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modern methods of making public museums minister to the needs of the entire body of citizens. He emphasized their importance in collecting facts as compared with the mere exhibition of specimens. All of these addresses were of great interest and value to teachers and other leaders of educational thought.

NE of the greatest rewards of the teaching profession is the sense

of dead-in-earnest teacher. It does not enter into the experience of the one who is in the work merely to make a living; but it is a vital element in the professional enthusiasm and satisfaction of the true pedagogue who has had a “call” to teach, and who is in love with his profession. The sense of achievement may be felt in relation to an individual pupil, or to a whole community. It is a more common experience in the former sense, and a more exalted one in the latter. Usually a large time element is necessary. After months, perhaps years, of patient thought and effort, the happy day finally comes when a real, marked awakening and growth is discerned in the pupil. The teacher is conscious that what he has been aiming at, working and praying for, almost despairingly oftentimes, but steadily, has at last been accomplished. A mind has been quickened, a character has been formed, and a new force set to work for service of self and humanity. An intellectual and spiritual child has been begotten.

Or, some faithful superintendent, or other educational specialist, after long, wearing service, contending with all sorts of opposition, ignorance, indifference and stupidity, at last sees the tone of the community distinctly raised by his efforts; evils, abuses, ignorance disappearing, and order, efficiency, intelligence taking their place. This is what makes the teacher's life worth living. It is well to look and work for such seasons of inspiration.

A gifted and conscientious supervisor of music said to us recently, with honest pride shining in every feature of his glowing face, that after several years' work he could see that the whole musical atmosphere of his town had changed; that the people now demanded a distinctly higher order of music than they had even known how to appreciate before; that the average taste was far in advance of that of neighboring towns; and that he could safely say that seventy-five per cent of the children in the public schools could be depended upon to come onto the platform, if summoned, and sing a solo correctly and creditably. His pride was justifiable and far removed from mere boastfulness. We almost envied him his joyous sense of achievement.


\HE article in our last issue entitled “ The Passing of the Spelling

Book” has been widely copied, and brought us a number of letters

emphasizing different phases of the subject. We take this as an indication of a popular interest in this important “ school art.” It possibly shows a tendency of the educational pendulum to swing well back toward the useful and the practical, and away from what some are pleased to call modern "fads" or theories. The imperfect preparation for life's duties on the part of high school pupils who go into business is very much in evidence in commercial circles; and where such large sums of money have been spent in educational equipment, the question naturally suggests itself: Does the output show that the money is well spent? Because their letters are badly spelled and punctuated, many busy men of affairs decide offhand that it is not, and that modern educational methods are a failure. It seems to us, however, that this decision is hasty, and that the subject should be looked at from other points of view. Is it proven that the old spelling book and spelling match days always produced expert spellers? We think not; but that the majority in that day as well as this "went down,” and only the exceptionally gifted ones won out and kept “ the head It seems to be true that some are born spellers, some achieve spelling, and some have spelling thrust upon them. One of our correspondents says:

“ It is not very difficult, I fancy, to write bright articles about the inability of school children to spell, judging from the number I see in the newspapers and magazines. But what I would like to know, and what I have so far been unable to get any explanation of from the critics, is why some children, and not an insignificant number either, do spell well? We have had a good many high school graduates in various capacities in the newspaper offices I have been connected with for the last thirty years or more, and I can't find any fault with their spelling. But somehow, such as these never get any credit, nor do the schools get any credit for them, in all the lucubrations concerning the failure of the schools to produce good spellers. I wish you would get some of your experts to discuss the capable speller once in a while. Perhaps he ought not to exist, but he surely does in spite of all the faults and failings of the existing causes and methods. Possibly there is some way of accounting for him, and I would like to know what it is.

We believe that some have a spelling sense, a sort of insight into the proportion of words, so that the ear suggests to the eye how the word should look. These persons can spell as the musical genius can improvise. Others can learn to spell fairly accurately by hard, persistent work. And others cannot, and never will, be able to spell correctly, no matter how long or hard they try. Those who are thus deficient should not take up employments that call for the faculty which they do not possess, any more than a person who cannot carry a tune should attempt to lead an orchestra. But the deficients are not common, and all who do not feel that they are spelling geniuses should make earnest efforts to master a subject which is at once so easily mas. tered, and so closely related to true success in business and professional life. And teachers should insist.

