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text-book on a given subject is generally so meagre that the student has very little in the way of a foundation of historical facts on which to build that which the books of reference offer him. As long as the text-books continue to be what they are now, notwithstanding the improvements that have been made in them in recent years, the gap between them and the books of reference will remain often too wide for the students to bridge over. But if the texts are constructed so that they develop in fuller outline than they do now the great movements in history and are stripped of the non-essential matter that is often retained as a kind of packing, then the students will find it possible to make much more extensive use of the books on the library shelves which to a large degree remain as yet unused or at least ineffectively used.

May I be pardoned if I seem to digress here long enough to add this word, namely, that I cannot hope that a full solution of this very difficult problem of collateral reading will be found altogether in a new order of text-books. The great difficulty in this problem is due to the character of the books that are placed upon our library shelves. The vast majority of them were never intended as books of reference for high school students, or for junior college students for that matter, and hence are not intelligently adapted to their uses or capabilities. I have been greatly I have been greatly astounded at the ignorance of the problems of secondary school history teaching on the part of those who have compiled lists of reference books for the use of secondary school students. In list after list that I have examined I have found the majority of the books totally unfitted for the use for which they were recommended. Time is not sufficient for me to develop this subject as I should like to, but I wish to express here this ardent hope that some time soon this Association will take up the problems of collateral reading and will bring its influence to bear upon the production of a new order of reference books in history. A new order of text-books will bring a greater number of the books in our libraries within the range of usefulness on the part of our secondary school students, but even with that change wrought, there will be a very large portion of the existing books that will remain as yet unusable and perhaps should remain so forever. What is needed is the production of books written by specialists for the special and actual use of secondary school students as books of reference, and I trust the day is not far off when these sadly needed facilities will be forthcoming.

Let me suggest in conclusion some of the limitations that should be placed upon the plan of work that is contemplated.

In the first place, no scheme should be drawn up that is not flexible. It should be constructed so that certain parts could be used and certain other parts rejected by the teacher without doing any great violence to the scheme as a whole. Moreover, it should be arranged so as to admit of the introduction of certain topics that had not been included. This applies particularly to the courses in American history. More and more it is coming to be held by teachers

that the study of state and local history should be interwoven with the study of our own national history, especially so if the state or locality has a history that has had any sort of connection with that of the nation at large. In most of the states the study of state history is confined to the elementary schools, and there it is pursued as a separate subject. The futility of such procedure is coming to be recognized more and more, and the demand is beginning to be raised for the study of state history in our secondary schools in connection with American history. For that reason any scheme or plan of study that might be drawn up for secondary schools should leave an opportunity for the introduction of state and local history in connection with American history.

In the second place, a fuller definition of history should proceed by way of offering to the students a greater mass of essential facts that contribute to the developments of a number of well-selected topics, and not by way of setting forth a lot of generalizations or ready-made conclusions. Every teacher knows how prone students are to jump at conclusions or to generalize on insufficient data. Nothing should be done to encourage this tendency, but every effort should be made to deepen and broaden the students' knowledge of essential facts so that they may have a fair foundation on which they may base the conclusions that they may with some degree of safety draw.

In all that I have said, I have not been very much concerned in the matter of college entrance requirements. It matters not whether students are admitted to college by entrance examination or by certification; my chief interest in this question lies in the realm of secondary schools. Undoubtedly students will come to college better prepared in history if they have pursued courses in the secondary schools that have been arranged after a more precise definition of the history requirements, but their welfare should not be the determining factor in shaping up the courses in our secondary schools. It is because I believe that those who never go to college will be greatly benefited by a fuller and a more precise definition of history that I beg leave to place myself on record as in favor of it.


In the first place, I wish to state that I believe that some attempt should be made to define the historical field in a different fashion from that in which it has been defined by the Committee of Seven, or in the syllabus of the New England History Teachers' Association. The former is too brief; the latter, too elaborate. The fields of history are in about the same condition that were the fields of physics and biology many years ago. You will recall that, in the early 80's, it was attempted to teach students of a Well do I rehigh school the whole physical world. member trying to study Ganot's Physics. In that book, it seemed that all the phenomena of the physical world were laid before the student for memorizing, even down to cloud formation. Professors Hall


and Bergen, seeing the futility of such a method of instruction, established their celebrated "Forty Experiments in Physics." Their attitude of mind was somewhat as follows: "It is clearly impossible to teach a high school student all of the phenomena of the physical world. Why not make a selection of forty things which they shall be called upon to know thoroughly well?" Is not this the attitude which we should take towards history?


