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DEPARTMENT OF SECONDARY EDUCATION
FIRST SESSION.- WEDNESDAY, JULY 12, 1899 The session of this department was opened in the auditorium of the Los Angeles High School, at 3 P. M. ; President Edward F. Hermanns, Denver, Colo., in the chair; F. H. Clark, San Francisco, Cal., secretary.
Upon motion of W. H. Housh, Los Angeles, Cal., the appointment of a committee on nominations was ordered. Later President Hermanns appointed as the committee : Principal 0. S. Westcott, Chicago, Ill.
Principal W. H. Housh, Los Angeles, Cal. Superintendent L. E. Wolfe, Kansas City, Kan. Mr.A. E. Baker, of Los Angeles, chairman of the Local Committee of Arrangements, invited the members of the department to a reception for the coming evening at Blanchard Hall, tendered by the Local Department Committee and the faculty of the Los Angeles High School.
Mr. A. Horatio Cogswell, of Los Angeles, favored the department with a vocal solo.
Principal Gilbert B. Morrison of the Manual Training High School of Kansas City, Mo., presented the first paper of the afternoon's program, upon the subject, “Do Our High Schools Prepare for College and Life, in Accordance with the Present Requirements of Both ?"
Discussion was opened by Dr. A. F. Nightingale, of Chicago, who was followed by Principal William H. Lynch of Mountain Grove Academy, Missouri ; Principal 0. S. Westcott, of Chicago; Superintendent L. E. Wolfe, Kansas City, Kan., and Principal W. H. Housh, of Los Angeles.
Professor J. W. Crabtree, inspector of accredited schools of the University of Nebraska, presented the second paper of the afternoon, upon the subject, “Should Arithmetic, Grammar, Geography, and History of the United States be Reviewed in the High School ?"
J. H. Lewis, state superintendent of public instruction, St. Paul, Minn., opened the discussion with an account of the experience of Minnesota in introducing the review of the common branches into the high school. The discussion was continued by Principal E. W. Coy, Cincinnati, O.; Superintendent J. F. Keating, Pueblo, Colo.; Miss Davis, Los Angeles, Cal.; Principal Allyn 0. Taylor, Benicia, Cal.; Principal 0. S. Westcott, Chicago, Ill.; J. H. Miller, Lincoln, Neb.; Miss A. F. Olcutt, Ishpeming, Mich.; Principal J. F. Lynch, Mountain Grove, Mo.; and Superintendent Hugh J. Baldwin, San Diego, Cal.
At 5 o'clock the department adjourned, to hold its next session in conjunction with the Department of Higher Education. JOINT SESSION OF SECONDARY AND HIGHER DEPARTMENTS.
THURSDAY, JULY 13 The joint session of the Secondary and Higher Departments, to consider the report of the Joint Committee on College Entrance Requirements appointed at the Denver meeting,
1895, was called to order in Temperance Temple at 3 o'clock by Edward F. Hermanns, president of the Department of Secondary Education. F. H. Clark, secretary of the same department, acted as secretary of the joint session. Copies of the report were distributed among the members of the departments.
Dr. A. F. Nightingale, superintendent of high schools, Chicago, III., chairman of the joint committee, presented the subject-matter of the report, discussing its provisions and making further recommendations, especially that a new committee should be appointed to perfect the work in science.
The discussion of the report was opened by President Joseph Swain, Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind., who read portions of the report and discussed its leading principles.
He was followed by Principal E. W. Coy, of Cincinnati; President James H. Baker, of Colorado; Principal H. L. Boltwood, of Illinois ; President William H. Black, of Missouri, and President David Starr Jordan, of California.
The Pasadena High School Young Ladies' Quartette entertained the audience with music, and for an encore gave a pretty little song of welcome to the National Educational Association, arranged for the occasion by Miss Edith Parker.
To dispose of the report, President Swain introduced a resolution of indorsement and approval; but the following motion was, after some debate, adopted by the joint departments :
Resolved, That in view of the fact that the carrying out of this report would make many radical changes in our high-school work, and that so few members have had opportunity to read the report, further consideration of it be postponed one year.
