Page images

to interested, delighted hearers was owing to the worth of what he said and the charm of his manner in the saying of it.

According to Dr. Hailman, the aim of education is to fit the individual for a beneficent efficiency in life. This can only be accomplished by making the child vigorous and strong, cheerful and earnest, sensible and thorough, sympathetic and helpful. A fine physical sub-stratum is the foundation for all successful work; cheerfulness and earnestness are necessary ingredients. Dr. Hailman showed what a large part they are of kindergarten work, and while he did not enter into either a eulogy or defense of the kindergarten, thinking that it has passed beyond the stage where it has need of advocates; he did say that those who thought they were stigmatising the kindergarten when they called it "a play school," were, ignorantly, bestowing upon it the highest praise. The more like play our work is to us, the more we enjoy it, the better work it is sure to be. One of the problems of education to-day is how to extend the "play principal" or "play philosophy" into our higher schools.

Again, the child's education should be sensible and thorough. He should learn intelligently and not by rote, and his knowledge should be clear and precise, not vague and smattering. To bring this about Dr. Hailman advises less of mere literary study and more of nature study. The child's interest is very keen in the things of its environment. This interest should be stimulated, and the child led to appreciate the teeming beauties of nature and the simple truths of real life.

Above all the child should be made sympathetic and helpful. Our whole present system of education tends to make him the reverse. It is founded on competition, not co-operation. The child is glad when another fails, for the other's failure allows it to go up in the class. This is all wrong. The child should be brought to take a sympathetic interest in the other child's work, aud in the work of the school as a whole. The work of the individual should not be limited to self, but should have a social value to others. To illustrate this point Dr. Hailman told how in a certain school, instead of the children all having the same reading lesson, and each one reading: against the other, each child was told to bring some story that it liked and read it for the others. Throughout the lecture Dr. Hail

man used illustrations taken from real school-rooms, which could not fail to be of great practical value to the large number of teachers present.

Speaking of the deplorable lack of unity in our educational system, he said:

"In education as a whole, we see the home attending to the physical needs, the school busying itself with the intellectual equipment, the church laboring to lift spiritually. Each confines itself to its allotted field without regard to the others. Neither, because of the inexpugnable one-ness of the soul, accomplishes its purpose; and the product is of necessity a more or less dismal failure. The troubled soul comes forth from these disconnected onsets a distorted, fragmentary freak; and, after escaping its bungling, though well meaning, tormentors, finds it a sorry task to gather in its rambling excrescences and to round itself in a fashion.

"The human soul will not be divided. Heart, head and hand are not three distinct entities to be separated and stimulated at will, but three aspects of one and the same soul activity; touching one, you touch all. The heart is but the soul as it feels and wills; the head, the seeing soul; the hand, the doing or achieving soul. Conscious soul activity, in its subjective aspects, appears as the heart; in its objective inferences, as the head; in its creative self-expression, as the hand.


Similarly, experience, thought and achievement are inseparable. Full mental, life leads ever from experience, through thought, to achievement. Every mental act rests on experience, and achievement alone can render it complete. The three are but phases of the one act of the will, which manifests itself as active resistence in experience, as active assimilation in thought, as active control in achievement,

"The will recognizes itself only in personal achievements, thoughts and feelings of others can be understood only on the basis and in the measure of personal experience in these matters. Hence the necessity of respecting at every step, from kindergarten to university, the unity of heart and hand, of thought and achievement, of play and work, of individual and social ideals,

"Education should constantly respect and foster these unities. It should ever labor to direct the child's growth in the right direction and to lead every act of the soul to its legitimate end. It should aim to make the child, within himself strong and self-reliant; in his experience, sensible and thorough; in his work, cheerful and earnest; in his attitude, sympathetic and helpful; leading him in and through all these to full individual, social and universal efficiency, enabling him to become a complete man, a good citizen, a dutiful son of God."

The N. E. A. 1897-98.

By unanimous vote of the executive committee, Washington, D. C., has been chosen as the place for holding the next meeting of the N. E. A. The time is to be July 7 to 13. The meeting will open Thursday, July 7, and close Tuesday, July 13-a very wise provision, as it allows all who will attend to reach Washington and return home without traveling on Sunday.

G. F. W. C.

Woman's Work for Education.

The interest that the good women of Georgia are taking in the schools and in the children is one of the hopeful signs of the times. The Journal has stated many times that the schools and the homes have been too far apart. The influence at home has not reinforced and helped the influence of the teacher in the schools. The Journal notes therefore, with a great deal of pride, the aroused interest on the part of the good women of the State in favor of the children.

