Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/540

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approached the surface, and vastly extended the ocean domain by covering a broad region of the land surface with frozen water of almost oceanic depth. With this must have been associated a marked lowering of the level of the oceans, though to what extent it would not be safe to estimate.


THERE is a sturdy freedom in the Swiss character which is admirable in American eyes, and which seems to make the people grow naturally and easily into conditions closely approaching our own ideals. The soil is not so deep, to be sure, nor so rich, as it might be but for circumstances which the Swiss himself already sees and is taking measures to modify. It is interesting to note the progress of thought in Switzerland in the development of schools. Before the government was. thoroughly organized, there were all sorts of schools, loosely, if at all, connected with each other. Each canton, or state, had its own schools, however, thus forming a center of growth whose development may fairly illustrate that in every other state. Let us take Zurich. Here the principal school was one founded and cared for chiefly for the purpose of educating men for the ministry of the Church, in which, however, provision was also made for the study of the classics by those who had chosen some other life-work. This was the beginning of systemization; for this school rested upon those of lower grade, and was itself subordinate to a kind of council made up of its teachers, the leaders of the Church in Zurich, and four other men, churchmen or laymen. These latter were to be elected every year, with privilege of re-election, by a higher Educational Council, two from its own number, the other two at large. This council was composed of the burgomaster, two representatives of state, and twelve other men, eight of whom were appointed by the state Senate.

This condition of schools—there were in addition two for technical training—lasted until 1831, in the spring of which year a new state Constitution was drafted. This gave all authority in school matters to the Educational Council, which it reorganized in the autumn of the same year. It was to consist of fifteen members, appointed by the Senate. Three of these should be chosen from the legislative body of the state, half of the others with reference to their knowledge of and interest in the higher schools, the remainder with reference to the lower schools and practical pedagogics. This new council, under the conviction