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practical ends desired. This consideration in itself will preclude all selections by subjects except the subjects be in themselves arranged in courses, and preclude all selections which may be made to gratify a feeling that one subject is “easier" than another.
According to the principle just laid down we should outline a few courses in the high school from which the pupil should make his selection of a course. Then, if possible, in the last two of a four years' course, opportunity should be given of substituting for some of the prescribed work elective subjects, elected for the purpose of doing more advanced work in lines already undertaken or to meet the requirements of college or business. The number and character of the courses to be offered in a particular school will depend largely upon the resources of the school, upon the teaching force, and upon the equipment. No school should offer more courses than it can teach well.
All schools can offer at least two courses for a part of the four years, if not for all. These two courses will be arranged differently in different communities. Some will have a classical or language course and a scientific course. Others may have an English course with the manual training work and a classical course.
In all schools and among those pursuing every course are found a few who seem, we might say, incapacitated for mastering some one subject but who display a genius in some other line. For these some provision should be made, as well as for those who, for special reasons, desire and are able to do advanced work in any one subject. The election and substitution of work by subjects in such cases must be limited by the resources of the school and exercised entirely int the discretion of the teachers in charge.
The practical considerations of teaching force and making of programs must be considered. The larger the number of electives offered and chosen the greater will be the tax upon the teaching force and the greater will be the difficulty in arranging time cards. This often amounts to the task of trying to accomplish the impossible.
The high school is organized for the greatest good to the greatest number, and when it so happens that by a system of electives the teacher is forced to conduct a large number of recitations per day, and in many subjects, the work in no one subject will be of a high order nor results satisfactory. It will result, that, in attempting to satisfy a few, all will be dissatisfied.
It is a mistaken idea, that, as the high school is supported by public funds, it should necessarily offer the opportunity to every one to pursue at public expense studies which may be considered by parent or pupil of special advantage after leaving school.
When the state offers opportunities for the best training of all the faculties of the child and the development of character, and when it employs the best expert talent at its command to accomplish this end, all has been done that should be done by the state; and the question whether the work will be best done by courses or by subjects, or by both, will be determined variously by those who try honestly to do their duty in the locality in which they work.
THE PROSPECTS FOR A FEDERAL EDUCATIONAL UNION.
BY WM. CAREY JONES, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, CAL.
A state school system, in the sense of a series of schools, completely organized, thoroughly articulated, from the kindergarten to the university, under the express and direct control of the sovereign authority, does not exist in the United States.
The state has universally established the elementary school, with plans for natural connection between its successive years. It has, or has not, made legal provision for high schools. If so, then generally without any definite and necessary connection with the elementary schools. It has, or has not, made provision for a university. If it has, then generally without imposing any obligation of inter-relation with the high school. It has not, in general, sent down the tap-root of education—the public kindergarten. The state has, at best, arranged for an independent existence of kindergarten, elementary school, secondary school, and university. Whatever there is of a harmoniously working combination of the several grades has come from the voluntary and spontaneous co-operation of these several separate and legally independent parts.
In some portions of the country, particularly in the West and on the Pacific Coast, this voluntary association of educational interests has developed to such a degree that we may distinctly see an emergence from former chaotic conditions and may view with confidence the probable tolerably complete articulation of the several parts of the series in one connected whole. The study of educational theory, the discussion of definite questions and problems, the establishment of educational journals, an increasing body of highly educated and professionally trained teachers, the growth of kindergartens, and the awakened interest of colleges and universities in the whole question of education, have been among the influences that have been working to the amelioration of our educational condition and to the production of real educational systems.
To my thinking, among the most potent factors in this construction of the new education have been the kindergartens in their influence on the first years of the elementary school and the universities in their policy of co-operating with the secondary school. The practical exemplification of a natural and true method by the kindergarten has impelled the thought of theorists and teachers to correction of the methods and improvement of the studies of the lower grades, and co-operation with college and university has given to the high
school in many portions of the country a tone, a life, a vigor that make it an active and efficient agent in the enlightenment of the people. If it has been true that the most discouraging problem in educational America has been how to give a conscious aim and purpose to the formerly dead-and-alive secondary school, this is no longer, at least universally, true. But while the elevating influences of the reanimated high school are pervading, too, the next preceding school years, the greatest waste of energy to-day in the educational life of the child is found mainly in the years midway between the kindergarten and the high school. I refer to this chiefly for one reason, namely, to draw attention to the fact, that, when the desiderated extension of the secondary school course to six years—not upwards, but downwards—shall have been accomplished, the contents of the whole school curriculum may be easily strengthened and enriched.
Now, this voluntary co-operation, and hence, the inception of a sys. tem of education, has, as a rule, at least, come from the initiative of the university. The university has reached down to the high school and sought to bring about a real connection between secondary and higher education. This action may have been prompted by motives of self-protection or self-aggrandizement. But, if this has been generally true in the beginning, it has not long remained so; especially not in the state with whose educational history I am best acquainted. There in California) the contact between university professor and high school teacher soon resulted in opening the mind of each and in producing in the university professor an intense interest in the cause of secondary education; and, indeed, in the whole education of child and youth.
