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A Knight of Arthur's Court or the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Translated and adapted for school use by John Harrington Cox, A. M., Professor of English Philology in West Virginia University. Little, Brown & Co. 60 cents net.
This tale from the golden age of chivalry is bere told in form suitable for school purposes, the editor's hope being that the children in the elementary schools may get from it the atmosphere and spirit of that most picturesque stage in the history of the world. Mr. Ccx's style is delightful and peculiarly adapted to children. The story is retold with a spirit that makes it now and distinctly refreshing. The book is a valuable addition to the supplementary list of readers.
Authology of French Prose and Poetry, by Williamson Updibe Vreeland, Professor of Romance Languages in Princeton University, and Regis Michaud, Preceptor of Modern Languages in Princeton University. Ginn & Company, Publishers, Boston, Mass. Price, $1.40.
This book is intended by the authors to suit the needs of college or advanced secondary school classes. Some of the important shorter poems and prose selections of over fifty French authors are presented to the pupil in this volume, together with a short biographical sketch of the life and works of each author. By these few selections the student will become acquainted with the style and character of the works of each writer, and this knowledge will be helpful to him in his study later on of other works of these authors.
Life stories for young people, Eugenie, Empress of the French, translated from the German of Erich Holm.
Prince Eugene—The Noble Knight, translated from the German of L. Wurdig
Charlemagne, translated from the German of Ferdinand Schmidt.
Queen Maria Sophia of Naples—A Forgotten Heroine, translated from the German of Carl Kuchler by George P. Upton, author of “Musical Memories,” “ Standard Operas," etc. Translator of “Memories,” “Immensee," etc. With illustrations. A. C. McClurg & Co. Price $.50 net each.
These are attractive volumes, of convenient size, excellent print, and attractively bound and illustrated; suitable for supplementary reading. The cbildren and young people will like them.
Story Telling—What to Tell and How to Tell It, by Edna Lyman. A. C. McClurg & Co.
The revival of story telling is a fact for which to be thankful. The art is one which some possess in fair degree by nature. Others must acquire it. There is hardly any one who cannot enrich his life and increase his influence by possessing it. This little book bas helpful chapters on the responsibility of society for what children read; on reading aloud and on story telling; on arranging the program of miscellaneous stories; on biographical stories; on national epic tales; on how to use these epic tales; and an excellent list of books for the story teller,
Manual of Physical Geography by Frederick Valentine Emerson, Ph. D., Instructor in Geology in the University of Missouri. Macmillan Company. $1.40.
This manual will readily accompany any textbook in physical geography. The exercises have been graded from the most elementary to rather difficult ones, but the gradation is in strict harmony with the student's advance in the study of the subject. A very large number of the exercises are new, and all are set forth in a manner to appeal to the experience and observation of the pupil. It is by the use of such a manual that the subject of physical geography is made valuable; mere recitation of assigned topics or submission of papers prepared in libraries will not suffice to make the study of the sub. ject of any great worth. This manual sets the student to work outside the textbook and in so doing it vitalizes the subject.
English Grammar By Parallelism and Comparison. By G. W. Henderson, M. D. Columbus, Ohio: H. H. Henderson.
Herein the author attempts to demonstrate that by studying grammar by his method the pupil will arrive at a working knowledge of the science in a much quicker time and by a clearer road than by the ordinary way.
The pupil'would certainly learn more of the mechanics of the subject; whether he would understand and remember this is problematical. There is little that is novel in the method, but there is much that is suggestive to the teacher and perhaps to the pupil. The book may serve to clarify some of the intricacies of grammar, more probably as an assisting than as a regular textbook.
New-World Speller. Grades One and Two. By Julia Helen Wohlfarth and Lillian Emily Rogers. Illustrated. Price 60 cents. Yonkers-on-Hudson; World Book Company.
This book aims to teach spelling from the outset in the same definite and systematic way in which number is taught. First of all the pupils are taught to study; this is accomplished by making use of the greatest possible variety in presenting the words, and by the continual employment of phonics. Phonics are taught with every lesson and their use is insisted on upon the development of every word. The book is daintily gotten up and printed, the illus. trations being particularly inviting.
Periodical Notes. The April American Review of Reviews has two articles of considerable importance to educators. The first to which we call attention is “ Defective Children in School." A" social Safeguard," by Olivia Howard Dunbar. It is a strong and logical appeal for schools to form special classes for "Defectives.” One hundred and ten such classes are now maintained in New York public schools with phenomenal success. In the second paper noted Mary Josephine Mayer discusses in a thoroughly convincing manner "The Vital Question of School Lunches." She maintains that feeding school children is a strictly educational policy and by figures and facts proves her statement, and also shows conclusively that schools providing wholesome nourishing lunches for the pupils reduce the expenses of the community. -Lippincott's Magazine for April has an aitractive collection of short stories. A very clever and amusing story of child life by Augusta Kartrecht gives one a chance to laugh and forget for a little the serious problems of life.-The April number of The North American Review treats its readers to several notable contributions, among which is one by George Gilbert on “ The Interpretation of the Bible." This timely' article marks tbe cele bration of the tercentenary of the English Bible.-Henry Davis Bushnell writes on "Educational Efficiency" in the April issue of the Atlantic Monthly, considering this much discussed subject of the momeni in bis own able and scholarly way.-"Novels that Preach" is the title of an article in the Literary Digest for April 22. It appears on page 788 and should not be overlooked as it is well worth a few minutes thought.
