
into the grades below the high school at all. Certainly it should not
appear before the seventh year. Such knowledge of grammar as will
familiarize the child with the structure of the sentence, the basis of
all language and as will enable him to use correctly forms of speech
which the necessities of expression require, should be given orally by
the teacher in connection with the child’s written work, when needed;
but against the introduction of a text-book upon grammar, the most
abstruse of all the subjects of the school curriculum, when the pupil
is not more than ten years old, I must protest. Instead of that, the
child should devote much time, some every day, to writing upon proper
themes in the best English he can command, furnishing occasion to the
teacher to correct such errors as he may make, and acquiring by use
acquaintance with the correct forms of grammar. If, as will doubtless
be the case in most cities, local conditions render the introduction of
Latin into the eighth grade inadvisable, this study of grammar may be
made in that grade somewhat more intensive.

11. If by a text-book in geography is meant that which is commonly
understood by the term, and not simply geographical reading matter, in
my judgment, it should not be introduced earlier than the fifth year.

These suggestions and expressions of dissent, if approved by the
Committee, would necessitate some change in the programme submitted,
the most important of which would be the making room for the production
of English in the grades. This could be provided in the first and
second grades by taking some of the time devoted to penmanship and
doing the work partly in connection with the reading classes. In the
third and fourth grades it should take some of the time devoted to
penmanship and should be studied also in connection with geography and
reading, and in the fifth and sixth grades it should take all of the
time given to grammar.

I regret to be compelled to express dissent upon so many points, but
as most of them appear to me vital and as the differences appear to be
not merely superficial but fundamental, affecting and affected by one’s
entire educational creed, I cannot do otherwise. To most of the report
I most gladly give my assent and approval.


I agree most heartily with the main features of the foregoing report
of the sub-committee on correlation of studies. It is so admirable in
its analysis of subjects and in its statement of comparative education
values, and so suggestive in its practical applications to teaching,
that I regret to find myself appearing in any way to dissent from its
conclusions. Indeed, my principal objection is not against anything
contained in the report (unless it be against a possible inference
which might be drawn at one point), but it refers rather to what seems
to me to be an omission.

In addition to all the forms of correlation recommended in the
report, it seems to me possible to make a correlation of subjects in
a programme in such way that the selection of subject-matter may be
to some extent from all fields of knowledge. These selections should
be such as are related to one another so as to be mutually helpful
in acquisition. They should be the main features of knowledge in the
different departments.

These different departments from which the chosen subjects should be
taken must be fundamental ones and must be sufficiently numerous to
represent universal culture. The report itself indicates conclusively
what these are.

Reference is made in the report to various attempts that have been made
to correlate subjects of study.

A very just criticism is made upon that attempt at correlation by the
use of the story of Robinson Crusoe as a centre of correlation. It is
distinctly pointed out in the report that the experiences of Robinson
Crusoe are lacking in many of the elements of universal culture, and
in many elements of education needed to adjust the individual properly
to the civilization of our time and country. It is equally evident
that the attempt to make this story the centre of correlation leads
directly to trivial exercises in other subjects in order to make them
“correlate” with Robinson Crusoe. It is also shown in the report that
it naturally leads to fragmentary knowledge of many subjects very much
inferior to that clear, logically connected knowledge of a subject
which may be had by pursuing it without reference to correlating it
with all others.

It is at this point that in my judgment a wrong inference is permitted
by the report.

It does not, as it seems to me, follow that because correlation based
on Robinson Crusoe is a failure, all correlations having the same
general purpose will necessarily prove failures. For my own part,
I do not believe that correlation needs any “centre,” outside the
child and its natural activities. If, however, it seems wiser to give
special prominence to any given field of acquisition, it should,
in my judgment, be accorded to language and its closely related
subjects--reading, spelling, writing, composing, study of literature,
etc., etc. Indeed, language as a mode of expression is organically
related to thinking, in all fields of knowledge, as form is related to
content. A “system” or “programme” of correlation on this basis would
seek for fundamental ideas in all the leading branches and make them
themes of thought and occasions of language exercises. The selections
would omit all trivialities in all subjects, and would not attempt to
correlate for the mere sake of correlation; but would seek to correlate
wherever by such correlation kindred themes may be made to illuminate
one another. To illustrate, concrete problems in arithmetic would be
sought that would clearly develop and illustrate mathematical ideas
and their application; but in a secondary way these problems would be
sought for in the various departments of concrete knowledge--geography,
history, physics, chemistry, astronomy, meteorology, political,
industrial, or domestic economy. But none of these themes would be so
relied upon for problems as to compel one to choose unreasonable or
trivial relations on which to base them. The problems themselves should
represent true and important facts and relations of the other subjects
as surely and rigidly as they should involve correct mathematical
principles; and all such exercises should be rightly related to the
child’s education in language.

