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[246] women in these schools there is no reason to suppose that they would surpass the present teachers in respect to education. It is certain that the average male teacher of forty years ago was inferior in this respect to the average woman teacher of to-day.

Tried, therefore, even by the German standard, there is no reason to suppose that the present arrangements as to teaching force in our schools could be materially bettered, with the materials now at command. But I am not afraid to go one step further and raise the question whether the German standard is absolute and final. I travelled once on the Rhine with a highly educated German, long resident in England, who used to say, when we saw the groups of demure little boys and girls going to school at eight in the morning, with their knapsacks of books on their shoulders, “That is what is stupefying the German nation; they are being drilled to death; they have no games, no lively sports, no vivacity; one wide-awake English school-boy is worth the whole of them.” He had never been in America; but we, who find the English children dull and slow to mature, compared with Americans, can make the needful addition to his statement. No one can deny the sure tendency of the German training to produce thorough investigators and admirable analysts; but, after all, our system, with all its faults, produces mental alertness, and theirs does not.

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