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Now, what is an expert? It is simply a man or women who knows how to do his or her task. It is a man behind the gun, who, when he fires it, hits something. It is a woman who puts on a button so it doesn't come off. It is the engineer that can plan the roadbed of a railroad in the right place, so it won't have to be altered within the next ten or twenty years. It is the man who builds the bridge so it does't fall down under the load.
Now, if you want a short way of estimating the intelligence of any man in any business who has important work to do, you had better ask. Does he employ an expert? because, if he doesn't, he is absolutely incapable and untrustworthy for the conduct of that business. It is the test of intelligence, the employment of an expert.
When an expert job is to be done-you have lately done in Chicago a great piece of expert work, and I am told that it is reasonably well done; but did you employ a grocer, and a tinsmith, and a physician to lay out your drainage canal? You put in charge of that work a body of citizens appointed for the place, and they had the intelligence and the honesty to employ competent experts. Now, that is what we have got to do in our country in all our great cities with regard to the school system.
Clergyman:-“My child, beware of picking a toadstool instead of a mushroom. They are easy to confuse."
Child:-"That be all right sir. Us bain't agoin' to eat 'em ourselves—they're agoin' to market to be sold.” — What to Eat.
Fudd-"What! reading that novel over again ? You have read it a dozen times at least."
Dudd—“That's why I'm reading it again. I run no risk. I know it is a good story." —Boston Transcript.
"Yes," said the St. Louis man, "I saw something in South Africa that made me home sick."
"What was that?” inquired his intimate friend.
At Ceylon, while eating breadfruit for the first time, one of his staff who was a naturalist, said to Admiral Dewey:
“This tree, besides supplying breadfruit, also produces a nutritious oil or vegetable grease.”
The Admiral looked up. “Why not call it the bread and-butter-fruit tree?"Erening Post.
Prince Hohenlohe is a strong advocate of Emperor William's scheme for a great ship canal which will connect the interior of Germany with the ocean. In discussing the subject with one of the Agrarian nobles, who opposes the project, the latter said:
"Your Excellency, you will find the opposition to be a rock in the path of your canal ?
The prince's eyes twinkled as he retorted: "We'll imitate the prophet Moses, smite the rock, and then the water will flow.”-Saturday Evening Post.
By RUTH ROYCE.
WAS asked to prepare a short paper on “New movements in education." What is here presented may better, perhaps, bear the less pretentious title, "Educational
notes," as it is impossible in the short space allotted me to do more than mention a few facts, without the arguments pro and con. While with the details in many cases, some of you are more familiar than I, it may still be possible for me to render the libraries special service of calling attention to facts that may have escaped your notice, and referring to sources of further information.
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY. In the direction of higher education, a committee of the N. E. A. is inquiring into the proposed plan for a national university at Washington, preparatory to a report at the session of 1900. The reported progress of the committee up to the present time, indicates that they will not favor the establishment of such a university at the Capital, but will suggest plans by which graduate students of the various universities thruout the United States may take advantage of the many opportunities already afforded by the Government at Washington for advanced instruction and research, and such as may hereafter be provided, the Smithsonian Institution to cooperate with the universities to this end.
N. E. A. REPORTS. The three prominent reports of committees to the N. £. A. last July, indicate three of the more important lines in which there is special interest and in which marked changes are being made; viz., "The work of normal schools”; “College entrance requirements”; and "The relation of public libraries to public schools." The first topic, "normal schools” being constantly before you, it is not necessary here to speak in detail of the many suggested changes in normal school work.
COLLEGE ENTRANCE. The second, college entrance requirements," has filled countless pages of the educational journals for the past six months. The general tenor of opinion is toward a higher standard of admission, but greater flexibility as to the subjects in which candidates shall be required to pass. The instance attracting most attention is the reform in the admission requirements of Harvard University, heretofore one of the most conservative in its advocacy of classical training.
