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the elementary and the higher grades; and in respect to school-furniture there is no country which can bear a comparison with our own. But in many important elements of school-architecture we are now greatly surpassed by both Northern and Southern Germany. The best school-edifices within my knowledge are in Vienna, and probably the day is very distant when any American city will be able to boast of a school-edifice equal to that of the Academic Gymnasium in that city. German pedagogists have arrived, after many years of experiments and observation, at a plan for school-rooms which is supposed to combine the desirable qualities in the bighest possible degree ; the shape of the room is oblong, the windows being on one side only, and that, at the left of the pupils as seated and extending to the ceiling of the room. The teacher's platform extends entirely across one end.
In all the leading cities of Germany all the school-rooms in the recently.erected school-edifices have been constructed in accordance with this plan. The new buildings in Vienna combine in the highest degree the requisites of taste, convenience, health, and safety. They are more costly than the American school-houses, for the reason that they are constructed with a view to greater durability, and are substartially fire-proof, all the steps being made of stone, the corridors being laid with marble tiles, or with concrete as durable as marble and even more beautiful. The walls are very thick, and the plastering is laid on without laths or furring, and is afterward colored with a mellow tint.
The excellence of these buildings, both in a pedagogical and architectural point of view, is owing to the fact that they have been designed under the combined direction of the highest official architects and pedagogists, who possess the highest existing qualifications for this service. Almost everything done in America in the way of building school-houses is done in a hap-hazard manner. So the greater portion of American school-houses, costly as they have been and of pretentious architectural style, as some of them are, are dangerous fire-traps, with wretched ventilation and with lighting which disregards the physiology of vision. They are too frequently mere architectural botches, standing as the monuments of bad carpentry and bad masonry, and embodying the ignorance and whims of the builders. This is the truth in general about our city-school-houses as compared with the modern German school-architecture. Exception should be made perhaps in regard to some of our best buildings. What is especially needed now for the improvement of American school-architecture is a publication on the subject, giving the plans and descriptions of the best German schooledifices.
(8) Provision for art-education.-So little of the nature and value of art-education is known
in this country that there is probably scarcely a single city where anything like adequate provision has been made even for the teaching of the elements of drawing in the common schools. Specimens of scholars' work in drawing, both from elementary and the high schools, were sent to the Exposition from several American cities, but all these specimens together were quite insignificant when placed by the side of the productions exhibited by a single elementary public school in Vienna. In that city drawing, both free-hand and geometrical, is systematically taught in all the Birgerand Volks-schools, and each Real-school has usually at least four large rooms for drawing, and as many accomplished professors in this department. There are numerous special schools for drawing and teaching industrial art in its various applications. At the head of this department of instruction stands the academy of fine arts for painting and sculpture and the industrial-art-school, connected with the museum for art and industry, with three departments, namely, for architectural design, modeling and sculpture, and drawing and painting. The latter is a new and magnificent institution, for which a building has been erected and equipped at a cost of about three-quarters of a million d ars.
The same building accommodates, at present, the museum and the art-school, but already this large edifice is found to be inadequate for both, and another building is to be speedily erected for the sole use of the art-school. The results of these liberal pro
visions for art-cuture were very conspicuous in the industrial products of Austria exhibited in the World's Fair.
(9) The employment of male teachers.—It is well known that on the continent of Europe women are employed as teachers in the public schools only to a very limited extent. In Austria the ability of women as teachers seems to be more highly appreciated than in Northern Germany, and hence provision for the normal training of women has been made on a more liberal scale. Still the vast majority of the teachers in the public schools of Vienna are men. Most American educators would probably agree that the German schools would be all the better for the employment of a larger proportion of welltrained woman teachers; but, on the other hand, German pedagogists are quite contident that American schools would be better if a larger proportion of their teachers were men.
When Mr. Mann recommended the employment of a larger proportion of woman teachers in Massachusetts, there were only three women to two men engaged as teachers in the public schools of the State. Since that time, so great has been the change in this respect that ti ere are now in the same State seven woman teachers to one man teacher. It is evident that the time has arrived when it is necessary to consider seriously the question where the substitution of women for men in the work of education ought to stop
(10) Conclusion.—I have thus presented for your consideration a few of the most obvious points of comparison between European and American city-systems of public instruction. I am fully convinced that it would be unwise for us to copy in all its parts any foreign system of city-schools; but, at the same time, I am deeply impressed with the importance of endeavoring to improve our American systems by introducing such modifications as have been suggested in the points I have here p resented.
