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rival industries, its business and political cen- the most general elementary view of the world, ters, its waterways and railways, and so on. these four natural divisions of the subject: No man can form such a picture; it will business geography (if that is the right designot hold together, but each part as it arises nation), history-geography, mathematical and crowds out that which was before in the mind. physical geography. And in our schools the The most that can be done is to imagine one first two fall to the elementary grades. S. detail after another—not a whole but rather a series of parts. Further, one who has trav
IMPROVING RURAL LIFE. eled over a State and seen its cities with his own eyes will smile at the vagueness and in- The interesting experiment made by the accuracy of such pictures as he had been able United States postoffice of delivering letters to form before visiting the sites. Pictures are free of charge in the country as well as in the doubtless the most valuable helps to this kind city is full of encouragement for the improveof knowledge, but who has not been puzzled ment of rural life. It was tried in certain seto interpret a photograph even of a well known lected neighborhoods, and the results show an scene? It must be acknowledged that our en important modification of habits. For inthusiastic realistic critics of geography teach- stance, the number of daily papers taken ining have often set up ideals altogether impos- creased greatly, as did the number of letters sible of realization. We must not give over written and received. In brief the dwellers the attempt to teach realities on account of on the farm found themselves swept more comthese difficulties, but must rather limit the pletely into the current of modern life. As work to reasonable plans, and beyond general isolation and lack of stimulus is the chief drawconceptions of countries and conditions must back to country living, we see one remedy for limit ourselves to the study of typical places, it in this move, which has already been tried forms and industries. The great danger from with most satisfactory results in some European the coming expansion of geography teaching countries. Others are at hand. The bicycle, is that of overloading the minds of the pupils now found in the farmhouse as well as in the with unorganized and unorganizable details. village, greatly facilitates the getting together
The geography of situation, or the dot-on- especially of young people. It is possible that the-map geography, must continue to be a the telephone will penetrate into some neighlarge factor of elementary work. It must be borhoods, and supply trips, perhaps managed made a study of realities by means of pictures by those who deliver the mail-for the governand readings, and above all by conversation. ment favors such combinations—will put what But the great advance in methods must come have been considered city conveniences at thro the more perfect unification of our mate- command of the farmers. rial. We must handle large topics, so as to There are other and obvious means for helpsee the details in them, descriptions of phys- ing on this transformation of rural life already ical features, climate and productions must, we in operation in some parts of the country. The have learned, escape the trammels of political plan of combining rural schools and affording boundaries and deal at once with large natural free transportation to and from them is said units, within which the states and cities take to be working a revolution in rural education their proper place. Commercial geography, wherever it has been tried. Instead of feeble, or the geography of trade and manufactures, ungraded schools, without stimulus and under must develop in the same way. The United poor teachers, the new plan gives larger agStates, for example, is a whole in which gregations of pupils, better teachers and betthe wheat trade, the corn, cotton, iron, ter organizations. The families are bound coal trades, and so on, must be worked out, together in larger neighborhoods, and all feel and in the process states, cities, railroads, etc., the uplifting influence which comes into them will be learned necessarily, not as isolated from the broader and more inspiring school items, but as indispensable factors. We may life of the children. Improved supervision and put the case thus: The older geographies were management come with such changes, and exgazetteers, the newer ones are more and more perience seems to show that the better plan studies of human activities. Political geog- actually costs less money than the old and raphy thus becomes merely incidental in the effete one. geography class, but in the history class it be- The new library movements are powerful comes a dominant factor, and hence the wis- means for the improvement of which we are dom of that arrangement which classes history- speaking. It is a great thing to bring a few geography as one subject in the later years of good books within the reach of the children the elementary course. We have then, after of the families on the farms, especially for the
long winter evenings. They make family life following places: Birmanwood, Brandon, Desmoother, they affect family conversation, they orest, Florence, and West Salem. refine, broaden and uplift the readers. It is
s –The report of the Madison high school for
work of this sort which is being done by the
the past year shows a total enrollment of 479. traveling libraries and by the school libraries
i The whole number in the city schools was now so successfully established. The school
2,734, taught by fifty-two teachers. and the library belong together and must help each other in promoting the betterment
—Miss Arabella Zweifel, who graduated at of country life. Good illustrated magazines. the university this summer, is to teach Gerlike McClure's and the Metropolitan, are to be
man this year in the Chilton high school; and had for the merely nominal price of one dollar
Miss Ella M. Guile teaches mathematics in a year, and they contain both reading matter the Madison high school. and pictures of great value for the cultivation -The opening of the present year at the of young readers. Even this expense may be Platteville normal school is marked by two reduced by forming reading clubs, which pass novelties: A beginning class in Greek is orthe journals on from one member to another. ganized by Miss Gifford, and a graduate class The school is the natural center for starting of eleven members commences work. such organizations, though they may spring
-Dr. C. H. Gordon, who has had charge from the influence of any intelligent person.
