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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/135

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LITERARY NOTICES.

in this book; yet thirty-two species have been found in America and one hundred and ninety in Europe. Of these European spiders one hundred and sixty-eight were preserved in amber. In the course of this volume the author has been brought in contact with many of the modern problems of biology, lie has not taken sides in any controversies, but the facts that he has recorded concerning the araneads can not fail to throw light on some of the matters in dispute. His contributions to science, already notable, are made much more so by this splendid work; and when it is remembered that his observations have been made in the moments that could be spared from a busy professional life, his achievements excite wonder as well as admiration.

School Supervision. By T. L. Pickard, LL. D. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 175. Price, $1.

Not only superintendents and teachers, but all those concerned in the management of children, will find helpful hints in this volume. It is the outcome of twenty years of keen observation in the superintendency of schools, such excellent oversight that Dr. Harris writes of it, that "In the visits of inspection made to the principal cities of the country in the decade 1867 to 1876... he found no system to compare with that of Chicago while under the supervision of Mr. Pickard." The first subjects treated are the qualifications and duties of the superintendent in the State, the county, and the city. The work of the State Superintendent is largely advisory; he needs to be upright, broadminded, forcible, and judicial. The county superintendent comes closer to the schoolroom, while the city superintendent finds his chief duty supervision of instruction. The relation of the superintendent to pupil, teacher, parent, and Board of Education is considered in special chapters. In discussing courses of study, a vigorous argument for the high school is given. The author points out in the preface that his views of promotions and examinations have changed materially in later years. "Examinations appear too frequently as the end of schoolwork rather than as a means to an end. So prominent has been the error, and so ruinous its acceptance, that wise men are tending to an opposite extreme." Other important topics which receive attention are physical training, moral training, and government of pupils.

Two obstacles to the progress of the public schools are noted: "1. The large proportion of inexperienced teachers employed. 2. The lack of professional spirit." About twenty-two per cent of new teachers are required annually. The majority are women who make teaching a temporary matter rather than a life-work. To effect a change the superintendent must meet the old theory that "'competition determines wages,' with the newer theory that salary is attached to place and not to person, and, where places are vacant, the most competent persons available should be called to fill them without regard to sex." Professional schools are needed as well as advancement in normal schools. Among the means suggested for the improvement of teachers are teachers' meetings, the use of good periodicals, and "lines of study outside of school-work," such as scientific societies and summer schools afford. The book contains besides an index two appendices one in which a strong plea is made for moral influence in the school, and another devoted to a study of boys.

Hypnotism. By Albert Moll. The Contemporary Science Series. New York: Scribner & Welford. Pp. 410. Price, $1.25.

While this subject is doubtless still in its infancy, it has already engaged the efforts of so many and so able investigators, and has aroused such a wide popular interest, that no list of books on the science of the time would be complete without a treatise upon it. Dr. Moll's book is a survey of the whole subject, adapted to the general reader. The author passes over the history of hypnotism very briefly. His method of giving the reader an idea of the phenomena of hypnotism is by relating several experiments, and this leads to a short consideration of the methods of inducing hypnosis, who can be hypnotized, and what distinct stages of hypnosis there are. On this last point Moll accepts provisionally a classification lately published by Max Dessoir, dividing the states into two large groups, which