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cabling the Mikado to learn why his subjects want to break into the schools our boys run away from.
The women's clubs all over the country have done most effective work in organizing children's humane associations, thus implanting justice and kindness in the young. When the clubs of the country follow the example of the State Federation of New Jersey and resolve never to wear aigrettes nor baby lambskin, the wanton destruction of innocent life will be checked. The humaneeducation crusade must also eventually result in making children more considerate even of their parents and teachers, overcoming the influence of the present distorted conception of children's rights.
Since the masculine mind is proverbially the one to solve great problems, it is not surprising that minor details of school economy have been left for the feminine mind to grapple with. The mothers are the ones to hear the cry, "What shall I do?" and "Where can I go ?" and to proceed to the acquisition of playgrounds and vacation schools in the cities. The success of those now secured promises soon to be followed by many more. The National Congress of Mothers through its local committees comes in contact with every school in towns where its branches are established and, judging by the strength of Denver's committee, whose chairman is also president of the school board, the voices of the mothers are being heard in the land.
That modern women are learning what was once thought beyond the female capacity-some business management, is shown by the free scholarships and loan funds in the gift and under the control of the various state federations. The Michigan Federation of Clubs has a five-thousand-dollar fund, the interest of which is applied to educating girls. That of Texas has twenty scholarships, Utah two, Colorado nineteen, Kansas eighteen to bestow; New Hampshire is educating four girls at the State Normal School and working for higher teachers' salaries, while in other localities, teachers' pensions have been obtained by women for women on account of length of service. Mississippi assisted eight girls in one year to education, while one enterprising federation helped thirty-one girls to complete their normal course and become teachers.
And the desire to help all children is shown by the unusual scholarships of the Los Angeles clubs and of six other cities where a sum equal to what his earnings would be, is paid weekly to the child who is the support of a disabled parent, upon presentation of a certificate of attendance from the principal of the school.
The true import of women's organizations and efforts has been misunderstood. The school people have often regarded their committees as meddlesome and their advice uncalled-for. But this antagonism is unnatural and undoubtedly due to misdirected, if zealous efforts, or to some unfortunate personalities. A common bond should unite as fellow-workers the mothers and teachers of the land.
The special phase of woman's development expressed in the woman's clubs
is not considered by thoughtful women as an end in itself but as one phase of their social evolution and an important means toward the attainment of that larger life which they know to be their rightful heritage. They realize that the heart of the movement is opportunity for greater usefulness and unselfish service that all who labor effectually are agents of that Power which works in and thru this universe, and in doing whose work lies the only true happiness. One who has studied the subject of architecture tells us that the buildings men raise reflect the spirit of the times. The Acropolis of Athens perpetuates the religion and art of ancient Greece and still tells of its glories. In Rome today, the ruins of the Coliseum and the Forum overshadowed by the palace of the Caesars, breathe the spirit of war, of the exaltation of law, and of imperialism. The cities of the Middle Ages cluster about the great cathedralsthe common market-place close to the sacred structure-and tell of the church dominant in the heart of the city and the citizens, overmastering with its mystery and towering in vastness, age, and power over life's other, trivial concerns. In northern Europe, we find the town halls where the republican citizens transacted their business, and the belfries from which their alarums rang. The lofty buildings most in evidence in our own country in the nineteenth century typify the commercial daring and aspiration of the age.
The examples of architecture which embody the most uplifting influence of the twentieth century should be the schoolhouses. Not immense structures where the individual child is lost sight of within, and crowded into the street without, but planned with reference not only to his intellectual needs and the culture which will make him superior, but also with their books and pictures, their playgrounds, gymnasiums, and gardens, their departments of industrial training and their halls designed for the use of the people-these buildings will show the influence of woman's acceptance of her responsibilities and her cooperation with the professional educator. The two forces working together will provide for the child those means of growth and development which will help him to arrive at his full estate and, by his increased intelligence and his ability to apply it to all things great or small, to exemplify the truth of the doctrine that "real education is life."
