« PreviousContinue »
propriated. The essence of culture is not possession of information as one possesses an estate, but absorption of knowledge into one's nature, so that it becomes bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. It means the enrichment and expansion of the personality by the taking into ourselves of all that can nourish us from without. Its distinctive characteristic is not extent, buť quality of knowledge; not
scope of activity, but depth of life. It is, in a word, the process by which a man takes the world into his nature and is fed, sustained and enlarged by natural, simple, deep relations and fellowship with the whole order of things of which he is a part.”
So each and all may take the divine injunction of the Talmud:
"Not thine to complete the work, neither art thou free to lay it down."
Evolution of Education in Utah
GEORGE H. BRIM HALL, PRESIDENT OF BRIGHAM YOUNG
1–The Spirit with Which We Have Grown
The builders of Utah have worked under the inspiration of the thought that nothing is good enough that can be made better. Even in the days of isolation one thousand miles beyond the border line of civilzation the power of that idea was manifest on every hand. The people of Utah have always been in a state of healthy unrest. Not the unrest of the nomad, moving on at the approach of the first near neighbor; nor the unrest of the fidgety, fault-finding pessimist, but the unrest of up-and-at-it.
During the early days of Utah, progress was of necessity measured from within. There was nothing without with which to measure. We were in competition with ourselves alone, and yet things were done — great things. Within ninety days
DR. GEORGE II. BRIMHALL from the entrance of the pioneers, a school was started and in less than four years a university was chartered. The Salt Lake tabernacle, celebrated for its unique architecture and acoustic properties, and the Salt Lake theatre which has held rank as a first rate theatre for over half a century, were built; and, too, that marvel of workmanship, the Salt Lake Tabernacle organ, was produced when transportation was done by ox team; while the school house in the many centers of our colonial civilization stood as an evidence that this early isolated age was one of education, all around, practical, social, scholastic, and spiritual,
The mothers of that epoch had ambitions—not so much for themselves as for their children, and these ambitions were reenforced by the religious conviction, that education is salvation,it was part of their creed.
In our log cabin on the east bench in Ogden, my mother taught me to read and cipher. She kept well our humble home, caring for a quartette of little ones, even to the making of our shoes, while father was out in Echo Canyon blocking the way of the “Buchanan blunder expedition.”
There are some things we evolve from; there are others we evolve with. The evolution of our education has not been from this spirit of getting the best, but with it. The idea, inspiration and determination that gave the boy the best that could be given in the cabin home is with the aged matron today. She urges her grandchildren to attend high school and to go on to college.
The pioneer heroines and heroes are passing away, many of them are already in the Great Beyond, but each in turn has carried well the torch of educational inspiration to the end of his or her station, on the great relay race of life, where it has been seized by others, eagerly waiting for their turn to bear it onward at a winning pace.
The following incident illustrates that the spirit of “getting an education” is still dominant in the humble homes of our state.
A representative of an eastern publishing company tells the following story:
“I chanced to need entertainment in one of the towns in Sevier County, and sought it at one of the village homes. Early in the morning I found everybody at work, milking cows, putting up hay, etc. A little boy of seven attracted my attention in particular. “Why do you work so hard?" said I to the little seven-year-old who was raking hay. “To keep Hugh at school, was the reply.”
Hugh was attending one of the normal schools of the state.
Il—Evolution of the Educational Idea The idea of eternal progress is behind the evolution of education in Utah. Her pioneer founders stood on a spiritual platform into which was written these three educational ideas, “The glory of God is intelligence;" "No man can be saved in ignorance;" "Man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge.”
These ideas heralded from the pulpit, and taught at the fireside, naturally permeated the atmosphere of the school room. They have never lost their hold in Utah. They have culminated in the educational ideas that dominate today—that breadth of culture is preferable to breadth of domain—that winning without work is not worth while, and that usefulness is the progressive end of education.
Said Brigham Young, Governor of Utah, in the year 1852, in his message to the legislature, “Deplorable, indeed, must be the situation of that people whose sons are not trained in the practice of every useful avocation, and whose daughters mingle not in the hive of industry.”
Thirty-seven years ago Brigham Young founded a school, conditioning the perpetuity of his endowment on the teaching of the arts and trades in the institution. The educational idea that has put manual training into our common schools today, domestic science, the arts, and agriculture into our high schools, and made the State Agricultural College a center of industry, is not an evolution from pioneer thought, but an evolution with pioneer thought.
III—Evolution of Implements of Education
We have evolved from the tent to the log cabin; from the log cabin to the adobe building, and from the adobe building to palaces of brick and stone.
A little less than half a century ago, I attended school in an adobe school house, comfortable in the main, but of such quaint architecture that it was nick-named “the old gypsy with a pipe in her mouth," and really the resemblance justified the title.
On the 17th day of the first month of this year I had the honor of delivering an address at the dedicatory services of a fifty thousand dollar high school building in the town where once the adobe gypsy sat on her cobblestone foundation.
The basement of the old house had no windows, and was used as a cell where the big boys imprisoned the little ones during the noon hour. The basement of the new structure is a well equipped gymnasium and swimming pool. The playground of the old was two streets and part of a 12x12 lot; the campus of the new is a ten-acre field near the hill on which the magnificent building stands. We lighted the old with tallow dips and candles; the new is illuminated with electricity. The old was heated with a stove stuffed with wood and brush (I remember one cold day we all turned out and gathered weeds to feed the ancient furnace.) In the new the heat is furnished by modern radiation. In the old, sat the wooden bucket with the tin dipper in it; in the new the sanitary fountain gushes. In the old was the slab bench; in the new are hard-wood settees and opera chairs. Libraries and laboratories were things undreamed of in the old, while in the new provisions are made for both.
This is enough—let fancy do the rest, but we must confess that our educational realization in the matter of buildings and equipments has surpassed all idealization of half a century ago.
IV-The Evolution of the Curriculum The three R's constituted the early day essentials of education. There was little time for more. To this requirement subject after subject has been added until it is becoming a question whether or not a pupil has time for the three R's, in which event we have evolved from not with our fundamentals—a growth without advancement.
As we are little more than on the threshold of advancement with our secondary schools, very little can be said concerning the curriculum, except that the general trend is towards providing for the community needs and individual aptitude.
V–The Evolution of the Institution
"The University of Deseret, under the title of the Parent school, was opened for the first time on Monday, November 11, 1850, in Mrs. Pack's house, 17th Ward, under the direction and supervision of Chancellor Spencer. Dr. Cyrus Collins, A. M., a sojourner in the city, on his way to California, was employed for the time being to take immediate charge of the school. Later, Dr. Collins retiring, Professor Orson Spencer and William W. Phelps, and later still Professor Orson Pratt became preceptors. Owing to a lack of room the school was at first organized for 'young men only,' but a separate department for young ladies was contemplated. The tuition was eight dollars per quarter, half payable in advance. The second term of the Parent school opened in February, 1851, in the upper room of the Council House, corner of East Temple and South Temple streets.
"Forty pupils, male and female, were then enrolled, the idea of a separate department for ladies having been abandoned. Subsequently the school was held in the Thirteenth Ward, where the university building was projected. A few years later the Parent school collapsed, the common schools established throughout the city and territory being deemed sufficient for educational purposes at that time. Until the revival of the University in 1867-69 the common schools, so far as possible, supplied its place."
It is plain that from the beginning the educational institutions have been co-educational. Our higher institutions have fre