Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/427

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By E. S.

IN our public schools are half a million teachers, of whom about four hundred thousand are women. Of these latter over half are spinsters or, according to official investigation and correspondence, have taught eight years and upwards. They have crossed the female dead line of matrimony, having reached the age of thirty.

The proportion of "old maids" is even more striking according to the estimate of school officials in some of our larger cities. In San Francisco, Pittsburg, Boston, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Denver, New Orleans, Nashville, Chicago and Cincinnati the figures run from 50 to as high as 80 per cent, with a general average of about 70 per cent.

These pedagogic conditions have grown upon us so gradually that we have not stopped to consider their significance. It is, however, an entirely modern development, really of the last fifty years. Less than half a century ago men formed nearly 40 per cent, of the teachers; they are now hardly 20 per cent. Some of the largest cities show still greater disparity between the sexes. In Boston and St. Louis, each, men are only 10 per cent, of the teachers; in New York and Indianapolis, 9 per cent.; in Cleveland, 7 per cent.; in Philadelphia, 6 per cent.; in Chicago, Detroit and Richmond, 5 per cent.; in Minneapolis, 4 per cent.; in Omaha, 3 per cent.; in New Orleans, 2 per cent., while Youngstown, O., has not even one man in her 188 teachers. Our centers of population are usually the most advanced in any social tendency and the small number of men employed in them may be taken as an indication of the drift of the whole country.

Throughout this paper it is to be remembered that to all general statements there are exceptions, both numerous and brilliant, and further that these theories of what is best to be done rest upon the interpretation that one investigator places on the data of the past, and the phenomena of the present, including testimony in the printed utterances of other workers in the same field.

The era of celibate education is on us and it behooves us to take our bearing to see whether we follow a safe course. For the male, we no longer have any doubt, he has been tried and found wanting. He dominated teaching for centuries as a celibate and now he is nearly displaced. It can not be said that he was superseded, because there were two sexes in the schoolroom as women were constantly engaged