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NEW YORK STATE TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION.
The twenty-sixth annual meeting of this association was held in Syracuse, July 26, 27, and 28. The address of welcome was by President White, of Cornell University, who proceeded to review the “ Battle-field of education,” saying that the contest is between the spirit of public education and the spirit of bigotry, and discarding all sectarian schools.
8. D. Barr, of Rochester, president, responded in behalf of the association, paying a bigh compliment to President White for his efforts in the cause of education, and then gave his inaugural address, in which he traced the history of the association for the last twenty-five years, and especially commended the work of the normal schools, advising teachers to add to the elementary course the culture of the higher course.
A report on “The condition of education” was made by Dr. Jutlden, of Albany, in which he claimed that correct ideas on the subject of education are gaining ground. The vitality of the system depends upon teachers. Ladies do not yet receive pay in proportion to their work.
Professor Krusi, of Oswego, reported on “Improved methods in education,” advocating mainly the development of principles without text-books.
Dr. J. W. Armstrong, of Fredonia, gave a lecture on “Natural science, and how it may be introduced into the school-room." Dr. S. J. Williams, of Cleveland, Ohio, spoke of the results in that city from the appointment of female principals in the grammar schools, stating that the boys were better prepared for the high-school than ever before, when taught by male teachers. Dr. M. McVicar, of Potsdam, read a paper on “The teachers our times demand.” Professor C. D. McLean, of Brockport, read a paper entitled “The teacher as a citizen.” Professor J. H. Hoose, of Cortland, presented “The true idea of school discipline," which was followed by a discussion, in which Rev. S. J. May, of Syracuse, and Professor C. H. Anthony took opposite sides on the question of corporal punishment, the former saying the rod was abolished three years ago in Syracuse and good results had followed, other means of discipline, mainly rewards, being substituted; the latter replying that he considered this world a great school, and our Heavenly Father the schoolmaster, and that we could take lessons from Him in the matter of governing pupils. He thought scholars educated without the rod were not fully educated, and he pitied the children of Syracuse.
Other papers were read and discussed; one by Professor H. A. Balcom, proposing to throw overboard the study of English grammar; one by Mrs. A. T. Randall, of Oswego, on “The school mistresses;” others by Professor Anthony, by Mrs. H. B. Hews, by Mrs. Emily A. Rice, of Darien, Connecticut, and by Miss Ellen J. Merritt, of Potsdam. Appropriate resolutions were adopted noticing the decease, during the year, of Hon. Victor M. Rice, Mrs. Emma Willard, and Miss Ellen M. Seaver. The revised constitution, as reported by H. R. Sanford, was adopted. The treasurer reported $550 in the treasury.
J. D. Steele, of Elmira, was chosen president for the ensuing year; corresponding secretary, James Cruikshank, Brooklyn. The next meeting is to be held at Lockport, July 25, 1871.
THE CALIFORNIA STATE TEACHERS' INSTITUTE. This association met in Mercantile Library Hall, San Francisco, Tuesday, September 13, 1870, and was called to order by Hon. 0. P. Fitzgerald, State superintendent of public instruction, who gave the members a hearty welcome. Hon. J. M. Burnett, chairman of the city board of education, and G. K. Godfrey, esq., of Siskiyon, were chosen vice-presidents, and W. J. Dakin, of Calaveras, secretary. Miss Carrie Field and Miss Kate Kennedy were chosen assistant secretaries.
Hon. J. M. Burnett then delivered the opening address, after which an enrollment was taken, showing 520 members present. This number was subsequently increased to nearly 600. Mrs. M. L. Jordan, of the State Normal School, then gave an illustration of the Oswego method of object teaching, which was warmly applauded.
In the afternoon Professor E. S. Carr, of the State University, gave a lecture on "Air," adapting his remarks especially to the hygienic principles applicable to the schoolroom.
