Immagini della pagina

the same class with American boys and They can keep their doors open summer as girls five or six years old. For a time, at well as winter, evening as well as morning. least, the foreigners require to be segre- They can make all welcome for reading, gated and to receive special treatment. for instruction, for social intercourse, and

for recreation. But I for one believe they MUST IMPROVE TEACHERS' CONDITION may do still more. To secure training for efficiency the When I look upon the anæmic faces conditions of teaching must be such that

and undeveloped bodies that mark so many each teacher shall be able to do his best

of the children of the tenements, when I work. By common consent one of these

read of the terrible ravages of tubercuconditions is that teachers shall not be losis in the same quarters, I cannot but subjected to the ignominy of seeking po

think that the city should provide wholelitical or other influence or cringing for the some food at the lowest possible cost in favor of any man in order to secure ap

public school kitchens. To lay the legal pointment or promotion. During the past burden of learning upon children whose year two events have occurred which seem blood is impoverished and whose digestion to be full of promise for the establishment is impaired by insufficient or unwholesome of this condition. The public school teach

feeding is not in accord with the boasted ers of Philadelphia have been freed from altruism of an advanced civilization or the bondage to ward politicians in which

with the divine command: Feed the hunthey were held for well-nigh a century;

gry. Is this not also a subject for investiand the one-man power, beneficent as such gation by our national council? a system proved under a Draper and a

And should it some day come to pass Jones in Cleveland, has been supplanted

that men will look upon corruption in pubby an apparently more rational system. lic and corporate life, such as of late we Independence of thought and freedom of have seen exposed in New York, Philadeiinitiative are necessary to the teachers of phia and St. Louis, with the same loatha nation whose stability and welfare as a ing with which they regard crime in prirepublic depend upon the independence, vate life, it will be when the schools are in the intelligence and the free initiative of earnest about teaching our young people its citizens. Independence of thought and

the fundamental laws of ethics, that freedom of initiative may be throttled by bad laws, but under the best of laws they The ten commandments will not budge, will be maintained only by the teachers And stealing still continues stealing. themselves. By making it unprofessional to seek appointment or promotion through

But economic perils and racial differsocial, religious or political influence the

ences are the teachers' opportunity. Here teachers of this country have it in their

in this country are gathered the sons and power to establish one of the most essen- the daughters of all nations. Ours is the tial conditions of education for efficiency.

task not merely of teaching them our We are beginning to see that every language and respect for our laws, but of school should be a model of good house- imbuing them with the spirit of selfkeeping and a model of good government direction, our precious inheritance from through co-operative management. What the Puritans; the spirit of initiative which more may the schools do? They can pro- comes to us from the pioneers who subvide knowledge and intellectual entertain- dued a continent to the uses of mankind; ment for adults as well as for children. and the spirit of co-operation.



T may be that I am old-fashioned, our colleges, it has even entered the field

that my theories are obsolete, but of public education. I assure you I am sincere in saying that I As the requirements of modern conbelieve that schools exist for man, and ditions change, so the requirements needed not man for schools. There is no more to meet modern conditions change. The misused, misapplied, and misunderstood three R's of yesterday may not necesword in the English language than edu- sarily be the three R's of to-day. But cation. To teach is one thing; to edu- there are certain fundamental subjects that cate is another. You can teach a bullfinch everyone must know and know well to whistle "Hail Columbia," or a parrot if success in after life is to be hoped for. to sing the "Star-Spangled Banner," but in However much opinions may differ as to neither case will your efforts have resulted what should constitute a liberal or a fundain producing a useful American citizen. mental education, there should be no differ

Teaching, so far as it goes, is most ence of opinion as to what should form the admirable, but the teaching of children groundwork. that does not educate can scarcely justify any expenditure of public moneys. What

PLEA FOR THE "THREE R'S" our scheme of government requires is that I do not believe any one can be eduour children be educated. They must be cated who has not at least a smattering taught, of course, as a condition precedent of the three R's. It may possibly serve to the education, but the teaching is only some mysteriously useful purpose to teach a means to an end, and is by no means an twelve-year-old boys who cannot read even end in itself.

