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self-governing, independent and initiating men of good families, who should have forces they should be in public life. They led the political forces in the community, were intellectually trained; their minds were either supremely indifferent or were were drilled; they were alert, shrewd and the active allies of political bosses who progressive in many ways. He saw what defeated the interests of the people and European investigators have lately noted, the ends of good government? that America's preëminence in manu- This query led to a careful study of the facturing lines and commercial affairs school system, and then the young patriot was largely if not chiefly due to our mag- discovered the key that explained the nificent system of free public education problem. Our school system was the that places knowledge within the reach reverse of democratic. It was an ideal of the humblest as well as the richest. educational system for a monarchal,
But in the presence of this fine showing aristocratic or other form of class-govhe was confronted with the anomalous ernment, but it was inimical to democracy and at first inexplicable fact that the because it habituated the child to unchildren of our public and private schools, questioningly obey enthroned authority of our colleges and universities, went and do as he was bidden, because the forth from the educational centers to teacher's word or rule was law, instead life's vocations, either so indifferent to of making him an independent, self-govpolitics that they failed to exercise the erning individual who obeyed the law right of citizenship, or they immediately and rule of the school in which he had a and usually without a protest came under voice and where the honor and the glory the domination of political bosses devoid of the school depended on the degree of of high idealism and ready to prostitute civic spirit and the high ideals of himself their party and betray the people in the and his companions. Not only did the service of corporations and privileged in- whole educational system fail to teach terests in return for large campaign con- the scholars the principles of self-governtributions for the political machines over ment and the duty devolving on the free which they presided. Many of the bosses citizen to exercise his sovereign rights for would not have been allowed to enter the honor, integrity, advancement and the social circles of the young voters who glory of the nation, to the end that freeunquestioningly followed
followed their lead. dom, justice and happiness might prevail, Many of them were men of low and brutal but it failed to day by day impress the natures; some were wholly wanting in principles of democracy by having the principles of honesty; all, or almost all, children exercise self-government and were such vicious opportunists that they thus habituate them to the rights or funcdid not hesitate to sacrifice the interests tions of citizenship during the plastic of the nation for partisan success.
period of youth in such a manner that Now for a time the phenomenon puz- they would become a part of life's recogzled the young student. Here were the nized duties—one of the most sacred direct descendants of Revolutionary he- privileges and something never to be igroes who had freely given their lives to nored or trifled with. emancipate the people and establish a When this fact dawned upon the brain genuine democracy, who were blindly of Mr. Gill he saw at once the true exsupporting and serving unscrupulous, planation of the political lethargy and arrogant, despotic, un-American and re- subserviency of the people, and he then actionary bosses who betrayed the peo- understood how the old New England ple, corrupted the public servants and town-meeting, where the voters attended, defeated the ends of republican govern- discussed and legislated directly, became ment while permeating political life with the great stronghold of freedom, the graft. How was it that educated young cradle of democracy and the nursery of the most virile and practical republican- be made analogous to that of the state to ism the world had known. To make self- the city; that the teacher, though not governing citizens or a nation of sov- desiring to interfere and only acting as an ereigns one thing was needful. The young adviser, unless the children failed in selfmust be trained in the practice of citizen- government, still reserved the right and ship, habituated to exercise their sover- power to step in when absolutely necessary. eign power, drilled to be self-governing By this plan the needed safeguards were and morally responsible citizens, and present which would render the experithus brought into that intimate, sym- ment easy without any danger of demorpathetic, personal relationship to govern- alizing the old system if the new idea ment in which its ties become as sacred, proved impractical. With these facts holy and lifelong as those of the family. in mind he prepared to introduce a sys
The more he considered the meaning tem of city government into the school, of this new truth, the more the import of and it happened that an opportunity the democratic concept of education was offered at this time for a practical test of borne home to his reason. He knew his theory, the circumstances relating to what all thinking men and women know, which were as follows: that nothing so tends to develop character as the imposition of a trust entailing re
“The discipline had reached so low an sponsibilities, and that nothing is better ebb in a large primary and grammarcalculated to quicken the moral sensi- school on the outskirts of the city of New
York, that a policeman was permanently think about and help solve questions of detailed to keep order in the school-yard. right and wrong, of good conduct, of just Mr. Bernard Cronson, a teacher with a relationship and order; and all these reputation of being a specially good disthings are fundamental to and present in ciplinarian and president of a chapter of
the Patriotic League, was transferred any system of self-government. It would be argued at once that children from a down-town school to improve the
conditions in this one. At the end of a were not fit for self-government, that they fortnight he was in despair and described could not be entrusted with it, that an
the situation to Mr. Gill, who suggested archy and disorder would rule attempted to lodge the conduct or gov
that the pupils be organized into a selfernment of the school with them. But governing body with a legislative, execuhad not similar objections been urged This was done, the boys and girls were
tive and judge of their own election. against the kindergarten? Had not conventional educators ridiculed the idea of delighted with the responsibility, and teaching little tots, too small for the pri- under guidance of the new teacher quickly
established excellent order." mary school, to make things ? Had they not scouted the possibility of children of Encouraged by this success, Mr. Gill such tender age being guided by the teach- gave up his business engagements and ers and so entertained as to look forward devoted his entire time to perfecting the to school as older children under the old School-City idea, with a consecration order looked forward to recess? And and devotion similar to that which had had not confusion overtaken the rash been exhibited by Pestalozzi and Fröbel. critics? Had not the kindergarten With the aid of several leading educators, more than vindicated the claims of its municipal chiefs and others interested in friends?
