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of precious human lives dare not be entrusted. These young men have been speaking English from eighteen to thirty years. They have studied English in school from seven years in the grammar school to thirteen years including the high school. By comparison, four years seems a meager course in Latin. The translating of Greek and Latin into English will certainly strengthen the expression of thought in English. Science culminates in the arts. Yet none of us disputes that physics and chemistry are at the base of scientific education, because they are radical to all science. He is indeed a poor student of agriculture who devotes himself to leaves and flowers to the exclusion of roots and stems.
Harvey W. Wiley, formerly chief chemist of the United States Department of Agriculture, gives his reasons for Latin and Greek as follows: "Biological chemistry is practically written in the Greek language. The language of botany is essentially Latin, so far as the names of the plants are concerned, and Greek in the names which deal with the anatomy of the plants and their organs. The language of mathematics is largely Greek, the language of medicine Greek and Latin combined. The common language of the home is largely Greek and Latin. The knowledge of Latin and Greek is practical, even in the restricted modern application of the term.”
Art Culture a Vital Factor in Public
Education May R. KITCHEN, ART INSTRUCTOR, FRANKFORD High School,
PHILADELPHIA. amount anume HE question is often asked: What is the purpose of
art culture in its relation to public education This is a very pertinent and timely question. At
no period in the history of education has there been 200MLINGKUNNE greater need for a return to ideals and a contem
plation of the less material things of life. The failure to arrive at a satisfactory answer to this
question is due, not so much to the fact that critics are uninformed as to the subject, but is because they fail to grasp the objective motive underlying this very essential branch of educational activity.
First of all, what do we mean by the term art culture? Do we mean that the course of study is designed to perfect skill in draughtmanship, to train artists according to the accepted definition of the term ? In particular cases, where talent exists, it is the purpose to give the fundamental principles that will form, not only the basis for further development, but give sufficient knowledge to create incentive for advanced study where it is desirable, whether that study point to industrial, decorative, or pictorial accomplishment. This purpose, however, important as it is, does not cover our conception of art culture in its present relationship, nor is it the first or primary object of art education in our public school system.
Public education is designed to aid and develop the student body at large. It is not a system regulated for the few. The potential purpose, therefore, of art instruction in the public schools is to arrange a plan of study that will afford equal opportunity for every student to become familiar with the laws and principles
that govern artistic expression, in whatever way that expression may take form, whether it be applied to industry, to the home, or other social problems.
In order to understand to what far-reaching advantages this knowledge tends, we have only to reflect that the canons of art form the basic structure for the development of all the fine arts, music, poetry, the plastic arts, and all of the others. With high regard for the exalted position that literature holds in this development and the functioning power it yields, there is no grander opportunity, no more appealing and delightful method whereby these methods may be inculcated and demonstrated, broadly speaking, than through the medium of line and form and color; not with the limited idea, however, of recording fact and detail in mechanical process, but with the infinitely higher purpose of knowing more about the actual things of life, the ordinary, disregarded things that contribute so much to our comfort and happiness, automatically as it were, yet are accepted so casually, appre ciated so little and understood frequently not at all.
The objects and other problems employed to convey this knowledge are by no means the prime issue. They are important merely as instruments, and they are over-estimated when they fail to act as the medium toward the apprehension, consciously or sub-consciously, of the greater thought that lies beyond. How true this is in the study of nature in its varied and multiplied forms we will leave to contemplation. It calls for no discussion.
And to give this training in all its fullness to our youth is not always the simple task apparent. It calls not alone for individual concentration on the part of those appointed to carry on this important work, but it demands the very closest co-operation of varied minds fitly trained and competent to make such education, not the superficial thing it can so readily become, but a great functionary power that will bring into play all of the faculties, kindle the imagination, and open up new vistas of thought, and so enlarge our sympathies, lift up our ideals and bring them into harmony with the very highest standards.
Art in every age has been regarded as the handmaid of religion. This is true in a very remarkable sense, and in countless instances it serves as the only nucleus around which may be formed and nourished that spiritual sense which, after all, is the very essence of true refinement.
It would be futile to deny that the major part of a community do not reap the advantages of the refining influences it has to offer. What is the reason of this alienation of our people from the higher and better things of life? It is not due to any faultiness in our publicity system, nor to inaccessibility because of distance nor to expense of time and money. It is because there is an utter dearth of aesthetic sense,-a poverty of thought and a lack of development and ability to appreciate the nobler things life has to offer. Someone has said of poetry, and it may be said of any and all of the fine arts, that "It is the record of the best and happiest moments of the best and happiest minds.” And art in its fuller sense is more than that. It is a study and contemplation of truth and beauty. When it stoops to other ends it is art degraded and merely the counterfeit.
A false tradition, which we trust is fading, has been allowed to take root and flourish, in effect that the study and contemplation of beauty is something for the specialist—the favored few who have, presumably, been endowed with particular talent and genius —that they are the ones who should fashion our opinions and regulate our estimates of what is appreciable and otherwise, forgetting all the while that every individual has his ideals, high or low, as they have been circumscribed by opportunity. This tradition has been a menace to our progress in the cultural arts and is responsible in large measure for the standards that exist and for the absence of refined sensibility of which there is at present such complaint.
In this connection it is not amiss to emphasize the futility of the thought that all education must be directed along lines that will immediately, or at least eventually, dissolve into dollars and cents. Just as surely as there are things in life that money cannot purchase, so also there is knowledge to be gained, in and out of the classroom, that is not interchangeable with currency.
In the final analysis there is no question but what with careful supervision on the part of those fitly trained to direct this work, dating it from the earliest elementary stage to the final close of the scholastic term, the results obtained will be productive of a culture that cannot be duplicated by any other branch in public education.
Furthermore, there is great need at present to reflect that results are never to be measured by the originality of thought or aptness in technique that may characterize the school exhibit, unless we are at the same time alert to the fact that there is besides a wealth of knowledge to be gained and a sense of values to be acquired that pencil and pigment will never record.
Where did the diamond come from?