Slike strani

the South was feeling to the utmost its depleting and disastrous effects, a modest Massachusetts citizen, Mr. George Peabody, gave a fortune of some three and a half millions for the promotion of education in the Southern States. This was the largest gift for purely educational purposes that had up to that time ever been made in this country. It was widely commented on in the public press and elsewhere; and besides the vast influence it has had directly by the expenditure of the money for the benefit of the South, it no doubt had a large indirect influence in leading other wealthy men, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Kennedy and others, to devote even larger sums to similar purposes. When the Trustees of the Peabody Fund were first organized they were impowered to spend forty per cent of the principal within two years. After that the balance was to remain undisturbed for thirty years except that the income might be expended. A large sum, invested in state bonds which were finally found to be worthless, was lost from the fund. But the income was still large enough to become a strong force in the reconstruction of the South, and the benefaction has been an inestimable blessing to the whole nation. About $6,000,000 have been expended. The balance of the fund which remains to be disbursed is somewhere about one million. We believe that no better use can be made of large means than to place it where it will count directly for the increase of the enlightenment and intelligence of the human race.


T the Boston meeting of the National Education Association one of the articles adopted in the Declaration of Principles declares that a Federal office of Education is necessary to the best development of education in the several states." It goes on to recite the benefits that have accrued to the country from the services of the National Bureau of Education. This Bureau not only disseminates widely most valuable educational information; it also creates ideals and holds the educational forces of the country together in an organized whole, and promotes efficiency and intelligent co-operation all along the line of educational effort. It is to the country as a whole somewhat the same sort of an influence as is the local Board of Education to the individual city or town. The Commissioner of Education, who is at the head of the Bureau, is a sort of Superintendent of Schools for the entire country. Of course he is even more than this, for his high office at the seat of government and the resources that he

may draw from in the prosecution of his work, give him an influence and an opportunity which is unique. From time to time the proposition has been made to constitute the Commissioner of Education a member of the President's Cabinet. We believe that the time will come when this will be done. For what great interest of the country is larger than that of public education? What affects the welfare of the whole people all the time more vitally than this?

The Declaration" of the National Education Association urges an increased appropriation by Congress for the support of the Bureau, and in particular an extra appropriation this year of $75,000 for the organization of a staff of specialists for work in the field. All readers of the magazine EDUCATION will, we are sure, do what they can to influence their senators and representatives to take a liberal view of this subject, and in other ways do whatever is possible to create public sentiment in favor of this splendid agency for the promotion of the educational interests of the country.


AST summer's "Sane Fourth of July" campaign was a complete success in many parts of the country, and the deaths and injuries, especially among children, were far less than usual. So far as can be observed, the cause of patriotism did not suffer from the change. Now an Eastern paper, the Boston Journal has inaugurated another campaign which is equally commendable and timely. It is a "Keep-away-from-thin-ice campaign. It has at the outset received the hearty commendation of the Lieutenant Governor (in the absence of Governor Draper), the Governor elect, the Mayor, the President of the Humane Society, numerous superintendents of schools and teachers all over the state, and parents and other private citizens, who believe that it is an excellent movement inaugurated none too soon, and destined to save a large number of precious young lives. It aims to minimize the dangers arising from young children venturing on thin ice just beginning to form, and it calls upon teachers to impress upon their young pupils that they should not venture upon the ice until assured by their parents that it is safe to skate and slide upon it. Hundreds of school children are signing and returning to the Journal the following pledge: "I hereby promise to keep away from thin ice and to take no chances until mamma or papa tells me the ice is safe to slide or skate on. In addition to this, I hereby pledge myself to warn my playmates and to do all in my power to assist the Boston Journal in its effort to impress upon children the danger of thin ice.”

This plan should be adopted throughout the country, and we have no doubt that it will be, now it has once been started. It is a good thing, and we hope our readers will take the initiative in pushing it along.

