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the work. In the first place, a High School which has but few pupils to prepare for college cannot, without undue expense, devote to these the attention necessary to secure adequate preparation, unless these pupils are grouped with others not on the way to college. This often occasions the retardation of the college pupils because of the smaller capacity of their comrades. Again, the preparation for college is an art by itself, in a sense. Certainly the teachers most successful in this work are those who do no other. But the ordinary High School teacher has a multitude of other duties, and is overburdened by the number of his classes to a degree that mil. itates greatly against the best work in the studies required for admission to college. (Whenever the number of pupils preparing for higher institutions is sufficient to warrant the expenditure, the High Schools should be specialized. Boston, for instance, now has a public Latin School which prepares boys for college; a Girls' Latin School, which does the same service for girls; an English High School, which furnishes a general High School education, and six suburban High Schools, which afford similar facilities for the local communities far from the central schools. There is also in contemplation a Mechanic Arts High School, in which manual training shall occupy two-fifths of the time, drawing one-fifth, and appropriate book work the remainder. Other cities are separating their classical from their general students, and with valuable results. The mass of the High Schools, liowever, cannot thus specialize their work. Hence it happens that in many of these institutions the preparation for higher institutions is of a poorer order than that supplied by the best preparatory schools. The state of secondary education is probably better in Massachusetts than in any sister commonwealth ; but on careful examination President Eliot, of Harvard University, avers that in that State “not one-tenth of the schools called High Schools maintain a course of study which enables the pupil to prepare himself for admission to Harvard College, or to any other college in the State which enforces its requirements for admission as stated in its catalogue.”
The remedy for this lack of adjustment between the High Schools and the colleges is easy to state, but very difficult to apply. There must be an agreement among local authorities as to what constitutes a satisfactory High School course, and then an adaptation of the college requirements to this standard; or else the local authorities must accept the college requirements as a standard and adapt the main High School course to meet those requirements. As long as the present double standard is employed, the smaller High Schools of the country will be at an immense disadvantage in preparing students for higher institutions. In States which have a State College, with courses of study co-ordinated from the lowest elementary grade to the University, the problem is easier ;; but even there it is not altogether easy to maintain a high standard of preparation, except in favored urban communities.
The High School, on the intellectual side, is accomplishing a valuable work for those who use its opportunities faithfully, but it has another aspect which cannot be passed unnoticedits moral side. Though less directly provided for, and less obvious to the casual observer, the work of building character, which goes on every day, is quite as important, because quite as enduring, as that of building thought. It is in a period of transition from childhood, with its manifold confused beginnings, to manhood and womanhood, with their self-contained strength and action, that the High School has its pupil. He is not so plastic in nature as once he was, nor is his heart a white page, void of lettering; but he is capable of untold advancement and is subject to the molding of a right-hearted, strong-willed teacher in ways that take hold on eternal life. If now there be daily applied to him by a judicious mastermind the methods of treatment requisite for the development of a keen sense of duty, and for training in self-control, the High School in which the work goes on must be ranked with the church and the home as a valuable agent of moral advancement. No one cognizant with the facts will deny that
the High School teacher has abundant opportunity to influence his pupils in their moral decisions and to implant the seeds of virtue in most promising soil. He can clear away the mists of ignorance, prejudice, and passion, that so often in the child's heart make the worse appear the better reason. He can place about his students such conditions as will suggest right and wise desires, and lead on to right and wise exercise of the will. He can permit freedom of choice at proper stages and so develop in the irresolute a strength of will which comes only from vigorous exercise. And, within the four years of his companionship with the student, he can continue these processes until habit is established. Then he may have the rich pleasure of beholding his pupil pass from school to the activities of life a youth of principle, whose moral choices turn, “ as the needle to the pole," to the deliverances of conscience and sound reason; who is not the sport of whims or the victim of passionate storms, but is master of himself.