Devoted to the Science, Art, Philosophy and Literature
The Differentiation of the High School
Course in English*
HARVARD UNIVERSITY. perencanaamweet HE discussion of this immense subject will necessar
ily be very brief, and I cannot touch more than a few of its many elements. The first point I want to make is this :—for the past ten years we have all been listening to an extraordinary denunciation of college requirements for admission in English, and
indeed, denunciation of the whole influence of col2001 ALINIMUM
leges on secondary schools. It is alleged that the
requirements of the colleges have impaired the value of secondary schools, have affected injuriously the style of teaching in schools, and have tended to limit painfully the freedom of secondary school teachers. Now the subject of English is a very recent one in any schools of English-speaking people, primary or secondary. It is comparatively a very recent subject in colleges themselves. Who introduced the subject of English into the whole series of schools from bottom to top? The colleges! What was the subject matter of instruction in English before the year 1870 in American schools ? English grammar, than which a more inappropriate subject cannot be conceived. As a matter of fact, where did this teaching of English language and literature in whatever method arise? Where did it come from? From the new requirements in English for admission to college ! How long ago was that? 1870! We have only had forty years
•President Eliot's remarks during the discussion at the meeting of the New England Association of Teachers of English, Boston, March 18, 1911.
of experience with this new subject and method of school instruction. Naturally, we have not got a perfect system yet, but let us all remember that the topic itself as a subject of instruction in schools came from the colleges.
Secondly, let us consider for a moment the quality of these lists of books issued by college examination boards, which are recommended for use in secondary schools. Can anybody question the fact that those lists consist exclusively of specimens of English literature which it is in the highest degree desirable that boys and girls from fourteen to eighteen, whose mother tongue is English, should be made acquainted with? I venture to say that no book has ever been recommended in the college lists of English with which it is not distinctly desirable that the school population in an English-speaking country should be made acquainted. It may not always be practical to make the pupils acquainted with all of them; but it is highly desirable that they should all be acquainted with most of the specimens of English contained in those lists.
But we are constantly told that the population of the schools itself has changed profoundly; and that what was fit as literary material in the schools of forty years ago, or even of twenty years ago, is unfit today. Let us look for a moment at the precise nature of this change. The first striking feature of the change is the advent of large numbers of pupils whose mother tongue is not English, -aliens we call them. We were all aliens a century or two ago; but these are new aliens, and many of them have not learned English, at least as a mother tongue. The fact is plain. There are 5,000 Greeks in Lowell; there are 40,000 French-Canadians in Fall River; there is an immense diversity of alien population in the city of New York. Nobody can question the fact. How much should that affect the teaching of English literature in American schools? Is it clear, in the first place, that these alien races are less intelligent than what we try to call the American race in this country? Is it at all clear that the minds of the Russian Jews, the Italians, the Armenians, and the Greeks, are any less capable of enjoying English literature than the minds of the so-called American children? To my mind it is not only not clear, but it seems to me that the actual facts demonstrate that all those races I have mentioned are highly capable of enjoying English literature if only they go at it in the right way. For
instance, the best acting by children I ever saw in my life was by a large number of Russian-Jew children on the East Side of New York, and they were acting an English play, "The Prince and the Pauper."
We have a few Italians coming into Harvard College, chiefly from the Boston Latin School, and there is not the slightest doubt that they are capable of comprehending English literature, and enjoying it to the full. Some years ago Mrs. Eliot and I were sitting in the coupé of a diligence in the Italian Tyrol and talking together, when an Italian gentleman with only one leg (he had lost the other in the War of 1866 between Austria and Italy) climbed with great difficulty into the coupé and sat down beside us. He had not been there more than a minute before he said in accents distinctly recognizable as Shakespearian, “Might I have the great privilege of listening to your conversation ?" He had been a diligent student of English literature, but had seldom heard the language spoken. We were much with this gentleman during the next twenty-four hours, and he told us that he had read all the European literatures, and that the English immeasurably surpassed every other. He gave some very good reasons for this belief, such as amplitude, richness, and variety of form, and general high level with superb climaxes. He had read much of American literature, notably Lowell and Longfellow. He had never heard of Whittier, so when I got home I sent him a volume of Whittier's poems, which he promptly acknowledged, expressing his great interest and pleasure in the poems, and specifying the poem which most delighted him. It was that beautiful hymn,
“Another hand is beckoning us,
Another call is given,
The path which leads to Heaven." That was the thing he picked out from all of Whittier's works as the finest; but he delighted in them all. Now, there was an Italian's opinion about English literature. There was the effect of English literature on the mind of an educated Italian, who earned a modest living as a country lawyer.
Shall we imagine that the Italians, who are more and more coming to our shores, are not going to be open in school to the