« AnteriorContinuar »
which occurred in 1900. The chapter comprises a review of his special services to education in Connecticut, as set forth in an address delivered at the celebration of Dr. Barnard's eighty-sixth birthday, in 1897, and extended accounts from different sources of his relation to the Bureau of Education.
Dr. Barnard's work in Connecticut and Rhode Island corresponds in time and in purpose with that of Horace Mann in Massachusetts. Their names are, indeed, inseparably associated in the movement which determined for all time the essential features of public systems of education throughout our country.
The work of Dr. Barnard in initiating practical reforms in education was supplemented by that of collecting in one great body the written records, not only of this movement, but of all similar movements in the history of mankind, and it is as an untiring collector and publisher of informatiori pertaining to the interest which absorbed his attention that his fame has spread to all civilized nations. His enthusiasm for this particular line of research naturally directed his mind to the importance of some central clearing house of educational information, and he seems to have been the tirst person to publicly suggest such an agency.
His name is identified with all the preliminary measures that ied eventually to the establishment of the National Bureau of Education, and he naturally received the appointment of Commissioner immediately upon its creation. During his three years incumbency of this office he rendered invaluable service by outlining a comprehensive scheme of inquiry which has to some extent guided the work of the office ever since, and also by the collection of important material respecting education in the District of Columbia and the legal status of the colored population in that District and in 14 States, which formed the bulk of a special report published by order of Congress.
Dr. Barnard's "monumental work," observes General Eaton, who sticceeded him as Commissioner of Education, “was his Journal of Education." This publication, to which he devoted his fortune and the most arduous efforts, is universally valued as a reference book and represented in this country the first systematic effort to foster the comparative study of educational systems and movements. His plans for this publication were carefully elaborated and formed the basis of bis suggestions as to the scope and operations of the Bureau of Education. (See pp. 923, 924.)
Fortunately it has been possible to collect very full particulars of the work actually done by Dr. Barnard, and of the spirit and purposes which animated him, from persons who were more or less intimately associated with him during the whole period of his active life. Great care has been taken, so far as possible, to verify by published documents and concurrent testimony the details presented in
this chapter. Hence the matter is a valuable contribution to the permanent educational history of this important period.
Length of college course (Chapter XXIII, pp. 927–948). — The subject of the length of the college course has been much discussed during the year among college men, especially among executive officers, and the interest aroused in the subject has led to the incorporation in this chapter of the action taken by some of the institutions toward reducing the time requirement for the bachelor's degree, together with a reprint of some of the discussions and a comparative statement showing the advance in admission requirements at Harvard University from 1612 to the present time.
Orford University and the Rhodes scholarships (Chapter XXIV, pp. 949–999). —The past year is in some respects memorable on account of the publication of the provisions made for free scholarships at Oxford for the benefit of colonial and American students. I have pointed out in an article reprinted here some of the special advantages which Oxford life has for American students there, and I have indicated some of the points of relation between the endowments (not only of Mr. Rhodes, but of our American millionaires) for education and the necessity thereby created for a larger representation of America in the universities of Europe, with a view to furnish a quota of our population who understand, through the intimacies of a student life, the characters and modes of life of the governing classes in the great nations of Europe.
Education in Great Britain and Ireland (Chapter XXV, pp. 10011068). ---The current record of education in Great Britain and Ireland possesses unusual interest for the student of education because of the passage of the new education law (law of December 18, 1902). This measure presents a singular mixture of reactionary and progressive tendencies, which can only be understood by comparison with the earlier law of 1870. The conditions that gave rise to that measure are briefly summarized in the chapter before us. It is enough to recall here that, while conserving the work already accomplished by denominational effort, it placed upon civic authorities the responsibility for completing the school provision of the country. To this end the law provided for the election of school boards in every district of England in which school provision was shown to be deficient. These boards were authorized to establish schools, borrowing money for building purposes on the security of local property taxes, and levying a school tax for the current expenditures of the schools. The government appropriation for elementary education which, beginning in 1833 with a grant of £20,000 ($100,000), had reached in 1870 a total of more than £560,000 ($2,800,000) was to be continued and distributed to both board and denominational schools on the same conditions. In other words, the law of 1870 provided for a dual school system comprising
board schools, i. e., public secular schools comparable to those of the United States, and denominational schools, henceforth termed "voluntary,” under church or other private managers.
The remarkable development that has taken place under the law of 1870 will be seen by reference to the retrospective tables. Whereas in 1870 there was school accommodation for only 84 per cent of the total population, in 1902 the accommodation in schools recognized by the Government as efficient was adequate for 20 per cent. The increased efficiency of the schools is indicated by the advancing ratio of average attendance to enrollment, i. e., from 68 per cent in 1870 to 81 per cent in 1.902, and by the increased proportion of adult teachers. The standard of elementary education has also steadily risen, as shown by the increasing number of pupils taking subjects above the three rudiments (Table XIV, p. 1011). The most impressive-fact brought to light by this review is the growth of the board schools. Since 1870 these schools have made provision for 45 per cent of the school population, and in 1902 enrolled nearly 48 per cent of all the children in elementary schools. Meanwhile the Church of England schools, which far exceed the combined strength of all other classes of “voluntary” schools, have steadily multiplied, and in the last year named had accommodation for 42 per cent of the school population and enrolled 394 per cent of all pupils. The annual expenditure for this work has proportionately increased. In board schools it has more than doubled, and in "voluntary” schools nearly doubled. If capital expenditure be included, the increase is very much greater, the total amount expended in 1895 being nearly six times that in 1871 (see Table VI, p. 1007). As regards the Government grant, it is noticeable that in 1902 the Church of England schools received from this source a sum but little below that appropriated to the board schools (Table 9, Division B). The increase in the local school taxes (for board schools only), i. ei, from £71,000 in 1871 to £6,300,000 in 1902, is a striking proof of the local interest and support which the school boards have evoked, and hence appears to be the most important outcome of the law of 1870.