Wednesday, J. P. Garlick, esq., spoke upon “Ungraded schools ;" the methods of teaching reading were discussed by Professor E. Knowlton and others; Miss Clara G. Dolliver gave a poem on “Equality of compensation for men and women;" Professor T. Bradley gave a lecture on “Forgotten things;" Professors Burgess and Andrews presented the claims of penmanship; and Professor E. S. Carr spoke on “Industrial education."
In the evening Hon. O. P. Fitzgerald, State superintendent, gave his official lecture. He adverted to the agricultural and mechanical fairs and exhibitions in different parts of the State, representing our industrial condition. He referred to the many and wonderful improvements going on throughout the State, in our various industrial pursuits. None of them could compare in importance to society with the cause of popular edu
cation. Fle referrod to his connection with the public schools of this State, and cordially bore evidence to the moral worth of the great majority of our educators. He was proud of the manner in which they had thrown aside all party feelings and prejudices, and had assisted him in advancing the cause of education.
Thursday “The science of grammar” was presented by Dr. Schellhous. Mrs. Penwell, of Alameda, spoke of “The art of teaching," and Miss Laura T. Fowler gave an essay upon “The radical defects in our education."
In the afternoon W. W. Stone, of Yolo, read a poem. Professor W. Wilkinson, principal of the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institution, introduced a class of his pupils to illustrate his method of teaching, and to show the progress which that class of pupils may make. In the evening Dr. Joseph LeConte, of the University of California, gave å lecture on “The universal law of cyclical movement.”
Friday, a committee, appointed to wait on General Sherman and invite him to visit the institute, reported that they had received a hearty welcome from the General, and that he greatly regretted his inability to comply with the invitation on account of a previous engagement, at the same time expressing himself very much interested in the educational interests of the State.
The institute then adjourned temporarily, to allow the State Educational Society to hold a session in the hall. After the meeting of the State Educational Society the institute resumed its session. Dr. W.T. Lucky, principal of the State Normal School, addressed the institute upon the subject of the State Normal School, showing its great and growing importance as a training-school for our future teachers. He spoke of the intimate connection between it and the common schools of the State, and of the normal schools of other States. He referred to the positions they occupy, and the good they accomplish. Dr. Lucky's address was well received, and gave evidence of his love for and fidelity to the noble work in which he has been so long and so successfully engaged.
In the afternoon the committee previously appointed, to whom a list of questions had been referred, reported, giving the following answers :
Question. Should drawing and music be taught in our ungraded schools I-Answer. Emphatically, yes.
Q. Should corporal punishment be abolished from our schools ?-A. If a teacher can make the school discipline what it ought to be without, yes. If not, no.
Q. Ought the teacher in country schools to be required to do outside work for his school, such as looking after absent and truant pupils, urging trustees to do needed work, working up the interest of indifferent parents 7-A. No. His zeal in his profession should stimulate him to do it without a requisition from any source.
Q. Ought teachers to introduce illustrations and topics outside of text-books, for the purpose of making recitations more interesting !-A. Yes.
Q. Can a course of study for country schools be wisely prescribed by the State anthorities 1-A. Yes.
Q. Should the facts in descriptive geography be committed to memory by pupils ? — A. Yes.
Q. Are normal schools, as an instrumentality for the advancement of popular education, worthy of the consideration bestowed on them !-A. They are worthy of more consideration than they now receive, and when their merits are appreciated as they deserve, they will receive that consideration in the public mind.
Q. Would it not be well to amend the school law so as to fix a penalty for nonattendance of teachers at county institutes 1-A. Yes.
Q. What plan can be adopted by which a free school can be supported in every district of the State for ten months in each year 1-A. The committee beg leave to report this question, and refer the matter to the institute for answer.
The last question, having been referred to the institute, was discussed at length by Messrs. Nutting, Godfrey, and John Swett, principal of the Denman School, and then referred to a committee of three, with instructions to report at the next meeting of the institute.
