Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 48.djvu/747

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

ties he once enjoyed, and does not thereby gain any new ones.[1] A project to import twenty thousand negroes from Alabama and Mississippi into the State of Durango in Mexico has been definitely abandoned, after the payment of over one hundred thousand dollars for freight charges alone. The land companies will introduce Chinamen instead, and the outlook is correspondingly brighter. Every experiment but demonstrates more clearly that the negro is useless as a colonist, even for reintroduction into the tropics,[2]

By Prof. M. V. O'SHEA.

IT is perhaps safe to say, without attempting to enter into the question in detail, that there has scarcely ever been a time when intelligent people have not been concerned about what their children should be taught in the schools. Leaving the attitude of bygone ages out of view, it is apparent to a careful observer that in our own time and country there is marked interest manifested in the question. What materials of instruction are of greatest value to be employed in elementary education? The last quarter century has witnessed many and important changes in the curricula of the elementary school; new subjects have been introduced and old ones dropped, or less time and emphasis put upon them. The recent appearance of two of the most important educational documents of modern times,[3] both considering in the main the relative worth of branches of instruction; and the rapid growth of book and periodical literature dealing with the same problem, are indications of the importance which is being attached to this matter by all educators. Our educational gatherings, too, in every part of the country are largely given over to the discussion of this old but yet very new question; and not only teachers, but parents and statesmen take sides in the debates, some maintaining that the classic three R's furnish superior material for the scholastic training of childhood, while others believe that the many new subjects of history, literature, science, music, and art are better adapted to prepare our youth for the circumstances they will encounter when they leave the school-

  1. Jousset, p. 279. Waitz and others agree that the negro returning to Africa from America becomes liable to fevers from which his predecessors were immune.
  2. Vide letter in Boston Transcript, dated Mexico, August 11, 1895.
  3. The Report of the Committee of Ten, 1893; and the Report of the Committee of Fifteen, 1895.