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Meanwhile there seems to be one loophole of escape out of the difficulty, and that is the introduction of extraneous help—help not supplied in the usual way from elementary training colleges. Of course the weakness of such an experiment as that of introducing new auxiliaries into the routine of trained labor is evident, and consists in (1) the probable irregularity of such service, (2) the unskilled character of such help. If these arguments against voluntary aid are true generally, they hold good especially in the domain of school-keeping, where a little irregularity is sufficient to throw the whole educational machinery out of order. I am not, therefore, about to advocate the throwing open the floodgates for undisciplined energy to expend itself to the detriment of the children of the poor.
Suppose an infant school to be excepted from the ordinary conditions of examination, though still subject to inspection and receiving aid on satis. factory proof of efficiency, according to Kindergarten principles. It is surely not inconceivable that permission for such an experiment might be obtained, nor need the sacred rules of the Code be infringed to any perilous extent. The Head would be a person generally acquainted with the principles and practice of education (not merely those of instruction), and she should be especially versed in the principles underlying Kindergarten practices. She might be assisted by a staff of auxiliary, but not unpaid, workers. These would rank as and receive the pay of pupil teachers in their second year, and they should, if possible, be numerous enough to admit of an average of not more than 25 children to each class. Thus a small school of 100 children in average attendance would be worked by the head and four pupil-teachers (viz. one of the ordinary kind, so as to comply with the requirements of the code, and three auxiliaries), who should be completely under the control of the Head, being nominated for appointment or subject to removal by her; and she, in turn, should be directly and solely responsible to a sub-committee of the school board or other highest school authority. The pay of such extra pupil-teachers need not be high. There are many young people to whom the opportunity of instruction and practice in genuine Kindergarten work would be a consideration more valuable than money.
Mr. Meyers, an Iuspector of one of the London Districts, observes in his Report for 1876:
"When I had charge of the Hackney district, I repeatedly visited a School Board School where almost all of the girls were the children of professional thieves. The mistress was a lady who resigned a good position as private governess out of desire for this missionary work. The result of her work, as seen in the contrast in expression, speech, and aspect, between the new arrivals and those who had enjoyed a year's schooling, was almost startling. I certainly felt that this lady had made a career which was entirely satisfactory, where every power that she possessed was finding its exercise in a direction, undoubtedly and without drawback, beneficent. In a career where the satisfaction derived from the work itself may be so sound and so pervading, the amusements of leisure become less important. ... The great needs of Elementary Schools is an improvement of their teachers; a large accession of teachers who have the gentleness of life-long culture and the hereditary instinct of honour."
[The experience of St. Louis, under the wise and beneficent lead of Miss Blow, and Dr. Harris, is of great value in this connection.]
Our national system is not only covering all England with elementary schools, but it is also multiplying centres for tho discussion and elucidation of questions relating to education. For the functions of school boards will be but half performed in the future if they limit their action to voting supplies and to setting a blind machinery in motion. As the mechanism may be expected to work with increasing smoothness, and with decreasing need for attention to the first elements of management, the higher work of school boards will consist in bringing a certain amount of educated thought to bear directly upon the problems of educational science.
Would it not be possible, even now, to allow more scope for the application of Pestalozzi-Froebelian principles within the operations of the Elementary Education Acts? Why should not school boards here and there set apart a few infant schools to begin with, for a certain term of years, for the especial purpose of applying the principles of the Kinder. garten still more thoroughly to our national system? Why should not such experiments receive the sanction of Government, and be judged under special instructions to Inspectors to consider them in the light of the educational principles they involve rather than by the trick of “passes," already beginning to be found fallacious in guaging the ultimate worth of educational institutions ?
In 1877 Mr. Scoltock, H. M. Inspector for the Birmingham district, spoke of the educational work in clementary schools generally in the following strain :
. “It will be seen that the inspector and his assistants agree in thinking that the teaching has become mechanical rather than intelligent; that the school is valued rather by the number of passes' and largeness of the grant; that attempts are being made to reduce teaching to a dry matter of statistics, and to drive children in a hackneyed road, instead of developing their intelligence and gently guiding their faculties. Moreover, to teachers themselves this comparison of averages is most unfair. An idle and slippery master in a well-to do neighborhood, if aided by clever assistants, may show glorious results without doing a hour's real work; whereas, in a neighborhood thronged by the careless and the vicious, another may work the very life out, and his results will show but á wretched percentage."
Under the London Board a staff is supplied at the rate of an average of 30 children to a pupil-teacher, and 60 to an assistant; but practically a pupil-teacher is expected to teach 40, and an assistant 70 infants. To people interested in the education question it must appear especially unde. sirable that children under six years should be educated in such masses; and although a State system can at the best offer but a poor substitute for the divinely-appointed means for the young child's education, the family, surely it would be well for the controllers of our national educational system to consider whether there is not some limit to legitimate divergence from the natural conditions of child-life. A teacher with from 60 to 70 children must, in self-defence, allow the least possible scope for individu. ality to assert itself; the personal links between children and teacher are weakened; the whole character of her intercourse with her children changes; uniformity, drill, a superficial order (the elements of which are almost entirely physical) must be maintained.
EDUCATION-THE NEED OF THE SOUTH.
BY DEXTER A. HAWKINS, A. M.
