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1866 1867 1868 1869 1870 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888
175.00 164.50 164.50 163.05 161.75 168.51 172.41 173.34 174.18 176.29 176.26 178,14 177.52 178.47 178.60 179.02 179.98 179.66 178.77 179.55 179.18 179.74 180.18
1,662 1,651 1,645 1,640 1,647 1,644 1,630 1,638 1,648 1,642 1,650 1,628 1,629 1,647 1,638 1,630 1,634 1,628 1,634 1,639 1,633 1,631 1,628
1,991 2,051 2,066 2,140 2,213 2,248 2,290 2,348 2,405 2,458 2,499 2,499 2,530 2,564 2,571 2,594 2,627 2,649 2,735 2,779 2,837 2,860 2,903
There has been a steady advance in the number of days schools are in session. The average for the State is now 180 days, or 9 months in the year. In many towns schools are open 10 months or 40 weeks and a majority of the children of the state can attend for this longer period. In too many districts there are but 120 days or 6 months in the school year and children can not and do not make steady progress.
The decrease in the number of districts is due to the fact that two towns have within the year organized under the union system and each is counted as one district instead of divided into several as heretofore. The number of schools in these towns is not less than before the adoption of this plan of management.
By schools is meant the number of public schools in each town, and by departments the number of rooms in each school, counting each room as one department.
The number of departments has increased, while the number of schools has diminished. If gathered in considerable numbers scholars can be classified and more efficiently taught and the expense for care of buildings and fuel diminished.
$1,434.00 $6.981.65$661.91 $9,077.56 $6,542.13 $1,379.80 $287.50 $867.98 $9,077.41642,637 2,695 27 95€ 39'24
* District Treasury.
The average cost for each scholar in attendance was $9.22.
A school of two or more departments where classification is attempted is called a graded school. These schools become more numerous each year.
The number of evening schools is the same as in 1884. On page 58 will be found a table containing the summary of the returns of these schools for the past year. They have not heretofore received State aid, nor reported to the Board. These schools should be established in all large towns. Many need them, and a growing number desire them.
There is evidence that some over 14 employed in various industries cannot read and write ; there are certainly many who can not read and write with facility and hence have no desire for healthy reading. The presence of an evening school suggests to all such and to their employers, the possibility of improvement. Such schools will always have pupils who need education and are anxious to obtain it because they realize their need.
NORMAL SCHOOL. In reports from 1884 to 1887 inclusive, your Secretary has devoted much space to the Normal School. This special recog. nition of the school has been prompted by a profound sense of its importance as a part of our common school system.
The school completed in May the thirty-fifth year of its existence as a school for the instruction of teachers in the art of instructing and governing the common schools of this State.” Its history has been most honorable, and what it has accomplished for its students, and through them for the children and schools of this State, has been in the past recognized and appreciated. Never were the demands for its graduates so urgent, and numerous, and never was the prospect for usefulness so bright.
The opening of the year last past, found the entering class very large one, probably the largest in the history of the school. It numbered 112. The number connected with the school—292—was the largest since 1856. The graduates of the year numbering 62, constituted the largest class that has ever been sent out. All of them are teaching, and thus in one year the school has supplied about one-sixth of all the beginners in the State.
It has taxed the facilities of the school and the energies of the teachers to their utmost, to meet this demand for the advantages which the school proffers.
This is the place for a full recognition of the faithful and energetic work of the instructors. No institution could be served with more devotion; they have not spared themselves, and there can be no doubt that they have added through the graduates to the sum of good teaching in this State.
As has been stated, there is a constantly increasing demand for teachers froin this school, and they teach with satisfaction to parents as well as with delight to children. This is an important gain, because it indicates that the training has not put them out of tune with the sentiment of intelligent people. It might be expected that persons specially trained for a particular work would have narrow notions and perhaps a period of overweening conceit and self-sufficiency. If this is true, it does not come to our knowledge, and if it exists, probably soon gives away, and the real effect of their instruction is apparent.
In some directions the facilities of the school have been enlarged to meet the calls upon it.
1. Workshop. A workshop fully equipped with benches, tools and power has been finished, and is now in daily use. It is not pretended that our students are necessarily introduced to what is known as manual training. This is not the primary object. The object is to enable students to furnish for themselves, at small expense, the apparatus which can be used for teaching elementary science in their future schools. This end is fully accomplished, and none go out without an equipment which is ample at the beginning of their work. They also possess the ability to enlarge and perfect this equipment if occasion demands. Teachers thus supplied are not dependant upon the parsimony or spasmodic liberality of unenlightened districts. They have the means of objective teaching no matter where they go. The construction of such apparatus is stimulating to teachers, and the possession of it carries interest and delight as well as useful knowledge to our common schools.
The scholars of the model schools are also here instructed in making such articles as will guide them to the use of tools.
There is not yet upon paper nor is it pretended that we possess a complete course of manual training, although we do as much, and go as far, and work with as much system as many of the so-called manual training schools. This work is still really experimental, and the results are carefully noted, but no one can yet say what place this work will occupy in a system of common schools. Other lines than carpentry are to be undertaken, and such suggestions as open-minded observation can contribute, will from time to time be made to this question. It is not yet proved, nor is there any considerable data to show that manual training in all common schools is feasible, nor if feasible, desirable. But the evidence that it is both desirable and feasible is constantly accumulating. It is believed that the mental training from this kind of work is not small, and results in good habits, viz: those of exactness and care, and the power to do something useful. This, if accomplished, would be no sinall result. It remains to be shown how this kind of training can be introduced into all schools, graded and ungraded, in city and country. This is the problem which is to be solved and to this our.careful and earnest attention is directed. It is believed that the first step is to train teachers who can give instruction in this line.
If the time given to some of the present studies can be shortened, and it is well understood that this is both possible and desirable, this side of education may be developed, and valuable service be rendered to the State. The graduates of the school are prepared whenever they are requested to undertake this kind of work, and to give instruction to children in the first steps of what is now called manual training.
2. Gymnasium.-A gymnasium has been finished and an instructor in physical training been employed. The end here is not to furnish amusement, nor to give an accomplishment, but,
1. That the graduates may have sound bodies, and so be able to teach school better. There is no more pitiable sight than a sick teacher, except a school under the charge of such a teacher. The relation of teacher to scholar implies,
1. That the children have confidence in the teacher, and, 2. That the teacher is worthy of confidence.