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The work here offered to the public is the first cyclopædia of education in the English language, although the need of such a work has long been felt. Cyclopædias, both general and special, are rapidly increasing in number, not only in countries in which the English language is spoken, but wherever, under the influence of advancing civilization, literature flourishes, and the cultivation of science and art has enlarged the boundaries of human knowledge. Information scattered through a multitude of volumes is usually inaccessible to those by whom it is most needed; and, consequently, the most important results of study and research are often of no avail to those whose special office it is to apply them to a practical purpose. Hence, the need of works that present in a condensed form, and so as readily to be referred to, all the important facts in the various departments of human knowledge; and, consequently, we find that it is fast becoming the habit of the educated classes every-where to consult such works. In view of the large number of special cyclopædias in other departments of knowledge, and more especially of the excellent cyclopædias of education which Germany has possessed for many years, it is quite surprising that a branch of knowledge so extensively valued and studied as education, should have continued, in this country and in England, for so long a time without its special cyclopædia. Accordingly, the first announcement of this work was, on all sides, greeted with the most earnest expressions of approbation and welcome.
The value of a work of this kind must, of course, depend on the plan which forms its groundwork, and the accuracy and fullness with which the plan is carried out. To both of these points the editors have given their undeviating attention, striving to leave nothing to be desired in either respect.
The plan of the work has been constructed after a careful examination, not only of all the cyclopædias and general histories of education which have thus far appeared, but of the principal cyclopædias, both general and special, which have been published in English or in other languages. Of course, the editors did not contemplate, for a moment, the task of undertaking a work of the magnitude of Schmid's great German encyclopædia of education, which was commenced in 1859, and of which the last (11th) volume is not yet completed, although a revised and enlarged edition has already been issued of the first volume. Their design was to prepare a work which, while comprehensive and complete within its scope, would be of moderate size, and would be completed within a reasonable time-a work which, while useful to all, would, like the dictionary, be upon every teacher's desk, to be consulted whenever occasion might require, thus affording information and practical aid at every exigency of his daily labors. Such a work, it was thought, would not only supply valuable information, but would stimulate the study of pedagogy, still very widely neglected because of the want of a brief but comprehensive embodiment of the whole subject.
In accordance with these views, the editors now present, a little more than two years after the first announcement of the work, a single volume of nearly 900 pages, in which they have endeavored to treat, in alphabetical order, of all the subjects, which they have deemed to come within the limits of their plan, embracing the following general topics: (1) Theory of Education and Instruction (pedagogy and didactics), including a consideration of the principles of education, in each of its departments, with practical suggestions as to the best methods of applying them, both in training and instruction. In this connection, it will be found that every subject ordinarily embraced in the school or college curriculum has been carefully treated in its relation to practical education, special attention having been given to the department of language, both the classical and the important modern languages being separately considered. (2) School Economy, including the organ