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FEB 1 1915
EDITED UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A COMMITTEE OF THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOBRAL LIBRARY
Copyright, 1915, McKinley Publishing Co. Entered as second-class matter, Oct. 26, 1909, at Post-office at Phila., Pa., under Act of March 3, 1879
"BETTER THAN ANY OTHER"
HOPE STREET HIGH SCHOOL
It is now past ten o'clock in the evening and I have spent the entire evening in reading and studying HARDING'S NEW MEDIEVAL AND MODERN HISTORY. It is better than any other modern history textbook I know of. The author has admirably done just what he ought to have done, namely,-given the reader an intelligent appreciation of the life that now is. So many, many books, otherwise good, lack just this big essential. I am glad Harding has done his duty and has done it so well. J. MADISON GATHANY, Department of History.
London San Francisco
Sanford's New Series of American History Maps
SENT ON APPROVAL!
READ WHAT USERS SAY OF THEM
AT FIRST SKEPTICAL - NOW CONVINCED
I want to tell you how pleased I am with the Sanford History Maps. It is safe to say that there is no one set of maps anywhere that will be found as helpful to the teacher and to the student as this series.
I was rather skeptical as to the value of such a chart in history teaching in the high school, but I find myself using it constantly. It is a ready source of information, it expresses concretely many things that would take long to explain; it affords a basis for map work. The maps on the development of the West, the growth of population, immigration, railways, etc., are especially useful.
I think that no school history room is complete without this series. P. M. MELCHOIR, Head, History Dept., Girard College, Philadelphia, Pa.
I CONSIDER THEM THE BEST
Yours very truly,
O. M. DICKERSON,
Head, History Dept., State Normal
A. J. NYSTROM & CO., Publishers
U. S. Agents for W. & A. K. JOHNSTON'S MAPS, GLOBES, CHARTS and ATLASES
623-629 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Ill.
A. J. NYSTROM & CO.
623 S. Wabash Ave. Chicago, Ill.
You may ship on approval 1 complete set of 32 Sanford American History Maps with Teacher's Manual and tripod supporter. If satisfactory we shall keep and pay $24.00 for same. If unsatisfactory we shall return at your expense.
Volume VI. Number 2.
PHILADELPHIA, FEBRUARY, 1915.
$2.00 a year. 20 cents a copy.
The Library and History Study
BY W. DAWSON JOHNSTON, ST. PAUL PUBLIC LIBRARY.
A report of the Committee of Review of the College Entrance Examination Board, lately made public, says that examinations in history set by the Board showed the largest percentage of failures of any set by that body, and that a reconsideratoin of the history requirements must soon be undertaken if a higher percentage of pass marks is not forthcoming. Professor MacDonald of Brown University, in a paper in Education for June, entitled, "College Entrance Requirements in History," agrees with those making the report, and feels that, perhaps, too much emphasis has been laid on collateral reading. Professor Sioussat, in the HISTORY TEACHER'S MAGAZINE for September, takes issue with him. He does not think that too much emphasis has been laid on collateral reading, but fails to offer any other satisfactory explanation of existing conditions. In fact, both Professor MacDonald and he seem to incline to the view that it is the lack of equipment of the teachers, which is chiefly, if not solely, responsible for the failure of historical teaching. In a sense, this is true, but it is, I am certain, equally true that the equipment of the history teachers is not inferior to that of other teachers, and that the failure of the students to pass these examinations shows the inadequacy of the examinations as much as it does the inadequacy of teaching. In other words, the standards of the College Entrance Examination Board are no longer the standards of the majority of history teachers. At the same time, one who is much interested in the advancement of historical teaching cannot but admit that we are far from having a clear idea of the aims or methods of historical teaching, and in particular, very far indeed from having a clear idea of what collateral reading should be required and how library resources may be organized in order to get it done most effectively. Yet collateral reading and library research constitute the main difference betwen the old and the new methods of historical teaching.
RECOMMENDATIONS OF COMMITTEE OF SEVEN.
After the publication of the report of the Committee of Seven of the American Historical Association on the study of history in schools in 1898, the textbook method of instruction in history was definitely abandoned and the laboratory method adopted. Boys and girls, it was said, do not remember one-tenth of one per cent. of all the facts they are asked to learn in history courses, and the most radical were bold enough to say that the facts would be of no use to
them even if they could remember them. There seemed to be general agreement among the leaders of opinion that history could keep its place in the curriculum only as a disciplinary study, and that in teaching, emphasis should be laid upon historical method rather than upon historical fact.
