The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Education in the United States

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EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES. Every nation has its social ideals and believes in the maintenance of those ideals. Education is the instrument by means of which a nation hopes to realize its ideals. Because different nations have different ideals, there exist different systems of education. In Europe the ideals are the resultants of historic forces. Society has developed in strata and the classes in control of the destinies of the various nations believe in the maintenance of these strata. As an individual is born into a class of society his education is organized chiefly to fit him for the various vocations of that class. This conception of education has been successfully maintained not only because of the organization of society into castes, but because of the relative stability of the population. Most people live in the community in which their parents lived and it is natural for their children to take up the vocation of their parents. These two factors explain to a great extent the remarkable success of the industrial education movement in Germany. Neither difference in political ideals nor in the age of a national system of education seems to affect this attitude toward education. Prussia with its autocratic conception of government and its century-old system of education, is but little more representative of this type of education than is England which is organized politically as a democracy and which developed a national system of education but a generation ago.

Theory of Education in the United States. — The theory upon which education is organized in the United States is the very opposite of that which holds in Europe. There are as yet no castes here and few parents are content to have their children continue in the “station” in life in which they were born. For the first time in history there is an attempt made to realize the educational ideal portrayed by Plato in his ‘Republic,’ viz: That every individual should be doing that in life for which he is best fitted; that education should be so organized as to discover for what the individual is best fitted, and then to provide him with the proper and necessary training. This is done, it must be admitted, crudely and haltingly, but the American democracy is practically the only great state in which there exists an educational ladder reaching from the kindergarten to the university, in which all parts, elementary, secondary and higher, are so articulated that an individual may freely pass from one to the other. In the European systems of education only elementary education is free and it does not articulate with secondary education. The elementary school carries the child to 12 or 14, giving him a rounded elementary education. The secondary school begins at nine and commences to teach subjects not considered in the elementary school, such as mathematics and foreign languages. Even should a child of the masses when he completes the elementary school, then have the ambition and money to continue his education, he would be unprepared to enter the secondary school. There is nothing for him to do but to enter one of the vocational schools for training in some trade or industry. And that is what is expected of him. The American democracy is by no means perfect in all its aspects; but as far as education can accomplish it, it aims to give every individual the opportunity to make the most of his native abilities and to assume the place in society which his abilities justify. This was not always so, and to understand the American system of education as it exists to-day it is necessary to make a brief survey of its development since colonial times.


History of Education in the United States. — The Reformation principle that the individual should be guided in life by the Bible had as an educational corollary that he should at least be taught to read it. Where the Reformation was chiefly a religious movement and was carried to logical conclusions, the effect upon the development of universal education was quite direct, but where the Reformation was political and ecclesiastical rather than religious, and halting rather than thorough, the attitude toward education was one of comparative indifference and neglect. The former condition was true wherever Calvinism prevailed, as in the Netherlands, Scotland and among the Puritans in England. The latter condition was true in England generally, where the Anglican Church was in the nature of a compromise. The United States was settled in the 17th century when religious antagonisms were most bitter and, moreover, it was largely settled by groups of people who fled from Europe because of religious persecution and because of their desire to worship in their own peculiar way. The kind of educational system that would be established in any part of the new land would be determined chiefly by the kind of religious opinions held by the people settling there. We find three fairly distinct types of education developing in the colonies:

1. The Selective Type prevailed in the southern colonies where distinctions of classes developed and the Anglican Church was established. The gentry employed tutors for their own children or sent them to England to be educated. They were not only not interested in the education of the masses who were in many instances indentured servants and convicts, but believed solely in the system of apprenticeship as a preparation for the trades which were to be the life-work of these lower classes. Hence, down to the Revolution, the character that was early impressed upon education in the southern colonies remained, i.e. fair provision for secondary education through the voluntary and haphazard establishment of Latin schools, and little provision for elementary instruction beyond the system of apprenticeship.

