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of the High School of Montreal has resigned, the resignation to take effect at the end of the present scholastic year. Such an event brings before us the long services of a gentleman who has ever had the higher aims of his profession before him in his supervision of the work of others. The resolution passed by the Board in accepting the resignation of Dr. Howe enjoins upon all who have benefitted by his services to unite in paying tribute to his faithfully performed duties. There is no doubt this will be done with an enthusiasm worthy of the occasion. Before leaving office, however, he is to see the inauguration of a movement in favour of High School extension. The Commissioners have in hand the erection of a new building for the High School, while, according to their report, they seem to be convinced upon three points, namely, that (1) there is a demand in this city for a Commercial department in the High School, as well as for a Classical department and for a Science department, and that the present Senior School is only partially meeting that demand. (2) That in order to make the education in each department thorough and complete, the point of divergence should be earlier than it now is. (3) That in order to place the advantages offered by these departments within the reach of all, the present rate of fees should be reduced, and the Senior School merged into the commercial department of the High School. To inaugurate the changes indicated above, not only is a sum of money needed at once, but a permanent annual fund is required for maintenance.
-The educationists on the other side of the line are moving in a direction which the provinces of Canada should have taken long ago, had they acted upon the suggestion of the EDUCATIONAL RECORD, or imitated the example of Quebec. As is said by one of our contemporaries: "Cannot something be done in the Legislature of every state this winter to favor and secure reciprocity with reference to teachers' certificates? No state in the Union has better paid and more progressive teachers than California, and she owes this condition in her educational affairs largely to the fact that she welcomes from everywhere good teachers with first-class certificates. Graduates of state normal schools from the East find their diplomas honored in this great state, and it ought not to be a matter of surprise therefore to find many of the best migrating to this golden land. California has set a noble example, why should it not be followed by every other state in the land? There seems no good reason why a professional teacher from Pennsylvania or New Jersey should be debarred from teaching in the state of Maryland or Dela
ware unless he pass an additional examination, any more than physicians, or lawyers, or clergymen should be so debarred. Let the question be agitated. Justice may come. And so say we. Let the question be agitated in the Dominion, and let us show by the effects produced that our national sentiment is beyond mere provincial prejudice in a case where agreement is possible and practicable.
-The symposium on Fairy Tales and their Importance, adapted by the New York Teacher from articles which lately appeared in the Chicago Open Court, has shown how far the impulse of scientific thought is even sometimes mistaken. Mr. H. E. Rood, in writing the first article of the symposium, enunciates his thesis in these words: "The day of mythical romance has passed. The time has come to put aside for ever such tales as that of "Blue Beard," of " Aladdin," and of the "Sleeping Beauty." From the dawn of history legends of fairies and ogres have delighted men, women, and children. But as civilization advances fewer persons of mature years care for these myths. And now the question arises why should we fill the minds of children with fabulous exploits of false heroes? Boys and girls soon outgrow their belief in "Jack, the Giant Killer," and at fifteen smile to think that they ever were so silly as to consider the story of Cinderella to be "truly true." It may be urged that the banishment of fairy tales would destroy the most innocent imaginative pleasure afforded to human beings. But this is not true, and it seems absolutely sinful to waste childhood thus. At four years of age the child's mind is in a peculiarly receptive condition. He is beginning to understand his little world, and is continually asking questions. And at this period he is amused by listening to stories of beings that never did and never could exist. Therefore, fairy tales are an absolute injury to the moral nature of children. It is said that as a race we are becoming too practical; that we are losing our love for the fanciful. This is true, and it is to be regretted. Still it is foolish to endeavor to preserve our love for beautiful flights of fancy by dreaming over false beings. In literature as in everything else all is worthless except that which is true to nature. And as society progresses this fact is more widely recognized." The writer of the second article, Mr. C. Staniland Wake, combats this by saying: "The writer of the preceding must himself have been one of the boys who "at fifteen smile to think they ever were so silly as to consider the story of Cinderella to be truly true.'" Fortunately, Mr. Rood to the contrary, such boys, or girls either, are rare. At that age young
people still retain, if they have healthy minds, their love for the romances of their childhood, and they have begun to see that there is a truth embalmed in all such stories, however much it may be overlaid by fictitious incidents. The assertion that as civilization advances fewer persons of mature years care for what are known as folk-tales, is exactly contrary to the truth. It is only during the existing generation that their true significance has been ascertained, and societies have been formed in every civilized country to add to our knowledge of the apparently childish stories of the past. So far from its being desirable that they should be abolished, they should be retained and utilized, as they well might be, for the purpose of education." This interesting subject, moreover, has been also taken up and further discussed by Dr. Paul Carns, and we have no doubt our teachers will derive some benefit from a perusal of his arguments. "Mr. Rood," he says, "makes a vigorous appeal to do away with ogres and fairies, lest the imagination of our children should be poisoned by unreal and fictitious ideas, while Mr. C. Staniland Wake calls attention to the educatory influence of fairy tales, and admonishes