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PRELIMINARY REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON NECROLOGY.
Your Committee on Necrology respectfully submits the following report :
Almighty God in the plentitude of his mercy has, in the past year, spared the health and lives of the active members of this Association; but several eminent teachers have been lost by death to the cause of education.
Your Committee propose to cause to be prepared for the volume of the Proceedings of this meeting of the National Educational Association, if it be the wish of this distinguished body, brief biographical sketches of the following eminent teachers : Mark Hopkins, Roswell Hitchcock, Eben Stearns, Loren Andrews, Anson Smythe, M. F. Cowdery, and others, of whom your Committee may receive information, whose lives and services have impressed themselves upon the hearts of the members of this great body of teachers. *
R. W. STEVENSON, Chairman.
* These sketches will be found at the end of the volume.
National Educational Association
OPENING SESSION AT CHICAGO, ILL.
PRESIDENT W. E. SHELDON of Massachusetts, in calling the Association to order said:
Ladies and Gentlemen :
There is in this world but one Chicago. There is in this world but one Theodore Thomas Orchestra. There is in this world but one city which could extend to the teachers of this country a musical greeting like that which has inspired our souls to-night. There is but one cause and body of men and women in the world that would warrant such a greeting, and that is the body of men and women who seek to educate, elevate and ennoble mankind, to round out and make glorious the powers of mind and heart that belong to glorious manhood, and to pure womanhood, and as a fitting supplement to this musical greeting that fills our hearts and runs through our whole being with delight, I have the privilege of introducing to you His Honor, Mayor Roche, of the city of Chicago.
ADDRESSES OF WELCOME.
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen :
I esteem it a great honor to express to the members of this Association the cordial good will with which they are welcomed by the citizens of Chicago.
You have assembled in the interest of education, as the guardians and promoters of the intellectual and moral development of the youth of our country. Your work is the highest and noblest that can engage the activities of the human mind. Great as have been the achievements in the past in educational work, the field of human knowledge has not all been explored, the best methods of instruction and training have not been fully realized, and there is much for the conscientious, faithful, earnest, and diligent student and educator to do. I feel that I am authorized by the people of this city to say that none can be more welcome than those who are engaged in educational pursuits. We appreciate the advantages of education in all its branches, and enjoy, with keen zest, association with wide-awake, intellectual, and intelligent people, such as are gathered here to-day.
We hope that you may be able to carry with you to your respective fields of labor new and more practical ideas, more rational methods, and better adaptations, gained from intercourse with us and others who may be present.
We think we have a justifiable pride in our public schools. The early fathers of our State, realizing that the strength and healthy growth of our towns and cities, like that of a republic, depends upon freedom from the bondage of ignorance, set apart lands for school purposes, and the income from this source is of great benefit now.
You who have been trained by actual service in the school know what it is to guide the young so that they may become men and women, strong morally, mentally, and physically. The true office and object of teaching is to enable the pupils to attain the best use of their faculties, both of body and mind. As growth in real knowledge, and in true manhood and womanhood, comes not merely from cramming the memory with facts and theories, but by comparison, reflection, mental digestion, and manual exercise; he is the best educator, and that is the best educational system, whose central object is to draw out, in harmonious development, all the powers of the mind, and train in the best way the ear, the eye, and the hand for the practical uses of life. In this kind of education there has been marked progress within a few years; and colleges, universities, and the higher schools have begun to realize that this is a practical world, and that their business is quite as much with the life that is, as with the life that is to be. It has dawned upon teachers, and I hope it is the accepted faith of the members of this Association, that education is for the people —for the many, and not simply for the few—and the problem which I trust you are here to solve is, How shall we reach and lift up to a higher intellectual and moral plane the great mass of the people, and thus fit them to become better men and women, better neighbors and better citizens ? How can we make the curriculum of studies best adapted to the wants of the great multitude whose theoretical education begins and ends with the common school ? How can we best equip the rising generation with the knowledge, training, and efficiency essential to the successful discharge of the duties of every day life? The qnestion of education is not a question of the “survival of the fittest.” It is the problem of the best methods of training the whole race for the highest usefulness and happiness. I commend these suggestions to your earnest consideration;