2. The Parochical School Type prevailed in the middle colonies. These colonies were settled chiefly by various Calvinistic sects like the Dutch Reformed in New York and the Presbyterians in New Jersey, or by other sets of the advanced Protestant type, like the Quakers and Mennonites of Pennsylvania. They all believed in the need of everyone to read the Bible, and all, therefore, favored elementary education. But as each sect denied the efficiency of any other's way to salvation, this elementary education took the form of parish schools attached to the church. In all the middle colonies in addition to the parochial schools for elementary education there existed “grammar” schools for secondary education.

3. The Town School Type prevailed in New England. The people who settled there were more homogeneous than in any other part of the country. There was little distinction of classes among them as in the southern colonies and there was no distinction of sects as in the middle colonies. They were mostly of the middle class socially, were generally well educated and had university graduates for leaders; were thorough believers in democratic government and were strong upholders of the Calvinistic-Genevan principle of the church-state form of government. Holding firmly to the necessity of everyone being able to read the Bible, the General Court, i.e., the legislature of Massachusetts, passed the famous law of 1647 by which “the Puritan government of Massachusetts rendered probably its greatest service to the future.” The law provided that every town that contained 50 families should maintain an elementary school and a town that had 100 families should maintain in addition a “grammar” school to fit the youth for the university. The religious motive that prompted the law is stated in the preamble, namely, to prevent “that old deluder, Satan, keeping man from a knowledge of the Scriptures.” Unfortunately, subsequent developments resulted in the decline of education in New England and the decay of the town school. The chief cause was the spread of population into unsettled regions and the attainment of local government by districts within the town. The houses of the early settlers were clustered around the meeting house of the town, partly for better protection against Indians and partly because of religious devotion. As religious fervor decreased in the 18th century and fear of the Indians passed away with their diminution in numbers, settlers moved into parts of the town that were inaccessible to the town school or they moved into entirely new regions that had no town school. Hence arose the “district” school, which could afford only a poor teacher who “kept” school a few months in the year. In all the colonies the colleges that had been founded, such as Harvard and Yale in New England, Columbia, Princeton and Pennsylvania in the middle colonies and the College of William and Mary in Virginia, supplied the higher education needed by the members of the learned professions.


The Revolution had both a bad and a good effect upon education. The war bankrupted not only the central government, but many of the state governments. The British fleet had destroyed colonial commerce; its blockade had brought industry to a standstill and thousands were reduced to poverty. In hard times education is generally one of the human activities that is first to suffer. Moreover, other obstacles to the development of a national system of free schools existed. (1) One was the practice of granting public moneys to private schools. This practice was general throughout the colonies but can be best illustrated in connection with the academy movement. The decadence of the town school and of the Latin grammar school in New England due to the growth of the district school was much hastened by the poverty resulting from the Revolution. But the well-to-do classes would not let their children go without secondary instruction and the policy was inaugurated of establishing private secondary schools called academies. Though these academies were private corporations, through the influence of their supporters they were usually able to secure subsidies of public moneys either from the State government or the towns. They performed a splendid service, for they were generally well organized and administered, were responsive to the needs of their constituents and introduced modern subjects like English literature and science. But they were pay schools and hence not open to the children of the masses; they withdrew the attention of the influential people from public education, just when it was most needed; and they created vested interests which were often opposed to public interests. When one considers that by 1840 Massachusetts alone had 50 such private academies subsidized with public funds and that the movement had spread throughout the country, one can realize the extent to which they were a hindrance to the growth of public secondary schools. (2) A second obstacle to the development of a system of free public schools was the existence of sectarian religious jealousy. Nearly all the sects opposed a movement which would prevent the teaching of their own peculiar form of religion and which would also render valueless the school property which they had accumulated. (3) A third obstacle was the prevalence of the idea of public education as pauper education. The idea that free schools were only for the poor prevailed generally throughout the country south of New England. (4) Another obstacle was the claim that the public school was based upon an undemocratic principle, that it was unjust to compel people without children to pay for a service from which they received no benefit, or to compel parents who sent their children to private schools to pay for the education of other people's children. This view explains the “permissive” legislation of the early decades of the 19th century by which local areas were permitted to decide how much support they would give to public schools. For example, in 1831 an act was passed by the legislature of Indiana which permitted the voters of school districts into which the counties were divided to decide the amount of local tax to be levied for the support of public schools. But the act contained the proviso “no person should be liable for taxation who does not or does not wish to participate in the benefits of the school fund.”