L. W. Babcock, Ukiah, Cal., moved the following, which was unanimously adopted : Resolved, That a vote of thanks be extended to the committee for its careful and conscientious report.
After a song by a male quartet composed of the following members of the association, W. H. Ressler, H. J. Boke, F. O. Mower, and L. T. Merwin, the joint session of the departments was adjourned.
SECOND SESSION.— FRIDAY, JULY 14
The final session of this department for the Los Angeles meeting was called to order in the auditorium of the Los Angeles High School at 3 P. M.; President Edward F. Hermanns in the chair.
The program was opened by a mandolin and piano duet by Mr. and Mrs. Monlux, of Los Angeles. This was followed by a vocal selection by a quartet of members of the department — Messrs. E. D. Ressler, H. J. Boke, F. O. Mower, and L. 1'. Merwin — who received a hearty encore.
The following report of the Committee on Nominations was read by the secretary: Mr. President and Members of the Department of Secondary Education:
Your committee, after mature consideration, respectfully submits the following names for the officers of this department for the coming year:
For President - E. W. Coy, Cincinnati, O.
(Signed) 0, S. WESTCOTT,
Committee. Upon motion of E. D. Ressler, of Eugene, Ore., it was unanimously ordered that the report be accepted, and that the secretary be authorized to cast the ballot of the department for the nominees. This being done, the above-named gentlemen were declared as officers of the department for the ensuing year.
The first paper of the afternoon, upon the subject, “ The Ethical Influence of the Study of Economics," was written by Byron C. Mathews, City High School, Newark, N. J. Mr. Mathews was unavoidably absent, and by special authorization of the executive committee of the association the paper was read by Superintendent J. F. Keating, Pueblo, Colo.
President Hermanns suggested that the discussion of the paper be deferred until after the reading of the second paper of the afternoon, as the subjects were similar.
The audience was again favored with a vocal selection by the quartet.
President Sylvester F. Scovel, University of Wooster, Ohio, then presented the second paper of the afternoon, upon the subject, “In Fundamental Civil Ethics, What Ought We to Teach as the American Doctrine of Religion and the State ?"
President James H. Baker, University of Colorado, opened the discussions of the afternoon, confining himself mainly to the second paper.
The paper of Mr. Mathews was discussed by Superintendent J. F. Keating, Pueblo, Colo. At 5 o'clock the president declared the sessions of the department adjourned.
FREDERICK H. CLARK,
PAPERS AND DISCUSSIONS
DO OUR HIGH SCHOOLS PREPARE FOR COLLEGE AND
FOR LIFE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRESENT
BY PRINCIPAL GILBERT
B. MORRISON, MANUAL TRAINING
KANSAS CITY, MO.
Any discussion respecting a preparation for life presupposes an ideal of life's objects. My own opinion of what constitutes a proper course of study and training as a preparation for life will be accepted as sound or rejected as faulty to the same extent that my ideal of what an education is for agrees with or differs from yours.