In like manner, when a child is engaged in nature study of any kind,
some valuable problems in mathematics may be found rightly related
both to the subject directly in hand and the child’s natural progress
in arithmetic. Also many of the lessons in nature study are directly
related to some of the finest literature ever produced, in which
analogies of nature are made the means of expression for the finest and
most delicate of the human experiences. When the child has mastered
the physical facts on which the literary inspiration is based is the
true time to give him the advantage of the study of such literature.
These ideas are not only rightly related to one another, but to the
mind itself. It is, so to speak, the nascent moment when the mind can
easily and fully master what might else remain an impenetrable mystery;
and all because subjects and occasion have come into happy conjunction.

This is not the place in which to attempt any elaboration of such a
system of correlation. But I feel that its absence from the report may
make many persons feel that the latter is so far incomplete.


With the main lines of thought in this report I find myself in
agreement. With many of its details, however, I am not in accord.
I regret to have to express my dissent from its conclusions in the
following particulars:--

1. The report makes too little of the uses of grammar as supplying
canons of criticism which enable the pupil to correct his own English,
and as furnishing a key (grammatical analysis) that gives him the power
to see the meaning of obscure or involved sentences.

2. For the study of literature, complete works are to be preferred to
the selections found in school readers.

3. That species of language exercise known as paraphrasing I regard as

4. The study of number should not be omitted from the first year in
school. Practice in the primary operations of arithmetic should not
be omitted from the seventh and eighth years. The quadratic equation
should be reserved for the high school.

5. The foreign language introduced into the elementary school course
should be a modern language--French or German. Latin should be reserved
for those who have time and opportunity to master its literature.

6. In the general programme of studies, the school day is cut up into
too many short periods. The tendency of such a programme as that in the
text would be to destroy repose of mind and render reflection almost an

7. I desire to express my agreement with the opinions stated in
Sections 2, 3, 6, and 9 of Mr. Gilbert’s dissenting opinion; and, in
the main, with what Mr. Jones says on the correlation of studies.

Dissent from Dr. Draper’s Report.


I find myself in general accord with the doctrines of the report. There
is only one feature of it from which I feel obliged to dissent, and
that is an important though not necessarily a vital one. I refer to the
office of school director. I see no need of such an officer elected
by the people, and I do see the danger of his becoming a part of the
political organization for the dispensation of patronage.

All power and authority in school affairs should reside ultimately
in the board of education, consisting of not more than eight persons
appointed by the mayor of the city, to hold office four years, two
members retiring annually and eligible for reappointment once and no
more. This board should appoint as its chief officer a superintendent
of instruction, whose tenure should be during good behavior and
efficiency, and whose powers and duties should be to a large extent
defined by statute law, and not wholly or chiefly by the regulations
of the board of education. The superintendent of instruction should
have a seat and voice but not a vote in the board of education. The
board of education should also appoint a business agent, and define his
powers and duties in relation to all matters of buildings, repairs, and
supplies, substantially as set forth in the report in relation to the
school director.

All teachers should be appointed and annually reappointed or
recommended by the superintendent of instruction, until after a
sufficient probation they are appointed on a tenure during good
behavior and efficiency.

All matters relating to courses of study, text-books, and examinations
should be left to the superintendent and his assistants, constituting a
body of professional experts who should be regarded as alone competent
to deal with such matters, and should be held accountable therefor to
the board of education only in a general way, and not in particular


I concur in the recommendations of the sub-committee on the
Organization of City School Systems as summarized in the concluding
portion of the report, omitting in item THIRD the words, “And that
it be constituted of two branches acting against each other.” Omit
FIFTH, “But we think it preferable that he be chosen in the same way
that members of the board are chosen and be given veto power upon the
acts of the board.” I recommend that the veto power be given to the
president of the board.

Discussion on Report of Dr. Harris.

FRANK M. MCMURRY, _Franklin School, Buffalo_: My remarks have no
reference to the dissenting opinions, but will be confined to the
correlation in the main body of the report. So far, we have listened
to the definition of correlation; my remarks refer to that, and to its
influence on the course of study.

The address by Miss Arnold last night referred to correlation. That
lecture is not in accord with the report of five in regard to this
subject. We have been using two synonyms for correlation--coördination
and concentration. Many persons have gotten their definition through
their ideas of concentration. People have in mind, as I understand it,
mainly the relation of studies to one another. Let me give one or two
samples in addition to last night’s suggestions. Let me refer to Egypt.
The geography will naturally take the Nile, the drawing will take up
cardboard work, etc., the pupil will deal with the pyramid and the
triangle in mathematics, and with language work in the whole subject. I
give that as a simple illustration of concentration.

I turn to the part of the report where they take up correlation by
synthesis of studies; that, as I understand it, was the thought in the
mind of Miss Arnold, and it is what is in my own mind. They take up the
subject of Robinson Crusoe. I think they should look into it further,
but it is not my purpose to defend Robinson Crusoe. They have taken
the story of Robinson Crusoe as a type and they have condemned that as
a type. We may think they aim mainly at the story of Robinson Crusoe
alone, but they say, “Your committee would call attention in this
connection to the importance of the pedagogical principle of analysis
and isolation as preceding synthesis and correlation. There should
be rigid isolation of the elements of each branch for the purpose of
getting a clear perception of what is individual and peculiar in a
special province of learning.”

