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each, including a $5.50 class ring which each must have. I was told, too, that some girls, utterly unable to incur this expense, had left the school without graduating, while others, who had remained to graduate, felt it as a serious item in the year's outgoes, and one which they longed to avoid, but which a dread of public opinion compelled them to submit to.
Amazed and indignant, I complained to a friend of this state of things, and she replied that she had just been hearing a similar tale of another High School in a town in Maine; only there the dress was to cost $100, and there were, besides, presents to teachers, presents to the school, photographs to be left behind, and an evening entertainment and collation, to all of which every pupil was expected to subscribe handsomely.
No words are needed to prove the evil of such customs as these, and their utter inconsistency with the spirit of our public schools. I am not informed as to how widely they prevail, but it seems to me that in the present tendency of our young people to extravagance in dress, there is great danger of such examples being rapidly followed.
Have school committees and teachers the power to prohibit these absurdities as well as to discountenance them? The evil creeps in with the first wish for resemblance in the dresses, and should be stopped there.
THE NORMAL SCHOOLS. • The semi-annual examination of the FRAMINGHAM Normal School took place
on Tuesday, July 9th. After the usual examination exercises at the school, in the morning, the exercises of the graduating class were held in the afternoon in the Unitarian church, and were attended by a large audience of the friends of the pupils and of the school. The following essays were read: On the Political Influence of the Teacher, by Miss Jennie E. Tobey; On Embroidery, by Miss Lillian L. Hayward ; The Diary of Noah's Eldest Daughter, an amusing essay, by Miss L. Edith Howe; On Work, by Miss Marcella L. Hurd; On the Trials and Rewards of a School Teacher, by Miss Ellen M. Eames; a poem, The Song
of the River, by Miss Jennie Flynn; Valedictory, by Miss Louise B. Carruth. The entertainment was varied by the singing of several excellent original songs.
This closes the first year of the Principalship of Miss Johnson. The school has been attended by one hundred young ladies, and it is not too much to say, that, in the excellent results of the examination, and in the happiness and admirable order and condition of the school, Miss Johnson and her excellent assistants have fully met the expectations of their friends, and gone very far in dispelling the fears of such as thought so ill of woman's abilities as to consider the experiment of placing such a school entirely in women's hands, one of doubtful propriety.
The following are the names of the graduating class to whom their diplomas were presented by Governor Bullock: Anna W. Alexander
Nashua, N. H.
Nelson, N. H.
Southborough. The exercises at SALEM took place on Thursday, July 11th. The examination exercises, we need hardly say, were very satisfactory, and the graduating exercises very interesting to the large audience. Essays were read on Teaching as a Profession, by Miss Edna R. Richards; on the East and the West, by Miss Sophia E. Baldwin; on Schools, as seen in Shakspeare, by Miss Elizabeth Osgood; on Living Life Well, by Miss Caroline B. Bigelow; an entertaining poem, by Miss Emily C. Binney, on the Classics, which turned out to be anything but a discussion of the well-worn questions touching the study of dead languages; an essay on Value and Worth, by Miss Harriet L. Martin ; another entitled Walk with the Beautiful, by Miss Sarah B. Morton; a poem, discussing in most appropriate style the Educational Views of an Eminent Author, to wit, the world-renowned Mother Goose; and finally the Class-Poem, by Miss Mary R. Eliot, and the Valedictory by her sister, Miss Ida M. Eliot, of New Bedford. We have put in a claim for some of the excellent material contained in these and the similar performances at Framingham; a claim which we hope will be recognized, and our readers will then have an opportunity of judging for themselves something respecting the training of these excellent institutions and its fruits.
The Salem school has been attended during the past year by one bundred and
forty-seven pupils, the largest number since the school opened. Mr. Hagar is carrying on with eminent success the good work handed over to him by Prof. and Mrs. Crosby. The following are the names of the graduating class :
GRADUATES OF THE ADVANCED CLASS.
| Mary R. Southgate, Taunton.
Elizabeth A. B. Merriam, No. TewksEmma R. G. Barr, Danvers.
bury. Caroline B. Bigelow, Livermore Centre, Helen M. Miner, Salem. Me.
Sarah B. Morton, Plymouth. Emily C. Binney, Amesbury.
Elizabeth Osgood, Cohasset. S. Abby Bray, West Gloucester. Mary J. Pickering, Salem. Margaret L. Clark, Salem.
Elizabeth R. Preston, South Reading. Priscilla L. Cutts, Lynn.
Edna B. Richards, Rowley. Ida M. Eliot, New Bedford.
Annie B. Stephens, Philadelphia, Pa. Mary R. Eliot, New Bedford.
Ella P. Thompson, Durham, N. H. Sarah P. Hamilton, South Danvers. | Laura J. Whittredge, North Reading.
It has been our pleasure and our privilege for the last two years to see these two schools frequently and in their every-day dress. We think if the public knew them better they would appreciate them more highly, and that that appreciation would show itself in an enlarged liberality towards them and towards their faithful, laborious and self-denying teachers. Nothing has done so much to raise the standard of education as their establishment, - nothing will promote it more than their strengthening and enlargement. We are somewhat familiar with the character of other girls' schools, excellent in their way, but in few we believe is there such solid, earnest and purposeful work done as in Massachusetts Normal Schools. Young women have here the stimulus of something like the motives which actuate young men in the pursuit of knowledge. They come to prepare themselves for the work of life in the only higher profession which is yet open to them. Their choice will not forever remain so limited; but, while it is, it gives these schools a character which no others within our knowledge possess, a character of solid reality. True, the course is necessarily limited; and there is room for the cultivation of few accomplishments, but the pupils are in earnest in regard to what they do study, and every lesson tells.
