Excerpt from Minutes of the Ninth Annual Meeting of the New York State Examinations Board: Held at the University of the State of New York, Albany, December 5, 1914 It had, however, long been evident to many that European history, if it could be properly presented, was in its nature of more value to pupils in American secondary schools than the more narrow and intensive courses of ancient and English history. It was therefore decided to offer in the syllabus of 1910 a two-year course in modern European history as an alternative for ancient history and history of Great Britain and Ireland and so to arrange this new course that it would serve as an introduction to American history, after all the most important history for American pupils. In accord with this plan the syllabus of modern history included the European background of American history and the story of American explorations and settle ments; while the syllabus of American history was planned to begin with the Revolutionary period and continue, in the intensive field of American history, the study of modern history already begun.
Thus, in the interests of sound pedagogy and with care ful regard for time-economy, the syllabus committee of 1910 recommended an experiment. It was a real experi ment too, for there were no textbooks provided in harmony with the proposed plan and there were few history teachers who felt competent to teach the courses in modern history without textbooks. However, it was an experiment that could do little harm. The courses in ancient history and the history of Great Britain and Ireland were available as before for all schools that preferred them and the time saved by omitting colonial history from American history could more profitably be given to the study of actual government and the many civic problems that demand instant and intelligent attention of citizens.
The experiment of 1910 seems to have been justified by results. The syllabus of 1910 went into effect in January 191 I and in the year 1912, 1676 answer papers in modern history were written, in the year 1913, 2611 and in the'year 1914, 52 16. Thus in to years the number of pupils examined in modern history increased over 200 per cent, while the total number of pupils examined in all the fields of history and social science increased 4. 5 per cent. T 'ext books more or less satisfactory have now been provided and schools in largely increasing numbers are planning to adopt the new courses.
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