Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

erves that the result will be as if thousands of American eachers had an opportunity to visit the schools of France nd as if thousands of French teachers had an opportunity

visit the schools of the United States. This striking and thoroly practicable suggestion should e promptly acted upon. We are glad to be able to anounce that so far as the United States is concerned the reparation of such an anthology has already been begun. Vhen completed it will doubtless be presented to the teachers f France under the auspices of the France-America Comnittee. We can hardly doubt that M. Buisson himself rill at once undertake the preparation of a similar anthology n behalf of France.

ower of type

certain types. In point of authorization, foreign educational surveys differ from American surveys in that they are practically all made under government auspices, and the work is carried out either by a royal commission, a parliamentary committee, or under the direction of a minister of education. The findings, accordingly, of a commission or committee thus constituted have the weight of government authority and are accepted by the schools and by the general public as conclusive. In scope the foreign survey in general is wider in character and less local than the American survey. Its methods of information are the securing of the direct oral testimony of school directors, inspectors and others who have knowledge of schools; the personal inspection of the schools by recognized experts; circular letters or questionnaires sent to persons directly concerned with the schools; and the personal investigation of similar schools or school systems in other progressive nations. The report contains as its first entry the account of a Swiss survey made in accordance with a decree of 1798 directing the "minister of arts and sciences" to reorganize the school system, and published as an official document the succeed

Under separate heads are grouped a number of English, Belgian, Scotch and Irish, German and Austrian surveys; single surveys in France, Sweden, New South Wales and New Zealand; and the important survey made in Canada by the Royal Commission on Industrial Training and Technical Education and published in four volumes in 1913. This last report also contains information on the corresponding conditions of education considered by the commission at hand in England, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States. Of special importance, says the pamphlet, are the surveys of Dr. Michael Sadler. These surveys of the City of Sheffield, of Liverpool, of the County Borough of Huddersfield, of the County Borough of Birkenhead, of the City and County of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and of the County of Essex are stated by the author of the pamphlet to be typical examples of the best educational survey work ever done.

We know of no better illustration of the
power of type and of good printing than

the satisfaction that follows a reading of he Hibbert Journal, the Yale Review and the l'n popular MICU. It is true, of course, that these three journals are i the very highest rank of periodical publications, and that very issue of each one of them is noteworthy. It is also rue that they are the best printed of all contemporary eriodicals and that they are therefore more inviting to ead and are read with more pleasure. It is worthy of at rast passing note that the three best quarterlies in content hould also be the three best quarterlies in form and in ppearance.

In his letter of transmittal of the report by
ome foreign James Mahoney, that appears as Bulletin 37
ducational
irveys

in the current series of the United States

Bureau of Education with the title Some Foreign Educational Surveys, the Commissioner calls ttention to the universal character of the principles of such urveys and the vital interest they have, or possibly should ave, for those in this country who are interested in the roblems of public education. The report does not atempt to give a complete account of all foreign surveys that ave been made but limits itself to the consideration of

ing year.

Each survey considered in the report has a statement appended of its intention and scope. In the case of the Canadian survey there is an analysis of the content of the voluminous report made by the commission. The pamphlet well fulfils its purpose of indicating where and how educational surveys have been conducted. A complete bibliography of the subject would have still further increased its value.

The attention of the two Americas will Second Pan-American Scientific Congress

be largely directed to the proceedings

of the Second Pan-American Scientific Congress now in session at Washington, D. C. There will be gathered there between two hundred and three hundred of the leading men of letters, of science and of public life in the Central and South American republics, and they will have as colleagues a large representative body of scholars and publicists from the United States. The intellectual movement which this Congress marks and emphasizes is one of the most important of our time. American schools and colleges should be studying South American history, South American geography, South American economic, social and political problems, and the Spanish language, which is the key to the life and the literature of these exceptionally interesting and highly talented peoples.

NOTICE.-The title page and index of volume 50 of the EDUCATIONAL REVIEW are to be found at the end of the December issue. These can be furnished separately for 25 cents.

Each survey considered in the report has a statement appended of its intention and scope. In the case of the Canadian survey there is an analysis of the content of the voluminous report made by the commission. The pamphlet well fulfils its purpose of indicating where and how educational surveys have been conducted. A complete bibliography of the subject would have still further increased its value.

EDUCATIONAL REVIEW

FEBRUARY, 1916

I

SOME OBSERVATIONS ON MODERN TENDENCIES

The attention of the two Americas will Second Pan-American Scientific Congress

be largely directed to the proceedings

of the Second Pan-American Scientific Congress now in session at Washington, D. C. There will be gathered there between two hundred and three hundred of the leading men of letters, of science and of public life in the Central and South American republics, and they will have as colleagues a large representative body of scholars and publicists from the United States. The intellectual movement which this Congress marks and emphasizes is one of the most important of our time. American schools and colleges should be studying South American history, South American geography, South American economic

, social and political problems, and the Spanish language, which is the key to the life and the literature of these exceptionally interesting and highly talented peoples.

You have in your various official capacities the most momentous problems of the present to consider and to solve. Upon your action will depend not only the continuance and initiation of vast enterprises, but the very existence of vast wealth shared by millions of people. The well-being of all will be greatly increased or greatly diminished by your decisions and your acts.

