« AnteriorContinuar »
spirit of the lesson at once. On the whole, it is very unsafe to take for granted that the necessary ideas are present; it is ever wiser to take at least a glance at the foundation, and in most cases to examine it closely, before proceeding to build upon it. The method here is entirely conversational; it Method con
versational. could not be otherwise, since each child is merely offering whatever he can bring to bear. It is well to arrange the thoughts given under headings, and frequently at the close of the step to recapitulate, in order that the exact amount accomplished may stand out and the pupils may thus keep their bearings.
This is often called the step of analysis as well as the first or the preparatory step. It is plain that this other name is in place, since in it the children are required to analyze the contents of their minds, or to separate a certain few ideas that bear on a special point from the many others which are in their possession.
HOW INDIVIDUAL NOTIONS SHOULD BE PRESENTED
atory step saves time here.
The first step prepares the foundation; this second adds a portion of the superstructure. In the first, those thoughts that bear on a certain topic are separated from the other contents of the mind, hence that is called the step of analysis: in this second the new thoughts are united with the old, hence it is called the step of synthesis. If the former has been successful, the latter will show the effects speedily.
Judged by common practice in teaching, the first step involves great loss of time, for instruction usually commences with the second. But as soon as one begins presenting the new concrete facts, the effect of a good preparatory step shows itself by allowing much more rapid progress than is otherwise possible. The children, being able to comprehend the topic in hand, and being also interested in it, are much more on the alert than otherwise, and can digest more rapidly whatever is offered. Also it is unnecessary to interrupt the instruction by long explanations, and by detours to hunt up related experiences; consequently the time is occupied more completely by the advance instruction.
The same reasons hold for the statement of an aim Necessity of
an aim. in this step as in the step of preparation. That is, an aim will concentrate attention and furnish a motive for active thinking. The fact that it makes the child conscious of the course he is pursuing, and thus prevents unexpected discoveries, is greatly in its favor. While it is an excellent thing to make discoveries, it is much better that they be dimly anticipated than that they be entire surprises. Students of all ages should realize which way they are bound, and if they comprehend the situation so well that they foresee what is likely to come, it is a very encouraging sign. In fixing the aim the same precautions should be observed as have been discussed.
The form of presentation, that is, the way of get- Form of ting at the facts, may vary greatly. The children
presentation. may hear a story and discuss it; they may read a selection, study a map, or a geography lesson, in the book ; they may examine and sketch a flower; they may interpret and work out a set of problems in arithmetic, or perform a suggested experiment, or study the conjugation of a verb, or examine and discuss the objects of a science lesson freely with the teacher. So long, however, as the class is engaged in acquiring new and concrete subject-matter, it is always the second step of instruction.
But while there is so much variety in the form of recitation, it is due rather to variety in the subjectmatter taught than to difference in the methods
allow the facts that are to be learned to be first presented through a text-book; she prefers to develop facts and conclusions by conversation with the pupils. The nature of this method and its difference from the text-book plan were suggested in Chapter II on illustrative lessons; other examples will reveal its characteristics more clearly still. Frye's “Primary Geography,” page 108, states the following facts in regard to the British Isles :
“In the British Isles there are vast beds of coal and iron. Near these many great workshops have been built. People of the British Isles weave into cloth fully one-third of the raw cotton and wool raised in the world. They also produce one-third of the iron and steel. Their ships carry on one-third of the commerce. To the British Isles the United States sends cotton, grain, meat, tobacco, copper, and many other products. Which of these are needed for the workshops ? Which are used for food? The British Isles send to the United States iron and steel goods, cotton, wool, and cloth, silk, and many other articles from the workshop. London, on the Thames River, is the chief seaport and railroad centre of the British Isles. It is the largest city in the world. The greater part of the trade of the United States is by way of Liverpool, a city near the west coast. Scotland is noted for its iron and steel ships. They are built on the Clyde River near Glasgow.”
The text-book method allows these statements
to be studied before the recitation period begins, and then to be talked over in class until they are sufficiently well understood and impressed upon the mind. In the developing plan the book would not be used at first; the following might be the nature of the conversation that takes place in the class, the teacher beginning thus:
Many years ago it was discovered that there was an abundance of iron ore in England (showing where). Also a great quantity of coal was found in certain places (use map). So much being true, what might follow? When people have plenty of iron ore and coal, they can make pig-iron and all sorts of things from which iron is made; for instance, nails, screws, hatchets, axes, ploughs, rails, locomotives, all sorts of machinery, cutlery, iron ships, etc. What effect would that have upon the number of people to be found in the region where these manufactories exist? Large cities would spring up. Thus Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Nottingham, and Glasgow, which you will find on the map.
Since so many people are engaged in manufacturing, what would be done with the articles that they make? They cannot use them all at home. Then what will be done with them? Some of them must be sent away to other countries. What, then, will be some of the exports of England ? Rails, engines, etc. Through what ports would they be likely to leave England ? (Examine map frequently.) It