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the grammar school course, would prefer to take this training to entering the high school, and to these boys the opportunity should be given to enter a mano ual training school. Cooking and sewing must be considered on an entirely different basis, as they are general studies, suited alike to all girls, and can be introduced at an insignificant cost and without interfering with the regular grammar school work."
The popularity of a movement is not always a correct measure of its propriety or expediency. The pathway of educational progress is strewn with the ruins of “popular” schemes, plans, methods and devices. We can afford to move deliberately in the matter of manual training-including cooking and sewing-at public expense.
“MY BOYS DID RATHER BADLY." The London Schoolmaster records the suicide of a young assistant teacher at Station-road Board School, Highbury, under circumstances peculiarly touching and sad. His name was Francis Albert Silverlock, and his age twenty-three. He was seen to jump from the platform at the railway station and throw himself across the track in front of a passing train. On his mangled body were found two letters, one to his parents, the other to a young lady to whom he was engaged. They tell a pitiful tale, and are as follows:
“Dear Father and Mother, - Probably you have noticed lately that I have been thoughtful and worried. At the last examination my boys did rather badly, according to the Inspector, and I lost my parchment, and consequently a rise of £10. Further, to-day, I have received notice to leave. That means that I should have no chance of getting further employment, and I cannot bear the idea. Do not spend any money to waste on my coffin. All I have I leave to you, and I hope you will go on more fortunately now. There is a bank book for £31 in the top of my desk. It is, of course, for you. Mr. Hearn will give you the key. There is also about £5 due from the School Board, salary, which Mr Hearn will get for you, I hope. Please try to comfort Ida and all at home, and believe that I do not wish to cause you unnecessary grief. My conscience is pretty clear, and I hope my act will be forgiven, and I shall go where there are no dull stupid boys, and no Inspectors. I have always been happy at home, and think it very hard I have to quit it. You will, no doubt, hear soon of an accident at Highbury station. With love to all,
FRANK." "Dear Ida,- I was asked to resign to-day. Now that means absolute ruin, and I am not prepared for that, and I am afraid I shall do a rash act. After all the years of slavery I have done, it all ends iu being dismissed. What can I do? Without parchment, and with bad reports, how could I get employment anywhere ? Now, dear, we have spent many happy years together, and without
cross word; it must not, therefore, be too much of an upset for you when you hear what I have done. Forgive me for causing you misery in leaving you; but I could not drag you along in the world with me in poverty. You know how I have tried, and how I have failed. My conscience is pretty clear that I have lived a pretty good life, and if God will pardon the rash act I may get to heaven. I almost feel inclined to desist when I think of you; but I think after a little while you will think it better as it is. Keep what I have given you, and do not think harshly of my act.-Yours ever, though in the tomb,
FRANK.” The poor fellow preferred sudden death to the protracted agony resulting from "doing badly" on examination day. He preferred to take his chances in
the untried beyond to bearing poverty, humiliation and disgrace in a world where stupid boys and school inspectors abound.
The Schoolmaster makes this occurrence the occasion for a severe are raignment of the present administration of school affairs in Her Majesty's realm. It says these two letters found on young Silverlock's dead body "are the embodiment of sentiments and anxieties which are at the present hour only too familiar to thousands of the teachers of the United Kingdom. The work in which they are engaged is the curse, and not the blessing, of their lives. A time there was when the work of instruction in the common schools of the country was a source of daily gratification to the teacher and of happiness to the pupil. Is it so now? Ten thousand voices will answer as with one accord that it is not, and cannot be under the present conditions."
The prevalent system of "payment by results” is charged with a large share of the pains and miseries of the English teacher's life. The Schoolmaster challenges any half score of teachers in the British Isles who are in the toils of the system which professes to pay by results to say honestly that their work is pleasant-that from year's end to year's end they lead contented lives; and adds that the world that is staggered for a time by such a case as that of young Silverlock "knows little of the terrible prevalence of the misery which stops short of suicide, yet strains the energies and faculties of thousands who are silent sufferers."
We cannot doubt that the system of "payment by results” which prevails in Great Britain is a vicious one and ought to be speedily abolished; yet there must be some way of discovering and weeding out incompetent teachers. The suicide is evidence of the correctness of the inspector's verdict, rather than otherwise. Though tears of sympathy start at the reading of the two letters, the conviction forces itself upon the mind that the unfortunate young man had mistaken his calling. The force of character and self-poise necessary in the teacher would not bave meditated suicide, even in such trying circumstances. Any but a weak or diseased mind would have said, The world is wide. This avenue seems to be closed to me; I will turn into another path. There must be a place for me somewhere; I will find it.