ADELAIDE STEELE BAYLOR, superintendent of city schools, Wabash, Ind.-In listening to the paper just read, I was especially interested in the enormous amount of work attributed—and rightly too, I believe to women's clubs; but in spite of all this, I am of the opinion, that their greatest work is yet to come. There is no problem so serious today in the regulation of the affairs of education as that one affecting the relation of the public to the school. Parents are not familiar with the school system, its needs, and organization; teachers know too little of the affairs outside of the schoolroom, and while much has been done by various meetings and methods to lessen this tension, it is still far too great for the best interests of the school and the community. The public expect things that the schools cannot accomplish, and the schools undertake things that do not have practical results so far as the public weal is concerned.
The school talks work and teaches work, but does not make workers, many times, while the public too often feel that it is the purpose of the school to make doers of a particular type, rather than doers in general. Is it not probable that the solution of these problems comes within the province of women's clubs? By the selection of members, the election of officers, appointment of committees, arrangement of programs and topics to be discussed, may not these clubs make a study of these conditions, with a view to making the situation better? Would it not be feasible and beneficial, if all the women's clubs in the country should set aside one or more days during the year for the discussion of the school system, with a view to bringing about a better understanding between the school and the community or public in general? It seems to me that here is another problem, the solution of which might add one more honor to the splendid list just enumerated by the speaker.
CALL NOTHING COMMON*
BENJAMIN IDE WHEELER, PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA Human society of the present time and place evidently believes in education. It is inclined to stake its life upon it. It believes on the whole with a faith that is childlike and bland. It is often perplexed about what to teach and why, and how to teach it and through whom, and yet the perplexities seem only to sanctify the deep mysteries of paidology, and strengthen faith in the systems that issue from the cloud-wrapt mount of education. If education fails in an individual case, the faith is still strong enough and the charity gentle enough to judge that there ought to have been more of it in quantity, or else a higher voltage; the operation was successful, though the patient died. For all the social ills education has come to be as universal a prescription as bloodletting in the older medicine. If people are leaving the farms, if divorce is undermining the family, if the political machine is looting the cities, the remedy is to be found in education; the schools must look out for it. This is the habit of opinion today. The habit appears to be a good one; the opinion is presumably in substance correct. Surely we of the craft are not inclined to discourage it. But the demand comes in the avalanche form. Those that would be healed throng upon us and "cannot come nigh for the press;" men are fain to uncover the roof and let down the sick in beds upon us. Despite the gratification this cannot fail to bring to those who have chosen the field of education for a lifework, in that their special product promises to gain enhanced value in the markets of human estimate, and their profession has thereby prospect of rising out of the relative disparagement and depreciation which have through the ages, notwithstanding much theoretical blandishment, in actual practice really invested it-despite such gratification, we must be conscious that the situation brings with it grave responsibility and no little ground for apprehension. We know that any man whom public opinion has grossly overestimated is in serious peril-peril before the reaction that must follow disillusionment, and yet greater peril for his own character in the temptation to perpetuate the deception by false devices. The profession of medicine * By request of the author the simplified spelling forms adopted by the N. E. A. are not used in this address.
has had its sore experience from accepting the blind popular confidence in its knowledge and command of drugs; it has seen the reaction tear from its hands the control, and open the door to the pitiful deceits of quackery and the patent medicine and to multiform vagaries of ignorance and superstition. Out of this experience the best medical practice of today has learned to limit its sure claims to what it knows it can actually do, and to deal frankly and objectively with patients and disease.
If we as a profession of teachers find that we are responding to crude popular demand by dealing out our one medicine, the exact varieties and potencies of which we do not notice, and the precise workings of which we do not understand, treating all cases out of one bottle and blindly following traditional recipes and formal courses of treatment, it might be time for us to adopt as our own the burning proclamation: "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall be no sign given to it." We will not at any rate cloak our helplessness under the schemes and schedules and curricula of other days or aimlessly rely upon mechanism devised for other and nearer ends; nor will we, of all things, encourage a public credulity which blindly trusts in all the doings of the schools and colleges for all purposes, so long only as they bear the sacrosanct name of education, and assigns to them some thaumaturgic power by mysterious process to make black white and the white matter of brains gray.