real progress, a simple yet comprehensive Moreover, in the plan that began to school-charter was perfected embracing formulate itself in the brain of Mr. Gill, the principles of the initiative and referof making school cities, he saw that the endum, with proportional representation relation of the teacher to the school could optional with each school. So armed
with this School-City charter, which rep- of cities in many of our states, and in all
"Direct participation in the legislative, abled to organize over thirty of these judicial, and administrative functions of School Cities in Philadelphia. The
these miniature republics awakens great Franklin Institute awarded to Mr. Gill its highest distinction, the Elliot Crosson gives them a vital, practical knowledge
enthusiasm among the children, and gold medal and diploma.
of government and human nature. President Roosevelt observed the emi
"Civic training in early years forms nent degree of success that marked the habits of good citizenship that are ininitial experiment in New York city, and valuable in after life both to the individwho had later followed with interest the ual and to society. Purity and efficiency success of Mr. Gill, who at the request of in political life and high character in Military-Governor Wood had introduced his plan into the newly-organized public every relation of life are fostered and de
, City school system in Cuba, thus endorsed
"The School City is to the child what the system:
the town-meeting has been to New Eng“I hear with satisfaction that an earn- land-a developer of thought and conest movement is well advanced in Phila- science and civic spirit.” delphia to establish in the schools of that city the teaching of civics by the admir- ucational advance, the perfect flower of
It is the latest and greatest step in edable plan originated by Wilson L. Gill democracy in methods as in the School City as a form of student government. I know of the work of Mr. expanding mind of childhood. Nothing
that has been attempted in recent years Gill, both in this country and in Cuba, where Mr. Gill inaugurated this form of promises so much for pure democracyinstruction upon the invitation of General promises to so successfully meet and overWood. Nothing could offer higher prom- to bossism, or is so well calculated to de
come civic indifference and subserviency ise for the future of our country than an velop a fine, self-disciplined character as intelligent interest in the best ideals of the School City. It is the education of citizenship, its privileges and duties democracy, the education of the future, among the students of our common
and as its originator and the one who has schools. I wish for your efforts in this
successfully introduced it Mr. Gill will direction the utmost success.”
occupy a high place among the great The School Cities have long since apostles of moral and intellectual advance. ceased to be experiments. They have
B. O. FLOWER. been successfully operated in numbers Boston, Mass.
EARNEST MEN AND WOMEN IN THE WORLD OF LITERATURE, ART, THE DRAMA AND
Mrs. Fiske on The Ethics of The Drama. evils that mankind, if it progresses, must see N THE afternoon of December 12th,
decay.” Mrs. Fiske delivered before the Har- From the consideration of art in its broader vard Ethical Society an address on “The Eth- significance and its higher influence on human ics of the Drama,” marked by breadth of life, Mrs. Fiske passed to the notice of the thought and fine discrimination. The first theater in its relation to the ethical advance portion of the discourse was devoted to art in of man. She showed how powerful and deepits broader signification and some of its uses rooted was the dramatic instinct in the human apart from yielding pure delight and satisfac- breast and how great had been the influence, tion to man's esthetic sensibilities.
direct and indirect, of the theater throughout “Ruskin proves,” said the actress, “what any philosophy must admit, that life without “An institution,” she urged, “that has art is brutal. Art has a function beyond that grown from human impulse must be related of affording pleasure for the moment. It closely to every ethical idea. We know that should be an inspiration; and it should be po
for almost three thousand years the play in one tent-indirectly, of course, and by degrees
form or another has been a factor in educating in mitigation of the terrors whose contempla- and delighting the world. Ever since man tion may induce a question as to its utility. has been able to give voice to his impulses in True art in any form inspires esthetic feeling, song or to limn on flat surfaces his ideas or to and the psychologist will tell you that esthetic make images of his conceptions--ever since feeling, like any other feeling, may be a spring melody, drawing, or painting, sculpture and to action.”
living language have been known--drama, emMoreover, art at times becomes a powerful the world. What could have taken the place
bodying them all, has been an inspiration to weapon in arousing a public realization of of the theater if it never had existed ?” colossal crimes that have come to us as a part of our heritage from a more brutal past, or
While deploring the presence of plays "that which have grown up silently and subtly in shame the stage” and the “crazy dramatic civilization's midst without society realizing miscellany” that flourishes under the present their enormities until the great artist, the man
dominance of commercialism in the theatrical of transcendent imagination, uncovers the world, Mrs. Fiske insisted that: evil and so vividly reveals it that after the first “One great play, like the leaven of Holy feeling of horror men begin to systematically Writ, may serve to save the theater for any work for the abatement of the wrong.
season that may appear to be given over to the “Verestchagin, the great Russian painter, world, the flesh and the devil. And thus the work to
theater survives, because always it be
may ing war's inhumanity and terrors, and who lost found to project something on the side of his life in the midst of a carnage
that his brush
ethics.” would have revealed to assist in the reforma- The actress held that any dramatic art, to tion of humanity, did not live in vain. Tol- be good, must be sincere, true and genuine. stoi, the great man and great artist, devoted Plays that made false appeals to the audience, his
pen and life to a like end. The pen of Zola, that were artificial and not true to life or to an like that of other artists whose purpose it has idealism in alignment with the orderly develbeen to picture miseries that they might be opment of life, were in her judgment essencured, has wrought and is still working reform tially immoral. In referring to the great difin life. The great dramatists of the modern ference between the plays of the elder day and school have aims higher than for the moment's the best work of the leading modern playamusement. They are striking at the root of wrights, the lecturer said: