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AMERICAN SOCIAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION.
THE AMERICAN AssociaTION FOR THE PROMOTION OF SOCIAL SCIENCE, in its general plan, is an educational society of the largest scope, and embraces a section or department specially devoted to the interests of Public Schools, Universities and Colleges, and to all institutions designed for the instruction of youths and adults, and to all agencies which act on or determine the Popular Culture. It had its origin in some preliminary measures taken by a few gentlemen and ladies in Boston, in the Spring of 1865, and in a circular issued at their request by the Massachusetts Board of State Charities, in August, 1865, inviting a conference of persons known to be interested in the subjects embraced in the term Social Science, in Boston. This conference was held on the 4th of October, at the State House, in Boston, and was presided over by Gov. Andrew. After some comparison of views, it was decided to form a society which should embrace the continent in its plan of operations, and enroll members of both sexes from any part of the country-with the following Constitution and officers:
CONSTITUTION. I. This Society shall be called THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE PROMOTION OF SOCIAL SCIENCE.
II. Its objects are, to aid the development of Social Science, and to guido the public mind to the best practical means of promoting the Amendment of Laws, the Advancement of Education, the Prevention and Repression of Crime, the Reformation of Criminals, and the progress of Public Morality, the adoption of Sanitary Regulations, and the diffusion of sound principles on questions of Economy, Trade, and Finance. It will give attention to Pauperism, and the topics related thereto; including the responsibility of the well-endowed and successful, the wise and educated, the honest and respectable, for the failures of others. It will aim to bring together the various societies and individuals now interested in these objects, for the purpose of obtaining by discussion the real elements of Truth; by which doubts are removed, conflicting opinions harmonized, and a common ground afforded for treating wisely the great social problems of the day.
III. This Association shall include four departments: the first, for Educa. tion; the second, for Public Health; the third, for Economy, Trade, and Finance; the fourth, for Jurisprudence, and the Amendment of Laws.
IV. The officers of this Association shall be a President, four Vice-Presi. dents, a Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secretary, a Treasurer, and five Directors, who shall constitute an Executive Committee of thirteen, and shall have power to fill any vacancies in their body which shall occur between the annual meetings. One Vice-President and one Director shall be assigned to each department; and these, together with a Special Secretary for each, shall constitute the Executive Committee for each department. The fifth Di. rector shall act as Librarian. These seventeen officers shall hereafter be chosen annually, on the second Wednesday in October, and shall hold office till their successors are chosen.
V. The Annual meetings of this Association shall be held in Boston, unless some other place is specially designated. Special meetings may be called by the Executive Committee, or by the President and any tive niembers of the Committee, at any time and place which they may think proper, but no officers shall be chosen, assessments made, or amendments to the Constitution pagged, except at the annual meetings, or some adjournment thereof.
Vİ. The business of the meetings shall be to hear addresses, reports, and papers, and to conduct discussions on the topics before mentioned. When desirable, the meetings shall be held by departments, over each of which a VicePresident shall preside. All members may take part in the discussions, but no papers shall be read which have not been previously submitted to the Executive Committee in each department.
VII. Before any meeting shall divide into departments, and immediately after the transaction of the regnlar business. the President shall call for, and the Executive Committee may bring forward, such subjects, not exceeding four in number, as are judged by them of immediate practical importance; and these shall have the precedence of all other subjects during the first session of the meeting
VIII. Any person may become a member by signing the Constitution, and paying the sum of three dollars, and may continue a member by paying annually such further sum, not exceeding five dollars, as may be assessed on the members by vote of the Association at its annual meeting. Any person may become a life member, exempt from assessments, by the payment of litty dollars.
IX. Honorary members and corresponding members may be chosen, but shall not exceed the number of the regular members: and members thus chosen shall be exempt from the payment of assessments. All members, both regular, hon. orary, and corresponding, shall be entitled to receive a copy of the Transactions of the Association.
X. The Secretaries, under the direction of the Executive Committee, shall annually select from the papers handed in and the addresses made such as they shall deem proper for publication, and shall publish them, along with a report of the doings and discussions at the meetings during the year. This publication shall be called the Transactions of the Association. They may also prepare and issue such other publications as may be deemed best by the Executive Committee.
