Page images


tion of life tenure is said to be very com- and county certificates are enough. In monly evaded. In Colorado only larger Iowa, where county superintendents are towns are improving under state statutes. the most important school officers, they In Oregon requirements are loose, teach- depend on politics for their position. ers are often elected annually, and normal Standards are neither uniform nor rigid. certificates are not required. Utah lacks In Kansas requirements are rarely uniuniformity; so does Washington, where form outside of cities, and ignorant the principal of a city high school says: boards stand in the way of good work. “ The greatest curse of the public school The Kansas system, on the whole, seems of any State is the laws pertaining to poor. In Michigan want of rigid and the normal schools. Most of these are uniform requirements is the main difficonducted by little politicians, and they culty, although state legislation is imin one or two short years train boys and proving. Missouri lacks state require girls fresh from farm and high school into ments, and there is more criticism of teachers licensed to teach forever. The normal school graduates. In Nebraska raw, untrained, normal school graduate requirements are flexible, and the sahas more recognition before the law than perintendency is a political office. In would a W. D. Whitney. The country Minnesota, as in other States where the school and teacher are here, as they are normal school abounds, there is much everywhere, indescribable. The teacher theoretical work, but requirements are is not paid sufficient to dress well. He

uniform and rigid. is not required to know much, nor does The topics of this question present he often pass beyond his requirements. peculiar difficulties. Uniformity of re The average district board member is quirements in widely different localities, sure to have some niece, about eighteen and especially between city and country or nineteen years of age, who would schools, is almost unattainable, and eermake a right smart teacher,'or who would tainly is not found in the best countries be able to learn 'em all that their paps in Europe. The ability of classes in and mams know’d.'” However, here different localities varies, and the supand there, in town, city, and country, are ply of teachers is still more inconstant. found individuals who could not fail in The same is true of rigidity. Eren their work. They are pouring their life German universities raise and lower profreely and fully into their profession. fessional standards according to the sup

In the mid-Western States it appears ply and demand. It must be admitted, that normal school graduates are not too, that normal schools have often but generally successful. In Illinois good crude material to deal with, and have men for principals are very scarce, and lapsed into formal and theoretical ways it is often said that superintendencies in many places. These ways are now and school boards should not be political one of the worst features of education offices. In Indiana it seems that while in this country. No system of certifithe superintendents are often narrow, cation can equal professional training. ignorant, and corrupt men, even the But, despite this, these are the ideals good ones labor under great difficulties in toward which legislation should strive: trying to raise the standard of an unin- and in this country, at least, nearly all terested and unenthusiastic body of teach- the steps toward centralization have been

The rank and file seem to care lit- marks of progress ; although in France tle for their professional status. They this had been so extreme that the re complain bitterly of personal injustice, verse is now true. The happy mean but they hardly breathe the proper spirit. will unite the benefits of a large contiRequirements are not rigid or uniform, parative view and the stimulus of local pride. Here again, as at so many points, to go up two or even four years with the the incompetency of local boards is the same class; and for higher grades, that chief hindrance. Even comparison of the class teacher's functions should graduthe schools of a city like Springfield, ally yield to those of the special teacher. Massachusetts, which elects its school The last question of all, asking for board on a ticket at large, with those of general remarks, has evoked a vast and other cities of the same class in New miscellaneous but very interesting body England tells the story. The former of suggestions, facts, and criticisms. A


. method secures the services of men Maine man wants a rule forbidding teachknown throughout the city; the latter, ers to do outside work for pay. A Bosof men known in their own wards. ton man says that not one in a hundred

The inquiry about promotions brings of the male teachers in that city is a to view perhaps the greatest diversity of Boston boy. In Brookline (Massachuopinion and practice. Adjacent schools setts), Detroit, and elsewhere, education in the same city often announce oppo- societies, mothers' clubs, and the like site principles. The most frequent pro- are organized with the distinct aim of motion is from sub-mastership to mas- bringing parents and teachers together, tership; less often do promotions occur and excellent results are reported. In from grammar to high school grades. Brookline there is but one session a The general opinion is that all grades of day in all schools. This gives the aftergrammar teachers should have the same noon for rest, recreation, and successpay. Most teachers prefer to work in ful teachers' meetings. A Connecticut the grade to which they are accustomed, principal, who had held his place for and many say that nature fits each teach- thirty years, and failed of reëlection er to some particular grade where she by the school committee last June, was succeeds, but she would fail if advanced. chosen at a special election by a large Many a good primary teacher is spoiled majority of the citizens. A Minnesota if transferred to upper grades. The same superintendent urges that child study is democratic spirit that lets a superior a bad influence, as it has become a fad. teacher go to a large town for a small Many complain of the low social status advance, rather than break the dead level of the teacher, and in some places it is of the pay scale, favors absolute equality said to be impossible for teachers to find as between grades. Often where the board in pleasant families. Another inmethod of certification puts teachers sists that eighth-grade pupils might just whose examinations rank lowest in the as well be two years younger.

