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PRUDENTIAL COMMITTEES. Over 80 per cent. of the communications returned to the superintendent's office by town-school-committees concur in the opinion that the present system, which commits the employing of teachers to one party and their examination to another, is a great barrier to the success of educational efforts. One says: “The office of prudential committee should be abolished. They have too many friends and relatives.” In some localities, it is stated, the custom prevails of selecting prudential committees by routine. Each man must have his turn, whether interested by having children in school or not. He generally employs his daughter or some other relative, so as to keep the money in the family.
CO-OPERATION OF PARENTS. Replies to inquiry 14, as to the value of parents' visits to schools, are in the following. vein:
“ The value of parents' visits to schools cannot be overestimated. It is their duty and their privilege to visit them. I have witnessed the good results of such visits." Another: "Parents should visit the schools and witness the conduct of their children. Such visitation could not but result in good. Educated parents are culpably remiss in this respect in withholding priceless favors from their offspring.” Another: “I have always felt severely many of the disadvantages of our system, and especially the lack of interest on the part of parents in their children, in entirely leaving them to the mercy of the teacher. Many schools are never visited except by the committee, and not often enough by them.” Another writes : “ Their value is priceless. By frequent visits parents manifest an interest in the education of their children, and the children feel the influence and are stimulated to greater exertions. These visits are also encouraging to the teacher. The schools are much better and all parties are benefited.”
Among the means of improving the schools suggested at the teachers' institutes held in the State during the year past, that of the co-operation of parents was strongly urged. “Parents," it was remarked, “should come into the scbool-room every week. It will encourage the children to try to evince good progress. Well-trained children like to appear well before their parents. There is often a failure in schools for want of a familiarity between parents and teachers. When there is no longer less care for the school-children than for the farm-animals, we shall see more effort to visit them."
WOMEN AS SCHOOL-OFFICERS. The growing interest of women in the public schools and the importance to these of their influence and supervision are recognized in the passage of the following act by the New Hampshire State-legislature of 1872:
" SECTION 1. Any female citizen of any school-district, of adult age, who has resided therein for six months at least, may hold and discharge the duties of prudential committee of such district, whenever chosen thereto by the legal voters of such district or appointed by the mayor and aldermen of any city or the selectmen of any town.
“ SEC. 2. Any female citizen of any city or town, of adult age, who has resided therein for six months at least, may hold and discharge the duties of a member of the schoolcommittee of such city or town, whenever chosen thereto by the legal voters of such city or town or appointed by the mayor and aldermen of such city or the selectmen of such town."
MUSIC. Vocal music and elementary drawing, though not yet required studies in the schools of New Hampshire, have been introduced into many of them, with the best possible results. The Manchester board of education reports the influence of its study in that city as manifest in better reading and speaking, in purity, sweetness, and clearness of tone, and in fullness and distinctness of enunciation.
The replies received by the superintendent to inquiry 9, in his circular, "Do you commend the study and practice of vocal music in common schools ?” are represented by the following extract from one of them: “If innocent pleasure, if increasing usefulness, if good health, if correct morals, if capacity of intellect, are to be considered among the advantages of our education, then music, and especially vocal music, as a branch of practical importance, should not be neglected in our public schools. '* * Every one who has an ear with which to hear and a voice with which to speak can learn to sing. Some may be mechanical singers, but are there not, also, mechanical readers! Among other important objects served by the practice of music in schools, the advantage of it to the health is urged. The proper position, the vocalization of breath, the sustained tones, the required promptness in vocal music as it is practiced in the schools, are all favorable to a proper development of the physical system. There would be less of biliousness, less of slaggish circulation, less impediment in secretions, and far less consumption in the world, if there were more singing.".
DRAWING. The superintendent of schools at Nashua states that, while drawing is a prescribed study in the grammar- and high schools of that city, it is not on the programme of studies for the lower grades, an arrangement which, be thinks,“ seems to reverse the natural order. The work should commence in the primary school, and it should, in connection with writing, occupy a prominent position in that course of study. One of the first impulses of the child, at home or at school, is to draw something. I have been surprised at the large number and fit proportions of the objects which many of our youngest children readily draw on slate or blackboard. * It is an exploded idea that only a few giftod ones can learn to draw. Taking scholars of the same average ability, it has been invariably found that more can be taught to draw well than read satisfactorily or spell correctly."
