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increasing his power of will, for the school rests on three pillars : First, the cultivation of the habit of industry, the will-power to do its reasonable task whether it is easy, pleasant, and agreeable, or difficult and disagreeable. Second, the training of the intellect into science, the giving it possession of the tools of thought, the mastery of written and printed language in which is revealed human nature ; the mastery of arithmetic and its kindred branches, in which are revealed the laws and conditions of matter; and such studies as give insight into the structure of reason, like grammar, or into the growth of human institutions, like history, or into our present relations to all mankind, like geography. Thirdly, there is the training into habits of courtesy and morality, the great lesson of civil life, the combination with one's fellow-men in peaceful forms of helpfulness, and the suppression of animal tendencies to strife and contention. The school teaches pupils to meet each other and cooperate to secure a reaso ble end by courteous and considerate behavior. In fact, the humblest and most elementary school, as well as the highest and most advanced school, does something to contribute to individual and social welfare. It teaches the individual to help himself and to combine helpfully with his fellow-men. In an age of rapid changes in industry and in social conditions, it is indispensable that the individual shall be educated into the power to adapt himself to his circumstances, the power to readjust himself in case of emergencies. All will acknowledge that industry, the mastery of knowledge, and the tools of thought and courteous behavior are the most essential requisites for this age of change and transition.
While, therefore, we gladly recognize the nobility of a life devoted to commerce and trade, to manufactures, to agricultural production, or to the professions of law and medicine, yet we must feel the weight of the motives which moved Mr. Philbrick, when a serious-minded and ambitious young man, to select the vocation of teacher. Such motives the half-conscious, half-unconscious stuff of feelings and aspirations moved his great contemporaries, Horace Mann, Henry Barnard, Thomas Arnold, George Peabody, Johns Hopkins, to devote life, or fortune, or both, to the cause of education. Here is the field where charity will make no mistakes ; here is the field where justice will prevent, as well as suppress and cure crime and vice and pauperism. The productive power of an educated community surpasses that of an uneducated community, not threefold merely, but three hundred fold. The trained intellect can invent and bring to its aid the forces of nature. The pupil trained to perform his task without a murmur, when the subject is difficult and dis. tasteful, — being far remote from his daily interests and objects of life, — has conquered his selfish appetites and has learned self-government, and thereby become fit to
We have already listened to the reminiscences of Mr. Philbrick's youth, and learned the story of his aspirations and his struggles. We have heard, too, of his special work here in Boston, first as assistant teacher, and next as principal teacher or head master; then, finally, as general superintendent of the entire school system of Boston. It remains now for me to attempt a brief summary of his significance to the cause of education in general. I have, therefore, begun what I had to say by calling your attention to the position which the cause of popular education holds in human life as a whole. What I offer here must necessarily be a very meager outline of the rich and full history which Mr. Philbrick's relations to general education constitute.
More and more in our age is increasing the power of example. It is becoming the general custom to look up from the task before us to the history of all such tasks, and to the manifold performance of the same in other environments. In the history of popular education in the United States Boston has been before all others the city set on a hill. The most numerous, and the best, devices for organizing schools and perfecting the methods of instruction have come from it. Boston itself, between the years of 1840 and 1860, passed through one of the most remarkable epochs of educational progress that we find in history. It threw off the old shell of the ungraded district school system and adopted a new organization better fitted for a city school system.
The student of our educational history will eagerly search in the records of this city to find the successive steps that inaugurated this great change. He cannot fail to observe that the most prominent actor in this change was John D. Philbrick. The cities and villages of the mighty Northwest, and, following their lead, the cities and villages of the Southwest, have been organized upon the Boston system of the graded school. The idea of this system is in the head of every successful school manager in the new states of this country, and, in most cases, I might add, it is not fully known how great a debt is due to Boston for this idea. Boston is freely and generally accredited with numerous minor ideas relating to school architecture and the courses of study, but only a few know what deep and radical principles of organization have proceeded from this city “set on a hill."
Most teachers who find themselves acting in an organization suppose themselves to be doing what the unenlightened common sense of the individual would dictate. They think that school buildings were always built just as they are now, and schools organized and classes arranged just as they arrange them. They do not realize that every item of architecture, every item of the course of study and method of instruction and management has grown into vogue through fires of opposition; that they have supplanted other forms of doing these things.
We must not suppose that even the ungraded country school is a rude product of nature and unaided common sense; even it has a long evolution behind it. But, consider what changes are necessary when you pass from the ungraded school organized by a teacher with his twenty-five pupils in some single room in a district to the large school in the city. In the country, sparsity of population makes unnecessary whole ranges of school culture. The city demands, first of all, that its children shall be taught to live in one community without quarrels; that, on the other hand, they shall learn to live together in a co-operative spirit. For this it is necessary before all that the children of the city shall be brought together in large schools; instead of twenty or thirty pupils there must be five hundred or a thousand in one school. Hence arises the necessity of inventing wise methods of organization in order to civilize these masses of children and secure humane results.
It appears that, in 1789, at a town meeting in Boston, a report was presented from a committee of honored citizens recommending the establishing of three schools, respectively located in the northern, southern, and central districts of the city. These schools were to belong to what was called for a long time the “double-headed system.” They were to have one department called a
writing school,” in which was taught writing and arithmetic under one master, and another department called a "reading school,” likewise under an independent master, in which was taught reading, spelling, orthoepy, and grammar. The pupils of these schools were to be boys and girls from seven to fourteen years, after they had attended the infant schools, or “women's schools." The boys might attend the year round, but the girls could attend only from April 20th to October 20th. These pupils were to attend the writing school one half of the day, and the reading school the other half of the day. Here is the organization of the system of schools of Boston for more than half a century. Mr. Philbrick was appointed head master of the first single-headed school, — the Quincy School, — Sept. 6th, 1847, before the new building to be named “The Quincy School” was com