Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/190
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
By Dr. EDWARD H. MAGILL,
EX-PRESIDENT OF SWARTHMORE COLLEGE.
THE common consensus of thoughtful minds in these latter days has been gradually tending more and more toward the proper co-ordination and correlation of our educational institutions. In a comparatively new country like ours it may naturally be supposed that, as the need for various grades of these institutions has arisen, the want has not always been supplied with a sufficiently careful consideration of the needs of those of other grades, and that, as a result, the general educational interests of the country require some readjustment and reorganization. It should be observed in the beginning that no censure is intended to be applied to any institution or class of institutions for their present status, as this has resulted from the progressive stages of their growth and development, and no sudden or violent change is contemplated or desired. The general outline here to be presented is rather an ideal system for future realization, toward which all may gradually work as their surroundings and circumstances may permit.
Within the past few years a new class of educational institutions has been introduced from abroad, which have received, in their name, the impress of their foreign origin. Of course, we allude to the kindergarten schools, which may now be regarded as the foundation of our present educational system, the culminating point of which is the university. The value of this new importation is no longer seriously questioned by educators, and we cordially accept it here as supplying a need which may be satisfactorily filled, by the devotion to it of about three years of the life of a child. In these three years, from the age of three to six, with competent trained teachers, the little ones receive a training of the hand, the eye, the ear, the voice, and the mind that tells powerfully upon all the subsequent years of their school and college life; and the social, moral, and unsectarian religious element of their natures receives in these early years a most profound and lasting impression. With this foundation, entering upon the primary grade at six, this can well be completed in three years, from six to nine, and after these six years of school life the intermediate grade can be well covered in three years more, from the age of nine to twelve. This outline presupposes also the saving of much valuable time by omitting studies which belong to a more mature stage of mental development, and especially much of the time devoted to the foundation of mathematical studies, which should