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However much we may know, there is more than we know to be learned. At your time of life you may not realize this; but at mine, and in the exercise of my duties, hardly a day passes that I do not see and feel that I have to search for more knowledge. In one sense, however, your education is complete, and your instructors have consequently done their task; the knowledge which they have imparted to you is sufficient to guide you in your search for further information, and the rest, therefore, lies with yourself. The lamp has been placed in your hands and if you choose to use your faculties, its light will enable you to find what you seek for. When this convocation rises, your connection with McGill as students will have ceased, but you will have been entered on the roll of her graduates, and henceforth her lustre will be your pride and your aim should be so to conduct yourself through life, that she, your Alma Mater, may always feel that you are her worthy children. And well may you be proud of old McGill Founded in 1811, eighty years ago, by the enlightened liberality of James McGill, a merchant of Montreal, after having struggled for a long period of years through legal and financial difficulties, she is to-day, thanks to the generosity of a high-souled citizen, and to the science of her Principal and the ability and faithfulness of her professors, one of the foremost institutions of learning in this Dominion, comprising faculties of arts, of applied science, of medicine, of comparative medicine and veterinary science and of law, whose doors are opened to all races and creeds, and whose teaching and diplomas are valued everywhere. And those who have raised up this intellectual power in our land will not be forgotten. Their names will be respected and their memories will be green as long as this grand institution will continue to teach to coming generations. Framed around with the gratitude of those who have profited by her teaching, the names of her founder and of her benefactors will be transmitted to posterity as those of men who served their country well in applying a part of the riches with which they were endowed to the advancement of higher education, of science and of the liberal professions, and the world-wide and lasting reputation of her worthy and respected Principal, Sir Wm. Dawson, will now and hereafter throw a halo on her portals. I said a moment ago that the doors of McGill were open to all races and creeds, and I should add that owing to the broad views and to the exertions of her respected and distinguished Chancellor and Principal, and also to the beneficence of the former, a special course for women in arts has been established, by means of which the faculty of arts
is now open to both sexes. Opinions are divided on the subject of the education of women, and many question the expediency of this step; but whatever may be one's opinion as to the propriety or fitness of opening the liberal professions to the fair sex and of allowing women to practice as advocates, notaries, physicians, engineers or surveyors, however much one may be impressed with the idea that woman's true sphere is in her home, from whence her influence, obtained by loving words and kindly acts in the family circle, can sway, by the actions and votes of those subject to it, even the course of public affairs, all must in truth agree, that the fair sex is equal in intellect to the other, and that women should therefore enjoy the same educational advantages as men. And seeing the influence exercised by the fair sex, which is felt directly within the family circle and indirectly everywhere without it, would it not be for the greater good of the community to give to women the widest educational facilities? The current of public opinion seems to be setting that way, and McGill has already opened one of her faculties to women, and, if it gathers strength, the current may yet break down the barriers which close the other faculties to them, as it has done in other universities in this and in other countries. I do not know that this will occur, but one thing I can predict, and that is, that should at anytime the barriers fall, the well-known liberality of the citizens of Montreal will at the same time supply the means to extend their facilities. The reproach has frequently been thrown at our fair city of Montreal that her citizens think only of her commercial advantages and of the accumulation of wealth, and that they altogether neglect literary culture. This slander is refuted by our institutes, our art associations, our schools and our colleges, and by the liberal endowments made by so many of her citizens to McGill and to institutions of a literary character. These men felt that the spread of education was for the common weal, and far from thinking only of themselves, they were willing to place a part of what they had earned by their own toil on joint account with their fellow-citizens in the interest of public instruction. And they were wise in their generation, for they knew that knowledge is power and that all advance in knowledge is for the general good. Graduates in arts-your knowledge will give you power to unravel the mysteries of nature, to study the skies, to discover the secrets of the land and the sea, and in every day of life to perform understandingly the work set out for you. Graduates in applied science-your knowledge will give you power to provide the requirements of modern society to carry us rapidly
over land and seas, to scale mountains, to bridge the widest rivers to give us light from electricity, to transmit our voices over space, to do things unknown and undreamt of only a few years ago. Graduates in law-your knowledge will give you power when at the bar to uphold the rights of the oppressed, and when on the bench to interpret the laws of the land, and to administer justice. To all of you let me say that to acquire the knowledge which gives power, it was necessary in the first place to get the instruction which your college course has given to you, and that now you must look forward to further hard toil and to slow acquirement. Now and again a man may achieve success without seeming effort or application, but such a man is an exception, and it would not be wise nor safe for you to hope for such a chance, and you should, therefore, calculate to travel the old dusty road we have travelled before you. Work onwards and upwards all the time, and be thorough in all you do. In a few moments we will part, but in leaving these halls you will carry with you the sincere wishes for your future success, health and happiness, of your Alma Mater. And now, farewell!
Editorial Notes and Comments.
