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In a very few libraries, however, there have been improvements in circulation which call for a word. These are in the direction of a general increase in circulation, and especially an increase in the proportion of good literature read. In every instance these results have come about, not by chance, but through the wise, intelligent efforts of the librarian, who considered it her task not merely to hand out what wsa called for, but to so guide and direct that she should really determine what should be called for.
There is not much use in piling up great masses of books unless it is proposed to place some one in charge of them who shall know how to make all of their hidden treasures available to the average man and woman, boy and girl. These persons are lost in such a place and need a pilot to steer them through its unknown waters. But in too many cases the librarian knows but little more than the visitor, and it becomes a case of the blind leading the blind.
The permanent librarian, trained for his duties, or constantly studying to perfect himself therein, is the great need of the free public library. Who will champion the cause of the librarian as, next to the teacher, the most important servant of the people, and hence as worthy of his hire, so that for all of these two score we may soon bavo competent librarians in charge, and the treasures of the libraries brought clearly before the eager gaze of the people? We fully believe, if this arrangement could be made, that our public libraries would take on a new lease of life, and that they would soon siuk their roots down so deep into the life of the State that they would draw as unfailing a supply of nourishment as do the public schools.
(From report of Hon. Thoinas B. Stockwell, State school commissioner.]
GAIN IN COLLEGE-EDUCATED TEACHERS.
In the education of the teachers there has been quite a gain in those who are college educateil. This is partly due to the fact that more and more women with college education are entering into our schools. Already the supply of collegeeducated women is in excess of the available places in the high schools, and I look before long to see the upper rooms in our grammar schools occupied by college gratluates. The more general diffusion of college training will inevitably lead to its laying hold upon a wider range of occupations and positions. The most significant features in the report npon the education of the teachers are the marked falling off in those reported as from high schools, and the more than twice as large increase in the number from normal schools. This shows that mere knowledge is not considered, so much as heretofore, a sutiicient qualification for becoming a teacher, but that some special training for the work is requured. In this comection I am glad to recognize the contributions made to our teaching corps the past year by normal schools outside of our own State, notably by the Briilgewater, Mass., school, in supplying men for grammar school positions. The demand for this class of persons in this State is so limited that practically men have been driven out of the business, so that for two years or more we have not had in our normal school a single man engaged in the work of preparation for teaching,
METIIODS OF INSTRI'CTION.
Within a few years quite a fundamental change has taken place in the methods of instruction in many branches. What is now known as the laboratory method of study has quite largely supplanted the text-book method of former years. This is specially true of the natural sciences, but has worked its way into such studies even as history, literature, mathematics. The fundamental principle is that of individual work by the pupil with original materials.
While there have undoubtedly been some, perhaps many, excesses in the manner in which this new method has been pushed, there is ay truly much of good in it. For the stronger student it is by far the better conse to pursue, and even for the average pupil its advantages outweigh its weaknesses. It brings the student into much closer touch with the real subject of study; he sees it with his own eyes, instead of throngh those of the writer of the book; and the reality of the truth, whatever its nature may be, appeals to him as it can not possibly do through the pages of a book.
These changed conditions in the actual work of the schoolroom call for a class of teachers of a different character from those who have leretofore been selected. Book knowledge alone is not the main test; there must be an acquaintance to some extent with the sources whence the book knowledge has been derived. The teacher must be able to guide the pupils along the path by which they are to gain for them. selves and by themselves the facts wliose acquisition is thonglit to be desirable.
To this end it will be necessary to modify very materially our methods of preparing teachers for their work. For those who are to enter the profession hereafter the normal schools and colleges with their enlarged resources and improved equip
ments will afford adequate facilities. But what is to be done for those already in the schools, who have never had these opportunities?
The teachers' institute has for many years been recognized as a most valuable factor in the work of improving the qualitications of the teachers, and it has wrought a most excellent work. The time has now come when it must be enlarged into something more than a transient gathering of teachers for the illustration of some new method, the enforcing of some new principle, or the emphasizing of some old truth. The demand of the times is that it shall furnish some systematic and connected series of instruction in certain subjects, so that teachers who now know little or nothing of these topics may be to some extent qualified to teach them; or in case of subjects heretofore familiar may be drilled in the new and better way of presenting them.
(From report of State Supt. W. D. Mayfield, 1893.]
MORE MONEY NEEDED.
The expense of operating the public schools has increased year by year with the increased attendance, while the increase in the amount of money devoted to public education has been but slight, the most of this increase coming from special taxes raised in towns and cities having graded school systems.
