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as to substitute therefor the studies and the discipline of maturer years. This principle will not fail to be regarded if the idea of adolescence and full majority is admitted, which idea some educators seem to disregard, as do the Chinese and some parents nominally Christian also, since in their system of training the child is never of age till the parent dies, and not even then.
The recognition of the period of adolescence, in a system of edu. cation, demands a grade of schools in which the interest of the pupil in his own welfare is a consideration paramount to the parental will or dignity; and hence, although the parent may rightly control the course of the pupil so far as to direct the place of his education, yet, while in that place, the teacher stands in all respects in loco parentis, and the parent in all that pertains to the appropriate work of instruction and discipline never stands in loco docentis.
It is evident, therefore, that as the period of adolescence draws to its close, the aim of school training must more and more have a direct reference to the welfare of the pupil as the party mainly concerned; and less and less to that of the parent, except indeed so far as that, by sympathy and affection, he may regard the welfare of his child, at all times, as his own. But in the later stages of education, at the higher seminaries, the authority of home can not predominate in opposition to the teacher's labor and influence. The students must be held in subjection by a power stronger than that of any home influence can ordinarily be. Such a power a vigorous seat of learning affords, and it meets the wants of subjective training at the period when its force is most efficient and most needed
To curb the fiery heart of youth. Such a power was exerted by Arnold at Rugby, and by Dr. Whewell, the master of Trinity at Cambridge, recently deceased. Such a power have many teachers, both among the living and the dead, exercised in the academic schools of our own land—a power which must forever make our Academies and colleges indispensable, since they supply those forces of strength which no family, or hamlet, or town, or city can furnish without their aid.
Every college graduate can understand, as others can not, the peculiar advantages of mental development and of those executive qualities of the manly character, which come as the incidental results of a public education, and which the training of home or of any local school, however excellent it may be in other respects, rarely confers.
Hence the necessity of a public edacation for places of public service and for all kinds of civil and ecclesiastical daties, which
require men of “ large discourse ” or liberal and comprehensive culture. Hence the necessity of colleges and universities, and hence, too, the need of having institutions which shall, in all their forces of moral and intellectual power, keep pace with the wants of our advancing American civilization, ultimately to be, in its maturity, the noblest in the world's history. We shall need universities as much better than Oxford and Cambridge, as the destiny of American society is to be better and more powerful than that of England or any of the continental kingdoms and empires.
But as preliminary to their ultimate enlargement, and as a condition of their efficiency even in their present form, we need a system of middle schools having the same great ends of social advancement in view, and tending to the same results, which it is the object of our highest seminaries to accomplish.
The Universities of England and the continent of Europe have for
ages received all their annual accessions from the middle schools, in which the foundations of all sound education and training have been laid, the quality and degrees of which have been determined by the wisest of men, who have fully understood its uses as well as its processes and instruments. And the education obtained in the "great public schools” of England has exceeded, in the extent and value of classical training, that which the best American colleges have not furnished until within a recent period.
But the day has come when the colleges of this country must embrace within their curriculum other studies than the elemental studies of a classical or scientific course. Four years are too few to include the multitude of studies which a general course of liberal culture must embrace as the limit of graduation. And a great share of the classical and mathematical studies of the first two years of the college course, as now arranged, could be better attended to in middle schools, under good teachers and with proper endowments and accommodations. The temptations to dissipation would be far less and the standard of attainments far greater in studies, which, though pursued in the college, are really and altogether elemental, when the rank of scholarship in the English and European universities is considered.
So the middle schools are more desirable places than the college to lay the foundations of, not scholarship only, but of the highest qualities of manly character. Dr. Arnold's influence was such as to shield his pupils with a moral panoply of protection against the folly and dissoluteness of university life, the occasion of utter ruin to so many young men in all the high seats of learning.
There is need, then, not only of the continued existence of the best Academies of New England but of their great enlargement and improvement. They are needed to supply that lack of the best culture which the local schools of the rural sections of the country can never supply. They are needed as places of resort for training the best minds of both of the city and country under certain influences, which few purely local schools can have under the best of circumstances. They are needed to prepare for the colleges the best material to make good scholarship, much of which is found among the hill towns of New England, though they may be as rough as Mount Helicon, on whose slopes the muses did not deign the less to dwell, because they were wild and barren.