After some further general business, and the passage of sundry resolntions of thanks to parties who had favored the institute, before putting the vote on adjournment, Superintendent Fitzgerald said:
“We are about to close a memorable session of the State Teachers' Institute, a session remarkable for the numbers in attendance, the interest maintained from the beginning to the end, the ability displayed, and the harmony of spirit manifested. I am glad and I am sorry-glad that my arduous duties as your presiding officer are about to terminate; sorry that the pleasant associations of the occasion are to be broken np.. We met as friends and co-laborers in the great work of education; we part better friends and better prepared for the work before us. I shall be greatly mistaken if the action of this body does not impart a fresh impetus to the cause of education in California."
CONNECTICUT STATE TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION.
The twenty-fourth annual meeting of this association was held in New Haven, Oetober 20 and 21, 1870. Exercises were conducted by Hon. Joseph White, secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, Professor R. G. Hibbard, H. E. Sawyer, principal of the Middletown High School, I. N. Carlton, A. M., N. C. Pond, esq., Professor B. Jepson, Professor E. Tourjee, S. M. Capron, principal of the Hartford High School, and Miss Emma M. Goldthwaite. The subjects presented and discussed included, among others, the following: Drawing in the common schools of the State; incentives in school government; language exercises, or, practical grammar in common schools ; high-school examinations and the direction they give to grammar-school work; relation of parents and teachers; the teacher's moral power, &c.
AN AMERICAN UNIVERSITY.
At the conclusion of an address on" The progress of university education,” delivered by Dr. J. W. Hoyt, of Wisconsin, before the National Teachers' Association, at Trenton, New Jersey, on the 20th of August, 1869, the following resolution, offered by Professor A. J. Rickoff, of Ohio, was unanimously adopted, to wit:
Resolved, That, in the opinion of this association, a great American university is a leading want of American education, and that, in order to contribute to the early establishment of such an institution, the president of this association, acting in concert with the president of the National Superintendents' Association, is hereby requested to appoint a committee consisting of one member from each of the States, and of which Dr. J. W. Hoyt, of Wisconsin, shall be chairman, to take the whole matter under consideration, and to make such report thereon, at the next annual convention of said associations, as shall seem to be demanded by the interests of the country,
A committee was appointed in accordance with the resolution, but, owing to some oversight, official notice of the appointments did not reach the chairman of the committee until so near the date of the succeeding convention that a general correspondence with the members thereof was found impracticable. Accordingly, it was very properly resolved by the committee to make a preliminary report only at the Cleveland convention, and leave it to the association to determine whether they should continue their labors.
Pursuant to this decision, the chairman of the committee, on the 17th of August, 1870, submitted the following
Notwithstanding the many and various uses heretofore made of the term university, it may be assumed, without fear of successful contradiction, that the leading offices of a true university are these :
1. To provide the best possible facilities for the highest and most profound culture in every department of learning.
2. To provide the means of a thorough preparation for all such pursuits in life as, being based upon established scientific and philosophic principles, are entitled to rank as professions.
3. To exert a stimulating and elevating influence upon every subordinate class and grade of educational institutions by holding up before the multitude of their pupils the standards of the highest scholarship, and by preparing for their administrative and instructional work, officers and teachers of a higher grade of qualifications than would be otherwise possible,
4. To enlarge the boundaries of human knowledge by means of the researches and investigations of its professors, as well as by the researches and investigations of other advanced minds, enconraged to a greater activity and led to greater achievements by the influence of the university example.
In so far as any institution, wliatover its name or fame, fails in the fulfillment of this general mission, by so much does it fall short of the standard of a true university. That these offices of the university are of vast importance is so apparent as not to require demonstration. No people can justly claim to be in the highest sense civilized whose aspiring youths are compelled to turn their backs upon the best-furnished schools of their own country, because they fail to provide the facilities elsewhere afforded, and requisite to a mastery of important branches of study. No government is faithful to the interests of its people that does not, in some way, secure to them equal and tho best possible advantages for gaining a thorough knowledge of tho principles that underlie the several leading pursuits in life. No nation can possibly inaintain a system of popular education worthy of a great and free people which does not place at its head an institution or class of institutions potent enough, by virtue of its own exalted character, to exert a controlling and elevating influence upon the whole series of schools of inferior rank. No people of intellectual energy and genius may hope for the approval of God and the enlightened portion of mankind which does not make its full contribution to the advancement of knowledge.
