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The Ulica Gospel Messenger and Church Record of June 20, bas been sent us containing a dignified and temperate reply from the Hon. Andrew D. White, President elect of Cornell University, to an attack on the religious character of that promising new institution. If the sectarian press of the country desires to bring itself into utter discredit and contempt it will continue to print such evidence of narrow-minded bigotry as President White here so completely answers.
Harvard College, says the Boston Advertiser, is resuming, under better auspices, the more free elective system which was attempted about twenty-five years ago. The present freshman class are, during the next or sophomore year, to learn a little chemistry and molecular physics, a little German and history and rhetoric and psychology, and then decide for themselves on two of the following four studies, mathematics, applied mathematics, Latin and Greek, on which to spend more time. The choice was thus given them between dropping the mathematics, dropping the classics, or combining them in various ways. Three men dropped the classics, forty-nine dropped the mathematics, and sixty-four combined the two. Of these sixty-four, forty-three take Latin (making ninetytwo who chose Latin), and twenty-one take Greek (making seventy who chose Greek.) or the same sixty-four, forty-seven take applied, and seventeen take pure mathematics, making sixty-seven of the whole one hundred and sixteen who take mathematics.
Certainly this small measure of freedom is a step in the right direction. How small a step it is towards making Harvard College a university will be seen when it is considered that before attaining this liberty of choice, a young man is to spend seven or eight years of life on the compulsory and almost exclusive study of Latin and Greek, and when the freedom comes it is simply a choice between more Latin and Greek, and Harvard College mathematics.
The State Association. - We are requested to publish the following preamble and resolutions, passed at a recent meeting of the Hampden County Teachers' Association:
“ Whereas It has been earnestly recommended by prominent members of the Massachusetts State Teachers' Association that the annual meetings of that body should bereafter be held in the City of Boston ;
Resolved, By the Hampden Teachers' Association that the measure thus proposed is of doubtful utility; for the reason, that the benefits of social gatherings of teachers in the Public Schools can be better secured in the meetings of the County Associations annually held under the patronage of the State, while a general gathering of all the teachers of the State annually, in the City of Boston, is impracticable, and undesirable if it were practicable.
Resolved, That the teachers of the State have an equal claim to enjoy the privileges of the State Associations, the expenses of which are chiefly sustained by an annual appropriation from the State treasury; and as the teachers of the whole State cannot be equally accommodated, if the annual meetings are held in one locality, the plan of meeting in different parts of the State, sanctioned by long usage, should be continued.”
Spite of the objections of our Hampden County friends, we are very confident that the plan adopted for the next annual meeting was the best that could be devised to secure the success of the gathering and promote the pleasure and satisfaction of the great majority of teachers. Nothing like the success of the meetings of last year and the year before was ever attained by any of the other plans that have been tried in previous years ; nothing like the impression on the general public was ever made by any previous meetings. The only places in the interior of the State where such throngs could be accommodated are the cities of Springfield and Worcester. No evidence has yet been given that those cities desire the attendance of such a convention; nor would it be possible, even if they were desirous, to assemble teachers there in such pumbers. It may be very wrong in them, but they simply will not go to any place but Boston. In Boston and Boston only is it possible to gather such a large and thoroughly live convention of teachers.
We think that the details in the arrangements of the last meeting might be improved on, particularly by dividing it into sections to meet in separate balls, so that the Primary teachers might not be compelled to listen to discussions on the classics, while High School teachers need not, unless they chose, attend the exbibitions of Training Schools. In the Tremont Temple, and its adjoining and neighboring halls, room might be found for even such an assembly as convened last year to divide itself into sections, and carry on simultaneously discussions relating to all topics connected with our Public Schools. Such an arrangement we hope to see carried out, and such a meeting, we honestly believe, is only possible in Boston.
We confess we do not see the point of the first resolution of our Hampden County friends, or understand why such an annual meeting as we have bad for two years in Boston need interfere at all with the County meetings. We should imagine that the new life thus infused into the cause would tend to promote the success, and add to the interest of all local meetings.
Geographical Teaching in France. The Paris correspondent of the Daily News says that a little book used in the French schools with the sanction of M. Duruy, Minister of Public Instruction, tells the rising generation that “the Emperor Maximilian reigns peaceably over a contented people, and that French influence is, thanks to God, forever established on the South American continent."
M. Duruy will have to recall his geographies. The life of the ill-fated man who preferred the career of a filibuster in the new world to domestic happiness at home, has come to an appropriate end. Pity only that the scoundrel emperor whose tool he was willing to become could not have been substituted to suffer the fate which he much more richly deserves.
INTELLIGENCE. Mr. A. H. Buck has resigned his position as Principal of the Roxbury Latin School, and sailed for Europe, where he intends to spend a year or more in study and travel. Mr. W. C. COLLAR, the sub-master, has been appointed his successor, with a salary of $2,500; and Mr. M. GRANT DANIELL, Master of the Everett Grammar School, Dorchester, takes Mr. Collar's place, and Miss MARZETTE H. COBURN, a graduate in the advanced class of the Salem Normal School, and lately Head Assistant in the Lyman School, East Boston, has been appointed Assistant with a salary of $800.