They warn us against having studies closely tied together. They do
not realize, as it seems to me, that the chief fault of our present
studies is that they do not support each other. The report is opposed
from principle to this kind of correlation. They refer later to
this matter in these words: “Your committee has already mentioned a
species of faulty correlation wherein the attempt is made to study
all the branches in each, misapplying Jacotot’s maxim, ‘all is in
all.’” Farther than that, they show a large lack of sympathy with this
point. They have no allusion to the fact that the different sciences
have a relationship with one another. By their omissions, as well as
their positive statements, they show their opposing attitude toward

They talk about having a proper sequence in the studies,--they do not
insist upon it from principle. They say, “The most practical knowledge
of all, it will be admitted, is a knowledge of human nature,--a
knowledge that enables one to combine with his fellow-men and to share
with them the physical and spiritual wealth of the race. Of this
high character as humanizing or civilizing are the favorite works of
literature found in the school readers, about one hundred and fifty
English and American writers being drawn upon for the material.” In
other words, they are in sympathy with the text-book readers. In
enforcing that point further, “In the first three years the reading
should be limited to pieces in the colloquial style, but selections
from the classics of the language in prose and poetry shall be read
to the pupil from time to time.” “In the years from the fifth to
the eighth there should be some reading of entire stories, such as
Gulliver’s Travels, Robinson Crusoe,” and so forth.

As I understand it, we should have wholes in literature from the
beginning. There are sixty pages in this report, only two of them refer
to the subject of concentration, and they condemn that subject from
principle. They show that they do not, from principle, favor the idea
of connected thought. That is my first point--opposition to the whole
matter. [Applause.]

The next point is, What do they discuss? [Laughter.] They have four
points in their definition of correlation. The fourth point is the
chief subject. “Your committee understands by correlation of studies
the selection and arrangement in order of sequence of such objects of
study as shall give the child an insight into the world that he lives
in, and a command over his resources such as is obtained by healthful
coöperation with one’s fellows. In a word, the chief consideration
to which all others are to be subordinated, in the opinion of your
committee, is this requirement of the civilization into which the
child is born as determining what he shall study in school.” There is
the old idea of study, in which, from the adult standpoint, we decide
that what the child will use as a man shall constitute his course. We
have had the three R’s and we have tended to kill the children. The
new education is based on child study, apperception, and interest. We
have reached the conclusion that knowledge is not primarily for the
sake of knowledge, but for use, and the only condition under which the
ideas will be active is that they shall appeal to the child and shall
fit his nature. Child study, interest, and apperception demand that
the chief factor shall be the nature of the child--that is not the
attitude of this committee of five. “Your committee is of the opinion
that psychology of both kinds, physiological and introspective, can
hold only a subordinate place in the settlement of questions relating
to the correlation of studies. The branches to be studied and the
extent to which they are studied will be determined mainly by the
demands of one’s civilization.” Psychology, in a plain statement, “will
largely determine the methods of instruction, the order of taking up
the several topics so as to adapt the school work to the growth of the
pupil’s capacity.” In other words, the committee have failed to be
influenced as to a course of study by other considerations than the
demands of civilization. They state plainly that psychology shall be a
subordinate matter in determining curriculum. The fact is to be seen
in their course of study. Reading, nature study, and history are the
principal subjects, but in the minds of the committee the principal
subjects are reading, writing, etc., for the first three years. I do
not believe it. In the first three years, reading pieces; in other
words, the first three years do not deal primarily in rich ideas.
One objection to Robinson Crusoe--“It omits cities, governments, the
world commerce, the international process, the church, the newspaper,
and book from view.” They are not in sympathy with the child. I would
choose Robinson Crusoe because it does not deal with subjects which are
outside the child’s interest.

       *       *       *       *       *

F. W. PARKER, _Cook County Normal, Chicago_: When I moved, two years
ago, the appointment of this committee, I had in mind the careful
study of the whole matter of correlation that teachers in this country
should get from the highest sources the doctrine and the highest
criticism,--that a report should be presented which should follow the
greatest report upon education in this century,--the report of the
Committee of Ten. I have not had time to study this report and can,
therefore, say very little upon it. These subjects should be studied
with the greatest care. It seems to me that there are some general
criticisms which may be made in the brief time at my command.

