« PreviousContinue »
fully elaborated by Jahn, the father of German “turning.” German school gymnastics (Schulturnen) owe their distinctive peculiarities to Adolf Spiess, who worked out a system involving the simultaneous performance by a class or squad of prescribed exercises at the word of command. This form of physical training, more or less modified, gradually made its way into the course of school instruction in different parts of Germany; at present three hours a week are devoted to it in the Prussian higher schools for boys and two hours in the schools for girls and in the elementary schools. A general statement as to its methods, spirit, and intent is given on pages 741-742. It should be noted that this training in Germany is not regarded as a substitute for recess or free play, but forms an organic part of the course of instruction.
Peter Henry Ling is regarded as the originator of Swedish school gymnastics. Though this branch did not become highly organized or generally adopted in the school course until some years after his death, it has developed along lines marked out by him. He anticipated the class exercises of Spiess, laid great stress on positions as distinguished from movements, and was the first to devise free movements (i. e., without apparatus) as preparatory exercises. He also paid great attention to physiological considerations, and especially required movements to be made so as to promote free and deep breathing. “Progression” and the coordination of exercises with each other are distinguishing features of the Swedish system.
In emphasizing the point that in the Swedish and German systems all movements are performed at the word of command, Doctor Hartwell takes occasion to protest against the teaching of gymnastics through memorized and musical drills, a practice, he says, still somewhat common in England and the United States.
The rise of physical training in the United States has been marked by alternating periods of enthusiasm and neglect. The Round Hill School at Northampton, Mass., was the first to connect gymnastics with a purely literary training (in 1825), though previously its claims in some form had been advocated by a number of persons interested in education, including Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, Noah Webster, and Thomas Jefferson. Other enthusiastic and short-lived experiments, chiefly on lines suggested by foreign experience, followed. The well-known names of Doctor Follen and Doctor Lieber are prominent in this connection. Harvard started the first college gymnasium in 1826. Yet the matter soon lapsed into neglect. Previous to the civil war, apparently, no very considerable development took place. Mention should be made, however, of the transitory but widespread movement between 1829 and 1835 "to provide college and seminary students with facilities for gaining health, amusement, and money by means of agricultural and mechanical labor."
The period from 1860 to 1880 was marked by a renewal of interest in gymnastics, particularly in colleges and preparatory schools; also, by the beginning of the extraordinary development of athletic sports and games which is a distinguishing feature of school and college life at the present day. The gymnastic crusade preached by Dio Lewis, in Boston, in 1860, had a far-reaching influence. Amberst College in the same year established a department of physical education under Dr. Edward Hitchcock, who introduced a system of periodical physical measurements of students. In 1880 the Hemenway Gymnasium of Harvard University was opened, under Doctor Sargent, the inventor of the system of “developing gymnastics,” which bears his name; since then millions of dollars have been spent upon new gymnasia modeled more or less closely upon the Hemenway, and using in the main the Sargent system, which is described more particularly on page 752. Swedish pedagogical gymnastics have been adopted by certain colleges for women, but by few for men. With all the interest displayed in building gymnasia and collecting appliances, however, too little attention has been paid to developing the science and art of physical training, and too much prominence allowed to athletic ideals, methods, and aims.
The subject of school gymnastics is taken up on page 754, where a brief account of the systems adopted and the progress made is given.
Manual, industrial, and technical education forms the subject of Chapter XIX (pp. 1019-1046), by Prof. Calvin M. Woodward, director of the manual training school and dean of the school of engineering and architecture of the Washington University, St. Louis.
By “manual training” is understood “the systematic study of the theory and use of common tools, the nature of common materials, elementary and typical processes of construction, and the execution and reading of working drawings.” The mere performance of hand work upon materials in the school does not constitute manual training. System and continuity are essential. The manipulations of the kindergarten, busy work in the primary grades, the science laboratory, and the commercial workshop are beyond the pale of manual training. The real aim of manual training is not to construct certain objects, which are only the incidental means, but to develop mastery and power as the result of the effort made. In cooperation with mental training it strengthens and disciplines all the faculties; the “whole boy” is put to school.
Manual training, using the term in its pedagogical sense, is of recent origin. Certain forms of it were employed in Russia in 1868. An exhibit made by the Imperial School of Moscow at the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia in 1876 seems to have been chiefly instrumental in drawing attention to it in this country. The St. Louis Manual Training High School, opened in 1880, was the first of its kind
and attracted much attention here and abroad. Others followed in Baltimore (1883), Chicago (1884), Toledo (1884), Philadelphia (1885), and elsewhere. This progress was not made without some opposition. Professor Woodward cites some of the predictions that were made as to the evil effect upon the school and the pupils of this new form of training; all of which, he says, have apparently turned out to be false. Hostile criticism has practically ceased, and there are now manual training high schools to be found in nearly every large city, while hundreds of secondary schools have introduced manual training in some form as an optional study. The European plan of making it a pure “extra," to be taken after hours, has found little favor in the United States.
After manual training had become recognized as a valuable feature in high school work attention was directed to introducing it into the grammar schools in an elementary form. Many experiments have been tried, the results of which tend to show that for children in the stage of development reached in the grammar school period the exercises should be simple, involving few elements, and capable of analysis into steps which the child can appreciate. This very important advice, if carefully considered, would modify and improve most of the manual work in the grammar schools. Especially the pupil should learn when and how to use each particular tool.
