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After the appointment of assistant secretaries and treasurers, the President announced that he should not occupy the time of the Association with a formal address. He stated that those entrusted with the preparation of the programme of exercises had endeavored to bring topics of interest to all classes of teachers and school officers before the General Association, and to leave to the departments the consideration of those subjects which more specially interest those for whose benefit the departments were organized. Attention was called to five of the live educational questions of the day, included in the programme of the General Association, viz: How can education be made universal? How can the teachers of the country be best provided with the means of professional training? How can the qualifications of teachers be best determined ? How can the higher education of women be best provided for? How can the needed moral influence of public education be secured? To the consideration of these important questions he invited the attention of the Association. A letter just received from President WHITE, of Cornell University, stated that he would not be able to be present, but the topic of “ Co-education ” would, if possible, be presented by some other person. In conclusion, he thanked the Association for the honor of presiding over its deliberations.
The Association re-assembled at eight o'clock in the Lowell Institute. Rev. Dr. A. D. Mayo, of Cincinnati, gave a very able lecture on “Methods of Moral Instruction in Public Schools."
He said that we have fallen on the era of methods in public instruction, and we now approach the era of methods in moral culture. We must first rid ourselves of a huge drift of error in regard to the province of our public schools. Their purpose is to make neither profound scholars nor saints, but make good American citizens—such men and women as will preserve and ennoble the republic. The morality to be inculcated in these schools is that of the Christian religion. We can not teach a Chinese or heathen morality, nor can we teach the vague standards of materialism. Every method presupposes a living soul at the centre of operation, without which it is a mere machine, and hence the first condition in teaching morality is a teacher whose life is the embodiment of such moral v ity. No one is a fit teacher of children who does not maintain a high and positive Christian standard of mo als. The rage for intellectual culture is becoming the Moloch of American schools. The teaching of children is now almost entirely in the hands of young women, and their intellectual qualifications are subjected to constant scrutiny and supervision. They are compelled to run a gauntlet worse than their grandfathers who were captured by the Indians. Their moral fitness is vastly more important. The new methods of teaching open a a way for the most successful moral instruction, but they are powerless in the hands of a teacher who has no moral perception. The methods of object and oral instruction are still on trial. Unless we place in our school rooms a class of teachers filled with a high moral purpose, the children will be dragged down to common earth-worms. Our young women teachers, especially, need high moral ideas.
The common school is the place where the child should be taught the great lesson of morality in public life, for morality and patriotism are inseparable in a country like ours. Our teachers are too often so highly wrought in æsthetic and literary culture that they go into our schools with an utter ignorance and almost utter contempt for our American life; very charming, no doubt, as ornaments of wealthy homes, but utterly unfit to mould our boys into well-rounded American citizens. The Bible is the great text-book of morality, and no American citizen has a right to object to its use in the public schools as a means of moral instruction. The imperative need of our schools to-day is some method of common sense moral supervision. There are dangers connected wite the co. education of the sexes in common schools that cannot be overlooked, and there is imperative need of increasing vigilance. He urged the adoption of some plan that would give our schools the benefit of the moral supervision of Christian women. In the hands of his hearers he would leave the care of this tree of knowledge, whose leaves should be for the healing of the nation.
The discussion was opened by Dr. J. M. GREGORY, of the Illinois Industrial University
He said that Dr. Mayo had exhausted the subject, and he could only retouch the picture. Our schools are designed not only to educate the children intellec. tually, but morally, and the expenditure for their support can not be justified if we take away that which causes the children to grow up into good citizens. We cannot send a child's intellect to school and keep his moral nature at home. The highest intellectual culture cannot be attained unless there is a moral nature which will furnish the necessary incentives. The safety of the republic and of humanity itself depends upon moral instruction in our public schools. The grand purpose of the teacher is to form character.
Hon. JOSEPH WAITE, Secretary of the Board of Education of Massachusetts, followed.
He said that Dr. Mayo has given us to-night the truth in eloquent words and in a more eloquent spirit. With such sentiments inspiring our teachers, the republic is safe. Three years since a great audience applauded the sentiment, “The school for intellectual education, and the church for moral education"-a heresy whose adoption would be fatal to the public school system. His creed was a brief one, and not of his own originating, but derived from the words of one of the best friends of education, now gone to his final rest, JOSIAH QUINCY, who said, “There can be no freedom without morality, no morality without religion, and no religion without the Bible”-and so give us and our children the Bible.