If we still do not know what subjects should be taught, or why, or how they should be taught to give appreciable results, we can at least be frank in confessing to ourselves the limits of our own ignorance and candid before the world in claiming no command of mysterious processes. If we have applied the light of biology and of psychology and of sociology and of the history of human training and of statistical science to our inquiries, and have thus far been disappointed in our results, we shall do well frankly to state the measure of our disappointment, as a safeguard to what we really have learned and a guarantee to ourselves against self-deception and to the world against disingenuousness and pretense. If we have indeed with all our searchings in pedagogy found no device of human training that finally takes the place of the warm life of the teacher; nothing that can replace it, or be in any wise commensurate with it; nothing that can provoke a deposit of good education out of a bad teacher; nothing whether of subject or method that can get bad education out of a good teacher; we can safely reaffirm our old faith in the old educational doctrine of "the Word made flesh," and adopt the fullness of the proclamation: "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall be no sign given to it," but the sign of the teacher and his living personality. If there is any mystery in education, it is the one, lone mystery of the inspiring and converting power of personality.
At the very heart of the present-day belief in education is our people's faith in the common schools. They have developed pari passu with our democracy. Our people are persuaded that the maintenance of our peculiar institu
tions of popular government is dependent upon their existence, and the full and successful working of these institutions upon their efficiency. There has appeared no competent reason for impugning the wisdom of this decided and increasing popular conviction. Not all the graduates of our common schools become good citizens, nor yet of our universities; but statistics assign criminality overwhelmingly to the class of the illiterates. We do not teach young humans reading in order that they may read the constitution; their understanding might conflict with that of the Supreme Court; but we teach them reading that they may share the thoughts and observations of people of other place and other time, and so be delivered from slavery to the immediate vision, and to all the prejudice and ignorance and mal-judgment which such slavery involves. At the basis of orderly living, which is moral living, rests the power to discriminate as to what belongs here and what belongs there; next comes the will to classify accordingly. We cannot therefore omit the equipment and training of the intelligence from the training that prepares an individual to live his life in community with other people's lives. That means moral training. Moral training is always implicit in all the work of the common school, though the commandments be not stated or the code rehearsed. Obedience to the public laws is latent in the discipline that the school exacts, though civics be not taught and the flag be not saluted. The real democracy of equal opportunity, fair give-and-take, and a scratch start, ancestors barred, is involved in the assemblage from many door-yards upon the benches of the common school, and the indiscriminate tumbling of future citizens of variegated fates during recess in the schoolhouse yard. The democracy is there, waiting for you, though Jefferson and the fathers be not named.
No, the people of the nation have made no mistake in their confidence in the public school as a training for democratic citizenship or as a guarantee of the continuance of free institutions. Their one solicitude must be lest changing conditions of social life dislodge it from its place and throw it out of tune with the democracy it was set to represent and support.
Our democracy involves no proposition of equality of achievement, but straightly and supremely equality of opportunity. It was devised in the protest against the privilege of class. It anticipated the modern doctrines of heredity, and trusted men, in the opportunity of a fair field and in the strength of their divine inheritance, to rise as individual creations out of the disease and thraldom of their parentage and the limitations of class and craft and caste. It meditated no crime against nature; it bandaged no feet and strapped no skulls. It established no standard size of foot or brain; it set no bounds upon spiritual vision, upon intellectual reach, upon inventive imagination, upon creative skill, or upon the acquisition of substance, except as the rights and free opportunity of others might be impaired. It proposed to give every man a free chance to make the most possible out of his single life. It was conceived as a gospel of self-realization for the sons of men.
It is as a faithful counterpart to such a democracy that the public school