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part of the solution was to divide 30 by 2. No candidate's blunder could be more ridiculous than the vanity of the examiner who invented such questions. Such puzzles do positive harm. They bewilder the candidate. Besides these harmful questions, there are many that are simply useless. Such are questions involving some controverted point. The answer, given either way, affords no fair means of judging of the candidate's knowledge. Such, also, are questions about some obscure item of knowledge, an exception to a rule in grammar, or the location of some insignificant town. Knowledge or ignorance of such a matter is no test. Every question should test, but not strain, the candidate's skill or knowledge.
In conclusion, where there are good teachers, there are good schools; there may be good teachers without a system of selection, but such good fortune is exceptional; in those places where there is no efficient system of examination (which is necessarily connected with supervision) there the schools make least progress. No possible system, no amount of expenditure could produce in one year, or in two years, good public schools all over the United States, because there are not enough good teachers, and they cannot be trained in one year or in two. The number of good teachers and good superintendents is increasing. It will increase more rapidly if there is a constant demand for such persons. That is the best system of schools which makes a steady demand for good teachers, -and that means universal, fair, and thorough examination.- Education.
The London University is an institution for promoting the higher education, which differs in some respects from every other. Attempts have been made to copy its mode of work, but they have been successful only in a very limited degree. What perhaps interests us in the first degree is the fact that its examinations, and consequently its degrees, are open to all applicants alike, no matter how or where their education was obtained. It does not teach, it only examines; and it is the examiner's sole business to ascertain whether the candidate possesses sufficient knowledge, and to ask no questions as to how the knowledge was obtained. So far as his relation to the University is concerned, the poorest student from the remotest village of the kingdom is placed on precisely the same footing with the son of the richest nobleman of London. When the institution was founded the value of this equality was much greater than it is now.
Almost from its beginning in 1836, there was a strong party among its managers in favor of granting equal rights and privileges to both sexes, but the conservatives remained in the majority till 1867, when a series of higher and lower examinations, in special subjects, for women was instituted. In 1878, however, after a long and lively debate in convocation, a new charter was obtained which conferred upon the University the power to grant degrees to women upon precisely the same terms with men. While the University is undoubtedly doing a good work in view of the high cost of tuition in nearly all English higher schools, it can hardly be said to be in a flourishing condition. It is chiefly and principally intended to aid the poor, but is itself too poor to do this in the most effective way.
The examiners deserve great credit for having thus far successfully resisted the pressure, inevitable to men in their situation, toward lowering their standard in order to confer a greater number of degrees, and of course earn more fees. The matriculation (or entrance or enrollment) fee is ten dollars. The fees for advance examinations vary from twenty-five to fifty dollars. Several degrees are obtainable only after passing two or more examinations, for each of which a charge is made. For instance, there is a first and second examination for B. A.; as also for Doctor of Literature, Bachelor of Science, etc. The following table shows the number of candidates, the number of rejec. tions, and the percentage of rejections during five recent years:
Per cent of
5565 2876 ist B. A.....
619 2nd B. A.....
48.6 M. A.....
23 29.4 2nd Dr. of Literature...
9 100.0 ist B, of Sc.......
45.3 2nd B. of Sc........
74 38.5 D. of Sc.....
14 46.6 ist LL.B...
90 44.3 2nd LL, B......
54 49.5 LL. D...
70.5 The percentage of rejections in some of the studies is as follows, omitting fractions: Latin, 29; Greek, 21; French and German, 16; Arithmetic and Algebra, 15; Geometry, 17; English Language, 22 English History, 22 ; Natural Philosophy, 23; Chemistry, 21.