of the Beloit schools for the past two years There is really no good reason why American
has gone to Europe for six or eight months of farm houses should lack such means of making
study and travel. His home address will be, life interesting and attractive, save that isola
Valley Center, Mich. Mr. Franklin Con. tion has prevented acquaintance with their
verse, a graduate of Michigan University, has value. If the rural schools can be brought to greater
charge of the schools for the present year. unity it may be posible to realize in them
-The Platteville normal school building something of that adjustment to local condi- underwent many changes and improvements tions contemplated in the N. E. A. report on during the past summer. New heating and rural schools. Such elementary science in- ventilating systems, with water works, have struction may be imparted as will make the been put through the building, and other exfarm and the garden the center of interest. tensive alterations and repairs have been School gardens are not an impossibility—are effected. in fact natural and appropriate to rural schools, — The school board of Wausau, during the
—and, if intelligently directed, might not winter months last year, furnished the mateonly tend to more thoughtful and intelligent rial for a school in sewing which met every interest in farm matters, but to the beautifying Saturday under the direction of the principal of the home premises. When these things can of the Franklin school. The work was looked be in some measure realized, the hard frontier upon as an experiment, and not as a part of conditions, which have told longest and most the regular school course. severely on our rural life, will give way to a
-Ten high schools in the state have added more attractive and more truly American
an additional assistant this year in consecountry living
quence of increased enrollment. The num
bers after the name indicate how many asTHE MONTH
sistants are employed in the school: Argyle 1;
Baraboo 6; East Troy 2; Janesville 10; LanWISCONSIN NEWS AND NOTES.
caster 3; Madison 14; Medford 2; Mineral
Point 3; Washburn 2; Waukesha 5. - The high school at Brandon has not only
-The report of Supt. Mathies, of Wausau, adopted the four years' course of study, but
qay, but shows a total enrollment in the high school of moves into a new and commodious building
168, with five teachers. The total enrollment completed this fall.
of the schools of the city is 2,532, while the -The Stevens Point normal school shows census shows a school population of 4,093. an enrollment in the normal department of The superintendent says, however, that over 309, a gain of seventy-eight over the enroll- 98 per cent. of the children of the city bement at this time a year ago.
tween 7 and 13 years of age were in school at --During the past year there have been
least twelve weeks. transferred from the list of three years, to that — It seems that our note last month regardof four years' course the high schools at the ing Clinton Junction high school was wholly in error. We are indebted to Prin. Lathe for up, became interested, and were bright and the following corrections: “F. B. Webster, intelligent pupils. of River Falls has taken charge of the schools A few simple tests would enable any teacher at Pepin, of Mr. Reynolds and Clinton Junc- to detect these defects and lead to treatment tion I know nothing, but I have been in which in many cases would wholly, or in part, charge as principal here for the last four years, remedy these defects. The teacher being conand have just entered on the fifth year's work. scious of these defects could at least make due The school, high school, here now has the allowance for the pupil, and see that the conlargest enrollment in its history.".
ditions as to light and distance were as favor-The report of the high school inspector
able as possible. of Minnesota shows that there are 99 of these
By a large number of careful measurements schools on the state list, as against 77 four ti
the height, weight, chest capacity, and a years ago. He reports that nearly all the proper developmen
proper development of the typical child for schools are enlarging their general and special
each year of school life, have been accurately libraries, the expenditures for this purpose,
determined. Any considerable deviation from exclusive of St. Paul, Minneapolis and Duluth,
this type by an individual pupil ought to aggregating during the year $14,572. Nearly
arouse suspicion of the oncoming of some two thousand dollars worth of apparatus for
disease, and the pupil should be placed immescience teaching was manufactured for the
diately among a group of children whose schools at a low price in the state prison.
physical condition and mental efforts need to
be guarded SCHOOL REPORTS — MADISON.
Dr. Porter from tests made on over 33,000
school children reached the positive concluSome Results of Child Study.
sion that there is a physical basis for perThe wise physician makes a careful diag. cocity and dullness; that precocious chilnosis of the disease before he ventures to pre- dren are stronger physically, and dull children scribe. Before the teacher attempts to de- weaker, than the average or typical child of velop the mental and bodily powers of the the same age; and that mediocrity of mind is child he should know something of the needs, associated in the main with mediocrity of conditions, and laws of child-life. The de physique. mand of the hour is for patient, painstaking, Measurements and tests have also revealed unbiased observations, and a systematic gath- the fact that different portions of the body ing of data, in regard to the physiology and and the different mental abilities develop irpsychology of the child. A realization of regularly, sometimes more rapidly and somethis demand has led to the opening up of a times more slowly. A clear understanding of comparatively new field for investigation and these facts and the laws of development would study. This new science of child-study in- assist the teacher greatly in adjusting the volves the observation and measurement of work to the varying strength of the pupil, inchildren as to their constitutions, functions, creasing the work when he can best bear it, and activities, and includes the study of both and diminishing it when he has less strength body and mind. Brief statements of some of to spare. “Without this knowledge,” says the more recent conclusions which have been Dr. Krohn, “the regulation of mental labor reached through scientific child-study will help from a physical standpoint is a venturesome to an appreciation of the practical value of groping in the mist, rather than a scientific this line of research.