If these several declarations as to the mission of the university, and the importance of that mission, be trne, then it is a logical conclusion that no competent nation may stand acquitted before its own conscience and the colightened judgment of the world until it can point to one such center of original investigation and educational power.
It is not deemed necessary in this connection, by a presentation of facts so abundant on every band, to make proof of the absolutely deplorable condition of higher education everywhere in the New World, and that we have, as yet, no near approach to a real university in America—a statement which no well-informed citizen will venturo to deny-a fact freely acknowledged and bewailed by the responsible heads of the very highest of all our higher institutions.
Nor do your committee deem it important to show the relative inferiority of our foremost institutions by mortifying comparisons of them with those intellectual centers, the Universities of Paris, Turin, Vienna, and Berlin-themselves still incomplete in that they simply include the old faculties, regardless of the equal claims of the new professions--each with its grand cluster of some two hundred professors, of whom many are the ablest and most brilliant men of the age, and each provided, moreover, with an array of libraries, cabinets, museums, laboratories, and other auxiliaries, of the vastness and richness of which the struggling student in the American college can have but little conception. Facts upon which such comparisons might be based have long been before the country. It will soon come to be known by our people, and the sooner the better, that in respect of higher education we are about the lowest in the scale of the nations making any pretensions to civilization.
Surely further evidence is not needed of our serious, and, we may now add, shameful deficiency in this regard.
If it be asked whether the conditions necessary to the establishment and maintenance of a true university are found in this country, our reply is, Where else on the earth do they exist if not here? Not in the Old World certainly, where the existing universities, founded, many of them, during the Dark Ages, and all of them more or less in the interest of class, would be reformed with great difficulty and only after changes should first have been wrought in the civil institutions and in the very constitution of society itself. But bere in America, where only in all the world just ideas of fraternity and equality have place and are kindly cherished; where the elements of society and of all classes of institutions are yet plastic; where there are no crystallized, much less fossilized, educational systems to be overturned and got rid of; where, on the other hand, there is an open field and a hopeful groping for the right way; nay, more, where individual philanthropists and both State and National Governments are ready with vast resources, growing vaster every day, to join in the work of laying its deep and broad foundations, what hinders that here we begin at once the upbuilding of a university commensurate with the greatness of our country and the needs of the times?
In the early history of America the circumstances were a sufficient excuse for low standards of general and professional education. But the period of infancy and poverty has been passed. We are at this moment a rich and powerful nation. Moreover, the opinion is coming to be universal that this is a nation of great destinies. And who that looks at the democratic character of our institutions, reared as a sublime example in the face of all the doubting and jealous nations of the world; at the strange heterogeneousness of a population gathered from every clime under heaven, speaking in all the babbling tongues of earth, bound together by no common bond of historic as• sociations, and cherishing the most diverse and conflicting views of social, religious, and political institutions; at the undeveloped resources of a territory already vast, and yet increasing with a rapidity that promises, within the lifetime of the coming generation, to embrace the entire continent; at the unparalleled activity and resistless energy of this wonderful mosaic of peoples, destined, ere the close of this century, to number one hundred millions—who, that looks at all these conditions of national life, can resist the conviction that we have indeed a sublime mission to fulfill, and that we have need even now of a keener and more far-seeing intelligence; of a profounder knowledge of the sciences, material, intellectual, social, and political; of a more substantial, allpervading virtue; in short, of a deeper, higher, and more comprehensive culture than the world has hitherto seen or even recognized as essential to any of the other great nations, past or present?
Language is powerless to convey an adequate idea of the rapidity with which the thoughts, tendencies, and purposes of the American people are all the while forming, changing, and shifting to adapt themselves to new exigencies. The very elements, social and political, are in a ceaseless ferment. Circumstances and conditions, which the most sagacious fail to anticipate, are daily arising to test the intellectual power and conscience of the nation. We repeat it, no nation had ever such need of disciplined mind to lead in the development of its resources and to guide its intellectual energies; none such need of moral power to correct its necessarily strong material tendencies and steadily hold it up to a noble and lofty ideal.