But if there existed numerous obstacles to the development of a system of free public education, there developed counter movements stimulating its development. (1) The principles of liberty and equality for which the Revolution was fought combined with the growth of a new political and social order to develop a belief in the need of universal education to realize those principles and that order. With the opening up of the West there developed a condition of society in which social influence, religious affiliation and wealth counted for much less than in the East. (2) Moreover the Federal government, even before the adoption of the Constitution, adopted a policy the influence of which in the devolopment of American education cannot be overestimated. The northern territory which had been ceded to the Federal government by the various States claiming parts of it and from which the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin were carved, was organized under the famous Ordinance of 1787. In accordance with the provisions of that act the entire territory was divided into townships six miles square, and of the 36 sections into which each town was subdivided, section 16 was reserved for the support of public schools. Moreover, two whole townships were reserved for the support of a State university. This admirable policy was continued in all the territory secured by the United States through purchase or conquest. (3) The introduction from England of Lancaster's system of monitorial teaching whereby one teacher with the assistance of older pupils (monitors) could instruct hundreds of children was one of the greatest stimuli to the establishment of public school systems, because its cheapness was influential in securing appropriations from legislatures for the establishment of public schools. (4) The infant school movement and the Sunday school movement were also steps in the direction of accustoming people to think of education for all. Though, as the result of the interplay of these opposing influences, education was everywhere becoming less aristocratic and sectarian and more democratic and secular, the advent of a public school system came only as the result of a great awakening.


Massachusetts established its State Board of Education in 1837 and Horace Mann, with whose name the public school revival is inseparably associated, was made its first secretary. As a result of his 12 years of service in that position and by means of his annual reports, his Common School Journal and his speaking tours throughout the State, he was able to secure reforms in the public school system of Massachusetts which were little less than amazing in their extent and value. These included the establishment of normal schools for the proper training of teachers, the extension of the achool year by a month, the gradual substitution of the public high school for the private academy, the doubling of appropriations for public education, the increase in pay for the teachers by more than 50 per cent and the adoption of new agencies for improving the efficiency of instruction such as teachers' institutes and school libraries. These admirable reforms were not secured without bitter opposition from conservative schoolmasters and sectarian religious interests. But the movement spread to other States and under the leadership of Henry Barnard of Connecticut, David Page of New York; and a number of enthusiastic educators in the Middle West, by the close of Reconstruction it had resulted in all the States of the North organizing a public educational system providing free elementary and secondary education and in many States hither education also. In the South, the principle upon which the movement was based was adopted but its realization was delayed by the deplorable conditions resulting from the Civil War.

A National System of Education. — The period since Reconstruction has been one of educational expansion. In the newer western States sectarian jealousy and the conception of free public education as fit only for those who could not pay tuition fees never appeared and the first constitution of each of those States provided for a complete system of free education extending from the elementary school to and including the university. Everywhere the principle of unification and centralization won out. This victory for centralized State control was due to a great many causes, but chief among them were the following: (1) The appropriation by the Federal government of millions of acres of land directly to the State for the support of elementary schools and of higher institutions for agricultural and technical education. (2) The distrlhution of State moneys by the State educational department to the local geographical areas, provided the latter would meet requirements laid down by the former. (3) The unifying and standardizing influence of the State university into whose hands the control of secondary education has in some States been placed. (4) The growing faith of the American people in public education to solve the political, social and economic problems which confront them and hence the necessity that it should be centralized in order to be efficient.

