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visit was probably devoted mainly to an investigation of the material features of the schools. Gradually the idea began to prevail that something more than existence was necessary, if the school was to accomplish what was expected of it as an important factor in the preparation of the future citizen for his part in the work of the world.
As early as 1863 the County Superintendent was required to call an Institute annually, thus showing that stress was being laid on principles and methods of education; and in recent years the University development on the Coast, the establishment of departments of Pedagogy, and the increased support accorded to Institutes have enabled Superintendents to largely increase their influence in developing the pedagogical side of school work, by frequently bringing their teachers in direct contact with able thinkers on educational problems.
Beside the modern Institute stands the County Teachers' Library, a valuable collection of professional books, as it exists in most counties in the State,-another efficient agency by which the Superintendent may extend his influence in this direction.
The part the Superintendent has had, since an early day, in examining teachers and issuing certificates, has afforded one of his best means of influence on the educational standards of the schools, and this with the kindred work of grading the schools and assisting to outline the course of study has, since the days of more general interest in pedagogical questions began, given to this phase of his work greater importance than ever.
As an adviser of trustees, he can do much to determine the character of the teaching force of his county, and in his control over purchases of books and apparatus for district libraries he possesses a powerful instrument for elevating the intellectual ideals of communities.
Independently of his legal powers and duties, his position affords him large opportunities, and if he be a man of strength, he cannot but be a potent force in determining the characters of those who come within his range.
It is his privilege to inspire with ambition the young people with whom he comes in contact. His annual visit is an event in their lives, and a word from him then may induce many a boy or girl to look forward to the high school, or university, who would otherwise be satisfied with a meager equipment for life.
NAPOLEON's first plaything was a toy cannon. Late in life he said, "The whole course of my life was determined by that cannon."
(University of California, Department of Pedagogy-Bulletin No. 3.]
The following brief suggestions are offered in the belief that the money invested in California from year to year in the erection of new houses might be made to yield a larger return in the health and comfort of pupils if the attention of school boards were called to these things.
There are several convenient handbooks containing practical sug. gestions relative to the construction of school-houses, based upon the results of practical experience and scientific investigation. The following are among the best :
Burnham, Wm. H. : School Hygiene. Pedagogical Seminary, Vol. II. Worcester, Mass., 1892. $1.50.
Lincoln, D. F.: School and Industrial Hygiene. Philadelphia: Presley Blakiston, 1880.
Lincoln, D. F.: The Sanitary Conditions and Necessities of School-Houses and School-Life. Concord, 1886.
Concord, 1886. To be had of the Secretary of the American Public Health Association, Concord, N. H. 5 cents.
Marble, Albert P.: Sanitary Conditions for School-Houses. Circular of Information No. 3, 1891. Washington: Bureau of Education. (May be had free of cost by writing to the United States Commissioner of Education.)
Morrison, Gilbert B.: The Ventilation and Warming of School Buildings. New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1892. $1.00.
Newsholme, Arthur: School Hygiene. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co., 1889. 75 cents.
Whitford, W. C.: Circular on Plans and Specifications of SchoolHouses for Country Districts, Villages, and Smaller Cities of Wisconsin. Madison, 1882. A portion of this work is reproduced in Marble's Circular.
A few suggestions in detail are here offered for the convenience of school boards :
SpecIFICATIONS. - It is desirable that school boards advertising for architects' plans should make as complete and definite a statement as possible of the architectural and hygienic conditions which are to be observed in the construction of the building proposed. In this respect the circular recently issued by the Board of Education of Fresno is suggestive.
LIGHTING.—The window surface in each room should equal at least one-fifth of the floor surface. The windows should be grouped, and, in order to avoid cross-lights, should be either all on one side of the room, the left being the best, (Newsholme) or should occupy threefourths of the left side toward the rear, and one-fourth of the rear toward the left (Burnham, Marble). A school-room lighted from three sides has about the worst possible lighting. Since the best light is from above, the windows should reach nearly or quite to the ceiling (Burnham, Newsholme, Marble). Their sills should be four feet from the floor (Marble). The shades should be of a light lavender or green color, and should roll from the bottom to the top, though it is well to have thin white shades rolling from the top to regulate the light. Sliding blinds are better than shades (Marble).