The schools in the towns and cities, in the main, are supplying the needs of the people. This is true because the people have voteil an additional tax for the purpose of operating them. As a rule, such is not the case with the country schools, a few of them only having the benefit of an extra tax. These schools are inadequate, many of thein interior, some of them almost worthless, and it is impossible to improve them to any appreciable extent without more money. It is needless to try to shut our eyes to this fact. All efforts of school officers to improve them must continue to be fruitless without more money. There is, perhaps, nothing in the State to be more regretted than the insufficiency of the country schools. The money spent annually in the maintenance of these schools is proportionately small. The amount cloes not exceed two and a half dollars for each pupil in attendance on them, including the graded schools of the State. The graded schools run abont nine months in the year, while the country schools will not average more than three. This is a burning shame and a cruel wrong to the boys and girls of the State who live in the country and are limited principally to the country schools for their education. The legislature has always been liberal in supporting State institutions for higher learn ing; and I trust I may be excused for calling your attention to the fact, without intending to injure these institutions, that there is spent annually in the support of the four State institutions for higher learning of whites, which have not an aggrecate of seven hundred pupils, an amount in the neighborhood of one-half as much is is spent on the education of ninety-odd thousand white children who attend the public schools of the State.
The above facts should appeal to every lover of education, which each of you is supposed to be, with such torce as to demand provision for an increase in the public school fund. There are now but three ways provided by law for the raising of inoney for the public schools. One is by a tax on each poll, which is limited by the constitution of the State to $1 per capita. The statutory law of the State now fixes the liability to this tax on all able-bodied male citizens between the ages of 21 and 50 years. The only way by which an increase from this source can be had is to extend the age to its liability, which should be done. Another is the constitutional tax on property, wbich can not be less than 2 mills ou the dollar and can not be more except by your permission. It is aclvisable that you empower the county commissioners to levy more than two mills on property, the question having been first submitted to a vote of the qualitied electors of a county before the 1st day of April in each year. The third is by what is known as the “act of 1888,” which provides for the levying of a special tax on property. This act contains so many requirements which have to be repeated each year that it is practically inoperative. It should be simplified so as to render it easy of execution, and allow a tax when once voted to continue from year to year until the people decide by vote to discontinue it. This is the preferred way through which to increase the fund, provided the law be simplitieil and the work allowed to stand, when once done, until the people say they want it no longer,
Information received shows that the private colleges in the State, male and female, have begun the new year most auspicionsly. Fears existed that the financiallepression, and the losses occasioned by recent severe storms, would operate against them. Their openings, however, show this not to have been the case, many of them having more pupils than ever before, and the prospects of all seem to be good. In fact, a pew female college (Chicora), under the auspices of the Presbyterian denouination, has been established in the city of Greenville during the summer. The people of the entire State feel a just pride in these institutions, anil it is gratifying to note that they are meeting with merited success. Considering the size and population of our State, there are few, if any, States in the Union which surpass us in the number and character of our colleges. We have for the education of white males three institutions supported by the State—the South Carolina College, South Carolina Military Academy, and Clemson Agricultural and Mechanical College; and several institutions supported by private means-Wofford College, Furman University, Patrick's Military Institute, Erskine College, Newberry College, Charleston College, and Porter Academy. For the education of white females we have one State institution--the South Carolina Industrial and Winthrop Normal College; and supported by private means is Converse College, Greenville Female College, Chicora Female College, Williamston Female College, Due West Female College, Columbia Female College, South Carolina College for Women, Sumter Institute, Limestone Institute, Charleston Female Seminary, and Union Seminary.
SOUTH CAROLINA COLLEGE.
Your attention is called to the special report of the president of the South Carolina College to this department given in this report.
The college buildings have been thoroughly repaired and repainted. They are in better condition now than they have been in many years. The work done on them has been substantial and will last for years to come. The grounds have beeu put in thorough order, and really the campus “is a thing of beauty.”
You can judge the future prospects of this college as well as I can. The number of pupils in attendance on it last year was small, and this year it is smaller, if I am correctly informed. The faculty is strong and able, and the work done is above criticism. In fact there is nothing lacking to make it a first-class college except students.
The State has made no provision for normal instruction for males. There is snfticient room here to accommodate such as desire to take the regular college course, judging from present prospects, and still leave room enough for a normai college for males. This is advisable if the college is to be filled. Something should be done to brirg it pupils to justify its continuation at so great a cost to the State.
Spartanburg County had this year 13,179 pupils in attendance on her public schools, and spent on their education much less money than was spent on the education of the few pupils who attended this college during the year. A normal college for males, with scholarships, would greatly increase the attendance. With the same amount now appropriated to the college a normal college could be organized and operated with quite a number of such scholarships.
(From report of President Charles W. Dabrey.jr.)
ADMISSION OF WOMEN TO TIIE STATE UNIVERSITY. On the 5th of June, 1893, the board of trustees of the State University adopted the following declaration and regulations :
“The University of Tennessee declares its intention hereafter to admit women of the full age of 17 years to all the benefits and privileges of this institution; but for their safety and proper protection they will be subject to the following regulations, viz:
“(1) They will have no dormitory or domicile on the university grounds, except in the families of the faculty.
“(2) They will not board or lodge in any family in which male students board or lodge at the same time, and then only in families approved in writing by the faculty, or their own parents or legal guardians.
