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literature itself, and replaced by the study of authors. As a substitute, the history of literature is certainly objectionable; but I am afraid we have begun to fail in the other direction. When a knowledge of literature has been obtained through three years' reading of English authors, it is proper and right that the development—the law of progress in literature should be studied. A brief history of literature is a fitting close for the reading of authors.
While English stands in the foreground of linguistic training in the high school, at least one foreign language should be required.
Besides the selection of studies for the high school course and their distribution over four years, a further problem needs consideration, namely, what part of the whole subject-matter of the study should be presented. In the inductive and political sciences, in particular, the field of knowledge is practically endless in every direction, and limitation becomes a necessity. The whole field of science cannot be covered, and some principle of selection must be found.
One solution would be, to single out a few leading topics, say, twenty or thirty typical experiments in physics or chemistry; or, to illustrate in another direction, ten or twelve authors in English literature,—and to teach these very limited selections with scholarly thoroughness, rendering the limited ground that is covered by instruction the type of the whole realm of knowledge beyond, and making the method used in teaching the few facts a key by which the pupil may unlock the other chambers in the house of science. If the whole realm of knowledge cannot be conquered, a part, at least, may be so taught that the known is the type of, and becomes the key to, the unknown which lies beyond it. The study of natural science loses its value as a means of cultivating the faculties when the method employed fails to lead to the observation of, and the activity with, the objects of nature. The tools which providence has given to man for his life in nature are his senses and hands. Instruction in science becomes unnatural when not based on the observation and activity of the pupil. Just as necessary as the acquaintance with archetypal forms of nature by direct inspection and of the observational facts by direct experiment is the unifying reasoning process. Not only the typical facts, but the leading lines of the whole field of the study should be surveyed by the pupil. These leading lines, however, cannot always be taught by experiments performed by the pupil himself, but he must receive these truths at second hand and through experiments which he witnesses but does not perform, and by literary communication through text-book and lecture. The elimination of text-book study
by laboratory work is an extreme that does not commend itself. The individual scientist knows a hundredfold more of nature than he has learned from his own personal experimenting or he would be comparatively ignorant. Thoroughness in a limited field is not at all opposed to comprehensiveness. It is, in fact, aided by a general acquaintance with the leading lines of the subject.
These considerations enable us to formulate the principle of presentation in high school work. There should be, in the first place, the thorough study of detail in connection with some typical topics, limited in number. There should be, in the second place, the study of grand and leading lines and the comprehensive survey of principles and laws. This principle is of almost universal application. In the sciences, it would mean the proper combination of laboratory and text-book work, with perhaps a preponderance of the latter. In literature it would mean a preliminary study of authors, followed by the history of literature. In history, it would imply a survey of general history, followed (not preceded) by what has been called the "intensive" study of some period. The proper selection for the latter purpose would be the history of the United States in its political and economic features since the adoption of the Constitution.
The tone of the high school should be manly. The instruction and discipline which it imparts should be worth a man's time to give and take, and worthy of adult intelligence and effort. The high school years are the period of rapid transition from childhood to manhood and womanhood.
In handing the treasures of learning to the little child of the elementary school, the teacher must stoop so that the child may be able to reach his gifts. In teaching mature youths, the teacher must stand erect and cause the youth to lift himself towards the gift held out to him from the height of manhood. Thus only will he learn to grow. The lower classes of the high school still represent childhood, the older classes the youthful adult. The method of teaching should correspond to these conditions of nature, and rise from elementary and early beginnings to scholarly interest and effort. A manly tone should permeate the whole school. The duties of citizenship should be distinctly foreshadowed by the spirit of its discipline. While the teacher's will was largely the rule of the elementary school, the governing powers of the high school should be obedience to the reasonable law of the school, based on the exigencies of the work to be carried on and a proper respect for the rights of others. The impersonal element of law gradually supersedes personal authority. In instruction, too, the tone should be manly. The high school pupil shows in his social life instinctively
where he belongs. He gravitates naturally toward the adult. The boy or girl seeks more freely the society of older persons. His relation to his parents changes from submission to companionship. The circle of his interests coincides more and more with that of the adult. His home life has changed, and he is charged in not a few cases with the duties and responsibilities of a grown person. The school had better recognize these facts of life, and turn its steps in the same direction. The age of the high school pupils suggests their treatment. They will be as old when they finish the course as the college graduate was a few generations ago. A glance at the biography of any of the eminent Americans of the earlier part of the century shows this fact. Motley and Bancroft graduated at the age of seventeen; Longfellow, Emerson, and Whitney, the philologist, graduated at eighteen; Webster and Charles Sumner at the age of nineteen.
Whatever of current literature and thought moves the interests of the cultured world should find a ready place in the every-day work of the high school. The high school should not only prepare for life; it should be a piece of the life of culture such as the best American men and women lead or desire to lead.
High school education, if the unjust charge were true that it kept youth away from the interests of life and made him insensible to its pulsations, because it locks him up in the world of the past and of scholastic and unreal abstraction, would indeed tend to unfit for life and be a failure.
The opposite course is the one which the high school should pursue with the graduate of the elementary school. It should aim at bringing him into closest touch with the highest interests of current spiritual life and to fill him with a strong desire for wholesome activity in the world of reality.
During the time that a pupil is in the high school the noble saying of Terence should ever be before the teacher's eye: "He is a human being, and nothing that relates to humanity should be without interest to him."
