« AnteriorContinuar »
Among other lines of special study and investigation fostered by the universities and promising results of immediate practical value, are those relating to the English language and to the history of our own people. To the last mentioned belongs the early history of educational institutions, a line of research which may very properly be encouraged by this Office.
ATTENDANCE ON COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY COURSES..
Wbile provision for liberal culture and for a high order of professional and special training is increasing among us, and our leading colleges and universities are attracting the attention of foreign educationists and writers, by reason both of their material resources and their scholastic excellence, the opinion is gaining ground among us that the number of young men who avail themselves of this provision is relatively smaller than at an earlier period of our history.
The material collected by this Office during the last fifteen years is undoubtedly sufficient, if properly analyzed, to throw much light upon this matter. In order, however, that definite conclusions should be reached, more time must be given to the investigation than is afforded in a single year, and in the case of many colleges special inquiries instituted. The results of some preliminary studies in this directiou are given in Appendix VI, page 468.
At this early stage of the inquiry the inference seems to be justified that the number of students pursuing the branches which were comprised in the old uniform college curriculum bas relatively declined, but that this loss is more than compensated by the attendance upon advanced scientific and special courses.
MANUAL AND TECHNICAL INSTRUCTION.
Interest in the subject of " manual training” has shown no abatement during the year under review. Although few new experiments in this direction have been reported, distinct progress in respect to the general understanding of the subject is noticeable. This progress appears chiefly in the clearer recognition of the relation that manual training bears to general development, or, in other words, in the clearer recog. nition of its educational function. Physiologists have long been telling us that muscular exercise invigorates the brain ; in addition to this important result which the exercise of the band shares with all other bodily exercise, the advocates of manual training have urged its effects in quickening observation, in increasing the range and acuteness of the perceptive faculties, and in establishing an “intimate familiarity between the mind and things." This broad conception is gradually replacing that narrower view in which manual training is regarded merely as a means of promoting industrial aptitude, or of affording preparation for specific arts. In a number of cities public opinion seems to be prepared to give practical effect to the idea forcibly expressed by Dr. high order of technical and scientific training throughout the country. The extent to which the South is participating in the general move. ment for manual and industrial training should not be overlooked. The colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts in Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi bave materially increased their equipment for practical work during the year ; the Legislature of Georgia has appropriated $65,000 for the building and furnishing of a technological school, the Tuskegee Normal School, Alabama, is developing a work for the colored people of that State which embodies the best features of the Hampton Institute; and Tulane University has thrown its powerful inficence on the side of a full, rounded, symmetrical education in which manual train. ing is a recognized feature. In connection with the work in the Sonth particular interest attaches to provision for manual and technical training in the cities of Washington and Baltimore.
Successful experiments have been made during the year in the intro. duction of manual training into the public schools of Washington ; the Baltimore Manual-Training School reports progress for the year, and the city has continued to be a special centre of interest for those who are watching the development of technical instruction in the United States through the action of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company in establishing a technological school in the interests of their service. The investigations made in preparation for this enterprise, and the ex. ceedingly valuable and comprehensive report* in which the results have been embodied, throw great light on the whole subject of technical instruction, and cannot fail to exercise a stimulating influence on similar enterprises throughout the country, and more particularly in that section to which Baltimore belongs geographically.
REPORT ON EDUCATION IN FINE AND INDUSTRIAL ART. Part I of this report, on “ drawing in public schools,” was finally made ready for the press, and the volume printed during the spring of 1886. It being a Senate document, only a small edition of 250 copies was obtained, by kindness of the Department, for distribution by this Office. An additional number was ordered by Congress, however, of which 2,000 copies were allotted to this Office for distribution.
Work on Part II has progressed to such an extent as to warrant the expectation that it will be ready for the printer during the year 1887.
REPORT ON INDIAN CIVILIZATION AND EDUCATION.
Ever since the Centennial Exhibition, when the Department made an instructive and suggestive display of articles illustrating progress in adapting the native Indians of the United States to the conditions of civilized life and thought, this Office has collected material, printed and written, upon this subject.
Service Report on Technical Education, with special reference to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad service, by Dr. W. T. Barnard.
Bureau is to be kept within its present limits of investigation, in spite of the many now subjects now occupying the attention of educationists, the present force of the Office can be made to do the work as now done; but if the Office is to comprehend these topics in its range of inquiry, to treat them as the advance in the methods of statistical science requires, and as the expectations of its intelligent correspondents hope for, some addition to the force will have to be made.
If the present force cannot be increased according to the views and purposes of the administration, I shall most cheerfally conform to its policy, and endeavor with the means at hand to produce the best attainable results.
Accompanying the foregoing letter I submitted the revised estimates therein mentioned. The following tabular statement compares the items of that estimate with the corresponding items of the appropriations made for the fiscal years 1886–87 and 1887–88, respectively:
To the labors of my predecessor, the Honorable John Eaton, for more than sixteen years the Commissioner of this Bureau, I am much indebted. The records and reports of this Office attest the efficiency of his work in the cause of Education. Whatever of good it has accom. plished is attributable, in great measure, to his energy, zeal, and self. devotion.