Perhaps there is a lesson here for managers, supervisors and inspectors of schools. An obligation rests upon them to lay no unnecessary burden upon their teachers. The teacher's position is at best a trying one. The supervisor should never act the part of an unfriendly critic, but always that of friendly counsellor and helper; and when a verdict adverse to the teacher must come, it should come in the way least calculated to wound or give pain.
"THE OLD NORTHWEST.” The above is the title of a work by Dr. B. A. Hinsdale, of Michigan University, about to come from the press of Townsend MacCoun, New York. We are indebted to the publisher for proof sheets of the index and a large part of the text, and our appetite is whetted to a keen edge for a complete copy. It is a work of intense interest to Ohio people in this centennial year of our history, but its interest and value will not be confined to Ohio nor to the present year. It will undoubtedly rank as an important and permanent addition to the his. torical literature of this great country. In its conception it is altogether new no previous writer having covered the same ground. One cannot read many pages without being impressed with the magnitude of the undertaking. The vast amount of research, the skillful sifting of material, and the thoughtful study and interpretation of actions and events, involved in the preparation of such a work, cannot fail to impress the attentive reader.
One is also impressed with the importance of the Old Northwest and the large part it has had in the affairs of the nation and in giving tone and character to the national life. It has been in considerable measure a distinct historical unit, existing under a kind of secondary constitution, the Ordinance of 1787, and "has stood in very important relations to questions of great national and international importance." In considering these relations, Dr. Hinsdale has placed in very clear light some of the most important questions with which the writer of American history has to deal. Of this, the chapter on "Slavery in the Northwest” is a good illustration. The status of the slavery question a hundred years ago is thus stated :
"At the close of the Revolutionary War slavery existed in nearly all the States of the Union, but was far stronger in the South than in the North. In the one section the causes were already at work that ere long brought about its abolishment; in the other, the causes had not yet begun to operate that, in the end, practically united all the people in defence of slavery. In the sense of later controversies, the one section was not anti-slavery nor the other proslavery. The Northern States tended toward anti-slavery views, but not in the aggressive spirit of later times; the Southern States, toward pro-slavery views, but not with such unanimity as to preclude a great amount of strong and even fervid anti-slavery sentiment, and particularly in Virginia. The average opinion South and North was that slavery could not be violently uprooted; that it must be tolerated and protected for the time; but that it was an evil the peaceful death of which every real well-wisher of his country would be glad to busten. This was the opinion that declared itself in the slavery compromises of the constitution, and in the sixth article of compact of the Ordinance of the same year, which is also a compromise, as anyone must see the moment he looks at the two clauses of the article balanced on the word "provided.” The long and fierce contest over the extension of slavery, which did not begin until many years afterward, gave to that prohibition an importance which no one dreamed of according to it at the time of its enactment.
Many readers will be surprised to learn the extent to which slavery existed at one time in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and the persistence with which it was upheld by a part of the people. It was even proposed to nullify the prohibitory article in the Ordinance of 1787 and legalize slavery.
At a later stage of the slavery agitation, we have this concerning the state of sentiment in that part of Ohio known as the Connecticut, Western Reserve :
"As early as 1832, President Storrs and his assistants in the faculty of Western Reserve College were preaching and lecturing against slavery, at Hudson. Those sermons and lectures were the real beginning of anti-slavery propagandism in Northern Ohio. How much the anti-slavery men of the East counted upon Storrs' co-operation is shown by Whittier's pathetic elegy written on Storrs' too early death. Early in its history, the name of Oberlin became synonymous with Abolitionism throughout the country. Giddings upheld antislavery principles in congress when there was none but John Quincy Adams to support him. Full fifty years ago the Reserve had a more definite anti-slavery character than any other equal extent of territory in the United States."
Somewhat tersely, perhaps a little peculiarly, the educational and intellectual status of the same section, then and now, is set forth in the following paragraph:
"Men on whom the awful shadow of Yale and Harvard had fallen, began at Oberlin the first collegiate co education experiment tried in the world. Both at Oberlin and at Hudson the finality of the old educational rubrics was denied, and new studies were introduced into the curricula. The common school, the academy, the college, the church, the newspaper, the debating society, and the platform stimulated the mental and moral life of the people to the utmost. The Reserve came to have a character all its own. Men with "new ideas” hastened to it as to a seed-bed. Men with "retorms" and "causes" to advocate found a willing audience. Later years have brought new elements; but today the mail clerks on the Lake Shore Railroad are compelled to quicken their motions the moment they enter its borders from either east or west.”