deduction." Dr. Holmes of Chicago claims that from By a series of tests under the direction of fifteen to twenty per cent. of the school chil- Dr. Krohn it was found that the reaction time, dren have defective hearing, while a larger per that is the time occupied in perceiving a word, cent. have defects of vision. These defects is shorter than the time occupied in perceiving necessarily handicap the unfortunate pupils a single letter. To illustrate: for the average and hinder the natural mental growth. An child of seven to perceive the word “dog ” reappearance of dullness and stupidity is some- quires .292 of a second, and for perceiving the times due to difficulty in hearing, and imme- letter “d” alone . 356 of a second, the letter diately disappears when the obstruction to "O".349 of a second, and the letter “g” hearing is removed. In our own schools we have .364 of a second. That is, the time required had pupils who were counted hopelessly dull to perceive the word “dog” was less than the and stupid, until it was discovered that their time required to perceive any one of the lethearing was defective. When positions favor- ters alone of which the word is composed. able for hearing were given them they waked This seems to give a rational basis for the su
periority of the word method over the letter as professor of the science and art of teaching, method.
is in attendance at the summer school. The By another series of tests upon over 5,000 University of Wisconsin has created a school pupils under the direction of the same gentle- of education co-ordinate with its schools of man, it was found that the most favorable law and economics, and Mr. O'Shea has been time of the day for school work is the period called there to build it up. It is to be profroin 9:15 to 10:45 A. M.; the second best, vided with means sufficient to make possible contrary to the usual belief, from 3:00 to 4:00 the study of the practical as well as the theoP. M., the period from 11 to 12 being the retical aspects of education in all its phases. most unfavorable of the whole day. The This a new move, for none of the American period from 1:45 to 2:30 is characterized by universities as yet have well equipped schools great strength, but also great slowness of of education, excepting possibly Columbia, mental processes, due largely to the fact that which has a teachers' college as an adjunct. the average pupil eats his heavy meal in the Cornell has been working for such a school, middle of the day. The practical value of but none has yet been established. Professor these facts to every teacher who has anything O'Shea is a graduate of Cornell. He is an exto do with the arranging of school courses or tremely brilliant young man, and is recognized programs, is easily apparent and needs no as an authority in his department. He has comment.
R. B. DUDGEON. engaged in much literary work, contributing
to the Atlantic Monthly, the Popular Science Wausau-Eye and Ear Tests.
Monthly, the North American Review, the OutEarly in the fall term the teachers, having
look, the Chautauquan, and educational jourbeen instructed by the commissioner of health
nals east and west. One of his strongest fields beforehand, made tests of the hearing and is lecturing » vision of the pupils. The results of the tests . The foreo
The foregoing comes to us as a clipping from were alarming. Allowing for the facts that
the public press, and we cheerfully give it a the teachers were not professionally trained
place in our columns. It might be misunderto make the tests, and that it is always diffi
stood to say that the University of Wisconsin cult to lead the younger children to discrim- has been without a department of education inate, it is still true that a large number of
thus far. Professor Stearns has long filled with children have defective eye-sight and hearing.
hearing ability one of the best chairs of education in The results of the tests are about the same
any university, and is a very strong man with as found in other cities where tests have been
age and experience. Mr. O'Shea will prove a made, and so we have reason to believe that
valuable addition to that faculty. they are approximately correct. Below is given a table showing the number
ELI WHITNEY AND THE COTTON GIN. of cases examined, the percentage having defective vision and the percentage having de
Near the town of Westboro, Mass., in a fective hearing:
farm house which was built long before the Number · Defective Defective Grade. tested. vision, hearing.
American Revolution, there was born a boy, Sub-Primary...... 264 31 per cent. No test. who, when grown to manhood, was destined Ist Grade ........ 176
to become famous. Eli Whitney was this boy's
20 per cent. 3d
name, and even during his boyhood he showed great ingenuity in whittling out toys and per
haps some more useful articles. Once, during 118
the absence of his father, Eli took possession " ........ 101
of his workshop and tools, and made a fiddle, The tests made in the high school showed which he played upon to the delight of his about the same results. KARL MATHIE.
playmates and neighbors. But his father
shook his head, and said he was afraid Eli THE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION AT THE UNIVERSITY. would not amount to much in the world.
