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together for a few addresses and the consideration of those genera? topics of equal interest to all, much will be done to render universal the sympathy which each specialty requires, many foolish misunderstandings and attendant jealousies would vanish, every one bringing some contribution of interest to the great gathering would carry away with him some new means of benefiting those under his instruction or supervision.

The importance of general public sympathy in the exercises of these meetings should not be overlooked. Repeated in every State, county, and city, they cannot fail to prove one of the most important means of advancing all the interests of education, general and local.

I regret that when the summaries of these meetings presented were prepared the reports of the recent meeting in Massachusetts and of the National Baptist Educational Association were not at hand.

Dr. Steffen's letter alludes to an interesting meeting of German teachers at Louisville, Kentucky.


It is hardly possible to separate school supervision from efficient instruction and training. The private teacher who seeks the greatest excellence desires some one besides himself-parent or educator-to visit his school, and lend it the inspiration of his approval. Colleges and academies appoint examiners outside of their own boards of control and instruction. The earliest district school subjected the teacher to the authority and inspection of a committee. The larger and more philo, sophical adaptation of supervision has come with the greater enlargement of our communities and educational institutions. No State or city system proposing the highest efficiency presumes to do without it. Delaware, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas are the only States without a central school office, and the condition of their schools affords all the commentary needed upon this omission.

The progress of school improvements, however, is not satisfied with the simple idea of supervision, but is active in subdividing and subordinating the labor, so as to meet all the resistance from ignorance, from the changing sentiment of communities, and the limited average time that teachers are devoted to their profession. With a view to aiding the endeavors of various educators in this direction, by grouping together opinions and facts, I sent out a series of inquiries, which, together with the answers returned, will be found among the accompanying papers. What is there among us that requires higher character, greater administrative ability and attainments, than this work of supervision, the object of which is to observe and direct the intellectual and moral life of their respective communities? From these answers something of the diversity of fact and opinion with regard to the functions of supervision will be manifest. How imperfectly these duties are under stood and appreciated, how poorly paid! What a lack of economic wisdom, in certain communities, do the facts presented exhibit! There are some excellent exceptions.

M. B. Anderson, LL. D., president of the University of Rochester, observed recently in an educational convention:

I speak it without exception, and I know what I say to be true, all our men are overworked and underpaid. There is no class of men, in the world or in the church, at this day, who require so much of intellectual power, attainments, and expense in their education, who are so miserably paid, and so prodigiously overworked, as those who are engaged in education in all its departments, from the lowest to the highest. We can never become a civilized people, in the highest sense of the word, until we are willing to pay for the brain-labor that is engaged in the work of education.

The abstracts of State and city reports give some notion of the ability of these supervising officers. Any competent and well-informed judge, I believe, will affirm that no other administrative documents issued by our States and cities are equal to these school reports. Yet, often how meager the salary of the superintendent, how manifold the duties, and inadequate the assistance. Rare skill and high responsibilities are not so unwisely limited in any of our railroad, banking, or other private or corporate bodies. How often these officers have the aid of only a single clerk, or less. Instead of bringing his high attainments and his whole soul to the communication of the best ideas and improvements in instruction and discipline to the numerous teachers, and securing their benefit to every child under supervision, the superintendent is often occupied, and his energies exhausted, with details which could be performed by a good clerk. Again, there is no official assistant, where there should be one, two, three, or more.

It is gratifying to observe that these considerations are taking effect in many places; the duties are subdivided, the offices are well manned with assistants and clerks; there is appropriately a separate officer in charge of buildings, another in charge of purchases, and the territory is subdivided so that the subordinate inspector of schools is able to communicate the excellencies of the system and method adopted by the general supervision to every teacher. Special attention is invited to the progress made in Boston and Cleveland in the subdivision of city supervision. One great fault is, undoubtedly, the too frequent change in these supervising officers.


Attention is asked to the report in reference to the establishment of an American university, which was made to the National Teachers' Association at Cleveland, Ohio, August 20, 1870. The need of such an institution of learning is forcibly urged. I would suggest in this connection that the United States already possesses, within the limits of the city of Washington, some of the essential elements.

The nuclei of a grand national university, which in time could be made worthy of the nation, in the Botanical Garden, the Smithsonian Institution, the splendid taw libraries, the Army Medical Museum, the rapidly increasing Congressional Library, the centering here of all these appliances for such a grand institution of learning, may suggest a practical way in which the Government may aid in founding such a school for universal culture as shall draw to itself private beneficence, and result in that long-hoped-for institution, the American university.

