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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the student trace the growth of progressive ideas through the different ages and combine this knowledge into one organic whole; instead of becoming possessed of a chaos of unrelated facts which may give general information, but can not be organized to afford intelligent direction to the efforts of the student who tries to meet the problems which confront him continually in his work. Surely there can be no broader study for the prospective teacher than to examine critically the great systems of pedagogical doctrine out of which our own has grown; such, for example, as those elaborated by Comenius, Rousseau, Basedow, Pestalozzi, Froebel, Herbart, Spencer, Mann, and others, and to profit by the successes and failures of these systems so far as they have been tried, and also to gain inspiration and courage from their exponents.

This in brief is what the normal school attempts to do for the professional betterment of those who seek its privileges. That there is great opportunity yet for growth every one admits; but no one who is in touch with the normal school will doubt that it is moving forward as rapidly as the law of growth of such an institution, conditioned as it is by the development of the school system as a whole of which it is a part, will admit; and that it is now filling a great mission (even with all its imperfections on its head) in improving the present condition of our schools, and pointing to higher and better things in the future, is amply shown on every side by the results of its efforts.

 

FUNERAL CUSTOMS OF THE WORLD.
By J. H. LONG.

A WRITER on the subject of the disposal of the bodies of the dead has said, "As there is almost nothing else so deeply interesting to the living as the disposal of those whom they have loved and lost, so there is perhaps nothing else so distinctive of the condition and character of a people as the method in which they treat their dead." It may be premised, then, that no custom stamps the standing of a people more clearly in the scale of civilization than does the care of the bodies of the departed. "People of a low and barbarous type carelessly permit the remains of the dead to lie in the way of the living, and there are a few instances in which the object of artificial arrangements has been to preserve a decorated portion of the body—as, for example, a gilded skull—among the survivors." The general tendency of mankind, however, has been to bury the dead out of the sight of the living; and various as the methods of accomplishing this end have been, they have resolved themselves into three