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Commending the limitations of the Office, he says:
Limited though it be in its functions, the Bureau of Education nevertheless renders immense services, and in its capacity as a popularizer of the methods followed by the different States for furthering the cause of education it exercises a most beneficial influence.
Again, referring to its 8,000 special correspondents, he says:
The number of its special correspondents is not less than 8,000. When one thinks that in the United States there are more than 600,000 persons who, in the capacity of teachers, directors, inspectors, contributors to and superintendents of benevolent institutions, take a direct interest in the success of education, one will understand the difference between countries in which the citizens take care of their own affairs and those in which the government has this exclusive care. It would, no doubt, be difficult to transplant to France institutions so much opposed to our habits, and which would but little suit our national character. But nothing could be more desirable than to have established in connection with our ministry of public instruction a “bureau of education” similar to the one which renders such valuable services in the United States.
His excellency the acting minister of public instruction for Japan informs me that his government will undertake an educational exhibit. We have similar information from Ontario and other countries. The preliminary catalogue of the Belgian exhibit is received, and gives promise of great interest. Prof. Hermann Kinkelin, of Basel, who received such deserved commendation for his presentation of Swiss education at Vienna, has prepared a presentation of Swiss educational statistics for Philadelphia. The Swiss Teachers' Journal thus describes it:
These new Swiss educational statistics are given in the shape of a number of Dufour's maps of Switzerland, in which the position which each canton occupies with regard to education is illustrated by different colors in a very simple and at the same time clear and ingenious manner.
Part I of the work consists of 24 copies of a reduced Dufour map of Switzerland on the scale of 1:250,000.
The first seven 'maps, Nos. 1-7, show all the public secondary and superior schools at intervals of ten years, the last for the year 1875; and it is interesting to see how in most parts of Switzerland the colored dots increase in number from one decennial period to the next, while in other respects everything remains pretty much the same. No. 8 shows the private schools and benevolent institutions.
No. 9 shows in different colors the time annually given to instruction in the primary schools in the various cantons, those having the shortest time being colored black and gradually getting lighter till those having the longest time are colored quite light. The lightest canton is Basel Town, which has 454 weeks' instruction per annum. Next follow Glarus, Geneva, Zurich, and Schaffhausen, while Valais, Appenzell Interior, Grisons, and Uri are quite dark--27.5 and 24.2 weeks per annum,
No. 10 shows the total amount of time devoted to instruction during the period of school age. In this map Vaud is colored brightest, having a total of 385 weeks; while Uri is darkest, 152 weeks; (Basel Town 329 weeks, and Basel Country 300.)
No. 11 shows the arrangements regarding the separation of the sexes in the different cantons.
No. 12 shows the number of primary scholars to 1,000 inhabitants, Basel Country taking the lead with 195; (Basel Town, 66.)
No. 13 shows the average number of primary scholars to one teacher; first, Grisons, 32; Tessin, 36; Valais, 37" ; Basel Town, 55; Basel Country, 95; and, finally, Appenzell Exterior, 107.
No. 14 shows the number of scholars in the higher and lower secondary schools to every 10,000 inhabitants, Basel Town taking the lead with 457, the last being Appenzell Interior with 11.
No. 15 shows the number of primary teachers to every 10,000 inhabitants; first, Grisons with 48, and last Basel Town with 12.
No. 16 shows the sex of the primary teachers, giving the percentage of male teachers on the whole number of teachers; Glarus, Basel Town, and Appenzell Interior, 100 per cent.; Upper Unterwald, 25 per cent.
No. 17 shows the average annual salary of male primary teachers in francs. The lightest-colored canton is Basel Town witn 2,480 francs, and the blackest Valais with 213 francs.
No. 18 shows the average annual salary of female primary teachers. Geneva, 998 francs ; Valais, 220 francs.
No. 19 shows the average annual salary of all teachers, (male and female.) Basel Town, 2,199 francs; Valais, 234 francs.
No. 20 shows the average amount of school property to 1 scholar.
No. 21 shows the annual expenditure per scholar. Basel town, 54 francs 85 centimes; Uri, 5 francs 77 centimes.
No. 22 shows the annual amount expended per scholar for secondary education. Appenzell Interior, 308 francs; Lower Unterwald, 13 francs.
No. 23 shows the average annual sum expended for primary education per school. Basel Town, 3,000 francs ; Valais, 228 francs.
No. 24 shows the annual sum expended for education of all grades per capita of the population. Basel Town, 12 francs 13 centimes; Appenzell Interior, 1 franc 30 centimes.
Part II consists of all the sheets of Dufour's great atlas of Switzerland, giving the exact location of every primary and secondary school in 1871–72.
