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leading nations on the continent has the effect of forcing the matter on the attention of the people, and the constantly increasing favor which the cause of education gets as a natural consequence of general education of the people in the schools for the past twenty years the įrksomeness of the tuition fee, coupled as it is with a compulsory law-will have the effect of moving public opinion round to the point of the adoption of a free educational system. The private school interest will favor it because it is also its own interest to have an increase of the government grant. But the unendowed schools will gradually fall off, leaving the field after years to the endowed schools and the board schools. This at least appears the probable future trend of the English systum, judging by the past and by the English mode of action,
The thoughtful observer has constant occasion to admire the pru. dence with which the English nation moves forward in such a manner as to get the full benefit out of all that has been already achieved. It wastes nothing that it finds. But perhaps it deserves criticism for a too great economy--an economy that wastes the raw material of present possibilities of youth under better methods and appliances in order to utilize capital invested in somewhat antiquated appliances. This is not certain, however, and judging the case by the national principle of government above discussed, one is apt to conclude that the method adopted is the best as well as the only one practicable.
SCOTLAND, IRELAND, AND THE ENGLISH COLONIES.
The statement as above given applies only to England and Wales. The educational system of Scotland is in some respects entitled to rank first as the pioneer system of education for all the people.
The statements for Scotland, Ireland, and the English colonies are deferred for the next annual report.
THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM OF FRANCE.
France * in many respects stands in sharp contrast to England. Although France is a republic it has far more centralization than is permitted in English-speaking countries, even when under a monarchical form of government.
France has preserved the traditions of the classic nations, Greece and Rome, more nearly than any other modern State. Artists flock to Paris from all parts of the world to get the best instruction in painting and sculpture. The fashions of the civilized world are dictated from the French capital. What is to be regarded as good taste in clothing is the product of French invention. For hundreds of years France set. tled more serious concerns, namely: the forms of polite manners and the ideals of civilized behavior and government diplomacy.
* The statement in Chapter IV is prepared by Miss A. T. Smith, specialist in this Bareau.
The fine arts applied to industry have always been a prolific source of wealth from the time when the jewelry and purple clothing of Babylon furnished the center of attraction for the ancient world. France has so long schooled her workmen in classic models that hereditary descent of aptitudes for tasteful ornament and beautiful finish is to be counted on among the people. Skilled labor, and what is more potent for the production of riches, labor that is guided by artistic taste, pours wealth into France. The size of the nation and its position give to it political power. It touches on its borders the nations of northern, southern, and central Europe.
What are the problems of its education? It must secure this preparation for its industries; it must educate a people who sball lead the fashions of civilization; and before all it must preserve its rank of leading power among the nations of the continent of Europe. Close allied to fashion and ästhetic ornament is the art of military displays and maneuvres. The French have held the same preëminence in this field as in the others for long centuries. In a work of art there is exhibited the complete subordination of the parts to the unity of the whole. So, too, in the maneuvreing of an army the same subordination is displayed. Tens of thousands of independent wills, each one with its own desires, aims, and purposes, are consolidated into one gigantic whole, moved by one will and animated by one purpose. The French love of centralization and military display is quite as much an æsthetic one as a love of power and conquest. It differs from the old Roman love of arms and dominion in this respect: The Roman loved unity of will for its own sake and made it his national purpose to reduce all people to the sway of one government, so that Roman law, the abstract form of civil freedom, should everywhere prevail and universal peace be the result. The French national spirit loves the unity that is manifested in a vast complex of details, perfectly subordinating them and reflecting itself in them. It loves the reflection of this unity in concrete masses rather than in the abstract form, and this is æsthetic rather than political or legal. It loves art more than equality before the law. French history shows that this hunger for manifestation has always accentuated this distinction from the old Roman, to whom, nevertheless, there still remains so great a resemblance. It is old Rome incorporated with Athens-love of power subordinated to a love of display. This is not to be under. stood as a love of vulgar display, but a noble love of art in its best forms—the love of the manifestation of the domination of human reason over brute matter. The best French aspiration loves to see reflected in all its surroundings the loftiest attributes of the soul-free rationality and its victory over chaos and confusion. Even the French peasant will not show bad taste in decoration, as the more northern Teutonic peasantry will do. There is that sense of moderation and self-control which belonged to the ancient Greeks--a display of rule and moderation wbich constitutes the essence of the beautiful.
This union of the Greek and Roman principles and the modification of the one through the other constitutes an advance over both on the whole. The fanatical intensity of the Roman love of the state is mitigated by the Athenian love of the appearance of rationality and the celebration of the human as divine. The vulgar luxury and sensuality of the Roman is elevated and refined into splendor by art and taste. The sensual is converted into the æsthetic—the former a selfish delight of the body and the latter an unselfish delight of the soul. For art dignifies matter by giving to it the semblance of freedom and independ. ence-the work of art appears to exist for its own sake and not for the sake of usefulness.
But this is the reason why the French have not excelled all other nations in the forms of modern art. Italy has excelled in painters of the Romantic school, and Germany has excelled in music. England has excelled in poetry, producing more first-class poets alone than all the rest of modern Europe combined. The French have clung close to the classic ideals and have nurtured the classic spirit' by their education. They have managed to arrest their national spirit atthat stage by means of their skillfully devised education. Great as French art is in the realms named-in painting, music, and poetry—there is always felt even in its farthest departures towards Romantic art the presence of the classic ideal as a restraining principle. This prevents the French artist from abandoning entirely the conventional standards and moving forward to a new æsthetic ideal, such as we find in a Raphael, a Shakespeare, and a Beethoven. But this, too, is the greatness of the French and gives them their world-wide dominion as arbiters of fashion and the conventionalities of taste and refined.luxury.