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I remember well the time that Mr. William Orr, then the principal of the Springfield High School, and now an Assistant Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts, came to me and said, "The course of study in European history, which you have proposed for the New York State schools, is absurd. You used to give a year for Greek history and a year for Roman, and now you purpose to teach them all in the space of twelve weeks." I said in reply, "Mr. Orr, you teach biology in the first year of the high school. Do you mean to tell me that it is possible to cover the enormous field of biology in forty weeks, with all of the plants and the animals that exist in this world." Oh," said he in reply, 'we naturally make a very small selection of just the important plants and animals that we are going to study. We take certain of them as types." To which I replied, I Will you not give us credit for attempting to do the same thing in the Greek and Roman fields? We mean to select those things which the modern people have got from Greek and Roman civilization. We mean to take the attitude of Professor Mahaffy in his book entitled, 'What the Greeks Have Contributed to Modern Civilization.' In that work of his, he did not attempt to burden our minds with the details of how Brasidas got in and got out of the Island of Sphacteria, but touched on the contributions of the Greeks to our lives; and it was not necessary for him, in order to make these contributions clear, to go into all of the details of the Persian and Peloponnesian wars. And yet, we have had students for years studying the powers of the Greek archons and Roman aediles. . . . Now, all we ask you to let us do is that which you have done in your chosen field of biology."

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Even if we laid the above enunciated principles at the basis of our decision to define the historical field, the question still is as to the form which this syllabus is to take. Personally, I am unalterably opposed to any detailed syllabus, such as has been already published by the New England History Teachers' Association, which is a most admirable piece of work. If we are going to do that sort of thing, we shall find that it is unnecessary, for it has already been done. What I think the teachers of the country wish and need is a few well-selected, large topics, corresponding in the physical field to the forty experiments in physics, and each one of these topics carefully given a point of view. For example, take the Crusades. I would place this topic in the syllabus. Then, underneath it, I would say this word to the teacher: It is not expected that you are to teach all of the details in this great movement. Rather you should make clear the religious and political conditions in Europe which made possible the movement, define the atti

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tude of the church toward it; enumerate the causes leading up to it, and then take one Crusade, like the First or the Third, as a type. Into this Crusade, you may put the details, and then, after you have finished, you may say to the students, Seven or eight other Crusades, of much the same type, stretching at intervals over two centuries, took place. Into the details of these, we cannot go, because of the time at our disposal.' Then you should close the topic of the Crusades with a detailed statement as to the reIsults which came from them." It is this point of view that the teacher needs rather than a syllabus of the Crusades. She can get a syllabus anywhere, but, unfortunately, the average teacher of history, even when well trained, does not seem to have the courage to omit the relatively unimportant. She feels that, because a thing appears in a syllabus or in a textbook, it must be taught. She has not the courage to teach the pupil the details of only one Crusade, and then say, 'We shall not go into the others." She lacks this courage, because she is fearful that the examiners are going to compel her students to answer questions on the details of other Crusades. And I take it that it is the business of this committee to rid her of just that fear by stating to her that if she teaches this topic as indicated here, the questions will be so framed as not to call upon her pupils to answer all the petty details of the various Crusades.

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To give another illustration. I will take the Growth of France. Here again, it is essential for the teacher to have a point of view. She should be told, and she should tell her pupils in turn that her object in teaching them about France is to show them how one of the great countries of the world to-day came to be what it is. She should be told this is in our so-called syllabus (which we call it for lack of a better name). She should be told to make clear to the students that France, like all of the other countries of Europe, was in the disorganized or loosely organized condition which accompanied feudalism, and that out of this somewhat confused condition France grew to be the most strongly centralized state in Europe. Then she should be told that, in order to bring out this growth, it is not necessary for her to give an account of the reigns of all the monarchs. She should rather be told to tell her pupils that any number of monarchs ruled over France, but that four or five stand out conspicuously as those who made France a strongly centralized and powerful stateLouis VI, Philip Augustus, Louis IX, Philip the Fair, Louis XI. Those after the time of Louis XI became so international in character as to receive treatment because of their European importance rather than because of their French. Having designated these five kings, she is then in a position to say, "We are going to study the doings of these men, because they are the men who made France, and we shall not even mention the numerous other kings who ruled between times the country of France, because they do not stand out prominently as organizers and as great kings."