As there is nothing in the regulations to indicate the relative importance of the different studies, it is fair to regard these results as, in some degree at least, representing the relative difficulty of the subjects. As to the comparative value of teachers and self-teaching, we have the statement that in one year, at the second B. A. examination, out of 144 candidates, 68 came from schools and colleges, and 76 were selftaught. Of the former, about 37 per cent. were rejected, and of the latter, 51 per cent. The University regulations strongly recommend the employment of a teacher or teachers in all cases where it is possible. The matriculation examinations are not specially difficult. The requirements in Latin are about as follows: “One Latin subject, to be selected by the Senate one year and a half previously, from the works of the under-mentioned authors: Virgil, one Book of the Georgics and one Book of the Æneid; Horace, two Books of the Odes; Sallust, the Conspiracy of Catiline, or the War of Jugurtha; Cæsar, two Books of the Gallic War; Livy, one Book ; Cicero, De Senectute or De Amicitia, and one of four named Orations; Ovid, one Book of the Metamorphoses and one Book of the Epistles. The paper shall contain passages to be translated into English, with questions in History and Geography, arising out of the subjects of the book selected. Short and easy passages shall also be set for translation from other books not so selected.” In Geometry the requirements are, “The first four Books of Euclid, or the subjects thereof." For English, the requirements are stated still more briefly. “Writing from dictation; the grammatical structure of the language.” From these “requirements” it is nevertheless quite impossible to judge of the difficulty of the examinations, as there is, in some subjects, hardly any limit to the amount of collateral matter that may be brought in. In June, ’75, the examiners in English asked fourteen questions, of which the following are examples: II. “What would be the ideal of a perfect alphabet ? How far and in what respect does the English alphabet fulfill, or fall short, of that ideal ?” IV. "How does the modern English supply the pilace of inflections? State what you know of the order in which they gradually disappeared from the language. Do any traces remain of older forms?” VI. "How are degrees of comparison formed in English? Account for the irregular forms. Of what is first the superlative, and rather the comparative?” VIII. “Comment on the verb to be and tell what you know of the history of its inflections." IX. “Distinguish between strong and weak conjugations of verbs; and explain the origin of such past tenses as ate; held, woke, ran, wrote, and Beta." XI. "Discuss the etymology and syntax of the pronouns who, what, which, and whether.” From the questions given, January, 1879, I select the following: III. “What is a vowel? What vowel sounds exist in English ? Show particularly how they are all expressed by the six Roman vowels.” IV. “From what languages, and at what date, have we received the following words? Orange, receive, street, book, boom, chintz, kiln, fetish, die, armadillo, concatenation, chess, chagrin, pool, carouse." V. “Account for the letters in italics in name these, passenger, sovereign, wettest, cities, potatoes, sceptre, sceptic, righteous, tomb, could, our.”
I believe it is safe to say that few American college graduates could answer a majority of the entrance examination questions in English. The regulations further state that “no credit will be assigned to a candidate in any subject unless it appears to the examiner that he posseses a competent knowledge of that subject, i. e., something more than a smattering; excellence in one will not compensate for weakness in another; to fail in one is to fail in all.”
The candidate must be at least sixteen years of age, but there are no other limitations, and persons apparently over forty are often seen among the examinees. The January examinations generally take place in London ; the mid-summer examinations are 'usually held at various local centers. They are conducted entirely by means of printed papers. The University furnishes answer-books of blue foolscap, quill pens, black ink and blotting paper, free of charge. On the first page of each book is printed the following: “Candidates are prohibited, under pain of instant dismissal, from introducing any book or manuscript into the examination room, from communicating with or copying from each other, and from communicating with any person outside the examination room,” etc. Examinees are further advised that in general the more elementary a question is the more thoroughly and fully it should be answered, and that they must never in any case be tempted to throw dust in the eyes of the examiner by pretending to have developed out of a fog of symbols a result they have not honestly arrived at. They are also particularly caution(d against bad penmanship. As the London University has developed the art of examination to, perhaps, a higher degree of excellence and efficiency than has been attained elsewhere, I may return to that subject at some future time.
The worst of slavery is the subjection of the mind. The man who dares not think, is the most abject slave in nature; and he who dares not publish his sentiments with decency and freedom, is the vilest slave of society. - Rousseau.
HISTORY IN THE CINCINNATI SCHOOLS.
BY SUPERINTENDENT PEASLEE.
As United States History has been generally introduced into the public schools of Ohio, it occurred to me that perhaps a sketch of the teaching of the subject in the Cincinnati schools would be interesting and instructive to the teachers of our State.
Previous to 1872, written percented examinations for transfer to higher grades were held in history. The pupils were required to memorize all the dates, names of persons, and be able to give descriptions of all the events recorded within the covers of the text-book in History, in order to be prepared for the written examination. Five lessons a week were given to this stultifying work. The pupils were demerited, coaxed, scolded, driven, in order that they might cram their little minds full enough of this distasteful minutiæ "to pass.” It required more time of the children to prepare for recitation in History than in any other two subjects in the school course. Many of the teachers, recognizing the absolute worthlessness and cruelty of compelling the children to commit the text-book to memory, endeavored to have their pupils answer in their own language, but it was found impossible to obtain high percents in the written examinations for transfer unless the children committed the text to memory. They were too young; they had neither the judgment nor the knowledge and use of language to do so without memorizing the words of the book. As I said in one of my reports, History cannot be taught successfully by the memoriter plan. No historian, or no chemist or botanist, was ever made by committing text-books to memory. Macaulay, the great English historian, spoke in the strongest terms against memorizing lists of dates and dry facts in history. It destroys the life of the subject; it disgusts the pupils and gives them a dislike for historical reading. As the pupils take no interest in it, it is soon forgotten, and there remains only the bitter recollection of tiresome hours devoted to what, if properly taught, brings profit and pleasure. High percents were considered the sine qua non of the pupils' success. The teachers were judged by them. The principals and others in authority did not realize the fact that under a false method of instruction the higher the percents the poorer the teaching. So the cramming process went on year after year. Striving for percents largely took the place of judicious teaching. And, let me say here, that wherever the pupils are submitted to a percented written examination in History for transfer to a higher school, the subject will be taught in the manner and with