Page images
PDF
EPUB

In the further progress of the movement of popularizing education a new type of secondary schools was developed which lay much nearer the people, viz, the public high schools. These formed, in fact, the upward continuation of the public elementary school system and were rticulated with it. Following upon the educational “revivaal” inaugurated by Horace Mann in the fourth decade of the last century in Massachusetts, the public school system had, previous to the civil war, become firmly intrenched in most or all of the Northern States. The public high schools were its legitimate outgrowth. These schools were maintained at the public expense and were under public control, and had, at least in the more populous centers, courses the same in general character as those of the academies, but were free of charge and generally located in the near neighborhood of the main body of their pupils. In consequence of these advantages they in some cases supplanted the academies or took them over, but they largely occupied new ground, gathering in a different class of pupils and leaving the academies and other private secondary schools to cater to their own clientèle and fulfill their own mission. Their establishment marks the third and latest phase in the development of secondary education. They have multiplied in all sections of the Union, including the South since the war, to the extent of becoming the dominant type of secondary schools; but have been so far from crowding out the private schools that the growth of the latter has in recent years been keeping about even pace with the increase of population, as shown by the diagram on page 567.

Massachusetts led the way in bringing a high school education within the reach of every child in the State by enactments requiring towns not having high schools to pay the tuition (1891) and transportation expenses (1894) of duly prepared pupils who desired to attend the high schools of neighboring towns. Measures to the same end have since been adopted by several other States, especially those having State aided high schools, which are frequently required to give free tuition to all qualified pupils who present themselves. On page 568 Professor Brown gives a table showing the principal facts regarding State aid and control of high schools in a number of States.

In recent years the relations between the secondary schools and the colleges have become a fruitful subject of discussion and experiment. Owing to the diversity in the courses of the different secondary schools and in college entrance requirements, the institutions of the two grades did not for the most part interlock with each other. Various movements have been set on foot with a view to a more complete articulation of secondary and superior instruction. Attempts have been made on the one hand to standardize the secondary courses, while on the other hand groups of associated colleges have adopted uniform entrance requirements in the various branches of study, and admit students either without examination on the certificate of accredited secondary schools, or as the result of an examination before a joint examining board of the colleges. These movements are described in some detail by Professor Brown, who also shows that the discussion has extended so as to embrace the whole subject of the character, aims, and length of elementary, secondary, and superior courses, and cites various propositions that have been made for the redistribution of the work of the three grades of instruction.

Education in France.-Chapter XIII (pp. 585-622) presents a survey of educational progress in France by means of statistical summaries bringing the record down to 1902, and a detailed account of the work of the various classes of schools which, in the French system, are included in the division of primary education.

On account of recent legislation special interest attaches to the statistics showing the distribution of pupils between the public schools and the schools of the religious orders. (Tables II and III, pp. 588-589.) For the latest year reported (1901) the enrollment in primary schools was 5,526,800, equivalent to 14.2 per cent of the population. Of this enrollment 75 per cent were in public schools and the remaining 25 per cent in private schools. The great majority of the latter schools, and a small proportion of the public schools, were in charge of members of the religious orders, the classification of pupils (Table III) showing 72 per cent of the whole enrollment in secular schools and 28 per cent in the religious schools.

The suppression of the religious orders by recent measures will therefore oblige the Government to make additional school provision for nearly a million and a half children of school age.

The clerical schools that must be closed under the legislation referred to employed about 10,000 men teachers belonging to religious orders and 33,300 women teachers. There were also about 6,300 nuns employed in the public schools. (Tables VI and VII, p. 589.) The elimination of the clerical schools will therefore bring a great additional expense upon the Government, which is already embarrassed by the difficulty of securing an adequate supply of competent teachers for the primary schools by reason of the low salaries which the service offers. The evils resulting from this condition have been forced upon the attention of the legislature, which has already adopted temporary measures looking to the pecuniary relief of the teachers (p. 591). Further legislation is anticipated, which it is hoped will bring the teaching service to a financial level with other branches of the civil service.

It is noticeable in this connection that the public expenditure for education (public schools only) decreased from 214,000,000 francs ($42,800,000) in 1896–7 to 198,000,000 francs ($39,600,000) in 1900. The expenditure per capita of population for 1900 was equivalent to $1.02 and the per capita of enrollment to $8.60. (Tables IX and X, p. 591.)

The statistics of enrollment in secondary schools for boys (Table XI, p. 592) show a gradual decline of attendance upon the public secondary schools from 1887 to 1898, with a corresponding increase in the enrollment in the schools under the religious associations. The totals for the public schools were 89,902 in 1887; 84,402 in 1898; for the clerical schools in 1892, 75,032; in 1898, 91,140. Since 1898 the enrollment in the public secondary schools has increased, but not to the loss of the clerical establishments. The apparent transfer of young men of the more influential classes from State schools to clerical was one of the provoking causes of the recent legislation against the religious orders. Students in these higher institutions are destined for public careers and the Government was naturally alarmed at the idea of having them under influences that were regarded as hostile to its welfare. It was at first thought, however, that extreme measures would not be adopted against the “orders," as even their opponents recognize the value of their educational and charitable work. The law respecting the religious associations introduced by Waldeck-Rousseau went no further than to require them to apply to the civil-power for authorization. Since the passage of that law events have developed extreme bitterness on both sides, and the Government has adopted drastic measures which will result in closing all the schools belonging to the orders and their dismissal from the country.

