Page images
PDF
EPUB

shall be made by the clerk of the district to the clerk of the town only in which the school house is located, specifying the number of children from each town, so that the town clerk receiving the report can certify them to the other town clerks.

A further report, through W. H. CHANDLER, recomme ng the apportionment of money to counties and by counties to towns, was adopted.

ATTENDANCE AT INSTITUTES.

The committee on Compu.sory Attendance upon Institutes made the following report:

Your committee to whom was referred the matter of recommending legislation compelling teachers to be in attendance upon institutes, beg leave to report as follows:

While we deeply deplore the existing state of affairs in some of the counties of the State, regarding the attendance of teachers upon institutes, under present circumstances we see no great good to be derived from a law compelling teach. ers to attend, or from a law compelling or permitting superintendents to refuse certificates for non-attendance. We can offer the following:

Resolved, That teachers who wilfully or through neglect absent themselves from teachers' institutes held in their county, thereby refusing to accept the advantages offered them by the state and county, should meet with the universal censure of all true teachers and as fast as practicable should be eliminated from the teaching force.”

E. A. LITTLE,
E. H. SPRAGUE,
L. J. BURLINGAME.

Committee. Mr. GLAZIER thought the resolution unnecessarily harsh. The great difficulty in the way of a more general attendance was the fact that there was no fixed time for holding institutes. An institute was held within a few miles of his school, of which he had no notice until two weeks after his school had commenced.

Prof. S. H. CARPENTER thought that in this matter, as in every other, men would be governed by their interests. If it could be shown to be for the interest of teachers to attend, they would attend. It should be the duty of the county superintendent to bring this matter to the attention of the teachers.

Mr. CHANDLER thought that some discretionary power of withholding a certificate for such non-attendance would be useful.

Mr. PRADT thought of the old adage about leading the horse to water, etc. You may compel teachers to attend, but it will be of no use. First make the institutes regular and attractive, then let their benefits be known to the teachers, then most of those who will be benefitted will attend.

Mr. DE LA MATYR said all the teachers in Walworth county had attended the institutes save three or four, and they were the ones who needed it most.

Mr. BASHFORD said that many superintendents were not fit to exercise this discretion. When they do their part, the teachers will do the rest. He knew a case where a Board ordered a school closed, and requested the teachers to attend the session, and then requested them to make up lost time. Make it profitable for teachers; let them be paid for time, or a portion of it.

Mr. CHANDLER remarked that only those superintendents who are interested in the work complain of non-attendance.

Mr. North did not like to hear all this talk about lov wages. The teachers in his county got all they were worth, and the poor ones ten times more than they were worth.

Mr. HOLFORD said we lacked system, which we must have before we can compel attendance.

Prof. SMITH could see notning of practical utility in the report.
Ona vote being taken, the resolution was lost.

STATE NORMAL SCHOOLS.

Mr. ALBEE reported the condition of the Normal School at Oshkosh.

Last year the total registration was 158; average membership, 82; average attendance, 78; number in attendance during the whole year, 17; over 6 and less than 10 months, 52; over 3 and less than 6 months, 60; less than 3 months, 29. This term there were enrolled and present, 158, besides in preparatory classes, 58. There were 112 applicants, and 88 admitted, and 28 counties are represented in the school. The great difficulty is that the purse is slender. They try to fit pupils for the third grade during the first year. During the last term or two of the year, special attention is given to interpreting the methods inculcated in the instructions given. There are 70 out teaching, and 69 of these are in the mixed schools, one in the graded.

Mr. E. H. SPRAGUE then presented the following statement as to the Platteville Normal School:

The Platteville School has graduated four classes: in 1869, eight; in 1870, fifteen; in 1871, twelve; in 1872, eight-total, 43. Of these, three-fourths are teaching in the State. The present senior class numbers 27; whole number admitted into the normal department since its establishment in 1866 is 435. Present num. ber in various departments, normal, 135; academic, 110; model, 50—total, 295.

UNIFORM TEXT BOOKS.

Mr. WRIGHT presented a paper upon the question “Shall the State of Wisconsin adopt a Uniformity of Text Books ?” The paper proposed that the State should adopt a series of books for a long term of years; that the books should be selected by a competent commission; that arrangements should be made to procure the books at the lowest wholesale rates. Referred to a committee consisting of O.R. SMITH, I. N. STEWART and J. W. BASHYORD.

