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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 tiine 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 1857, 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 organization and management of schools, also discipline and class teaching. (3) The Administration of Schools and School Systems — embracing supervision, examinations, school hygiene, school architecture, co-education of the sexes, etc. (4) Governmental Policy in regard to Education — including such subjects as state education, compulsory attendance laws, the secular and denominational systems, etc. (5) The History of Education, giving an account of the most noted plans and methods of instruction and school organization that have been proposed, or that are now in vogue, as well as the history of the school system of every state and territory in the Union, and of every important country in the world. Much of the matter under this section is entirely new, and will be found to be of great interest. (6) Biographical Sketches of distinguished educationists, educators, and others who have been celebrated for their efforts as promoters or benefactors of educational progress or enterprise. (7) Statistical and other information in regard to (a) schools and other institutions of learning of different countries, states, cities (in the United States, of those having a population of 100,000 and upward), and religious denominations (the latter treated with considerable fullness) ; (b) different kinds of schools, as public schools, private schools, parochial schools, academies and high schools, kindergartens, colleges and universities. Every important college or university in the United States has been described in a separate article; and special articles also inserted on the great universities in England, the latter articles having been written in that country. Considerable care has also been taken to show what has been done, during the last few years, for female education, and more particularly for the higher education of women (especially in this country and in Great Britain). (8) Educational Literature, which is constantly brought to the notice of the reader in connection with the various articles. As the immense mass of material to be condensed within the compass of a single volume has necessitated the greatest possible brevity, references are made throughout to standard works on educational science, as well as to statistical works affording more detailed information. It is believed that this will prove one of the most valuable features of the work. (9) The main work is followed by an Analytical Index, in which reference is made to the principal topics of all the longer articles, as well as to the pages on which the more important subjects are treated incidentally.
Of course, the editors of a cyclopædia cannot be expected to carry out their plan withorit the support of an adequate corps of able contributors. However extensive their own information may be in relation to the general subject, there must always be many topics to the details of which specialists have devoted a much more minute study, and of which, therefore, their knowlege must be more comprehensive and exact. The list of special contributors which follows this preface will show to what extent the editors have succeeded in securing the co-operation of distinguished educators and writers in the preparation of this work. Most of the names presented will be at once recognized as those of persons of well-established reputation for successful experience in their respective spheres of effort. The editors deem themselves singularly fortunate in securing to so large an extent the aid and co-operation of the state and city superintendents throughout this country, the articles on the school systems having been prepared by them or under their direction, or compiled from the latest and most accurate information officially supplied by them. The articles on the different classes of professional, scientific, and denominational schools and colleges have, in the main, been written by persons professionally conversant with those institutions, and thus afford an amount and kind of information very difficult to obtain, but often of great value to students and educators.
It is proper to say that the announcement of this work has met with a most earnest and encouraging response from educators in Great Britain, and that the editors have received most prompt and valuable assistance, as well as cordial co-operation, from that source, so as to enable them to carry out their intention to make the usefulness of the Cyclopædia co-extensive with the English-speaking race. It is, however, a cause of deep regret to the editors that a long illness, terminating in death, deprived them of the co-operation of one of the ablest and most highly esteemed English educators, the late Joseph Payne, who not only was among the first to afford encouragement to this work when proposed, but promptly engaged to contribute a number of important articles.
As a work of reference for information in regard to American institutions for higher education, the Cyclopædia will, it is hoped, prove eminently satisfactory. Great pains has been taken to secure the fullest and most accurate information respecting the colleges and
universities of this country; for which purpose, every article of this description has been submitted, in proof, to the president of the institution described, and, with but very few exceptions, has received the benefit of his revision.
The editors also acknowledge their indebtedness for the very full information, in regard to the educational work of the various religious denominations of the United States and Great Britain, which they have received from distinguished menibers of those denominations. Very much of this information could bave been obtained by no other means than by a long official connection with the educational boards of the churches, and, to a considerable extent, is now supplied exclusively by this work.
To all the contributors the thanks of the editors are due for a support without which the work could not have been completed – at any rate, could not have possessed the value which may, with considerable confidence, be attributed to it; and certainly could not have earned the approval which it may justly be expected to receive. The editors, also, take occasion to express their obligations to the many friends who, though not special contributors, have afforded valuable aid in the revision of special articles. in giving important advice, or in affording needed information.
In these few remarks, the editors have briefly stated the object they have striven to attain, and some of the instrumentalities of which they have availed themselves; but they are by do means so presumptuous as to suppose they have produced a work without fault or blemish. The Cyclopædia, it must be borne in mind, is but a pioneer, opening out, it is to be hoped, a wide path for further literary and professional effort in the same direction. It will, doubtless, share the fate of all books of its class, in which the habitual reader, as well as the scrutinizing critic, by the side of that which elicits his approval, meets with statements that are capable of improvement or that require correction. In every future edition of the work, pains will be taken to correct what is faulty and to improve what is imperfect; and any assistance which those who appreciate the aim of the work may be able to render to that end, will be gratefully acknowledged.
New York, March 17, 1877.
NOTICE OF THE THIRD EDITION.
In issuing the Third Edition of the Cyclopædia, the publishers would express their grateful acknowledgments to the educational public for the favorable reception hitherto accorded to it, and the many appreciative, commendatory notices it has received from scholars and educators of the highest culture and the ripest experience. For the present edition of the work, the articles have been carefully revised for the correction of inaccuracies, but no essential change has been made in any of them. In order, however, to bring the work down to the present time, a brief Supplement has been added, containing a summary of the latest educational statistics of this country, as far as they have been received in reply to inquiries. It has been considered best thus to limit the information given, and to refer for further particulars to the official reports and catalogues.
E. STEIGER & Co. NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 1883.