From the statistics of universities (Table XII, pp. 592, 593) it appears that the registration in State universities has increased by about 60 per cent since 1887, the total registration for 1901 being 29,931 students. The University of Paris greatly outnumbers all others in this respect, its total registration being 12,289 students, but it no longer, as in 1887, comprises more than half the total registration. Lyon, with 2,458 students, and Bordeaux, with 2,119, stand next to Paris. Toulouse also has a little above 2,000 students; Montpellier, Lille, Rennes, and Nancy have each above 1,000 students.

As regards the distribution by faculties, law leads with 10,152 students; medicine follows with 8,627. The faculties of science with 3,910 students slightly surpass the faculties of letters with 3,723 students.

The independent or private universities show a total of 1,488 students. France is also rich in special schools of university grade, such as the Collège de France, the École Pratique des Hautes Études and the École Nationale des Beaux Arts. Statistics of these special schools and the higher technical schools are given, page 593.

The department of primary instruction in France comprises infant schools, elementary higher primary schools, manual-training schools, and normal schools for training elementary teachers. The scope of each of these classes was clearly defined by the law of October 30, 1886, and the programme of studies for each class of schools has been carefully prescribed by official regulations. Thus there is very little overlapping of studies from grade to grade and great uniformity in primary school work throughout the country. The recent tendency has been to relax somewhat the extreme uniformity which formerly prevailed, leaving larger liberty to local inspectors and school directors as to the application of the programmes in particular places and schools. It is still true that the official programmes (especially when accompanied with typical time-tables) give a very intimate view of the work of all classes of schools in France pertaining to the primary department. Peculiar interest therefore attaches to the series of programmes which form a prominent feature of Chapter Xlil. The elementary primary schools cover the period of obligatory school attendance (i. e., ages 7 to 13). It will be seen by comparing their programmes with typical programmes for the United States, also presented in the chapter, that there is quite close agreement between the two countries in respect to subjects of study and the extent to which each study is carried. In the French programmes, however, peculiar stress is placed upon instruction in morals, the complete programme of which subject will be found in the chapter. In addition to the formal instruction in morals (la morale) during specified periods, it is expected that the subject will be diffused, as it were, throughout the entire instruction of the school.

On the intellectual side the subject specially emphasized is the native language and literature. The importance of making this branch the core of the whole instruction was urged by the school council of Paris in 1899, when the revision of the official programmes was under discussion, and the influence of this council naturally prevailed in this matter. AU critics of the French schools recognize the peculiar efficiency with which this part of the programme is carried out.

Although great stress is placed on the importance of manual training by French educators, it is evident from the programmes presented that this branch has its development chiefly in city schools, where it takes the form of sewing for girls and wood and metal work for boys. By reference to the programme of a small country school with a single master (pp. 599, 600), it will be seen that the so-called manual training is reduced in that school, practically, to drawing and theoretical instruction in the elements of agriculture. The same programme illustrates the method of consolidating the work of the two higher divisions of the primary school where circumstances do not permit the normal division into three sections.

To the American reader the most significant lesson brought out by the programmes is that of the distinction between the higher primary schools of France and the high schools of the United States. From the former the classics are entirely excluded, and in the smaller towns and villages the higher primary schools offer little more than a continuation of the simple branches of the elementary grade. In Paris and other large cities, as Lyon and Lille, the higher primary school is generally a highly organized school, offering elaborate courses of instruction in science and modern languages, with peculiar emphasis on the practical application of these branches.

Great complications have arisen in the effort of the administration to provide high school instruction which should meet the demand of parents for the practical training of their children and at the same time raise the general level of popular intelligence. The history of the struggle between these two purposes is incidentally brought out in the chapter here considered. A solution-or at least a temporary solution--of the problem has been found by the creation of a new class of industrial high schools, viz, schools of commerce and of industry, whose general character is defined in the chapter, and their programmes brought into comparison with those of the higher primary schools. Both classes of schools, the higher primary and the schools of commerce and industry, are supported by the combined efforts of the State and the communes. As a rule, in cities outside of Paris, these schools have boarding departments managed sometimes by the municipality under a salaried “économe," but more frequently by the director of the schools. The pupils are drawn not only from the town but from the neighboring region. About half the primary schools for boys and two-thirds of those for girls are of this character, and thus, as explained by Mr. Moranta in an interesting report on this subject, France is provided with a “widespread system of municipal boarding schools with the staff supplied at the expense of the State.” The higher primary schools of France as now organized resemble the modern departments of our own high schools, while the schools of commerce and of industry may be likened to our industrial high schools. In addition to the schools named, the State maintains four national schools (écoles nationales professionnelles) intended as models for the complete education of the industrial classes. These schools embody in fact the conception of specialized training for the people which was entertained by the leaders of the French Revolution, and which the present Republic has endeavored to realize in practical form. The four schools referred to combine in one establishment an infant school, a primary school, and a technical high school. As explained by Mr. Buisson, they “are not in any sense special technical schools, more or less complete schools of engineering (écoles d'arts et métiers); they are associations of schools comprising an infant and a primary elementary school, and at each stage technical instruction which, commencing from the earliest age, when it is of little importance, continues

a Successor of Mr. Sadler as chief of the division of special inquiries of the English educational department.

« PreviousContinue »