Foreign Notes


It is very difficult for Americans to understand the attitude of the French government toward the religious orders. Even those of us who believe fully in secular public schools cannot comprehend a fanatical opposition to private schools, while those who question the wisdom of making even public schools purely secular naturally sympathize more or less with the suppressed teaching associations, the brotherhoods and sisterhoods which have borne so large and worthy a part in the education of the youth of France. Fundamentally the struggle between state and church in France is a struggle for power. It is necessary in admitting this to distinguish between the secular clergy and those belonging to orders or “congregations” as they are called. The former are generally native Frenchmen, for the most part, devoted to their duties, simple in their lives and loyal to the government as it exists. The latter are recruited in part from other countries (ultramontaine), and their allegiance to their order is superior to all other ties. The republic has good grounds for doubting their attachment to its institutions, and their proselyting zeal, which is intense, does not exhaust itself in efforts to win their pupils to the true church, but, consciously or unconsciously, instills into the susceptible mind of youth a passion for the old régime in which state and church were one and that one was the church. Such at least is the conviction of the government leaders, a fact which must be kept in mind in every criticism of the recent anti-clerical laws. The first of these measures, the law of July 1, 1901, simply required the religious associations to seek the authorization of the civil authority for their existence as an association and also separate authorization for every establishment, charitable or scholastic, that they might open. The resistance of many orders to this requirement is a well-known story and suddenly the government developed a rancor which had not appeared in the debate on the original measure. Not only were applications for authorization from individual orders denied, but a proposition was introduced into the legislature to refuse all authorizations, and in spite of much opposition this bill was carried by a decided majority in both chambers. The third measure in the series, which has just passed the lower chamber by the vote of 316 to 269, destroys the whole system of schools belonging to the " orders.” Ten years are allowed for the complete application of the law, during which time all the religious associations, whether authorized or unauthorized, must wind up their affairs and leave the country.


No new members can be received during that time, and consequently the novitiates are suppressed at once excepting a few which are destined solely to recruit the teaching service in the French colonies. An amendment, which was carried in spite of the opposition of Premier Combes, makes the measure inapplicable to the colonies, but this does not deprive the government of the power conferred by the law of 1901 of closing schools in the colonies by special decree. The Senate has not yet taken action on the law, but no effectual opposition is there anticipated.

The closing of the clerical schools will force the government to provide for the education of at least one and one half million children winc have hitherto been enrolled in the schools taught by monks and nuns. This does not include the hundred thousand young men in the classical colleges belonging to the “ orders” nor the young women in convent schools. These children of the higher classes would not attend the state schools under any circumstances, and should the government carry out the extreme measure of suppressing all private schools many young people from the best families would simply be sent out of the country for their education.

The amazing feature of this whole affair is that the policy of suppression, or the anti-clerical policy, has been carried by large majorities in a country which is Catholic by an overwhelming majority.

The opposition to the English education law of 1902 was made the subject of special representation before Parliament last month on the occasion of a vote upon the appropriations. The "passive resistance" movement has reached ominous proportions, the number of persons summoned for refusal to pay the tax for sectarian purposes having reached 18,000 and the number of final notices 80,000. The movement, which involves the most respectable people, is increasing daily.

In Wales the opposition has taken an even more threatening form, the county councils having here with great unanimity refused to appropriate any money from local taxes for the support of sectarian schools. The overwhelming majority of the members of the Welsh councils are nonconformists, and with noble spirit they have taken the full responsibility in this matter rather than run the risk of having to prosecute their co-religionists one by one. In view of the widespread opposition and the bitter feelings everywhere excited by the unpopular law, strong hopes are felt that it will be radically modified at an early date.

The long expected bill to amend the education laws of Scotland was introduced in the House of Commons March 27th. The speech of Mr. Graham Murray submitting the measure passed in rapid review the

principal features of the existing system, together with the salient points of the proposed law. These pertain chiefly to matters of local control. For the small parish as an area of school administration the bill substitutes the county or county district, and thus vanishes the evil of petty neighborhood domination in school affairs.

All burghs with the exception of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, and Aberdeen are merged into county districts. The school affairs of each district and undivided county are to be controlled by an elected school board. This body will have the appointment of teachers and the determination of the rate of school tax, which must be uniform throughout a < strict. The schools themselves will be under the immediate direction local school managers, two thirds of whom are to be chosen by the parish. This provision—which is evidently intended as a sop to the displaced parish councils as well as a spur to local interest—is the only feature of the bill which is seriously criticised. The objection is raised that it continues in a new form some of the evils of the old parish system and introduces an artificial distinction between the 66 control” and the management” of schools.

Besides their powers with respect to teachers and school taxes the district and county boards by the provisions of the bill are made the local authority for all grades of public education; but they have not authority to levy a tax for secondary education. The “whiskey money" or surplus from the tax on spirituous liquors can no longer be used for the relief of local taxes, but must be turned into the education fund. District school boards have the option of aiding denominational schools from the local taxes, and may also provide for the transit of school children living in outlying districts. The local boards may

. also supplement the pensions for teachers.

It will be seen that the Scotch bill wisely avoids forcing the local authorities to apply local taxes to schools under private management and thus repeating the serious mistake made by the English law of 1901. On this point Mr. Murray, who presented the measure to the House of Commons, made the following judicious statement :

6. There does not seem and cannot be any logical claim by any person not in a school board for direct aid from the rates. But at the same time there is a great deal of proper educational effort which does a great deal for the children of Scotland, conducted outside the pale of school boards. In particular, the Roman Catholics educate a great many children. Therefore I have not shrunk from leaving it to the school boards if they choose to give, under such conditions as they like, help out of the rates to those other educational establishments.

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