Then there should follow on the part of teachers and school officers, a
proper recognition of the pupil's advancement. Gradation necessarily
carries with it the idea of completion. Hence if a school be well graded,
there must be a time for completing the work of each grade, and conse-
quently a time for completing the entire course. When children in the
country have done this they are as much entitled to an honorable recogni-
tion of their attainments as are those in the city. To deny them this is
to withhold from them a most powerful and healthy stimulus to exertion.
Careful examination, followed by appropriate graduating exercises, should
be the crowning feature of each year's work in country as well as in city
' schools. Country school graduation is no longer an experiment. It h*as
been tried and has the indorsement of many in high places. Some of our
State Superintendents are urging it, and it will sooner or later become a
feature of every school system.
564 THE NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION.
The condition of much of our school property suggests the last topic of
my paper, the importance of well-kept schoolhouses and grounds. Many
do not appreciate, perhaps some do not know, the value of this as an edu-
cational influence. If school boards, or those having the authority, would
lighten the burden of teaching one-half, let them make everything about
the school beautiful and attractive. This will have an elevating and
refining influence, and there will be little need of any other discipline ;
then the teacher can devote more time to teaching and less to government.
Children, as ,a rule, have many teachers. Everything they see or hear
makes its impression and goes to form character. If, therefore, we would
have them form correct tastes and habits, we cannot be too careful of
Our country schools are particularly in need of better kept schoolhouses
and grounds. It is not necessary that we expend a great deal of money,
for it is not the ezpensiveness, but the neatness and good order that makes
the valuable impression on the child's mind. Neither should we wait
until we have new houses, but should begin at once to embellish the old.
The ordinary house, cheap though it be, may be suitably adorned. Its
surroundings may be made orderly and attractive, and the pupils may
thereby be made careful, obedient, and attentive. Children cannot all
have beautiful homes. A beautiful home, either in city or country, must
necessarily be expensive. But there is no community that cannot afford
a beautiful sAool. If there is no better way to provide it, let the people
begin by spending one or two days in each year in planting trees and
shrubbery, in making walks, in painting, in doing anything and everything
that will make the place beautiful. When this is done the school will no
longer engender the rude and repulsive in the child.
It is n» uncommon thing to find our State-houses, court>houses, and jails
ornate and expensive ; yet the school, the place that should be the center
of all that is elevating and refining, is left in disorder and neglect. If I
had it in my power I should make the country school the most beantiful
place in every neighborhood. It should no longer be a prison, but a pal-
ace — fit place for the development of mind.
VIIL— SUMMARY : AIMS, LIMITATIONS, SUBJECT-MATTER,
BY LEROY D. BROWN, OF OHIO.
Id the brief time assigned for this discussion, it will not be possible to
present a complete and logical consideration of the aims, the limitations^
the subject-matter, the methods, and the results of common school educa-
tion. But fortunately the wide scope and the excellent quality of the
papers already presented make such a consideration unnecessary. This
summary will therefore contain only a compact statement of the positions
taken, or established in the papers, with such additional presentation of
facts and principles as may be deemed essential to a comprehensiye view
of the topics under consideration.
Professor Bartholomew has, in his very clear and admirable historical
sketch, made us familiar with the bases, the purposes, and the relative
values of educational systems in many countries of ancient, medisBval,
and modern times. He has demonstrated that the best system of educa-
tion for one country is not necessarily the best system %r all other
countries, and that the ideally best system of education for any country
must be the result of evolution under the conditions of free government.
He has clearly shown that the purpose of the American common school is
to aid the family and the State in the preparation of all the youth for
citizenship. He has confirmed us in the opinion that the unsymmetrical
development of the child's powers produces results alike disastrous to the
individual and the community. He believes that common schools origi-
nated with Christianity and that the prosperity of the American Eepublic
depends greatly upon these schools. Professor Bartholomew's paper thus
forms a fitting introduction to the discussions to follow.