What I have stated above with reference to our attitude towards France may also be applied to Eng


land and to Germany, and the same principle of elimination may be used in all of our history.

In closing, I wish to lay before you an illustration which I have used before. Some years ago, I went to see the Harvard-Princeton football game, and on reading an account of it in Sunday's paper, I was struck with the historic genius of the reporter who wrote that account. I wish I had it by me at the present time to read it to you in full. I feel that the gentleman who wrote it would have made the best writer of history for secondary schools that we ever hit upon, and that he would have been a most excellent person to invite to this meeting to give his views as to how history should be presented to the students of our schools and colleges. He began his account by touching upon the plays which were successful and won the game. That was for the ordinary citi


zen who has to read as he runs. Into this account he did not put the plays that failed to work, but merely those that did work. When he had finished this most admirable statement, he then turned to a caption which read, "Details of the Game," and into that he put all the plays that were used by the two teams from start to finish, successful or unsuccessful. As I read that account, I said to myself, "There! that man has done what we ought to do.' The ordinary run of boy and girl in school and college is studying history, not from the point of view of the historian, but from the point of view of the citizen who wishes to get those things in history which make him understand and appreciate the world in which he is living. The details of the game may be left for the professional historian. It should be the business of the latter, with his knowledge of the details, to lay before the ordinary citizen those high peaks in history which serve best to make the ordinary citizen a good one. It is to be lamented that our historians in the past have not exercised their judgment in picking out the important topics of history, but have been wont to throw into our text-books all of what I think

I have properly called "the details of the game."

The student in his turn, has tried to commit them all to memory, and, in doing so, has failed at the end to. know what the "winning plays " were, because of the confusion of mind which has resulted in trying to get everything into his head.

Papers Presented at the Berkeley Meeting, July 22, 1915

The Eastern View


When in late May I had the temerity to accept Professor Cannon's invitation to open this discussion I counted on first learning much more than I then knew about "the Eastern view." But there fell upon me, as a bolt from the blue, an imperative call for another address, which drove me into seclusion till the university year was over and my time demanded by the journey to this coast. Already, however, I knew well the view of my colleagues at Cornell and that of many of our Eastern neighbors; I had heard the complaints

of the Eastern high school teachers; I had read the pleas of those in charge of the college board examinations; I had listened to the reformers who would claim more time for the very latest history. Perhaps, then, I may still presume to tell you something of the Eastern view.

Let me say, first of all, that I am in hearty sympathy with the wish of the secondary schools for a delimitation of the colleges' demands upon them. It is not alone that they may the better fit their pupils for the college entrance examinations. It is yet more that, by narrowing their work for the college examinations, they may gain time for work which seems to me more important than any likely to be tested by a college entrance examination. For I do not believe that the best things to be hoped from a secondary school training in history can well be tested by college examiners. We have tried it, and we have failed. We can test for mere knowledge, but beyond that we seem unable effectively to go. And let me hasten to add, for myself and my Cornell colleagues, that we have no wish to prescribe to the secondary schools their work. The great majority of their pupils will never go on to college at all; and it is for these, far more than those who go to college, that history is needed in the schools. We could often wish, indeed, that our students had not studied history before they come up to us. Even if they bring us no false or antiquated impressions, hard to overcome and likely to return and haunt them in later years, they come too often with enthusiasm dulled, and sometimes are alienated from history altogether. This is not strange; for, though I would have children fed with history from their babyhood, history as taught in college or in preparation for college is a very grown-up subject. Even after their entrance we are glad to have them defer it in the main, taking rather the languages they will later need in its study. If, nevertheless, we have placed history among our entrance requirements, it is only because the schools themselves have asked it, pleading that else it will be granted no place in their curriculum, even for those not bound for college, and that, if it cannot be used toward college entrance, their pupils will shun it. We bow therefore to the requirement; but, so far as we are free to act, we are glad to accept from the schools whatever training in history they find wisest for their pupils as a whole.