The little manual prepared by Mr. Hughes, of Toronto, gives many a corrective hint to the teacher who is apt to adopt some new school device, because she has heard some speak well of it and not from careful personal investigation of its merits and demerits. As no one individual can be a whole or complete man standing alone, so no school device or instructional method can be estimated by itself outside its relationship to the whole organization of the school or system. And if Mr. Hughes has been able in small compass to point out the mistakes unexperienced teachers are apt to make in school-work, he would certainly have to expand his volume to more than double the size were he to discuss in full the idiosyncrasies of our educational theorists, and the manner in which their theories so often run to seed. The usefulness of the Kindergarten was a few years ago in every one's mouth, and there was hardly a city in our Dominion where some young lady, who, notwithstanding her claims to be of the gentility of the land, had her own living to make, did not attempt some venture in the form of a Kindergarten. It is hardly necessary to say that most of these schools have now been abandoned, to be followed by what may be called systematized Kindergarten work under specially trained Kindergarten teachers. To get at
the root of the matter, we may be excused if we take a sly peep at one of the Kindergarten Training Schools, where it might be supposed Kindergarten work would be seen at its best. "In one of these establishments," says W. N. Hailmann in the Teacher of last month, "for the support of which the lady patroness pays many hundred dollars annually, I found nearly a hundred children in groups of about a dozen seated around tables at the outskirts of the large and otherwise beautiful room. Here it was beads, there balls, here blocks, there sand, and everywhere Bedlam or stupefaction. Several of the apprentices made frantic efforts to be lively and happy, but the children were at best noisy and mostly listless. The games in which all the children and apprentices joined were made-up caricatures of joyous play: every thing formal, without spontaneity; every movement and word imitated from the outside of it; no entering into the spirit of anything, for nothing seemed to have spirit. Even happiness seemed to be a formality, since now and then the "paid directress" would ask the children to "look happy now," to "see now how happy all can look." In the movements Delsarte seemed to hold a sort of sickly sway; even the birds flew around the room with "decomposed" wings, as if their flying were a gesture expressive of tender emotion."
-When the writer continues the same subject in a succeeding paragraph to explain what a true Kindergarten teacher ought to be and how she ought to be trained, perhaps he may have intended his remarks to apply to student-teachers in attendance at any of our Normal Schools. In his remarks he certainly bears out what we have said at the beginning, namely, that the Kindergarten, like other school influences or educational appliances, must be examined in its relationship to the whole school life of our children and the system under which childexperiences are acquired. Our own Normal School is at a turning-point in its career at the present moment, and perhaps we may read Mr. Hailmann's remarks in the light of an expectation for further progress in the training of our elementary school teachers. This is what he says: "The training of Kindergartners is serious business. Nothing about the work can be acquired incidentally. To every phase of it the learner must bring her full self. It implies deliberate, careful observation of child-culture; the deliberate formulation of valid principles, of a serviceable theory; deliberate training of the learner in the various arts and skills of her chosen calling. Only when these things have been attended to is she prepared for full responsible practice.
If this practice can be had under the supervision of the school, so much the better; yet under all conditions it should follow, not precede the course of observation, study and personal training just indicated. Even in connection with the ordinary Normal School which trains chiefly for instruction, the practice-schools are of doubtful value. In the practice lesson the pupil-teacher seeks primarily his own gain, and the children are used by him for this purpose. The gain of the pupil is incidental, and even this incidental gain is reduced by the pupil-teacher's lack of knowledge and skill. In the training-school for Kindergartners the evil effects of this abnormal condition are greatly intensified, because of the more intensely educational character of the Kindergarten.
The primary need of the Kindergarten training-school, therefore, is not a practice-school, but a school for observation. Here the pupils should have opportunities to observe the work of skilled teachers, to note the effects of environment on the children's development; to discover motives, tendencies, incentives; to follow the teacher reverently in her efforts to lead the child aright for the child's sake. Subsequently they should give clear accounts of their observations, learn to analyze them, to find the principles involved, to discuss varied devices based upon these.
Nor should their observations be confined to the Kindergarten, but extended to the work of an elementary school based on the same educational principles. Thus will they gain a practical insight into, at least, the proximate outcome of Kindergarten training, and will be saved from the narrowness of those who see in the Kindergarten the only educational institution worthy of respect and fitted for the successful application of the broad principles of Fræbel.
In order to secure systematic and methodical modes of procedure in this work of observation, a fair knowledge of the facts and laws of physiology and mental science is indispensable. Indeed, this knowledge should have been gained by the student before she enters upon the work of observation. In the trainingschools of the future, it will constitute one of the requirements for admission. To-day a thorough review of these facts and laws, with constant reference to their manifestations in growing childhood, should be among the first things done in a trainingschool.
In order, too, that their observations may be organically assimilated with the purpose of their work, the pupils should be familiar with the history of education and with the history of