the simplest English to sew buttons on

shirts, or to drill girls of the same age to MERE MONEY-MAKING MACHINES

whom the rule of three is unknown, in the In the race for wealth in which for theory but not in the practice of music years we have been engaged, our educa- and cooking—for both are often bracketed tors, recognizing the economic law of sup- together in our school curricula. But the ply and demand, have tried to bring to ignorant outsider who is excluded from market only salable goods. When fond

the Parnassus of "educational circles" parents have preferred that colleges may be permitted to wonder at the whereshould turn out money-making machines fore of it all. rather than educated men, colleges have It is anything but flattering to our met the demand, and well chosen elective "standards of local administration" that courses have graduated hard-headed young the products of our great urban public men ready to begin the struggle for life. schools seldom succeed at either West Time being literally money, every day Point or Annapolis. Run through a list saved in preparation for the contest has of the honor men at both academies, and, been considered of advantage. A bachelor- while you will often find among them the of-arts degree in many cases means that products of private institutions, you will its recipient is a specialist in some one find that the vast majority come from narrow line of money-making, and not the little cross-road country schoolhouse, that he is the possessor of a liberal educa- whose simple-minded teacher—God bless tion. The craze to turn out complete

to turn out complete her!-has had no other working capital at money-making machines is not confined to her command than a fair knowledge of the


three R's, which she has conscientiously The country needs men of thought and imparted to her pupils.

men of learning, and needs them badly. I trust you will not imagine that I am The man who thinks may be a greater playing Devil's advocate, at the canoniza- patriot than the man who does. We have tion of what in so-called "educational cir- deified action at the expense of thought. cles” are known as “educational utilities." We suffer from the spirit of unrest, which Many of them are really most useful, if frequently prompts us to ill-considered, improperly and thoroughly taught. But the matured and thoughtless action. We are tendency which exists to exploit the inclined to applaud the man who does, not teacher at the expense of the taught in- so much because he accomplishes anything evitably results in giving the pupil the useful as because he accomplishes somemerest smattering of innumerable sub- thing, be it good, bad or indifferent. jects, in puzzling his poor little brain without developing it.


Contentment bids fair to be banished "GET-WISE-QUICK" THEORIES

from existence. Contentment and The chief purpose—for that matter happiness are synonymous, but we prefer the only purpose of public education for to sacrifice both in a struggle for the unit is with public education only that we obtainable. Were our ambitions laudable, are concerned to-day-is to make good our state of mind would be most commendcitizens of the republic. We owe an equal able, but unfortunately we scarcely know duty to every boy and girl in the land, what we are striving for. We have forto see to it that every child whose par- gotten that deeds are merely a means to an ents cannot afford to give it an educa- end. Having no particular end in view, we tion is thoroughly grounded in at least treat the deeds themselves as the summiin! the rudiments of learning, is taught to bonum, the ultimate object of attainment. study and to think, and is given the tools You who are here to-day are charged in with which if so disposed it may still your life's work with one of the sublimest further educate itself. “Get-wise-quick” missions in the world. Not to make savants theories are as pernicious as “Get-rich- or scholars, not to make writers of books quick” concerns. We cannot hope to pro- or sages, but to make honest, thoughtful, duce scholars ready-made. If we can culti- God-fearing men and women. If you sucvate the habit of study and of thought we ceed in doing this you will have proved shall have accomplished much.

the reason for your existence.

[blocks in formation]


WILLIAM T. HARRIS, U. S. COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION 1 AM glad to mention here that the This list aggregates 53,554 positions,

average annual increase in higher edu- with annual salaries of $600 and over, onecation throws open nearly one thousand half of which pay $800 and upwards, and new places a year in colleges and uni- 14,193 of $500 to $600, and 17,728 annual versities for teachers promoted from the salaries below $500. secondary schools who have the requisite I stop at salaries at six hundred dollars skill and scholarship. There were in 1890, because he who receives six hundred dol7,918 professors and instructors in the col- lars per year receives more than his quota leges and universities of the United States, of the total production of the United not counting the professional schools. In States, the total income of the nation in 1903 the number had risen to 20,887. It 1900, made on liberal basis, being only started with less than 8,000 and has an in- $551.56 per inhabitant, if divided among crease of new places in thirteen years the entire number of men, women and chilalmost equal to one thousand a year dren, seventy-six millions in all. (12,969). The secondary schools of the Teachers, if there are any who claim United States counted 16,329 teachers in an increase of salary beyond a salary of 1890, and in 1903, counted 33,795. This $551.56 a year on the ground of their increase gave 17,466 new positions in natural right to a pro rata share of the thirteen years for teachers in public and wealth produced in the United States, private schools.