But have we no opinion as to what is there wisest? I suggest with hesitation, but I will not refuse to suggest. I have indeed already ventured suggestion, and can only summarize what I have elsewhere urged. I believe that the secondary schools should give their pupils such a general survey of history as shall all their lives serve them as a map of time, by which they may orient themselves in all their later thought and reading, locating in it every fresh accretion to their knowledge of the past and finding it a background to the lengthening vista of their lives. I believe, too, that, beyond this, the teacher of history in the secondary school should have the ability and the time to bring every pupil, however scantily or crudely, into first-hand touch with the sources of history, giving at


least a glimpse of the methods of research, at least a taste of historical thinking, at least a sense of historical detachment, and making history live for them and in them by the inspiration of fellow work, the kindling example of personality. And to this end I crave for the teacher a larger liberty, both as to field and as to method. Nor do I fail to share the views of those who would just now make history a better training for citizenship and life, especially for those who go straight from the schools into the world of work, by making it illumine the most recent past, the issues of the living present. And to this end, too, if it is to be achieved most fruitfully, with an eye to those livest questions which differ with the differing environment of every school, time must be gained by the delimitation of the colleges' prescribed demand. Let us make that demand as definite, yet as flexible, as ever we can.

Would a Further Definition of the History
Course be a Benefit to the Small
High School?


The subject chosen for discussion at this session is one of interest to all teachers of history in the high schools. Of the vast field of human experience shall we select a certain portion and designate it as the content of a four years' study of history for the young people of to-day? The problem of the middlesized and smaller school differs somewhat from that of the large city schools. In two respects I believe that such further limitation of the field of history study as has been proposed would be of special value to the smaller schools.

In the first place, the new and inexperienced teachers find their places in the smaller high school. In California these new teachers are not as a rule untrained and unprepared in their special branch, but often have had the same preparation in the universities and hold the same credentials as the teachers in the large schools. But they do lack experience. All who have taught remember how full of problems and perplexities those first years of teaching are, when plans and methods must be worked out and adjustment made to the school and the students. If then by such definition of the field we can relieve the new teacher of the further problem of what to teach, of where to lay stress, and what to omit entirely, we shall have conferred a real benefit. Few experienced teachers to-day, for instance, require of their students an exact knowledge of the events of the Peloponnesian War, yet the new teacher would find much space devoted to it in most of the text-books.

In the second place, there is not the opportunity in the smaller school for experimentation that is found in the large high school. The courses must be arranged for the benefit of the majority, and optional courses cannot be offered, because of the fact that one teacher must take charge of all of the history work and often some other branch as well. Hence the

course cannot be differentiated to meet the needs of those students who are planning a university course and perhaps wish to specialize in history, or of those who wish to get a general view of the field in a single year or two of study. As a rule, there is not even opportunity for a separate course in economics; but such knowledge of the subject as is gained must be included in the already crowded course in civics and United States history or perhaps in the work of debate, which many history teachers in the smaller schools carry on outside of school hours, at great expense of time and effort to themselves, usually unrecognized and unappreciated by the school officials, but bearing rich fruit in the additional knowledge and interest of their students. If then, from the field of experiment of the larger schools, with the advice of the distinguished authorities on the subject who comprise the American Historical Association, the field of study which is of most benefit to the majority can be selected, I believe a great help will be given the smaller school.

But such definition of the field should be, I believe, purely advisory in character. I should not favor such limitation if made by a board with power to compel its adoption, for the teacher in the small school, as well as the one in the larger, must be free to adapt the subject matter to the needs of the students and to the problems of the community. Such freedom is the essential condition of all good history teaching, but would not in any way be abridged by the recommendation of the American Historical Association.

But if agreement be made to further specify the course in history, the difficult problem still remains as to what shall be included, what eliminated. We have the facts, but as Macaulay says, "Facts are the mere dross of history. It is from the abstract truth which interprets them and lies latent among them like gold in the ore, that the mass derives its whole value." To-day, more than ever before, is there need that we take counsel as to the interpretation of history, for many of us feel that the ground is no longer sure under our feet. We have been accustomed to trace the growth of civilization as an essential part of history, yet to-day Europe is destroying that civilization which she has struggled through all the ages to achieve. We have led our students to see in the growth of national states a definite step in the progress of mankind, yet to-day that nationalism is turned into international hatred, and murder and massacre are the results. The problem of the teacher of history is a great one, as is also the opportunity if a true solution can be reached.