Mr. Shaw, for committee on term of office of County Superintendent, reported as follows:

Your committee, to whom was referred the subject of election and term of office of County Superintendents, would respectfully recommend to this convention that the law should be so amended as to bring the election in the spring, and that the term should expire on the 30th of June.

S. SHAW,
J. H. TERRY,
0. J. TAYLOR,

Committee.
After a short discussion, the report was adopted.
Superintendent TERRY offered the following resolution, which was adopted:

Resolved, That in the opinion of this body, the law relating to teachers' cer. tificates should be so amended as to make the time during which a certificate of the second grade shall remain in force, two years, and that for the certificate of the first grade, three years.

Supt. North presented this resolution, which was adopted:

Resolved, That in the opinion of this convention, twenty days should constitute a school month.

Superintendent Fallows stated that he wished photographs of the school

houses of the State, to be put into a portfolio and sent to the world's exhibition at Vienna.

On motion of Mr. PARKER, the State Superintendent was requested to take such steps as in his judgment may be necessary, to secure the represenfation of the educational interests of this State at the International Exhibition at Vienna.

After a vote of thanks to Superintendent FALLOW for his courtesy as presiding officer, the convention adjourned.

I. N. STEWART, Secretary.

Siterary Miscellany.

KING BABY."

His scepter is a rattle,

His throne is mother's arms;
He reigns a tiny tyrant,

In all his dimpled charms!
Yet round his royal presence

Our loving hearts entwine:
Dictator of the cradle,

And king by right divine!
Whatever be his mandates,

No courtiers dare rebel;
His mother's chief of the household,

Prime minister as well!
In yon perambulator,

His downy car of state,
Exacting, rosy monarch,

What triumphs on him wait!
In purple ease and splendor,

Long, long he seeks to reign;
All hints of nose disjointed

He smiles at with disdain!
Alas! that royal greatness

Should ever be disowned;
Here comes a tiny stranger-
King Baby is dethroned.

- From The Aldine. INTERCOLLEGIATE SCHOLARSHIPS.-I am satisfied that no academical emulation now known among us equals that which a system of Intercollegiate Scholarships would create. For the first time, there would be an intellectual competition on a national arena. The first scholar in his class is now apt to be a lonely being; his pursuits are solitary, so are his successes. If he wins applause, it is a local and provincial applause, agreeable, yet sometimes hurtful. But a public competition against those who represent the foremost educational institutions of the land,--this would be a stimulus. I was assured, at Oxford, that the university prizes, of whatever grade, were regarded as more honorable than any successes a separate college could give, because in the former case the success was won against the combined talent of the whole university. But, with our de. tached institutions, the same result can only be had through organized intercollegiate competition. The boating men have already secured this, but the men of books have it still to seek.-T. W. HIGGINSON; Scribner's for July.

THE READING-ROOM OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM.—With all the English conservatism and hesitation in establishing popular institutions, and love of restricting and hedging about with conditions and qualifications great public privileges,

no city of our republic can show a more substantial or more liberally managed public benefit than this reading room. The reality of its freedom, its order, and its entire adaptibility to answer its purpose, impress one. Here is one place where, without fee or favor, the humble student and the foreign scholar may partake of, and luxuriate in, the wealth of England; may participate in the marvelous range of lore, in every tongue, of every art and science, which her wealth, nobly bestowed, has collected. I can think of no happier destiny for the ardent lover of books, for a historian, a man of science, a statistician, a novelist, or a mere student absorptive but not fruitful, than to have cozy lodgings in the vicinity of Russell Square, a satisfactory English landlady, and a ticket_daily used—to the reading-room. He may sit in one of the roomy fauteuils as luxuri. ously as the West End lord in his velvet-lined mahogany, and may look round with a sense of ownership (for their use and fruits are freely hiš) upon a far prouder possession of learning than the greatest West End lord can boast. He is in goodly company; for here burrow, almost invariably, the scholars, romancers, philosophers of England. He sits, co-equal in his privileges, with the British aristocracy of brain. He is served as faithfully and as quickly as is the minister of state by his favorite private secretaries. There is the whole day long to revel, uninterrupted if he will, in his beloved studies, in a tranquil and studious sphere, out of hearing of the bustle of the streets, though here is busiest London roaring all about him. If he grows weary for the while of his books and the quiet, he may walk out and wander through the seemingly endless corridors where are literally crowded the antiquities of Egypt and of Phænicia, of Antioch and Afghanistan, of Athens and Rome; where are collected the marvels of geology and of mechanical science, of biology and the arts, ancient, medieval and modern. He may read up his subject in the reading-room, and stepping into a neighboring corridor, find it practically illustrated in the glass cases which surround him.-GEORGE M. TOWLE, in Harper's Magazine for January.