I assume that the objects of life are happiness, contentment, and usefulness to others. All of these depend upon a true interpretation of the environment and an adaptation to the requirements of physical, moral, and intellectual law. The present requirements of life differ from those of the past only as they involve a fuller comprehension of nature's laws, forces, and possibilities. Happiness is conditioned upon the complete mastery of the principles underlying the vocation which is to be followed for the gaining of a livelihood. Weakness is misery, and ignorance of the facts and forces underlying human activities is followed by failure and discontent. Quantitatively, very few of the facts constituting the world's knowledge can be learned during the brief period in school; the most, therefore, that can be done is to give the pupil the power of self-helpto enable him to help himself to the accumulated experience of the race. Life as existing at the present time demands of the young graduate entering it that he be able-bodied, quick in adaptation to changing conditions, and willing to take hold of the first useful employment that comes to his hand. He must possess a love for labor and find his chief enjoyment in overcoming the difficulties of his daily occupation. He must be ambitious, upright, and honorable. Confident of his own powers, but modest in exhibiting them in the presence of superiors, he must possess high ideals of life and its possibilities, and be absolutely free from those vulgar and vicious habits so common in our modern youth. He must learn to love his work for its own sake, and not to drag heartlessly thru a daily routine as a means of gratifying some vapid social longing as his only relief from the slavery of his condition. The young graduate seeking employment must possess a mind tutored to close application, with a sympathetic grasp upon the physical problems and the material achievements that characterize this age. He must be one with the throbbing, living forces that he will encounter on every hand. He must be able to think in terms of dynamic as well as social forces. This is not all. He must be able to answer the question, "What can you do ?” as well as the question, What do you know ?” He will find that the demand is not so much for a savant to solve the labor question as for a boy who can furnish some of the labor and who can improve upon its methods and upon its spirit. He will also speedily discover that the miserable smattering of three or four languages is not so much in demand as a facile possession of his own English, and that to express himself with brevity, clearness, terseness, correctness, and without mistakes in spelling or punctuation is indispensable both in securing employment and in holding it. Furthermore, he will discover that to be able to execute with neatness and dispatch the plans of his employer is more acceptable than advice on how the “old man's” business should be run. He will find that it is not his diploma and his Greek fraternity pin, but his all-round usefulness that is competent to secure a "pull" with his employer.
It is our object here to inquire to what degree our high schools are providing for the youth of this country the qualifications named in the . foregoing outline. It should, of course, be remembered at the outset that no school, however well-appointed and wisely managed, can make him or her able to overcome the incapacity of hereditary weakness and the ban of natural incapacity. In this consideration of the course of study natural ability and preliminary preparation are presupposed.
The whole process of education may be embodied in the words “thought" and the "expression of thought;" and these should correlate at every stepThe material provided for thought should be that which most characterizes this age — that which will put the pupil into sympathetic relations
with the life he must live and with the work he must do. Natural science, as taught in our best high schools, furnishes a fruitful field for thought, and the facts it deals with are close to the daily requirements of life. The habit of reasoning from cause to effect is a necessary qualification for the citizenship as well as for the pursuit of a trade or profession. All the sophistry and clap-trap of the politician is made possible by the almost universal absence of correct notions of cause and effect on the part of the average voter. Could every boy in our high schools receive the proper training in science, and have incorporated into his mental and moral fiber a love for truth, as well as an appreciation of cause and effect, a belief that there is any particular relation between “good times” and the prevailing political administration would become obsolete, and many a demagog would turn his attention to the question of how he could become really useful and productive, and away from his ridiculous claims as a benefactor. There is not enough science training of the right sort in our high schools. Our graduates, taking them as a whole, are not imbued with the true scientific spirit at all, chiefly because the school administrations subordinate the useful and practical to the theoretical and ornamental.
Physiology, which is usually taught from the text-book in the most superficial and perfunctory manner, should take its rank as a laboratory science, and should be so thoroly treated, both from the standpoint of physiology and hygiene, that the laws underlying physical well-being would be thoroly instilled into the minds of the pupils. Much of the failure in life comes from ignorance of the laws of physical being. The teaching of science has only recently approached a scientific and practical basis, but from the improved methods now in vogue, and the rapid improvement in the qualification of teachers, there is much to be hoped for in the near future.
Excellent as is experimental science in its power to set the student in working order, it is not sufficient. Activity is the law of youthful growth. A certain reflex action between brain and hand is essential to normal growth. The full and complete realization of the laws of dynamics and of the properties of matter which comes to a boy in the workshop when executing a piece of work systematically is fully as essential as the abstract principle which too often exists in the mind as a shadowy impression held just long enough to pass the examination. The application of science is seldom seen by a boy whose experience is limited to the laboratory and the class-room. In order that a boy may be fitted for life thru the study of physics, he must be made to see the vital relation of its laws to the common mechanic, and how an accurate knowledge of it has advanced civilization thru the industries of life. But our high schools, except in isolated cases, do not provide this hand-training ; and here — let me express my sincere belief - is the great weakness of the