Miss Warr properly attached great importance to the external necessi-
ties of the common school system. She showed the great need of an
ample and secure financial basis for the support of common schools, and
put in a strong plea for the best schoolhouses.
Miss Rounds, like Pestalozzi and Froebel, has called our attention to
the fundamental truths and the common errors in teaching. This she has
done in language so well chosen as to make her paper a most valuable
contribution to the literature of our profession.
Superintendent James found no use for teacher or school until the child
5 THE NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION.
has arrived at the age of four years. The kindergarten be recommeDded
for children between foar and six. This was to be followed by elementary
and the high school. In elementary schools the methods of the kinder-
garten were to be observed in teaching the youngest pupils, and in the
high school industrial training was recommended. In all elementary
instruction, language teaching was of the greatest importance, and the
only safe limit to the extent of the common school curriculum was the
financial ability of the community.
Miss Phillips continued the discussion on " A Course of Study." She
found experience to be the main source of guidance toward the truth, but
she strongly insisted upon the study of psychology by all who woald
teach. Subjects should be presented to the child in the order of his
development and all instruction should be adapted to the individual.
In presenting the subject of Country Schools, Superintendent MacPher-
son called attention to four necessary expedients, the first relating to the
scope of the course of study, the second, to the pursuit of this course in
a systematic manner, the third, to uniform work, and the fourth, to means
by which pupils may be induced to complete the curriculum. The mas-
terly treatment of his topic places this department under obligations to
Superintendent Felts continued the discussion and showed that the
" Indiana idea " of county supervision is uniformly successful throaghout
And now, Mr. President, having consumed my time in thus imperfectly
presenting a summary of this well planned symposiac system, I shall
leave for those who are to continue the discussion the treatment of the
questions yet untouched. This I do with the hope that at the conclusion
of these July festivities, " good digestion may wait on appetite, and
health on both."
BY MISS IDA JOE BROOKS, OF ARKANSAS.
The first paper being an historical sketch, admits of no independence
The height of the school building is a question which should receive
the attention of teachers and school officers. Much injury is done grow-
ing children by the neglect of this matter. Great attention should be
given to the size and shape of the schoolroom and to the lighting of the
room. I cannot agree with the lady in her dislike to public exhibitions
of the schools. The desire to win the approbation of relatives and
friends is a powerful incentive to exertion. Could we induce the parents
to visit the schools frequently we might dispense with the public enter-
tainments, — otherwise, we cannot. Perhaps the most important con-
sideration in the constitution of the board of directors is that politics
should be entirely overlooked.
If the manual training school be carried on during the vacation months
we give it cordial welcome into the public school system, but we cannot
consent to weaken the course or lower the standard in order to include
this outside work.
During the reading of the fourth paper, we listened in vain for the
magic word Geometry, Plato was once asked, " What does God do in his
leisure moments ?" He replied at once, " He geometrizes." Certainly
nothing soars so high as pure geometry, and nothing is so practical as
applied geometry. I venture to assert that better discipline and more
practical results will be obtained from the study of practical geometry in
the years between ten and fourteen in any child's life than can be obtained
from^the same time spent in the study of Arithmetic.
One of -the errors of the time is the effort that is being made toward
speedy fruition. The processes of nature are slow. Some one has aptly
said, " It takes time to make a man." A child has a natural craving for
knowledge, but should not be left without proper guidance in its reading.
Who can estimate the benefit to those children who havp pursued through
this period of penetrative imagination a course of rea«^ing selected by
their teachers and supervised by their parents ? Does tl» lady intend to
convey the idea that faith begins where reason ends? T«» be sure faith
goes beyond reason. The Givat T ^ju'.her sni 1 — " Take my ynI;o upon y< u."
558 THE NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION.
But faith is as surely an attribute of the human mind as is imagination.
" In this mocking world too soon the doubting fiend overtakes our youth."