THE OLD YEAR AND THE NEW.

BY CAARLOTTE F. BATES.
The years have linings just as goblets do:
The old year is the lining of the new,
Filled with the wine of precious memories,
The golden was doth line the silver is.

-Scribner's for January. THE INFLUENCE OF CHRISTIANITY UPON PAINTING.–Thought in the soul of the true artist forever labors to evolve the beautiful. This is what the thought of a picture means to him-how to express beauty, which he finds underlying even the imperfect individual of Nature's decaying birth. To the high insight this is always discernible. None are so fallen that some ray of God's light may not touch them, and this possibility, the faith in light forever, radiates from the spirit of the artist, and renders him a messenger of joy. No immortal works have bloomed in despondency; they may have taken root in the slime of the earth, but they have blossomed into lilies.

We call this divine power to discern beauty in every manifestation of the Deity, imagination. As it expresses itself in painting, it is so closely allied with what is highest and holiest in our natures that painting has come to be esteemed a Christian art, as contrasted in its development subsequent to the Christian era with the less human works of sculpture. * Visible but impalpable, and in some sense immaterial, his work does not meet the touch, which is the sight of the body; it only meets the eye, which is the touch of the soul. Painting is then, from this point of view, the essential art of Christianity.

If the painter, like Phidias or Lysippus, had only to portray the types of humanity, the majesty of Jupiter, the strength of Hercules, le might do without the riches of color, and paint in one tone, modified only by light and shade; but the most heroic man among Christians is not a demigod: he is a being profoundly individual, tormented, combating, suffering, and who throughout his real life shares with environing Nature, and receives from every side the reflection of her colors. Sculpture, generalizing, raises itself to the dignity of allegory--painting, indi. vidualizing, descends to the familiarity of portraiture.”From PAINTING AND A PAINTER, in the January number of Lippincott's Magazine.

[ocr errors]

Editorial Miscellany.

CONVENTION OF COUNTY AND CITY SUPERINTENDENTS AND PRINCIPALS.

We think it was the unanimous opinion of the teachers present, judging by the expressions of approbation generally and earnestly given, that a better meeting of teachers was never held before in this State. Many contended it was the best they ever attended. Several reasons might be given for this opinion. First, the session was large, considering the season of the year, and the immediately preceding inclemency of the weather. Nearly every part of the State was represented.

Second. The teachers came together with an avowed intention to work. It was no mere holiday meeting. Great questions were to be discussed and important plans of action considered and prepared. Feeling the responsibility resting upon them, the members of the Convention engaged in the exercises with enthusiasm, pluck and zest.

Third. The temper of the Convention was admirable. Plain and forcible words were spoken, the keen edge of the knife of criticism was freely applied to the parts of our school system supposed to need it, but nothing was spoken or done in wantonness, or in the slap and dash style sometimes manifest in such gatherings. There was an intense desire to know “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."

Fourth. No crotchets of any account stuck out, nor was any opportunity afforded for riding hobbies, little or big.

Fifth. The teachers assembled in a room of convenient size. They were near enough together not to be afraid of each other.

The topics presented were varied and interesting.

The University, Denominational Colleges, the Normal Schools, the Graded Schools and the Common Schools, passed under a keen and searching review. Their mutual relations were fully and fairly considered. The oft recurring questions, what shall be done to bring about a State system of education and a uniformity of text books, were presented in a vigorous and attractive manner.

Vital questions affecting the increased and increasing value of the Institute System were put by Prof. GRAHAM, to the large number of teachers who offered themselves for Normal Institute work, and were comprehensively and tersely answered. Most cheering reports of the prosperous condition of the University of Wisconsin and the different Normal Schools were given by gentlemen representing them.

The convention was a memorable one. The ruling sentiment seemed to be that while conserving the results of the past we ought wisely to forecast and shape the future.

We give the proceedings of this convention somewhat fully, adding to the notes of the Secretary, Mr. STEWART, from the report furnished to the State Journal.

A LABORER FALLEN. We are greatly pained to announce the death of Rev. M. MONTAGUE, the late efficient Superintendent of Walworth county, and avail ourselves of the following notice from the Elkhorn Independent :

“DEATH OF SUPERINTENDENT MONTAGUE.—We remember of somewhere seeing represented upon a grave-stone in a cemetery, a column broken off near the

« PreviousContinue »