« PreviousContinue »
boy who graduates from the average high school lacks in essential business qualifications. He is not methodical, nor accurate, nor observant of details, and he cannot solve the simplest problem in bookkeeping. Indeed, few of the teachers are able to discount a note drawing interest. They are helpless before the most common business transactions, and excuse themselves by calling them “puzzles.” Teachers of reputation argue in support of the fallacy that “interest is money paid for the use of money," and a superintendent of high rank was unable to explain a partnership settlement involving a reappraisement of property, altho capable of winning the applause of assembled pedagogs with profound dissertations on “the cuteness of children,"
," "tabulated results of examination of the eyesight of two thousand children,” or “tabulated results of the effects on the race of the children's tendency to suck their big toes,” etc.
The teachers in commercial high schools should be men of affairs, active business-men, with all the qualifications of teachers in other departments in addition, if possible. The practicing lawyer and physician are the best teachers in their respective schools. As well place a bull in a china shop as a classical graduate, with a penchant for poetry and the higher criticism, and with no practical experience or inclination toward business affairs, in the commercial department. Some attempts in the line of establishing such departments have been especially ridiculous for this reason. The spirit of the teacher of the business high school should incline toward business affairs rather than toward scholasticism. When he attends the National Educational Association with his friend, the teacher of sciences or the classics, he prefers to visit the factories, the administrative offices, and note the pulse of trade, while his friend properly visits the museums and art galleries. Find me a teacher in a business school who has never visited a factory nor examined its methods, who has never visited a real bank or a real business house, nor looked into their books, makes no investments nor looks for any, and I will show you a theorist and a fraud. The teacher of science who teaches from books alone is a poor teacher, and the same is doubly true of the teacher of business.
Passing over the current arguments for the commercial high school, relating to justice from the taxpayer's point of view, the state's need of trained men for foreign commerce, the need of the individuals themselves, the need of something to induce the young men to go to school, etc., I will say that to my mind the strongest argument in favor of business training is its moral effect. What, commercial education a moral training ? Yes, my friend of “higher motive” reasoning, it will do for the nine boys what your teaching has done for one. It will, by appealing to the lower motives of securing business prosperity thru economy, thrift, and health, do more to root out tobacco using, gambling, idleness, and spendthrift habits than all your preaching, however
eloquent. Time will not permit an enlargement of this thought. Reflect on it, however, and look for the boys of your acquaintance who are showing ideal results from their high-school training. Search among the classes of society that stand highest in the public esteem as exemplars of the moral virtues, for examples of unconscious business laxity—and reflect, reflect !
The commercial life will absorb the great majority of the pupils who enter the high school. Then the commercial high school is needed. The course of study will not differ materially from that now in the high schools, but its purpose and thoroness will be much different. Reading, spelling, writing, arithmetic, English, composition, correspondence, and bookkeeping will be taught for use. Then, when the students can be encouraged to build upon this foundation, give them the studies that are both utilitarian and culture-giving-industrial geography, study of the products of commerce, commercial law, history of transportation, banking, and trade, shorthand and typewriting, civil government, elements of political economy, American literature, general history, one or two modern languages for use, natural philosophy, chemistry as used in the industrial arts, and United States and English history. Students trained in such a course will go forth from the schoolrooms without dread of the "cold, cold world.” They will know and understand their limitations, and their hopes and ambitions will lead them to “do great things, not dream them all day long.”
The commercial high school is here. It is based on principles eternal, and is a product of the heart universal. Business is becoming recognized as more than secularity. Its mission is no less divine than teaching or preaching. It may be above and beyond the realm of mere materialism. The study of it, giving power to earn a living, and advancing our national commercial prosperity, may also develop character and become a means of grace; and so long as ambition lives in the hearts of men, or a government exists by the people and for the people, so long will the light of education for use, falling upon the fields of human toil and the pathway of human sorrow, help to transform earth into a suburb of the New Jerusalem.
DEPARTMENT OF CHILD STUDY
FIRST SESSION. – WEDNESDAY, JULY 12, 1899
The department met in the First Congregational Church, with the president, Will S. Monroe, of Massachusetts, in the chair.
After briefly welcoming the audience, the president read the following notice :
A reception will be tendered to the members and friends of the Child Study Department at the State Normal School on Thursday evening, July 13, from 7:30 to 10 o'clock.
In the absence of the secretary, Mrs. Alice W. Cooley, Miss Mary L. Gilman, Minneapolis, Minn., acted as secretary.
During the session a telegram was received from the vice-president, Professor Reuben Post Halleck, of Kentucky, regretting the necessity of his absence, and sending cordial greetings to the department.
The president appointed E. G. Lancaster, Colorado Springs, Colo., vice-president.
A letter received from Miss Kate Stevens, secretary of the London branch of the British Child Study Association, conveyed words of greeting to the department.'
A telegram from the New York Child Study Society, in session, expressed cordial greetings. The president appointed the following nominating committee : G. W. A. Luckey, of Nebraska.
Herman T. Lukens, of Pennsylvania.