By the new law, the text of which is cited in full, the school boards that have achieved such great results in England are abolished and the local authority for education transferred to county and city councils. These councils, like the boards, are popularly elected bodies, but on account of their multiform duties it is manifestly impossible that they should give direct attention to these new and important duties. Therefore they are authorized to establish educational committees, to whom they may delegate their powers under this law, save only the power of raising money by tax or loan. Furthermore, the public elementary schools provided by the local authorities will be directly under a body of managers appointed by the local authorities.
Thus it will be seen that the people are only indirectly represented in the management of their schools and are likely to lose that vital interest which was fostered under the school-board régime. Moreover, while providing for the support of church schools from local taxes, the law has materially strengthened ecclesiastical control of education, which is a policy in direct opposition to that of civic, nonsectarian control, toward which modern movements have tended. As originally drafted the bill made no provision for civil control of the church schools, but under the intense opposition excited by this endeavor to apply local taxes without public control an amendment was carried providing that two out of every six managers shall be appointed by local civic authorities. It was subsequently provided by the now famous Kenyon-Slaney amendment that the religious instruction given in these schools should be under the control of the managers. As a consequence of this amendment, religious instruction has virtually been brought under civic super•vision. Thus the very slight concession to the determined advocatas of public control over public moneys bas resulted in a radical modification of the original terms of the law. This unexpected change has excited an opposition in the church party almost as intense as was manifested by the Nonconformists to the proposition that they shoul! be taxed for denominational instruction opposed to their conscientious convictions. As it stands, therefore, the new law, although avowedly intended to unify the local control of education, seems to have intensified the elements of difference. The full significance of these unexpected provisions of the law as regards church schools is disclosed in an article by an English writer entitled “The clergy and the education act,” which is included in this chapter. The complicated administrative system that has resulted from the proposed effort at simplification was exposed by Mr. James Bryce, M. P., the leader of the opposition in the House, in a speech which is also cited (p. 1026).
Apart from the provisions here discussed the law has made valuable contribution to the movement for unifying and extending the national system of education. The local authority which it sets up is empowered to make due provision for education above the elementary grade, corresponding in general to what is termed secondary education in the United States, and thus for the first time in the history of Eng. land all education below the university province has been dealt with in a comprehensive manner. Moreover, the new financial provisions put an end to that inequality between board and church schools which had become a serious evil. These favorable aspects of the bill are set forth briefly but lucidly in an extract from the London Times, entitled “The national aspect of the education bill" (pp. 1027-1028).
The final test of the measure will be found in the spirit in which its provisions are carried out by the county and city councils. There are
already evidences that, at least in the great cities, it will be administered in a spirit of fairness and with due regard to popular demands. This final test of the law is very fully elaborated in an article by Dr. Macnamara, M. P., entitled “The new education act at work," also cited in this chapter.
London is not included in the operations of the law, but a separate bill dealing with the metropolis has been introduced into the House of Commons. This bill follows in the main the policy of the general law. As first drawn, however, the London county council, a very progressive body, was made subordinate to the borough councils, which are the successors of the former vestries. This proposal to curtail the authority of the countỷ council excited such a storm of indignation that it was withdrawn after it had passed the second read ing in the House by an immense majority.
In view of the provisions of the new law with respect to secondary education the chapter includes a historical survey of measures relating to this province which, beginning in the early part of the last century, have been steadily tending toward increase in the number of secondary schools, variation in type, and some system of unified control or supervision. In respect to this province Scotland enjoys peculiar preeminence in the Kingdom. Its elementary and secondary schools are alike managed by local elected school boards, and there is no marked line of distinction between the two grades. In view of a proposed new education law for Scotland, concerted action is being taken to preserve this traditional unity.
No complete statistics of secondary education in England have ever been collected, but such statistics as are available have been brought together in the chapter here considered. The view of this important province is completed by programmes of typical secondary schools.
Under the head of higher education in Great Britain and Ireland the chapter presents tabulated statistics of universities and university colleges, and a brief summary of the most important recent events relating to this department of education. The extension of the sphere of university activity is one of the most significant facts in the recent history of the country. Oxford and Cambridge have greatly increased their influence over secondary education by their system of examinations for secondary schools, and have gained a certain influence over the artisan classes by a vigorous work of university extension. The recent reorganization of London University has given to that city a great teaching university. The university colleges recently established in the great centers of industry show progress both in resources and patronage. The Scottish universities are moving for the reorganization of their curricula-an action evidently stimulated by the Carnegie bequest, the disbursements from which for the present year