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OFFICERS AND COUNCIL, 1903-4
F. S. EDMONDS
CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL, PHILADELPHIA
E. H. CASTLE TEACHERS COLLEGE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
A. C. HOWLAND TEACHERS COLLEGE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
H. V. AMES
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
EUGENE W. LYTTLE
REGENTS' OFFICE, ALBANY
W. H. MACE
J. H. VAN SICKLE
JULIUS SACHS TEACHERS COLLEGE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
The next annual meeting of the Association will be held at the Washington Square buildings of New York University, New York City, March 10 and 11, 1905. The program includes a paper on the history curriculum in the grammar schools, the second report of the committee engaged upon the history curriculum in the secondary schools, and a discussion of the relation of history and geography by Professor Stevenson of Rutgers College, and Professor Brigham of Colgate University. A more detailed statement will be sent in January to any who may desire it.
Suggestions concerning the work of the Association will be welcomed by the officers of the Association.
Membership in the Association entitles one to the minutes and to all announcements. By order of the Council an extra large edition of the minutes has been printed. Members and superintendents and principals of schools who desire the minutes in quantity may obtain them at cost so long as the edition lasts.
All persons interested in the study or teaching of history may become members of the Association upon payment of the annual fee of one dollar.
The Second Annual Convention was called to order by President Lucy M. Salmon at 2.30 o'clock, Friday afternoon, March II, 1904, in Houston Hall of the University of Pennsylvania.
After a few cordial words of welcome to the University and its hospitality by the Vice-Provost, Edgar F. Smith, Ph.D., Sc.D., the President spoke briefly as follows:
THE WORK OF THE ASSOCIATION
The wise man whose observation led him to realize that of making many books there is no end would to-day be absorbed in the contemplation of the many associations that spring up by day and by night, and threaten to exceed in number the products of the press.
But organization is not new, although its recent development has been most rapid. The church, very early in its history, began to develop systematic co-operation in its work. Politics have been organized with the progress of universal suffrage. The organization of industry has been one of the phenomena of our own days, while education, always a laggard, has later fallen into line. Not only masses of men, but even individuals as individuals, are organized.
The lecturer is managed by a bureau; the author is surrounded by stenographers, secretaries, copyists, and mimeographers; the preacher is syndicated and gramophoned; the scholar, whom literature once depicted as burning the midnight oil in solitude, has become the man of affairs, who makes afterdinner speeches and attends committee meetings and smokers.
The individual has indeed apparently ceased to work singlehanded and alone, and has become a cog, a wheel, a larger or a smaller part of a great machine. As each year he is pressed to join new associations, as each year his dues increase in number and sometimes in amount, as his time is more and more absorbed by meetings and conferences, a sense of helplessness comes over him, and he feels that he is borne on by a current he is powerless to resist.
When, then, a new association presses itself on the attention of those who already feel the burden of membership in existing organizations, well may the cry arise, “Cui bono"!
An answer to this question is possible only through an inquiry into the condition of history teaching in this country, before the development of organized effort.
It is just twenty-one years ago that the first co-operative attempt was made to improve the teaching of history in America. It was in 1883 that President, then Professor G. Stanley Hall, who had undertaken the editorship of a pedagogical library, stated that history was chosen for the subject of the initial volume because, after much observation in the schoolrooms of many of the larger cities in the eastern part of the country, he was convinced that no subject so widely taught, was, on the whole, taught so poorly. The volume published comprised a translation of Diesterweg's Methods of Teaching History with additional chapters contributed by six distinguished university professors or writers of history.
It was the beginning in this country of co-operative work in the study of the teaching of history, and as such is entitled to lasting memory, even though the work is half forgotten; and it is at least a question whether any of the contributing writers would to-day give the same content to his article as that which he gave it twenty-one years ago.
The appearance of Diesterweg has been followed by that of the great classics on the subject,-Freeman, Bernheim, Altamira, Langlois and Seignobos, and Letelier. These in turn have been the precursors of a large number of works of a somewhat less permanent character,-all dealing with the nature of history and its treatment in the lecture-room. These have been indeed, with a single exception, the result of individual, rather than of co-operative effort, but they show an awakened interest in the study of history and an appreciation of its importance.
It was the spirit of co-operation that led to the conference of the Committee of Ten at the University of Wisconsin eleven years ago, and that led to the subsequent Columbia Conference and to the appointment of the Committee of Seven. It has been the interest in history, awakened in part by the reports of these and other committees, that has led to co-operative work in the formation of the association of the history teachers of New England and of the North Central States; of Nebraska, California, and of Indiana; of Chicago and of New York City; and to our own Association of the Middle States and Maryland. Underneath all of these organizing efforts there is found the same principle of federation that has characterized our political system, and through which all that is best in our political life has been accomplished. Isolated individual effort is the ineffective centrifugal force, the concentration of all effort in one person is the overmastering centripetal force—the balancing of these centrifugal and centripetal forces through co-operation results in that perfect circle which is the aim of all educational organization.
What have been the fruits of these past years of united work?
A consistent, logical course in history has been planned for the secondary schools, and it has been already widely adopted. In the place of detached isolated courses given haphazard in unchronological order, we have a course based on the theory that history is the study of developments.