The following very suggestive remarks on the nature, province, and limitations of American collegiate instruction are worthy of attention. They are from an address on “The university of the nineteenth century: what it is, and what it will cost," by President M. B. Anderson, LL. D., of Rochester Uuiversity, read before the National Baptist Educational Convention which met in Brooklyn in April 1870:

The traditions of the scholarship of Christendom are not founded on superstitions admiration of ancient learning merely because it is old ; nor in a purblind conservatism which refuses to recognize all and everything which is good in the nineteenth century. None are more impressed with the defects of our educational systems than those American scholars whose devotion to learning has consigned them, as a class, to ill-requited labor and certain poverty. They feel that a trust is committed to their charge on behalf of good learning and an intelligent Christianity. This trust they may not betray.

Most of the popular arguments against our college system are such as were directed against the English school and collegiate course such as it was forty years ago. The course of study in England has received very great modifications, and still greater are in progress. But of these changes very many writers on education seem to be entirely ignorant. Arguments and ridicule which Sydney Smith used with truth and effect half a century ago against a system which has to a great extent been abandoned in England, are reproduced against our own college system, where the special evils against which they are directed never existed at all. The amount of science and modern literature which is incorporated into the American system would more than satisfy the most radical English reformers. But, as a matter of fact, the popular judgment in our country, so far as it is clearly expressed, is coincident with that of the scholar. Among those who seek a high education for themselves, or for their children, the vast majority choose that combination of classical and scientific studies which forms the basis of our college courses of instruction. Statistics to prove this statement are superfluous in their abundance.

Much of the dissatisfaction of our course of study is due not so much to the subjects as to the mode in which they are taught. Beyond question there is much to improve and modify in all our methods of instruction. The reasons for this are, ig part, such as attach to everything that is human, and, in part, special to our own country. Our college officers are in general poorly paid and overworked, and the public at large gives little attention to the mode in which they discharge their duties. They are apart from the ordinary impulses and motives which affect men in other professions. The ability of a corps of teachers, the intelligence and vigor with which a college is administered, have very little to do with its reputation or patronage. The most conscientious man may become weary when he knows that the most energetic devotion to his work and the greatest attainments will bring him hardly more of profit or reputation than a mere perfunctory and decently respectable discharge of the letter of his obligations to the public. Under such circumstances nothing but the most earnest conscientiousness on the part of those responsible for its administration can prevent an educational institution from steady depreciation. The college of the future must supply some system of impulse and supervision which shall remedy the evils which thus grow up. Our institutions require an energy of internal administration like that which pervades our great financial corporations. The teaching of the futuro cannot be modeled apon the past alone. In the study of the classics very material modifications of method must be adopted. Intelligent teachers are constantly changing their processes for tho better. In the future new and simpler analyses of grammatical forms, more compact and philosophical statements of the principles of construction will be made, more gen. eral and comprehensive laws will be developed, so that the labor of memory in the mastery of languages will be lessened. Comparative philology, which has done so much for the piilosophy of language, must be made to assist the teacher in the work of instruction.


Public parks have very appropriately been called the lungs of great cities, and their importance as a means of health and enjoyment to the inhabitants is too obvious to need comment; but fine, large, and conveniently located parks likewise exercise a very striking educational influence, manifesting itself in certain changes of taste and of habits, and consequently in the requirements of the people. The truth of these remarks has long since been fully recognized in most of the states of Europe, and many of our own large cities have nobly emulated this example by appropriating tracts of land and large sums of money for laying out public parks. The move in this direction has been constantly on the increase throughout the whole country, but as yet no complete exhibit of all the facts connected with this subject has been given, chiefly on account of the want of sufficient material. From the few reports sent to this Bureau we select the following statistical facts:

San Francisco, California.-Public park of 1,013 acres, (unimproved.)
Baltimore, Maryland.-Druid Hill Park, (no report.)
Boston, Massachusetts.-Preliminary steps taken to acquire a park.

St. Louis, Missouri.-Fourteen parks, (395.64 acres;) amount expended, $121,497 26.