RESULTS TO BE DERIVED FROM THE EDUCATIONAL EXHIBIT. I. I have mentioned among the educational results to be sought from the exhibition the establishment of educational museums or collections of educational appliances. Our deficiency in this respect is a source of constant embarrassment. Many of our teachers and school officers have no opportunity of knowing what these appliances are, or of keeping up with their improvements. It has been my desire, in conducting this Office, to secure as necessary aids to its work, and as special benefits to our systems and methods of education
1st. An educational library, where publications upon the subject could be gathered from all quarters of the world, and such publications made available for American educators. A small sum has been annually appropriated by Congress for this purpose. The use of this, and the exchange of documents, have made the library already one of great value. I have purchased for it most of the private collection made by my predecessor, Dr. Henry Barnard. I have also desired to secure for the same purpose
2dly. An educational museum or collection of educational appliances, but neither money nor space has been afforded for such a collection. As I have at different times mentioned, several foreign governments have invited exchange of these appliances some have sent articles; but I have had none to return in exchange, and have not been able further to respond to that courtesy than to send the publications of the Office.
Since the announcement of tho International Centennial Exhibition, I have hoped that it might afford the occasion for the organization, in connection with this Office, of a national educational museum. The cost would be slight and the benefits to our education invaluable.
The commencement of the Kensington Educational Museum under the auspices of the most enlightened English friends of education, in connection with one of the world's fairs at London, is well known. The effect upon English skill and intelligence has been incalculable.
In connection with the Vienna Exhibition, a somewhat similar movement was commenced in that city. A recent writer, referring to it as "the permanent educational oxhibition,” observes that "it receives universal approval, and its beneficial results surpass all expectation."
The first number of the Journal of the Educational Museum at Rome, Italy, has just been issued. From this the following remarks are translated :
This museum, as is well known, owes its origin to a visit to the World's Exposition at Vienna, made by the distinguished gentleman who now rules over the destinies of public instruction in the kingdom. It only dates its legal existence from November, 1874, called to life by the joint exertions of the minister of public instruction and the minister of industry and commerce.
It has already been likened to a permanent exhibition. This journal will now give it the character of a permanent and at the same time circulating exhibition.
To illustrate the collections which are in the inuseum and which are being formed is. a much greater task than might seem at first sight. In the first place, there is no educational implement or apparatus which could not give rise to researches and observations, and form the subject of descriptions, examinations, comparisons, and manifold discussions.
It is by this not merely intended to make an appeal to teachers or superintendents. The museum, and the Journal, its representative before the public, would not think that it had done all the work assigned to it if it did not likeviso have the coöperation of those who in a less personal, direct, or official manner are interested in the cause of education. Through the school-house, apparatus, furniture, text books, maps, charts, and other scientific and literary aids, many persons are more or less interested in education, who do not devote all their efforts to it, but whose experience will nevertheless be of great value. The general condition of our country certainly justifies all this and easily explains it; for in this regard it has various sides, and, not always unjustly, has been blamed; but this must often be ascribed to these or those persons not having exerted themselves enough, while the case would be entirely different if the people would not with all the greater zeal seek to obtain the very best that could be obtained.
Many of our educators are familiar with the successful efforts of Dr. Ryerson and his deputy, Dr. Hodgins, of Ontario, to secure these great aids to education in that province. Their example would seem of itself sufficient to secure adequate action in the United States.
Among the noted and efficient organizations of this character should be mentioned the so-called Pedagogic Museum, under the direction of the Russian ministry of war. Founded in 1864, it has become one of the most effective agencies for the promotion of general as well as military education in that empire.
II. A second educational result sought from the exhibition is the preparation of full and accurate reports on the various phases of education in the country. The efforts made to quicken, increase, and render effective the collection and publication of educational history have already been mentioned. As a result, great activity is already reported in this work. The Office is doing all in its power to generalize these results and make them available for our country and the world, and hopes to gather rich fruit from the labors and publications of experts from our own and foreign countries after the display closes.
THE EDUCATIONAL EXHIBIT AT VIENNA IN 1873. In my previous reports mention has been made of allusions in foreign reports on the Vienna Exhibition to education in the United States. These continue to appear. One interesting report on “Primary instruction in different countries” contains the following observations of F. Jeanmaire, teacher, of Angoulême: “The United States have in the very centre of Europe exhibited a magnificent specimen of their important educational productions. In the interior of the palace we admired their collection of educational works and treatises, drawings, and penmanship exercises by the pupils with the corrections of the teacher, all very splendidly bound and grouped according to States. In the grounds a primary school-house, furnished with all the necessary material, showed to the visitors the deep interest which the American Union takes in the fundamental element of its prosperity and grandeur.” This school-house, with the Swedish, he pronounces the finest in the exhibition.