We cannot doubt that these gentlemen have made the most careful study
of the doctrine of Herbert and of his disciples,--Ziller, Stoy, and
Rein; they have also had their eye upon the distinguished students
of this doctrine in this country. The failure of this report is that
they haven’t even given us the fundamental doctrine of Herbert. There
is no doubt that the Herbartian doctrine and all other doctrines of
concentration are ignored in their fundamental essentials. That is what
this committee has left out--it is the old story, the play of Hamlet
with Hamlet left out, or to put it a little more mildly, Hamlet kicked
out. It seems that this doctrine is the only doctrine which furnishes
a grand working hypothesis to the teachers of the world. It should be
examined most carefully, and what cannot bear the closest criticism
should be rejected. The five, with the dissent of the Western men, have
not deemed it worthy of this attention and have rejected it _in toto_.

Poor old Robinson Crusoe bears the brunt, notwithstanding our esteemed
friends of the Normal University, who wish to interest the children
in something. Sometimes we go into schools where there is not much
interest, especially in spelling and grammar. I leave the defense of
Robinson Crusoe to Mr. McMurry.

The other reference is to language. “It is not wise to stop a child to
correct his mistakes in grammar”! “The development of language cannot
be organically related to the development of thought”! It is one of
the fundamental principles, if I understand it, that the development
of thought should have as a necessity the evolution of language. This,
says the report, cannot be done; grammar must be developed by itself
and language by itself. If I am incorrect, I beg to be excused. I can
only refer to a few features of this report in the tabulated programme.
A course of study is absolutely necessary, but it should be marked
“for this day only.” We take the subject of reading twice every day
for the first two years, once a day for the next six years. Reading
is thinking, it should be educated thinking. We cannot do thinking
without the subjects to be learned--as geography and science. Science,
according to the programme, is to be taught by oral lessons. The world
is round, but children cannot reason. Would it not be well to go into
the laboratory to see whether the children cannot reason? The child,
by force of his nature, must reason--must find out these things. I
am quoting from John Dewey. But we are told in this report that the
subject of science, at least a few things in these subjects, must be
told him first. I never knew a case of the kind, but it may be.

Now, I would say to this committee of five, have your reading the best
literature,--there should be nothing but literature. Should we not
have literature from the beginning? is the question we are asking. It
seems to be the case that this report leaves very little to ask. The
child spends all his time in reading--reading what? Can the child learn
to get thought in reading? Some of us think he can. Is it not well to
follow here the scientific method and find out whether the child can
learn to read beautifully and well? The same of writing. I see the
millions bowed down for years to the copy books. Is there no way out?
Is there no relief? Is it possible for the child to learn to write as
he learns to talk, or must he be bound to the desk? [Time]

I would simply say that this report should be entitled to the greatest
respect. I shall go home and study it carefully and prayerfully. I move
that a committee of fifteen be appointed to revise this report. [Great

       *       *       *       *       *

PRESIDENT CHARLES DE GARMO, _Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania_:
Fellow-teachers: Those who are to discuss this question this morning
are placed under a great embarrassment. The report should have been
distributed before this meeting. That it has not been, I learn is not
the fault of the officers of the department. [Applause]

We might infer from what we have heard that the report is valueless.
This is by no means the case. It is an estimate of educational values.
Under the subject of language, I quote, “A survey of its educational
value, subjective and objective, usually produces the conviction that
it is to retain the first place.” Under arithmetic, “Side by side with
language study is the study of mathematics in the school, claiming the
second place in importance.” Under geography, “The educational value of
geography, as it is and has been in elementary schools, is obviously
very great. The educational value of geography is even more apparent
if we admit the claims of those who argue that the present epoch is
the beginning of an era.” As a critique of educational values the
report is a very important one. I would like to call your attention
to the correlation of the pupil to his environment. That, I think,
is an important matter. They have departed, at least in principle,
from that old formal discipline alone; this individual to be fitted
for life must master his environment. The committee have examined the
various studies as to their value, and that, I think, is a grand thing.
I cannot see at all that it is a correlation of studies. It has been
said in your hearing that the throwing of light by studies on each
other was disregarded. The report presents a very different idea of
the correlation of studies. The second address of last evening--by Miss
Arnold--has been referred to as an illustration of bringing the studies
together so that one throws light upon another. I think the idea that
there is no need of reform will be reinforced by this report; that the
report will have a reactionary effect upon those who think that way.
The committee have denied that we need any reform, or have implied
that we have the reform already. It seems that the name given to this
report should be taken off and the heading “An essay on educational
values” substituted instead. It is true that this committee have, at
the beginning, laid down a principle that would make a correlation. The
text is here, but the discussion is lacking. So far as I have read,
I have found but little in the report which shows what the sequence
of studies should be. There is a hint in arithmetic where it says,
“Common fractions should come before decimals.” Is this attempt at the
correlation of studies anything more than a series of tunnels through
the educational fields with switch connections, so that if we start
in at one end we are switched to this or that without any view of the
whole journey? We may light these tunnels with electricity, perhaps,
but, after all, we are spending eight years underground, switching from
one tunnel to another. Now the other alternative is to go out into
the world, out into the sunshine, and follow highways so clear that a
child can examine all that is about them. It is possible to relate one
subject to the other so that when it is dark the child, even if he has
not the sun to lighten his eyes, can at least have some stars of hope
above him.