Foreign Notes



In an address before the second international congress of primary education, reported in the Journal des Instituteurs, M. Charles Rossignol, President of the Bureau of the International Federation of Teachers, traced the gradual development of modern educational philosophy, and its relation to changes that have taken place in this respect since the eighteenth century. Man enjoys the entire universe was a saying with writers even in the seventeenth century. But in reality, as M. Rossignol observes, this was not true until the arrival of the daily papers. Before that time, excepting in rare cases, a man belonged exclusively to his village or city, or at the utmost to the immediate vicinity; his sphere of action was extremely limited, and he became, insensibly as it were, conservative and antagonistic to progress. But the discoveries of science annihilated distance and made the earth itself too small for the exercise of human thought. In spite of all prejudices, this change tends irresistibly toward the spirit of internationalism. This spirit developed first in the world of science, and is rapidly spreading in that of law, of politics and of education.

From this general observation M. Rossignol passes to a second, namely, that the body of principles, or of opinions, which determine educational procedures, are the collective contribution of men of different ages and nations.

In France in the sixteenth century, Rabelais and Montaigne criticised the scholastic education and pointed out its defects. The recluse of Port Royal and the celebrated Rollin gave new direction and method to the work of instruction; de la Salle founded the school for the people upon a religious basis; Rousseau, inspired by the ideas of Montaigne and Locke, advocated the return to nature, and was in France the first to occupy himself with the idea of professional (vocational) education. Following these founders of educational philosophy in France was a series of brilliant men, leaders in the state or educators of renown, who wrought out the existing system of public instruction in France. The list in M. Rossignol's review, begins with Talleyrand and closes with Ferdinand Buisson. Turning to Germany the paper rehearses briefly the movement of

educational thought and practice from Melancthon, the great enlightener of the nation, and Luther the founder of its primary school system, through the series of philosophers, Kant, Francke, and the philanthropic pietists, of whom Basedon was chief, who gave an impulse to the active minds of Pestalozzi, the Pere Girard and the schools of Switzerland. Later in the long series come the names of Froebel, Fichte, Schleiermarcher, Herbart and Bencke. It would be interesting to follow this address through the review of English contributors to the movement; but passing over the earlier impulse dating from Roger Bacon, it must suffice to note that, in the opinion of M. Rossignol, Herbert Spencer marks the dawn of a true pedagogic science by his doctrine of rational psychology, of which Alexander Bain, with masterly analysis, has worked out the practical import. It need hardly be said that M. Rossignol is far from regarding the newer doctrine of education as having been carried to its full completion. Among successors of Spencer and Bain he mentions Ebbinghaus, Binet and Stanley Hall, living contributors to the work.


The meeting of the Education Section of the British Association held this year at Sheffield, was a notable one, in many respects. There were at least two addresses that set forth principles of education, which in this day of new doctrines, false doctrines and no doctrines, is desirable. There were several papers also which presented in intelligible form, practices that are good to be followed. The president of the section, Principal Miers of the University of London, in an address on the "Relations between University Education and School Education," declared that the paramount and permanent factor in school systems is the individuality of the teacher and his personal influence upon the pupil." Further he declared that "the only permanent personal influence is really wielded by teachers who exercise it through intellectual channels, and that those who acquire intellectual authority will generally succeed in training the characters as well as the minds of their pupils.”

Having in mind the evils of premature specialization, Principal Miers said, "Specialization is not to be prevented by insisting on a considerable number of subjects, but rather by teaching even one subject in a wide spirit." These are golden utterances.

In the symposium on "Educational Research," the type of research selected for the fullest discussion was the "Measurement of Intelligence." The work in this direction is based mainly on that of MM. Binet and Simon, which was published in the Année Psychologique, 1908. It appeared from the discussion that "the threshold of the subject has hardly been more than crossed," and it was noticed, also, that many of the participants were "sadly lacking in expository The lack is sometimes noticeable in similar discussions on this side of the Atlantic, and all can sympathize with the High Commissioner of Australia who in a "breezy speech" expressed the belief that when a man of science really knew what he was talking about he could express it clearly in his native tongue. The observation suits any other subject as well.


A short summary of the Binet and Simon tests with the scale of measurements was published in School Hygiene (London), February, 1910.


The second educational census of the Argentine Republic has just been published, and is regarded as the most nearly complete presentation ever made of educational conditions in any one of the Latin American countries. A remarkable fact brought out in the census relates to the government expenditure for educational purposes, primary, secondary, higher, special, etc. The amount in 1909 was about $10,898,000,-equal to the combined expenditure on the army and navy. The detailed completeness of the census may be judged from the size of the three quarto volumes which it fills, comprising altogether about fifteen hundred pages.

A. T. S.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »