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public instruction, in his report for 1848, had spoken hopefully of the pub. sic high schools or union schools, as they were then called, as giving promise of meeting this deplorable want, and Supt. Shearman, in 1852, spoke still more confidently of them as the future preparatory schools for the University, and in support of his views was able to say that the union school at Jonesville had already furnished candidates for admission to the freshman class prepared in the most satisfactory manner. From this date forward the high schools of the State came promptly to the rescue, and there was swift progress toward
FULFILLMENT OF THESE PROPHECIES.
Seven years afterward, in 1859, the question of preparatory schools was fully and happily settled. The Hon. J. M. Gregory, then Superintendent of Public Instruction, spoke of them as follows: " The union school has vindicated its claim by the most practical of all tests, and henceforth we must look to them to supply the demand for higher intermediate education,” and to this he adds: “I count it as the most beautiful feature of our school system, that thus, up from the very midst of the primary schools, should grow up these free academies, to carry forward the work of these schools, and to crown them with honor. They come not as strangers into the school system, claiming for themselves the post of honor, engrossing the best minds and best public sympathies, and fostering a pride that looks down with contempt upon the common schools as fit for only the poor and ignorant; but they grow up as kindred in the great family of schools, exhibiting the vitality of the system that gave them birth and carrying over to the public school system whatever of sympathy and love they inay win.” Thus help came at last through an extension of the common school system. The union schools, year by year, made progress in bringing their pupils to the degree of advancement that a University ought to require of those whom it admits to its privileges, but it is a fact which deeply concerns the future of the University and one to which its friends ought to give the most serious attention, that the union and high schools have never yet, even this day, covered the ground that rightfully belongs to the domain of secondary instruction. There is still open and unoccupied space between the upper limit of high school preparation and the lower boundary of legitimate University work.
Careful observers of our educational system and all readers of the annual reports of the President of the University are familiar with this weakest point in that system, though the casual observer sees nothing amiss. He sees the young student make his way up through the primary and grammar schools, finish his prescribed course in the high school studies and, diploma in hand, enter the portals of the University. In all this there seems to be no break or interruption, but rather perfect continuity from beginning to end. And so there is apparent continuity, but only because the University unwillingly, but under compulsion by the exigencies of the case, fills the interval by undertaking and doing more than a year of mere
There ought to be devised some means of relief. This institution ought to be allowed to attend solely to the great work which strictly and fairly belongs to it. This problem is not by any means a new one. It has been earnestly considered in the past, but the advancing wisdom of fifty pears has not as yet wrought out an accepted solution. May we not reasonably hope, however, that the vitality of our system of instruction and its inherent tendency to growth, will by and by, and perhaps in the near future, provide an adequate remedy? Will not the causes which have brought our high schools to their present point of advancement, yet bring them up to the full measure required for covering the whole field of secondary instruction? What has brought them to their present standard? Not so much the needs of the University as determination on the part of the people to give their children at their own homes the means of educational training reaching far beyond the limits of elementary instruction. Is not this feeling active still, and can it not be depended upon to be active in the future?
The signs of the times do not indicate that the men and women of Michigan will be content with the present range of instruction in their common schools. There will be progress in this direction, and by and by, perhaps, chasms will be bridged, the high schools be true and sufficient gymnasia, and their graduates be prepared for entry at once on real university training Even now there are those who confidently affirm that there is in the lower classes of the university a wasteful duplication of training which the better and stronger high schools are abundantly able to give, and that the time has come when it may profitably saw out some of the lower rungs of its ladder. Such expressions of opinion are significant and suggest a serious inquiry whether the high schools are not able to do more than they have yet been asked to accomplish, and whether even now the University gives them "room according to their strength." Let us note the advance made within the last twenty-five years, an advance that the boldest would not have dared to prophesy, and then let us take courage for the future.