PRESIDENT JOSEPH SWAIN, Indiana University. The question before us is of fundamental importance. Every teacher who teaches in a high school must answer this question. The answer he makes may be in a general and vague way, but it is included in the product he turns out from the high school. Colleges must answer this question by their prescribed courses of study for admission. Any answer which has thus far been made must be, in the nature of things, tentative; perhaps it will
always be so. Our knowledge at present is too imperfect for an answer of any other kind. There are too many variable and unknown factors to permit a definite solution. In its present form it is indeterminate. If this view is correct, what shall be done? We cannot stop the schools and the growth of the children while educational men are determining the unknown and variable quantities. The world not only does move, but it must move. It is easy to give a general answer. The high school should do all it possibly can, in the four years at its disposal, to develop every power of the mind and give the pupil a healthy, vigorous body. But how can this be done is the question. There are four prominent factors in our problem: (1) The mind of the child and its development when he enters the high school; (2) the teacher; (3) the curriculum; (4) the material equipments.
We do not yet know much about the mind. Psychology is still in its infancy I trust. I have been interested in learning that it is claimed that photography has of late developed to such a degree that the human skeleton can be photographed through the human flesh; that coins can be photographed through the leather of the purse containing them. Now I hope our psychologists will, in the process of time, give us such a photograph of the parts of the brain, with the use and with the possibilities and means of development of each part, so we may know with precision how much and what kind of brain power the pupils should derive from the study of so much language, mathematics, science, history or literature. What is the food upon which the mind best grows? Is the soul incased in a "pentagon," with a window on each face? Does the soul grow and prosper best when it has the properly allotted time and season for sitting by each of these windows and contemplating the phenomena presented through each in turn? Or is the soul incased in some other form, with only one great bay window from which it gets its light and view? If the latter, is it science, or history, or some other subject which makes the great central range of view, and all else merely background, shade, and color, and side light?
I hope that those who set forth the theory, that the soul has five windows through which it looks out on the world, will accumulate evidence, no matter whether it be from speculation or the facts of experience. I hope that those who believe that history or science is the backbone of knowledge, and other subjects merely ribs and riblets, will continue to investigate their theories. I hope that those who think that any one of the fields of knowledge may be made a center for a correlation of subjects may work out their theories to a logical consequence. I trust in the fullness of time, out of all these theories, when our knowledge is more perfect, we may get to some view which is clearly demonstrable, and we may be able to see what is the best curriculum for an individual case, though it is doubted whether we will ever be able to lay down any one curriculum which is best for all cases, since so far as we know there are no two minds exactly alike. Meanwhile the school must go on. What shall we do?
I have no quarrel with those who have already found the exact curriculum for the development of the child, but there are too many exact curricula, each having the same claims, to command general confidence in any one. For myself, I am inclined to believe for the present, that the high school can do most for the graduate of the elementary school by giving him as a curriculum a minimum amount of those subjects which are very generally regarded as proper subjects for his study and are representative subjects in the several fields of human knowledge, and leave the rest of the course to be selected from a wide range of subjects, partly by the student and partly by the teacher.
An examination of a large number of high school curricula of Indiana has led me to believe that the following, on the basis of four subjects five hours per week, is a safe course of study. At least three years of a foreign language, three years of
composition and literature, three years of mathematics, two years of science, and two years of civil government and history, and the remaining three years (in one subject) may well be given to music and drawing and an extension of one or more of the above lines of subjects, as the best wisdom of student and teacher may suggest. Personally I should extend as much as possible the time allotted to language in this course. Undoubtedly here experience shows that childhood is the best period to learn the elements of language, whether viewed from the standpoint of psychology or viewed as a means to an end.
The high schools should furnish the graduates of the elementary schools with more and better teachers. The high school teacher should be in scholarship an equivalent of the college graduate, and should have one year of professional train-' ing, either in a first-class normal school or a department of pedagogy in a college course. If such a teacher has studied and been taught to a purpose, he may not be able to teach some one subject as all important, but he will be able to show the relationship of each subject to all the other related fields of knowledge. He will be able to show that the general lines of study which the child pursues in the high school are merely the extension of study in lines already begun in elementary grades, assuming that the elementary instruction has been as it should be, and the child is brought to the highest development possible at that period. He will lead the child to see that the subjects studied in the high school are only elementary courses in subjects, any one of which is infinite in extent and is occupying the lifetime of the very best men the world has produced, and that there must come a time in its life, if it is to know very much about any one subject, when it must be content to study other fields of knowledge only so far as they bear on the one subject which it has selected to make its own.
The high school needs more teachers. There is not enough individual instruction. For example, take the subject of composition. An inquiry into the amount of time devoted to composition by high schools in my own state brought out the fact, that the average teacher of composition has very little time for the correction of themes written by the pupils. Unless the teacher can give considerable time to the individual needs of each pupil he cannot expect to do all he should for the graduate of the elementary school.
From the standpoint of a college man, I may say, I do not sympathize with those who would separate the students going to college into one class, giving them a special course, and those whose school period ends with the high school another course. The course which is the best preparation for life should be the best for college. The whole college course should be additional preparation for life. If the high school exists in order that the pupils may be prepared for life (and I believe it does), the college exists in order that the student may be prepared for life more abundantly.
Let the high school insist that the graduate of the elementary grade shall at least attain a minimum standard set for admission to the high school; give him a course such as the common experience of educated people and the wisdom of the teacher and the tastes of the pupil all combined, may suggest; give him a teacher with adequate scholarship and professional training, with personality and character adapted to his high calling; give him proper exercise and rest, and proper material equipment and stimulate him to his highest endeavor; and give him at the end of his high school course a burning desire and will power to take the next step, and go to the best college he can find, and the high school will at least have done some of the things that it should do for the graduate of the elementary schools.