HEATING AND VENTILATION.-It will generally be found necessary in large buildings to employ a fan in order to secure sufficient movement of air for ventilation. The best authorities naintain that warm air should be introduced at some distance above the heads of the persons in the room, (eight feet, according to Marble), and foul air withdrawn through openings at or near the floor. Where closed stoves must be used, they should be "jacketed," the fresh air being admitted through an opening in the floor within the jacket. It is estimated that thirty cubic feet of fresh air per pupil should be admitted every minute. A very thorough and complete discussion of the whole subject is contained in Marble's report referred to above. Valuable object lessons in heating and ventilation are furnished by the newly-erected school buildings in Oakland,
HALLWAYS AND STAIRWAYS.— The hallways should be light, airy, and well-built. There should be as few turns as possible in the stairways. A winding staircase is objectionable. Straight staircases, if very long, should be broken by frequent landings. The stairways should always be fire-proof (Marble, Newsholme, Burnham).
Storm-doors should be provided, especially where there is snow and sleet. If there is a flight of steps leading from the ground to the main hallway, it should be wholly, or for most part, enclosed within the building (Marble).
ROOMS.- The best shape of school-room is an oblong, with the width to the length as three is to four (Newsholme, Marble). The lighting of the room should be chiefly or wholly on one of the long sides. In our California climate it is best to avoid admitting the light on the south side of the room. The width of the room should not be
more than one and one-half times the height of the top of the windows from the floor. Very high ceilings are not desirable.
There should be at least fifteen square feet of floor space to each pupil, and at least one hundred and fifty cubic feet of space to each pupil (Newsholme).
The walls of the room should be colored in neutral tints, and surfaces that reflect a glaring light should be avoided. The blackboards should not be on the same side of the room as the windows. The lower edge of the blackboard should be within twenty inches of the floor for the youngest pupils, and within thirty inches for the largest. Blackboards should be made as smooth as possible. Stone-slate blackboards combine smoothness and a “dead” surface with other advantages. They are extensively used in both city and country schools in San Bernardino county and in other parts of the State. The floors and walls should be deadened to prevent the transmission of sounds to the neighboring rooms. Transoms over doors and windows should be hinged from the bottom and open inwards.
GROUNDS.-It is highly important that the school-house should be erected in ample playgrounds. Both the building and the grounds should be thoroughly drained. The grounds should be so graded as to slope down gently from the building in all directions.
The distance of neighboring buildings should be at least twice their height, in order that sufficient light and sunshine may be admitted.
ELMER E. BROWN.
Individual Instruction for Those Who Need It Most.
Supervising Principal T. L. Heaton, of Fresno City, in his annual report for 1895, presents a statement of most satisfactory progress in several lines, and makes several suggestions, the best of which appears in the following:
“We have in our schools a number of pupils pretty well advanced in age, but in low grades, who have yet but a short time in school. Their time could be spent more profitably on less subjects than are required in the grade work. Other pupils are nearly or quite deficient in some subjects, but make fair progress in others. A few pupils are dull in all subjects and will not learn the work of a grade in two or three years, taking it each time as rapidly as an ordinary class is enabled to advance. Thus, after remaining several terms in the same class, these pupils are still found unfit for promotion.
"Other pupils are obliged to remain out of school, particularly in the fall, for work. Entering late, they are not exactly fitted for any grade. For all these classes of pupils I believe that one ungraded department would be desirable and sufficient. Each such pupil, without interfering with grading, could take such work as the teacher and superintendent deemed desirable. Each could advance at such a rate as his ability would permit. Whenever any pupil was found fitted for a grade he could be transferred if regular grade work were best for him. One school of this kind would remove from our regular grades those pupils who are now drags and who waste a large amount of the teacher's time and energy. At the same time their own interests would be served by admission to such ungraded department.”
The Law Interpreted.
The case of W. P. Mauldin vs. Job Wood, School Superintendent, Monterey county, was decided in the Superior Court in favor of the plaintiff. The case came up in the form of an application for a writ of mandamus, and was an agreed case to test the law as between the interpretation given it by County Superintendent Wood and that of the City Board of Education of Salinas, the former holding that an order from the City Board of Education upon the County Superintendent for a requisition upon the Auditor for a warrant upon the County Treasurer, in payment of any claim against the district, must be signed by a majority of the Board of Education, the Board holding that the signatures of the President and Secretary was all that the law required. Judge Dorn decides that the latter contention is the true interpretation of the law, and accordingly ordered the writ to issue.
"Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
NATIVE-BORN teachers form 1.5 per cent. of the whole population ; foreign-born teachers are much less numerous, constituting but 0.4 per cent.