Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

during the period in question. The report contains the test questions in full in each subject, the details of rating the papers in the schools themselves and the re-rating in the office of the superintendent, and complete tabulations of results.

The report frankly calls attention to certain limitations inherent in the tests. The period from March to June, it is stated, is not long enough for an ideal test of progress, and the March tests were offered at a time which for some of the schools was not opportune. The character of the questions, which call for mere information, narrow, as a matter, of course, the scope of the tests; and it would, no doubt, have been advantageous to have had persons outside of the schools themselves give the tests and rate the papers. The report, however, calls attention to the fact that not more than four per cent of the ratings required reversal and of these one per cent were those in which an answer really correct was marked wrong by the teacher.

In the initial test, the traditional, or control schools, obtained in every subject better ratings than did the prevocational or the Gary schools; and the prevocational schools, except in the one subject of grammar, were superior to the Gary schools. The general average for the control schools was 56.1 per cent, for the prevocational schools 47.2, and for the Gary schools 44.7. In the June test practically the same relation exists between the schools. The control schools show better ratings than the others in all subjects except history, where the prevocational schools lead both the others. The Gary schools in all subjects stand last. The general average for the June test is for the control schools 57.7 per cent, for the prevocational schools 54, for the Gary schools 49.1.

The results of the test, as a whole, show, accordingly, that of the three types the traditional school made the best record, the prevocational schools stood next, and the Gary schools stood third and last. This is on the face of it something of a damper to those who have made such enthusiastic and extraordinary claims for the superiority of the Gary schools. The report, however, adopts a perfectly judicial attitude with regard to the whole matter and insists that until a systematic and thoro investigation of the Gary schools has been made judgment should be suspended concerning them. "While I would be the last," says Superintendent Maxwell in his letter of transmittal of the report to the Board of Education, “to claim that this test is final or that it renders an effective decision against the Gary system for this city, it is fair to say that it raises a strong presumption against the general introduction of the Gary system in this city. The conclusion obviously is that neither the Gary system nor the 'prevocational system should be further extended, until the schools in which they are being tried make a better exhibition of efficiency." “Meanwhile," the report itself wisely concludes, “the Gary plan is on the defensive; and it is inevitable that it should be. It is a new system, expressive of a new creed; it sets up new principles, based upon new educational values. It is an important attempt to put into practise theories which are already accepted. But it will have to prove itself superior as a working program to the system which it seeks to supplant.”

Public lecture

The annual report to the Board of Educasystem in New York

tion of the City of New York of the Supervisor of Lectures, for the year 1914–15, contains in addition to the general review of the undertaking as a whole, full statistics of the lectures, what they were and who delivered them, where they were held, and how they were attended. It appears that lectures were delivered in 176 centers, by 771 lectures on 1840 topics, before 5515 audiences, with a total attendance of 1,295,907 persons.

The report asks and answers with conviction some pertinent questions with regard to this undertaking of the Board of Education, which is still regarded in some quarters as altruistic, and, in the light of insufficient provision in other and perhaps more fundamental parts of the system of

*

*

*

[ocr errors]

*

*

public instruction, as an unreasonable extension of the city's educational activities.

The writer of the report is confident of the value of the lectures to the individuals who hear them and to the city of which these people are a part. Along three lines, he says, the work has been of intense value: it has enriched the lives of countless individuals; it has kept thousands of men and women from the street corners; and it has brought permanent blessings to many families. "Lectures on sanitation and hygiene and on cooking,” the report continues, "have tended directly to this practical end. The lectures on literature, music and geography, have introduced new topics for conversation into the home.

To the varied fluid heterogeneous population such as ours, from every clime under the sun, a true spirit of democracy and patriotism has been shown.

Thru the lectures on civics, economics and history false notions of government have been displaced by true conceptions of the duties and relationship between the citizens and the state."

There can be no great question as to the intrinsic value of the lectures that are provided under the present system nor of the appreciative use that is made of them by the very public that it is intended they should reach and serve. Public education is not solely a matter of the schools, and it has been the great merit of this system of free lectures that they have contributed educational forces to the large community outside the schools and beyond the years of school attendance that are only possible thru them. Whoever has been present at any of the lectures has invariably found a large and attentive audience that plainly was not only interested in the subject at hand, but was eagerly alive to the advantage of thus being able to listen to its authoritative statement.

These free lectures have been often referred to, at home and abroad, as an exemplification of municipal enlightenment. So long as legitimate provision can be made for them, it would be unfortunate to eliminate them from the

city's scheme of public instruction or to curtail them in any essential manner. The system of public lectures, it will be remembered, was extended in 1901 to all five boroughs of the city, and since that time its scope has been gradually increased to the present important proportions.

The University

The Bulletin of the University of Oregon of Oregon

for December, 1915, contains the report of a survey of that university made in September last at its own request by the United States Bureau of Education. The survey was undertaken by Dr. S. P. Capen, specialist in higher education of the Bureau, and was arranged to include the consideration of the relation of the university to the state; its organization and administration; the faculty from the point of view of training equipment, salary scale, appointments, promotions, and teaching hours; the provisions in the university for research; the courses of study in the various departments of instruction; the relations of the university to the students, including the requirements for admission and graduation and their enforcement; and the educational equipment of the institution as a whole. The report covers as fully as is possible in a pamphlet of twenty-eight pages these various fields of activity, and makes a lucid and convincing presentation of the case.

The University of Oregon, at Eugene, in addition to the undergraduate college and graduate school, maintains the only school of architecture and the only school of education in the state, and it is the only institution in the state to offer an organized course in journalism. Its school of medicine, situated at Portland, is the only one in the whole northwest. It has, besides, two schools of law, one conducted as a night school at Portland and the other under the usual conditions at Eugene, a school of music, a summer school, an extension department, and a school of correspondence study. It has a body of instructors numbering 108, and a student enrolment of 1,146.

The governing body of the university is the Board of Regents of the university consisting of ten members appointed by the Governor, the Secretary of State, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Board, under the laws of the state, has the widest powers of control and management, extending to the appointment of all officers of the university, and including the supervision of the general course of instruction. Upon the President of the university, however, under the present practise, is placed the responsibility of recommending appointments and dismissals, and the function of the Board in general is confined to the determination of the broader policies of administration. The Board meets but twice a year. It has not been in the past, says the report, a particularly interested or progressive body.

The educational organization of the University of Oregon is, according to the showing of the report, adequate to take care of its particular problems in a fairly comprehensive and effective manner. The faculty is reasonably large and amply qualified by previous training. The institution, the report reminds us, is still in the stage of transition from a small college to a full-fledged university, and this fact must be borne in mind in estimating it. The curriculum of the college of literature, science and arts, as its undergraduate college is called, does not appear to be in some respects, says the report, in accord with the most modern tendencies in curriculum making; the university has not yet a graduate school in the proper sense of the term; its extension service is not altogether successfully organized or sufficiently developed; and there is a wide field for investigation in the domain of public service which comes properly under the head of research for which no definite provision has yet been made. The writer of the report in his concluding paragraphs emphasizes his appreciation, however, of the general soundness and vigor of the institution. . Its faculty, he says, as a whole, is alert and capable; the students clean, intelligent, and for the most part well prepared, and the spirit that pervades the whole is excellent.

« AnteriorContinuar »