But previous to 1852, no perceptible benefits had come to the University from the union and high schools. It was an army cut off from its base of supplies. It was a railroad system with its terminal stations, warehouses, elevators, equipped and in order for business, but without a connecting track and with only a remote prospect of its construction. Under such circumstances, there was loss rather than gain, both in interest and in numbers. The class of 1815 numbered 12 literary graduates, while that of 1851 numbered only 10, and the largest class of the intervening years numbered only 17.
But during the year of which I am speaking matters began to mend and prospects to brighten. There was a sudden and pronounced awakening in educational interests all along the line. The people had just begun to understand the contents of the new constitution drafted in 1850 and adopted in 1851.
This instrument made wise and practical provision for improvement in the administration of the University. The membership of the board of regents was reduced to a reasonable and convenient number, and their sole function was to be the care of the University and of all its great interests.
were to be chosen directly by the people, thus giving the opportunity for selection in reference to fitness, and greatly lessening the danger of interference and dictation by any department of the state government.
The need of a permanent and responsible head for the University was so urgent and so obvious that a clause was embodied in the constitution commanding the regents, at their first annual meeting or as soon thereafter as may be, to elect a president of the University, who was, by the same authority, made president of the board of regents, thus securing his wisdom and experience in all its councils. They acted promptly and with decision and wisdom. They lost no time in obeying the mandate of the constitution.
A little more than six months after this organization they chose Dr. Henry P. Tappan president of the University. Their choice met the hearty approval of intelligent friends of the institution, revived their sinking courage, and filled their hearts with renewed confidence and hope.
At the time of which I am speaking he was yet new in his office, but the unquestioning trust which his name and his reputation inspired, and his speedily discovered power to convince men and to fire their hearts with the same earnestness that glowed in his own, made his acceptance of the proffered presidency the most conspicuous factor in the Revival to which I have invited your attention. A few words concerning him, spoken with great love and reverence, will close what I have to say of the Renaissance and its conspicuous characteristics. A kind Providence guided the regents in their selection. Dr. Tappan was the man for the time and for the place. Broad in his culture, profound in his scholarship, forcible, direct and eloquent in speech, a thorough student of systems of education at home and abroad, ripe in years and experience, full of temperate zeal and intelligent enthusiasm, commanding in mien and in presence as well as in his great abilities, a natural leader of men, he easily rallied all available forces and energies to the building up of the institution with which he had cast his lot. It was a case of regeneration. The University was born again. He was its true founder. With his administration, its real career began. The impetus given to it by his genius and his labors, made possible its subsequent progress from triumph to triumph.
The young men of Michigan loved him and venerated him as their “guide, philosopher and friend,” and he bound their hearts to him with fetters of steel.
Nearly five years ago, from his lovely villa that looks out upon the quiet waters of Lake Geneva, he went to his eternal reward.
May the University of Michigan, still triumphant and wisely progressive, remain forever as it is to-day, worthy of the love and loyalty of all its sons and daughters; worthy of the high place which its achievements have already won for it, and worthy as a monument to the wisdom, foresight and devotion of its real father and founder.
BY CHARLES CARLISLE, IONIA, MICH,
Dr. Hunter, of the Normal College of the city of New York, says that the chief end to be obtained in the study of reading is facility in reading silently.
Ernest Legouvé, of the French Academy, teaches the pupils of the Normal School, of Paris, that the meaning of the written or printed sentence is fully revealed only when the sentence is read aloud.
Mr. Alfred Ayres, in his “Essentials of Elocution," holds that, if the thought is understood, adequate expression will follow as a matter of course.
Principal W. B. Ferguson, of the High School of Putnam, Conn., maintains that if his experience in teaching has given him certain knowledge of anything, it has given him certain knowledge of the fact that correct oral expression does not always follow mastery of thought.
The “Syllabus of Institute Work for Michigan,” issued some years ago, propounds, as a test of the pupil's reading ability, the question, “Does he
“ read as he talks?”
