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ings were better than usual, and the Council discussions were at high water mark. The chief interest gathered around the papers and the discussion of the Parochial School question by Mr. Edwin D. Mead, of Boston, and Bishop Keene, President of the Catholic University at Washington. It is earnestly hoped that President Canfield will arrange for a less number of papers for next year, and give opportunity for a larger discussion.
HE appointment of Dr. William T. Harris as Commissioner of Education gives great satisfaction to the teachers, superintendents, and others specially interested in educational affairs throughout the country. Doctor Harris is in no sense a political partisan, but is eminent as teacher, superintendent, writer, and lecturer. His experience has admirably qualified him for the high position to which he is called. Perhaps no man in America has given more careful study, broader reading, or more profound thought to all departments of the history and philosophy of education and the great educational problems of the day than has Doctor Harris. He is an authority everywhere, and places himself in the van of educational progress on all occasions. Intellectually and philosophically he has grown, developed, broadened in a marked degree within the last five years. Every one who heard him at Nashville in the discussions in which he participated, the papers which he read, and the public lectures which he gave, was greatly impressed with the depth of his philosophy, the strength of his thought, and the reserved power which he had ready for every occasion.
Doctor Harris is the fourth officer at the head of this Bureau. His predecessors have been strong men. Dr. Henry Barnard organized the Bureau and set its enginery in motion. General Eaton developed, strengthened, and broadened its work during all the years of his administration. Colonel Dawson is a gentleman of ability, sound learning, an excellent character, faithful and conscientious. His only defect arises from the fact that he was not an educational man and not familiar with educational problems. Every one who has come to be acquainted with Colonel Dawson will regret his removal, but many educational men have regarded it as necessary that a professional educator should fill the office in order to build up its important work upon a solid basis of correct educational principles.
Doctor Harris will have with him from the start the active and cordial sympathies of the educators of all parts of our wide land. We congratulate the teachers and superintendents of the country on the accession to this high office of so excellent a type and representative
of the profession, and we extend to Doctor Harris the most cordial salutations and wish him the highest success in the honorable position to which our chief executive has called him.
HE crucial test of one of these great abstract schemes for abolishing the ills of humanity in general is found in its application to some familiar condition of society. Just now, the idle wits and unlimited social speculators of Boston are amusing themselves with what is called in a grand general way, Nationalism; and the New England author of a popular novel appears as the organizer of Nationalist clubs in various quarters. To plain people the outcome of this movement seems to be, that, after the American people have spent three hundred years in fighting themselves out of the grip of great centralized governments, now is the time to retreat from their enviable position of personal responsibility and independence, and remand the great practical interests of everyday living once more to a consolidated power. The ingenious faith that such power would not be used in the old-time way, for the enslavement of the masses in the interests of the few, is one of the marvels of the theory. The only protection against such oppression today, is the fact that neither our State, National, nor Municipal governments give this opportunity to honest officials; every public servant being every moment under fire of the grand army of sixty millions of AmeriBut who is to assure against the towering ambition of great leaders, with such a machine as the Nationalist programme offers to their hands? How long before the men and combinations against which the government now offers protection would be, themselves, the controlling powers in public affairs? But we fancy that, after spending five billions of dollars, putting a million men under ground, and wading through the debris of a revolution for twenty-five years, in order to secure enough of centralized power to prevent the states of the Union from "rushing madly from their spheres," the people of the United States are not just in the temper to enter upon the programme of the Nationalist brotherhood to deliver all things up at Washington and abdicate in behalf of supreme centralized power.
The literary gentlemen in charge of this reform appeal, with pathos, to the evils of the present social system as the excuse for this radical change in American affairs. But what is the historical sense that forgets to note the condition of the European peoples for a thousand years or even today, under this same ideal order? Does Mr. Bellamy really believe the evils that afflict the American people now are comparable to those under which the people of France and Germany, and all continental Europe groaned a century ago, until outraged human nature relieved itself in the mighty upheaval with which every European state
vibrates at the present hour? His argument is only the demand of our amiable old friend, the Pope, for "religious unity," on the ground of the evils of universal free-thinking. While human nature is unregenerate, "offences must come." The best modern state is full of defects, patent to the eye of any smart college valedictorian and nothing is easier than, by a clever mixing of things for which public and private responsibilities are divided, to make a startling impression. But the plain fact is that the vast majority of human ills can only be overcome by personal, individual improvement, for which the individual is largely responsible. The giving up of the drink habit, which is in the power of every working man, would save the laboring classes of Boston from ten to fifteen million dollars a year; a greater sum than any of the dozen devices for the improvement of the laboring classes could promise, to say nothing of the vast uplift of moral power thereby achieved. chronic vice of these wholesale reformers is the inveterate tendency to dodge the individual issue, the vital working point in every case. The fundamental question in every public reform is, not, what expedient promises immediate superficial relief from acknowledged evils, but what is the best system of general discipline, to develop, in all classes and conditions of men, the intelligence, virtue, and above all, persistent habit of reasonable self-control, without which all human arrangements gravitate to the rule of the strongest.