Orange, New Jersey.—Llewellyn Park, (800 acres.)
New York, New York.-Central Park, (no report.)
Brooklyn, New York.-Prospect Park, (no report.)
Albany, New York.-Park but just commenced.
Buffalo, New York.-Land bought for a park.
Cincinnati, Ohio.—Eden Park, (200 acres.) Proposed park, (500 acres.)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.-Fairmount Park, (largely extended last year;) amount expended, $3,208,269 88.

Washington, D. 0.–Various recommendations have been made with regard to public parks, but no general plan has been adopted.

The educational influences of public parks have been well set forth by Frederick Law Olmstead in the Buffalo report, where he says:

The main object we set before us in planning a park is to establish conditions which will exert the most healthful recreative action upon the people who are expected to resort to it. With the great mass such conditions will be of a character diverse from the ordinary conditions of their lives, in the most radical degree which is consistent with ease of access, with large assemblages of citizens, with convenience, cheerfulness, and good order, and with the necessities of a sound policy of municipal economy. Much must necessarily be seen in ang town park which sustains the mental impressions of the town itself, as in the faces, the dresses, and the carriages of the people, and in the throngs in which they will at times here and there gather and move together. Inasmuch as there are necessary limitations to the degree in which a decided and, at the same time, a pleasing contrast to the ordinary conditions of town life are possible to be realized in a park, and inasmuch as the town is constituted by the bringing together of artificial objects, the chief study in establishing a park is to present nature in the most attractive manner which may be practicable. This is to be done by first choosing a site in wbich natural conditions, as opposed to town conditions, shall have every possible advantage, and then by adding to and improving these original natural conditions. If this is skillfully done, if the place possessing the greatest capabilities is taken, and nature is not overlaid, but really aided discreetly, by art, it follows as a matter of course that in a few years the citizens resorting to this locality experience sensations to which they have before been unaccustomed, disused perceptive powers are more and more exercised, dormant tastes come to life, corresponding habits are developed, and a new class of luxuries begins to be sought for, superseding, to some extent, certain others less favorable to health, to morality, and to happiness, if not woolly wasteful and degrading. The demand thus established will, of course, sooner or later make itself felt in several other ways besides those which pertain to the park. Before laying out a park, therefore, it is best to consider what the character of the demand which must thus be expected to grow up with it will be, and see if it cannot be anticipated with advantage. It is easy to determine that its character will be that of a liking for things which are in po way essential to the requirements which had led to the building up of the town as it was before the park was called for. For example, the demand for convenience in getting quickly from places where business is done to places where such rest and sustenance can be had as are necessary to maintain the ability to do business, and for convenience of transferring goods from shops and shipping to stores, obliges the obliteration of all natural objects, gives occasion for compact building, causes the removal of whatever would obstruct wheeling and walking between buildings, and leads to the construction of solid and rigid pavements, and the general prevalence of noise, jarring, and confusion. All these things are compatible with a great deal of luxury, especially with the luxury of architectural grandeur and elegance; but the tastes which will be fostered by a park will demand luxuries not only of another kind, but such as cannot be associated intimately with these thingsluxuries more natural, more healthful, and more desirable to be brought within easy reach of the citizens. The park, as we have described it, must necessarily be large and costly; to place it in the midst of the town would be to make it excessively costly in the first place, and permanently a great obstruction to business. It should, then, be placed at such a distance from the great body of citizens that time will necessarily be spent in going to and coming from it; time which will either be spent unpleasantly, or, at best, with ref nce to the gratification in any degree of the tastes under consideration, will be wasted. The demand then will be that means of escaping from streets bearing the character which inevitably attaches to the greater part of the compact business parts of a city shall be put everywhere more nearly within the reach of all the people than they would be merely by the formation of a park, however large, at some one point in the suburbs. For these reasons we would recommend that in your scheme a large park should not be the sole object in view, but should be regarded simply as the more important member of a general, largely provident, forehanded, comprehensive arrangement for securing refreshment, recreation, and health to the people. All of such an arrangement need not be undertaken at once, but the future requirements of all should be so far foreseen and provided for that when the need for any minor part is felt to be pressing, it may not be impossible to obtain the most desirable land for it.

Bulwer, in one of his works, (Eugene Aram,) remarks that, wherever he saw flowers in the peasants’ little gardens by the roadside, this circumstance indicated a higher degree of culture, an advance in civilization, showing some appreciation for the beautiful, and the fact that poverty was not so great as to have all other cares absorbed in the one

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