In a Federal state like the United States, each State has exclusive control of its educational affairs and the question naturally arises whether there exists in the United States a national system of education. The Federal Constitution adopted in 1789 makes no mention of education, that being one of the governmental activities reserved to the States. But the policy of the central government ever since its organization has been to assist the extension and development of education in every way possible. It has done this in two chief ways. (1) By means of gifts of land to the several States for educational purposes. This has amounted to 81,064,000 acres with an original value of $103,000,000 for elementary schools alone and 14,775,475 acres for higher education. In addition to this munificent gift the National government by act of Congress in 1887 provided for a perpetual appropriation of $15,000 a year for each agricultural experiment station connected with a State agricultural college and by the Act of 1890 appropriated $25,000 a year to each of the colleges themselves. (2) By means of the Bureau of Education established in 1867 by act of Congress largely through the efforts of Henry Barnard “for the purpose of collecting such statistics and facts as shall show the condition and progress of education in the several States and Territories and of diffusing such information respecting the organization and management of school systems and methods of teaching as shall aid the people of the United States in the establishment and maintenance of efficient school systems and otherwise promote the cause of education throughout the country.” Barnard became the first United States Commissioner of Education and organized the Bureau upon the lines along which it has ever since been administered. The Bureau has no control over the educational policies of the States and must work entirely through the force of suggestion and exposition. But by means of its collection of statistics, its comparison of systems, domestic and foreign, its description and evaluation of experiments in education, it has wielded an enormous influence in securing improvements simultaneously throughout the country and unifying the State systems of education. It is relevant here to mention that the great confidence everywhere displayed in the work and recommendations of the Bureau is due to a great extent to the splendid personal and professional influence of Dr. William T. Harris who was Commissioner from 1889 to 1906.

Another unifying influence upon education in the United States is the National Education Association (q.v.). The 25,000 members are enrolled in every State of the Union and represent all parts of the educational system, elementary, secondary, higher and professional. The meeting of the association which are held alternately in the East and the West provide an opportunity for exchange of opinion upon the results of educational experiments, for the putting forth of new ideas upon organization, administration, curricula and discipline and for decision as to the policies and principles which shall guide the teachers of the country in their efforts to promote the public welfare. One of the most efficient contributions of the association to educational progress consists in the reports made on particular problems by special committees which have studied them in the interim between annual meetings. The report of the Committee of Fifteen has become the basis of the course of study for elementary schools in every State of the Union and the report of the Committee of Ten similarly for high schools. It can be readily understood why as the result of the influence of a number of agencies, chief among which are the National Educational Association and the Bureau of Education, there exists in the United States a truly national system of education. In their general features and in many of their details the State systems of education show a remarkable resemblance. A comparison of the curriculum of a city school system in the East with one in the West or North or South would show almost an identity. Where differences exist it is usually due to the willingness of progressive communities to undertake experiments which, if they turn out successful, will be rapidly imitated by other communities.


The munificence of the support given to public education in the United States is as great a source of amazement to foreigners as it is of gratification to Americans. We have already described the generosity of the Federal government to this activily, but the large sums given by it are small in comparison to the amounts raised for it by local and State taxation. The major part of the money devoted to education is raised by local taxation and averages from 20 to 25 per cent of the total amount. What this means for the cause of education is made clear when, one learos that the appropriation for school purposes by the municipal government of New York cily in 1916 was $42,000,000. The State government adds to the local appropriationa grants for a variety of purposes provided the localities maintain standards demanded by the State Department of Education. In the case of New York State this amounted in 1912 to over $5,000,000, distributed in such a way that poor or small districts receive an advantage over large and wealthy ones, and New York State is no more generous in this respect proportionally than other northern States. What the total amount spent for public education in any year is would be difficult to say accurately, because uniform standards of estimating costs have not been adopted by all States or localities, e.g., some local areas include interest on bonds and others do not. But according to the reports of the United States Bureau of Education (from which all statistics appearing in this article have been taken) the total estimated cost of education in the United States for 1914 was $794,459,968. What is undoubtedly true is that there has been a remarkable increase in the cost of education during the past two decades, amounting according to conservative estimates to 100 per cent. This has been due not only to the high cost of buildings and equipment and to increase in salaries, but to improvements in school organization and equipment to which we must now turn our attention.


