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The schools reported in Table X show but little change since the date of my last report. In Part 1, which includes the schools endowed with the national land grant of 1862, one new school is noted, viz, the Florida State Agricultural College. This is not yet thoroughly organized.
In Part 2 of the table, 7 new schools or departments are reported, while 2 tabulated in 1882 no longer appear.
A total increase of 6 in the number of schools reported in Table X is thus shown, as compared with 1882.
Nearly all the schools that appear this year for the first time in the table have been mentioned in my previous reports as either contemplated or about to be organized.
Since 1882, the pumbər of instructors in the schools of Table X has increased, while the number of students shows a slight falling off.
The schools of the class here presented have been fully described in my previous annual reports and in the special report published by the Office in 1882. Moreover, they have been the subject of recent examination and report by foreign commissions deputed to inquire into the condition of industrial and technical education in the leading nations. Their general status is, therefore, well understood both at home and abroad.
Table X, in summary and appendix, and the notices of the individual schools under the head of Scientific and Professional Instruction, in the abstracts of the appendix, set forth with sufficient clearness the present condition of these institutions and the slight changes that have occurred since my last report. I shall, therefore, confine myself to the notice of a very few particulars.
As a nation, we have reason to be gratified with our record in respect to scientific and technical instruction. As early as 1824 provision was made in this direction by the organization of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, N. Y. The same year witnessed the foundation of the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia. These were folloved at intervals of a few years by the scientific department of Virginia University, the Obio Mechanics’ Institute, the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale College, and the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University, all organized before the close of 1848. The significance of these dates is the more apparent when we recall that the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, Paris, was not founded until 1829 and that the school of design, from which has developed the Science and Art Department of Great Britain, with its system of schools, museums, and grants, was not in operation before 1837. The department itself was formally created in 1856, or 6 years prior to the land grant by our Federal Government which made the movement in the United States toward special trainivg for the arts and industries truly national. The completeness with which certain of the schools have been equipped and the wisdom manifested in their adaptation to special conditions indicate that we have had in our midst men well qualified to direct this new development in education.
A few of the many favorable comments of foreign authorities on this subject will suffice to show how thoroughly these provisions are appreciated abroad:
Dr. Kerr, one of Her Majesty's senior inspectors of schools, in a public address delivered in November, 1883, after an account of the leading institutions of Germany, which he had just visited, added that he believed the firtest science school of the world was at St. Louis, Mo.
In the following December, on the occasion of the distribution of prizes to the students of Finsbury Technical College, Professor Huxley called attention to the fact that on the American side of the Atlantic there was a people of the same stock, blood, race, and power as the English, who would run them harder than any competitors har bitherto done.
At a meeting held in Sheffield the same month with reference to forming plans fo. a proposed technical department in connection with Firth College, Mr. Mundella ****** *** ne fremd of bin min har fr** vjet!:5-12.d States and inspected the ***** for total de 34'11tor, -21. Gier Le ECE...-.5 that there iu torte kul and mining 1.18 Aticas industria alis till here is in our English indstrial parasita."
In his report on Technical Edncation in the Up'ted Sta:29. Mr. Mather says:
The per minecer of the American, in mars branches ci mechatical industry renC-14 i 16***ary to kvog groftal V,4* vi tse Laracter and seose of the education in th« frelse metown, she start at to d'oser what [rri».0: les ter acl iieing made for treble al mindstrial training. The pror -07. male fra science teaching in the many aniversities and colleges not directly technical in their character, in the Vaun Atates, bas almy required my attention, for the reason that a large proportion of the graduates of these institutions pass at once into the industrial arts after leaving college
The act of Congress in conservating forever a large portion of the territorial wealth of the nation for the purp**s of inlastrial and scientific education is a sagacions whaine of statramanship. There is provided in every State at least one centre from which all the knowledge decernary to instruct the youth of the State in scientific industry may radiate. That many of these colleges have drifted from the original intetion of the anthor of the act is only a temporary evil. The tide has set in the other direction pow and the marked success of tbose colleges, such as in New York Westo, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, &c., in the direction of technical instruction, is indually leading to the conversion of all.
It will be mren from the foregoing description of the technical and science schools that there exists in America a certain number of high class institutions for technical and scientific training in mining, civil, and mechanical engineering. I am of opinion that in the no brauchen, judging from my own observation, there is nothing better of the kind, thongh much institutions are more numerous at present in Europe. The welvantage in the training in the best of them is its practicalness. The students feel that carrers are open to them if only they bave acquired the art of applying their knowledgea; bence their ambition is excited and every one of them appears to be working for a definite purpose. There is nothing pretentious about these students. Home of them nre poor, but they must have shown marked ability in order to get the advantages of the tree or partially free instruction. Thus a limited number of clever MOON of workinginen have the road opened up for a thorough scientific training, if they can aflord to give the time.