INTRODUCTORY NOTE. The following paper by Dexter A. Hawkins, A.M., of the New York bar, was read before the American Social Science Association at its annual meeting at Saratoga in September, 1877, and printed in the proceedings of that year. We transfer it to our pages, because the evils of unlettered suffrage still exist to an appalling degree in the States known as the South, and the remedies of the free common school established by each State, with the aid of the General Government, within the reach of every child, and the denial of the ballot henceforward to all who do not profit by its privileges, have not yet been applied.
THE NEED OF THE SOUTI. One of the most beneficent problems that can engage our attention is the restoration of the Southern States to permanent peace and prosperity, as equal members of a great and free Democratic Republic, and the qualifying them for our system of government, and harmonizing them with it.
In order to effect this, without waste of time and of money, it is. necessary, first, to diagnose their present condition; to look a little into its cause, so as to determine how far this condition is the result of social disease, and how far of injury; and to apply, in proper proportions, the wisdom of the physician to the disease, and the skill of the surgeon to the injury.
But, above all, we must bear in mind that it is the vis medicatrix naturæ, the healing power of time, supplemented simply by human action, that will work enduring restoration.
The social state, whether formed of equals or of castes, and whether thriving or growing poor, is of slow growth. Generations are required to effect a radical change in it for good, or for evil. Let us take for examination and illustration the nine cotton States: North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. They con. tain, according to the census of 1870, a population over ten years,
of age of a little more than five millions, of whom fifty-one per cent., or 2,555,751, cannot read and write! Their inhabitants over twenty-one years of age are 3,090,000; of these, fifty-one and onequarter per cent., or 1,572,101, cannot read and write!
This state of things is the result of social disease of long stand. ing, and calls for the aid of the physician, whose prescriptions must be wise laws and careful administration.
The assessed valuation for taxation of property, both real and personal, in these nine States in 1860, was $3,244,239,406. This was reduced in 1870 to the sum of $1,830,863,180. In other words, in the ten years including the Rebellion their taxable property had shrunk forty-three and one-quarter per cent. This shrinkage was the result partly of social disease, slavery; and partly of injury inflicted during the Rebellion, both by themselves and by us.
Their ability to raise money by taxation was thus in ten years reduced nearly one-half, while the immediate necessity that is upon them, in order to fit themselves for free government based upon universal suffrage, of changing nearly three millions of human cattle, late slaves, that formerly required nothing but food and the lash, into three millions of human beings, wielding the ballot and demanding education and protection, has tempor. arily nearly doubled the public burdens to be borne by taxation. Here is just where the surgeon's skill in the shape of pecuniary splints, plasters, and bandages, that is, financial help, is required.
This additional annual burden, to make intelligent human beings out of these late human cattle, must be borne, and be borne now. It cannot be thrown off and left for the next generation, without causing a social and political disease worse and more fatal to the nation than hospital gangrene to the wounded soldier, or scrofula to the individual. The dense ignorance of these three millions of full-fledged citizens either will be the death of free government, or it will generate a distorted and diseased form of it, worse for the nation than intelligent despotism.
We, as a nation, have just experienced a striking example of the danger of deferring or neglecting a great public moral duty.
A hundred,years ago we were afflicted with a national malady, human slavery, that Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin, and all history, taught us must be uprooted, or it would strangle the Republic. We put off its extirpation for a century, and it cost us ten billions of money and a half million lives to repair our neglect.
Before prescribing a remedy for the misfortunes that exist in the Southern States, we must ask ourselves, “ What is to-day the condition of society there; for what is feasible in one state of society may be wholly impracticable in another; what a homogeneous people may receive gladly, a heterogeneous one may reject utterly."
Their whole population is 6,887,475, of whom fifty-six and onehalf per cent., or 3,896,320, are white, and were born under a system of caste that had of necessity to make might right, and to hold a white skin to be a sort of patent of nobility, a proof of hereditary right to rule. This fifty-six and one half per cent. cannot, so long as they live, help feeling that they still have, or ought to have, this right. We cannot expect them to feel otherwise; for, like ourselves, they are subject to the laws of habit and early training. We should feel and think as they do, had we been brought up and educated as they have.
Forty-three and one-half per cent. of the population, or 2,991,155, are colored, and came out of bondage; born to obey, not to think; ,to serve, not to rule.
All, both white and colored, grew up in a state of society that held manual labor degrading—the occupation of slaves; hence, the poor white, unable to own slaves himself, became a loafer and a hanger-on upon those who did own them; and the freedman's first idea of liberty was chronic idleness. The stimulus to industry and economy, that intelligence gives, was wanting.
Their politics and governments were in name democratic-republican, but in fact tyrannical and despotic oligarchies; and, however free in theory, were in practice intolerant and truculent. Ours would have been the same if we had been similarly situated. They were not to blame for this; it was a necessity of the social state of masters and slaves, from which they have now just emerged. The system of slavery, and the training of the whole body of inhabitants under it, both masters and slaves, was in perpetual and irreconcilable antagonism with any government based on equal civil rights of all inhabitants. That training remains, and must remain, till this generation passes away.
The five years' struggle of the Rebellion did not ameliorate the evils of this state of society; it rather intensified and embittered them. And it is not at all strange that, when peace was restored, the Southern whites, instead of giving their hands to the colored man, and asking him to buy some of their untilled acres, felt