« ForrigeFortsæt »
Foo Chow, Chengtu, Nanking, and Shanghai, as well as from Peking.
The Woman's College of Peking is an interdenominational institution, founded by the union of four denominational boards, and has graduated two classes.
There is an interesting and promising interdenominational movement in the Fukien province, which has made substantial progress toward standardizing the primary and middle schools, and is working upon a plan for an interdenominational university.
The Shangtung Christian University is another interdenominational institution which should be mentioned with considerable detail had we the time. It includes the American Presbyterian, English Baptist and Anglican mission boards.
There are some thirty different higher educational institutions in China that are interdenominational in their control, their faculties, and their students, and are serving all the missionary societies that join in their support and management with economy and increased efficiency. These institutions include universities, theological schools, medical schools, colleges, normal schools, schools for missionaries' children, and, in fact, educational institutions above the primary and intermediate grade, of every character, and some of the kindergarten training schools for the preparation of kindergarten teachers are supported and controlled by interdenominational bodies. This method of training and administration has passed its experimental stage, and reached a position where it commands the confidence of those who participate.
The Canton Christian College has been making decided progress the last few years, and has 418 students. Practically all the Protestant denominations at work in CantonBritish as well as American-are united in the work of the University Medical School affiliated with the college, and the spirit of unity is on the increase.
The Canton Missionary Conference has organized an Interdenominational Board of Coöperation, which is operat
ing as a unifying factor among the missions, churches and schools.
The South China Educational Association, "the membership of which is available to all, whether Chinese or foreigners who may be engaged in, or in any way connected with or interested in educational work," has established a Unification Committee, with a Unification Secretary, and is working successfully to secure uniform schedules and coördination in the schools associated. It issues a monthly bulletin, has monthly meetings, and many of the present problems of school management and of larger policy have had much light thrown upon them by the discussions before the association.
There are some denominational schools of high grade which are making excellent growth, such as St. John's University at Shanghai, Boone University at Woo Chow, and others. But the most notable developments are in the interdenominational institutions, and the trend of Christian education in China is decidedly towards the interdenominational university, with denominational and interdenominational technical schools and colleges, organically related or closely affiliated, strengthening the local administration, but keeping the determination of the larger policies and problems in the hands of the interdenominational boards in the home lands. There seem to be abundant reasons to justify this.
It eliminates overlapping, duplication, and harmful competition.
It secures coöperation, specialization of workers and work, economy of administration, and increased efficiency.
It broadens the field of activity for the institution, enlarges the constituency from which to draw students, multiplies the facilities for graduates to find employment, and gives increased opportunities.
It appeals to the loyalty and liberality of Christians in the home lands and makes possible the establishment, maintenance, and development of great Christian institutions; it secures to them the ability to maintain the highest standards of efficiency; it enables them to compare most favorably with the government schools in the breadth, variety, and
thoroughness of work offered; it guarantees the continuance of their Christian character; and simplifies the problems of governmental approach and recognition.
Business men desire that their investments shall have two qualities in particular, security and productiveness. Interdenominational institutions furnish both of these in large measure, and react with blessed influence upon the supporting Churches in the home land, reflecting the prayer of Our Lord for His disciples that they all may be one.
It has been a matter of astonishment to many that China, the oldest, largest, most conservative nation on earth, should have remained to the present time so slightly influenced by Christianity.
May it not be because Christianity has had neither the vision nor the spirit to properly undertake the mighty task? Christ took a little child and set him in the midst of His disciples as the hope and responsibility of the Church, and called His disciples to be laborers, to be laborers together, to be "laborers together with Him." When they recognize the possibilities of Christian education to so influence the children as to lay adequate foundations for the Kingdom of Christ, and possess the Spirit to undertake the programme with united effort, He will honor their labor with assured success.
NOTES AND REVIEWS
The Primitive Family as an Educational Agency. By ARTHUR JAMES TODD, Ph.D. Pp. viii, 251. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1913.
This is a study that should prove both interesting and profitable to anthropologists, sociologists and educators. The author was prompted to make it because of his interest in the changing status of the family. Being firmly convinced of the inevitable character of evolutionary change, and confronted with the cries of alarm at the apparent decadence of family life, he was led to inquire whether the family can change its form and function without injuring society as a whole; and whether, assuming the family to have been the basic educational agency and to be now losing this function, a more adequate and efficient educational system based on other social institutions can be devised (p. vi). In the answer to these questions he has given both a sketch of early family life and a survey of primitive educational methods. This he has done in a very clear and systematic form with an abundance, if not a superfluity, of concrete material much of it so interesting that the reader must beware that he does not forget the theme because of his entrancement in the sidelights of savage custom.
The author's main problem was therefore to inquire into the truthfulness of the doctrine that "the family is the first, most natural, most indispensable agency in education." His method is to array the evidence as revealed by a study of "Primitive Marital Relations," including (1) "Promiscuity and Group Marriage" (ch. ii), and (2) "Trial Marriage, Divorce, Polygamy" (ch. iii), Primitive Notions of Kinship and Relationship" (ch. iv), "Primitive Parental and Filial Relations" (ch. v).
Positing a "narrow range of primitive life interests," and the excessive conservatism, childlikeness, dullness of sensibilities, weak memory and hazy notion of self of the primitive mind he finds first that "the family is a strictly pragmatic institution" "rooted in physiology, economics and the mores" (p. 11). It is "a social not a natural institution" (p. 19), and its form was determined by the necessary conditions of self-perpetuation and preservation;
it preceded marriage (p. 21); it merged from unstable forms of cohabitation to more stable ones. Until a sedentary life was approximated, each sex being largely self-subsistent, the marriage relation was one of "intermittent promiscuity" (p. 35). Frequent group marriage, trial marriage, easy divorce and periods of sexual indulgence make it clear that the original sex relation was "promiscuity mixed with apathetic monogamous pairing" (p. 44).
Some of these conclusions will meet with disapproval by partisans of opposing views; but the author has usually presented some evidence pro and con principal propositions and striven to maintain a judicial attitude. Nevertheless he has not always succeeded in avoiding the appearance of dogmatism, as when he says (p. 46), "Premarital chastity is practically unknown, nor even conceived, among lower peoples."
The general result of this historical inquiry is the conclusion that the primitive family must have left the child without education, "or what is worse, with an education in rebellion, looseness, and egoism."
This conclusion is strengthened by data (ch. iv) on sex taboos, procreation myths, couvade, ideas of paternity, showing the feebleness of family bonds and their subordination to group ties; and by evidence on the quality of parental affection, on ignorance of child hygiene, on infant mortality, infanticide, the selling and the eating of children, and the lack of filial regard. Not only therefore was the family unstable, and the relation of parents to children lacking in certainty and stability but parents themselves were ignorant, insensible and temperamental so that the conditions of order and consistency of relations essential to education were wanting. The primitive family was therefore "rather biologic and economic than educational in its function" (p. 140).
The second part of the author's problem is to show that the group rather than the family was the principal agent in education. This is done by a study of the aims and content (ch. vi), methods and organization (ch. vii), of primitive education. It is found that in the lowest culture stages the child educates himself by a process of instinctive imitation. The controlled imitation, drill and superstition of a more advanced stage are regulated partly by domestic and partly by communal agencies; but exhortation is mainly public, whereas "the most important methods of all, ceremonies of initiation and tribal festivals, are distinctively public" (p. 216). Play at all stages of culture is a process of selfeducation.