These schools have another great advantage, that they draw their pupils mainly from the highest class in the community, the class, we mean, not so unfortunately rich as to be surrounded with temptations to idleness and frivolity, nor so unfortunately poor as to be unable to share their privileges; but that great middle class which works for its living and gets a living by its work, – the class which is the glory and strength of New England, sober, earnest, industrious, right-minded, God-fearing, whether on the farm or in the workshop. And when we see, as we sometimes do, young women leaving all that wealth and fashion have to offer, sitting on the same benches with those who must work, and then going forth to work with them for the benefit of their sisters, and because they scorn to lead a useless life, we think it is beautiful, and we cannot withbold our little tribute of admiration and respect. Such an example, simply and modestly given, will do more to promote the interests of woman, than ten thousand words. And when we see women whose only or whose best opportunities have been these schools, doing the work of men, (only in most cases for half their pay,) and not only maintaining themselves, but helping infirm parents, educating younger brothers, the unseen stay and support of so much that would otherwise fall, we know that the time must soon come when the foolish distinctions will disappear which have come down from barbarian times, miscalled chivalrous, and which the brutality not the manliness of men continues to maintain.
Spite of all our boasting, the common schools even of Massachusetts are poor enough if judged by any ideal standard – as a whole so bad that if our cottonmills were no better they would pay wretchedly small dividends. We have made much progress in school architecture and school furniture, some little in school books; but in the art of teaching, and especially in the most difficult of its branches, the art of elementary instruction, we are only just beginning to make any progress at all. The reason is that teaching is chiefly in the hands of women, and only the fewest of them get the education they crave. We build Universities and Scientific Schools for boys, but carefully shut their doors on their sisters. The little which the Normal Schools can give is the only hope of the girls. It is not a state of things that can be called civilized, where this is so: it is little better than mediæval barbarism. We can be a little proud perhaps when we remember that Massachusetts has four Normal Schools, but we are anything but proud when we remember their equipment, and the salaries that are paid their faithful teachers.
The Study of the Classics. – Some of the friends of education interested in The Teacher have complained of the stand it has taken in the matter of classical studies. We have repeatedly solicited from them an argument on the opposite side, but thus far without success, and we have therefore printed in our present number an essay by one of the most eminent of living American classical scholars which may fairly be supposed to represent the views of the friends of classical study. We find little in it to dissent from, and little that contravenes the view of those who hold that the time is forever gone by when Latin and Greek can hold the place in our higher education which they have held in the past. Without going over ground made familiar by many recent discussions, or attempting to maintain the views of such extremists as would see the study of Latin and Greek abolished altogether, we would point out that much of Dr. Woolsey's argument is a defence of the enlarged study of language rather than of the exclusive study of the two classic languages in the manner they have heretofore been pursued. But we know of no one so extravagant as to maintain that the proper and philosopbical study of language is not one main element in every higher education worthy of the name, though we are very sure that the narrow methods borrowed by our older colleges from England are certain in no long time to broaden into that enlarged study of Philology, in which more than one professor of President Woolsey's own college are such eminent proficients. And we are quite as sure that, while the study of Philology will gain rather than lose by the truer and broader views that are fast being adopted, the preposterous plan will very soon be abandoned of attempting to make all boys philologists by cramping their minds, from the age of ten to seventeen, within the narrow limits of the present classical preparation for college.
Language and the studies akin to it will gain rather than lose by the juster views that are beginning to prevail in regard to their place in a true order of studies. We sball even have what our present system of exclusive devotion to classical studies fails almost altogether to produce - good classical scholars devoted to that as a specialty; while the education of the mass of boys will no longer be perverted by the abortive attempt to turn them all into classical students.
What Dr. Woolsey says of the westhetic influence of thorough classical training is doubtless true of that infinitesimally small number of minds who have taste and leisure to carry their studies far enough to appreciate and feel such influence; but the time spent by the great bulk of young men in the enforced study of the classics is worse than wasted; first, because the methods pursued never would lead to such æsthetic results, but only turn the pupils into dry “gerundgrinders," and, secondly, because time and leisure are lacking to carry them far enough, even by right methods, to reap such fruits ; while at the same time this truncated and abortive course has been made to take the place of the really valuable study of other subjects. But we cannot agree - nor indeed does Dr. Woolsey venture to maintain that such æsthetic results of the study of poetry and belles-lettres can only be secured by the study of classical literature. We think he overrates their influence on Goethe — certainly few of the great writers of England owe the chief part of their inspiration to this source. And as for their influence in other directions, we think that the deficiencies - great and manifest - of such men as Everett and Gladstone, quite as much as their successes, are to be attributed to their narrow classical training. They would have been broader and manlier men if they had had a broader and manlier education. .
While we believe that we shall always have, and could ill dispense with a certain number of good Latinists, good Grecians, good Hebraists, good Sanskrit and Oriental scholars, we believe that the language-element in the higher popular education of the future will be represented much more than heretofore by the wider and more philosophic study of the mother tongue (including its Latin element) and other modern languages. It will be time enough to compare the results of such a study with those of the old classic curriculum when its course and methods shall have been as well systematized and digested, and as thoroughly carried out; but, though we believe in the study of Latin as an element in a modern language training, we certainly would not give every young man Dr. Woolsey's advice, to spend two out of four years devoted to the mastery, even of the modern Romanic languages alone, on the study of Latin and Greek.