The inquiring youth is safe, the youthful doubter is in danger. I heartily
endorse the sentiment in regard to the broad missionary field. A wealthy
and remarkably successful business woman assured me not long since, that
the cause of the recent troubles with the strikes was the " education of
the masses." To judge from some recitations we would be apt to agree
with the writer who says that words were given us to conceal our
thoughts, rather than accept the statement quoted that " speech created
The expedients for the improvement of the country schools are good.
The theory is excellent, but when we seek to apply it to all country
schools in all states we find many difficulties. The writer assumes that
the condition and needs of country schools are the same and are known to
all teachers. Even the matter of uniformity of textbooks is one which
must be settled by the purse of the father oftener than by the wishes of
the teacher. Any teacher may prepare an interesting program for the
close of school, and perhaps succeed in interesting the pai*ents in their
children. How easy it would be to teach school did we receive the chil-
dren with minds and souls like unwritten sheets of paper, upon which we
could inscribe only the true and beautiful. But how perplexing the task
when they come to us a bundle of nerves, eccentricities, and hereditary
traits. We must do our best, remembering that the faithful are the suc-
cessful and that the reward is assured to those who endure to the end.
BY T. O. HUTCHINSON, OF OREGON.
Children ought to be encouraged to take a great deal of exercise, when
young, to develop their bodies. If girls would take more exercise while
little children, there would be fewer to complain, when grown to woman-
hood, of being physically unable to climb the stairs into our tall school-
Let the girls romp ! Do not be afraid that they may be thought rude.
Better be thought rude than to lack proper physical development. Exer-
cise develops the bodies as study develops the minds. It will not do to
go to extremes, however, and I believe with the lady who preceded me,
that our schoolhouses ought not to be so constructed as to compel any
child to over-exert herself. A little girl of delicate organization should
not be compelled to do more than her fragile body can bear. Neither
ought ironclad rules be made and strictly enforced without regard to
the powers and ability of the pupil. This last remark is not only
applicable to the matter of taking exercise, but in other things also. For
instance : — A gentleman in this place told me, a day or two ago, that his
A SURVEY OF COMMON SCHOOL EDUCATION. 559
little girl's eyes had been injured by sickness, and she, being timid, did
not inform her teacher of her defect, but in her reading class held her
book, according to regulations, fifteen inches from the eye, where she
could not see a letter. To do this she was obliged to commit her lesson
to memory and actually recite it, instead of reading it. Her father hear-
ing her repeating her reading lessons to her aunt, questioned her and
found out the hardship she was compelled to undergo, and wrote to her
teacher requesting a change to be made in her favor.
I once heard of a woman, who, to harden her babies, used to dip them
into ice water. The result was the death of two or three of them. But
while we should be careful not to overdo matters, we ought to require
our pupils to take enough of rugged exercise to secure that happy balance
of physical and mental development, so necessary to a complete education.
Department of Music.
Department of Music.
ToPEKA, Kansas, July 13, 1886.
Minutes of Department of Music, N. E. A.
Meeting called to order. Vice President Westcott of Chicago, Illinois,
in the chair.
On motion, Mr. Herbert Griggs of Denver, Colorado, was elected Secre-
tary pro tern,
Mr. Holt called to the chair during the reading of paper by Vice Presi-
dent Westcott, on Music in the Public High School. Subject opened for
Mr. N. Coe Stewart, Cleveland : It is assumed that High School pupils
are beginners. They are not. There comes a time when a point should
be left, even if not conquered. Absolute pitch controversy should be
done away with. We are coming to a time when the regular teacher shall
be competent to teach music.
> jMr. Aaron Gove, Superintendent, Denver, Colorado : We want to know
more how to manage the music in the High School when music plans have
been often changed. When pupils come in from lower grades and when
they come from other schools.
Mr. Seward, N. J.: The only way out of the problem is to take the
" tonic sol-fa " system. Music has two sides, art and language, also two
sides from another aspect, instrumental and vocal. Eight keys for the
instrumental and but one for the vocal. The " tonic sol-fa " is more a
philosophical than a mere child's system.