The Association convened Wednesday morning, at nine o'clock, in the hall of the Girls' High School. Prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. WALLACE, President of Monmouth College, Ill.
After the appointment of committees on places for teachers and resolutions and the transaction of other business, the President called upon Dr. J. W. HOYT, of Wisconsin, chairman of the permanent committee on “The National University,” to make a brief report of progress.
Dr. Hoyt stated that the idea of founding a national university had been in the minds of many of the leading statesmen and educators of the country for many years, and gave the history of the action of the National Education Association on the subject. With a view of bringing the subject in a practical form before the country, the committee appointed at St. Louis prepared a bill, which was submitted to many persons for criticism and suggestion. The bill was then carefully revised, and on the 28th of May last it was introduced in both houses of Congress by the committees on Education and Labor. Dr. Hoyt explained, at considerable length, the provisions of the bill, which, he thought, guarded the institution against all political, partisan or sectarian management. He stated that the bill had been favorably received in Congress, and that it had been approved by nearly all of the higher institutions of the country. The prospects of its early passage were encouraging.
Prof. Wm. F. PHELPS, Principal of the First State Normal School of Minnesota, read a paper on “The System of Normal Training Schools best Adapted to the Wants of Our People.” .
He presented at length the necessity of the normal training of teachers, and traced the history of the establishment and growth of normal schools in this country, from the opening of the first at Lexington, Mass., in July, 1859, to the present time. He paid high compliments to Father PIERCE, HORACE MANN and NICHOLAS TILLINGHAST, and other pioneers in the normal cause. In conclusion, he touched briefly upon the specific subject which he was expected to present, recommending that every university or college should have a professor of teaching, that every State should support one or more normal schools of a high grade, an elementary normal school in each county, and a system of normal teachers' institutes.
After a few songs by the Jubilee Singers, from Fisk University, Tenn., Who were warmly applauded, Prof. D. B. HAGAR, of Salem, Mass., opened the discus ssion of the paper. He stated that the normal schools of Massachusetts embrace
a course designed to prepare teachers for high schools, and also one to prepare teachers for lower schools. He was not in favor of establishing normal schools of a lower grade, but believed strongly in the value of teachers' institutes.
President N. P. LUPTON, of the University of Alabama, said that a normal department has been organized in that institution, and briefly described the course of instruction.
Hon John EATON, Jr., National Commissioner of Education, read an interest ing and able paper on “The Educational Lessons of Statistics." These lessons were drawn from the early records, but chiefly from the census of 1870. We can make no abstract that will do justice to this paper.
Hon. B. G. NORTHROP, Secretary of the State Board of Education of Connecticut, stated that the statistics of illiteracy in this country were distorted and improperly used. No less a man than HEPWORTH Dixon, of England, had pointed him to these statistics as proof of the failure of the school system in the United States. He ied that in the Northern States, at least, this illiteracy was imported illiteracy, and largely from the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
The Association met in the evening at the Lowell Institute. Hon. J. P. WICKERSHAM, of Pennsylvania, chairman of the committee on Nominations, reported the following officers : President--B. G. Northrop, Connecticut.
Vice Presidents-Newton Bateman, Illinois ; George P. Beard, Missouri; Abner J. Phipps, Massachusetts ; Edward Brooks, Pennsylvania; James H. Binford, Virginia; John Swett, California; N. T. Lupton, Alabama; A. P. Stone, Maine; N. A. Calkins, New York; Miss D. A. Lathrop, Ohio; W. N. Hailman, Kentucky; N. P. Gates, Arkansas.
Secretary-S. H. White, Illinois.
