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divide, and compute interest; but Algebra and Geometry come in to constitute a manhood far superior to anything that can be brought about by simply teaching the primary studies. There is then a higher practical education than that which these enemies advocate.
Mr. Cook, of Columbus :—There is a tendency to claim that the lower schools are all right, but the trouble is with the High Schools. Their course of study is spread out too thin. Do you ask us to give the pupil more chemistry? He can study it a lifetime and not master it all. He can study Physics, History, Geology, or any given study with the same result. The question then is how much of each to give.
We must not overlook the object of all education. It is not to erect the superstructure of the pupil's life, but simply to lay the foundation upon which he must build for himself. The object of the common school is not to turn out men fitted for every trade, industry, and profession in life, but simply to lay the foundation in the schools, upon which they can build any superstructure they may see fit, and which may be demanded by the world.
L. S. Thompson, of Sandusky, then read a paper on
SOME REASONS WHY DRAWING SHOULD BE TAUGHT IN OUR
PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Although drawing has found its way into many of our best schools, its entrance has not been undisputed, nor its stay entirely unmolested.
These facts, together with the conviction that drawing should find a welcome place in all our public schools, constitute a sufficient reason why the subject above announced should be considered by so progressive a body of educators as The Teachers' Association of Ohio.
It may be said that we have three classes of educators in our country. For our present purpose, these classes may be designated as follows: The Utilitarian class, the Disciplinarian class, and the Æsthetic class. In order that any new subject may be introduced into our schools and find a permanent home there, it must be shown that such study has a tendency to promote the views and aims of each of these three classes.
The Utilitarian class judges the worth of a study by its practical utility in every-day life. Of a new candidate for favor this class asks such questions as these:-0f what use is it? Will it enable its possessor to earn money? Can one, by means of it, win his daily bread any easier than without it? Will itgive its possessor power or influence in the world?
The second class of educators considers the disciplinary uses of a study of more consequence frequently than the knowledge gained. If a new subject for study is presented to this class for consideration or adoption, such questions as these are likely to be asked :-What effect will it have upon the powers of the mind? Will it strengthen these powers so as to enable the mind to grapple more readily with the problems of life? Will it increase the power of perception, conception, imagination, judgment, or reason? Will it assist the intellect in its onward march in the search of truth?
Previous to the admission of a new study the Æsthetic class inquires: What effect will it have upon the taste ? Will it increase one's love of nature? Will it strengthen a love for the beautiful in poetry, eloquence, or the fine arts? Will it have a tendency to polish the mind, gratify the fancy, move the affections, soften the rude or calm the boisterous passions ? In short, will it warm into activity the higher soul-capacities and thereby assist in elevating man to the highest degree of culture known or imagined in this life?
If the subject of drawing be rationally presented to any of these classes we shall have no fears of an unfavorable answer. The Utilitarian will readily acknowledge that there is “no person, whatever his profession, but, at times, has need of drawing to render his ideas more intelligible to others.”
"The absolute necessity of this art to the civil engineer, architect, carpenter, stonemason, machinist, engraver, fresco painter, “and in fact to every artisan, male or female, who is engaged in the construction of objects combining taste with fitness, or beauty with utility, must be obvious to all.” When still further the scarcity of skilled artisans is considered, and the demand for such, caused by our increase of mechanical and manufacturing establishments all over the country, the utilitarian will place drawing and designing at the very head of the list of his required studies.
Again the disciplinarian will readily admit that to draw an object one must observe closely, compare patiently one part with another, judge accurately of distances and forms, all of which operations taken together strengthens-sach powers of the mind as attention, perception, comparison, judgment, etc., etc.
The Æsthetic class has always regarded drawing as an aid in lifting the mind above the lower forms of enjoyment to those of a more rational character. It enables one to appreciate and enjoy with keener delight the beauty of the wild old forest, the cliff and mountain, hill and dale, lakelet and river, the stars set in the arch of heaven, cloud and rainbow. “It opens new fields of enjoyment, new powers of comprehension, and a broader basis for a correct. understanding and a sound judgment of whatever belongs to human experience.”
