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read and debated in the institute following. Again, at times, written tests may be made during the progress of an institute to show the results of a month's study. "Writing maketh an exact man," says Lord Bacon, and as pedagogy, like Speaker Reed's parliamentary law, has not yet become an exact science, written pedagogical lessons can be made to serve a good educational purpose. Short, pointed papers upon subjects assigned for study or upon kindred subjects may with great caution be allowed at long intervals; but at no institute should the whole time, or even the greater part thereof, be given over to the presentation of pedagogical essays, charm they never so wisely. The principle should be kept in mind, that it is characteristic of human nature for one to enjoy work in which he himself takes an active part. At the close of a year's institute study a review, partly oral, partly written, is advisable. This review in some degree organizes the pedagogical knowledge gained during the year, gives a definite increase to the working capital of the corps of teachers, and emphasizes the one great truth governing all spiritual enterprises-"To every one that hath shall be given; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath."
In addition to the pedagogical course of study which is to serve as a foundation for institute work, there should be courses for the teachers of the several elementary grades, one course for high school teachers, and one for school principals. The time limit of this paper forbids a discussion of these courses. Nevertheless, it seems clear that the solution of the grade meeting problem can be most easily reached through suitable, well-defined courses of pedagogical study; that similar work for high school teachers can do much to coördinate and unify and vitalize the teaching done by specialists; and that systematic study of problems of organization, of supervision, and of school curricula can be made of the highest practical benefit to principals, through whom the progress of the schools must be largely developed, and upon whom the superintendent must ever rely as his trusted counselors and coworkers.
The general plan outlined in this paper is capable of adaptation to cities of over one hundred thousand inhabitants. The superintendent of a great system of schools can have no duty more important than that of ministering to the professional spirit and power of the hundreds or thousands of teachers under his supervision. From him, through his assistants, should proceed the wholesome stimulus and the continuous direction that influence teachers to become profound students of the science of education, and that lead them, in the practice of the art of teaching, to experience the joy the artist feels when he has given fit expression to the glories. his soul has seen.
WHAT SHOULD THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DO FOR THE
BY MISS N. CROPSEY, ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT
OF SCHOOLS, INDI
It is not the purpose of this short paper to discuss the general theory of education nor to present a complete course of study, but to point out some needs of the elementary school which have not been so thoroughly considered by your committee and which seem important in an ideal course of instruction.
The value of the five fundamental branches is not questioned; there is no other road to the fields of knowledge.
We assume that language studies are most important, because they relate the child to the civilization in which he lives and by means of which he is to work out his development.
The ability to read implies all culture. All life, all experience, everything of which man can have any knowledge, may be translated into language. We can, however, read only what we can recognize-only something which is already in our consciousness waiting to be expressed. The effort to recognize the meaning hidden in the forms of language may help to bring our dim semiconscious notions to clearness.
The school does not give an experience which will enable the child to make the best progress in reading. Even the mechanics of reading and language cannot be acquired by mere mechanical drill. In the past, we have lost time in trying to teach the forms of language and reading without reference to the value of their content. We have failed to make these fundamental branches of the highest use in the development of mental and moral power.
Do these five branches furnish all the material and all the conditions necessary for the development of power? Can they be successfully taught without the conditions for all-sided development?
When we consider that the introduction of machinery has taken from the child in the home much of the training in forethought, patience, persistence, directive power, and manual dexterity which the primitive industries can give, and when we remember, that, in the rush and care and burning competition of great cities the sun may no longer "shine into the heart of the child" but only into his eyes, and that religion no longer speaks to him immediately through his interpretation of nature nor through the art of ceremonies, we feel that the school must enlarge his opportunity for experience. We find the elementary school in the city without workshop, gymnasium, or playground, and without the influence of art.
The child in the country, by means of work in the household and on the farm, receives training through observation, experiment, responsibility. If he be so fortunate as to receive, in addition to this, thorough instruction in the common branches, he has a broader course of study than most city schools can offer, though not all that his nature demands for its highest development nor all that civilization demands for successful living.
Our civilization tends toward great centers. The old farm with its primitive industries will not remain. The problem is how to bring the advantages of city and country together. We must bring the country to the city by means of industrial training and the study of nature.
Three great teachers of men and of children—art, nature, and the industries (or useful arts)-have been too little regarded in the schools. These cannot take the place of grammar, mathematics, and history, but they have an influence of great importance.
Art appeals not so much to the understanding as to the higher emotions and intuitions, and rests upon the mind's power to create ideals. All the fine arts speak the same language-man's ideal nature. Truth, reason, love, create the form beautiful. We see the spirit of man, the spirit of nature, revealed through, and yet above, the facts. Man sees himself transformed; sees nature perfected. Art says, "I am yourself as you may become." The child needs to live with and feel its influence long before we ask him to analyze it and translate his impressions into judgments.
