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from them, but I should be most unwilling to have any one of thein adopted in al school in which I was teaching. It is not necessary to state the objections to the courses. The mere fact that there were so many objections proves that there were great defects. I believe that if the colleges of this country were to throw open their doors upon some such conditions as seem to have been accepted in California, we could send a vastly increased number of pupils to the colleges. I think that this could be safely done by the colleges. I feel somewhat jealous myself of the standing of the colleges. If throwing open the doors would lower the standard, it should be opposed. When we consider the character of the professors in our colleges, to ask the question, Would these men allow the standard to be lowered? is to answer it. The high schools would come up.
PROF. E. E. BROWN, University of California, Berkeley, Cal.-The vital suggestion in Professor Jones' paper is, that there should be a conference in connection with this department that should take steps looking toward the calling of some such congress or senate as he proposes. The report of the committee of ten left this matter in an unfinished state, or rather the real problem is one not touched by the committee of ten. As regards state organization in this country, we are, for the most part, either on foot or on horseback. We have a sort of middle form of organization that is mostly lack of organization. Of our states, perhaps five have systematically undertaken secondary education, properly so-called. New York has; also, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Indiana. We have in other states something approaching state systems of education which have grown up through the character and influence of the state universities. Michigan, California, and Minne. sota, and some others, are in this class. The problem of the formation of state systems of secondary education is strongly emphasized by the relations of the secondary schools to the colleges and universities,-the relation that is emphasized by the report of the committee of ten. But the report passes over the fact that these relations cannot be achieved permanently without a system. How much can be done in this direction is a very serious question, but it is a question for such a body, as that which is proposed, to consider.
PRINCIPAL DICKENSON of California.—Ten years ago there was very little sympathy between the University of California and general education throughout California. Little by little a different spirit entered. When Stanford University was created, a great impetus was felt. It brought a department of pedagogy with it. The university at Berkeley very soon had a similar department, but Professor Barnes at Palo Alto and Professor Brown at Berkeley did not take the ground that they were unwilling to lower the standards of the universities in order to meet the high schools. They came down a little, and did their share towards bridging the gulf. If the example of California should be imitated, and the colleges should be willing to lower their standard a little to meet the high schools, the result would be a great growth and strengthening of sympathy between the two.
T. O. BAKER, Yonkers, N. Y.-If there is anything we ought to be proud of it is the work of the committee of ten. I do not think that a single member of that committee dreamt that the schools would adopt the programs recommended. The question is, What action ought to be taken to promote the introduction of the programs recommended by the committee of ten? There ought to be in the United States three steps in education-elementary, secondary, university. I have not heard Colorado mentioned in this discussion, and yet I think that this state has approached this ideal organization perhaps as near as any. The high schools have been brought to a certain standard. Now, we need to take another step, which is to bring the universities to something like par. Our entire system should be uniform throughout the United States.
BIOLOGY IN THE FIRST YEAR OF THE SECONDARY
BY 0. S. WESTCOTT, PRINCIPAL NORTH DIVISION HIGH SCHOOL,
When, last January, there came to me from the president of this department an urgent solicitation to undertake to expound biological instruction in the first year of high school life, the letter which con. tained this solicitation was so plausibly written, that, possibly with: out due reflection, the recipient shouldered rather willingly what has proved to be a heavy and somewhat embarrassing, though not in every particular a disagreeable, burden.
I was told, that there is the utmost diversity of practice as regards the science subject for the first year of the high school course of study; that the tendency seems to be to teach the elements of physiology and hygiene in the grammar grades; that two subjects in the main at present claim a place in the first year of high school science—botany and zoology (classed together often as biology) and physical geography;" that the time is ripe for the presentation of the merits and demands of these branches of science for this part of the high school curriculum.
This complex of statements so plausible induced me to agree to present for your consideration a resumé of what appear to be the difficulties and the possibilities incident to the study of biology in the first year of the high school.
For many years there seems to have been a tacit agreement among school authorities that there should be three regular lines of work in secondary schools—work in language, work in mathematics, work in science. Naturally we would expect the inclinations of teachers to be toward the least abstruse line of science for pupils in the ninth grade. If it appears that a decision is likely to be made between physical geography and biology, I shall by no means be reluctant to stand as the confessed champion of biology. It may seem unnecessary to state, that by biology I understand what has many times been expressed by the term natural history; i. e., zoology and botany. In a broad sense, biology would naturally include vastly more; so that I am at a loss to understand what a recent commentator on the report of the committee of ten means, when he asserts that the committee have inserted too many science studies in their suggested programs, and illustrates his statement by saying that the committee have added botany or zoology to biology.
The objectors and the objections to the study of biology in so low a grade as the first year in the high school are marvelously numerous. The biologist himself would gladly have his work assigned to a higher grade, even the twelfth; but I have yet to meet the high school teacher who wishes his work assigned to a lower grade or who is satisfied to have it remain where it is. The physicist knows that his work belongs in the last year of the high school, after pupils have finished their mathematics and their chemistry. The astronomer is equally positive in the same direction; so is also the geologist. Surely geology presupposes a knowledge of zoology, of physics, of chemistry, and a scientific cultivation of the imagination. It is evident, then, that the inclinations, not to say the idiosyncrasies, of the instructors themselves cannot be consulted, but the sequence of scientific study in the high schools must be determined by supervising authority, and there must be a yielding in certain directions that greater difficulties may not be encountered.