Upon this subject the opinion of Mr. Walter Smith, State-director of art in Massachusetts, is quoted by the Milford school-committee, to the effect that “There are but four classes of human beings whom it is not found practicable to interest in drawing: they are the blind, the idiotic, the lunatic, and the paralytic. Of the rest of mankind and womankind exactly 100 per cent. can be taught to draw.” As to the utility of this acquirement, the same gentleman says: “I venture to say that in every workshop or factory where no knowledge of drawing is possessed by the workmen, there is a waste of material, a waste of time, and an inferior article produced in the end, evils which are a loss to the employer through sacrificing of his materials and inferiority of work, a loss to the workman through his time having to be wasted in experiments, and a loss to the public of tasteful objects to be obtained at a moderate cost."
COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE. The law for compelling attendance at school, passed by the State-legislature, July, 1871, provides that every parent, guardian, master, or other person baving the custody, control, or charge of any child between the ages of 8 and 14 years, residing within two miles of school, shall cause such child to attend school twelve weeks at least during each year, unless excused by the school-committee of the town on the ground of mental or physical incapacity or upon that of having received private instruction for the required length of time. The penalty incurred by guardians of children for violation of this law is $10 for the first offense and for all subsequent ones $20. It is made the duty of school-committees, boards of education, and superintending school-committees, respectively, to sue for all penalties thus incurred, upon written notice, served on them by a tax-payer, stating by whom, when, and how any such penalty has been incurred.
The fact that, notwithstanding this law, there are nearly four thousand children in the State who do not attend any school is accounted for in the school-committee's report of the town of Boscawen upon the ground that, “as no person is obliged to enforce the compulsory law and no one wishes to do so, it remains in some cases a dead letter." In the cities, the superintendent states, there has been a commendable effort made to enforce the law, especially in Manchester and several of-the larger manufacturing-villages. The matter is receiving attention, and it is thought the results of the law will be perceived in a larger attendance upon school than existed the preceding year.
EVENING-SCHOOLS. These schools, particularly in the larger cities, are becoming more important and beneficial each year, and are now as much a part of the educational system of the land as are the day-schools. In many cities such is the favor with which they are regarded that there is no school for which an appropriation can be more readily secured.
EDUCATIONAL JOURNAL. The expediency of publishing a monthly journal devoted to the interests of the teachers of the State was discussed quite generally at the institutes and invariably received the approval of teachers and others present who were interested in the cause of education. It was urged that such a journal would supply much of the need felt by teachers in the many sparsely-settled districts for intercommunication, and the labor of filling its columns is largely guaranteed by the friends of education in the State. At the Strafford County Institute a resolution was unanimously passed requesting the State Teachers' Association to publish a teachers' journal, for which were pledged hearty co-operation and support.
A large proportion of the replies received by the superintendent to inquiry 3, in his circular for information, “Do you advise the publication of a monthly State-schooljournal ? Can it be sustained ?" are represented by the following: “By all means; it is what is greatly needed and would greatly aid teachers and present many things which parents ought to consider. Sustained? Yes; why not! Every committee-man and teacher would want it, of course, and every family with children in the State ought to have it."
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SUPERINTENDENT. Certain changes in the school-laws, which seem to him to be of vital importance to the prosperity of the schools, are recommended by the superintendent to the consideration of the general court :
(1) The expediency of legislating so that the State may aid schools in purchasing a certain amount of illustrative apparatus.
(2) Facilitating the attendance of teachers of the public schools at the teachers' institute for their county.
(3) Uniting the powers and duties of the town-school-committee and prudential committee in one board of officers chosen for a term of years.
(4) The utility of making provision for a clerk for the superintendent.
(5) Lastly, that the force of the legislation should tend to the adoption of the townor municipal system for the management of all the public schools.
EDUCATIONAL ADVANCE FOR 1873. At the meeting of the State Teachers' Association at Clarenont, in October, Hon. J. W. Simonds read a paper, from which we make this extract:
“The annual statistical report indicates a steady advancement in nearly all the elements that constitute a progressive school-system. The reported increase of schoolproperty in the past year is $47,625 ; increased value of apparatus, $11,912; decrease of school-houses unfit for their purpose, 29; increase of school-revenue, $38, 918; increase of appropriation for each scholar, 95 cents; decrease of the number of schooldistricts, 101; increase in the number of schools, 44; increase of graded schools, 67 ; increase of the aggregate length of summer-schools, 3,220 weeks; of winter-schools, 237 weeks. The average length of the sessions of the public schools throughout the State was 21.2 weeks, an increase of 1.5. The male teachers einployed in the State were 527 ; the females, 3,295. Average increase of wages for all the teachers in the State, $2.73. Of these teachers, 632 taught for the first time; 1,135 taught the same school for two or more terms; and 1,762 are reported to have attended teachers' institutes."