At the same time, however, little organized effort was made to adapt methods of teaching to the new ideal, and little effort made to equip historical laboratories. The Committee of Seven said that the library should be the center and soul of all study in history and literature, and that no vital work could be carried on without books to which pupils might have ready and constant access. History more than any other subject in the secondary curriculum," they declared, demands for effective work a library and the ability to use it.'
The committee observed that few schools require as many as 300 pages of collateral reading a year, and that three-fourths of them had no specified requirements whatever, but it made no effort to indicate what the minimum of collateral reading should be.
The committee described library conditions equally unsatisfactory. Practically every school it said, recognizes that a library is necessary, and has a few books more or less wisely chosen and more or less antiquated, but it is still easier to get five thousand dollars for physical and chemical laboratories than five hundred dollars for reference books. As a consequence, few schools have good collections of even the standard secondary writers, and even schools with considerable libraries seem unable to add the new books of importance. Yet in full view of these facts, the committee merely recommended the establishment of a library in each school and the display of its book collections on open shelves.
In the third place, it recognized the value of instruction in historical method in general and in bibliographical method in particular, and gave expression to their feeling in a few benevolent platitudes to the effect that teachers should develop the power of using books gradually but systematically. In the earlier years teachers should read to the class passages from entertaining histories. In later years pupils should do their own reading, and to some extent find their own reading. 'Let the pupil learn how to understand and use pages," they said, “before he uses books, and let him learn how to use one or two books before he is set to rummaging in a library." In other words, they observed, teach pupils
how to use intelligently tables of contents and indexes, and also how to turn to account library catalogues and indexes to general and periodical literature. But beyond making these rather sophomoric recommendations they did nothing either to systematize bibliographical instruction or indicate what should be the minimum of requirements in this direction. Pupils were still left to rummage in the library.
Later, the Committee of Five on the study of history in secondary schools, appointed in 1907, included in its investigation an inquiry upon school equipment for teaching history. But its report published in 1911 contained no definite information with regard to conditions, and no comment upon conditions beyond the vague statement that the equipment for the teaching of history in most schools was quite inadequate.
Again the Committee of Eight on the study of history in elementary schools, in their inquiry asked to what extent is supplementary material introduced, but only reported that it appeared to be difficult to secure sufficient appropriations for the purchase of this material, adding the somewhat academic observation that the public library under the control of the school board does at times render effective co-operative service.
Indeed it was left for a committee of the Council of Teachers of English to outline the problem created by the new conditions of history teaching, and throw some light upon possible methods of solving the problem. This committee found that the equipment cost per pupil in history, as well as in English, was very much less than for any other subject which requires extensive equipment. To be exact, it found that the history equipment cost per pupil in 60 schools reporting was $2.39, and that the average annual increase per pupil was 22 cents. These facts, it seems to me, indicate more clearly than any report made by historians that the subject of historical equipment should receive more serious consideration.
Side by side with these facts may be placed those given in the report of the United States Commissioner of Education for 1910 regarding the number of students of history in secondary schools in this country. In that report, he said that in 8,097 schools there were 406,784 students of history; in other words, 55 per cent. of all pupils in secondary schools. That means that in St. Paul, for example, there are in the public high schools alone about 1,670 students of history. The effective direction of the reading of this great body of students constitutes a problem which is of interest not only to the teacher, but also to the librarian.
It is not possible on this occasion to do more than outline the problem as it presents itself to a librarian, but even an outline may be useful as far as it goes. In the first place, I may say, the librarian as such is not interested in the aims and methods of historical teaching, except in as far as these make it necessary for him to provide the material required by teacher and pupil, and provide what is wanted, when it is Iwanted and where it is wanted.
It may be desirable to determine the minimum amount of reading which should be required in general, but whether it is or not, it is desirable that in each school the amount of time which can and should be given to reading in each subject should be determined, the required and recommended reading listed, and both pupil and librarian advised not only as to what is to be required and what recommended, but also as to when the required reading is to be done, and how many are expected to do it.
In determining what books should be provided at any point, the number of copies of each which should be provided, and the number of seats for readers, it is necessary to know not only what number of pupils are expected to use the books, and how much time is allowed for the reading, but also where the reading can be done most effectively and most easily. In other words, it is necessary to decide which books should be placed in the class room, either permanently or temporarily, which in the school library either on reserved shelves or on open shelves, and which may be left to the public library to supply from its own shelves, either for reference use or for home reading.
