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tion is offered, And it is intended to be so thorough that it cannot possibly be sustained but by one who has thoroughly mastered the subject. She who sustains such an examination upon a study is at once recorded as a " passed" student in that study: e. g., she who sustains such an examination in aigebra is considereed a "passed” student in algebra. The number of such examinations which a pupil gustains in a year is the measure of her year's progress.
“But these examinations are not compulsory. No student is required to present herself for examination. And no pupil is encouraged to offer herself for an examination until in the opinion of the teacher she will probably sustain it. If she chooses to try, without such encouragement, nothing forbids. Each pupil may attempt as many and as few examinations as she pleases. If she succeeds, she receives due credit: if she fails, it is regarded merely as a proof that she has not yet mastered that particular study. She may study it more; and at the next examination try again.
“Under the common system of technical classification, a pupil's scholastic standing is popularly estimated by the name of the class of which she is a member. She is said to be a Senior or Junior. And yet it is notorious that in every such class there is a very great diversity of attainments. A few have mastered every topic which the class has studied; some have mastered a few things, and half mas tered others; some have really mastered no single study.
“In the Athenæum each pupil's standing is determined by what she has actually done. If she has sustained examinations such as prove a thorough mastery of bat a single study, the record shows this; if of ten, the record shows this; and so of any number. It may happen that no two of those who recite together in any given study have identical standing in other studies. Each pupil stands upon her owa merits, and is credited with what she actually accomplishes; this, and no more. And the measure of all results is an examination, open to all, but which none but those who have mastered the topic can sustain.
"This is obviously the system of equity. It gives each pupil a fair chance. The quick and strong may prepare themselves, and sustain eight or ten or more examinations in a year. The slow and feeble may wisely concentrate all their force upon fewer studies, and may count that a profitable year in which they have mastered what they undertook to master. That which is learned slowly is as truly learned, and is worth as much to her who knows it, as the same knowledge is to another who has gained it in half the time. The technical classification proceeds upon the as. sumption that they who cannot keep step with the class, at the fixed rate of progress, are dunces, and deserve to be sent home in disgrace. Great injustice is thus oftea done to minds of real worth. The Athenæum gives to such minds, as well as to the quick and brilliant, a fair chance. Each pupil may determine her own rate of PNgress. There is thus no clog upon the swift, and no unhealthful forcing of the slow. No attempt is made to compel a uniform rate of progress. A just regard is paid to natural differences of talent and natural differences of rapidity in mental movement, and to the differences in the power of physical endurance."
3. No diplomas are conferred merely in course, but only on evidence of attainment. The diploma is intended to be a testimonial to certain exact facts. The diploma awarded to one who has passed through the classical course is a testimonial that she has passed a rigid examination upon each study of that course : if
she has added some optional study, as Greek, one or more of the modern languages, or the accompliehments of music, painting; drawing, or the like, the diploma recognizes these special attainments. As the end sought in study is development and culture rather than mere scholastic learning, a system of equivalents is regarded as just and wise; and any substitution of one study for another to which it is deemed equivalent is stated in the diploma.
“Thus the mastery of certain studies of the classical course may be regarded as an equitable equivalent for certain omitted studies of the higher English course. And the masters of certain of the optional studies may be accepted as an equivalent for certain omitted studies of either of these courses. The essential thing is that she who receives a diploma in testimony that she has completed the higher English course shall have acquired the mental discipline, the st'ength and culture, which would have been acquired by a mastery of all the studies of that course. And so in reference to the diploma conferred upon those who complete the classical course, the essontial thing is not the means but the end, riz: culture, strength and grace. Special attention is called to this system of equivalents.
“Ample justice is done to those who do not complete either of the full courses required to entitle them to a diploma. When such a pupil leaves the institution, she is entitled to an appropriate certificate, which will state what studies she has mastered, be they many or few.
"It is believed that this system of testimonials will be regarded as an improvement. The technical diploma, conferred ‘in course' upon all who have been so many years members of an institution, is notoriously a very uncertain testimonial. What county school commissioner would accept such a diploma as suflicient evidence of fitness to teach a common school? It is claimed for the system here stated, that, while it deals justly with those who have mastered but a few studies, it rewards with deserved consideration those who have mastered many."
4. Absolute and not relative attainment is rewarded. The superintendent says :
“The trustees of the Athenaeum are utterly opposed to any use of the principle of emulation which tends to provoke unhealthful rivalry. A system under which the success of one precludes the success of another is mischievous. A system which rewards absolute excellence, by whomsoever attained, whether by one or many, is open to no such ovjection. Provided only that the reward be offered to all on the same conditions, and that the success of one be not bought at the cost of the failure of another, a system of rewards may answer valuable ends.
Such a system does not provoke competition of pupil with pupil, or mere emulation to excel others, but an enthusiasm to attain the highest excellence.
Holding these views the trustees have authorized the superintendent to offer a gold medal to all who reach a certain grade of scholarship. There will be two medals—a larger and a smaller. The former for those who reach the required grade in the classical course, and the latter for those who reach the same grade in the higher English course.