We need them that the proper work of all the local schools, both of the city and the country, may not be interfered with, in the vain attempt to make them answer for uses and purposes not belonging to their proper design, in educating the whole mass of the popular mind to the highest possible average of attainment at the public expense. The duty of sustaining the local schools, in all their grader, will be met by the American people, and the local schools will have attained their limit of perfection, not when they shall attempt to fit one out of a thousand boys as he ought to be to enter college, but to educate the nine hundred and ninety and nine, who can not and ought not to go to college, in the best possible manner, for not the learned professions but for the not less honorable callings which society demands shall be filled by well-educated and good citizens. It is perhaps enough that the State confine itself to this great work, the education of the people, by improving to their utmost capacity the local schools of every grade.
With respect to colleges and middle schools, it is perhaps all that we can expect, if we demand the kindly regard of the State and such scanty appropriations as can be afforded. For the history of the higher education of society shows that, in all ages of modern civilization at least, universities and classical schools have had to depend on the enlightened liberality of a few poble and generous benefactors. All the colleges and universities of England and the Continent, all the colleges of this country, the oldest and the youngest, all the important Academies and professional schools, are monuments of private liberality, supported chiefly by the endowments of those who, blessed by Providence with wealth, have left it as a legacy of perennial good for the successive generations of men, who, as they receive the benefit of their benefactions, revere and bless their memory with “perpetual benedictions."
MASSACHUSETTS POLICY OF INCORPORATED ACADEMIES.
The earliest schools in Massachusetts, technically known as Free, Grammar, or Town schools, imparted secondary as well as elementary instruction; but the needs of families not residing within towns on which such schools were made obligatory by law, led to the establishment of a class of institutions known as Academies, the public policy of which is set forth in the following document:At the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, held on the
25th day of January, 1797, ORDERED, That the secretary be, and he hereby is, directed to cause the report of a committee of both houses on the subject of grants of land to sundry academies within this Commonwealth, to be printed with the resolves which shall pass the general court at the present session.
And be it further ordered, That the grants of land specified in said report shall be made to the trustees of any association within the respective counties mentioned in said report, where there is no academy at present instituted, who shall first make application to the general court for that purpose : provided, they produce evidence that the sum required in said report is secured to the use of such institution: and provided, that the place contemplated for the situation of the academy be approved of by the legislature.
Report on the subject of Academies at Large. Feb. 27, 1797. The committee of both Houses, to whom was referred the subject of acade. mies at large, and also sundry petitions for grants of public lands to particular academies, having accordingly considered the subject on general principles, and likewise the several petitions referred to them, submit the following report:
On a general view of this subject, the committee are of opinion that the sys.. tem hitherto pursued, of endowing academies with State lands ought to bo continued-but with several material alterations; first, that no academy, (at least not already erected,) ought to be encouraged by government, unless it have a neighborhood to support it of at least thirty or forty thousand inhabitants, not accommodated in any manner by any other academies, by any college or school answering the purpose of an academy ; secondly, that every such portion of the Commonwealth ought to be considered as equally entitled to grants of State lands to these institutions, in aid of private donations; and thirdly, that no State lands ought to be granted to any academy, but in aid of permanent funds; secured by towns and individual donors: and therefore, previous to any such grant of State lands, evidence ought to be produced that such funds are legally secured, at least adequate to erect and repair the necessary buildings, to support the corporation, to procure and preserve such apparatus and books as may be necessary, and to pay a part of the salaries of the preceptors.
In attending to the particular cases, the committee find that fifteen academies have already been incorporated in this Commonwealth; also Derby School, which serves all the general purposes of an academy, but that the academy at Marblehead probably will only serve the purposes of a town school. And the committee are of opinion that the three colleges established and endowed by the State and private donors, will serve many of the purposes of academies in their respective neighborhood, so that if four or five academies more shall be allowed in those parts of the Commonwealth where they may be most wanted, there will be one academy to every 25,000 inhabitants, and probably, therefore, they must struggle with many difficulties until the wealth and population of the State shall be very considerably increased; for however useful colleges and academies may be for many purposes, yet it is very obvious that the great body, of the people will and must educate their children in town district schools where they can be boarded or supported by their parents.
The committee find that of the fifteen, academies already incorporated, seven