Legouvé says it would be well enough for the pupil to read as he talked if he talked well; but that the majority of us talk only indifferently. Some stammer, some hesitate, some drawl, some hurry, some speak through the nose, some are monotonous. Further, that ordinary conversation permits a negligence in utterance which would be a grave defect in reading, and that to talk as we read would usually be pedantry, while to read as we talk would often be vulgarity.
Mr. Ayres gives us his “Essentials of Elocution" in forty-two small pages.
Ex-State Supt. Swett, of California, in his “ School Elocution,” covers with “essentials” more than two hundred and sixty pages of ordinary size.
Prof. Charles Carroll, lecturing before the students and teachers of the New York School of Acting, declares that no treatise on the art of reading has yet been written.
Such varying views concerning it, lead us to infer that the subject of reading is like a diamond---many sided-and that while one person may have caught a flash of red light from one facet, he may have failed to see the green flash from another. One man sees and states this truth, another that. Many truths may lie yet undiscovered. Therefore, while we may with much profit consider reading through the mediumship of this or that author or teacher whose methods commend themselves to reason, it may be well for us to look
directly at the subject now and then in order to see whether some hint or help which others have failed to find may not be revealed to our unaided eyes.
Reading, as generally considered in school-work, is the mind's recognition of the ideas contained in written or printed symbols (words), and its expression of these ideas by means of an apparatus made of bone and muscle. It is an attempt to talk the thoughts of other people as they ought to be talked. It is one of the first tasks at which the child is set; and, according to the measure of success he has in mastering it, it becomes to him an invaluable servant in the acquisition of knowledge. It opens for him the vast treasurehouse of the world's thought, where from volumes of old experience he may glean such wise counsel, such illuminating instruction, and such cheering hope as may enable him to look forward to a happy and successful career.
“Teach a child to read,” says Horace Mann, “teach him to read and understand such stories as the friendship of Damon and Pythias, the integrity of Aristides, the fidelity of Regulus, the purity of Washington, the invincible perseverance of Franklin, and he will think differently and act differently all the days of his remaining life.”
Teach a child to read, and dispose him to read only that which is good, and you teach him “the song which can lighten, cheer, soothe and inspire” his life when few things else can. If he has wealth, reading will add to his enjoyment. If poverty be his lot, reading may not only make it endurable, it may make it enviable. Then, too, there is salvation in a love for literature. “To love worthy objects, and in a worthy manner, is the top and crown of earthly good; aye, and of heavenly good also,” says Dr. Hudson. If a love of good books, which are, indeed, worthy objects, be not instilled into the personality of the child during his school days, one chance for his salvation will have been neglected. Too much consideration, therefore, cannot be given to that phase of the subject of reading embodied in the question, * What shall the child read?”
During his earlier childhood it seems fitting that his mind should dwell upon the world's child-lore—its fairy tales—its Arabian Nights-its history of Robinson Crusoe-its legends of heroes—such stories of men and of animals as will teach him his duty toward them-simple tales of science and of travel.
During childhood, too, it will be well for him to make familiar acquaintance with the simple, strong English of “The Pilgrim's Progress," and the sinewy idioms of King James' Bible, a book which, to quote Dr. Hudson again, is in point of style incomparably superior to any in our tongue. What a wealth of illustration orators and authors have drawn from it! Apart from any question of human interpretation of certain portions of it, what a noble code of ethics it presents! Apart from any thought of its seeming inconsistencies, what a powerful personality may be built upon its precepts!
Therefore, at school as well as at home there should be familiar reference to this book in order that the child, ordinarily, may be able to distinguish between Biblical quotations and sayings from “ Poor Richard's Almanac; that he may have command of its thoughts for his own use in illustration, and that its parables, stories, admonitions and exhortations may have a chance at least to make a permanent impression upon his moral nature. It would not be amiss to have a judicious selection from the Bible form part of a daily exercise in his school-life. It is not necessary that every chapter should be