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MICHIGAN SCHOOLMASTERS CLUB.
AT ANN ARBOR, Nov. 30 AND DEC. 1, 1900.
The thirty-fifth session of the Michigan Schoolmasters' Club was held at Ann Arbor, Friday and Saturday, November 30th and December ist. At the opening of the session Principal J. H. Harris, President of the Club, referred briefly but feelingly to the death of Professor B. A. Hinsdale, who had been so closely identified with the work and interests of the Club, and appointed a committee to draft a memorial for presentation to the Club.
The first topic discussed was “The Newly Formulated Entrance Requirements to the University of Michigan," and the discussion was opened by Professor Richard Hudson, dean of the literary department of the University, who explained the new requirements in some detail and justified them as a step in the direction of larger liberty in preparation. The discussion was resumed by Principal J. H. Beazell, of Detroit, who, while venturing to criticise some minor details of the requirements, in the main approved of them as sound and rational.
The second paper of the session was on “The Equipment of the High School Principal,” by Principal S. O. Hartwell, of Kalamazoo, a paper conceded by all to be one of the best of the session. Professor S. B. Laird, of the State Normal College, discussed the subject.
The third topic-—"The Social Side of High School Life"-was treated in a very thoughtful and thorough manner by Principal R. S. Garwood, of Marshall. This paper aroused more interest than any other of the session, the discussion finally focusing itself upon the subject of secret societies in the high school. The general opinion was that these societies were detrimental to the best interests of the school, although differences of opinion arose as to the best methods of dealing with them. Professor A. S. Whitney, of the University, Superintendent H. M. Slauson, of Ann Arbor, and Principal J. H. Harris, of Bay City, were most pronounced in their
opposition, and in general believed they should be kept out of the high school. Principal A. J. Volland, of Grand Rapids, and Principal S. O. Hartwell, of Kalamazoo, felt that secret societies were matters over which the school had no jurisdiction as such, and should simply endeavor to keep them within legitimate bounds.
The Friday evening session was opened by a discussion of the question : "To What Extent Should Collateral Work in the Ancient Languages be Required?” Professor George V. Edwards, of Olivet College, opened the discussion, holding to the view that collateral work should not be directly required of the pupil, save only so much as was necessary to the correct and intelligent interpretation of the text. The teacher should have a great store of collateral knowledge which could be given to the pupil in the way of suggestion and direction, but the crowding of pupils with collateral material to the prejudice of the language study proper, was to be condemned. This topic was further discussed by Professor M. L. D'Ooge, of the University, and by Drs. Meader and Sanders, of the same institution.
The second paper of the evening was entitled “Civil Service in the Appointment of Teachers," and was a vigorous plea for higher grade teaching and for the adoption of those methods of appointment which would bring to a school the very best teaching power available. The paper was by Professor E. C. Goddard, of the University, and the discussion was led by Professor Delos Fall, State Superintendent-Elect of Public Instruction.
At the Saturday morning session the first topic considered was that of High School Statistics, Mr. D. W. Springer, of the Commercial Department of the Ann Arbor High School, contributing the paper. Mr. Springer found that there was great diversity of opinion among schools regarding the kind of statistics secured, and in many instances he found that very little, if any, statistical information was gathered. He set forth in some detail what statistics seemed to him to be of permanent worth.
At the close of the discussion of this topic, it was voted that a committee be appointed to report to the Club at the Spring meeting what statistics it would be desirable for each school to collect, and in what form those statistics might appear.
The next paper of the morning session was on the subject of “Rhetoricals in the High School," and was read by Principal E. O. Marsh, of Jackson. Mr. Marsh's general opinion was one of opposition to Rhetoricals as traditionally conducted. The results, he felt, were in no wise commensurate with the amount of energy and effort expended, and while the ability to speak before a body of people was desirable, it might better be cultivated in voluntary organizations like literary and debating societies.
In the discussion which followed it developed that most, if not all, the larger high schools had discarded rhetoricals in the traditional sense of the term, and were either doing nothing along that line, save what might be