With these general remarks let us enter more into details. Let us consider the influence of drawing upon our ordinary school work. We believe that teachers themselves, from the fact, no doubt, that their attention has not been called to it, are not fully impressed with the value of drawing in our elementary educational course. They do not seem to understand that it is intimately connected with all other studies, and instead of robbing them of precious time, it is sharpening and toning up the faculties for the more ready acquirement of other knowledge.
Reading is the key to the storehouse of knowledge in these days of libraries, and must be taught in our schools. Since all who would enter the temple of learning must possess this key, anything that will hasten the process of teaching reading should be respectfully considered.
Drawiny does, assist in this process. How? In reading we are obliged to name words, which are definite forms, at sight. We recognize words by their general forms or shapes, and not by remembering that each one is composed of certain letters. Drawing trains the eye to distinguish forms quickly. Therefore it has a direct influence in teaching children to read.
We must teach spelling as well as reading, so long, at least, as the present orthography remains in use. Good spelling depends on a good memory of forms. “All printers read proof, spell, correct typographical errors, etc., not by language, or by remembering,” by the ear whether a word ends in tion or sion, or is spelled with 2, 8, or c, etc., but by the appearances of words—by the Eye instead of by rote-by FORM, not language.” “It strikes his EYE as correct or incorrect, not his ear.” Memory drawing educates and strengthens the power to recall forms and thus bears directly upon the teaching of spelling.
Writing is one of the most important of elementary subjects. Drawing is the elder sister of writing, and they mutually aid each other. The same quick eye and the same skilful hand are necessary in both.
Geography is not only a useful study but a refining one also. Not many of us can travel over the face of the fair earth, to observe for ourselves the shapes of continents, islands, seas, and gulfs. We must study maps. But experience teaches that gazing at maps only is not the quickest method of fixing the forms of countries in the memory. Neither is it best to commit to memory long and tedious word descriptions of capes, mountains, and courses of rivers. Next to travelling from place to place and observing the situations of cities, islands, lakes, and the courses of rivers, the best thing is to draw maps and locate these places on them. The child that can sketch the course of a river or coast line, does not need to load down its memory with a tedious description to be forgotten when it leaves school. Hence, the best teachers teach geography by means of drawing.
Drawing assists in the study of arithmetic. In the elementary stages of drawing many exercises are given in the division of lines and surfaces into a certain number of parts. Such drawing lessons make excellent object lessons. It is not only useful as a means of illustration to the eye, but it cultivates the power of attention or concentration, which is indispensable in the study of arithmetic. The power of concentration implies that of abstraction. The person who can abstract his mind from surrounding objects and concentrate it upon a complex problem, and hold it there until all the different steps are reasoned out, succeeds in solving such problem. The person who can only hold his attention while considering half the steps fails to solve such problem. The power of abstraction is the chief mathematical faculty, and probably no school exercise has ever been invented better calculated to lead the mind away from the concrete to the abstract, than that of inventive drawing, dictation drawing, and designing.
Geometry is the science of form. The first step in learning geometry is to notice the forms of things about us. Drawing forces us to notice form and renders the eye quick to notice differences of form. “The sec
ond step in learning geometry is to become able to imagine perfect forms without seeing them drawn.” Beginners in this study, without a training in drawing, generally find difficulty in realizing that the lines they see on a flat surface represent anything but lines. They fail frequently to see that a form or volume is represented. Dictation drawing directly cultivates this power of “seeing in space,” so necessary to the young geometrician.
The Latin, the Greek, and other languages, in which the meaning and relation of words often depend on minute differences in termination or inflection, are much more readily learned by those who have had the eye and attention cultivated by a systematic course in drawing.
Drawing is the handmaid to all the natural sciences. Botany, physiology, geology, natural history, etc., cannot be pursued in the best way without drawing. The drawing of the leaves, stems, fruits, and flowers of plants, the different parts of animals and the human body, serve to fix their forms in the mind better than it is possible to do it in any other way. The observation necessary to draw a form serves to impress that form in the mind and imagination, while the attempt to represent it by lines and shadows corrects errors of observation. A description of things in words gives the appearance of knowledge. An investigation of the real things yields real knowledge. Drawing forces us to this investigation. To draw a thing we must know. To know we must examine minutely.