A West low grades, they are content to remain Virginia teacher reports that getting in there unless a higher certificate improves debt to school officers is a good way of materially their tenure or pay. How dif- insuring a position on the teachers' staff, ferent this principle from that of the so that the debtor may be in a position to German Professor Rein, who would have pay.

And two teachers hint at dreadteachers begin with the lower primary, ful evils they might detail, growing out and go up through all grades with the of personal favor and patronage. same class, for the sake of the better As a whole, these returns certainly knowledge of individuality thus secured! give a new point of view. Some of the

! But very few favor the plan of encour- questions are directly intended to bring aging special teachers to teach the same out defects rather than merits, but the subjects in all grades. As this is a mat- names of these 1189 teachers and superter to which I have given some thought, intendents, many of whom are of the very I will express the opinion that the best highest standing, offer conclusive eviplan is for class teachers for lower grades dence, even if the spirit of the reports did not sufficiently evince the fact, that grades should go increase of pay, permathere is almost no atteinpt at sensation- nence, and dignity, but that good teachalism, gossip, or expressions of personal ers in all grades should be paid more than disaffection. The evils are very real, poor teachers in any grade ; that there grave, and widespread; whether a trifle be a great but gradual increase of special more or less so than these rough estimates teaching as pupils pass up the grades; make out is of small account. They that the selection of textbooks be placed stand out in gloomy contrast with the in expert and uncorruptible hands; and glorification of the perfections of our sys- finally, that the functions of formal extem commonly heard in teachers' meet- aminations be greatly reduced. ings, and by many thought necessary to (2.) The question is very often sug. insure a continuation of school appro- gested by these returns, whether the priations. The two general impressions many graduates of normal schools are left on my own mind from a careful of such value to the public school sysreading of the reports, here so inade- tem as teachers as the advocates of these quately condensed, may be summarized schools claim. It is time this question as follows:

were discussed, and nowhere is it more (1.) Nowhere has there ever been, to urgent than in Massachusetts, where four my knowledge, so clear and forceful a new normal schools are liable to give presentation of the evils of subjecting to existing traditions and practices a schools to political officers who are near- momentum they little deserve. Most of ly lowest in the scale of political prefer- our American normal schools, not how. ment. It is worst of all when not only ever without a good number of excepcity and state superintendents, but even tions, have become institutions where norinal school principals must look to form is exalted above substance, and politics for a continuance in office. As often to the lasting detriment of the latlong as this lasts appointment cannot ter.

. If a teacher has and loves know. be wisely made, tenure is not by merit, ledge, and has a strong and quick feeland the value to the community of every ing for childhood, a few simple and easidollar of school money is greatly depre- ly taught rules, devices, and a few dozen ciated. The moral influence of such a lessons each on the history of education system is wholly bad not only upon the and the human soul, are enough for the community, but on every part of school rank and file. It is so fatally easy to let work and on every person connected with method glide into the place of matter, it. It hurts the pupils most of all. The to make intricate what God made plain, difference between a good and a fairly to make hard and formal what nature good teacher, to say nothing of a bad reveals at once to tact and to the native one, is incalculable, but, like all things of insight of childhood by judicious hints, the soul, inappreciable to the general pub- that it is perhaps not strange that normal lic. There are schools in my city, and school work tends, as by an iron and uniother cities in my State, where I should versal law, to degenerate. Here is the prefer two years of schooling for a child source of most of the internal evils; low of mine to four years in another school politics is responsible for most of those where the public makes little or no dis- that are external. No part of our entire crimination. The reforms needed, in my educational system so needs regeneration judgment, are, that the power of appoint- as the normal schools. The first step in ment and also of removal be given into the reform of these evils would be a comcompetent and responsible hands ; that mission of the right kind of experts, familschool boards be elected on tickets at iar with systems in other lands, to inveslarge; that with advancement up the tigate and report. This should certainly




be done in Massachusetts before the as these have been, the picture would be state board appoints principals and al- very bright. Somewhere in this great lows courses to be shaped for the four country, one feature here, another there, new normal schools. It would be wast- almost every reform in education has ing a great opportunity not to inaugu- been successfully begun. Slowly from rate a new dispensation with these new these vital points the leaven will pervade institutions. I suggest that the gover- the lump. If I were to sum up all our nor appoint such a commission without needs into one great need, it would be delay, before it is too late. This step that of sane and well-trained leaders. would be strongly opposed by most of As a whole, American teachers are sheep the existing normal schools, but I be- without a shepherd, sadly lacking, but lieve it would be heartily approved by readily — often too readily — accepting most other friends of education in the intellectual guidance. They are often State. If such a commission were right- sorely confused between conflicting auly selected and its report were adopted, thorities ; a little too eager for novelit would mark an epoch in the history of ties, a little too prone to say, Lo here, public education in the State.

lo there ; responding heartily to every On the whole, many and crying as are genuine enthusiasm and interest in their these evils, and glaringly as they refute work, but as yet without any settled the Dr. Pangloss optimism and spread- method, philosophy, or consensus of any eagleism so common in this country where kind; awaiting half unconsciously some teachers forgather, for one I am not dis- clear dispensation of pedagogic art and couraged, but would rather bid teachers science. That its star is already above hope. If a corresponding inquiry into the horizon, and is visible to all who love the best points of our schools and teachers and know childhood aright, I believe were made, and the results were massed with all my soul.

