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THE SCHOOLS OF SAN FRANCISCO

[By Biihop Sato;, of Nelion.] Lest I ohoald mix np the very Interesting scenes I saw and the valuable Information I received m San Franclico Id the matter of State education with what I hope to sea m other places, I will pat down some of the many impressions made on my mind, and offer them for yoor perusal. I shall leave dry bat reliable aUtlet ci for some future occasion, and only give yoa what la an honest, though necessarily, a somewhat superficial, view. How oan it be otherwise? Yet. a alnd trained to observe educational matters, will, like oar excellent insp actor, Mr W. 0, Hodgson, see at a glance how tblDgs go. Having mentioned that gentleman's name. I may say that I should like him to visit the twentyfoar kindergarten tohooli In San FranolsdV alone— l am sure even hi| conscientious prejudices would give way, and he would he ataoply dumb with pleasure and astonishment. I sent mmy oard to the store tary of the Beard of Ban Franclooo at a member of the Board of Education m Nelson, desirous of eeelng their educational system at work, and without any delay I reoelved • warm and almost brotherly greeting from the eduoational authorities, and especially the Superintendent of Education— the fe secretary of the . board . (Mr Anderson) " who deputed to exceedingly able and prominent inspectors (Air Kennedy and Mr Babonok) to show me all I wanted to see. Instead of going to the nsual sights, patksj suburban villas, and seallons, I forewent them and devoted myself to the eohools. I was amply rewarded. Seldom have I spent three toon pleasant days. Evidenoes of intellectual activity, of con* eolentious work, and of exoellent diiolpllne, without any professional parade of it. appeared on all sides. Do not let me be thought, however, when speaking highly of others to be Indirectly depreciating our own good friends, the teaohersof New Zealand, They— at least those ip Nelson' —know me too well for that; bat I feel they would like to have my fresh and true impressions. I cannot say with an inspeotor, after visiting the sohpols,at Home (I do not think he .went to America), that we have not much to learn from them* I think we have very much to learn from them. True it la that San Franoisoo Is oa a large scale, and oontalns m the olty half as many paople as the whole of New Zealand put ttgether. The cohoolsl visited were all under the Olty Board of Eduction, oonoiiting of twelve members, all of whom were eleoted for two yean only. They all of them thought our plan of three retiring every year far preferable and told me there was a movement m the dlreotion of altering their rule to a system like oars, or a similar plan. They are not paid as members, neither do they reoelva travelling belog expenses; resident* m the city or neighborhood, though that Is over a considerable area. I vißited a large girls' sohool, containing 875 girls, under a Miss Jean Parker as haadmaoager, with some fifteen female* teaohets under her] In the same building* On different floors, jln eight grades, No. 8 being the lowest. Two rooms were filled with kindergarten ohlldren, and two rooms were filled with girls from six up to the age of fifteen or ofxteen, reidy to go to the high sohool. Mach child throughout had a $paraU ietk to iUtlf, Dual desks are not approved, and I did not see one long desk like ours, The slates, teo, had their wooden frames bound with threads of worsted, or leather m ease of the boys, whlob tended to preserve them and, to diminish the jar and noise of the elates Now this Miss Jean Parker, the principal, was simply delightful a» we went Into room after room I notioed a ripple of pleasure on every faoe, and it wts not retarded by an ioopeqtor's presence, bat rather eoohanoed ; and when Miss Parker a»kad, aftaclatroduciue us, her visitors. If the ohlldrp n wou'd like, Mrs Kennndy, the Inspeotor, to give them « lesson, there was an honest chorus of « € Ayes," and hrn forthwith gave them a leiaon on '• 7/bw the ohalk atioks on the. blackboard," lat whlohbe fairly lad them Into aoma moth. but made them think, »nd Uught them what I am sure they never thought of before, and what they will retain to their dying day. Tiat me say, onoelor ali, so far as I could judge from my rlsTt, Amerieanchildren are laitght to. think for themstives. They evidently have a pleasure m thinking— they nre serious, rather grave at their, work— but as I saw them at play by special desire on my, part, loan testify that they can play as well as work. Go into an upper dins room, whloh. receives special attention no doubt from JMlss Parker. You wlllfind that when thecompound sums or composition or cramto alt with their hands before them, waitIng for those who are sure bu« slower, or even for those who are really, dull ; no, they will go Into a corner of the room and UWthere a lump of ©lay, and returning to their seats quietly with a amall board begin or go on with their modelling i« clay of a sprig of flawns or shrubs Sloh they iiav c brought themselves to sohool for the purpose. Moddelling ir, a \ w v very popular m this large >chool, and everyone of the 857 girls docs something lUlt-or other girls may tfkke/their brash •nd paint and jo on with their drawing or coloring. Miis Parker a/ idea Is that a ; sense of color is. more^ important to develop and encouwge. than that of form. '^SSj t ''Bites, more pleasnra to the child. Be that uit may, It was wonderful to see In the classes of every age the little ones painting the sprig of wild straw, berry, or esoholtala, or laurestlnus that they had brought— each girl her own. bo that there oould be no. oopylne. No rubbing out Is allowed with ooloring, and. very little Is permitted m drawing on to* slate. The child goes to the blackboard* and holds up the sprig, and draw* it straight off on the board. The Inasaensei eduoational value of this Is seen at onoe» and I thought that thefsoA of no child oeing ever idle was an achievement which was no ordinary triumph. It did nob wrong the quiok taoughted j it did &o% hurry the slower thinkers. . ; I should fail to make your ander ,*-„,» tha complete enUnie cordtati't tn^ll between the teachers and. e*"iiJ t think it existed m erSrv jUdron - * thirty claeaee I viai^, *r. T °°! «..«» wer/not selected w^ a d? % } m \ ?V m some inate^B wb'^ffT* o^ lo^ room to e a ir«tT «T M on «>hool and which weweiT? 1 n ? 4 -*** Wfaichele did. and wL^» ' to ? ethe / 9 n the la" ,day. There wovtten 9" comiujf, with that jThey pay their teachers more than we do. *or a bight school of 1300 male soholars. no teacher gete lees than £120 a year for cwo hours on five nights m the week, and young lawyers and olerks m business and business men teach m these State night eohoola. I visited the large night school referred to — Lincoln Evening Sohool-r-and was an eye-witness of their dismissal at 9 p.m; The whole of the 1300 boys and -men of all ages, from sixteen years— eight-tentha of them lads, several boys irom 16 to 23 —they all came out comparatively noiseleßßly. Twenty-nine teabbera came out with their olrsaes, at the rear of each class. They all kept step^- not very loudly bnfc ]ÜBt marking time— as another stream from some other room met them and passed down before them on the landings, and they were all out In about four minute?, and dissolved without a shout or any loitering m complete aelf -control. All fairly well dressed ; all respectable £ but all independent, without any osten- , sible bumptiouaoeas. I was surprised J t J v wae edifi«d j 1 was greatly pleased.,

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890213.2.15

Bibliographic details

THE SCHOOLS OF SAN FRANCISCO, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2062, 13 February 1889

Word Count
1,356

THE SCHOOLS OF SAN FRANCISCO Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2062, 13 February 1889

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