The close connection which we have attempted to show exists between drawing and all school studies, may tempt some to say that any study helps all others. This, to a certain extent, is true. But we believe that no other subject than drawing, except language, is so intimately associated with all legitimate school work. Drawing is a language, a universal language, read and understood by all mankind of whatever nationality or tongue. And because drawing can be used to express our thoughts, it is destined to revolutionize our methods of teaching. Instead of requiring pupils to recite in some particular language, we shall more and more demand answers in this general language.
• More generally, let us consider the influence of drawing on several faculties of the mind. Attention, or the power of fixing the mind on some particular subject and holding it there, is necessary for success in the pursuit of all knowledge, or for success in any department of life. When drawing is properly taught the power of attention is directly cultivated. It is constantly making demands for close and continued observation. It requires accurate comparisons between different objects and the different parts of the same object. The repeated and agreeable exercise of this faculty becomes a fixed habit of the mind, in time, and is unconsciously used in all after life in reference to all objects of investigation, to the great advantage of its possessor.
When invention and composition in drawing, or simple designing, are taught, as they may be in our schools, they become powerful aids in the cultivation of the taste, reason, and imagination. When by simple and progressive exercises, children discover that they have the power to rearrange lines and forms already learned, and even to create new forms
and designs, the imagination becomes active, and the whole mind is aroused to greater activity in the pursuit of abstract knowledge.
Closely allied to this is the power of conception. Children should be taught to remember forms, and, by re-arranging them in their minds, encouraged to form mental pictures different from what they may have
From the formation of concepts of this kind it is only an easy step to the formation of concepts in other departments of thought.
It is this power of conception that enables a mechanic or artisan to see the form he would produce in the rude material in which he works. It enables the wagon-maker to see the axle-tree and other parts of a wagon in the wood from which he makes them. By this power the potter sees the beautiful vase in the clay before him, the stone-cutter sees the chaste form of the Ionic or Corinthian capital in a stone, and the sculptor sees the statue in the unshapely block of marble.
The higher exercise of this power is beautifully illustrated by an anecdote told of Michael Angelo, As he was one day rambling, in his holiday attire, with some friends, in an out-of-the-way street in Florence, he suddenly turned aside to what proved to be a block of marble, nearly covered with dirt and rubbish, and began to work upon it to remove the mire in which it lay. His friends seeing nothing but a worthless piece of rock, asked him in astonishment what he was going to do with it. “Oh! there's an angel in the stone,” was his answer, “and I must get it out." He had it taken to his studio, where with much patience and labor with the mallet and chisel," he let the angel out.”' " What to others was but a rude unsightly mass of stone, to his educated eye was the buried glory of art, and he discovered at a glance what might be made of it. A mason would have put it into a stone wall; a cartman would have used it in filling in, or to grade the streets; but he transformed it into a creation of genius, and gave it a value for ages to come.”
Teachers sometimes urge against the introduction of drawing that there is no time. We wish it distinctly understood, however, that drawing does not seek admission into our schools for the purpose of diminishing attainments in other branches of useful study, but as a handmaid to all of them, and as a relief from over-study. Parents sometimes complain that we as superintendents and teachers, have been driving their children through the mazes of reading, word method, phonic method, writing, spelling, mental arithmetic, written arithmetic, geography, object lessons, botany lessons, physiology lessons, physics, compositions, language lessons, grammar lessons, etc., etc., with a speed little, if any, less than dangerous to their health and constitutions. Drawing comes in not to increase this speed but to moderate it, by relaxing the mind and improve ing and enlivening our methods of instruction; by furnishing more for the hands to do while the excited brain is comparatively at rest. We plead then for the introduction of drawing in behalf of the children in our schools who are in danger of being overworked.
Having attempted to show that the study of drawing more than pays for its time and cost, in its favorable influence on the studies already in our schools, we shall now attempt to show that it is not only valuable inside of the school-room, but that, outside of it, it has a practical bearing