Counselors-E. E. White, Ohio, and John Eaton, Jr., at large; Warren Johnson, Maine; Judah Dana, Vermont; D. Crosby, New Hampshire; E. A. Hubbard, Massachusetts; J. C. Greenough, Rhode Island; Mrs. M. A. Stone, Connecticut; J. H. Hoose, New York; Charles H. Verrill, Pennsylvania ; M. A. Newell, Mary. land; J. O. Wilson, District of Columbia; A. E. Dolbear, West Virginia; M. Webster, Virginia; H. B. Blake, North Carolina; W. H. Baker, Georgia; Joseph Hodgson, Alabama; Miss H. E. Hasslock, Tennessee; W. T. Harris, Missouri; Mrs. A. S. Kissell, Iowa; Miss E. D. Copley, Kansas; Geo. Howland, Illinois; C. R. Stuntz, Ohio; J. Newby, Indiana; E. Olney, Michigan; J. W. Hoyt, Wisconsin;
H. B. Wilson, Minnesota.
Hon. NEWTON BATEMAN, State Superintendent of Public Instruction of Illi. nois, read an able and elaborate paper on“ Compulsory School Attendance.”
He said that were compulsory attendance to be made a matter of legislation, he should have his bill entitled "An act to secure the educational rights of children,” rather than "An act to compel the attendance of children at school." He proceeded to treat his theme uuder two heads, offering two reasons for such legislation, viz., because it is within the legitimate province of a republican government; and because it is necessary and expedient. He showed by numerous arguments and examples that the principle of compulsion is the basis of all laws as well as of government itself. Compulsion is the bed-rock upon which every human government rests down. Bayonets and Bomb-shells are the final adjudicators. Without this investiture of force, and the right to appeal to it in emergencies, every organized government would go to pieces. In every case in the last resort it meets the culprit with clenched fist and not with moral precept. In the matter in question, the compulsion of attendance would be infinitely less re. pugnant than countless laws which have been swallowed and digested. He concluded by showing that the measure he advocated was not only just, but expedient, and argued its necessity in strong and unmistakable language.
The hour being late when Mr. BATEMAN closed, there was no further discusmion of the subject.
Thursday morning's session was opened with prayer by Rev. DAVID CROSBY, of Nashua, N. H. A communication was read from the German American Teachers' Association, requesting permission to co-operate with the National Educational Association, and offering to present the plans and methods of some German educators at the next annual meeting. The communication was referred to the Board of Directors, and the delegates from the German Association present were invited to participate in the proceedings.
Hon. Joun SWETT, Deputy Superintendent of the Schools of San Francisco, Cal., read a spicy and suggestive paper on “The Examination of Teachers.”'
He took strong grounds against the New England system of examining and employing teachers as vexatious and useless, and gave an amusing account of his early experience as a teacher both in New England and California. He was happy to say that this ill-advised system had been abolished in California, and that the office of teacher had risen to the dignity of a profession. The remedy for the evils of the New England system was the organization of State and County Boards of Examiners, composed exclusively of professional teachers; the issuing of a graded series of certificates from life certificates down to limited certificates for temporary teachers; the adoption of written examinations, the percentages to be indorsed on the certificates; a legal recognition by each State of the professional certificates given on actual examinations by legal boards in every other State, and of the normal school diplomas issued in other States; and à combined effort to lengthen the terms of school officers.
The paper elicited a spirited and interesting discussion, which was partici. pated in by Prof. S. S. GREENĖ and Prof. M. LYONS, of Rhode Island; Secretary NORTHROP, of Connecticut; Dr. LEVISON, of New York; Dr. F. TAYLOR, of Pennsylvania; Supt. ABERNETHY, of Iowa; JOHN HANCOCK, of Ohio; Prof. STEVENS, of West Virginia; Pres't. CHADBOURNE, of Williams College, Mass.; Mr. A. BRONSON ALCOTT, of Massachusetts; Mr. J. DANA, of Vermont; and Supt. WICKERSHAM, of Pennsylvania.
On motion of Mr. BEARD, of Missouri, the subject was referred to a committee, with Hon. John SWETT as chairman, to report at the next meeting. Hon. J. L. PICKARD, of Illinois, and Hon. JOSEPH WHITE, of Massachusetts, were appointed the other members of the committee.
The following resolution, offered by W. E. CROSBY, of Iowa, was referred to the above committee:
Resolved, That this association give its influence to the securing of a common recognition throughout the Union of normal school diplomas and State certifi. cates, as evidences of qualifications actually possessed by higher classes of teachers, principals, superintendents of the States, counties and cities; provided that an equal and impartial basis of training and scholarship can be generally adopted.