could not urge a valid plea because the What may be called the higher occupa

total wealth distributed even without paytions, which have to do with protection ment of interest on capital or rent on real and culture, increased with a considerable estate does not yield beyond that average degree of uniformity in the thirty years

sum to the twenty-nine millions of persons ending in 1900, showing an increase from following a gainful occupation in the 32,000 to 44,000 thirty years later in each United States. million.

The average person having a gainfui Professors and teachers were counted occupation in 1850 produced less than $500 by the census in 1870 at 10,141 in each ($484.80); in 1860, $651.48; in 1870, million, but the quota of 1900 in each $849.03; in

$849.03; in 1880, $721.93; in 1890, million is increased to 18,509.

$990.32; in 1900, $1,065.69. The larger The recent canvass of the salaries by

the sum produced by the average person in the special committee of which Colonel the United States the greater his ability Wright, the chairman, makes report this

to support schools and furnish positions year, gives us data from which we may

of large salaries for the highest order of complete our list of better-salaried posi

teachers. These figures, therefore, on the tions besides those in colleges already

increase of productive power on the part named, counting in superintendents, assist

of the individual wage earner in the

United States are full of hope for the ant superintendents, high school prinu

future of the teacher as regards his salary pals, elementary school principals, high and his social position. school teachers (not principals), element

Science makes possible mechanic inary school teachers, six classes, reported in vention and it makes possible also the use 467 cities of over eight thousand inhab- of the forces of nature to reenforce itants,

human power and the power of domestic animals. This progress in the reenforcing chinery, but few to the extent of the of the human might as it goes on from year United States. to year may be expected to increase the The future of Teachers' Salaries is wealth-producing power of the individual. therefore a bright and promising one It would seem that in fifty years, from viewed in the light of the general indus1850 to 1900, the wealth-producing power trial progress, but a far more hopeful one has more than doubled. All countries show viewed from the economical law of inincreased power of wealth production in creased values for vocations that have for proportion as they adopt labor-saving ma- their object protection and culture.




WE hold all endowed institutions of are not to be equivalent in the opinion of

learning as part of the public educa- men, but they are to be identical in the tional system of the country. We look opinion of women. All offerings are to be upon private and proprietary institutions, open and the right of election is to be free. if moved by correct influences and man- The sentiment is growing that the educaaged by proper methods, to be deserving of tion of men and women must be in the aid and commendation. We give to sectar- same institutions, if the opportunities are ian and denominational schools our frater- to be even; that there is no moral reason nal regard and professional coöperation. why this should not be so, and that good We express our regret that any may think morals, good sense, and the soundest eduit necessary to decline the privileges of the cational ends are promoted by having it public school system and maintain schools so. There is yet some prejudice against it in at their own expense, on conscientious the eastern states, but logic, justice, and exgrounds.


cannot accept their perience are concluding the matter. thought, we will recognize sincerity where No other country and no other age ever ever it is convincing. We will articulate, dreamed of such private benefactions to so far as we may, with every educational learning as we have become accustomed activity calculated to quicken the nation's to. The common impulse honors the benemoral sense or uplift the nation's intellec- factors and holds the gifts to be sacred tual life. It is the overwhelming, and, we and inviolable public trusts. They must be believe, the settled American opinion that neither impaired nor misdirected. The neither the federal power nor that of any laws must assure the ends for which they state can sustain a business relation with, are created; public sentiment must see or give financial aid to, or divide its respon- that trustees execute the purpose of the sibility with, any class or interest not com- givers with exactness. mon to every citizen and every section; We are never to forget that the schools but that affords no ground for irritation are not only to educate people in order between any class or sectional interest, that they may be educated, but to educate and any phase of the state or federal power. them in order that they may do things.

They are to be trained for labor and for A FUNDAMENTAL POINT

effectiveness. The schools must help to It is fundamental in America that make the pupils and the people know that women shall have the same educational the attitude of the republic in the world is opportunities as men. The opportunities nothing different from the attitude of the

« IndietroContinua »