There were, in 1914, 19,561,292 children in the elementary schools, of which 17,934,982 were in public schools. The school curriculum under which these children are taught is practically the same everywhere in the United States. The elementary school maintains a course of eight years preceded in many cities and towns by a year in the kindergarten. The child usually enters the elementary school at six and graduates at 14, if he passes through according to rule. But careful studies of elementary education made by experts during the past decade have demonstrated the existence of excessive retardation and elimination of pupils. This discovery has resulted in two movements which are gaining in strength daily. One is a change in the subject matter of the elementary school curriculum with the object of emphasizing the useful and eliminating the purely academic. The amount of time allotted to the so-called disciplinary subjects like formal grammar and arithmetic has been reduced in favor of such subjects as manual training and domestic science. The other movement which is a corollary to the first, is to complete the general elementary course in six years and devote the last two years to vocational courses, commercial, industrial and academic, leading respectively to business, the trades and the professions. This in turn has caused, as we shall now see, changes in the organization of the secondary education.

About 7 per cent of the children who enter the elementary school pass on to the high school. In 1914 there were 1,373,661 pupils in the secondary schools, of which 1,218,804 were in public high schools. Until about the beginning of the 20th century the curriculum of the high school was everywhere the same, being organized for the few who intended to go to college. In other words, the high school was a preparatory school whose content of study was dictated by the college, although less than 10 per cent of those who entered the high school went to college. As a result of the strong movement in favor of industrial and vocational education that arose about 15 years ago, most of the large cities now maintain, in addition to the regular academic high school which prepares for college entrance, a commercial high school and a manual training high school designed respectively for business and technical pursuits. Smaller cities and towns maintain in their high schools commercial and technical courses in addition to the academic course and most States are now supporting agricultural high schools. Until about six years ago, the standard high school course of all kinds was four years in length and was built upon the eight-year elementary school course, but as a result of the movement mentioned above in connection with the elementary school, viz.: to finish the general elementary course in six years, another movement has arisen in the past few years which bids fair to have an important influence. This is the junior high school movement sometimes referred to as the six-and-six plan. The principle at the basis of this movement is excellent pedagogically as well as as administratively. It is felt that the study of certain subjects should be begun earlier than in the present academic high school, e.g., algebra and geometry, and particularly languages in order to take advantage of the greater plasticity of the vocal organs. Our practice would then conform to that of the European countries. It is also maintained that were the courses leading to vocations differentiated at 12 years of age and their elements well organized for a three-year period, many boys and girls who find the ordinary academic course unattractive would remain to the close of the period and perhaps be induced to continue their studies in the three years of the senior high school. In a large city the junior high school would also have the administrative advantage of relieving the congestion in many elementary schools by removing the boys and girls who must stay under compulsory education laws until they are 14 into a few buildings scattered about the city. Although the junior high school is a very recent experiment in secondary education and chiefly popular in the West, it is in accord with present tendencies, and will probably be generally adopted in its present form or in some modified form.

Higher education in the United States is closely articulated with secondary. In 1914 there were 216,493 students in the colleges and universities of the United States, of which but 87,820 were in public institutions. Of the 67,066 students in professional schools, but 12,289 were in public institutions. The graduate of the ordinary high school who wishes to continue his education may go to college where he spends another four years in general education before taking up his professional studies or he may go directly to the professional school and finish his scholastic career in three or four years and enter upon his life work at 21 or 22. A few of the large universities of the East demand the bachelor's degree for admission to their professional schools, which means that the student can hardly enter upon his career until 25 or 26. In conformity with the recent demand that young men and women be prepared to earn a livelihood at an earlier age, some of these universities permit the first year of the professional course to be elected as the senior year of the undergraduate course, and Columbia University now grants both the bachelor and the professional degree for a six-year course. This has given additional stimulus to the junior college movement started some years ago by a number of Western universities particularly Chicago and California. According to this plan the first two years of the college course is formed into a junior college with a prescribed course of study looking toward professional studies. The junior college tnovement has also afforded an opportunity to some small and poorly endowed colleges to restrict their efforts to the work of the freshman and sophomore years and affiliate with a large institution having a senior college, e.g., a considerable number of colleges in the Mississippi valley have entered into junior college relations with the University of Chicago.