The class method of instruction should be used. The teacher makes in the first place to the pupils a statement of principles and theories, and gives a practical illustration; one-fourth of the laboratory period is sufficient for this. The pupils then repair to their separate places and reduce to practice what is to them as yet theory. The teacher should never begin work for the pupils to finish, nor finish what they have begun. The doing, not the finished product, is the main thing. Herein lies one of the chief points of distinction between the manual training laboratory and the commercial workshop.
More or less industrial work has been introduced into schools of different grades under the guise of manual training. Such occupations have much of educational value, but are liable to become ends in themselves rather than the means of development and growth. Industrial training has no well-defined limits; it ranges over all the ground between manual training proper on the one hand, and purely trade instruction by apprenticeship in commercial shops on the other. While it should be kept in mind that manual labor is not manual training, still the employment of strictly pedagogical methods in teaching a trade or industry is of value both from a practical as well as from an educational standpoint. Professor Woodward cites from Supt. Thomas M. Balliet, of Springfield, Mass., an interesting experiment in the direction of trade teaching along pedagogical lines and in connection with the public schools.
Coeducation.—Chapter XX (pp. 1047–1078) treats of coeducation in the schools and colleges of the United States, bringing the account of this policy to date, and also tracing its development under the democratic influences that have shaped the entire system of public education in this country.
In the elementary grades of our public schools with very few exceptions boys and girls are always taught in the same classes; the association at this stage is not indeed peculiar to our own country, but obtains to some extent in all Protestant countries. It is the continuance of the policy in secondary and higher institutions that marks it as distinctive of education in the United States. This upper extension of the policy has come about naturally through the growth of public or state supported, as contrasted with private schools. Statistics show that of pupils in the elementary grades 94 per cent (15,375,000 in a total of 16,479,000) and of pupils in secondary schools 77 per cent (566,000 in a total of 734,000) are enrolled in public schools. Of the elementary pupils specified 96 per cent are in mixed classes and of the secondary pupils 95 per cent. The general favor with which coeducation is regarded in this country appears also from the fact that of pupils enrolleil in private schools nearly one half (about 45 per cent) are in coeducational schools. As to higher institutions-colleges and universities-the statistics show that 62.5 per cent of all undergraduate students are in coeducational institutions. The proportion would doubtless be considerably higher if State universities and land-grant colleges were alone considered.
The West has afforded the field for the fullest development of public systems of education, and throughout this section women have been freely admitted to all provision by which the State seeks to foster intelligence and high ideals. Hence the history of education in this section, which is briefly reviewed in the chapter before us, indicates very clearly the significance of coeducation as a public policy.
This history begins with the reservation of lands under the ordinance of 1787 for the support of both common schools and higher institutions. The policy thus initiated bas been since extended by Congressional appropriations of much greater value, notably those made under the land-grant act of 1862 and the supplementary acts of 1887 and 1890, and this national bounty has been followed by extensive grants from State legislatures. The far-reaching effects of this bounty, through the impulse given to collective action in respect to education in the pioneer era of western life and the relation established between local interests and the broader conception of State and national life, are shown in the historical review of these measures. The interplay of Federal and State policies in the complex whole of our national life is strikingly illustrated in the foundation of State universities characteristic of the West. These institutions are the crown of the public schoul system, and coeducation seems to have been adopted by them as naturally and through the same influences as in the elementary schools. It is a 'noteworthy fact indeed that this is the policy in every college and university in the North Central and Western divisions of our country that has had the benefit of national land grants. The West is thus distinguished by the unity of higher and elementary education through their common origin in the public bounty. Private agencies have shared in the work, but have never gained ascendency as they did in the East; consequently the schools and colleges of the West have a more homogeneous character than in the East; they are more easily brought within a common system and in their progress, as is shown by the review of their history, have responded more readily to democratic ideals than the older, more complex, and more conservative institutions of the Eastern States.
But above these sectional tendencies are the influences of a common national life making constantly for unified sentiment and action. So closely interwoven are the States that measures passed by the legislature of one State are often adopted almost simultaneously by other State legislatures, and thus spread rapidly throughout the country. As observed in the chapter, “this is so true in respect to education, that although there is no national system of education in the United States, the expression is current among us and carries to all minds a very definite idea.” Under this interplay of influences the West early assimilated the ideals of liberal education which dominated the East; in like manner the West has imparted to the East liberalizing influences that have modified traditional practices. This is particularly noticeable in respect to the higher education of women. To the demand that women should have full provision for intellectual culture and discipline, the West responded by opening to them the colleges and universities previously limited to men; the East by the endowment of special colleges for women. Up to 1870 the indications were that coeducation would be the policy of the West and separate education that of the East. The opening of Boston University in 1869 with coeducation as a distinctive feature and the admission of women to Cornell in 1872 changed the outlook in the section east of the Alleghanies and the progress of the policy since that date has been almost as marked in this division as in the West, where it was inaugurated. The history of Cornell shows plainly the influence of Oberlin and Michigan in determining its action in this important matter.
An added impulse was given to the movement for coeducation in colleges by the passage of the land-grant act of 1862 and the general recognition of woman's claim to participate in this bounty. Among other influences noted in the chapter as conducing to the same end are the industrial changes that characterized the period, 1830 to 1870, and the growing demand for women's services in the public schools of the country. In the West the opening of colleges and uni