       *       *       *       *       *

PRESIDENT OF THE DEPARTMENT: From the course the discussion has taken,
it has seemed to me that Dr. Harris should say a word at this point and
read some additional parts of the report.

W. T. HARRIS, _Commissioner of Education_: I must set myself right
on Herbart. The report does not allude to Herbart anywhere except in
respectful terms. The criticism of the use of Robinson Crusoe does
not attribute its mistakes to the Herbartians. Perhaps they would not
recognize it as a true statement of their method. To make Herbart
of use in pedagogy we must to some extent ignore his philosophy.
His usefulness in education is proportioned to his uselessness as a
philosopher. What can we do with a philosopher who omits the will
from the three departments of the mind and retains only intellect and
feeling? Herbart was obliged to explain how man comes to act without
the will. He explains that desire can be aroused by interest in
such a way that action will follow. With this great defect, however,
Herbart is valuable in education. His doctrine of apperception does
not need any correction. His doctrine of interest, however, needs some
limitation, because the idea of the will and the idea of duty are
omitted from his system. He must make up by the idea of desire and
the idea of interest. I am surprised that the claim is made here that
the report does not treat the subject assigned to it. Correlation of
studies is assumed to mean concentration of studies. There is no such
definition to the word “correlation” in any dictionary; only four or
five obscure books in the English language give the word correlation
the meaning of concentration. I was told of this sense of the word
correlation, but did not believe for a moment that it had been the
intention of the department of superintendents, in appointing a
committee on this subject, to have a report on the Herbartian idea of

       *       *       *       *       *

CHARLES MCMURRY, _State Normal University, Normal, Ill._: In one of
your statements read: “Your committee would call attention in this
connection to the importance of the pedagogical principle of analysis
and isolation as preceding synthesis and correlation.” Now, as I
understand it, this is what this committee has attempted to report.
Now, he says that this precedes synthesis or correlation. I would like
to know if there is any dictionary or number of dictionaries to make
correlation mean what this says--the analysis and isolation of subjects
of study.

I have been very much afraid that Dr. Harris would take refuge in the
discussion of the subject of the will in which he distinguishes Herbart
from others. The exclusion of the will is held as far as Herbart is
concerned of moral education. Now I wish to say that Herbart has laid
down more and better educational principles than any other philosopher.

The more difficult thing is not exactly the best thing for the child in
the first and second grades. There was an old theory among the Latins
that if the child could be made to go through the difficulties of a
Latin speech, it would prepare him for the difficult things to follow.
Now, we wish to have life and not dead formalism. I believe that a
thoughtful study of this report will convince any one who is interested
in children that it is formal, and is a production of this old idea,
based upon language as the foundation of all education.

       *       *       *       *       *

PRESIDENT W. H. HERVEY, _Teachers’ College, New York_: I find myself
drawn in two directions on this question. I fain would cleave to
everything that has been said this morning as containing the truth.
I believe that, so far as this report and these remarks confine
themselves to educational principles, any one of us may agree most
heartily. Only where they descend to particular applications are
we at variance. We always are at variance when we descend from the
clouds, but that is no objection to the clouds. Now, I take it there
are arrayed before us the two opposing camps,--the Hegelian and the
Herbartian. What does the Hegelian say? In order that you may know the
world you must turn your back upon yourself and lose yourself; you
lose your life that you may save it. Yon leave your home plate, go
to the second base, then to the third base, and you make a home run.
That is a true type of all development. What, on the other hand, is
the standpoint of the Herbartian? What we know depends upon what we
have known. And that is true. And what we can do, according to this
philosophy, depends upon the interest, the kinetic energy. About this
matter of will, we have the Calvinistic theology set over against the
Unitarian. Hegel’s Lord was a man of war. Herbart brings us to view the
New Jerusalem. He shows us the church, not militant, but triumphant.
Herbart distinguishes the good from the evil and makes it impossible
for a man to do a wrong deed or to think a wrong thought, and that,
I take it, is even a higher attainment than the Hegelian philosophy
has thought of. Any one who develops the will by the man-of-war idea
will have a sorry will upon his hands. There is, with the young child,
certainly, a synthesis, a correlation, a development of taste where
the analysis is suppressed and unconscious; and yet, my friends, if
you attempt to educate a boy in the upper grammar grades or the high
school according to the same principles as the primary grades, you make
a sorry muss of it. If we would pass from the state of the child to the
state of the man, it is necessary for us to go through the dry bones of

       *       *       *       *       *

DR. B. A. HINSDALE, _University of Michigan, Ann Arbor_: There are two
things which I wish very briefly to touch. First, I do not understand
Dr. Harris, in speaking of Herbart and the will, to leave the subject
in the form in which Dr. McMurry understood that matter. I understand
that Herbart does not base morals open the will, but rather upon the
feeling and the desires. Now, whether the will or the desires furnish
a proper basis is a question I do not wish to discuss. Certainly, when
any one says that the Doctor declared that Herbart does not take the
question of morals into account he makes a mistake. I understand him
to say that Herbart does not place morals upon the proper foundation.
In regard to courses of study, there is no such thing as considering
this question apart from criteria. Now, what are our criteria to be?
That I do not propose to discuss, but where are we to seek for our
criteria? For myself, I have been in the habit of discussing that
subject in this way. These are to be found, in the first place, in
the constitution of the human soul, and second, in the facts that
constitute the environment of men. I do not say which is below the
other. I do say that a serious mistake will be made by that pedagogist
who leaves out either of these or gives either a very inferior
position. As to how either presupposes the other, that is a very
important question, but I cannot discuss it at more length.