“ (3) The sum of $300 is hereby appropriated for repairs and improvements upon the Janney Building, on the university grounds, which is set apart temporarily for their use as reception rooms whilst awaiting their recitations.
“(1) The faculty is charged with the utmost diligence in the observance of these regulations, and such others as may be adoptel by them, under the supervision of the board; and those who accept the benefits of this school thereby pledge theinselves to (lutiful acquiescence in the same.”
This action was promptly published to the people of the State, and all the examiners and accredited schools were duly notified. The result was that 48 young women were admitted in the regular way to the departments at Knoxville.
The young women who have entered are well prepareil and are doing admirable work. They were admitted on the same terms precisely as men-that is, upon examination, high-school certificates, or certificates from other reputable colleges and seminaries. They were all carefully examined, as the men are, with regard to their past school record and purposes in going to college, and only those who were thought to be well prepared, and were supposed to have the proper age, were aılmitted. The women tako one of the regular courses hitherto provided for men.
Not i single class was changed, nor a new one started, for their special benefit. They wanted the benefit of the facilities for higher education and scientific training previously provided at the university, and we simply admitted them to what we had. They are required to take a full quota of work (fifteen hours a week), unless physically disqualified or especially exempted by the faculty, and all women wanting only special classes, like literature, French, etc., were thus excluded. The university offers as yet no instruction in music, art (other than free-hand and industrial drawing), or any of the other so-called accomplishments.” Two competent persons were licensed to teach music at the university privately and ontside of class hours; but the institution has nothing further to do with this instruction, and it has not affected the situation one way or the other. Everything was thus done to discourage that class of young women who merely wanted to be polished or ished,” from entering the institution; but everything reasonable was done to encourage women who wanted a thorough, liberal education, traiuing in some specialty, or education for some profession. The majority of the women are seeking a liberal education or training in some specialty, either literary or scientific. Some are preparing themselves, thoroughly for the profession of the teacher.
FREE TUITION FOR STUDENTS.
The board of trustees have also passed the following resolutions relating to the free admission of students:
“ Be it resolved by the board of trustees of the l'niversity of Tennessee, That all students who shall have completed the prescribed course of study in any State secondary school, town or city high school, high school department, private school, academy or college in this state, whose course of study shall have been approved by the president and faculty of the university, as provided in the regulations for accredited schools, shall be admitted, upon a certificato or diploma from the said school, to the lowest class of the said college, and receive free tuition.
“2. That it shall be the duty of the faculty of the university, during the months of May, June, July, or August, of each year, to hold, or cause to be held at convenient points throughout the State, examinations, for tho purpose of giving opportunity to such persons as are not provided for in the foregoing paragraph to become students, with free tuition, in the university.”
RICHMOND COLLEGE, RICHMOND, VA.
By C. H. RYLAND, D. D., Secretary.
Richmond College belongs to that great family of American schools for higher education foundel by the various religions denominations. In common with them it owes its origin and existence to the desire for a better educated ministry. The realm of its work is well «letined by the charter which reqnires “that there be at or near the city of Richmond a seminary of learning for the instruction of youth in the various branches of science and literature.”
The movement out of which the college grew originated in Richmond City on the 8th day of June, 1830. During a meeting of the general association of the Baptist denomination of the State a society was formed called the Virginia Baptist Education Society, which at once began its work by aiding young men in private schools, condu«ted by Revs. Eli Ball and Edward Baptist. Two years later the society bonght a farm near the city and opened the Virginia Baptist Seminary under the presidency of Rev. Robert Ryland, a graduate of Columbian College, Washington, D. (. The property was held by the society through trustees. The course of study embraced arithmetic, geography, grammar, algebra, geometry, natural and moral science, Latin, Greek, with theology as an optional study. The manual labor feature was engrafted upon the school, but was soon abandoned. In 1831 the farm was sold anıl the seminary moved to the present eligible and beautiful site of the college just within the western boundary of the city. Here the seminary continued its work until succeeded by Richmond College, which was chartered by the legislature of the State on the Ith day of March, 1810. The teaching force of the seminary through these years consisted of the president and two assistants. The course broadener as the years went by, and the number of students steadily increased. The first class to complete the course went ont in 1836, and consisted of four young men, all of whom became prominent ministers of the gospel. The same year three of its best equipped undergraduates were discharged to become missionaries in China, Siam, and Africa.
The date of the college charter and its provisions as to subjects to be taught have been given. The desire to advance the seminary into an incorporated institntion arose from the wish to give greater permanence and security to the enterprise that had been so snecessfully cradled, is well as to enlarge and give greater dignity to its work. In due time the transfer of property and all franchises was made by the education society, under certain conditions, to the college authorities, and the subsequent honorable career of the growing institution began. When the seminary closed its work it had 3 teachers, 68 students, and valuable property.
In organizing the college the trustees retained Dr. Ryland at its head, but in a short time a fuller corps of teachers were associated with him; the standards of admissiou and of graduation were raised and classes formed for the B. A. degree.