The development of the junior college is only one evidence of the spirit of social service that animates the higher institutions of education in the United States to-day. The college is no longer content to be a place devoted solely to giving students culture and mental discipline, and the university a place to train men for the learned professions. Curricula and organization are constantly undergoing revision in order better to meet the needs of society and to solve its problems. The development of graduate schools, research departments, schools of commerce and finance, summer schools, extension work, correspondence schools and seasonal courses, show the extent to which the college and university are being socialized. Although this is particularly true of the State universities which exist west of the Alleghanies, it is becoming increasingly true of the urban institutions that have grown up in the East whether under private or public support

One of the most important features of public education in the United States is the training of teachers. This is done chieily by the State normal schools, city training schools and departments of education of colleges and universities. In 1914 there were 95,286 students in the normal and training schools, of which 89,537 were in public institutions. In every State, public school teachers must be certified under State laws, and, although in some of them positions in tha rural elementary schools may be secured with a minimum of preparation, the tendency is everywhere to demand professional training. This training is becoming uniformly a two years' pedagogical course based upon high school graduation. Until a decade ago the only requirement to teach in the public high schools was an ability to pass an examination in the subject which the applicant wished to teach. But the National Education Association has gone on record in favor of requiring the bachelor's degree and most of the larger cities now require that and some professional training in addition. In 1914 in all departments of education there were 706,152 teachers, of which number 537,123 were women and 169,029 were men.

Parochial and Private Schools. — In the United States there is no monopoly of education by the State. Churches, corporations and individuals are permitted to maintain schools, the State merely demanding that these schools maintain a certain standard of work. Several of the religious denominations have thoroughly organized systems of schools, especially the Roman Catholics and Lutherans, both of which maintain that religious and secular education must be given at the same time and by the same agency. In support of this principle the Roman Catholics spent last year approximately $35,000,000 for the instruction of a million and a half of its children in 67 colleges and 985 schools, and the Lutherans a proportionately large sum for the instruction of one quarter million children. The Roman Catholic schools are most numerous and strong in the New England and the Middle Atlantic States, the Lutherans in the Middle West. Until the beginning of the 20th century, the appropriation of public funds for the support of these sectarian school systems was in many States a burning question, but in almost every case where it came to an issue it was defeated, and now more than half the States have constitutional provisions prohibiting the appropriation of public funds for any sectarian purposes.

There is no general system of private schools in the United States such as exists in England, and the number of private schools engaged in elementary education is comparatively small, But about one-fifth of all schools engaged in secondary education are under private endowment. Though a few of these are vocational in character, the great majority are preparatory schools fitting young men and women for college. In higher eoncation the proportion of public and private institutions is reversed, less than 20 per cent being upon public endowment, though among these are the great State universities like Wisconsin and California. Of the 800 institutions in the United States which bear the name “college” but 261 have an endowment of more than $100,000 and a student body of more than 100. About half of the others are glorified high schools which may in time become junior colleges. Too much credit cannot be given to the remaining small colleges scattered throughout the country which give a higher education to the young men and women of the immediate locality who would have been unable to go to a university at a distance. For this and other reasons there will probably always remain an important place for the small college in American education despite the immense growth of the State universities and of the endowed universities.