Poetry, music, painting, sculpture, architecture should be powerful influences in the school. Each may, in a way, be translated into the other; all give a more full and complete revelation of man's nature than one alone could give. All arts have been said to form an ascending series, from architecture to poetry, at each progressive stage of which there is less dependence upon the material and more power to express the spiritual. Poetry has been regarded as the highest of arts, because, through its forms, the greatest range of thought and feeling can be expressed.
The house in which one lives has an influence, near or remote, upon one's character. Miss Peabody writes of Mr. Alcott's school: "Conceiving that the objects which meet the senses every day for years must necessarily mold the mind, he chose a spacious room and ornamented it, not with such furniture as only an upholsterer can appreciate but with such forms as would address and cultivate the imagination and the heart."
The influence of art should fall silently upon the life of the child from the time the beautiful hymn is sung over the cradle until he can understand and love the wonderful symphonies written
or sung or carved in stone. These ideals influence interests and demand expression. They produce a desire to act. If beauty is cherished only as a luxurious dream, without the desire or the opportunity to put it forth in worthy effort, it may destroy instead of purifying the will-may become realized indulgence instead of the guiding light of the ideal. Art ought to give us a sense of proportion in action. I think we find some hint of this in "The Republic" in regard to the purpose of training in music: "In selecting our soldiers and educating them in music and gymnastics, we were contriving influences which would prepare them to take the dye of the laws in perfection-the color of their opinions was to be indelibly fixed and not washed away by any such potent lye as pleasure and sorrow, fear and desire."
And "in our law of rhythms, we must not aim at a variety of them or study all movements indiscriminately, but observe what are the natural rhythms of a well-regulated and manly life; and when we have discovered these, we must compel the foot and the music to suit themselves to the sense of such a life, and not the sense to suit itself to the foot and the music."
I hope we may come to believe that temperance, moderation, sound judgment are not cheap acquirements; that they cannot be learned by scientific lectures; that they are costly, and worth all they cost; that children must be placed in an environment which will demand temperance in feeling and action; that the body is to be trained, not as if it had a separate existence and were an end in itself, but as if it were indeed the outward expression of a sound, a beautiful, a highly complex and delicately balanced mind.
Dancing is not classed as one of the fine arts, though it reveals the unity and harmony of the soul through the body. Dancing, free play, and organized games should constitute a large part of the physical training of little children; but as the mind becomes. more purposeful, the training of the will should be more severe through labor and systematic gymnastics.
Music is far from being the noble discipline which it should be in the schools. We do not know half its power to idealize emotions which may become destructive, and just at a time when the uncertain and turbulent nature needs music as influence and discipline, which may bring repose through the expression of great aspirations, the child is left to find his own forms as best he may. I think the training in elementary schools should prepare pupils to sing choruses from some of the great masterpieces. I would apply the same standard to music as to literature; as far as possible both should be classic. I should be glad to see the music festival a part of every school program.
Music is one of the greatest aids to perfection in reading and oratory, and if there must be contests (of which I scarcely approve), let us have them for the garland of the master-singer and the orator, rather than for the prize to the athletic expert.
I need scarcely add, that training by means of games is valuable, under proper restrictions, and that compelling all to take part will usually keep it within the limits of legitimate recreation.
But after all has been said in praise of the value of music and other arts (and we have given but a hint of their full value), literature is the most complete expression of life, and appeals to life with most directness and power. It may not only give us a supreme moment in ideal action, but may show us the process, step by step, through which this beauty and strength have been achieved.
Literature is not to be used primarily as language teaching but for its influence upon character. This influence must speak ultimately in noble deeds and noble language. For the reason that literature is life, we can be influenced by it.
The best influence of art is not through the understanding alone but by immediate sympathy. We can by imagination make the deed or the thought our own. The taste for poetry cannot be acquired by much learning about poetry. The poetry of genius is a revelation to the higher nature; it is religious and comes to the pure in heart through inner experiences of love and duty and aspiration. The word of the poet reveals us to ourselves.
The intellect must bring the facts and conditions to the spiritual sense. The understanding must serve the spirit, but its view is partial compared with the view of the creative imagination.
Below the high school the aim should be to get the general spirit through the incident; to read with enthusiasm and enjoy. A rough analysis into larger wholes and their relation to the general meaning is of value, but the exhaustive drill upon each word and phrase and the teaching of grammar and spelling from the masterpieces of literature should be avoided. The matter should be left while children are enthusiastic, and not dwelt upon until spontaneous joy and appreciation are entirely lost. The time will come when the nicer relations will be seen, and when a closer study of form and meaning will bring a more conscious enjoyment. Not until we come into full consciousness of the meaning and purpose does it truly belong to us. History is incidental, and it is not wise to attempt a close correlation with literature. A much closer connection exists between history and geography. The masterpieces of imaginative literature belong to all times and all places.
Children should leave the elementary school with a great love for the best in art. They should know the songs of genius word