E. G. Lancaster, of Colorado. The following program was presented :
“Status of Child Study in Europe," by Will S. Monroe, State Normal School, Westfield, Mass.
“Child Study in Normal and Training Schools,” by Miss Gertrude Edmund, principal of Training School, Lowell, Mass.
“The Adolescent at Home and in School,” by E. G. Lancaster, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colo.
“Child Study: The Missing Link between the Home and the School,” by Miss Anna B. Thomas, State Normal School, California, Pa.
SECOND SESSION.- THURSDAY, JULY 13
The department was called to order by the president at 3 P. m., and the following program presented :
“Children's Interest in Literature," by Miss Isabel Lawrence, State Normal School, St. Cloud, Minn.
Children's Drawings,” by Mrs. Louise Maitland, State Normal School, San José, Cal.
“A Curriculum of Applied Child Study for the Kindergarten and the Primary School," by Mr. Frederic Burk, superintendent of schools, Santa Barbara, Cal.
“Racial Traits in the Group Activity of Children," by Mr. C. C. Van Liew, State Normal School, Los Angeles, Cal.
The report of the Committee on Nominations was as follows:
G. W. A. LUCKEY,
H. T. LUKENS,
MARY L, GILMAN,
PAPERS AND DISCUSSIONS
Will S. Monroe, of the State Normal School, Westfield, Mass., took as the thesis of his presidential address the “Status of Child Study in Europe.” Communications were read from Miss Kate Stevens, of London, England ; M. Gabriel Compayré, of Lyons, France ; and Dr. Joseph Stimpfl, of Bamberg, Germany. These communications outlined clearly the activity in child study in these countries of Europe. An extended account was also given of the child-study movement in Italy, together brief summaries of the recent Italian literature on the subject. This address on the status of child study in Europe is published entire in the Pedagogical Seminary, September, 1899, Vol. VI, pp. 372–81.
CHILD STUDY IN NORMAL AND TRAINING SCHOOLS
EDMUND, PRINCIPAL OF TRAINING SCHOOL, LOWELL, MASS.
It is encouraging to note that many of the newer, as well as several of the older, professional schools have called to their chairs of psychology and pedagogy men and women of college training who are not unfamiliar with biology or the history of philosophy and religion ; who know something of savage myth, custom, and belief; the instinct of the animals; the psychology of the deaf, blind, idiotic, insane, and criminal classes, as well as of the normal adult — men and women especially prepared because of their earnest, sympathetic love for childhood and youth. The child is not apt to suffer materially when doctors of philosophy tell us that they have “fallen in love ” with the children whom they are studying, with the "naïve, artless, fresh faith and willingness of childhood;"
1[It is a matter of regret that the large number and the unusual length of papers submitted in this department has made necessary the omission of the president's address, and the abridgment and omission of several others.-EDITOR.]
when teachers are taught to revere the spontaneity, rhythm, poetry, and originality of the little child, and to appeal to his feelings, his interests, his loves
As New Englanders we take pride in pointing to Massachusetts as the original home of child study, and in telling our good friends of the West that a large number of their child-study leaders passed thru the portals of Clark University ; but we have to acknowledge that the new movement has taken root more vigorously in the virgin soil of the West, and it is a significant fact that many of our eastern workers have been touched by the spirit of western push and enterprise. Outside of Clark University and its summer school, I know of nothing in the East to compare with the child-study congresses of Chicago — with the work of Colonel Parker as president of the Illinois Child Study Society, or with that of Professor Barnes, of the Pacific coast.
Judging from letters, pamphlets, articles in magazines, and visits to various schools, there is a wholesome interest in child study from the pine trees of Maine to the peaceful waters of the Pacific. From Farmington, Principal Purington writes : “All of our psychology is taught with reference to the child, and opinions advanced in those classes are verified or contradicted as far as may be by observation of the children.” “So far as I can claim any philosophy of education, it is based on child development,” says Dr. Van Liew, of Los Angeles. Fifteen leading graduates of the Worcester Normal, the first professional school to introduce child study, have told me that the work they did in child study, more than anything else, helped toward making them unconscious of themselves, leading them into all-round observation of childhood, and desirous of helping humanity.
The Trenton State Normal has molded, to a large extent, the schools of New Jersey, and out of nearly two score graduates, now teachers in good standing, with whom I have personal acquaintance, I have never met one who did not speak with enthusiasm of the work of Miss Williams in collecting returns for Dr. Hall's questionnaire. Said a prominent principal : "Even if these returns proved of no value for scientific purposes, they served their primary purpose in turning our minds to the hearts of childhood.”
Dr. Jenny B. Merrill, superintendent of kindergartens, New York city, formerly instructor of pedagogy in the Normal College, and Dr. Emily Conant, of the psychological department, were among the first to make use of child study in the training of teachers, and today are among the firmest advocates of such training. Several normal principals used these 'words in speaking of the benefits from child study in their schools : “It has helped to put students in sympathy with children ; has enabled them to see mind unity as unfolded in childhood; to make psychology a living subject.”