Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

molasses. It was called syrup. This was then allowed to cool off, when it was strained and set away for "sugaring off time.” These days which came twice or three times a week, were the gala days of the sugar season.

Everybody was invited and "warm sugar” was free for all. They used to tell us boys that we might eat all we could until we wanted to drink, and oh how thirsty we would become before finally giving up.

Then came the wax-making. The hot syrup, when at exactly the right stage, poured in small quantities upon packed snow, became instantly hard and crisp, and what a flavor it had! Nectar is now here beside it, much less the maple-wax candy sometimes sold on the cars. It was great fun to get a boy who did not understand the game, to take a lump of this wax into his mouth, which he was usually quite willing to do, and after it had softened a little to give him a sudden chuck under the chin, driving his teeth together. It would often take him a quarter of an hour to get his mouth open.

The sugaring off was accomplished in this way: the syrup which had already been strained, was transferred to a smaller kettle to be clarified. This was done by stirring into it, thoroly, the whites of eggs beaten up in milk. When heated to about 180 to 200 degrees these coagulated, taking up all impurities, and came to the top, being removed as scum. The syrup was now boiled down very carefully, so as not to scorch it, to a point when it would crystallize,when it is run into tubs or cakes as desired. For home use it was run into tubs. The cakes were put up on a rack to drain and whiten before being vffered for sale.

I remember that the last "run," after the buds had begun to swell, would not. crystallize, as the sap was a trifle ropy, and had to be made into molasses.

I presume the old process has been largely changed. The wooden troughs and spouts, and the hanging kettles have all been displaced by modern and more convenient appliances, but no sugar can ever taste sweeter to me than that which was made in the old fashioned sugar bush.

Maple sugar is these later years cuts no great figure in the market, yet the income from some of the sugar orchards of Vermont, for maple sugar shipped to Bos. ton, twice or three times a week, reaches a very respectable amount, while the imitation syrup sells largely in almost every locality. Nothing can quite take the place of maple syrup on buckwheat cakes.

Enlightened.
The class in "Language Lessons" was doing very well,
The sentence-building words were given out,
When a little negro student brought the lesson to a close,
But it ended with a very merry shout.
"Now, children," said the teacher, “I give the word 'delight,'
Who first can frame a sentence with it in ?"
"Jes' draw up de winder-curtain, and yo'll den let in 'de light.'
Quickly spoke the little darkey with a grin.

-M. F. Searle.

[ocr errors]

WHERE is nothing so delicious in human mental life as to work out, in reality, ideals of the

soul. Mrs. Emmons Blaine of Chicago is a woman of wealth with ideals for the better.

ment of humanity, and she believes she has found a mechanism in education. Colonel Francis W. Parker is a schoolman who for years has been nursing some specific and concrete ideals as to the manner in which the young should be educated. For over a quarter of a century he has carried his educational life in his teeth, because he has needed both hands to fight with. Mrs. Blaine and Colonel Parker have met. The result is that Colonel Parker bas left the Cook County Normal School and all its agonizing difficulties, and now Chicago is to bave an ideal school regardless of expense. It is to be known as the Chicago Institute. The site bas cost several hundred thousand dollars. The building now being erected is ideal, and to serve as a model for all that schools should be from a pedagog's stand point. There are to be three departments—an academic school for pupils from the kindergarten thru the secondary period; a pedagogic school for the training of teachers, and a summer school open to all persons.

The institution is unique in the history of education. There is to be absolute freedom in the pursuit of ideals, and those who know Colonel Parker, expect great things. The problem before the faculty is simply what is best for the pupil. The educational world will hold its breath as it waits the coming morrow. The school opens next July, and an attractive preliminary announcement has just been issued.

But Chicago bas another school in the struggle for educational ideale, unhampered by many of the difficulties with which common schools labor. This is the University Elementary School, directed by Professor John Dewey of the University of Chicago. The school has now been in operation for three years, and is conducted upon the progressive principles of education for which Dr. Dewey stands. These principles are plainly and simply put forth in a little book recently issued by the Chicago University Press by Mr. Dewey, entitled "The School and Society,” which will receive an extended review in a later issue of this journal. The elementary school is a "pay" school, a necessary condition of its establishment, and it is found to cost $120 per pupil annually. We are just in receipt of the first copy of the Elementary School Record, representing the work of this school. Dr. Dewey proposes to issue a monthly series of such papers. The first (February) issue is a handsome magazine consisting of a discussion of the principles of education applied to drawing by Miss Cushman, with a report of all the work of the six and seven-year-old children. The March number will be devoted to music, with the work of eight-year-old children. Succeeding issues, appearing monthly (except during the summer vacation), will deal with Household Work-textiles, sewing and cooking; Geograraphy; Nature Study; Experimental Science; History; Constructive and Manual Work, etc. As to history, a course extending over eight years will be exhibited, setting forth not only the knowledge of facts and principles gained, but how it connects with work in geography, science, art, construction, etc., and is made a means of study of civics. The special and perhaps unique work of the school in organizing the study of cooking and textiles, so as not only to give proper technical sequence, but to relate organically with history, science, number work and art. and also to afford a social medium for the school life, will be fully reported upon, The possibilities of constructive and manual work will be set forth, telling what has been done from the first grade up, and how the work has been brought to bear upon other topics, instead of remaining an isolated study.