Miss Ida M. Eliot of New Bedford, a member of the graduating class of the Salem Normal School, goes to St. Louis, Mo., as Assistant in the St. Louis Normal School, which is in charge of Miss ANNA C. BRACKETT, a graduate of the Framingham Normal School. Miss CHARLOTTE STEARNS has resigned her place as teacher in the Framingham Normal School to accept one in the St. Louis Normal School, at a salary of $900.
Mr. LEVERET M. Chase, Principal of the Washington Grammar School, Roxbury, has been unanimously re-appointed — a decided expression of the opinion of the Roxbury School Committee in regard to the prosecution of that gentleman for alleged improper punishment of a pupil.
BOOK NOTICES. THE CAMBRIDGE COURSE OF ELEMENTARY Physics. Part First. Cohe
sion, Adhesion, Chemical Affinity and Electricity, by W. J. Rolfe, and J. A. Gillet, Teachers in the High School, Cambridge, Mass. Boston: Crosby & Ainsworth. 12mo, pp. 324.
It is encouraging to see the increasing attention given to elementary instruction in physical science in schools. Heretofore instruction in these studies has been often made abortive and useless by postponing it too long, and then putting into the pupil's bands some abstruse and technical book, for the study of which he had made no previous preparation. In our view the teaching of physical science should be really begun in the Primary School; and there it is now often begun by skilful primary teachers — would that there were more of them! — who train children's senses and teach them habits of observation by well managed objectlessons. Such lessons, while they introduce the little learner to a knowledge of the world in which he lives and the properties of the things about him, furnish also the true starting-point for the study of language, which, without such training, is a building without a foundation.
We believe that the study of the outward world thus begun in the Primary School should be continued in the Grammar School, so that even boys and girls who will not enter the High School shall go out into life with a fair amount of rudimentary and practical knowledge of the laws of the material universe — a knowledge which would prove invaluable to the future mechanic, farmer and shopkeeper, to the future wife, mother and housekeeper. With proper instruction and a proper selection of studies and the proper preliminary training in the Primary School, such a result we believe is entirely practicable. And then, finally, such a course of preparation in the lower schools will render practicable in all our High Schools the use of such a manual as the one before us, prepared from the lessons, and in accordance with the instruction now given in the Cam bridge High School. Of the place and arrangement of the whole course, we shall be better able to speak after the publication of the other volumes, and after time has been allowed for subjecting them to the test of the class-room. We can however say now in favor of the present volume, that it has been prepared by two teachers of eminent practical ability expressly for use in High Schools and Academies; — "no attempt has been made,” say the authors very judiciously " to write text-books for schools and colleges,' since the authors believe that such books are suitable for neither one nor the other;" that it is based on the very best and most modern treatises and authorities — Miller and Cooke for Chemical Physics; Faraday, Hofmann and Roscoe for Chemistry, and Noad in Electricityand that we can confidently recommend the volume to High School teachers as eminently worthy of their attention. THE MASSACHUSETTS BOARD OF STATE CHARITIES, and the Westborough Re
form School : reprinted from the Christian Examiner of July 1867. 8vo, pp. 18.
We wish that this temperate and dignified defence of a man, the loss of whose rare qualities to the Commonwealth we cannot think of without vexation and regret, might fall into the hands of every voter. What those will have to say, through whose action the loss bas been incurred, we do not know; but we heartily endorse, and we believe every true friend of intellectual and spiritual freedom will agree with us — every word of the following concluding paragraph :
“We consider it a matter of the highest moment, — one which the people of this Commonwealth should seriously consider, — by what principles these munificent and noble charities shall be controlled. Still further: many thoughtful persons among us bave been alarmed by what have appeared symptoms of a concerted movement, on a large scale and extending through many years, to gain control over our great public iostitutions of education, charity and reform, in the interest of certain “evangelical" sects. How earnest, patient and hopeless that effort has been, in the case of Harvard College, the public is well informed. We entirely respect the motive which prompts that effort. We cannot conceive how any one, who bonestly thinks a certain form of faith essential to the soul's salvation and the rescue of the world from ruin, can withbold any amount of zeal or exertion which might possibly save the highest interests of the State from being given in keeping to a “liberal” – that is [in his view], an infidel and soul-destroying — faith. But we stand on the plain, broad ground of Protestant and republican liberty, when we say, that the State, in its public action, must not recognize such a motive, or sanction any policy resting on theological ideas or interests of sect. The more conscientious that motive, and the more sincere that policy, the more heartily should it be withstood. And all citizens of the State, who value its true honor and welfare, are bound to watch with exceeding jealousy, any symptom that may be betrayed of a policy, working in secret and unavowed, to effect, by indirection, what our Bill of Rights condemns as ecclesiastical domination and spiritual tyranny."
We are reluctantly compelled to defer the notice of various interesting books to another number.
(OR PART II.)
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