Mr. WALTER SMITH, State Director of Art Education in Massachusetts, read an excellent paper on “Drawing in Public Schools.”
He advocated the teaching of drawing as a relief to the mental faculties of children, often over-strained by the ordinary school routine, and to this end, the first lessons should exercise the eyes and fingers in a manner least likely to tax the mind. What is needed is a system of drawing, simple enough to be taught by all teachers and learned by all pupils. Drawing should be taught by the regular teachers, for the employment of a special teacher of drawing caused
the pupils to believe that it was a very difficult study. Many children, not skillful in drawing lines, are very quick in drawing conclusions. The first lessons in drawing should be each a stepping-stone to the next. In primary and grammar schools, drawing should be taught
as a language, the speech of the eye, while in the high schools it may be taught as an art. A course of instruction for the different grades of pupils was sketched, and printed outlines were distributed. Mr. SMITH believed that art education could be made more successful in this country than in any other. The paper was very acceptable to the audience, and was frequently applauded.
Mr. NORTHROP, of Connecticut, congratulated Massachusetts on being the first state to adopt by legislation a system of art education for the public schools.
At 492 o'clock, Thursday afternoon, the General Association convened for the closing exercises. The President introduced Mr. MORI, the Japanese minister to this country, who was received with hearty applause.
Mr. MORI said that he was happy to say a few words respecting the educational movement in Japan. All had heard of the social and political revolution in that country. Until recently education was considered of little importance except for the officials. A bureau of education has been established and several foreign teachers, mostly Americans, have been employed. The language of Japan was too poor-too short-to use for higher steps. Five or six hundred persons have been sent abroad to study, and some have returned with the belief that without education at home their civilization can not be improved. This not being fully appreciated, the embassy recently here was sent out. It was very difficult to send these high officials abroad, and during their absence very little is doing in Japan. The schools of that country are mainly for the high officials, but the members of the embassy were convinced of the necessity of education for all, both male and female. The commissioner of education, a member of the embassy, had told the speaker that he had become convinced of the necessity of teaching the English language. The mayor of Yeddo, now in Boston, told ñim he was very anxious to have the million of people in his city lifted up as much as possible; that the teaching of English is a step toward it. His belief was, that education must be undertaken first in preference to railroads and other accompaniments of an advanced civilization. Many schools for both sexes have been established in Japan, but owing to the want of teachers they were unable to do as much as they would like to do. They are obliged to take the foreigners residing there, tradesmen, and even sailors, and they do not make a good impression on the Japanese. He had advised the establishment of a good number of normal schools to train teachers. He hoped to receive suggestions in the matter from prominent educators in this country. If Japan fails in this, all Asia will lose, as Japan is the gate to Asia. He predicted that when public schools are generally established in Japan, the English language will become the prevailing language of the country, and the native language would in time only be preserved as a curiosity.
The President thanked Mr. MORI for the honor conferred on the Association by his presence, and assured him of the deep interest felt by the educators of this country in the great educational movement in Japan.
WILLIAM GASTON, the Mayor of Boston, Rev. R. C. WATERSON, D.D., Dr. FRANCIS H. UNDERWOOD, A. BRONSON ALCOTT, HENRY BARNARD, Mr. MORI, the Japanese Minister, and EDWARD SHIPPEN, of Philadelphia, were chosen honor. orary members.
Resolutions were adopted approving of the bill now pending in Congress, for the appropriation of the proceeds of the sales of public lands to educational purposes; congratulating the country on the great usefulness of the National Bureau of Education, and recommending to Congress the furnishing of increased facili. ties for the publication of circulars of information and the issue of a much larger edition of the annual reports for distribution among the teachers and school of. ficers of the country; recommending to boards of education and teachers the adoption of measures looking to the introduction of art instruction into all schools; recommending the introduction of instruction in the elements of physical science; and urging the establishment of normal schools, teachers' institutes and other instrumentalities for the special preparation of teachers. The usual complimentary resolutions were also passed.
The President made a brief closing address, and then introduced Hon. B. G. NORTHROP, the President elect, who accepted the position in a few well-chosen words. He announced that the next meeting of the Association would be held in Elmira, N. Y. After singing the doxology, the Association adjourned.