Hon. M. B. HOPKINS inquired whether the schools referred to by Mr. Philbrick had any text-books; and, if so, inasmuch as the recitations are conducted without text-books, what use is made of them.,
Mr. PHILBRICK. In the elementary schools they use a few text-books, and very few. For instance, they have no such thing as a great book of geography, that the children have to go through with. The children are provided with an atlas, but the atlases are not all of the same kind And in making atlases, Germany is greatly ahead of us. They have four large maps in the school: a map of Palestine, a map of their prov. ince, a map of their country, and a map of Europe, and, possibly, in the higher school, a map of the world. The teacher uses the maps for teaching geography, and they occupy less time than we do. So in arithmetic: I never saw any children using a book such as we call a text-book. They have a little pamphlet, to be used as a book of reference. Arithmetic is taught right off; the children are not kept till they are 14 years old before they study it. Hon. B.G. NORTHROP. I could name more than a dozen points in which,
a in my judgment, our schools are superior to those of Europe, and more than twice a dozen in which theirs are superior to ours.
But I agree that we ought to consider our deficiencies first. With reference to the blackboard, the conviction is fixed in my mind that our plan is better than the German. The teacher there can step to the blackboard and do his work very dexterously, and the scholars can follow him in his draw. ing; but, in my judgment, it is far better for pupils to go to the blackboard, in connection with a lesson in geography, and draw, from memory, the outlines of the countries they are studying. For each pupil to draw a map from memory, quickly, every day, is far better than to have the work done by the teacher.
Another point should be kept in mind, when the announcement is made that there are 3,500 pupils in the Gymnasia and Real-schools of Vienna: they are admitted there at an age so young that we should not compare them with the number in our high schools. But they go more thoroughly into things, because they begin earlier. They start their chil. dren in classical instruction very early. But probably we in America, taking the country at large, are giving a larger proportion of collegiate instruction than is given in Austria.
While I agree in the statement in regard to the magnificent schoolstructures, it is well to consider that these are the comparatively few good houses which are the pets of the government. They determined to have some splendid models, and they are grand. But when you go into the rural districts you find a great contrast.
Prof. COMFORT. Having had an opportunity of spending five years in studying, as carefully as I could, the institutions there, I came to the same conclusion that the author of the paper (Mr. Philbrick] did : that in many points they were in advance of us. The conviction is prevalent there that the students should attend to one course up to about the age of 13 or 14; and one of the disadvantages of the German system is that the government imposes the system upon all the schools. I think, too, that they commit a very serious error in not opening their Real-schools and Gymnasia to girls as well as to boys. In that respect I think Germany is far behind America.
Prof. CLARK, of Howard University, Washington, thought one great disadvantage in our common-school-system to be the want of proper and thorough supervision; and this could be had only by the appointment of men to this duty who are competent and who are paid for their services.
STATISTICAL FORMS. Hon. T. W. HARVEY, State-commissioner of Ohio, from the committee on statistical forms, reported that, having made some progress in the consideration of the subject, they found it too important to permit them to come to a conclusion, and asked leave to be continued, with the hope that they may be able to present a satisfactory report to the department at its meeting in August next.
The report was accepted and leave to continue was granted.
THE GOVERNMENT AND EDUCATION.
The committee on the relations of the General Government to educa. tion in the District of Columbia, through the chairman, Mr. Wickersbam, reported as follows:
(1) That, by reason of the location of the National Government in this District and its exclusive jurisdiction, its population is made up in great part of citizens of the several States who are in Government-employ, very few of whom are tax-payers, and consequently contribute nothing to the support of the schools. It will be found, upon examination, that fully one-third of the children educated in the public schools of the District are the children of such Government-employés.
(2) That the District of Columbia huis never received a dollar of Government-aid, either in money or land, for educational purposes.