The report of the work of each grade, or group (given in each number), will be accompanied by a general statement by Mr. John Dewey, showing its adaptation, from the psychological side, to the stage in growth of interest and capacity reached by the child. These statements present the theory implied in the more detailed accounts of the practice which they accompany.

The Open Court Company has performed a service for English readers by placing before the public two important monograghs by eminent French psychologists, "The Psychology of Reasoning" by Alfred Binet and “The Evolution of General Ideas" by M. Ribot. Both of these books, but particularly the latter, have a most vital and clarifying significance for educa. tion. Unfortunately, however, since the writers are psychologists, and not pedagogs, the pedagogic applications are not made. The main theorem of Binet's book, too, is psychological in that he seeks to show that there is no difference in kind among all forms of thinking. The principle involved in perception is identical with that of reasoning. The forms of thinking are merely differentiations in degree and in branching of evolutionary development. However, incidentally, bis book presents many important psychological facts for the pedagog. All thinking, he shows, originates in sense images. All thinking which does not consciously involve images, at least, is growth from them and the path of development may be traced. Since so much of school work attempts to avoid the use of images, and is framed in language which does not readily call up images to the child mind, M. Binet's discussion will be found valuable. Images, of course, may be visual, auditory, motor, tactile, etc, according to the sense from which they proceed, and the author adheres to Charcot's recognition of more or less distinct types of thinkers corresponding to these. There are pupils, we may interpret him as saying, to whom words call up images of the printed form, others in whom the response is sound images, others who have motor tendencies to write. The futility of our methods which seek to teach spelling, for example, by the single oral method, or exclusively in written form, is manifest. In every school class, representatives of these types appear. Or, in Arithmetic, some pupils visualize the conditions of every example, without the objects; others weaker in this power, need objects. Some can work examples " in their heads" because they are "visuels," and can hold the picture of the process and the successive figures before them; others who are not visuels, cannot do so. Such studies show emphatically that pupils cannot be handled in classes, and that the principle of individual instruction must be observed. Another side light from the book is the immenge role which the sub-conscious plays in all forms of thinking. The difference between perception and reason perhaps may be defined that while in both there is established a relation, more or less abstract, between two objects, in perceptions this relation does not become conscious, while in reasoning it becomes distinctly con. scious. In the primary grades, we deal chiefly with perceptions, and a system of demanding the reason for thinking so and so, is a demand for this relation which is yet below the threshold of consciousness. The child in these years is drinking in facts as he finds them and the relations'or reasons belong to the subconscious. Yet we are ever demanding that the child shall pour out in words and in explanations all that his senses take in. These illustrations by do means cover the suggestions of the book, but they are a few of the suggestions.

M. Ribot's traces in interesting detail the transition in the child and the race from the use of sense images of particular experiences to the stage of abstract thinking, taking up for chapter diecussion, the general ideas of space, cause, time, etc. He shows very clearly that any new thing to be anderstood by primitive peoples or children will excite sense images. Particularly is this true of number ideas.

Dr. Francis Warner, thru the MacMillan Co., has issued a new book "The Nervous Syetem of the Child." Those familiar with Dr. Warner's previous books, will find little addition, but those upacquainted with Dr. Warner's standpoints, will find in it a mine of helpíul information concerning abnormalities due tɔ nervous derangement which every parent and school officer should know. The book is not technical and is written for popular reading. Dr. Warner has marked out a mass of nerve signs to indicate conditions of the nervous system beyond the power of sight. The various movements, fidgetings, incoördinate movements and a mass of similar "signs" are explained in a way that parents and teachers can understand.

The Germans are dietinctly a forefoot in advance of the Americans in school hygiene. Dr. Ladwig Kotelman of Hamburg has most successfully edited for a number of years a high class magazine under the forbidding title "Schulgesundheitspflege,” devoted to the problems of sebool bygiene, and a few years ago published a book entitled School Hygiene. It is a classic and authority on the subject in Germany and for German schools, but necessarily is based upon conditions peculiar to Germany. Dr. John A. Bergstrom and Edward Conradi bave translated the book and Bardeen has just published it. It is unquestionably the most comprehensive and authoritative book on the subject now in English, but it is to be regretted that Bergstrom and Conradi have not possessed the pedagogic acumen to adapt it to American readers. A large part of it of course is of value the world over, but the book would be greatly improved in the interest of the mass of readers, if the translators had not apparently been impressed with the belief that they were translating the Bible from which nothing must be added to or subtracted from. Americans do not want to be told, for example that “wet sponges or cloths are asually employed as erasere. The latter are cheaper; easier to clean, and do not have the offensive odor almost always attached to wet sponges. * * * Before using a new sponge, it should be freed from sand, pressed together and cut in two." However, the book gives a mass of valuable information. It tells how to get the best light into the schoolroom, the various methods of detecting impure air, all about the various methods of heating, the hygiene of school sessions, their length, of homework, examinations, etc.