The State Federation of Woman's Clubs will make the school problem their chief study during the next year. Committees from the clubs that have been organized will visit the schools and study the conditions as they find them, and report their findings back to the clubs. In this way our good women will understand the needs of the teachers and the children as never before. Many of our leading superintendents are organizing mother's clubs with a view to hold regular conferences with the mothers. These meetings will bring the mothers and the teachers into closer and more helpful relationship. The mothers will come to know, as never before, the teachers of their children. The work of the teacher in the school will be reinforced and supplemented by the mother at home. The result cannot fail to be beneficial to the child.

The Journal hopes to publish from time to time faithful accounts of these Mothers' Conferences. Mrs. W. B. Lowe, president of the Federation of Woman's Clubs in Georgia, is taking great personal interest in this matter. She will visit personally many of the schools in Fulton county, with the view of getting all the facts as they exist. Mrs. Lowe will be ably supported in the investigation which she is making by Mrs. John K. Otley, Mrs. Wm. King, Mrs. Robert Emory Park, and many other prominent ladies of the State, who are patriotically giving their time and their thoughtful study to the salvation of the children. May God bless the good women of Georgia for the interest they are taking in the cause of education.


Second Annual Circular of the Education Committee to the Federated Clubs of Georgia.

Inasmuch as education is the subject of study to which the General Federation, as well as the State Federation, stands pledged, and as conditions in Georgia have not materially changed, the outline of study issued by your committee last winter will still be used as a basis of investigation.

Every club is requested to urge its education committee to visit public schools from time to time, to show a sympathetic, not a faultfinding interest, and to use every effort to support the good and eradicate the bad features of the public school system of our State.

The committee urges continued exertion along the lines indicated last year, and suggests:


1. Renewed effort in forming free kindergarten associations, and the adoption of kindergarten principles in the primary instruction in public schools. Augusta has engrafted the kindergarten system into her school curriculum. The Federations of New Jersey and the District of Columbia are securing free kindergartens and rapidly putting them under the care of the public school system, while the Arkansas Federation is trying to secure a State normal kindergarten. Do not be impatient to hurry children along the arid A B C road. There is more educative value to the tender mind in a beautiful picture, a noble poem, a sweet song, a happy play, than in scores of pages of dry-as-dust text-books. Give an infant milk, not meat.

While we earnestly commend child-study classes, we believe that the best method of child-study is to study the child. The loving, sympathetic study of the heart and mind of a little child will make us more child-wise than even the study of the great master, Froebel. In this study, the child is the teacher, text-book, example, experimenteverything.


2. That we strive to obtain moral instruction in public schools. If character-building is more than mind-building, if a large part of the child's time in the character-forming period is spent in the schoolroom, then we should see to it that teachers, supervisors, and superintendents are of unexceptionable moral and mental caliber. This is a Christian country, and Christian principles, but not sectarian dogmas, should be inculcated in our schools. Protestants, Roman Cath

lics, Jews, all alike recognize the Ten Commandments as the highest ethical code. They are the very foundation-stones of patriotism and citizenship. Let club women co-operate with the parents, and ask the school authorities to give regular, systematic instruction in morals. Eighty per cent. of the children of the United States attend school only four years, and many receive no other moral instruction than that of the schools. As loyal citizens of Georgia, we cannot afford to ignore the moral blindness of our negro and degraded white population. The consecrated teacher is a missionary in the truest sense of the word. He is helping every child to build a soul-house.


3. Strive to have women put on boards of education. The Federation's bill now before the General Assembly will soon render them eligible. Remember that twenty-five years ago Boston was the only city having a woman superior of schools. To-day, in most of the large cities of the United States and many in Europe, women serve on boards of education. Are not women fitted by nature and by motherhood to deal with the problems of child study and child life?


4. Urge the passage of the child-labor bill. Protect your children. from working in factories that they may not be dwarfed mentally and physically. Georgia protects her birds and beasts, but is deaf to the "cry of her children."


5. Work without ceasing for the improvement of our country schools. Try to secure more real training and better pay for teachers, longer school terms, more comfortable school-houses, and intelligent county boards of education. Create public sentiment in favor of a local tax to supplement the State fund. Encourage the formation of school libraries and reading circles. Of all aids to education, a library is the greatest. There should be much study of nature and the things and conditions of a farm-life, in country schools. Bird, Dog, and Arbor Days should be observed.

The Maine Federation is devoting all its energies to the improvement of its rural schools.


6. Our interest should extend beyond the school into the home, as the great object of the Federation in this grand educational movement is to co-ordinate the home and school influences and render them mutually helpful. Mothers' clubs and traveling libraries will do

« PreviousContinue »