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Foreign Notes


The following testimony to the general excellence of the French system of public education as related to the interests of workmen, was given by a member of the British Parliament in a recent debate on Education in England:

"I venture to say that there are no workmen more intelligent, resourceful, inventive, and artistic than the French workmen. I would say, further, that there is no country in which education is organized on more democratic lines than in France; and, further, that in no country are better facilities afforded for the training, the formation and development of ability and talent wherever found. As regards the inventive powers of the French workman, I need only refer to the early history of the motor car, the sub-marine, and the aeroplane. In these French schools, into which the children from the elementary schools are drafted in much larger numbers than is proposed by the regulations for the secondary schools in this country, the education is on distinctly practical lines. Boys and girls have the opportunity of developing any artistic abilities or constructive power they may possess. The curriculum is absolutely practical in every way and, moreover, children who show great literary genius have the opportunity of being drafted from their elementary school into the secondary school, where there is every opportunity for this genius to be properly developed. These schools hold such a high position in the French system of organization that the heads of commercial houses send to the headmasters asking them to supply boys and girls from those in school. There is no difficulty whatever, owing to the practical character of the education which the children receive, in finding at once employment when they leave the school."

After discussing recent regulations for secondary schools issued by the education department of England the same speaker continued: "If the board had considered the position in France or Germany I am certain they never would have adopted this regulation. In France and Germany there are schools of the highest possible grade which enable a youth to remain until he is eighteen or nineteen years of age, and then to pass into one of the higher technical institutions in which no Latin or Greek is taught, but where the education is arranged on such practical lines as to enable those who take advantage of the instruction given in these institutions to proceed at once into commerce or elsewhere."

While it is certain that it would be futile in this country to attempt to follow the German or French system, or other foreign systems, we may undoubtedly profit by careful attention to what goes

on in foreign countries. Their failures and successes are almost equally suggestive. It was this conviction that put Dr. Barnard upon the work of explaining foreign systems in his famous Journal and that led Dr. Harris to emphasize the same class of educational investigations in his reports as Commissioner of Education. The purpose is still maintained under the present Commissioner and few reports issued from the office have been more helpful in this respect than the report for 1910 (volume 1), just put into circulation.


The current interest in the subject of religious and moral education gives special value to a work by Jean Delvolvé, entitled "Rationalisme et Tradition: Recherches des Conditions d'Efficacité d'une Morale Laique." The London Journal of Education in the issue for January, 1911, presents an elaborate analytic review of the book which will give those interested, who cannot easily possess themselves of the original, an intelligent comprehension of its contents.

Of the general character of the work the review in question says: "The unique novelty of the contribution is that the writer subjects both the lay moral doctrine and the traditional religious doctrine in French education to a searching psychological analysis, as a result of which he discovers that the lay moral doctrine is lacking in efficacy, whereas the traditional religious Catholic doctrine is in accord with certain fundamental psychological conditions of an effective moral education. On the other hand, however, he holds that the traditional doctrine fails to satisfy one essential condition: the fundamental ideas upon which the doctrine is based are no longer in accord with the growth of our objective knowledge of Nature. He concludes, therefore, that the urgent problem for French educators, if their lay moral teaching is ultimately to become effective, is that they should comply with the fundamental psychological conditions which the traditional religious teaching has observed without in the least abdicating the absolute rights of reason or anything of the spirit of science or of liberty."


One aspect of the general unrest in India, and a very hopeful aspect, pertains to public education which is rapidly developing. In the province of Bombay far reaching changes are taking place in University education, and what is still more important in the underlying secondary system. Until recently the high school courses have been shaped to suit the demands of the matriculation or rather, as a critic puts it, "the whims of the examiners at the matriculation." There are signs now that all this will be changed. The proposal to abolish the matriculation as a university examination, which was

initiated and strenuously supported by government, has fallen through in the Senate. "In spite of this rebuff, for it was nothing less," says a native authority, "the reforming instincts of government seem to have lost none of their zest." The director of public instruction, in his annual report for 1909-10, states that the Governor-in-Council "has under active consideration measures designed to relieve the courses from the dominance of the matriculation examination, to revise the curricula generally, to provide suitable text books and to improve the prospects of the assistant-masters." In the matter of progress in female education in India, the Bombay presidency takes the lead. The number of girl graduates is fast increasing and is causing the great inconveniences to which mixed education is calculated to give rise in India. Whatever may be the general opinion of co-education, the present conditions in India are not favorable to its large extension. According to the report of Mr. Sharp, the director of public instruction, this province is ripe for the creation of a women's college, managed by a staff of Oxford or Cambridge womengraduates. "The public spirit and generosity of Bombay [he says] have become proverbial and if a definite scheme is put forward, it is sure to be enthusiastically taken up and made successful." Such a separate college for women will stimulate the cause of the higher education of women throughout India.