This is not merely an ideal picture. The process can be seen, by those who have eyes to see it, steadily going on in many a High School throughout the length and breadth of the land. The writer recently had occasion to learn with some definiteness the actual facts about the aims, methods, and results of moral training within the State of his residence. Correspondence was instituted with more than a hundred observers in nearly as many separate localities, some of whom were teachers, some clergymen, and others inspectors of schools. The correspondence made plain the fact that in at least four-fifths of the High Schools the leading teachers are directly aiming at the moral training of their pupils; the remainder appear to be satisfied with the general effect upon character of orderly school work in merely intellectual lines. This latter reliance is not in vain, for the direct tendency of mental culture, says Professor Payne, is to weaken the empire of the passions and emotions; consequently, mental culture is at the same time moral culture. But much more is done. The opportunities presented by such studies as history and literature are gladly seized and turned to account; public
exercises, devotional and secular, are made to impress a high standard of morality on the hearers; private talks with individuals on special occasions, in which the treatment is closely fitted to the needs of the case in hand, are exceedingly common; the pupil is studied at his home, and the aid of parents is summoned; self-government is urged and insisted on; and—most effective method of all-many noble men and women in these schools are daily manifesting a lofty personal character and example which energize all other means of lifting the children to higher planes of motive and conduct. And as to results observed, the returns were very encouraging. Nothing is more intangible than moral results; and in case these results are tolerably evident, it is hard to say what part one agency plays when a half dozen others are at work in the same field. Who shall decide how much the school, the church, the home, and society have severally done to change the hoydenish, careless girl of fourteen into the lovely, selfsacrificing young woman who bears her diploma from the school door? Yet on some points the evidence is unmistak. able.
There is universal testimony that senior classes in the High Schools show a positive moral advance as compared with the entering classes. The young people grow more thoughtful, conscientious, and trustworthy. They are keyed up to a higher moral tone. They accept responsibility, recognize and respond to duty, are less selfish, and more devoted to the right because it is right. One teacher says: “In our upper classes there is less lying, less flirtation, and a general gain in manliness and self-respect. Another letter gives particular instances: “I have seen a dirty, dishonest boy from the very slums (I have visited his home when he was fever-tossed, and the filth was indescribable) grow cleaner and better, till at the end we passed him clothed and in his right mind to the Technical School. I have seen vain, frivolous, showy girls, under a careful teacher's watchfulness, transformed into thoughtful, conscientious young women, now excellent wives and mothers. A boy whose word I could not believe at the end of his sec.
ond year, I recently became security for, on his taking a place of trust. Cl comes from an apology for a home. Her mother sells rum illicitly, and the day before she is to be graduated with honors she has to go to the police court to testify against her mother. Yet, under the constant care of a vigilant, prayerful instructor, this girl will make a successful teacher.” From this we must believe that the moral possi. bilities of the High School are not ignored or misused in a vast number of these institutions. But just as there are some inefficient teachers, poorly equipped for mental leadership, so there are teachers careless of their moral responsibilities and fonder of their ease than of the moral welfare of those given for a time into their charge. But when all has been said that can be said of the moral failures in High School work, a grand balance remains on the credit side of the account. The High Schools of America may fairly be reckoned with the churches and the homes as making for good to the morals of the nation,
As a whole the High Schools are not taking special pains to secure symmetrical and healthful physical development in their pupils. Their main work is with the intellect; incidentally, but very effectually, they are busy with morals and manners; as regards the body, they do well if they avoid injury. This is true of the mass of schools in the past and in the present, but very probably will not be true in the near future, In the best schools now there is provision for light gymnastics for a few minutes each day; in a somewhat smaller number, military drill once or twice a week is doing a valuable service for the boys; in a very few, comparatively, are there well-appointed gymnasiums. Not one is known in which there is an attempt to have each pupil take, under the oversight of an expert gymnasial physician, the physical exercises which are adapted to preserve and develop the muscular equipment supplied by nature. Here is a defect which the increasing tendency of population toward city life makes important. The