Now as to the process of isolation--the first process of knowledge is
to isolate things. We have certainly been taught that the first process
of the mind is not a synthetic, but an analytic process. Every person
coming into this hall took a view of it as a whole, and then began to
isolate this thing from that, and then this process, after a time,
ceased. But that there is to be no synthesis is a proposition which I
do not understand to be in this report.

When a child comes to school you may divide the subjects which occupy
his attention into two groups. The first are the elementary school
arts,--as the improving of speech, the studies of reading, writing,
drawing, and numerical calculations, if he has never entered upon
these. They are not studies, they are the arts of the elementary
school. We teach them, not for their own sake, but that they may be
used as instruments. [Time called by the chairman, and extended by vote
of the house.]

I wish, in the first instance, to express my sense of gratification. I
felt that I was leaving the matter in a very imperfect form.

Now, I had said all that I care to say about the arts in the elementary
schools. There are the studies, I mean the real studies, those we study
for the purpose of getting out of them all that there is in them. Now,
there is a discussion as to the relation in which the two classes of
studies shall stand at the beginning. Now, the old idea was, that
some of the first time in school should be devoted to these arts, and
the studies were permitted to fall into the background, or perhaps
fall clear out. Now, if I understand some of the pedagogists, their
idea is to put the beginner at the real thing, or perhaps I should
say to keep him at the real thing, that the arts should be acquired
during the studies. Now, the question occurs to me, whether, in the
elementary schools, these arts can ever be successfully taught when we
are pretending to teach something else? I must say that if the object
were to have a pupil advance the greatest distance for the first three
months or six months, you had better say nothing about the arts at all.
But we put him at the arts, knowing that when we put these gifts into
his hands we are giving him an instrument of power that he will be able
to use throughout his whole life. [Applause.]

Now, the question of concentration, so-called, is involved in this
matter. I want to ask the question, and I would discuss it if I had a
quarter of an hour,--I want to ask the question, how far it is possible
to do two things in an intense manner at the same time. When I was
superintendent of schools, a gentleman picked off the table a so-called
physiological reader, and, looking at the title page, said, “For one,
I could never teach physiology as a subject and reading as an art at
the same time. The physiology is not and it cannot be made a proper
material for a school reading book; a proper school reading book cannot
be made a good physiology.” Yet I believe in concentration, if it
means letting one subject assist and enforce another. I hope none of
the brethren will become so enthusiastic as to assume that the whole
round of information can be brought under the teaching of one subject.

       *       *       *       *       *

DR. E. E. WHITE, _Columbus, O._: I have a little hesitation in speaking
on this question, where I am only a learner. I am anxious to know what
my young friends mean. I hope I shall get the correlation of their
ideas in time. [Laughter.]

As it seems to me, correlation, as a distinctive method, assumes to do
more than it is possible for a method to accomplish. In my judgment,
there is no one method of education, whether it be Herbartian or
otherwise. To assume that a human soul is to be exclusively educated
by the Herbartian method is a great assumption. I do not believe that
we are to supplement and supplant now all that has been known in the
education of the young based on the psychology which the defenders of
this method are willing to discard. There are many of its methods we
are willing to accept, but the Herbartian pedagogy is based on the
Herbartian psychology, and if you discard that, you have no system of
pedagogy, but you have many elements which you can utilize. Now, we
make a mistake when we assume that there is only one method by which
the young man in college and the children can be educated. The lady
who spoke last night, Miss Arnold, had not such an idea. Now there is
a blending in the primary grades which is not possible in the upper
grades. That is emphasized completely in what we call the special
courses in colleges. That blending may be on mere surface relations
which will be discarded as soon as we pass above the primary grades.
While we may concede that this is possible in one exercise, it is not
possible in higher instruction. Our methods change, so let as not be
too sweeping, too confident in our terms. Further, I think that Dr.
Harris is entirely right in the position he has taken as to the meaning
of coördination or correlation. He uses the term correlation, not only
in its scientific, but in its recognized pedagogic sense. Concentration
is a different process, and should receive separate consideration.
May I add that the views I recently presented under what is called
concentration seem to make class instruction impossible. They lead
clearly to the one conclusion, that every child should be taught as an
individual, by himself, and this means that all class instruction is
to be given up. Individual instruction can alone meet the conditions
assumed to be essential by concentration, as explained. What does this

There have been many scholars since the Flood,--scholars who have
honored learning and widened its domain. How were they produced? Not
by any one method, and certainly not by “concentration.” These hosts
of scholars cannot be accounted for on any such assumption, for they
were produced under very unlike systems of elementary training. The
history of school education shows that we are not shut up to a diet of
pedagogic hash on the one hand, or one of baked beans on the other.
There is clearly no one universal method or process in education by
which alone a human soul is to be brought to power.