Mr. Holt, Boston, Massachusetts : All teachers know that the easiest
place to teach music is in the primary grade, the most difficult in the
high school. Music in the schools must be a growth. The trouble is,
the high school pupils have not had the proper training from the bottom
up. They must think the sound before they see the representation.
Pupils at present find themselves in the high schools without prepara-
tion or ability to sing music that is appropriate for the grade.
Paper : What the average teacher can do in musical instruction, by Sara
L. Dunning, Malone, New York.
Subject opened for discussion.
564 THE NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION.
Mr. Collins : Pupils fail because they have not daily practice and in-
telligent teachers. If pupils were kept within their register, they would
always sing. Teachers must co-operate heartily with principal.
Mr. N. Coe Stewart : The hope of the country in music is in the aver-
Mr. Prague, Racine, Wisconsin ; Our city has produced no results.
Have been singing by rote.
On motion. Appointment of committees postponed until the following
day. Programme for Friday will be carried out Thursday.
ToPEKA, Kansas, July 14, 1886.
Vice President Westcott in the chair.
Paper: What Music Instruction in Public Schools should be, by N". Coe
Subject opened for discussion.
On motion, discussion of papers postponed until the reading of the
following papers :
A New Notation or Better Teaching,— Which ? by H. E. Holt,
Tonic Sol-Fa Notation as a Factor in Musical Education, by T. F.
Seward, New Jersey.
Subjects opened for discussion.
On motion, Mr. Seward made a presentation of the tonic sol-fa system. *
Vice President Westcott appoints a committee on nominations, consist-
ing of Mr. Holt, Mr. Seward, and Mr. Collins. At the request of Vice
President, Mr. Howard, of Boston, addressed the meeting. He urged the
importance of a broader effort on the part of the teachers. We are apt to
think more. of the system than of the results. True music education
takes hold of the heart, mind, and soul. Knowledge of harmony is what
the teacher most needs.
Mr. Collins (speaking of representation before the sound) : You can
present to the eye what you cannot to the ear. Impressions made on the
eye can have an effect on the mind that it can never have if made on the
. Mr. Seward : After presenting an outline of the " tonic sol-fa " system
said, I cliallenge the production of any one that has tried teaching the
*• tonic sol-fa '' system faithfully and has given it up.
Miss Sara L. Dunning promptly accepts the above challenge and gives
the names and places of several teachers.
DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC. 565
Mr. Butler : If I have been successful in teaching music, it is because
I have learned to teach other things first. T find some good points in all
Mr. Sprague, Wisconsin : We have lost time in arguing about systems.
I ask for the record of results.
Mr. Seward declines to act on committee of nominations. Mr. Sprague
Mrs. Lang : After three years' trial of the " tonic sol-fa " the singing
is natural, the progress has been rapid, and the reading at sight good.
This is due to the simplicity of the system.
Mr. Day, Cleveland : Teachers at first claimed that they could not
teach singing, and did not like to try. This is now all changed, the
teachers are having good success.
Mr. Griggs, Denver, Colorado : We have been using Mr. Holt's system
in our schools, so far, with very good results. Teachers who at first were
backward about teaching are now perfectly willing and even pleased that
they are asked to teach music.
Mr. Guttery, Lansing: Have done away with a regular professional
teacher, and we are now doing well with a director. We are using Mr.
Mr. Sli, Topeka: The pupils of Topeka are doing well, can sing at
sight readily. We are using my own method.
On motion, committee on nominations will report at a called meeting on
the following day.
Herbert Gbiggs, Denver, Colorado.
Secretary, pro tern,
Topeka, Kansas, July 16, 1886.
The Department of Music of the National Educational Association con-
vened at the Congregational church, this P. M. Vice President, 0. S.
Westcott in the chair. In the absence of the Secretary, Professor H. E.
Holt, of Boston, was appointed Secretary ^ro tern. The following report
of the committee on nomination of officers was presented by the commit-
For President, — 0. S. Westcott, Chicago.
For Vice Presidents, — N. Coe Stewart, Cleveland, Ohio, Herbert L.
Griggs, Denver, Colorado.