No solution can be absolute; no human is omniscient; but in the composite wisdom, experience, and common sense of all, there will certainly be found a basis, a course to follow which will maintain such existing conditions as are good without putting the brakes upon progress.

Tonight we will try to state these conditions; to examine the causes which have produced them; and, if possible, to indicate a course of action for the future.

You will hear nothing novel or startling, only statements of fact about which there can be little dispute, and certain percepts, which have stood the test of time.

There never was in our country a stronger, better, underlying basic condition, or one more potential for good than that which exists today. There should be certainty and stability in our economic condition; instead there is uncertainty and doubt.

1 An address at dinner given by the Railroad Commission of California to the National Association of Railway Commissioners, San Francisco, Calif., October 13, 1915.

NOTICE.--The title page and index of volume 50 of the EDUCATIONAL REVIEW are to be found at the end of the December issue. These can be furnished separately for 25 cents.

[ocr errors]

Instead of a settled and definite course of action there is a chaos of confused and continually changing thought.

As a consequence of perpetual striving for personal aggrandizement rather than for substantial public benefit, clear, well-defined economic, social and political policies are not being proposed for discussion and adoption, but are submerged under all sorts of fads, fancies and vagaries seriously advanced as cure-alls for every possible condition.

To just what extent this state of affairs will be carried, just what may be the outcome, just how far it will result in the disturbance or disintegration of basic and fundamental principles, is difficult to determine.

There is danger, grave danger, but offsetting this danger is the well-founded hope that when seriously aroused the American people will bring into action that common sense of which they are possest, and avert catastrophe.

The great majority, so long as they are comfortable, are indifferent to disturbances. When disturbances become so serious as to endanger individual comfort, they arouse themselves, act with intelligence, straighten out affairs, and again sink into repose and soon forget that there was trouble.

While probably there never have been much worse, there have been similar disturbances. Let us make a thoro diagnosis of the disease and try to find the cure.

CONTROLLING CONDITIONS

In all consideration of economic questions, actually existing conditions should be assumed to control. Past experience is a dependable guide so long as it applies to continuing or similar conditions. There is a tendency to ignore the past and the present, and set up as a basis quasi ideal conditions which have no existence. While ideal conditions are much to be desired, until they are established, the closer we keep in our minds the actual conditions the greater is the possibility of improvement. Obstacles and difficulties can not be ignored. Reform can only be

Instead of a settled and definite course of action there is a chaos of confused and continually changing thought.

As a consequence of perpetual striving for personal aggrandizement rather than for substantial public benefit, clear, well-defined economic, social and political policies are not being proposed for discussion and adoption, but are submerged under all sorts of fads, fancies and vagaries seriously advanced as cure-alls for every possible condition.

To just what extent this state of affairs will be carried, just what may be the outcome, just how far it will result in the disturbance or disintegration of basic and fundamental principles, is difficult to determine.

There is danger, grave danger, but offsetting this danger is the well-founded hope that when seriously aroused the American people will bring into action that common sense of which they are possest, and avert catastrophe.

The great majority, so long as they are comfortable, are indifferent to disturbances. When disturbances become so serious as to endanger individual comfort, they arouse themselves, act with intelligence, straighten out affairs, and again sink into repose and soon forget that there was trouble.

While probably there never have been much worse, there have been similar disturbances. Let us make a thoro diagnosis of the disease and try to find the cure.

accomplished by the coordinated effort of all, acting upon a correct understanding of real conditions.

There is a vast difference of opinion today as to what are the actualities. There are few mental visions capable of taking that comprehensive view of the whole field, essential to success in social or political reform.

Disputable speculations and assertions as to what is, or what will be—which appeal to human generosity or selfishness—are apt to be more controlling, than any presentation of actualities which may be unpleasant and obstructive. Obstructive conditions must be overcome by effort, whereas hypothetical difficulties can be dissipated by a change in phrasing or by an effort of the imagination. Promise can always eclipse performance. Performance never will equal irresponsible promise or prediction. Everyone knows the fate of him who tells the first fish story.

CONTROLLING CONDITIONS In all consideration of economic questions, actually existing conditions should be assumed to control. Past experience is a dependable guide so long as it applies to continuing or similar conditions. There is a tendency to ignore the past and the present, and set up as a basis quasi ideal conditions which have no existence. While ideal conditions are much to be desired, until they are established, the closer we keep in our minds the actual conditions the greater is the possibility of improvement. Obstacles and difficulties can not be ignored. Reform can only be

THE HUMAN FACTOR The past shows us that better social conditions are but evolutions, and have ever closely coincided with material progress. Whether or not material progress is the cause or only a potent influence may be debatable, but history seems to indicate that it is the advance agent.

Individual action is the most unsettling factor of human progress; it fluctuates between the extremes of perfection and imperfection. It is controlled and influenced by habit, education, environment, temperament and passion; always generous and noble when influenced by known suffering it may be absolutely selfish when influenced by material possessions or individual comfort. There is a vast difference in "openness to conviction" of various individuals under similar influences. What course of action individuals will take under any given condition or any given influence it is impossible to say.

That one has been right in any matter, is far from conclusive that he may be right in other matters. It is seldom that any individual who has succeeded in one line will

« AnteriorContinuar »