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The reports show that the number of students preparing for the work of teaching in the normal schools amounts to 10,542. This fact is very significant, as showing the enlightened policy of the State in improving the corps of teachers.
THE SCHOOL SYSTEMS OF SWEDEN AND FINLAND.
Sweden and Finland* were one country up to 1809, when Finland was ceded to Russia. Early in the Protestant movement in Europe Sweden took measures to secure popular education, and in 1640 required every city to provide a school. In 1686 the lawt of Charles XI prohibited marriage between parties who could not read. The law of 1819 compels each parish to provide a school,
It seems that 15 per cent. of the entire population are enrolled in the schools, there being 707,959 in the elementary, 14,030 in the secondary, and 1,816 in the superior grades, besides a large attendance on the technical schools. In fact Sweden has distinguished herself in later years by her original methods in technical and industrial schools and in bodily training. The Ling system of gymnastics has been imported into America and introduced into the Boston schools, and is exciting wide attention here and in England. The Slöjd system of manual training has attracted special students from all parts of the world to the Swedish normal school at Nääs. It originated in the home indus. tries practiced during the long winter evenings--feats of skill in the manufacture of wooden ware—the jackknife being the principal tool in requisition. The Slöjd of the normal school has extended itself so as to include metal work to some extent, and so as to initiate the pupil into the use of tools employed in skilled labor. There is in all grades of the schools much attention given to preparation of boys for useful trades and of girls for housework.
There is a compulsory law that applies to children between the ages of 9 and 14 years.
The large sum devoted to normal-school instruction-$92,949, in 1887, and also the corresponding sum for inspection of the elementary schools ($25,460)-shows the earnestness and wisdom with which the government acts in this matter. It would seem that nearly all children of school age are brought under the training of the school.
A noteworthy feature of the schools of Sweden and Finland is the " ambulatory” school. The schoolmaster in the sparsely settled regions goes from house to house, remaining a few days at each place and collecting in the most convenient one the children of the few fami. lies who live near enough to attend. This suffices to teach reading and writing and but little more. The schoolmaster, however, can advise and direct home studies if he is intelligent. In 1871 there were 1,164 of these ambulatory schoolmasters, there being 7,118 schools of
* Statements in Chapter VII, prepared by Miss F. G. French.
all kinds in Sweden, outside of Stockholm. In 1883 the number of schools had increased to 9,791, of which 3,346 were ambulatory,
The ambulatory teacher for sparsely settled country districts suggests for other countries certain features worth adopting. There are branches of instruction in the city schools which are made efficient only by skilled special teachers, such as cooking, drawing, etc. These can be taught in country schools by - ambulatory” teachers employed by the State Board of Education-one or two schools being visited each day in a circuit of five or ten schools-after a course of lessons the special teacher may move on to a new circuit.
The hygienic inquiries conducted in the Swedish schools are of paramount interest. Axel Key's report on this subject is the most important contribution yet made to it. One learns with surprise the effect of overstrain of the nervous system in the Latin schools (50 per cent. affected), and especially in the girls' schools (61 per cent).
There is evident a considerable opposition on the part of the people to the old classical course of liberal education. One may note in this connection that Sweden does not stand in such close relation to the other nations of Europe as to feel the pressure for adjusting herself to a foreign human environment of peoples differing in language, religion, fashions, and manners and customs. Such a necessity is met by the studies of a liberal education, which familiarizes the pupil with remote peoples who originated the ideas that underlie his civilization.
The Latin and Greek life with which the student becomes familiar in college gives to him the source from whence are derived not only his own spiritual usages, but also those of neighboring nations differing more or less from those prevailing at home.
The new awakening in Sweden in the matter of manual training and industries will have the effect of bringing Sweden into commercial relations with other nations, especially as soon as the Swedish normal schools come to devote a large portion of their time to art studies. They must emulate the French and Belgians in this respect, and take as much pains to form the taste of pupils on classic models as they take to secure skill of hand. Swedish manufactures will begin then to acquire elegance of finish and design that will make them sought for in the markets of the world.
Swedish scholars are noted for their work on the Old Norse Edda and the history of that early race of daring sea-rovers which made so deep an impression on the new civilization growing up in western Europe in the Middle Ages.
The educators of other nations find Sweden a very interesting study in the matter of education, because it is a sort of experiment station in hygiene and manual training. The contention between the moderns" and the classic studies is also nearly as active there as in France.
In Sweden and Finland we have specimens of the most northern peoples of Europe—of peoples, too, who are somewhat isolated and not in that state of military tension which prevails in central and western Europe. There is evident everywhere a spirit of sturdy independence and a willingness to depart from the traditional methods followed by other people.
Uno Cygnæus, the organizer of the new forms of primary instruction in Finland, who instituted the first normal school there, is the originator of the idea of the manual training school. He devised the plan when sent out by the Russian Government to Alaska to teach the natives, and after his return to Finland he was appointed inspector-general of the people's schools, and established the admirable combination of literary, scientific, and industrial studies that is found there in the elementary schools.
