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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 51.djvu/773

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FREE-HAND DRAWING IN EDUCATION.

beaten in upon the mind, and in most cases have been yielded credence without question or reasoning.

Finally, at the peril of tediousness, let me repeat, belief is a vital function. Whatever arouses and stimulates the active nature, looked at from the physiological or psychical point of view, helps to awaken and further belief. The forces that we call life make for belief. We all want to believe. Primitive credulity is an experience for us all, and it is just this vital side of it that accounts for our tendency to accept rather than to reject. So long as belief remains an active function, and so long as life remains a bundle of functions united to delight in their activity, we shall have a healthy desire to believe rather than to doubt.

 

FREE-HAND DRAWING IN EDUCATION.
By H. G. FITZ.

MR. CHARLES WHEELOCK, Head Inspector of the Regents of New York State, voicing the opinion of fifty-five hundred teachers in this State, says, that for the twenty years during which drawing has been a part of the curriculum of the public schools, "the results are not much of anything."[1]

This statement, coming from such a source, is worthy the careful attention not only of teachers, but of all taxpayers as well. If true, it seems that for each child in the public schools of this State about forty hours a year are wasted; this means an aggregate of years of time and thousands of dollars.

The Art Students' League of New York city gathers pupils from most of the States in the Union. It stands second to no art school in America. Mr. Henry Prellwitz, a well-known artist of this city, and instructor of the portrait class at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, N. Y., has for some time past been Director of the League, and has had ample opportunity for studying the work of those admitted to the classes. His opinion is that "applicants who have been trained in other than pure art schools have received no benefit from their lessons in drawing; their efforts have been misguided, the undoing of which results in loss of time, and their progress is less rapid than those who have received no such previous training." Mr. Edward A. Bell, a well-known figure painter, who was awarded the bronze medal at the Paris International, also second Hallgarten prize at the New York Academy of Design, who has had several years' expe-


  1. School Journal, June 10, 1896, p. 728,