XI. None but regular members shall have the privilege of voting in the meetings, and none but members of taking part in the discussions, except by invitation of the presiding officer; but it shall be the policy of the Association to admit as many members as possible, and to encourage the coöperation of other societies having kindred objects in view.
XII. Whenever other associations shall be formed in other parts of North America, it shall be the policy of this Association to coöperate with them so far as practicable. For this purpose, the Executive Committee is empowered to call a convention of these associations, or to send delegates to such a convention. The
purposes of the Association are thus set forth by its Committee of Arrangements, in a brief Report to the Conference of October 4:
This Association proposes to afford to all persons interested in human im. provement an opportunity to consider social economics as a whole.
The persons composing it are expected to meet together to read papers and pursue discussions, and to seek the assistance of those who have a practical acquaintance with reform, as well as that of purely abstract reasoners.
They are to collect all facts, diffuse all knowledge, and stimulate all inquiry, which have a bearing on social welfare. It has long since been shown that the man of science, who contines himself to a specialty; who does not, at the very least, conquer the underlying principles of other branches of scientific inquiry,– is necessarily misled, and can not avoid frequent mistakes. To have any perception of the perspective of his subject, he must see it in its relation to other subjects. Something like this is true of those who investigate the necessities of society. If they associate themselves together, they have the advantage of each other's knowledge; they do not misunderstand their own relative positions; and they insure an economy of time, labor, and money.
We would offer the widest hospitality to individual convictions, and to untried theories, provided only that such convictions and theories are the fruit of a serious purpose and an industrious life. To entertain the vagaries of the indolent would be at once undignified and unprofitable.
TIIE FOUR DEPARTMENTS.
1. Under the Department of Education will come every thing relating to the interests of Public Schools, Universities, and Colleges; to Reformatory, Adult, and Evening Schools; to Instruction in the Useful Arts; to Systems of Apprenticeship; to Lyceums, Pulpits, and the formation of Societies for the purposes of Public Instruction. In this department will be debated also ail questions relating to Classical, Linguistic, and Scientific Studies, in their proportion to what is called an Englislı Education; and the bearing of the publication of National and Patriotic Memorials upon Popular Culture.
2. Upon the Department relating to Public Health a very large proportion of the popular interest will naturally be fixed. All Sanitary and Hygienic matters will come before it; and wh:t the Sanitary Commission has learned in the last four years will be made available, through its action to the people at large. The subjects of Epidemies, of the origin and Spread of Cholera, Yellow-Fever, and Eruptive Diseases, will be legitimately discussed here. It will consider all questions of Increase of Population, Vaccination, Ventilation of Public and Private Buildings, Drainage, Houses for the Poor, the Management of Cemeteries, Public Baths, Parks and Public Gardens, Places of Recreation, the Management of Hospitals and Insane Asylums, the Adulteration of Food and Drugs, all questions relating to the Duration of Human Life, Sanitary Regulations for the Army and Navy, and all matters of popular interest connected with medical science. We shall look to our ablest physicians and surgeons for contributions to this department.
3. Under the head of Social Economy, we shall consider Pauperism actual rather than legal, and the relation and the responsibilities of the gifted and educated classes towards the weak, the witless, and ihe ignorant. We shall endeavor to make useful inquiries into the causes of Human Failure, and the Duties devolving upon Human Success. We shall consider the Hours of Labor; the Relation of Employers and Employed; the Employment of Women, by itself considered; the Relation of Idleness to Female Crime; Prostitution and Intemperance; Work houses; Public Libraries and Museums; Savings Banks and Dispensaries. Here, too, will be discussed National Debt; the subjects of Tariff and Taxation; the Habits of Trade; the Quality of our Manufactures; the Control of Markets; the Monopolies in the Sale of Food, or the Production of articles of common use; the Value of Gold; and all questions connected with the Currency.
4. In the Department of Jurisprudence, we aim to consider, first, the absolute Science of Right; and, second, the Amendment of Laws. This department should be the final resort of the other three; for when the laws of Education, of Public Health, and of Social Economy, are fully ascertained, the law of the land should recognize and define them all. Under this head will be considered all questions of the justice, the expediency, and the results, of existing statutes; including their administration and interpretation, and especially their bearing on Sutfrage, Property. Privilege, Debt, Crime, and Pauperism. Here, then, will come up he vexed questions of Prison Discipline and Capital Punishment."