       *       *       *       *       *

DR. NICHOLAS MURRY BUTLER, _Columbia College, New York_: This is an
interesting and exciting field of battle; it has not been a Bull Run,
and it is manifestly not an Appomattox. But let us be fair, and let us
discuss the question that is presented by this report. I shall spend no
time in eulogizing this report. I do say that such a report, presented
at this time, dealing with this specific topic in these words, is
little less than a misrepresentation.

Such a document as this, presented at this particular time in the
history of our educational development, and supposed to deal with
the practical problem of the correlation of studies, is extremely
unfortunate. This discussion has made it plain that there is among
us a difference of opinion as to what the term “correlation of
studies” means. This report interprets it to mean the correlation
between the studies of the school curriculum and the intellectual
environment of the pupil. Certainly that is not what the term is taken
to mean in our current educational literature and in our current
educational discussions. It has been claimed on this platform that
those who use the phrase “correlation of studies,” in reference to
the interdependence of school subjects one with another, are making a
strained and improper use of the word. This criticism is not correct.
The highest authority that we have, the “Century Dictionary,” gives
as a definition of correlation, “the act of bringing into orderly
connection or reciprocal relation.” It recites a passage from the
great work of Grove, who first made this term familiar in English
scientific literature, in illustration of the meaning of correlation.
This is precisely the sense in which the word is used by Dr. McMurry
and others, and it is precisely the sense in which we expect to find it
used in this report. Therefore, I say I am disappointed, and grievously
disappointed, that we have in these pages only a passing reference
to the real problem of correlation or concentration as it is before
American teachers at the present moment.

I can find no fault with the use of the word selected by the Committee,
but I do complain that they have not treated the problem, whatever
name they choose to give to it, that we asked them to solve. Instead
of that, they have given us a splendid and learned discussion
of educational values, an analysis of the history of the school
curriculum, and an elaborate defence of the _status quo_. It is
apparent to me, therefore, that this report faces backward and forward.
I Bay this despite the fact that it suggests and argues for more than
one important innovation in the curriculum.

For one hundred years, ever since the time of Pestalozzi, we have been
trying to extract the curriculum from a philosophical discussion of
this sort, but we have not succeeded in satisfying ourselves wholly.
We have made great advance, and for that advance we in America are
indebted more largely to Dr. Harris than to any other single person,
living or dead. He has taught us to understand why certain specific
branches of knowledge are selected for a place in the curriculum,
and now we ask him to tell us how they are to be correlated, or
coördinated, or concentrated, in practice, to meet the new demands that
are made upon the school, and we get no answer in this report.

The curriculum that this report recommends to us, and the methods that
it outlines, are arrived by an analysis made from the adult point of
view. Are we, then, to understand that child study is to be given
no hearing? Are we shut up to formal analysis as the sole method in
evolving a practical school plan? The newer education answers this
question directly in the negative. It is putting the child in the place
of honor and asking him to tell us what his nature demands and in what
order it demands it. Dr. White has said that the legitimate result
of this newer movement is individualism in teaching. I agree with him
absolutely. We hope that the time will come when the individuality
of every child will be respected. We want to rescue each child from
the thraldom to which the formalism of the schoolroom has subjected
him. For the sake of system we are reducing fifty, sixty, or seventy
individual children in a schoolroom to a common denominator. It is
true that there is no universal educational method, and that the
Herbartians are as little likely as the Hegelians to provide us with a
rule that shall know so exception. But in the point of view that they
take, based upon the doctrine of apperception and upon the doctrine oi
interest, they are absolutely right, and it is not what we expected
from a committee of this kind to find this entire movement turned out
of court without a hearing. Personally I am a slavish adherent of no
school of thought and wear the badge of none, but I do say that we
should not be prevented from giving to this great Herbartian movement
prolonged and sympathetic examination. Why is it that we find the
question of the correlation or the concentration of studies forced upon
us at all? Certainly the normal child-mind sees the world about it as
a correlated and concentrated whole. It is the adults and philosophers
who have made the analysis that has resulted in separating what to the
child is connected; so that, after all, the advocates of correlation
are simply endeavoring to put the subjects of study back where they
found them and to treat the curriculum from the child’s point of view.
The adult is able to distinguish a physical fact from a chemical fact,
a geographical fact from an historical fact, an arithmetical fact from
an algebraical fact, but the child is not. He views them all simply
as facts, and originally they are all on the same plane with regard
to his intelligence. We must, therefore, seek the real unity that
underlies the curriculum, and not proceed by making first an artificial
separation of studies, and then a doubly artificial synthesis of them.