A very able report to the French minister of public instruction upon the educational exhibits at Vienna, by F. Buisson, who has been charged with the task of organizing the educational statistics of the republic, contains the following noteworthy remarks respecting the educational exhibit of the United States :
The Vienna Exposition had less a universal than an Austro-German character. Other European countries were with regard to education poorly represented.
The United States of America, which had a more complete exhibit, did not, however, furnish all the details, so indispensable to a thorough and instructive study of school systems and their results. They had two educational exhibits, a school-house in the park and a section in the exposition building. Here primary and secondary education were sufficiently and carefully represented. Besides the apparatus and text books, this exhibit contained the most complete and the most instructive collection of pupils' work at the exposition. But with reference to other grades of instruction the exhibit did not furnish other information than reports from different States and various scientific associations. The American district school-house satisfied the visitor's curiosity. The building contained a hall and a large and well lighted school-room with forty seats. The interior arrangement of the building was far from making a favorable impression upon the visitor. I was surprised to find nothing that indicated this great nation's intimacy with practical school life. Rich furniture was the only object of admiration. The maps and charts, of which several seemed to be in the collection entirely by chance, gave rather an idea of great variety of means of instruction than of regular methods in teaching and of a premeditated pedagogical plan.
Only a few American States and cities exhibited plans and photographs of schoolhouses ; but unfortunately in too small a number, and without the necessary technical, financial, and pedagogical information. The plans and relief-model of the Franklin school-house at Washington show an extreme simplicity of architecture. The outside of the building lacks all elegance and ästhetic character. A yard or a recreation room, in the basement of the school-house, substitutes the school garden, for which the Americans seem to have no necessity.
But what makes the American school-house so valuable is the great care given to its hygienic condition. Nothing is neglected that furthers the physical development of the children. Ventilation is generally combined with steam heating, and has reached such a degree of perfection that its introduction must cause enormous expense. Cloak rooms and water closets are not only very comfortably arranged, but show a thorough study and a scrupulous observation of the rules of hygiene. The results of this system surpass by far all that has been obtained by European systems.
Drawing is one of the raro branches in which American schools have not yet reached the European standard. The exhibit of the United States proved sufficiently that her schools, in so many respects superior to the European, are still beginners in the art of drawing. In some cities the drawing lessons in several school-houses is intrusted to only one teacher, and in a certain city in Ohio one teacher has charge of 74 drawing classes.
There seems to be no systematical programme for drawing in America. In most cities this important department has still to be created.
The insuficient training of teachers has hitherto been one of the greatest deficiencies in the American school system. The continual change of teachers, and the short period during which the largest number of them remain in their profession, explain sufficiently why the results are not in proportion with the generous expenditures of the country.
America has given the most striking proof that difficulties in preparing uniform statistical school reports can be vanquished.
The Bureau of Education at Washington commenced a few years ago to organize school statistics for the whole extent of the United States, and not one of the great countries in Europe offers, at the present time, an equal representation of her institutions and better facilities for obtaining reliable information with reference to education: This is so much the more remarkable, as the centralization of school administrations does not exist in the United States. All the States of the Union are entirely independent, and organize their own school systems as they please, which must cause the Bureau an increase of complications and considerable delay.
Not satisfied with collecting and publishing the results of American institutions of learning, the Bureau of Education now collects and publishes the most complete reports on European education.
Through a series of circulars,* the publication of which was commenced recently, Americans will soon know European institutions as thoroughly, or rather more thoroughly, than Europeans themselves.
It would be very desirable to have in Europe an educational statistical centre, somewhat like the United States Bureau of Education, from which reliable information could be obtained regularly.
What is needed to realize this idea? Nothing but an energetic initiative, which will be infinitely easier, cheaper, and more advantageous than the step recently made toward the adoption of a uniform postal system between the two hemispheres.
Could not five or six European countries confer on this subject with the United States—far better prepared for that kind of work than we-in order to arrange some uniform basis for the preparation of school statistics? Much good would arise from this most important enterprise. It would enable all nations to compare the results of other countries with their own, and thus discover always new and better methods in the great work of education.
HEALTH AND EDUCATION. This subject, of vital importance, yet greatly neglected, can hardly be more forcibly presented than by the following quotations from the opinions of well-known experts expressed since the last treatment of the subject in these reports.
At a late meeting of the Michigan State board of health, Dr. Kedzie reported the following facts, ascertained by personal examination :
* Indicating the appreciation of these occasional publications by the Office is the gratifying fact that Prof. P. Wynen, of Antwerp, has translated into French and published the substance of three of them for the benefit of European readers, viz: (1) The Theory of Education in the United States, prepared by Hon. Duane Doty, then superintendent of schools for Detroit, and Hon. W. T.