There can be no doubt that America owes much already to the scbools which exist for technical education, though not actually helping the artisan class. Many hundreds of young men have been furnished from these sources for the superintendence of railway works, mining operations, machine shops, and the textile industries, besides chemical works, glans manufactories, building operations, agriculture, &c. I have met in almost all the manufactories I have visited – fronı mining, iron and steel manufacturing, throngh all the mechanic arts, up to watch making and sewing machine manufacturing ---ovidences of the influence of the technical schools.
These aro views upon which it is pleasant to dwell, but there is another and less Anttering side to the record which it will not do for us to ignore. The schools endowed by the national land grant of 1862 are often and very appropriately desigmated an "colleges for the people,” by which we are evidently to understand the people who are not likely to become classical scholars or scientific experts and specialista. A few of these schools are found among what Mr. Mather terms "high class Institutions for technical and scientific training in mining, civil, and mechanical enplueering:" but the majority must fulfil the purpose suggested in the words of Hon. Justin 1. Morrill in his speech at the time of the passage of the land grant act: "They must be institutions accessible to all, but especially to the sons of toil.” To this end they should be so coördinated with the common schools of the rural distriota that the pupils who have tinished the course in these may be ready for admissiou to the colleges, in which they should receive training suited to their probable Ourvers in life.
The instruction which these sehools offer is at present too theoretic and follows too elowly the model of the classical college so far as science is concerned, the great difficulty is the want of the material equipment. The training in agriculture and the mechante arta languishes thom various causes. Competent men are not easily found to organize and conduct these departments, and in many states the rural population lave little faith in the utility of the training, especially the agricultural training; so that the provision wbich the colleges are able to make for this branch is not properly appreciated. When State aid is withdrawn from an agricultural college on the plea that such colleges are not required, as has been done in one instance, and when the labor of ordinary farm hands is prized above that of the graduates from agricultural schools, young men have small inducement to pursue the courses of training. It rests chiefly with the sehools themselves to remove these hindrances to their successful operation, but this can only be accomplished by gradual advances. In several of the North western States, agricultural colleges or departments of colleges have passed the time of severest trial and have gained an assured position among the agencies that are deemed essential to the development of the local resources. In every such case it will be found that the colleges have had to create the sentiment that now operates for their support and progress. This has been done through the persistent efforts of men who joined to scientific knowledge practical experience in farming and through coöperation with State boards of agriculture and other associations which brought the schools into intimate relations with the farming population. In Kansas, farmers' institutes held under the auspices of the agricultural college have proved of great advantage. Experimental stations established in a few States have done much toward counteracting the low estimate in which "scientific farming" is held, and it is desirable that their number should be increased.
The teaching of agriculture was a subject of earnest and prolonged discussion before the London International Conference on Education, which has been several times referred to in these pages. On the general proposition of the practicability and the valuable results of such teaching, the delegates from the various nations, with very few exceptions, were agreed.
Mr. John Wrightson, M. R. A. C., F. C. s., called attention to the perfect unanimity with respect to the subjects which form a complete curriculuin of agricultural knowledge, as shown by the syllabuses of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, of the Institution of Surveys, and of every agricultural college in Europe, in the United States, and the United Kingdom.
It was in the methods by which the general scheme of instruction is carried out in the several countries represented that differences were observable, and as these methods were explained in detail and the results set forth it was impossible to resist the conviction that, where the teaching of agriculture fails, it fails not from the want of knowing what to do, but from the want of knowing how to do it or the want of the necessary relations between the teaching agencies and the agricultural system of the country. The United States was ably represented in this discussion by Prof. N. S. Townshend, of the Ohio State University, whose explanation of the work which he has conducted in that institution was received with deep interest.
Commenting upon certain of the papers, the chairman, Mr. St. John Ackers, observed, as stated in the report of the proceedings, that
Professor Townshend himself was evidently a practical farmer before he became a teacher; and if we could only get practical farmers to become teachers of the science of agriculture, or rather of all those sciences which went to make up the great art of agriculture, he for one should say that we had indeed arrived at a condition far in advance of anything which existed at the present time throughout the levgth and breadth of the land.
As I have already suggested, it is not easy in this country to find men possessing such qualifications, but here, as in Great Britain, they are essential to the successful teaching of agriculture.
President of the College of Agriculture, Downton ; lecturer in the Normal School of Science; exal iner in agriculture for the Science and Art Departme
TABLE XI. - SCHOOLS OF THEOLOGY.
The following is a comparative statement of the number of schools of theology (including theological departments) reporting to this Bureau each year from 1874 to 1884, inclusive (1883 omitted), with the number of professors and number of students:
The following summary shows the number of clergymen in each State and Territory, in 1880, according to the Federal census of that year. It will be observed that, in the Union as a whole, the proportion of clergymen to the whole population was 1 to 781.
Clergymen according to the census of 1880.
Next follows a summary of theological schools for 1883–'84, by religious affiliations, showing for each denomination the number of schools, professors, and students.