A. T. S.

Book Notices

ELEMENTARY LESSONS IN ENGLISH. By George C. Howland. Colonial Book Company, Chicago, Ill.; and by the same author: ADVANCED LESSONS IN ENGLISH. The Colonial Book Company, Chicago.

These books present the essential facts and principles of the English language and grammar in a philosophical, and at the same time entirely clear and simple manner. The pupil is led on step by step, and not given anything that he has not been prepared to receive and understand. We are sure that the majority of school pupils are greatly injured and put back by being given matters that are plain to the teacher, but too advanced for the immature mind. This affects the student when he takes up the foreign languages. The present volume forestalls this difficulty and gives the child in the elementary grades and beyond just the training and information he needs to prepare him to take up with ease and pleasure the studies of the more advanced stages of his educational life. It is sure that whoever faithfully uses these two new and original volumes will enjoy English and have a better command of language, in its multitudinous uses, all through life.


Essentials of Chemistry, Experimental, Descriptive, Theoretical. Rufus Phillips Williams, Instructor in Chemistry in the English High School, Boston, Mass. Ginn & Company, Publishers. 8vo, cloth, 421 pages, list price $1.25.

Twenty-five years of successful teaching experience has enabled the author to introduce into his "Essentials of Chemistry" many important innovations and departures from ordinary textbooks.

The experiments are separate from the descriptive parts, those on a given subject usually preceding the description. They include many quantitative or semiquantitative and original experiments for the students to work out.

In the theoretical parts laws and theories are treated in detail as they are introduced, thereby acquiring special emphasis. In the descriptive parts the usual order is changed to accord with modern methods, Preparation, Proper. ties, and Tests preceding History, Occurrence, Uses, etc.

Laws, principals, and theories are illustrated thoroughly by ample exercises and problems, and by very clear diagrams.

Besides these important new features there are many improvements, such as the clear tabulation of properties of substances, the treatment of up-to-date electrochemistry, the full discussion of the manufacturing and commercial side of chemistry, the explanation of Avogadro's theory by the original device of diagrams, and the use of a method that introduces one subject at a time and discusses that subject so completely that it is thoroughly understood.

The aim of the author has been to present a complete survey of elementary chemistry, gradually giving the pupil, by means of easy but stimulating steps, a good general knowledge of the subject.

Xenophon's Anabasis, Books I-IV, edited, with an introduction, notes, and vocabulary by Maurice W. Mather, Ph. D., formerly instructor in Harvard University, and Joseph William Hewitt, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Latin and Greek in Wesleyan University. American Book Company. Price, $1.50.

The editors, both of whom are experienced in secondary work, have made it their chief aim to provide a body of notes which shall be essentially helpful to the preparatory student. As far as possible grammatical constructions are explained in the editors' words, or are named so that they may be readily identified. The references to the formal grammar are thus greatly reduced, and are arranged in columns at the foot of the page for ease in consultation. All references to the text are made by page and line. The vocabulary gives the special meanings, with citations of words found in this edition. Derivations are briefly and clearly indicated. The introduction gives briefly the story of the expedition of the Ten Thousand Greeks, its causes and results, sketches with considerable fullness Xenophon's career, and describes the military antiquities connected with the expedition. The illustrations are a feature of the book, having been selected for the light they throw on the human side of the narrative.

Sociology and Modern Social Problems, by Prof. Charles A. Ellwood, Ph. D. American Book Co.

Here is a book which teaches the simpler principles of sociology concretely and inductively. It calls the student's attention to "certain obvious and elementary forces in the social life, and he is left to work out his own system of social theory," Sociology is defined as "an abstract, theoretical science of society concerned with the laws and principles which govern social organization and social change." Of the fifteen chapters in this book the first eight consider the origin, development, structure and functions of the family, while the others take up special problems, as Imagination, Crime, Poverty and Pauperism, the Negro, the City, Socialism, and Education and Social Progress. He finds the cure of poverty in "scientific control of the whole life process of human society." He shows clearly the need for "scientific study of social conditions and institutions." A thoughtful book like this deserves careful study. If we would improve society we must first clearly understand the problems which confront us. With this end in view, this book will prove of real service.

Idealism in Education, or, First Principles in the Making of Men and Women. By Herman Harrell Horne, Ph. D., Professor of the History of Philosophy and of the History of Education, New York University; author of "The Philosophy of Education" and "The Psychological Principles of Education." The Macmillan Company. $1.25 net. Dr. Horne is a strong, earnest thinker. In the book before us he carries his reasoning up to a higher plane than before. For him idealism, which "finds ideas and purposes to be the realities of existence," is the "true

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