A preceding speaker has sharply criticised the psychology of Herbart.
It is undoubtedly true that we cannot accept Herbart’s psychology as
a satisfactory explanation of mental life. But it is not necessary
that we should do so in order to secure the benefit of the educational
theory and the educational practice that bears Herbart’s name.

       *       *       *       *       *

SUPERINTENDENT S. T. DUTTON, _Brookline, Mass._: About all has been
said that needs to be said now. It seems to me that the question takes
this form--the same God that made the child made the world about him.
The purpose of those who mean to work out something better is to find
how the child should be taught. My friends, we do not recognize the
value of this report. Dr. Harris said very distinctly that the course
of study in point should include the whole round of human knowledge.
Now, there are two things that have helped me in this matter. My view
is singularly different from Dr. White’s. If correlation makes the
kindergarten what it is, it seems to me that it should go on. It seems
to me that, in a certain way, this is true in the first year, in the
second, etc.

This cross section brings in so many things we find imposed upon the
schools that certain confusion and certain difficulties have been found
in working out the Herbartian plan. The only way is the working out of
these principles. If that is not done, we shall have reaction. I am not
afraid that this work shall be retarded because of this report. Every
teacher ought to understand this discussion of educational values. It
ought to help us; it will help us. If this report is not complete, it
will be completed in the good works of teachers in all this country.
[The chair here announced that Colonel Parker and Dr. Harris would be
asked to close the debate.]

       *       *       *       *       *

COLONEL PARKER: Shall we study this question with open and unprejudiced
minds? I am not a Herbartian. I simply ask the most careful study of
all these questions and systems. There was a time when method seemed
to be incarnated. Now, in regard to this report and the eminent
philosopher who wrote it, I would not say one word except of the
most profound respect. I am never going even to make a pun before a
teachers’ meeting hereafter. When Dr. Harris says I do not believe in
grammar, he should say that I do not believe in certain methods. I
respect butterflies and grubs, but I respect language. When Dr. White
says that certain things are plain by concentration, he says what I
know nothing about. Herbart said of Pestalozzi that his great merit
did not consist in his method and his means, but in his sublime zeal.
He who faces this question of education faces infinity. I protest
against unfair statement as to discipleship, following leader, and so
forth, I acknowledge that I make such statements myself, but I hope
to do better. When Dr. White speaks of the great giants, we have but
to look at him and know it is true. But do we ever question what has
been lost? We are facing the great problems of the twentieth century,
and the present methods of teaching are not equal to their solution.
Under God, let us find the truth and follow it. Let us have the means
of knowing what each teacher and each superintendent is doing for the
child. Let us not lay down a great educational doctrine and say that
it is sufficient. The Sermon on the Mount is sufficient for nineteen
centuries; but what we want is an application of Hegel, of Herbart, and
of the wisdom of all other philosophers to the problems of the future.
All hail the future!

       *       *       *       *       *

DR. W. T. HARRIS: I wish to add one remark as to the meaning of
correlation. I would call attention to its etymology, which makes it a
bringing into relation of what is coördinate. I knew of the Herbartian
idea of concentration of studies, but I was not familiar with the use
of the word “correlation” in the same sense as concentration. I have
given an example in discussing the methods of teaching geography of
the application of the deeper doctrine of concentration. I have shown
that we should start with the child and proceed in two directions, one
towards the elements of difference in order to explain the obstacles
which man has to overcome. On the other side, we should go towards the
subjects of human industry, invention, and commerce, and learn the
method by which man overcomes the “elements of difference.” Geography
for the child should begin in the centre and move outward towards these
extremes, including at every step a human side and a natural side. This
is not a philosophical study of correlation, Hegelian or otherwise,
although it has been called so in this debate, but a scientific study
of the educational value of the branches of the course of study. I
began it in 1870. Now, in a scientific study one does not allow his
feelings of attraction or repulsion to cloud his reason. He assumes
an unprejudiced attitude towards the object that he studies. Child
study, as it is pursued by Dr. Stanley Hall, is pursued with this true
scientific spirit. But child study is not the only thing in education,
nor can education be founded on child study alone. The child is here
to be correlated with the world. The educator must study the world and
study the child, and correlate the one to the other. That is to say, he
must bring the child into a knowledge of the world and a mastery of its
appliances. The report, of course, assumes the value of child study,
and in all the numerous places where attention is called to the danger
of producing arrested development the results of child study are drawn
upon; but, on the other hand, if you have a knowledge of the child,
and do not have a knowledge of the significance of the branches of
study and the way in which they unlock the world of reality, you cannot
correlate the child with the world.

[Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Report of the Committee of Fifteen - Read at the Cleveland Meeting of the Department of - Superintendence, February 19-21, 1884 With the Debate" ***

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