Fatigue is discussed in one chapter, but the book is antiquated in this matter. The hygiene and diseases of the eye, ear and vocal organs, are treated at length. The translators append a weak bibliography of English and American books and papers on hygiene.

W. J. Stillman, an English writer discussing “Art as a Means of Expression " in the " International Monthly" for February vigorously contends that the root of art is not nature but decoration. He applies the Spencerian doctrine, now certainly well established that in the history of peoples, decoration appes red before dress as a utility. The appearance of nature as a model in the history of any people's art development marks the point of its decadence. Art to Mr. Stillman is a product of subjective mind, “an harmonic expression of human emotion," and when the artist turns to nature, bis attitude becomes intellectual, not emotional. Mr. Stillman's analysis is certainly a tenable one and has its lesson from pedagogy. Whatever, objective drawing in the schools may be, and certainly it has a legitimate place in a scientific way, it is not a root of art and should not be considered as such. The free, spontaneous drawings of children without objecte is much nearer the root of art, for they are more an expression of the cbild's life-his emotion. To draw from an object is a calisthenic exercise of the hand, a lesson in mathematical relations of form, or in mechanics, but it is not art. Mr. Stillman's view is in harmony with recent child-study which contends that the child's early drawing is an expression of whatever he thinks about and is not necessarily emotional. It is more an intellectual act, and belongs to writing and language rather than art.

The Map of Life. *

Pleasure is a jewel which will only retain its lustre when it is in a setting of work, and a vacant life is one of the worst of pains, tho the islands of leisure that stud a crowded, welloccupied life may be among the things to which we look back with the greatest delight.

It is probable that as the world goes on there will be a steadily increasing tendency to judge moral qualities and courses of conduct mainly by the degree in which they promote or diminish human happiness.

The amount of pure and almost spontaneous malevolence in the world is probably far greater than we at first imagine. In public life the workings of this side of human nature are at once disclosed and magnified, like the figures thrown by a magic lantern on a screen to a scale which it is impossible to overlook.

Man is like a card-player who receives from Nature his cards — his disposition, his circumstances, the strength or weakness of his will, of his mind and of his body. The game of life is one of blended chance and skill. The best player will be defeated if he has hopelessly bad cards, but in the long run the skill of the player will not fail to tell.

Life is a scene in which different kinds of interest not only blend but also modify and in some degree counterbalance one another, and it can only be carried on by constant compromises in which the lines of definition are seldom very clearly markod, and in which even the highest interest must not altogether absorb or override the others. We have to deal with good principles that cannot be pushed to their full logical results; with varying standards which cannot be brought under inflexible law.

*The following selections are from William Edward Hartpole Lecky's recent book, the Map of Life, Conduct and Character.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION. H. T. GAGE..

.... Governor, Sacramento

President of the Board. Thos. J. KIRK.....

Superintendent Public Instruction, Sacramento

Secretary of the Board. BENJAMIN IDE WHEELER..

... President University of California, Berkeley ELMER E. BROWN...

.... University of California, Berkeley Professor of the Theory and Practice of Education. JAS. MAcNAUGHTON.

.... President State Normal School, San Jose E, T. PIERCE..

.President State Normal School, Los Angeles C.C. VAN LIEW.

.President State Normal School, Chico SAN'L T. BLACK .

President State Normal School, San Diego FREDERIC BURK.

President State Normal School, San Francisco

Registration of Voters. On March 7th, the following question was submitted to Attorney-General Ford:

“Do you understand that the registration of voters in all counties of the State was canceled some time ago and that no elector can legally cast his vote unless he has registered anew since this general law went into effect? I have the question submitted to me from several sections of the State as to whether an elector may legally vote at a school bond election, a special tax election or upon the question of establishing a high school. Are all vuters, unless re-registered, practically disfranchised at this time?”

In his reply on March 16th, the Attorney-General declines to render an opinion in the following language: "Now, in the cases enumerated in your recent communication the legal questions there presented relate not to your office but to matters wholly within local districts where, under the law, a legal adviser has been provided, with the performance of whose duties I have no right to interfere.”

My opinion, however, in the absence of legal advice, is that re-registration is essential in order to entitle a voter to vote at any school election.

Pay of Teachers During the Session of Institute.

Teachers are entitled to pay for the time the Institute is in session, provided the Institute occurs during the time the school is or would be in session.

Adoption of Text-Books. Boards of Education may adopt books in such branches or subjects for which the State publishes no text-books. No advertisement is necessary for the adoption of library books.

THOS. J. KIRK Superintendent Public Instruction,

« AnteriorContinuar »