Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/732

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

advanced about evenly with the advance in total enrollment, and in the towns it has increased twenty per cent, while the total enrollment has fallen off nine per cent. The results of inquiries into the compulsory educational methods of England, France, and Germany are reported. More attention to purely professional work in the examination of teachers is recommended. The superintendent is accustomed, in accordance with the law of the State, to indorse the certificates and diplomas issued by State superintendents and normal schools in other States; and he has had some correspondence with other superintendents with reference to a general understanding on this matter. The responses have not been as general or as satisfactory as was desired. The superintendent believes that the movement in favor of the manual-training system has been retarded by the fact that "the kinds of industrial work which have been pushed forward were such as seemed incongruous with school work and gave small promise of assimilating with it"; and he regards free-hand drawing as offering a simple and practicable means of reaching the same end. Considerable space in the report is occupied with the discussion of questions concerning school libraries. Several valuable documents are included among the "Exhibits" and in the appendix.

The Modern Science Essayist. Monthly. Boston: The New Ideal Publishing Company. Ten cents a number, one dollar a volume of twelve numbers.

This periodical has been established as a medium for the publication of essays and lectures presenting the modern scientific or evolutionary aspect of various subjects. Each number contains one essay. The six numbers before us contain the first six of the fifteen lectures on different phases of evolution, delivered before the Brooklyn Ethical Association last winter. These lectures followed a logical order. The first two were biographical sketches of the two great men whose names arc most intimately associated with the evolution hypothesis—Herbert Spencer and Charles Robert Darwin, the former by Daniel G. Thompson and the latter by Rev. John AV. Chadwick. The third is on "Solar and Planetary Evolution," by Garrett P. Serviss, and is illustrated. This is followed by "Evolution of the Earth," by Lewis G. Janes; "Evolution of Vegetal Life," by William Potts; and "Evolution of Animal Life," by Rossiter W. Raymond. The plan of the series included lectures on the descent of man, evolution of mind, society, theology, and morals; proofs of evolution, its philosophy, and its relations to religious thought and the coming civilization. In undertaking to present to its members and the public in a popular form the leading ideas of the evolution philosophy, this association has entered upon a work in harmony with the most enlightened spirit of the time, which can not fail to produce beneficial and gratifying results. The lectures of last winter were delivered by men having special fitness for dealing with the subjects assigned to them, and each furnishes an excellent introduction to a course of reading on its special topic. We learn that the association is to conduct a similar series of lectures next season, and that its success has led to the formation of similar organizations in various parts of the country.

Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, for the Year ending June 30, 1886. Part I. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 878, with Plates.

Besides the operations of the Institution itself and of the National Museum and Bureau of Ethnology, which are regularly under its charge, this report includes sketches of the work of the United States Fish Commission and Geological Survey, which, though independent of the Institution, are related to it in line of work. Not so much as usual is recorded in the way of explorations—partly because the work has been completed in many of the districts, and partly because means have been lacking for beginning new enterprises of any magnitude. The list of publications, besides bibliographies and catalogues, includes several works and monographs of importance and general interest. The development of the National Museum, as measured by the acquisition of fifteen hundred lots of specimens, was unexpectedly great. Besides the central reference library of the museum, sectional libraries have been established in the scientific departments. In