And here, again, we must be influenced in a large measure by the grade of pupil. The younger pupil must do most of his work in the class and in the class
room, but the more mature student will do the better part of his work in the school library and in the public library, and should receive as much, if not more,
credit for work of this kind than for attendance at recitations.
We must be influenced also by considerations of economy. The class-room library cannot be made a substitute for the school library, and should not be, nor can the school library be made a substitute for the public library. For this reason a measure of centralization of library administration is desirable. Without it the teacher with the loudest voice is likely to have the advantage in the distribution of funds for equipment, books are likely to remain in a school or class-room after the use for them has passed, and the greatest needs of the school in respect to library equipment are apt to be slighted.
DUPLICATION OF Books.
At the same time, it is essential that the books in common use be duplicated in large numbers, especially in the elementary courses and in required reading. In the field of general history much has been done to improve conditions, and incidentally relieve the pressure upon libraries by the publication of collections of illustrative material from original and other sources. In the field of local history, too, something has been done. The Rhode Island Department of Education, for example, published among its Rhode Island educational circulars an historical series relating to local history, and intended primarily for use in schools. And the Minneapolis Public Library publishes a series of mimeographed
sheets relating to Minneapolis and vicinity for the same purpose. Much more may be done by commercial publishers, by school departments, by historical societies, by libraries and by local newspapers to facilitate the documentation of elementary historical research.
USE OF SYLLABI.
If duplication of copies of books, or of etxracts from books is the one thing useful in the successful organization of required reading, a syllabus is the thing most needed in the direction of recommended reading. At present it is customary at the expense of the time of teacher or pupil to write this outline on the blackboard and ask pupils to copy it, or to dictate it to the class. In either case, the bibliographical references are ordinarily incomplete or inaccurate, or if they are not, they are rendered incomplete and inaccurate by the copyist. The result is not bibliographical guidance, but a series of bibliographical puzzles. The only remedy for this condition of affairs is the preparation of syllabi. These must be compiled by the teacher, but in their compilation the teacher should receive the assistance of the librarian, and if the school cannot print or mimeograph them, the library must.
By means of required reading and by means of a course of recommended reading, it is possible to conduct a student far on the road to historical learning, but it is not possible to give him even an elementary knowledge of historical science and method, it is not possible to make him an independent student or give him the freedom of the library without systematic bibliographical instruction. Whether this instruction be given by the teacher of history or by the librarian, or by both, is immaterial, provided the instruction be good. For my own part, I feel that general bibliographical instruction should be given by the librarian and special instruction by the specialist,
that the teacher of the more advanced courses in history should require a certain degree of bibliographical skill, should assign exercises intended to develop such skill, and include in examination papers questions which will determine what progress has been made. Bibliographies and answers to bibliographical questions may very well be turned over to the librarian for examination and grading.
SURVEY OF EXISTING CONDITIONS.
I do not know whether the Survey Committee has included in its plans provisions for an inquiry into the requirements regarding collateral reading, the extent of library collections, their organization and administration, the amount and character of bibliographical instruction. If it has not, I hope that it will do so. Information with regard to present conditions is the first step toward improving them. We need to know not only how large our library collections are in general, but also what proportion of the collections relate to history, and how many volumes are added annually. We need to know whether the pupils in our history classes are registered borrowers from the library, and how much time they spend in library work. We need to know how much the books recommended for reading are actually read. A State survey along these lines may, I believe, accomplish almost as much as a national survey toward defining this problem and toward indicating how it may be solved. The time is past when teachers should depend upon pupils for information as to the sources of the library and its administration; teachers of every subject, and especially teachers of history, should have first-hand information upon this subject, and not only with regard to local conditions, but with regard to conditions in other communities which are superior to those at home. 1
1 Read at the meeting of the Minnesota Educational Association, St. Paul, October 23, 1914.
A Fragment of the Passing Frontier
BY MARY WILHELMINE WILLIAMS, PH.D., INSTRUCTOR IN HISTORY, WELLESLEY COLLEGE.
[The following article is based primarily upon observations made by the writer some years ago during a residence of several months in the region described. Through the kind co-operation of Miss Minnie E. Aldrich, superintendent of schools of Trinity County, California, it was possible to obtain supplementary information, especially with reference to existing conditions. Miss Aldrich, however, is in no way responsible for any errors which may be found in the article.]
Certain universal characteristics determine the classification of a region as frontier. Of these the most important is sparseness of population, accompanied by remoteness from industrial and commercial The qualities peculiar to frontier life are
the products of a frontier environment.
1 Turner, Frederick J., "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," in Am. Hist. Assn. Report, 1893, pp. 199-200, 211.