All examinations are marked on a scale of from 0 (failure) to 10 (perfection). The pupil who has sustained at least one-half of her examinations in the Athenæum, and
who is graduated with an average standing of not less than 9.7, will receive a gold medal. If she is graduated in the classical course she will receive the larger, if in the higher English course, the smaller gold medal."
5. “It is a peculiarity of the Athenæum that it neither provides nor desires a boarding department. It is not a boarding school.
Experience has shown that those Protestant parents who have entrusted their daughters to convent boarding schools have made a grave mistake. The content is not a home : its life is artificial : if it for the time protects from some erils, it es poses to others; and it contributes little to the development of a character competent to protect itself. Whatever accomplishments it may secure, it does not develop the practical wisdom and self-mastery essential to safety, usefulness and happiness.
Yet some of the most mischievous tendencies of convent schools are inseparable from the best Protestant schools, in which large numbers of young ladies are shut off, by the necessities of the system, from nearly all natural contact with society, A strictly family school, into which a few girls are received as members of the family, and in which they are under those influences, and no others, which are the atmosphere of a christian household, is one thing: an immense establishment, in which are gathered fifty, one hundred, or more, young girls, and in which they are subjected to a complicated system of artificial regulations, is another and a quite different thing. The former may be to some very desirable. The latter is a produet of our modern life, which seems to have originated in an at:empt to imitate, in arrangements for our daughters, the monkish system of dormitories in our colleges for young men. But the dormitory and commons system, so common and deemed so essential in American colleges twenty or thirty years ago, is passing away. The commons feature of the system, the practice of requiring all students to eat at a common table, is already generally abandoned ; and the dormitory feature is becoming more and more unpopular. Experience has demonstrated that family influence is far more healthful to body and to mind than that of any system which separates the student from contact with family and social life. And what is true of our young men is yet more important in reference to our daughters. The nunnery is not less mischievous than the monastery. God has made the family the nursery and sanctuary of all womanly excellence. If the child is to become a truly educated woman she has much to learn that books cannot teach. The formation and strengthening of correct habits, the lesson of self-mastery, competence to protect herself, practical wisdom in the ordinary intercourse of life, the knowledge of common things—these are ends of cducation of far greater moment than mere progress in book-learning at the cost of these. A vigorous, well balanced, and self-reliant character is far more likely to be formed in the atmosphere and amidst the daily experiences of a christian family, than in the best managed boarding school in which scores aud hundreds of all sorts are associated in compulsory daily contact.
Of course, this claim of the superiority of the family is certainly true only in those cases in which the family is a cultivated and christian family. When the Atheneum was instituted there was some fear that there would not be found a suficient number of fit families, who would receive girls as boarders. But happily this fear has proved unfounded. In such a place as Jacksonville, so distinguished for its general culture and its high moral tone, it is believed there will continue to be found, for all who desire them, safe and pleasant homes. A trial of four years has gone far to confirm the soundness of the principles bere set forth. With their
present views the trustees of the Athenæum would not accept, as a gift, a building of marble to be used as a boarding house for school girls. A home in a family is incomparably safer and better."
The above full statement and the abundant quotations will give the reader a view of the peculiarities of this institution. During the four years of its existence, it has had, successively, sixtyseven, one hundred and five, one hundred and thirty-nine, and one hundred and sixty pupils. The list of studies offered to pupils for their election is larger than in any other ladies' school in the State, including in Greek the Anabasis and Memorabilia of Xenophon, the Iliad, selections from the historians and the dramatists, Plato's Gorgias and the Greek Testament; these are named as evidence of the large scope of the courses offered.
The institution is not under the patronage of any sect, or attached to any in its interests.
By the organic act of incorporation the institution is placed on a broad catholic basis. The board consists of twenty-one members; and it is enacted “that not more than three of its trustees shall ever be members of any one religious congregation, and no sectarian or partisan test shall ever be held as a requisite for admission to any office or privilege of the institution.”
Years occupied in regular course of study.
.100 Number of pupils pursuing a partial course
40 Number of pupils in primary department
20 Number of pupils graduating during the year Whole number of graduates since organization of institution... Number of professors and instructors..
17 Value of buildings, furniture and grounds..
.$21,000 Value of apparatus....
500 Charge per annum for tuition in regular course.
40 Necessary incidental expenses, per annum, including board....
200 Average of total annual expenses, per student...
275 Date of annual commencement..
. First Tuesday of June.
GALENA FEMALE SEMINARY.
(Galena, JoDaviese Coanty. Founded 1966.)
Sarah L. Bailey, Principal. This seminary appears to be intended for a select school mainly for the benefit of the residents of the town in which it is located. A preparatory and higher department are embraced. From a report I quote as follows:
“Estimating our school not by amount of endowment, elegance of buildings, cost of apparatus, or number of professors and students, but by what it is doing for the development of its individual members, we think it may claim an honorable place among the higher schools of Illinois.”
In the words of the principal, “This institution is under the patronage of the Rock River Conference of the M. E. Church. It has partially or entirely educated over 3000 young men and ladies. Professors D. J. Pinckney and W. T. Harlow have each held the position of principal twelve years successively. This is the oldest literary institution in the northern half of the State." Students board either in the seminary or in the families in the place. The courses of study are a classical, a scientific and a preparatory, together with commercial, musical and ornamental de. partments. The classical course is designed to prepare young