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The Board of Education made
to The schoolma'aın hoped
But weary decades came and went,
When every schoolma'm
A few years ago the world was almost astonished when an object glass, 36 inches in diameter, was made for the Lick Observatory. But now the attention of the astronomical world is about to be directed to the observatory at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where the object glass is to be 412 inches.
A ROOM hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts.-SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.
METHODS AND AIDS.
At the present time our teachers are enjoying their vacation, and are by no means disposed to “talk shop.” For that reason, we have no contributions in the shape of “ways and means. In other words, as the waiter said to us the other day, “There's no more cooked now; I'll give it to you next time." Yet we would advise teachers to watch very carefully this article in the monthly bill of fare ; and we assure them that the more they watch it the more it will grow, the more importance it will assume, and the more nutrition they will derive from it. We know that it is the purpose of Mr. Fisher to make this department of the JOURNAL a most important feature; and, to that end, he asks the hearty coöperation of all method-using teachers; for he intends to spare no effort by which he may bring before them the very best thought, the very best experience—or, putting it differently, the result of the very best experience of the very best teachers, available, as contributors. The writer knows that there are teachers and teachers and teachers; and be also knows that there are teachers who read and profit by what they read-teachers who appropriate and digest real pedagogical thought as does the system of the youth appropriate and digest the food upon which he daily grows. We have said to some of you in Institute, and you will hear us repeat it: A method, a scheme, or a device which has been proven by one teacher to be good and fraught with good results has too much merit to suffer condemnation. Given the same circumstances, or similar, and actors of like dispositions, the same may again and again be found successful. That teacher will succeed best who ever uses the best material within reach. Methods of instruction and discipline are material-far more than text-books and apparatus or even schoolhouses. But we would be understood in this. Real methods are parts of the real teacher, as the tissues of the living body; and, like tissues, may be assimilated, matured, or cast off by healthful growth. By methods we do not mean those namby-pamby makeshifts to which certain, or, rather, uncertain "time-servers" resort when asked to fill numbers on the Institute program. By methods we mean the daily PRACTICE of thoughtful, growing, inventive, progressive and successful teachers. Let us hear from them; and let us profit by what we hear, remembering at all times, of course, that the wise physician knows when to use lobelia and when nux vomica.
A great many persons have considered whether the spelling of some of the words of the English language might not be greatly simplified. Messrs. Funk & Wagnalls, who have lately published a dictionary, have sent out a list of 300 words, and ask whether there may not be one hundred publishers found who will agree to use the form suggested. It is doubtful whether so great a number of words could be agreed upon ; a smaller number might.
If the number were fixed at 75 to 100, a good many would make an effort to use the spelling. In this case a plate should be made of the words and a list printed from time to time, in order to familiarize the public with the new form, and then in 1897 they could come into use.
The following words would probably form the list : Adz, altho, aluminum, analog, arbor, ax, ay, bailif, bedsted, behavior, beldam, bequeath, Bering, burg, buxum, by and by, caliber, catalog, catechize, Chile, chlorid, cimitar, circumsize, coquet, curtesy, cosy, cue (for queue), cyclopedia, czar, dandruf, diagram, distil, duct, enrol, epigram, esthetic, fetish, fiber, Fiji, foss (ditch), gang, gazd, gelatin, glycerin, good-by, gram, gray, Haiti, hectogram, Hongkong, kilogram, Kongo, Korea, Kurdiastan, meter, miter, mold, monogram, mustache, myth, naptha, neutralize, niter, nowadays, omelet, oxid, parquet, pasha, pedagog, pedler, phenix, frenzy, plum (for plumb), prattler, program, prophecy (n), prophesy (v), quartet, quintet, rancor, raveling, saver, Savior, scepter, secrecy, sepulcher, sextet, sheath, smooth, somber, specter, sprite, sted fast, Sudan, synagog, synonym, technic, theater, Tibet, traveler, unchristian, whisky, wreath. - The School Journal
We heartily approve the suggestion. It is, or will be, a step in the right direction. But why not the 300 words of Funk & Wagnalls? The more words simplified the better. Why not submit 500 words with proposed simplified spelling to one hundred publishers, requesting each to designate those changes which he approves. Then, let those changes which have met the approval of three-fourths of the hundred publishers be adopted.
SUPERINTENDENTS, BOARDS OF EDUCATION
[From the Seminary in Pedagogy, University of California.]
County Supervision in California.
BY G. W. BEATTIE.
IN THREE PARTS-PART III.
1881. In 1881 the County Superintendent was empowered to have the school census retaken in any district, if he believed the work had been improperly done.
Each County Board of Education was required to prescribe and enforce a course of study, and adopt a list of books for district libraries, and was empowered to incur incidental expenses, including printing, to be paid out of the General Fund of the county; and to examine applicants for diplomas of graduation from the schools. The legislation of this year has been productive of a voluminous literature in the form of “ County Manuals," a systematic study of which would furnish an interesting chapter in the history of educational development in California.
1883. The Legislature of 1883 required County Boards of Education in all counties in which districts voted to adopt the grammar school course, to prescribe a course of study for the same, and also to provide for examinations for promotions in primary, grammar, and grammar school course grades, not less than twice each year.
1885. In the statutes of 1885 the County Superintendent of each county was designated as the one to distribute the State text-books to the pupils of his county, and collect pay for the same through the teachers. The Board of Supervisors was required to set aside sufficient money to enable the County Superintendent to make his purchases, to be known as a “revolving fund,” said money, when drawn out, to be replaced in said fund after being collected from the pupils.
1887 Section 1669 of the Political Code, enacted in 1887, requires that any segregation of subjects and assignment thereof to teachers, where
department work is done in grammar grade schools and schools in which the grammar school course is maintained, shall be submitted to the County Superintendent for his approval. The Superintendent was to keep a record of pupils enrolled in the grammar school course, and transmit a copy thereof to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. County Boards of Education were given power to issue grammar school course certificates.
The statutes of the same year authorize Principals of Normal Schools, Clerks of School Districts, and authorized retail dealers, as well as County Superintendents, to order State text-books.
1889. In 1889 the County Superintendent was directed to expend onehalf of the fees, amounting to two dollars each, received from applicants for teachers' certificates, for books for a County Teachers' Library. He was authorized to employ janitors when district trustees failed to do so; to supply each district with a rubber stamp with which the library books were to be marked; as ex-officio Secretary of the County Board of Education, to receive the same salary as any other member of the Board, $5 per day during the sessions of the Board being now the specified salary of each member.
Section 1858 of the Political Code was so amended that when the funds of any district were temporarily exhausted, the County Superintendent might furnish to the County Treasurer an estimate of the income that such district would derive from the next apportionment, whereupon it became the duty of the Treasurer to transfer to the funds of said district, from any moneys on hand and not immediately needed, an amount not exceeding 90 per cent. of the estimate, to supply the pressing wants of the district.
An amendment to section 1614 of the Political Code required resignations of Trustees of School Districts to be made to the County Superintendent in writing; and section 1617 of the same Code was changed so as to make it the duty of Trustees to notify the Superintendent of the employment of teachers and the appointment of Census Marshals.
County Boards of Education were instructed to require promotions in all primary and grammar schools, except in cities having Boards of Education, at least once in each year, and prescribe the basis for the same, and were authorized to grant special certificates, and certificates of high school grade.