The number enrolled in school exceeds 17 per cent. of the entire population (counting both the ambulatory and village schools). Very much stress is laid on the education of teachers, the sum of $75,960 being ap. propriated annually to normal schools, and the sum of $11,260 being devoted to providing able inspectors of the elementary schools.
Secondary education seems also to be unusually strong_9,983 pupils are enrolled in this class of schools--about one-serenth of the entire school enrollment. Of these it is interesting by way of comparison with France and Germany to see that nearly one-half of the secondary pupils are girls. The number of students enrolled in the universities is 1,703, a very unusual proportion.
The compulsory law of 1866 relates to children of the ages from 7 to 14 years. It is stated that in a population of 2,225,000 the number of illiterates is less than 5,000. The ambulatory school of Finland seems to be even more efficient than that of Sweden.
An attempt was made in this Bureau to sketch an outline of education in Spain. * But the sources of information proved to be meager and for the most part not recent. After the sketch was in type for chapter vil I sent the proof sheets to distinguished specialists resident in Madrid-Señor Giner de los Rios and Director M. B. Cossio,the former the editor of the Spanish educational journal “Boletin de la Institución Libre de Enseñanza,” and the latter at the head of the Ped. agogical Museum of Primary Instruction. Sr. M. B. Cossio kindly undertook a thorough revision of the statement, and in the next Annual
* The sketch was compiled loy Miss Sophie Nussbaum.
Report of this Bureau I hope to furnish an adequate showing of the educational work done in Spain.*
In her efforts to establish universal education Spain vies with Italy and has succeeded in enrolling in her schools about the same ratio of children, namely, 104 per centum of the population.
The consequence of this movement in behalf of education has been, the reduction of illiteracy in recent years.
The great comparative outlay for normal-school instruction will be noticed. There were, in 1885, 48 of these for men and 33 for women, with a large number of graduates who obtained certificates. As a consequence it appears that a great majority of teachers are professionally educated. Added to this there is a system of inspection for every prov. ince.
The number of persons pursuing secondary and higher instruction appears to be out of proportion to the number in the elementary schools and speaks well for the richer classes. The number of industrial and technical students (19,583) is still more significant as indicating a determination to advance the nation to the front rank of industrial com • petition.
EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES OF BRAZIL.I
The United States of Brazil, the largest country in South America, has more square miles than the United States of America, Alaska being
The following errata pointed out by Señor Cossio should be read in connection with chapter VIII:
Page 236, seventh column, 8,412 teachers should be 8,512.
Page 236, foot-note. Infant should be used for preparatory in the classification of primary instruction.
Page 237, the pretended census for 1883 (referred to 'in paragraph 2) should be discredited since no official census has been taken since 1877.
Page 237 paragraph 6. The statement with respect to the law of 1868 is a mistake. M. Buisson refers to a decree of 1868 which authorized any Spaniard to open a school without having obtained an official diploma.
Page 238, table. Enrollment in private schools should be
Page 239, heading “Grant by the State," should be Estimates by the Municipalities.
Page 243, paragraph 2. For 1,344 read 1,144.
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excluded. The valley of the Amazon, over 2,000,000 square miles, is almost all included within the limits of Brazil. Lying on the equator its capacity for the production of vegetable food is so great that it would support a population equal to twice the present aggregate of mankind. Science and machinery will some day conquer this vast region for the uses of man, but mere manual labor can never do it.
All the South American countries are taking a new interest in the progress of other nations, notably in that of the United States of America and of France and Germany. They show great eagerness to adoptimproved methods of education and whatever devices will elevate the people into greater directive power in science and industry. Under the last Emperor, Dom Pedro, the schools of Brazil received much encouragement and the quality of instruction was much improved, although the total enrollment reached only 2 per cent. of the population. The education of this number, which is a small fraction of the people when compared with most European nations, and indeed, as compared with its own neighbors of the southwest (see comparative table, pages 76,77), costs Brazil $5,000,000 per annum. It has developed a comparatively excellent system of secondary instruction. The enrollment in secondary and normal schools bears a large ratio to that of elementary instruction.
Each of the twenty provinces of Brazil has its own local provincial assembly and takes care of its own educational facilities. There is a good system of superintendence and inspection provided for, especially in the federal district of Rio de Janeiro. The statistics from this nation are quite meager as regards its schools, and the information given in the authorities consists in government resolutions and proposed en. actments rather than in definite information as to what is being accom. plished, and its rate of progress.
THE EDUCATION OF TEACHERS.
I would call special attention to chapters xi to Xiv* (pages 275–372) as giving a survey of the development and present status of normal schools and a supplementary study on the sociological conditions under which the teaching force of New England has been organized in the past 20 years, together with a glance at the new plan of the trustees of the Peabody fund.t Additional matter on the subject of normal schools will also be found in chapter XXVI.
* Prepared for this Report by Mr. Wellford Addis.
At the time this Report goes to press (September, 1891) the administration of the Slater fund has been placed under the same able management as the Peabody fund so as to secure perfect unity and harmony in expenditures. It would appear to the student of education in the Southern States that the practical wisdom in the administration of the Peabody fund and the fruitful results that have followed it could not be surpassed in the history of ondowments. The Slater fund, too, has been admirably managed.