If the course of study is to be further defined, decision must be made as to what ages or periods shall be stressed as well as to what phases or subjects shall be emphasized. Here in California we are in a transition stage and there is no uniform course in history. Perhaps the majority of schools still follow the plan recommended by the Committee of Seven, but many others have adopted a two-year course in European history with various substitutes for the third year thus

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omitted. The state university has recently liberalized its entrance requirements in history by accepting new combinations of United States history, civics, and economics. And so, here in California at least, the first step must be to standardize the course. If we accept the view that one of the chief aims of history study is to interpret the life of to-day, we would naturally emphasize those ages and those countries that have contributed most to our civilization. Thus we

should devote more time to modern history, less to ancient; more stress would be given to English history, less to that of other countries; in American history we should emphasize the period since the Civil War even at the expense of that before the Revolutionary War.

Since modern life is so complex and varied, would it not be possible to trace a few definite lines of development through the ages, and thus give unity to the course? We should all agree, perhaps, as to the importance of the study of the growth of political and governmental functions, including the formation of the states of the world to-day. The present strife between France and Germany leads back to the division of the Frankish Empire of Charlemagne, and thence still further to the blending of the Teutonic wanderers with the old Romanized Celts, and thus to the influence of Rome itself. Such study of relationships helps to an understanding of recent developments in Europe, and an interest in current events is aroused, which may be developed at will. Or again, a study of the growth of such forms of government as have become permanent or have been steppingstones to the present forms, as for instance, the English parliament or jury system, leads naturally to the study of the government of the United States and present-day politics, based on an understanding of the strength and weakness of other countries and movements.

A second field of interest is the industrial life of mankind, and here the work in history may be of vocational value by opening up to the student the realm of human activity. New interests may be aroused, or interests already awakened may be stimulated. The industrial revolution of the eighteenth century, for instance, is a great revelation to the boy of sixteen, and gives him a new insight into the meaning of our own age of machinery. Such study leads to an understanding of the economic problems of to-day; the commercial life of the sixteenth century gives background for the trade expansion and rivalry of the twentieth; the student comes to realize that the "lazy hobo," as he calls him, is a factor in a bigger problem as he reads of the mob at Rome crying for bread and circus," or learns of the labor troubles of the boatmen on the River Nile at the dawn of history. Is it too much to expect that a broader outlook and a spirit of humanitarianism may result as the byproducts of such studies?

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A third great realm of thought is the intellectual. What time shall be given to the study of the development of language and literature? The students are unanimous in stating that history helps them in their

work in English, and I feel sure that unless we cooperate with the English teachers we shall miss a great opportunity. There are the fields of science, philosophy, education; our young folks never fail to be interested in the old Greek pedagogue, or the peripatetic philosophers with whom they have much in common, or the experiments and predictions of Roger Bacon which they see realized in the steamboat and flying machine of their own age. What attention shall be given to religion, that played so large a part in later Roman and medieval ages?

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The Content of the Two-Year Course in
European History


Under the old plan of four years of history in the high school we felt that we were not meeting the needs of the pupils. With so many studies being introduced into the curriculum we found that pupils were apt to take a year of ancient history and leave the subject there. Very often they took no more history at all; especially since the University of California has changed its admission requirements.

Our aim is to make the two years a unit and require pupils taking European history to complete it. Just how this will work out I am unable to tell, for the plan has been in operation but one year.

In the next place I believe that under the old plan too much time was taken up in studying those things of long ago which are almost out of the understanding, and certainly out of the experience of the child. It was a nicely arranged plan for pupils who intended going on to college and there taking up advanced work in history. But we must dismiss the idea that the grades are to prepare for the high schools, and the high schools in turn are to prepare for college. We must make each school a unit of preparation for life, complete in itself as nearly as may be.

The majority of our boys and girls do not go to the university, and we must give them a knowledge of present-day affairs, making them better fitted as citizens to enter into a social life founded upon democracy. For this reason the greatest stress must be laid upon the history of Europe since 1648.

I would not attempt to eliminate many of the things which go for culture, nor fail in endeavoring to train in correct historical method, but the attention must be directed toward the present. The time is past when we as American citizens can live our old stay-at-home kind of existence. We have entered into international affairs, and, unless we understand something more of modern Europe, we shall remain,

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