SECONDARY SCHOOLS. An elective system in college entrance requirements, means elective courses and specialization in secondary schools; hence the courses of study, the scope and purpose of high schools and academies, have come to be a center of educational interest and discussion. This discussion is well nigh endless in its possibilities, and promises to be endless in its presentation of arguments; one side claiming that the special function of secondary schools is as "feeders” to the uuiversities, and therefore their first duty is to shape the course of study to fit students for university work; the other side taking the ground that, as but a small percentage of high school students enter universities. The first and great study of the secondary school is to fit the student for citizenship and the active duties of life.
*A paper read before the Teachers' Educational Club of the State Normal School at San Jose.
If high schools must change the character and scope of their work, then of necessity follow changes in the work of the grammar schools. What shall these be ? And here it is noticeable, that as the discussion approaches matters affecting younger children, it grows warmer. Teachers of all grades and varities of qualifications feel competent to enter an opinion; and even parents, who ordinarily accept edicts on university matters as final and inevitable, are ready with opinion and protest when the work of the common school is the point at issue. All of which is evidence of the nearness of the common school to the hearts of the people, and our best assurance that it will never be allowed to wander far from its first and great purpose—the education of the common people. The N. E. A. committee propose that the seventh and eighth grades of the grammar school be incorporated in the high school, thus practically doing away with the grammar school, and making two departments of public school work—the primary school, six years, followed by the high school, six years.
A late number of the New England Journal of Education was devoted to a symposium on this question, in which the opinions vary from a hearty indorsement of the plan to indignant protest; and the humble auditor who listens to be instructed, goes away impressed chiefly with the fact that great minds do not think alike. writer, in a sportive but somewhat sarcastic vein, places side by side Dr. G. Stanley Hall's opinion that children should be turned out to grass" until they are twelve years of age, and the suggestion of the N. E. A. Committee, that at the age of twelve they should enter the proposed high school course. He says: “This seems to add to the glory of the high school principals, for they will have virgin soil in which to plant the seed of latin and algebra, and they will have a chance to show how to get boys and girls into college who have never been debilitated by learning how to read, write, and cipher.”
LIBRARIES AND SCHOOLS. The report on "public libraries and public schools” tells of the many movements in the direction of co-operation of libraries with schools, actual work done and results accomplished. “Library leagues” teach children care in the handling of books, speciai rooms fitted up for the use of children in public libraries make them feel at home and provide convenient access to books in which they will be interested, special attendants guide them in their selections, teachers and parents are encouraged to consult with librarians as to the special needs of children, and loans of pictures and books are made to schools suited to the topics being studied. An able summary
of the report, with suggestions for further investigation and action is given in the Educational Review for March.
IMPROVEMENT OF TEACHERS. Among the many movements for the improvement of teachers, one worthy of special notice was the appropriation of $5000 by the legislature of South Carolina, to be used by the State Superintendent for the better instruction of teachers.” Part of the fund was expended in the unique summer school held at Winthrop Normal College; the rest in for four months' normal sessions, held in every county in the State, the instructors being chosen from those who had attended the State school.
From Illinois comes an account of teachers' institute libraries, a collection of suitable books being provided for the use of teachers during the week that the institute is in session. For those who wish to purchase similiar books, courses of reading are planned for the succeeding year.
Superintendent Skinner of New York State has made an offer on behalf of the State to give free tuition in the New York State Normal Schools, to "forty-eight men and women of Cuba and Porto Rico, who are willing to attend these institutions not less than two years, pledging that they will return to the islands and devote at least five years to active service in the public schools.”
EDUCATIONAL EXHIBITS FOR PARIS. Educational exhibits are already being forwarded for the Paris Exposition. One of the most striking is to be a series of photographs illustrating new methods in education, as carried out in the public schools of the city of Washington. The pictures represent classes just as they appear at ordinary work; for example, laboratory work in botany, children sewing, a history class at Washington monument, a nature study class at the zoo, physical culture exercises, an out-door class in arithmetic measuring bricks and lumber, and so on.