So successful have we been in California in beginning the work of articulating the several parts and grades of the educational series, that I cannot do better than give the history, present status, and prospects of the accrediting or diploma system in California—the Californian plan for uniting secondary school and university.
The accrediting of schools by the University of California was authorized by the governing body in 1884. The faculty laid out a careful, thoroughgoing, and conservative scheme of action. They offered to high schools, and later to private schools, to inspect, upon request, their courses of study and the extent and quality of their work. They promised, that, if, after a searching inspection, these were found satisfactory, the graduates of such schools might, on the personal recommendation of the principal, be received into the university without examination. The official inspection has in each case been conducted by experts in the several departments of study-classics, English, history, mathematics, science. The visit to the school is repeated yearly, with occasional exceptions in particular branches. I think that no school has ever been passed for a single year without visits from several university officers. The accrediting is for a single year only. Accompanying the yearly application for accrediting must come the course of study in the school, the list of teachers, and specimen papers showing the style of work. Some regard is paid to the record which recommended students make in the university during their first year.
At first the schools responded slowly to the proffered inspection. They had been living long their retired, independent, self-sufficient life. They did not court interference from without. In 1888 there were but six schools that had become affiliated with the university. In the fall of that year, however, and during several following years, a messenger, a missionary, went forth from the university, up and down the length of the state, explaining to the teachers and officials of the schools the methods and purposes of the university in the proposed affiliation. The result was a rapid and steady increase in the number of accredited schools, which grew, in successive years, from nine in 1889 to fifty-one in 1894.
To render the work of useful connection between secondary schools and university in California more difficult, the constitution of 1879 had taken away from and denied to high schools any state pecuniary assistance. This caused the death of many high schools which had sprung into existence during the previous decade. In 1889 there were only twenty-one high schools (and some of them called so only by courtesy) within the whole state. These were supported by local taxation. But, in 1890, through the operation of the accredit. ing system, without any change in the organic law, the interest in secondary education had become so stimulated that thirty-seven schools were flourishing. And these have grown until, in 1894, there were ninety-four.
To recapitulate, the features of the Californian accrediting system are: (1) The careful yearly inspection, by a body of experts, of every school desiring affiliation; (2) the acceptance of graduates of accredited schools, upon presentation of a personal recommendation from the principal. The diploma alone will not adnit; the recommendation alone will not admit. Entrance examinations continue to be held as though the accrediting plan did not exist. These examinations are open to all—to those from non-accredited schools and to those from accredited schools who have not received the principal's recommendation.
It may be suggested that the system will fail through overweight. And so it will, if it be not modified. How can it be modi. fied without sacrificing the elements that give it strength? We Californians think it can be done, even to the improvement of our present methods. What we are thinking of just now is this: We
propose to form, instead of our present examining committee consisting of six or seven men, who are also charged with full teaching duties in the university, a smaller committee of, say, three. These three shall be, perhaps, clothed with the title of assistant professor or associate professor, together with that of university examiner. They may, perhaps, be attached to the department of pedagogy. They will be men of extensive knowledge, competent to inspect the work of the schools; one, say, in the classics, one in mathemathics and science, and one in English and history. German and French may be assigned to one or another, according to circumstances. These men may, perchance, be required to devote all their time to school visiting, and similar work, or they may be able to conduct work in the university during a portion of the year. Their inspection of schools may be supplemented or replaced, in particular instances, by the department professors.
The most effective method of correlating the university and high school now in practice in America is, probably, that which is being carried out in California. The fairest promise of a thoroughgoing systematization of school work along the whole line exists, too, I believe, in California; and this promise is mainly dependent on the intimate connection created between high school and university.
What has been done in California may be done in every other state. The difficulties on the Pacific seemed at first insurmountable. But those who determined on the conquest adhered to their resolution, and the many difficulties that still remain toward perfecting the system will not deter us from pursuing our work until the whole field is conquered. I plead, in behalf of the systematization of our state school work, (1) for the adoption of an effective, thorough, well-guarded scheme of accrediting, where none now exists; (2) for the strengthening and safeguarding of existing accrediting schemes; (3) for the abandonment of all certificating of schools by colleges and universities, whether open and aboveboard or sub rosa, without inspection of the actual work of the school.*
Such are the prospects for a systematization of our educational institutions in some of our states, and such are the means by which a like systematization may be effected in many others. What are, now, the prospects for inter-state co-operation, and what the means of promoting such co-operation in order that we may finally arrive at a federation of educational systems? Foremost among the influences in breaking down everything like sectionalism, as Principal C. H. Thurber has well shown, and in creating a national sentiment in education, is the report of the committee of ten. The body of ex
* The different methods of admission to college are well explained by Miss Lucy M. Salmon in the "Educational Review." Her article is a valuable contribution on the subject of this paper.