When he was fifteen years old he began makWe clip the following appreciative notice of ing nails by hand, pounding them out of a this new school from the Public School Four- long, slim piece of red-hot iron with a hammer. nal:
They were rough, but very strong, and as the "Prof. M. V. O'Shea, formerly professor of Revolutionary War was going on at that time psychology and child-study in the School of he had no difficulty in finding a sale for all he Pedagogy at the University of Buffalo, and could make. But after the war was over the just now called to the University of Wisconsin demand for nails fell off, and Eli threw down
32 3 4
6th 7th 8th
nwn labors; half a yard, and poor peup
schon amic for
? a stranga and
his hammer and declared he was going to col- invention was made very little cotton was lege. He had no money with which to pay raised in the South, as the completed product, for his tuition, and no immediate prospect of cotton cloth, cost as much as a dollar and a obtaining any except through his own labors; half a yard, and poor people could not afford but that did not discourage him in the least. to buy it; but after the cotton gin was brought Starting in Yale College he worked his way into use it could be bought for ten or twelve partly by teaching and partly by doing odd cents a yard and thus was brought within the jobs in carpentering. An experienced me- reach of all.—Selected. chanic, watching him one day as he was finishing a job, and seeing how skilfully and THE ESSENTIALNESS OF DYNAMIC FORCE. neatly he did it, said, “There was one good mechanic spoiled when you went to college." The great fault in the selection of teachers
After he was through his college course he to-day is failure to recognize the essentialness went to Savannah, Ga., to teach. He was of dynamic force. What we want in the disappointed in his position, however, and schoolroom is more positive elements. If you found himself a stranger in a strange city. buy a horse your first question is not how he Meeting Mrs. Greene, the widow of Gen. is shod or groomed, but, Can he go? That Greene, she took a great interest in the young is what you buy a horse for. And so when man, and much of his time was spent at her you hire a teacher, all these inquiries about home.
whether he has a pug nose, or wears a red One day he noticed what a rude frame Mrs. necktie, are subordinate to the great question, Greene was using in doing embroidery, and, Can he teach? Can he give our boys the vigor, believing he could make a better one, set to the force, the manliness, that will make them work and very soon made such a neat one that get somewhere? Mrs. Greene was more than ever convinced Do you never realize that if you put into that young Whitney was a genius.
your schoolroom a woman who drags one foot A short time after this there were several after the other as though the day's task were cotton planters at Mrs. Greene's and the sub- an imposition too hard for her, you are lowerject of cleaning the seed from the cotton was ing the vitality of every child in the room? discussed. This was such a tedious process What you want to consider before scholarship, by hand that one negro could clean but a sin- before normal training, before experience, and gle pound of cotton in a day. Mrs. Greene even before good manners, is the spirit, the told the planters that if they wanted a machine vigor, the sound character, the bright and to clean cotton they should apply to Mr. cheerful views of life, that make a woman Whitney.
like a ray of sunshine in the schoolroom. First "But I have never seen a cotton plant or a woman, then a lady, then as much more as cotton seed in my life," said Mr. Whitney. you can get; but while you are marking how
However, after the planters were gone, he short her finger nails are cut, and whether her kept thinking it over and finally determined to gown is faded under the arm-pits, you lose try and see what he could do. It was not the sight of the one thing which determines time of year to see cotton growing in the whether she is fit to be put over your children. fields, so he went to Savannah and searched –C. W. Bardeen, in School Bulletin. the stores and warehouses until he found some cotton and seed together, and with this to ex
THE “VORTEX” OF FICTION. periment upon he returned.
He thought by fastening some pieces of wire Fashion grows with what it feeds on, and upright in a board, very closely together, like unquestionably the extreme vogue of this the teeth of a comb, and then pulling the cotton particular kind of book, the prose story, has through these teeth, the seeds would be too drawn into its vortex many talents which had large to come through, and that the cotton no original tendency in that direction. For would come out clean. Then he devised a example, Stevenson, manifestly born to be an wheel and covered it with short steel teeth essayist and perhaps a philosopher, was shaped like hooks. This wheel he turned with dragged, as a magnet draws a needle, to the a crank and found that it pulled the cotton irresistible rock of story telling, and “Treasthrough perfectly, stripping off the seeds and ure Island,” begun as a joke for a boy's newsleaving them on the other side. So the cotton paper, was made the pioneer of a series of gin (gin is engine shortened) was invented, tales to which the author's exquisite style gave and by its use a thousand pounds of cotton the persistence of literature. In Mrs. Humphwool could be cleaned in a day. Before this rey Ward a most accomplished literary critic