One of the most significant features of American education as compared with foreign systems is the immense sums of money given for educational purposes by private benefactors. Because of the splendid public support of elementary education, practically none of this money goes to that form and only a compara- tively small per cent to secondary education. But in 1915 almost 25 per cent of the entire income of the 550 institutions deserving the name of college or university came from private benefaction. What is still more remarkable is that for the past 20 years the average annual gifts to education amounted to 50 per cent of the gifts to all forms of philanthropy in the United States. These gifts vary in size from a few hundred dollars to the many millions necessary to establish a fully equipped university like Chicago, founded by John D. Rockefeller, and Leland Stanford, founded by Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford. The amount contributed during 1914 was $31,357,398, the largest in our history. Not all this money has been given to teaching institutions. In some instances new education agencies have been established, like the General Education Board organized in 1903 by Mr. Rockefeller with an endowment of $32,000,000 for its work in helping education in the South and assisting higher education generally; the Carnegie Institute (1902) with an endowment of $12,000,000 to encourage research and discovery; tlw Canugie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (1905) with an endowment of $15,000,000 to pay retiring pensions to college professors; the Russell Sage Foundation (1905) with an endowment of $10,000,000, a large portion of which is devoted to educational purposes. These and similar organizations have had an incalculable influence in fostering education in the United States.

Illiteracy. — It may seem very strange after reading this story of public and private munificence to education to learn that according to the Federal census of 1910, the percentage of illiteracy in the whole United Stales is 7.7 per cent considerably higher than the percentage of illiteracy in the countries of northern and western Europe with which the United States is usually compared in matters educational. Two things, however, should be remembered in connection with this matter, viz., that whereas the illiteracy among native-born whites is but 3 per cent, among foreign-born whites it was 12.8 per cent and among negroes it was 30.5 per cent. The South is working heroically to reduce illiteracy among negroes, and the North is spending immense sums of money for the same purpose with the newly arrived immigrants. The latter burden can readily be appreciated when one considers that of the 838,l72 immigrants who came to the United States in 1912, over 177,000, or 20 per cent, were unable to read or write any language and very few were well educated. Fortunately the immigrants have so far shown a great desire to have their children go to school and the statistics of 1910 show that the percentage of illiteracy among the children of native-born parents is greater than among the native-born children of foreign-born parents. The fear of an ignorant citizenship which has been one of the great impelling forces to the generous support of education in the United States will continue to be a necessary incentive, now that our hordes of immigrants come almost exclusively from the ignorant population of southern and eastern Europe.

The Outlook. — In no country is education so active and vital an element in the life of the people as in the United States. Nowhere else do teachers show so strong a desire for self-improvement, parents so great a dcterminadon that their children shall take advantage of the opportunities offered, or citizens so great a willingness to bear the necessary expense. Education is everywhere marked by experiment: to determine the best system of organization, as the Gary System, or the best method of teaching, as the Montessori Method. And these experiments are not without philosophical justification, for in no other country is so much attention being given to the reorganization of educational theory as in the United States by such thinkers as John Dewey, G. Stanley Hall, E. L. Thorndike, C. H. Judd and others. Not only has astonishing progress been made in providing proper education for those who differ widely from the normal, such as the blind, the deaf, the dumb, the crippled, and the feeble-minded, but the experiments of to-day have as their object the discovery of the best methods and organization to meet the different needs of individual normal children. In other words, real progress is being made toward the realization of the American educational ideal, viz., so to organize education that the capacities of every child shall be discovered and the necessary training given to develop those capacities to the utmost, to the end that every individual shall be doing that in life for which his native abilities fit him.

Bibliography. — Brown, E. E., ‘The Making of Our Middle Schools’ (New York 1902); Chancellor, W. E., ‘Our Schools; Their Direction and Management’ (Boston 1908); Cubberley, E. P., ‘Changing Conceptions of Education’ (Boston 1909); Cubberley, E. P., ‘Public School Administration’ (Boston 1916); Dewey, John, ‘The School and Society’ (Chicago 1899); Draper, A. S., ‘American Education’ (Boston 1909); Dutton, St. and Snedden, D., ‘Administration of Public Education in the United States’ (New York 1908); Eliot, Charles W., ‘University Administration’ (Boston 1908); Monroe, Paul (Editor), ‘Cyclopedia of Education’ (New York 1911); Pritchett, H. S., ‘Reports and Bulletins of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’ (1905 to date); ‘Annual Reports,’ National Education Association; ‘Annual Reports’ and Special Bulletins, United States Bureau of Education.

Stephen Pierce Duggan,
Professor of Education at the College of the City of New York.