HIGH SCHOOLS, ACADEMIES, SEMINARIES, AND INSTITUTES. The instrumentalities for secondary instruction in the State are 27 high schools, 17 academies, 5 seminaries for ladies, and 4 institutes. The statistics of 37 of these schools show an aggregate attendance of 3,685 pupils—1,770 boys and 1,915 girls—with 96 teachers, of whom 41 are gentlemen and 55 ladies ; 817 of the pupils were engaged in classic studies; 365 studied modern languages, and 457 were preparing for college. Music is taught in 20 of these schools and drawing in 15; 17 report libraries, although some of them number only a half dozen or more books of reference, the largest reporting numbers 4,000 volumes, the smallest 3.
For the preparation of young men for college, the most noted school is, perhaps, Phillips Academy, at Exeter. In this school provisions are made for the aid of indigent pupils in a charity-foundation, to which about 20 pupils annually are admitted, and 3 scholarships, called, respectively, the Bancroft, Hale, and Gordon scholarships, and Sibley book-fund. Attendance during the year 1872–73, 252 pupils.*
PREPARATORY SCHOOLS. Three schools engaged in preparing students for college, report an aggregate of 391 pupils in classic and 116 in scientific studies. In two of the schools, the Kimball Union and Phillips (Exeter) Academies, the pupils were divided in the various grades, as follows: in advanced classes, 38; in senior, 83; in junior, 86; in middle, or third, 98; in lowest, or fourth, classes, 39. St. Paul's School, at Concord, has 155 in classic studies; the scholarship-funds belonging to it amount to $14,000; there is a library of 1,500 volumes, a cabinet of natural history, a philosophic cabinet and apparatus, and a gymnasium. Kimball Union Academy, at Meriden, has 80 pupils in classic and 108 in scientific studies, a library of 3,000 volumes, a chemic laboratory, a cabinet of natural history, a philosophic cabinet and apparatus, and a gymnasium. Phillips (Exeter) has 156 students in classic studies, 38 of whom are in an advanced class, 53 in the senior, 46 in the junior, and 24 in the third.
* It is but justice to a veteran educator, to give here a brief notice of the Rev. Gideon L. Soule. LL.D.. who retired in July, 1873, from the principalship of this academy. In the year 1813, he entered, at 17 years of age, as a student of the academy from Maine, and prepared in it for college. Graduating in 1818, at Bowdoin, he returned to the academy as an instructor under Dr. Benjamin Abbot. He continued such, with one brief interruption, Dr. Abbot leaning more and more upon his aid, till 1838, when, by the unanimous suffrages of the trustees and friends of the institution, he succeeded Dr. Abbot as principal, on his retirement, and served for 35 more years with growing reputation, making among his pupils hundreds of grateful and loving friends. The dumber graduated from the academy while under his charge was upwards of 2,000, the greater part of whom passed into college, and thence spreading as educated men through every portion of the country the molding influences received from him. Retiring in a green old age, he left the academy in a most flourishing condition, its buidings renovated, its endowment unimpaired, and its prospects encouraging in a high degree.
STATE NORMAL SCHOOL. During the year 1872–73, 212 ladies and 71 gentlemen belonged to the school. A class of 28 received certificates of graduation at the close of the fall-term and a still larger class are preparfug for examination at the close of the spring-term in May. Sixty per cent. of the students have taught in the public schools of the State.
The new normal-school-building, now completed, is a fine three-story brick structure 80 by 50 feet and cost $17,650. The school possesses sufficient apparatus to illustrate the instruction comprised in the courses of study and the library contains several valuable works of reference. There are two courses of study: the first, requiring one year for its completion, includes all the branches required by law to be taught in the common schools; the second includes such higher English branches as require for its completion two school-years. The certificates of graduation from the first course have the effect of licenses to teach in the common schools of the State for three years from their date and those from the second course for five years.
