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the little ones in a kindergarten, relate to one central, dominant purpose, which has some natural vital relationship to the child's life, and varies with the conditions by which the child is surrounded. Both Herbart and Froebel saw the necessity for correlation; but to Froebel correlation was a part of his universal law of unity, and, as usual with him, he made it a reality in his practical work, and thus the kindergarten is disclosing it to teachers.
Froebel recognized the weakness of teaching which presented knowledge to the mind and trained the receptive agencies that they might bring it definitely to the mind but failed to train the mind itself to make it capable of comprehending and relating the knowledge presented to it, and neglected also to stimulate the mind so that it was anxious to receive the new knowledge and add it to the similar knowledge already possessed. The primary aim of the kindergarten, so far as mental development and mind storing are concerned, is to form apperceptive centers in the mind, so that all knowledge may be clearly comprehended and definitely related. Froebel secured apperception in its highest and most productive form by his law of self-activity. In self-activity the originating element is the child's own mind. Activity results from interest first aroused in the mind of the individual who acts. The mind is not responsive merely to appeals from without; it is roused and reaches out with living interest to find and grasp the new facts or principles. In the kindergarten the child's apperceptive centers are first defined, and then enlarged by active-not passive, or merely responsive-interest.
The kindergarten is unfolding to the schools a new and higher form of nature study. Fræbel led the child to study nature, not that its store of formal knowledge should be increased but that its life might be purified and the process of its own evolution to higher life revealed. Nature was to Froebel a temple of life. He placed the child in sympathetic touch with nature in order that it might become acquainted with life in its growth processes and in its evolution to higher life. He believed that life must be the central element in all true religious development. He knew that apperceptive centers were as essential in spiritual development as in mental growth, and he believed that the only possible way to form religious apperceptive centers in the child's nature is to bring it into loving attitude towards nature, that it may first see the life in nature, and then recognize the unseen life behind the life of nature. He would have the child reverence the life in nature so
fully as not to destroy it wantonly. He trained the child in the kindergarten to sow seeds and water the plants that came from them in order that it might realize its power to start other life to grow and help the life to still higher, grander life. The consciousness in the mind of the child that it can aid plant life to greater life will by easy transition become in the mind of the man or woman a consciousness of power to aid other human lives to nobler life. This is the most productive and most elevating apperceptive center that can be implanted in human nature.
STATE SUPERINTENDENTS' ROUND TABLE.
JACKSONVILLE, FLA., THURSDAY, FEB. 20, 1896, 2:30 p. m. The Round Table was called to order by the Chairman, Chas. R. Skinner of New York.
There were present at this meeting the following named State Superintendents: Thos. B. Stockwell, Rhode Island; A. B. Poland, New Jersey; J. M. Carlisle, Texas; Mrs. A. J. Peavey, Colorado; D. M. Geeting, Indiana; W. N. Sheats, Florida; J. Q. Emery, Wisconsin; Oscar T. Corson, Ohio; C. R. Glenn, Georgia; W. W. Pendergast, Minnesota; John R. Kirk, Missouri; Chas. R. Skinner, New York; E. B. Prettyman, Maryland; H. R. Corbett, Nebraska.
H. R. Corbett of Nebraska was requested by the chair to act as Secretary. The meeting was opened by Superintendent Skinner, with appropriate remarks bearing upon the importance and influence of the State Superintendent's office, the great responsibility devolving upon this officer in administering the public school system, and the advantages of conference and coöperation.
The first topic presented for discussion was "Inter-State Recognition of State Certificates and Exchange of Official Documents."
Mr. Corbett of Nebraska, being called upon to present this topic, spoke of the desirability of giving proper recognition to the credentials issued by Departments of Public Instruction in other states. The idea of giving faith and credit to the acts of one state within the bounds of another seemed to be involved. While it seemed clear that each state department should retain control of this matter without being compelled to recognize credentials from other states, it nevertheless seemed equally clear that power should be given-by the proper legislation, if necessaryfor the recognition of state certificates from other states.
Superintendent Poland of New Jersey indorsed the views just presented, and compared the professions of law, medicine, etc., to that of teaching. He suggested that the same recognition of the credentials given in other studies should prevail in respect to teaching.
Superintendent Emery of Wisconsin described the laws of Wisconsin in relation to this matter.
Superintendent Carlisle of Texas observed that a distinction between teachers' credentials and those of other professions exists in the fact, that, while every individual is free to choose his own lawyer and doctor the patrons of the school had no such choice, the teacher being selected by public authority. He deemed it, therefore, proper that more stringent regulations should prevail in the granting of credentials to teachers. He observed further, that the certificates and testimonials submitted by the teacher seemed often to be misleading as to ability and scholarship. He recommended that separate credentials be issued for scholarship and for teaching ability, and that the former only be subject to inter-state recognition.
Superintendent Corson of Ohio objected strongly to any provision compelling the recognition of credentials by another state. He deemed it desirable, however, that the state department be authorized to indorse such as met its approval.
Superintendent Peavey of Colorado, Emery of Wisconsin, and Pretty man of Maryland indorsed this view, and stated that at present no such authority existed in their respective states.
On motion of Superintendent Kirk of Missouri, it was voted as the sense of the meeting that all documents issued by the state superintendents which were deemed likely to be of any interest to other state superintendents should be sent to each state department.
The next topic discussed was, "What Consideration should Enter Into a Plan for the Equitable Distribution of Public School Money?"
Superintendent Stockwell of Rhode Island presented this subject. He said that no way would secure absolute justice; the basis chosen must simply approximate it as nearly as possible. He advocated making the unit, to a large extent, the district; to some extent, the distribution should depend upon the school census.
Superintendent Prettyman of Maryland advocated state and county tax as sources of revenue, the division to be among the districts per capita. He emphasized the idea that cities are interested in rural education and the country in metropolitan education. He spoke of the value to the entire commonwealth of the leading men, who live chiefly in cities.
Superintendent Carlisle of Texas indorsed the idea of state and county taxation. He observed that the city is built up chiefly by its wholesale interests, thereby drawing support from the country. It should therefore help support the rural schools.
Superintendent Sheats of Florida recommended average attendance as a basis rather than school census. This view was strongly indorsed by Superintendent Pendergast of Minnesota.
The next topic presented was, "What Are the Essentials of Successful Institute Work?"
Superintendent Pendergast of Minnesota emphasized the following essentials: (1) Sufficient money. (2) State control of instructors. (3) Freedom of instructors and county superintendents to arrange such courses as seemed most profitable. (He disapproved of state courses for institutes.) (4) Professional work rather than academic.
Superintendent Kirk of Missouri emphasized the importance of professional The institute should deal with the actual needs of the schoolroom. place of meeting should be commodious and appropriate.
Mr. Stout of New York, State Director of Institutes, presented in a pleasing and instructive manner the strong points of the institute system of New York. Superintendent Corson of Ohio characterized the chief needs of institute work as (1) simplicity, (2) sympathy. He drew a contrast between the school systems
of New York and Ohio. In the former, power and authority were centralized; in the latter, decentralized; yet in both, the two essentials, simplicity and sympathy, prevailed; and institute work seemed equally effective in both. He emphasized the importance of a close sympathy and intimate contact of the state office with the common people.
The next topic taken up was, "Special Points of Excellence in the Respective State Systems." The free text-book law and the free high school attendance law of Nebraska, the taxation system of Maryland, the high school system of Minnesota, the institute system of New York, and various other points of excellence were brought out.
It was unanimously voted to thank the management of the Department of Superintendence for arranging the present series of round tables, and to request the President elected for the next year not only to continue the arrangement, but also, If possible, to give still more time for round table discussions.