us not to be in too great a hurry to do away with the ogres and fairies. The subject is of great practical importance, and a few words of consideration, which suggest themselves to me, may not be inappropriate. Mr. Rood takes the ground that everything unreal is untrue; therefore it is obnoxious and should not be allowed to be instilled into the minds of children. I recognize as good the principle of removing everything untrue from our plan of education. The purpose of education is to make children fit for life, and one indispensable condition is to teach them truth, wherever we are in possession of truth; and, what is more, to teach them the method how to arrive at truth, how to criticize propositions, wherever we have not as yet arrived at a clear and indisputable statement of truth. Allowing that fairy tales are unreal and may lead the imagination of children astray, are they for this very reason untrue? Do they not contain truths of great importance, which it is very difficult to teach children otherwise than in the poetic shape of fairy tales? I believe this is the reason why in spite of so much theoretical antagonism to fairy tales they have practically never been, and perhaps never will be, removed from our nurseries. There are no witches who threaten to abuse the innocence of children, and there are no fairies to protect them. But are there not impersonal influences abroad that act as if they were witches, and are there not also some almost unaccountable conditions in the nature of
things that we meet often in the course of events, but which act as if they were good fairies to protect children (and no less the adult children of nature called men) in dangers which surround them everywhere, and of which they are not always conscious? Science, will at a maturer age, explain such mysteries, it will reveal to the insight of a sarant that which is a marvellous miracle to the childish conception of an immature observation. But so long as our boys and girls are not born as savants, they have to pass through the period of childhood, they have to develop by degrees and have to assimilate the facts of life, they have to acquire truth in the way we did, when we were children, as the race did, when humanity was in a state of helpless childhood still. The development of children, it has been observed, is a short repetition of the development of the race. Will it be advisable to suppress that stage in which the taste of fairy tales is natural? Is not a knowledge of legends, fairy tales and sagas an indispensable part of our education, which, if lacking, will make it impossible to understand the most common-place allusions in popular authors? Our art galleries will become a book of seven seals to him who knows nothing about the labors of Hercules or the gods of Olympus. Will you compensate the want of an acquaintance with our most well-known legends, sagas, and characters of fiction at a later period, when the taste of such things has passed away? I met once an otherwise well-educated lady who did not know who Samson was. An allusion to Samson's locks had no meaning to her, though she had enjoyed a liberal education; her parents being free-thinkers, she had never read the Bible, and knew only that the Bible was an old-fashioned work, chiefly of old Hebrew literature, which she supposed was full of contradictions and without any real value. A total abolition of fairy tales is not only inadvisable, but will be found to be an impossibility. There are certain classical fairy tales, sagas, and legends, which have contributed to the ethical, religious, and even scientific formation of the human mind. Thus many stories in Homer, Hesiod, and many German and Arabian fairy tales have become an integral part of our present civilization. We cannot do away with them without at the same time obliterating the development of most important ideas. Such fairy tales teach us the natural growth of certain moral truths in the human mind. These moral truths were comprehended first symbolically and evolved by and by into a state of rational clearness. I do not propose to tell children lies, to tell them stories about fairies and ogres, and to make them believe these stories. Children,
having an average intelligence, will never believe the stories, however much they may enjoy them. The very question: Is that really true? repeated perhaps by every child, betrays their critical mind. Any one who would answer, "Of course, every word is literally true," would be guilty of implanting an untruth in the young minds of our children. We must not suppress, but rather develop the natural tendency of criticism. While we cannot advise the doing away with fairy tales, we can very well suggest that the substance of them may be critically revised, that superfluous matter may be removed, and those features only retained that are inspiring and instructive."
There is a hint in the following notice which may be of service in our larger communities: "A bill was passed by the New York Legislature, in 1888, providing for free lectures in the public schools of this city. On the evening of November 17th a course was commenced in six different grammar schools, and from the World and other daily papers we learn they were all well attended. Professor C. A. Doremus lectured on "Fire and Water," illustrating his subject with interesting chemical experiments. Mr. James Bowie lectured on "Paris and the Great Exposition." Doctor Charles S. Wells took his audience "A Tour on the Nile," with stereopticon views. Professor Henry A. Mott discussed "Light and Color," made clear by experiments. Mr. William Bradford gave "Glimpse of the Arctic Regions," giving a graphic description of life in the far North. But perhaps the most useful and interesting lecture was that of Doctor James E. Newcomb, on "Everyday Accidents and How to Treat Them." It was replete with hints as to" what to do till the doctor comes," made clear by interesting illustrations.
-Something of this kind has been attempted this winter in the city of Quebec, through the co-operation of Mr. George Bonham, with the Rev. Mr. Rexford and Dr. Harper. Early in the fall the following announcement was made by these gentlemen: "After consultation with the teachers of the Schools under the supervision of the Protestant Board of School Commissioners, it has been decided to announce the following Course of Lectures for the period preceding Christmas, 1890. The Committee of Management have much pleasure in stating that they have been able to secure the use of the National School Hall, and having purchased a new and expensive lime