DARTMOUTH COLLEGE. This time-honored institution is now in the one hundred and fifth year of its age, with steadily-increasing influence and usefulness. Embracing an academic, a scientific, an agricultural, an engineering, and a medical department, it affords its students almost the advantages of a university. Discreetly yielding to the present call for varied, and especially for practically useful, culture, yet holding steadily in its academic department to the main features of the established curriculum of college-study, it affords a good example of an institution that keeps pace with an advancing age, still carrying with it what the past has proved valuable.
Its lately-published triennial catalogue shows a list of 5,317 alumni, of whom twothirds graduated from the acadeinic department, 1,200 from the medical, 200 from the scientific, and 8 from the agricultural.
About $100,000 have been received from legacies and donations during the past year. The library has been increased by 1,100 volumes; the museum, by large collections of entomologic, geologic, and other specimens, as well as by a number of valuable casts; and that of the agricultural department by some rich gatherings from European fields. Two new halls, one for the Alpha-Delta-Phi Society and the other for the agricultural department, also add to the accommodations and appearance of the college. Two new scholarships, of $1,000 each, have been endowed during the past year.
At the annual reunion of the alumni in the winter, President Smith reported the number of freshmen for the class of 1873–74 to be 82 and the whole number of students in the various departments 420.
THE CHANDLER SCIENTIFIC SCHOOL. The Chandler Scientific School, connected with the college, and the Agricultural College, not far away, afford admirable advantages to those who purpose to devote themselves to engineering, the mechanic arts, the natural sciences, or agriculture.
The course of study in the Chandler School, if not a complete professional course, bears essentially the same relation to professional life as the academic course in college, though in another line. Like the Worcester Free Institute of Science, the Sheffield School at New Haven, the Stevens Institute at Hoboken, and others, it aims to combine, to some extent, a scientific and literary training. Thoroughness in its teaching is continually striven for, and how great success has been attained in this is attested by the readiness with which graduates of tbe Chandler School obtain positions. The class which entered in 1873 is said to be the largest yet recorded and the prospects of the institution eminently encouraging.
The Thayer School of Civil Engineering is meant to be essentially, though not formally, for post-graduate-instruction, with a course of study of the highest order, passing beyond what is possible in institutions for general culture and preparing the student for the most responsible positions in the engineering line. This course extends through two years, each divided into two terms, a large portion of each term being devoted to out-door-practice, with a view to practical familiarity with work, as well as principles.
The Agricultural College has a course which, as at present arranged, embraces three years, with three classes : junior, middle, and senior. During the first or junior-year all students pursue the same studies. At the beginning of the second year they are required to select either the special course of agriculture or the course of mechanic arts, and are not allowed to change from one course to another without special permis. sion from the president.
The new Culver Hall, for the use of the Agricultural College, now completed, furnisbed, and in constant use, affords greatly-increased facilities for the studies of this department. This building is 100 feet in length, 60 in breadth, and four stories high, containing laboratories, recitation- and lecture-rooms, and rooms for the various cabinets and museums.
BUSINESS-COLLEGE. One business-college only is reported as existing in this State; it is at Manchester and had 376 students on its rolls in 1873.
COLLEGES FOR WOMEN. From five institutions claiming to be engaged in the superior education of young ladies come partial returns for 1873, which may serve to show what is being done in this line in New Hampshire. (1) The Adams Female Academy reports 3 teachers and 12 pupils in a preparatory department, without indicating whether there are any in collegiate classes. “Art-studies, belles-lettres, and general literature” are said to be especially attended to. Music-vocal and instrumental-drawing, painting, French and Italian, are taught; there is a small chemic laboratory, an art-gallery, and a gymnasium, while a library of 700 volumes, increased by 50 during the year past, affords reading for the pupils. (2) The New Hampshire Conference Seminary and Female College, at Tilton, with 8 instructors and 44 young ladies in college-classes. Two courses of study are here provided for young ladies, a classic course of four years and a belleslettres-course of three, the former running up to Cicero in Latin, Racine in French, and William Tell in German; the latter the same, with the exception of the Latin. There is also a musical department, the schedule of studies in which is quite complete, and a normal class for such as desire to become teachers. (3) The New Hampton Literary Institution—with 9 teachers and in the female college-classes 108 pupils—its