(3) The people of the District, tax-payers, have been liberal in their contributions, and have shown the most laudable efforts to help themselves, and have, of their own resources, bronght their schools and buildings to a very creditable standard.
(4) That Congress has adopted a most liberal policy of aid to education in the difftrent States and Territories of the Union.
(5) That since the war there has been a great influx of colored people froin the Sonth, all of these requiring education; yet few of them are tax-payers.
(6) That the citizens of all parts of the country canuot fail to feel a deep iuterest in the character of the educational institutions at the capital, where the representatives of all nations reside: Therefore,
Resolved, That, in the opinion of the convention, it is the duty of Congress to furnish special aid to the school-authorities, establishing and suggesting and supporting a system of public education in the District of Columbia.
The report was adopted.
The secretary was instructed to furnish a copy of these resolutions to the Committees on Education and Labor of the Senate and House of Representatives; also to furnish copies of the resolutions on national aid to education to the same comwittees.
Mr. WICKERSHAM moved that the Commissioner of Education be requested to publish the proceedings of the meeting in his next Circular of Information.
This was seconded by Mr. RICKOFF, who thought it a matter of great importance, and the motion was adopted.
General EATON stated that Dr. Gallandet, of the deaf mute-college, had been present during the session and would have said something, but was unable to do so, owing to the pressure of busiuess of the association. He said that Dr. Gallaudet had requested him to tender au invitation to the members of the department to visit the deaf mute college, at their convenience, while in the city. The invitation was accepted, with thanks.
REMARKS OF GENERAL EATON.
As the exercises of the department were about drawing to a close, General Eaton said:
Before our adjournment, allow me to say one word. I cannot express to you the very great satisfaction I have had in this meeting of your department and in having put forth in these various forms, directly and privately, your suggestions bearing on the work that we are all trying to do, particularly in regard to the part committed to me. For here, when you are thinking of these matters in a national aspect, you are thinking and acting as we do in the Office, having great generalizations before you with innumerable details. There is one interesting fact just handed to me by the gentleman who has charge of the statistics in the Office, and which perhaps you will like to have mentioned, that, although you are not a very large body, you represent here educational supervision having under your charge 6,039,917 pupils. *
I wish to say, further, that, as the gentlemen will, at adjournment, break up as an organized body, I desire very much to see any who may have time to call at the Ottice and talk about their own fields of labor or about the general work at the Office.
Mr. WICKERSHAM moved that the arrangements for the August meeting be left in the hands of General Eaton.
The committee on resolutions, through the chairman, Mr. Parish, submitted the following:
The department of superintendents of schools assembled desire to recognize the cooperation and aid rendered during their present session, and to this end offer the following resolution :
Resolved, That this association return its cordial thanks to the authorities of the District of Columbia, for the use of the hall of the house of delegates for their several sessions; to the board of education and the superintendent of schools of the city of Washington, for the deep interest they have manifested in making arrangements for the convenience and successful accomplishment of the work before the association ; to the officers in charge of the Corcoran Art-Gallery, for free admission to examine the exquisite specimens of paintings and statuary which have been liberally provided by one of the citizens of the city; to the proprietors of the Metropolitan Hotel, for their liberal terms and the excellent provision they made for the members of the association who have been their guests during the session ; to President A. D. White, for his very valuable and instructive address; to Mr. Philbrick, also, for his excellent address giving a comparative view of the schools of Europe and the United States; to the United States Commissioner of Education, Hon. John Eaton, for his universal attention in promoting the interests of the association during the sessions; to J. H. Binford, president, and A. P. Marble, secretary, for their able services in the discharge of their duties.
Adopted. Mr. Marble offered the following: Resolved, That the thanks of this convention be cordially tendered to the daily papers of this city, for their very fuil and accurate reports of our proceedings; and we desire to recognize the press, when thus liberally conducted, as an essential ally in all educational progress and reform.
President Binford then returned thanks to the members of the convention ; when it adjourned, to meet in August, at Detroit, Michigan.
The delegates then formed in line and proceeded, by special invitation, to the residence of Governor Shepherd, where they were hospitably entertained.
* School-population represented in the conrention.
Total, twelve States and District of
42, 000 230, 102 4%, 107 166, 149 31, 671