If, therefore, it is in truth, as we have assumed, one important office of the university to supply such discipline and such correcting and elevating power, what stronger argument could be framed for the founding and liberal sustaining of one such institu, tion in this country high enough in range to meet the demands of the most exalted ambition, and broad enough to answer the needs of every profession?
We could hardly hope for more than one at least for a long time to come, for it must needs be supplied with a multitude of able professors, covering not only the whole range of letters, pure science, and philosophy, together with the several fields of the time-honored professions, but also the yet more numerous and, for a time, more difficult ones of the new professions; a great and choice library, such as this country does not yet possess; and a large number of thoroughly furnisbed laboratories, museums, and other costly scientific establishments. But then one such university in America would at once become a power, influential alike in furthering and directing our material development, in elevating the character of all the lower educational institutions of the country, and in awakening and sustaining higher conceptions of both individual and national culture; thus helping us, by a happy combination of our own more than Roman energy and religious faith with the grace and refinement of the Greek civilization, to become a nation fully worthy of the future that awaits us.
It would do more, vastly more than this. It would supply to all lands a most important need of the times, a university placed under the benign influence of free civil and religious institutions, and sublimely dedicated to the diffusion and advancement of all knowledge. Students of high aspirations, and even ripe scholars of genius, would eventually flock to its halls from every quarter of the globe, adding to the intellectual wealth of the nation should they remain, or bearing with them scions froin the tree of liberty for planting in their native lands. And thus America, already the most marvelous theater of material activities, would early become the world's recognized center of intellectual culture as well as of moral and political power.
It is not assumed that this ideal is capable of realization within a single year, nor in ten years; for if the pecuniary means were at hand, the maturing of wise plans, the preparation of teachers through protracted foreign study, and the labor of organization and material establishment would require at least one decade. It would be a glorious consummation if on the one hundredth anniversary of our national independence it should even be permitted us to announce to the world that the first great steps insuring the early establishment of the long-hoped-for American university had already been taken. The ideal here presented in rude outline, or some other more perfect ideal, is capable of realization; and, in the things of intellectual culture and social advancement, whatsoever is possible, that it is the moral duty of the individual, society, or the Government, or these several forces combined, to undertake.
Whether the institution contemplated should be an entirely new one, founded in a new place, or whether some one of the few institutions that have already made such noble beginnings of high educational work should rather be made the nucleus around which the earnest friends of university education of every section should rally for its upbuilding; whether it should be what the Italians mean by a free university, or whether the Government, State or National, should have part in its management—these are questions upon which there must necessarily be differences of opinion.
But be the diversity of views as to the precise character of the institution, the place of its location, and the mode of its constitution and government what it may, upon the primary question of whether we will have a university in America somewhere, and at the earliest possible day, there should be no difference of opinion.
There is one other question, moreover, that may be settled now. It may be safely. assumed in advance that the founding and endowing of the institution is a work in which it will be necessary for the citizen, the State, and the General Government to unite; for it will cost millions of money, and require the careful guidance of the wisest scholars and statesmen the land can afford. And who doubts that all these forces—the people, the State, and the National Government-will respond if the scholars, the active laborers in the cause of education, and the leading statesmen of the country, with one voice demand it?
When, a few years since, the men of work asked help of the nation for the endowment of schools for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts, the Government, with a liberal hand, gave for this noble object ten million acres of the public domain, to which the individual States and great-hearted men have added no less liberal means. How much more then, proportionally, will our statesmen in council and liberal patriots yield for the foundation and maintenance of one great central institution, to be established in the interest of every profession and all classes of schools; of a profound and universal culture; of a more perfect intellectual and social development of the whole body of the nation, in the interest of liberty and universal man!
In the opinion of your committee, the attention of the association has not been