The objection broadest in its scope, however, is the one propounded by the father of one of my pupils a year or two ago. The pupil said to me that his father did not believe that either I or my teachers knew anything about the science of life, which he understood to be the definition of biology. While it is unfortunately true that we are all lamentably ignorant of what life is, it is at least supposable that we would hardly have harmed the young man had we been permitted to familiarize him somewhat with some of its phenomena; but the young man was excused from the study by our good-natured if not too susceptible supervising superintendent.
When, more than two decades ago, I left the office of educational colporteur to assume again the toga pedagogica, I found that pupils could be rendered emulous-and, indeed, enthusiastic-by being encouraged to discover that some certain organism was regarded by scientists as belonging to the animal kingdom, because it had life, sensation, voluntary motion, breathed the oxygen of the air, lived on organic food, and had a calcerous skeleton. What if future discoveries assured them of the existence of vegetable organisms having separately every one of these characteristics or possibilities! Their belief in animal organisms was not thereby rudely shattered. A knowledge of the differing life of the vegetable kingdom, of the sensitiveness if not the sensation of the mimosa, of the voluntary motion of the diatoms and the desmids, of the organic food of Dionea muscipula, of the inspiration of oxygen by plants under cover of darkness, of the cystoliths in the cells of Ficus clastica, of the aciculate crystals of oxalate of lime in tradescantia, etc., merely served to fix the knowledge of the law and make the lesson a lasting one.
After this determination of the fundamental fact, it was not entirely uninteresting, even to the tyro, to be able to proceed to say further, that the organism belonged to the branch because
; to the class because -; to the order because ; to the family -- because —-; to the genus
-, because and to the species because It was a simple thing, and a natural one in this connection, to suggest the significance of prefixes like sub and super so often, so conveniently, and so accurately used by classicists.*
If the present generation of instructors in biology would do a little more in the direction of classification, they would thus accomplish two or three very desirable things. They would conciliate many objectors who were more or less instructed on what may be called the old lines. Furthermore, they surely would not find the time employed in this direction misspent. There is really no harm in allowing the student to become familiar with more than one animal or plant in a branch, class, order, etc., instead of confining his attention to the special one some one has selected as a type. It is possibly all very well for the masters in zoology to disregard almost in toto analytical keys (if they do), as if they were of no use. The fact remains, nevertheless, that organisms must in some way be identified before any information can be communicated with regard to them. A fact or a phenomenon brought to light by an independent observer is not known to be new until he has read up the literature of the organism under consideration. He must, hence, first identify it. To get credit for his possible discovery, its statement must, of course, be published in connection with the known name of the identical organism. The use of analytical keys draws the attention of the student to the very points which will sharpen his powers of observation, while at the same time it avoids an other. wise great waste of time employed in investigating trivial characteristics; interesting, indeed, but not of emphatically scientific value. It is more than possible, --it is even probable,—that, following the trend of modern laboratory practice, we are many times in danger of losing by neglect one of the most efficient means of attaining the object which we claim to be seeking to attain. Ilow better than by their careful use can the student develop that necessary power of
• This work, crude as it was in comparison with the work of the present day, was nevertheless beneficial. It required careful investigation on the part of the pupil, an investigation which was so deliberate as to insure the retention of the facts, and, more important still, the growth of the power of observation, the formulation of exact state. ments, and the development of the power of classification and abstraction.
abstraction without which his reasoning faculties can never be developed ?*
That school supervisors themselves-in particular, the superin. tendents and principals of schools—are often not familiar with biological work as arranged by competent instructors, is also unfortunate. When some years ago the superintendent of schools in a large city asked the members of an institute composed principally of ladies, how long a butterfly lives, he unconsciously opened a field of investigation never before tilled by but a few of his interested auditors. It is not science so often as ignorance that asks embarrassing questions. When, in Illinois, the law was first enacted that schoolteachers, to hold a first-grade certificate, must show themselves somewhat proficient in natural history, there was naturally a vigorous effort on the part of the self-conscious ignorant to amend themselves. The institute was the channel by means of which their weaknesses were to be purged away. I remember hearing a self-styled lecturer in natural history electrifying at least some attendants at one institute by telling of the rhizopody, the infusiory, and the gherrygonida. The rhizopoda and the infusoria were not entirely hidden by this peculiar orthoëpy, but that the gherrygonida were intended for the gregarinidæ was not at first so apparent. The unfortunate part of the effort was that teachers were endeavoring simply to amass facts. Facts are but secondary. The office of biology in the schools should be rather to educate than to instruct. The work should be so planned as to give a power of observation, of discrimination, of delineation, of description. There will be no lack of phenomena upon which this power may be subsequently exercised.
That the number of good teachers in biology is limited, is an objection having a certain amount of weight. But the opportunities for improvement are especially numerous, and enthusiastic professors in summer schools are ready and eager to guide the inquiring soul aright. Wood's Holl sends out annually many teachers whose equipment has been greatly improved. The post-graduate courses
* When the teacher in biology was unfortunately absent by reason of the grippe being no respecter of persons, the task of keeping the work apparently going fell upon the principal. To be ready at a day's notice with material for 300 pupils was a difficult but not an impossible task. I had, when in California and Colorado in 1892, not been sparing of effort in collecting material illustrating the insect fauna of these states, and I unearthed a sufficient number of one insect to supply the students each with a specimen. They had done little or no work at that time in entomology, but it was gratis fying to see with what avidity they attacked the differing material. To educe from the pupils the facts of animal, anthropod, insect, hexapod, coleopter, pentameron, telephorid, chauliognathus, limbicollis, proved a much lighter task for a forty-minute exercise than I should have found it without their previous experience in critical observation and definite statement. The effect of their previous work in observation was immediately apparent.