The French nation shows all these peculiarities in its schools. It has established within 20 years a wonderful school system, complete in all its parts and the admiration of all who go to inspect it. It exhibits a nation at school, so to speak. All the centralization of the French ideal is there; the unity of the governing power displayed at the capital is reflected in subordinate centers (the 17 districts which are called académies), and again in the minuter subdivisions (the 87 departments) and still again in the 36,121 minutest divisions called communes (corresponding in part to school districts and in part to townships in the United States).
The Romans governed their conquered territories by prefects or su. perintendents (overseers) and secured therein the sway of Roman laws. The French have preserved as the chief executive officer of each de. partment the prefect (préfet) appointed by the central government. But there is added a modern democratic device, a local legislative as. sembly for each department elected by the general suffrage. There is a subprefect for each of the 362 arrondissements or subdivisions of the departments, with a local council elected by the cantons (there are 2,865 of these subdivisions of the arrondissements), and finally there is a mu.
nicipal council for each of the minutest subdivisions, the communes, and a mayor chosen by the government in the large towns) from this council which is elected by the people. The commune, it is true, varies in size from a dozen people to two millions (Paris), according to the necessity of municipal unity; there are more than 200 communes with a population of upwards of 10,000 people. Thus we see the unity of the central government everywhere joined to the democratic principle of local election. But the local legislative bodies must not take up ques. tions that relate to the general government, i. e., political questions. The central government at Paris alone is charged with this matter.
This is a consistent whole easily comprehended and easily supervised and controlled from the center. The school system is erected on it. The seventeen "académies," or educational sections into which France is divided, form each an educational system complete in all its grades. There is an executive officer at the head of each académie, a sort of edu. cational prefect who is assisted by an academic council. This form of organization prevails from the most general governing body down to the minutest subdivision-always an executive assisted by a council. First there is the minister of education assisted by the superior council of public instruction. The councils represent the different orders of instruction and are elected by their co-workers for the most part. The rector of the académie and his council follow next in rank; then the inspectors with their assisting councils in the departments. Then inspectors of cantons and large communes similarly assisted.
The higher education, including what we call universities, colleges, and professional schools in America, is organized into facultés or edu. cational corporations similar to our State universities, except that there is complete control on the part of the central government and very little of the local initiative that exists with us. Our use of the word faculty applies only to the teaching body—the president, professors, and tutors, who have charge of the instruction and discipline of the college or uni. versity. But in France the word faculté is applied to the entire insti. tution and a student entering a college is said to be “inscribed in a faculté.” The French use of this word retains its old meaning from the time of the early universities of Europe. The words faculté and acadé. mie must not be translated by the English words faculty and academy. The word academy usually signifies with us a private secondary school or high school that furnishes preparation for college, and more rarely it designates a learned society. But in France it is one of the seventeen great subdivisions of the country for educational purposes.
The secondary education of France is carried on in lycées and com. munal colleges. Perhaps the lycée carries the pupil nearly a year's work further than our average academy or high school. The word lyceum with us is applied to a course of lectures open to the public at large.
The elementary schools of France include three grades of primary
instruction. First, the infant schools for children from 3 to 6 years; secondly, the elementary primary for pupils from 6 to 13 years, and thirdly, a superior primary course designed to fit youths for business and especially to give them skill and taste as workmen.
The compulsory age for attendance as fixed in 1882 is 6 to 13 years, and instruction in the primary schools has been gratuitous since 1881.
The relative proportions of pupils in the different grades (in 1887-88) showed about 500,000 in the infant schools, over 5,500,000 in the pri. mary (only 40,000 of these being in the superior primary), nearly 170,000 in the secondary schools, 9,000 in the normal schools, and 18,000 in the universities. About 3 per cent. are in the secondary and superior grades; 8 per cent, in the infant schools, and 88 per cent, in the primary. One-half of the university students are in the institution at Paris.
The pains taken in French schools to prepare the workmen for skilled labor and especially for the production of works showing tasteful finish is one of the most noteworthy features. The superior primary schools lay especial emphasis on this. The industries of the locality are considered in each commune. Drawing and designing are every. where taught. There are schools of industrial apprenticeship either detached in separate institutions or as elective courses in the primary schools. There are the great technical schools, the most famous of the world, like the École Polytechnique, and similar schools for mining, arts and trades, arts and manufactures, political science, forestry, navigation, etc.
The instruction in the arts is specializing in its character, and aims to fit the youth directly for a specific occupation-for some particular branch of a trade, and not, like our manual training schools, to give the pupil a general insight into all kinds of arts in wood and the metals. The pupil may go direct from the school into the shop without further apprenticeship. The French schools do not waste any of the time of the pupil on random experiments at invention or artistic design, but they guide the pupil into the conventional ways of construction and into the settled canons of taste. Perhaps the French graduate will have less originality and fewer resources under new conditions, but he will never produce anything of an ugly shape. He will gain the maximum of skill and dexterity in shaping the materials that belong to his province.
The instruction in the French schools employs emulation and rivalry to a greater extent than is approved in Germany and America. Perhaps this is a survival of the methods made famous by the Jesuits in their schools. The national characteristic of artistic exposition, and of unity and perspicuity in treating details, leads to a multitude of devices to make the instruction in the primary grades appeal to the senses. At the "World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, New Orleans, 1884-85," the French exhibit (under M. B. Buisson) brought