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Advocates of spelling reform (and these have become numerous and respectable since the Philological Society of Great Britain and of the English-speaking nations has declared a reformed spelling desirable) have perhaps not considered duly the influence of this protracted study of the irregularities of the English orthography in making the educated classes of those nations inore conservative than other Europeans. The Anglo-Saxon invented local self-government, not by a sadden brilliant thought, a glittering generality born on the occasion of a declaration of independence, but rather by the slow growth of centuries of attempted oppression and centuries of stubborn resistance which ended in compromises, wherein both parties agreed to limit their willfulness and adopt a common mete and bound to their desires. A vast net-work of formalities and usages (the “common law") has grown up and is respected by all. At tbe same time it is full of inconsistencies, just because it represents the compromises between opposing wills, and is not in any sense a product of theoretical intelligence dealing with questions of abstract right. The superstitious respect of the AngloSaxon peoples for established usages leads them to accept without a murmur the patched-up system of spelling, which conceals more than it reveals the real etyniologies of words. But in turn this spelling reacts on the race in such a way as to train all the people who succeed in climbing out of sheer illiteracy, into conservative habits of thought.

When we consider what are the beneficial effects of this respect for established forms we may well hesitate to say that time expended in mechanical memory work has not been more productive of good than evil on the whole. Without a universally diffused respect for established usage, the English colonists would scarcely have proved as law-abiding as they have been. We can see in fact that the illiterate settlers on our border lands and in our Territories are always more prone to lynch law and other deeds of violence than the educated settlers. However this may be, the problems of education are certainly complex, and it is not possible to settle the question of a course of study or even of a method of instruction without having constant reference to the effect which its reaction has upon the will and upon the formation of habits. We can see that the German-speaking nations lay great stress on the perfection of the central directive power. The ideal of their government is that of an omniscient intelligence, all powerful within the limits of the State and securing the welfare of the individual citizen, without giving him any very wide scope for personal adventures or risks. It looks probable that this is the reason why the German gives so much scope to the inuer freedom of his youth at schoolas though it were to compensate for the external determinism on the part of the State which surrounds the citizen with walls of fate; walls, indeed, of fate, but of a rational fate, the bonds of reasonable action. Goethe makes Egmont say: "An honest citizen who maintains himself by his industry has always as much freedom as he can make use of.” This freedom is sufficient for the citizen who travels the beaten track, but not for the one who desires to carve out a new career. The German Government does not encourage adventure and its consequent risks-it is too wasteful. There are 95 failures to each 100 adventures in a career not prepared for by a lifelong education.

The Anglo-Saxon, on the other hand, has for long centuries en. couraged individual enterprise and rewarded its success by monopolies and privileges. The English common people have since the earliest ages been eager for personal liberty and most jealous of encroachments on the part of centralized power. Their respect for established usage seems to contradict this tendency to individualism, but it is really its fulcrum and basis. Without this stress of attention to the limits which are set to the invasion of outside authority the private individual would not have so much impulse to exercise his freedom within those limits. The Chinese principle of family subordination does not leave untouched a sphere of wild freedom within the individual and hence does not incite the kind of reaction which produces personal adventure, original invention, and free thought.

When we consider it therefore, we see that there is an equivalent from the course of study to be sought on the will side of the character. This must be estimated as carefully as the intellectual equivalent.

There is another large field in which the mechanical memory gets much training, and that is the study of the grammars and of the classic languages. The mastery of rules and lists of exceptions--of long and numerous paradigms-of whimsical idioms of speech-is a poor train. ing of the intellect so far as powers of thought are concerned, but it is a training of the will specially adapted to form habits of circumspection and considerate regard for the rights and privileges of one's fellow men, and of an equal persistence in respect to one's own legiti. mate prerogatives. We note here the fact that Latin and Greek are the original tongues of the two ancient nationalities that discovered the two essential factors of our civilization-the Greeks exploring the intellect and the artistic faculties, while the Roman made an inventory, on the side of the will, of the forms which deeds must have in order not to conflict with the social whole. The Roman, in short, has given to mankind the formulæ of the free will.

The individual will attacking the will of the social whole contradicts itself, for the substantial will is the will of the social whole. This is the distinction of freedom froin license, and its expression is due to the Roman spirit. The great significance of the Greeks and Romans in furnishing the two pillars for modern civilization sufficiently justifies the prominence of Latin and Greek in the course of study for youth. But, in order to weigh carefully their educative effect, we must have special regard to the methods by which they are taught-whether by memorizing and applying grammatical rules or by oral usage without grammar. It is not possible to tell, therefore, by a mere inspection of the course of study whether the German and French youth are, on an average, two or three years in advance of the American youth. One must inquire into the methods of study. If the French youth comes to Latin at the age of 10 years, while the American youth begins it at the age of 13, it is quite likely that the American youth employs a different method-perhaps the grammatical method rather than the method which lays stress on a practical use of the language in speaking and writing. The grammatical method is for the most part a training in logical discrimination. It does not go for much in the way of mastery of a language for use, but it is, perforce, a fine discipline for the devel. opment of intellectual acuteness and directive power.

It is to be hoped that a more discriminating comparison may be made in regard to the methods of education abroad, so that we may know the entire scope of the problem. We must count in without omission all the educative values before we weigh the products of our own schools against those of other nations. But the seeming backwardness of our pupils should give us concern and impel us to this investigation without delay.