The Second General Meeting was held in the Hall of the Lowell Institute, on the 27th and 28th of December, 1865—the President, William B. Rogers, LL.D., in the Chair. From the record of the previous meeting, read by the Recording Secretary, Mr. W. F. Sanborn, it appears that the officers are as follows:
. Williamstown, Mass.
..10 Park Place, Boston.
Addresses and Papers were received by the President on The Objects of the Social Science Association;" by Dr. Hill, President of Harvard College, on the “ Problems of Education;" by Mrs. Dall, on a Library devoted to Social Science;" by Dr. A. B. Palmer, of the State University of Michigan, on “ Sanitary Educa
, tion;" by Henry C. Carey, on “ Our National Resources;" by F. B. Sanborn, on “ Prison Discipline in Europe and America;" by Dr. I. Ray, Superintendent of the Butler Hospital for the Insane, “ The Isolation of the Insane," with the project of a Law for the Regulation of Insane Asylums and Hospitals; by W. P. Atkinson, on “ The English Civil Service Examinations;" by Charles L. Brace, on “ Sanitary Legislation of England;" by Dr. Edward Jarvis, on “ The Duration of Human Life.”
The Normal Schools of Prussia, in their general aims, and special studies and methods, were very materially modified by the “ Regulativ" of the Minister of Public Instruction, issued in October, 1854, the substance of which we give below, in a very compressed form, from Rev. M. Pattison's Report in 1860.
PRUSSIAN REGULATIV” OF oct. 1, 1854. 1. SCHOOL MANAGEMENT.—No systematic pädagogik, not even iu a popular form, is to be taught in the seminary, but in its place shall be taught art of school management, for not more than two hours per week. This course may contain, in the first year, a simple picture of the Christian school in its first ori. gin, and in its relation to family, church and state; the most important names among the schoolmen since the Reformation may be pointed out, and their influence in forming the elementary school exhibited.
In the second year, the objects and the arrangement of the elementary school may be explained; the proper principles of Christian instruction and discipline expounded.
In the third year, the pupils may be taught their duties as hereafter servants of the state and church, -the means of improving themselves after they leave the seminary,--but the greater part of their time this year will be taken up with preparing for the lessons in the practicing school, and in endeavoring to gain a clear hold of the experiences they make in the same. The separate instruction of each teacher in the seminary is the only introduction which can be given to a good method, where this separate instruction is based on the principle of teaching in the seminary the same matter and in the same form as is required in the elementary school itself. Method, therefore, will no longer be tuught as a separate branch, and as a part of "school management,' (schulhunde,) will be only so far introduced that the connection between the various parts of elementary teaching may be explained, and the relation in which each part stands to the objects of the school and to the education it is designed to give.
Under the head Education nothing more is necessary to be taught to the elementary teacher than to bring together and explain the texts in Holy Scripture which touch on the subject; the doctrine of sin, of man's need of a Saviour, of the law of Divine Redemption and Sanctification, is a pädagogik which requires little elucidation froin the sciences of human nature.
Under the head School Education the principles of discipline and teaching should be more minutely gone into, but these lessons should be given in strict connection with the experience obtained by the scholar in the practicing school.
2. RELIGION.—The religious instruction hitherto given in many seminaries, under the title of “Christian Doctrine,” is henceforth to be termed in the lesson table “ Catechism." Its object is to provide a direction and a firm footing for the individual religious confession of the pupil, through a clear and profound understanding of God's Word, upon the basis of the evangelical doctrines, teaching them through this understanding to know themselves, and their relation to the divine scheme for Salvation, and so laying the only true foundation for their whole Christian life.
As this instruction is not one which the teacher has himself to reproduce in the course of his teaching in the elementary school, it is therefore not subject to the same limitations in all respects as the other portions of the seminary course, which do occur again in the elementary school. Immediately, however, the religious instruction received in the seminary ought to exert a powerful influence on the whole mental life of the teacher; and it is therefore of great importance that sure and abiding results of a Christian confession, conformable with the dogmatic conceptions of the church, should be attempted. The basis of this instruction must be of course the symbolical books of the Evangelical church, i. e., the smaller catechism of Luther, or the Heidelberg catechism.
The exposition necessary for the understanding this catechism will no longer be left to the individual seminary teacher; a manual must be employed for the purpose, which shall contain all that is necessary for a sclioolmaster to know. By the advice of the Evangelical church council, we hereby order that the