The Department of Education of Columbia College, has prepared for the Exposition, a two volume work entitled "Education in the United States," comprising nineteen monographs* on different departments of education in the United States, each written by some one especially qualified.
The school of pedagogy of the New York University will send an exhibit "torepresent the university phases in the professional training of teachers."
VACATION SCHOOLS AND CITY PLAY GROUNDS. For the masses of children in cities, especially the poor, there are two late movements—summer vacation schools, and public play grounds, furnished by the city, with gymnastic apparatus. In the vacation schools most of the time is devoted to teaching useful occupations to children who would otherwise spend their time on the streets. Excursions for pleasure and nature study are a part of the program. Over 8000 children attended the vacation schools in New York last summer. The accounts of the playgrounds and their reforming effect upon the roughest and most hopeless children are both touching and encouraging. The verdict of the Chicago police, as reported by one writer, is that the play-grounds do more good than all the Sunday schools in Chicago.”
Boston has maintained for two summers a "municipal camp' for boys, located on an island in Boston harbor. During seven weeks of the last hot season, over 800 boys were given, in turn, a week's outing, with a regular program of military drill, simple lectures and object lessons in science, instruction in hygiene, sanitation, swimming, sailing, rowing, and other things dear to the heart of a boy.
DRAWING AND ART. In the lines of art, particularly drawing, in the public schools, the work and lectures of J. L. Tadd of Philadelphia, and his book-"New Methods in Education," are attracting special attention and working an entire revolution in many places.
*One of these on "Secondary Education” is by Dr. Elmer Ellsworth Brown of Berkeley.
Massachusetts has had a State exhibit of drawing done in the public and normal schools, including exbibits from fifty-six cities and towns. One of the noticeable features, marking changes in methods of work, was the abundant use of color from the primary grades upward. The supervisor says that the most marked progress in drawing is in the primary schools.
Minneapolis has had another sort of art exhibit, a loan of pictures, most of them photographs of celebrated works of art, owned by the public schools. These have been purchased almost entirely thru the efforts of the pupils—funds raised by entertainment, private contributions, etc.
SELF-GOVERNMENT. Experiments in organized self-government are being tried in various places. Besides the well-known instance of “The George Junior Republic," there is the later movement, headed by Mr. Gill of New York, of organizing what he calls the "School City,” in which the schools adopts as its model the government of the city in which it is situated, the children become the citizens, officers are elected from their number and the entire machinery cf city government is carried out in miniature. A most interesting account of the working out of this experiment in several cities is given in the December Review of Reviews.
STATE MAP In Cincinnati, Ohio, it is proposed to make in the city park, in a space twentyfive feet square, a model map of the State of Ohio, showing elevations, rivers, principal cities, etc., the speciaļ purpose being to give children a better idea of the state they live in. If this is possible for Ohio, why not for California in Golden Gate Park, perhaps, or even on the school grounds ?
DEWEY'S SCHOOL. Under the title "A Day With the New Education," the March Chautauquan gives an illustrated description of the work of the children in the Chicago University Elementary School, under Professor John Dewey. A circular just received, announces a series of monographs to be issued by the University giving reports on the philosophy and progress of this very interesting experiment.
EDUCATION FOR "GROWN-UPS." Notes on education would not be complete without at least a passing mention of the many educational aids for those who are no longer children. Besides the happy new fashion that makes gray hairs at home among university students, there are numberless organized plans of study for the grown-ups outside; correspondence courses, university extension lectures, reading clubs and mothers' clubs, besides many books prepared specially for such students. Which ever of the many "new" things we are to thank for this, whether the new psychology has discovered that the mind is capable of indefinite improvement, or evolution proved that we may continue to develop as long as we will, or child-study shown that we are but children of a larger growth,” in any case, let us be thankful for this recognition in a new way of the old-time phrase, "never too old to learn."