G. Stanley Hall.


The great religious movements of the vices, not unlike Don Quixote, Macbeth, past have a peculiar fascination for all or L'Avare. Religion has proved a most readers of history. Like Hamlet and elastic term, and its heroes form a motley Faust, they have something in them to collection : St. Louis, Jerome of Prague, meet the demands of every mood. No Waldstein, Joan of Arc, Alexander VI., where else in history do we find such a Savonarola, Louvois, Servetus, Richelieu, curious interplay of human interests and Æneas Sylvius, Ulrich von Hutten, passions. Religion and its multitudinous Madame de Maintenon, Torquemada, perversions have, like love, the power of Henry VIII., - a list where the condrawing out the worst as well as the best trasts are of too obvious a nature to rein mankind. In the history of religious quire comment. History has shown that dissension, from the crusade against the men may revolt from the established strangely confused enlightenment of church because they come to differ from southern France in the thirteenth cen- the majority upon more or less subtle tury to the Revocation of the Edict of matters of faith, or because they are Nantes, many of the actors stand out losing money, or — more rarely, indeed as exponents of cardinal virtues and

- because they are tired of their wives. The financial motive has been much neg- or bad faith. It is not likely that Henry lected by historians. But Luther does intended to insult his late co-religionists. not hesitate to invoke it, and to arouse The expression was a natural, almost an the German nobility by the taunt that inevitable one to apply to a really small the Romans commonly held the drunken fraction of the French nation, who by Germans to be too “ dead-stupid ” to assuming the title of “reformed ” assertknow when they were being swindled. ed a preëminence over the great mass of In short, in so-called religious history we Christian believers. find all gradations from the sublime to While the Huguenots had much to the ridiculous, from the solemn tragedies suffer during the earlier years of the of Huss and Savonarola to the effort reign of Louis XIII., a time of comparof the French government under Louis ative quiet followed after the jealousy of XIV. to save Huguenot souls at a speci- Richelieu had been allayed by the fall fied number of livres each. The story of La Rochelle. The fortifications of of Protestantism in France during the the strong places assigned to the Protesseventeenth and eighteenth centuries is tants as “a retreat in case of oppresin no way wanting in the peculiar in- sion contrary to his Majesty's will ” had terest attaching to great religious strug- been demolished after the last unsuccessgles, and Professor Baird can therefore ful revolt, and the Calvinists no longer rely upon the indulgence of the public in retained the powers of resistance granted presenting the theme he has chosen. them by the Edict of Nantes. This state

It is unfortunate, however, that our of inoffensiveness and the absorbing forauthor should have deemed it best to eign policy of the Thirty Years' War redevote over half of his first volume to sulted in the Protestants being left to the dreary period of Huguenot history their own devices. The period of about intervening between the death of Henry thirty years following the destruction of IV. and the fall of La Rochelle. No- the military power of the Huguenots where could the work have been con- was probably the season of their greatest densed better than here. The important material prosperity. Deprived of their events and issues were susceptible of be- former political and military importance, ing treated in half the space, with great they turned to manufacture and trade, advantage to the reader's patience. forming the most intelligent and ener

Among the lesser trials of the Hu- getic class of the French nation. Their guenots during the period of toleration numbers have been generally much exwas their official designation as adhe- aggerated. It would appear that in the rents of la religion prétendu réformée, a early part of the seventeenth century, term employed in the Edict of Nantes it- of the fifteen million Frenchmen, a milself. Professor Baird, strangely enough, lion, or somewhat more, were Huguenots.

, seems to be under a misapprehension They thus constituted but a little over one respecting this title, since he consistently fifteenth of the people, and were of course employs the English word“ pretended” very unequally distributed throughout the as an equivalent for prétendu, and lays provinces. stress

upon the “insulting ” character of “In the membership of the Huguenot the epithet. But prétendre cannot com- churches all ranks of society were repremonly, if ever, be rendered by “pretend.” sented. Persecution, however, had sifted It means to assert, claim, or allege, and out many of those who, in the initial carries with it no suggestion of deception stages of the history of the Reformation,

1 The Huguenots and the Revocation of the York. In two volumes, with maps. New Edict of Nantes. By HENRY M. BAIRD, Pro- York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1895. fessor in the University of the City of New


« PreviousContinue »