The common reader as well as teachers and students of history may look forward to the appearance of this book a month hence with high expectations.
SCHOOL LEGISLATION. We had hoped to give in this issue a complete resume of legislation, affecting schools, school officers and teachers, at the past session, but we have been unable to secure the necessary data in time. An act was passed making the term of office of all school examiners coterminous with the school year, which ends August 31. The State Board may issue only life certificates, and these may be of three grades, according to the branches taught. All other boards may issue certificates for one, two, and three years, valid only from the day of the examination. Certificates renewable without examination, at the discretion of the board, may be granted to such applicants as, in addition to the necessary qualifications, have been engaged in teaching for three years next preceding the time of their application, eighteen (twelve ?) months of such experience being in one place. Four-year and ten-year terms are no longer used. All applicants must be examined in physiology and hygiene after January 1st, 1889.
In the trial of charges against teachers, examiners are empowered to compel the attendance of witnesses and examine them under oath.
Another act was passed requiring instruction in regard to the effects of alcoholic drinks and narcotics on the human system to be given in all common schools of the State, and in all educational institutions supported wholly or in part by money received from the State. This act is to take effect and be in force from and after the first day of January, 1890, and after this date teachers must hold certificates of qualifications to give this instruction.
Still another act was passed to expedite the collection and publication of school statistics.
The Central School Journal raises the question whether the public schools do not sometimes partake too much of the nature of reformatories. We are convinced that they do; and we agree with the Journal, that this is not the proper function of the school. We have undergone a change of mind on this subject. After nearly forty years of experience with bad boys, our conclusion is that there is, to say the least, a very large element of waste in such effort. Two or three bad boys in a school often destroy more good then they get. A depraved and vicious child should be removed from a school as unhesitatingly as a case of scarlet fever or diphtheria. Say nothing of the danger of moral contagion, there is no justice in taking the time and strength of the teacher, needed for the legitimate work of the school, and bestowing it where there is so little promise of return. Of course there is a middle ground. We speak of the depraved and vicious. Not every child that tries the teacher's patience should be excluded from school.
OHIO TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION.
Supt. I. M. Clemens, Ashtabula. Township Supervision...
..Hon. E. T. Tappan, Columbus. Discussion, opened by Hon. N. H. Albaugh, Tadmor. Training for Citizenship in Public Schools... Supt. R. W. Stevenson, Columbus. Discussion, opened by Supt. J. W. MacKinnon, London, and Supt. J. A. Shawan,
Mt. Vernon. The Examination and Promotion of Pupils.......... Supt. L. W. Day, Cleveland. Discussion, opened by Supt. F. Treudley, Youngstown, and Supt. H. N. Mertz, Steubenville.
EVENING SESSION. The Buckeye Centennial.........
........ Supt. J. J. Burns, Dayton. Discussion, opened by Prof. G. W. Knight, Columbus, and Prin. J. P. Cummins, Clifton.
GENERAL ASSOCIATION-WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27. Inaugural Address........
.Supt. Alston Ellis, Hamilton. The County Teachers' Institute.......
... Supt. D. R. Boyd. Van Wert. Discussion, opened by Supt. P. W. Search, Sidney, and Supt. J. C. Hartzler,
Miss Fannie C. McLain, Toledo. Discussion, opened by Mrs. D. L. Williams, Delaware, and Supt. J. F. Lukens, Lebanon.
EVENING Session-TEACHERS' READING CIRCLE.
THURSDAY, JUNE 28.
Study, Supt. Alston Ellis, Chairman, Hamilton. Defects in the Public Schools of Ohio... Supt. N. H. Chaney, Washington, C. H. Discussion, opened by Supt. M. E. Hard, Salem, and Supt. Hampton Bennett,
Franklin. Annual Address.......
.Dr. W. T. Harris, Concord, Mass. Miscellaneous Business, Reports of Committees, and Election of Officers.
The papers, with the exception of the inaugural addresses, the annual address, and the evening addresses, are to be limited to thirty minutes.
MARGARET W. SUTHERLAND, Sec. Ex. Com.