It is the province of the Bureau of Education to present the statistics of education in such a manner as to assist the American people to avail themselves of the experiments in progress at home and abroad. The first step in this work is to separate what is peculiar and inci. dental to local needs from what is of universal application and useful to all educational systems. What is not to be imitated must be discriminated and explained as carefully as its valuable counterpart. For this purpose each system should be studied in its historical process of growth and development. How it came to be and what end it has subserved and why it has been modified are questions that must be answered in order to understand its present status and comprehend the tendencies that are gathering in force to effect further changes.

The American student notices with interest that the general political trend in Europe since the discovery and colonization of the New World is in favor of individual freedom. The development of natural science and the application of it to useful inventions continually increase the rate of production of wealth and the facilities of rapid transit of person and property as well as the means of intercommunication. The age is consequently synthetic in its tendencies, uniting each nation to all others, and educating it by the constant spectacle of the doings of all and to a less degree by actual commercial and diplomatic intercourse. Such synthesis of home ideas with foreign ideas is a constant education directed against the exclusiveness of caste within the nation. All people see the spectacle of the rapid conquest of nature, the sudden rise of individuals from obscurity into enduring fame, and the perspective of human history which foreshortens the millenniums of man's achievement in such a manner that it seems a constant and rapid development. The lower and lowest strata of society in our civilization are not only stimulated by seeing the material progress of their day, but they are visited by manifold influences from the higher strata of society and specially incited to discontent with their lot. They are offered the right of the ballot, they are compelled to educate their children in free schools, they are proselyted for political and social causes.

These processes are going on in all Christian civilization with more or less rapidity, from our own Pacific coast eastward across the Atlantic to the extreme Russian borderland. Every score of years marks some noteworthy step toward popular freedom. It is this progress which lays emphasis on the development of educational systems. For school education is vitally related to this deeper movement that agitates all our civilization. School education becomes first a necessity for the sake of the military and industrial success of the nation. Then next the educated intelligence of the individuals demands recognition for itself throngh the abolition of caste and through representation in the gov. ernment.

The past twenty years of educational history in Europe are more interesting and instructive in this respect than all other epochs.

The specialists of this Bureau have begun an extensive study of the data on hand with a view to a new and clearer presentation of the essential outlines of the educational systems of Europe. A few of these presentations are offered in this Report, namely, those for England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Spain, and Brazil. Others will follow hereafter until all are given. But. meanwhile it is confessed that these first attempts at concise statements of national education will be found very imperfect. It is expected (and desired) that criticism at home and abroad will be free and minute. It is certain that the division of labor and the consequent concentration of attention on comparatively narrow fields of study will by and by educate these specialists into experts. If this Bureau were to hold back the publication of these statements until they had become approximately perfect, for fear of the sharp criticism anticipated, it would postpone for selfish reasons the exercise of a healthful influence in stimulating this comparative study of foreign educational experiments. What is found to be crude and hasty in the statements here inblished will, no doubt, bave the effect of inciting the study and instigation of original sources of information, and this Bureau will get 1 from a corps of auxiliary students scattered over the world.

is hoped that the statement of what is essential to present the livforces and structure of a national educational system may be very och abridged at each successive revision. The events of the year in the field of education, when presented in this Report, should always be accompanied with such a general survey of the national system to which they belong as to make clear to the reader what significance they have.


Each nation reacts in its own way and manner against the necessity which is forcing governments to establish systems of popular education as a means of national defense. Each stamps upon its system its own ethnical character and, consciously or unconsciously, perpetuates its own institutions by its schools.


The specialist* who has prepared this statement of the school system of England mentions among its characteristics, first, its combination of public and private agencies in the control and maintenance of schools (page 106). This is a significant hint of the principle which must be kept in view before all in explaining English institutions. There does not seem to be anything universal except compromiseeverything is limited by something opposing it; English institutions express in their very form their origin in mutual struggle that has ended in mutual recognition and tolerance. The English statesinan can bardly conceive of a theoretically perfect system imposed on the nation by Parliament. The new system must not only be founded on the old but it must admit the old to its fullest validity as a determining element. This appears in a variety of forms. There are mentioned three kinds of parishes only partially coincident--the boundaries being different. The 52 counties of England and Wales are divided into 14,946 parishes for poor-law purposes, these being organized into 649 unions; into 13,000 parishes for ecclesiastical purposes, and again into 14,777 parishes for highway supervision. In the same territory there are 163 municipal boards established for the management of schools, and 2,111 boards which comprise single parishes or parish unions. Nearly all of the superior education is voluntary, two-thirds of it given by the ancient foundations at Oxford and Cambridge. There are royal mili. tary and naval schools exclusively governmental, and the Government also aids schools of science and art. The secondary schools are likewise voluntary, including the nine famous endowed “ public schools” (Eaton, Rugby, Harrow, etc.), and nearly a thousand others. There are also " proprietary” and “private” schools and “ladies' colleges." In this branch of the subject (secondary education) nothing like a complete survey is possible. The information is lacking. This Bureau of Education collects and publishes each year a list of private secondary schools for the United States. Such a list is needed for England in order to furnish data for the study of this very important part of its education system. Turning to the elementary schools, we find the first fraces of governmental interest in education. But the schools establisbed entirely by the Government-what we call in America “public schools” or “common schools”-furnish less than 40 per centum of the entire amount of elementary instruction, while 6 voluntary schools”

*Miss Annie Tolman Smith,

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