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not obliterate high ideals. Let her be true to her nature and take her stand against all early specialization of work. The time has come to restore the humanistic college to its proper sphere, and educated woman should come forward and contribute her assistance. She should do so and she should render aid from her experience in evolving a high school and a college course that is genuinely liberal. Such a course will not only fit the nature of her sex far better than do present maladjustments, but she will be aiding at the same time young men at the critical period of their own education. In doing this, she will in some measure repay her debt to man, who, grudgingly perhaps, has extended to her the benefits of higher education. She will aid him in making the college do college work, so that it will not be a faint adumbration of the university. The work in high schools and academies—the colleges of the people—is in peril, and she can aid in the rescue. If we have made a mistake in the past in placing the emphasis upon mental superiority, let us change our notion and give to the development in altruism a superior place. Perhaps our democracy has been of too strenuous a variety in insisting upon equal rights for all in the realm of intellect, as well as of politics. Woman has been caught in the maelstrom, and there has been danger of her destruction, and with her the great ideals which have stimulated her in the past. No exception to the general laws of evolution has been made in favor of woman, and she will come into her estate only when she recognizes the nature of her high ideal and then strives zealously to realize it.
WILLIAM L. FELTER Girls' High School,
BROOKLYN, N. Y.
“Of the foreign and American visitors who come in increasing numbers to study English education, it is probable,” says so competent an authority as Professor Michael Sadler," that comparatively few have even heard of the existence of what we call Preparatory Schools.” If this is true of the Americans who go to England to study English education, it is probably true to a still greater extent of those who stay at home and depend on their private reading for a knowledge of foreign educational systems. In what I am about to say therefore of the English Preparatory Schools, I shall frankly, tho doubtless in individual cases mistakenly, assume on the part of my audience the same ignorance of the character of these schools and their place in English secondary education that I labored under myself until a year ago. My present knowledge of them has been derived mainly from volume 6 of the Special Reports on Educational Subjects presented to the British Parliament under the authority and direction of the English Board of Education in the year 1900.
The English Preparatory Schools are, historically and actually, fitting schools for the great public schools at which gentlemen's sons are educated for the university. They are attended therefore by a select class of boys of from 9 to 14 years of age, whose parents are able and willing to give their sons an expensive education extending over a long series of years. They are strictly preparatory, not finishing schools;noboy attends them who does not expect to continue his school education farther. As, moreover, they are preparatory to the public schools, they are dominated by those schools in their course of study. I was about to say absolutely and completely dominated, and that indeed would hardly be too strong an expression; for, as the preparatory schools are private enterprises, dependent for their support on boarding and tuition fees, and as their attractiveness to parents depends largely on the success. of the boys they turn out in passing the entrance and scholarship examinations by which the authorities of the public schools test candidates for admission, it is obvious that the requirements of the public schools, as made known thru their entrance and scholarship examinations, cannot fail to exert a controlling influence on the work of the preparatory schools. As a matter of fact, these requirements are carefully studied by the headmasters of preparatory schools and accepted by them as authoritative. We frequently say in this country that the colleges and universities, thru their admission requirements, dominate the secondary schools; and to the extent to which our secondary schools are feeders of the colleges, and therefore especially in the case of the secondary schools that are distinctively fitting schools, this is true. In the same way,
* A paper read before the Headmasters' Association of the United States, at News York, N. Y., December 28, 1905.
, and to a greater degree, because of the strenuous competition developed within the last fifteen years, the English preparatory schools are dominated by the public schools to which they send their boys.
The comparison which I have made between the domination of the English preparatory schools by the public schools and the domination of our own secondary schools by the colleges and universities may be carried still further; for, in both cases, it has resulted in the establishment of systematic co-operation between the authorities of the two sets of institutions. In this country, however, the initiative came from below; in England, from above. It was the Massachusetts Classical and High School Teachers' Association that took the first steps which have since resulted in the organization of associations of colleges and secondary schools in different parts of the United States; in England, the first step taken towards co-operation between the heads of public and preparatory schools was taken by the headmasters of the public schools. At the Public School Headmasters' Conference, held at Oxford in 1890, the headmaster of Harrow offered a resolution to the effect " that it is desirable to make the relation between preparatory and public schools somewhat closer and more systematic." This resolution was received with general approbation; and the executive committee of the conference was requested to invite the preparatory schoolmasters to “consider whether, by some representative organization, they might put themselves in fuller communication with the schools represented at the conference.” Up to that time, the headmasters of preparatory schools had looked upon one another as business rivals, rather than as educational co-workers, and the suggestion that they unite for the promotion of a common end came to them as a surprise, if not as a shock; but one of their number, a natural diplomatist we may suppose, proposed a much debated question in cricket as a suitable subject for a first conference—a suggestion which met with general acceptance. The issue of this first conference was so satisfactory that a formal organization, known as “The Association of Headmasters of Preparatory Schools," was established in 1892. Thus the game of cricket established an added claim to grateful recognition for beneficent service in English education. In 1900 this association had reached a membership of more than 280, and had come to be recognized not only by other educational bodies, but by the national government, as the official organ of opinion and the official channel of communication on all subjects relating to the class of schools which it represented. Many meetings have been held between authorized representatives of the Public School Headmasters' Conference and the Association of Headmasters of Preparatory Schools for the discussion of important questions bearing on their interrelated work.
At this point, some statistical information about the class of schools under consideration will be of interest. It has been estimated that there are in Great Britain at the present time somewhat more than four hundred preparatory schools of the strict type, and that fully ten thousand boys “from the highest social stratum in the country” are in attendance at them. The headmasters of these schools, with rare exceptions, are graduates of Oxford or Cambridge, and one-sixth of them are clergymen. Most of them have been graduated from the university in honors, and not a few of them in high honors. Most of them were fitted for the university in the public schools and many of them have been public school masters. The majority, too, of the assistant masters are graduates of Oxford or Cambridge, and most of these also have taken honors. The typical, prosperous preparatory school is a boarding school in the country, accommodating about fifty boys. The resident teaching staff of such a school consists of the headmaster and four assistant masters. Of these assistant masters, the senior, who has possibly been fifteen or twenty years in service at the school, receives a salary of about £200 a year, besides board and lodging; the junior, fresh from the university, about £120, and the other two about £150 each. The average number of boys to a resident master is only eight; but the work of the resident masters includes, besides instruction in regular subjects of the course of study, general oversight of the boys and supervision of their organized compulsory games. The average age of the boys in attendance at the preparatory schools is 9/2 years at entrance and 1372 years at leaving; but the limits generally accepted as ideal seem to be 9 and 14 respectively.
American teachers, in considering the foregoing statistical statements, will probably be especially impressed by the facts that the teachers of these boys of 9 to 14 years of age are men and university graduates; that the classes in which they are grouped are very small; that games are organized and compulsory; and that the distribution of the entire day, including not merely the hours given to study and recitation, but the hours given to sleep, to meals, to the preparation of lessons, and to recreation are under the control of the school authorities. If these general features of organization, moreover, especially impress American teachers, the specific features of the course of study and the time-table, to which I will next proceed, will probably seem still more significant.
I have already said that the English preparatory schools