Secretary J — Edgar 0. Silver, Boston.
Executive Committee, — L. W. Mason, Boston, T. F. Seward, Brick
Church, New York, 0. Blackman, Chicago, S. A. Collins, Xenia, Ohio,
B. Jepson, New Haven, Connecticut.
Auxiliary Committee of Ladies , — Mrs. Hershey Eddy, Chicago, Miss
566 THE NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION.
Lizzie 0. Stearns, Detroit, Michigan, Mrs. M. E. Brand, Madison, Wiscon-
sin, Mrs. E. H. Chamberlain, Kalamazoo, Michigan, Miss Sara L. Dun-
ning, Maloue, New York, Miss 0. B. Lee, Ballston, New York, Miss
Emily Madden, Argyle, New York.
H. E. Holt,
. Signed by -| A. R. Sprague, Committee.
The report was accepted and adopted and the officers, as reported, were
declared elected. Adjourned.
H. E. Holt,
Secretary, pro tern.
MUSIC IN THE PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL.
BY O. S. WESTCOTT, CHICAGO, ILL.
Lazily reclinijig in a hammock at ten o'clock of a bright June morning,
with nothing to break the silence of the elm grove around me, but the
chirp of a sparrow, the whistle of a distant bobolink, and the harsh note
of a more distant crow, I am led to conclude that the music evolved from
the chords of the human animal, to be satisfactory to the auditors, should
also be natural.
Not that no training should be allowed to furnish an added charm to
the graces of vocal music, but that culture should never lose sight of
nature, and thus have degenerated into mere mechanicalness the use of the
musical gift. It should be the enlightened and truthful boast of every
teacher in every science, that his method will bestow the needed culture
and the necessary training without destroying or at all repressing the
individuality. The child and the youth do not need a re-fashioning of
either themselves or their voices, but only a suggestive guidance, by which
they may be taught to augment their powers, without ignoring such as
they naturally possess.
All children should be taught to sing. This *' all " is used with only
such limitations as would be implied by some actual, physical defect.
Idiocy, paralysis, or any physical or mental disability so far forth shut
off the individual afflicted, from a full claim to brotherhood in humanity,
and from any expectance in enjoying its privileges, or receiving rewards
of merit for well-directed exertion.
I knew an uncultured boy, who, with the love of music deeply implanted
in his soul, attended an old-fashioned New England singing school for
two evenings. During the second evening, he was interviewed by the
Professor, and informed that, as it was evident that he had neither voice
nor ear for music, his room was thenceforward more desirable than his
company. Indeed, this idea was insisted on, to the extent of his being
told that he must stay away, or the school would close, since his uncouth
and barbarous tones were destroying the happiness and peace of mind of
all the others who were anxious to reap the benefits of the winter singing
school. And with a sense of unjust treatment rankling in his soul, the
young man retired with a determination to know the science of music at
any rate, and the art to any extent possible. After an experience with
56S THE NA TIONAL ED UCA TIONALIA S80CIA TION.
various musical instruments, and after attitudinizing as singing school
teacher, piano-forte instructor, et aL, for some years, he has sometimes
felt, if he could meet that itinerant, old-time professor, as if he would
challenge him to some sort of a combat, musical or other, even if he ran
the risk of being conquered and flayed alive for his presumptien, as was
In these days we profess to be more enlightened, and yet within two
years I have seen many pupils dismissed from a singing class in a high
school, because they had never sung. Suppose a teacher were professing
to be starting an algebra class, and, having inquired what 'pupils had pre-
viously pursued this branch of mathematics, should conclude by dismiss-
ing all who were admittedly ignorant of the subject.
Too many teachers like to pose as educators rather than as instructors.
They are willing to draw out whatever information the pupils have pre-
viously obtained from other sources, but exceedingly loth to expend the
exertion requisite to building up the pupil by adding to the stock of
knowledge already possessed.
But what is the object of vocal music as taught in public schools ? Is the
subject educational, or recreative, or both ? And in the high school, which