Harris, superintendent of city schools, St. Louis, and extensively approved by the most eminent educators in the country; (2) Statements relating to Reformatory, Charitable, and Industrial Schools for the Yonng, prepared by Mrs. S. A. Martha Cantield ;. (3) The History of the Bureau of Education, by Dr. Alexander Shiras.
In a private letter Prof. Wynen remarks, "I beg you, honored sir, not to consider this as a literary task merely, but a tribute of gratitude which I do myself the honor to offer your country for all it has done toward the amelioration of the lower classes of society."
At the new State public school building in Coldwater, he found no ventilation in the dormitories. The air was very foul, containing 14 to 16 parts of carbonic acid in 10,000 parts of air.
The under-floor space had no ventilation, and the original opening for that purpose was closed. The timbers underneath were covered with mould. During the year, several deaths have occurred from diphtheria. * hygienic conditions, on the whole, are not good.
In the asylum for the deaf and dumb and the blind, at Flint, he found exceedingly bad air in school-rooms and dormitories. On each side of the building, the two main sewers run, and the well from which the water supply is taken may be, perbaps, contaminated thereby. There are eight water-closets to ten teachers and superintendents; one water-closet to ninety-three boys, and one to seventy girls.
The ventilation at the reform school, in the old building, is passable, but in the new part and in the hospital it is bad.—(Detroit Review of Medicine, February, 1875, p. 125.)
Dr. Thomas F. Rochester, M. D., of Buffalo, N. Y., in an inaugural address delivered at the opening of the seventieth session of the Medical Society of the State of New York, June 20, 1876, said :
We are proud of our public schools; education is free to all; but it is not, in every instance, the unmixed blessing it seeins. It is acquired at too great an individual risk.
On the proudest avenue of this city (Buffalo) is a three-storied brick building. The room is heated with coal stoves; the ceiling is low; the light is but moderate; and there is no provision for ventilation. The seats are short, narrow, and close together.
* * The principal of the school, in reply to inquiries, stated that the room was always full; that three children had to sit where there was only room for two; that they were packed so tightly that it would be impossible for the children all to rise upon their feet at once; that there was no place to hang up their outer garments, even if they were wet, and that when school was dismissed, if a boy should drop his cap, he could not stop to pick it up, so great was the rush and the crush. . On the 9th of February, 1869, the school committee of the common council, with the superintendent of schools, made a tour of inspection. I make a few extracts from the report of the same : No. 7, “ The primary department was found to be running over with little children, who had hardly room to breathe and stretch out their little arms." No. 11, " It is a perfect hive of children.” No. 31, “ The primary department has 340 scholars, but was calculated only to hold 180. They sit everywhere.” No. 15, “The primary department contained 320 scholars yesterday.” From 800 to 1,200 cubic feet of air is the amount of space that is required to be allotted to each individual in the United States military hospitals. In British India, each jail prisoner has, by legal enactment, 648 cubic feet of air. In pulmic school No. 15, each poor child has but 56 cubic feet of air.
No wonder that scarlet fever, diphtheria, typhoid fever, and blood poisons of every description are more or less prevalent. A large proportion of
. these dread disorders are generated in and propagated by our public schools. But acute diseases are not the only results of this criminal crowding. Tuberculosis, scrofulous and brain affections, developed at various periods, may be traced but too often to the same source. Better for society, and better for themselves would it be, that these iníants were not educated at all than at such a risk. The counterpart of this picture is to be found in every large city in our laud. What is the remedyNo child under ten years of age should be sent to a public school, and every school district should have a competent and well-paid medical director, who should devote himself thoroughly and conscientiously to the many hygienic duties of the position.(Buffalo Medical and Surgical Journal, pp. 408, 409.)
The following citations embrace a summary and remarks concerning the public schools of Philadelphia, based upon the answers of physicians to printed questions, upon several general reports, and upon a chemist's report:
Formal reports upon printed blanks are made as to forty-four schools. The examinations were made in the winter and early spring, at different hours and in various weather, by eleven different physicians.
The space allowed to each pupil is too small. The average of rooms reported is 143 cubic feet per pupil. The range is from 272 down to 66, in different schools. Even with efficient ventilation, the space should not fall short of 200 or 300 cubic feet.
The percentage of carbonic acid is stated in regard to thirty-one rooms. The ratio of 0.56 in 10,000, reported in one room, is very extreme. The average for thirty-one rooms is 0.18 per cent. The examination of ten schools by a professional chemist exhibits an average of 0.1315, and a range of from 0.06 to 0.21 per cent. In these last, and in nearly all the other cases, it is expressly stated that windows were open. Two analyses. of external air showed the presence of 0.0288 and 0.03205 per cent. of CO2, the proportion normally varying somewhat with the weather and other conditions.
The schools are very generally overheated. This in spite of the almost invariably open windows.