Just here, Mr. Bellamy comes in with a characteristic application of his general theory. The state of Massachusetts, after two hundred and fifty years experimenting, has achieved, probably, the highest result in history on the line of the education of the whole people. Not only by its excellent system of schools of every grade, but equally through the persistent operation of its great vital forces of training in every region. of life for responsible citizenship, it has made this little Commonwealth of two millions of people one of the notable states of the world. Mr. Bellamy now comes in with his slashing criticism that the school system is a failure. For while it is true that ninety per cent. of the youth of the state have offered to them a free schooling, including free textbooks, extending from the primary and district school through the high school and covering twelve years, yet only thirty thousand of them accept the offer after the age of fifteen, and the number in attendance dwindles steadily toward the upper grammar grades. This is an intolerable inequality, defeating the very object in view. Therefore, our philosopher proposes that the state shall relieve the parents of the 325,ooo children not in the high schools from the burden of their support, and, by a grand compulsory system, force the entire mass through every grade, to graduation day at seventeen. But what, meanwhile, becomes of these parents, from whom the most important educational discipline
of life, that of providing for their own households, is taken away? And what of these children, relieved from a discipline no less valuable than the schoolroom; - the necessity of caring for themselves, learning to work for the family, in the thousand and one ways by which every family of moderate means in the state must study industry, economy, mutual helpfulness, self-denial, family coöperation, through the whole period of youth? Could any advantage of school instruction, for a few years, compensate the state for the weakening of this, the most vital element of private success and public prosperity? Indeed, the one great compensation for the lack of wealth is just this necessity for acquiring the most important elements of character in God's great university, the Home. Now, the entire population of the state is secured in the opportunity of schooling till the age of fourteen; the parent contributing his full share, by relinquishing his claim on the child as a wage-worker. Then begins the real training school of the state: - the effort of the vast majority of its youth to better themselves by the “aid and comfort" of all those helps, social, religious, philanthropic and personal, which are nowhere so powerful as in Massachusetts. Surely, in this matter, the apostle of Nationalism, in the language of our downsouth friends, "don't talk sense."
LETTER TO THE EDITOR.
DEAR SIR: -I have read and re-read with great interest the article by Doctor Harris in the May and June numbers of EDUCATION,- The Psychology of Manual Training, as indeed, all thinking teachers must do when they take up anything bearing his signature.
It is quite evident that the writer approaches his subject with the intention of being thoroughly fair to both sides, and, in the main, he is
But there is one portion of this fine paper to which I must venture to take exception. After quoting the definition of the province of education as "The full and harmonious development of all our faculties," he objects to it on the ground that "Harmony implies a sort of balance"; "makes no discrimination among the faculties themselves "; so"that there is no faculty of the soul which may be developed supremely."
It seems to me that here is a mis-reading of “equal" for " harmonious" development. Harmony is not equality; nor does it presuppose equality. It is produced by the blending of countless varieties in tone and pitch, and emphasis of production. And above all, in harmony we learn to recognize a dominant and sub-dominant in each key, as well as the key-note.
What, indeed, would harmony be without the greater and the less? It would be like the painful practising of five-finger exercises by a little child.
No, we should indeed take "Divine Charity" as our key-note, and then higher and lower will fall naturally into their own places.
I do not think that the most rabid among the supporters of Manual Training would say that it was superior to Character-Training; or even, - when the pupils are fully prepared for it by their concrete work, to abstract Intellectual Training.
"Heaven is not reached at a single bound,
But we build the ladder by which we rise,
Manual Training is a poor term for the education and development of the faculties of the physical nature, lower if you will, but still necessary to the development of the higher. It is a sharpening and a preparation of tools to be used in the time to come in helping the spiritual nature to attain a higher spirituality.
Even those who deny the extreme doctrine that all knowledge comes through the senses," will not deny that the loss of any of our senses makes God's world just so much the narrower to us. No one will question the intellectual and spiritual loss in the deprivation of the senses of sight or hearing, and I honestly believe that even the smell of the dewy heather, or the grass, or the earth after rain, or the countless odors of flowers, is to many a reminder of the unseen but ever-near presence of Him who loved the flowers of the field.
I will go still further. The mother does not stand aloof and say to her little one, "I love you." The child is only ready for realities, and cannot as yet receive the abstract name, and so the mother presses him tenderly to her breast. I wonder how many of us would not trace back our first idea of the reality, love, to a gentle touch, if we could follow with perfect reconstructive memories, the successive stages of its growth from the concrete to the abstract. Of course, the concrete is not the reality; but it gives rise to the conception of it in the first instance. Therefore, we must educate the senses, our only means of appropriating the concrete as a mental food. All concrete incitements to thought are but the lower rounds of our ladder; but how shall we climb without them?
And I am decidedly heretical when asked by St. Paul to consider the beautiful workmanship of God a "vile body," unworthy of culture as such. The old heathens from whom St. Paul sometimes quoted were wiser, until they forgot that culture implies some degree of restraint, and not unbounded luxuriance of growth. To my mind, God made