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284 | School Law of Virginia....a
Entered at the Post Office at Richmond, Va., as Second Class matter. '
329 w. Main St.,
RICHMOND, VA. . Subscription price $1.00 in advance. , Specimen copies 10 conts.
WŃ. ELLIS JONES, PRINTER, TWELFTH ST.
A FULL EXPOSITION OF THE NEW TIME STANI
BE FOUND IN THE HIGHER NUMBER O
APPLETONS' American Standard Geographies.
LOVPREHENSIVE COURSE, IN Two Books, FOR GEADED SCHOOLS.
Xx. price. Int. price, ELEMENTARY GEOGRAPHY, . . $0 35 $0 55 , HIGHER GEOGRAPHY, V . . . 75 1 25
APPLETONS' ELEMENTARY GE
CONS' GEOGRAPHIES were constructed in accordance with the
views of advanced teachers. · LOLETONS' GEOGRAPHIES contain just the amount and kind of knowl.
edge on this subject that should be given in a school course. WDDLETONS' GEOGRAPHIES give especial prominence to leading indus
tries and commerce, and their relation to the physical conditions of the
country. . APPLETONS' GEOGRAPHIES introduce topics according to their logical
development, so as to make each step forward intelligible to the pupil. APPLETONS' GEOGRAPHIES combine beauty of illustration and typog.
raphy with every element of mechanical superiority. APPLETONS' GEOGRAPHIES retain the useful, discard the useless. APPLETONS' GEOGRAPHIES embody a natural and philosophical system
of instruction. APPLETONS' GEOGRAPHIES are up to date, statistically, artistically, and
educationally. APPLETONS' GEOGRAPHIES promptly records all geographical changes. APPLETONS' GEOGRAPHIES are, in the best and highest sense, the books
of the period. APPLETONS' GEOGRAPHIES have already become what-their title indi.
A specimen copy of Appletons' Higher Geography, containing the new Time. Standard, for examination, will be forwarded, post-paid, on receipt of the introdaction price. D. APPLETON & CO., Publishesr,
New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco.
Theoretically, a Normal School should be wholly technical ; that is, every feature in it should be pedagogical, as distinguished from academical. In order to realize this idea, however, there must be a thorough previous preparation of the students in the best schools of general learning.
It is now better understood than formerly, that the more liberal the general culture the abler will be the primary as well as the higher teaching of the trained teachers. In Scotland the primary teacher is often, if not generally, a University graduate. And the law requires that all examiners of teachers must be "professors in a Scotch University, or teachers of distinction in a higher class of public schools.”
This doctrine is based not only on the usefulness of varied and profound knowledge in throwing light upon the siraplest elements, but upon the fact that the best development of the teacher's powers results from a liberal education.
The technical branches of a Normal School are educational psychology, ethics and hygiene, the history and methods of teaching : school economy, and observation and exercise in practical teaching, all of which, in the present comparatively undeveloped state of pedagogics, might be comprised in a course of one year.
In order, however, that this ideal may be realized in a public school system, all the grades of instruction must be well provided for, not simply in form but in fact—that is to say, primary schools and high schools at least, if not colleges, must be everywhere within reach, and the instruction in these schools must be conducted by the most improved methods and in the most thorough manner. The graduates from such schools would require only a brief course of strictly professional instruction to fit them for the work of teaching.
It is thought that in some of our American cities this happy con
dition exists. Hence we find in Washington, New Haven, Boston, &c., Normal Schools, usually under the name of Training Schools, where the instruction is almost exclusively technical, in the narrow sense of the word technical. The school of practice is the chief feature, and the professional instruction consists largely of an elucidation of school-room methods.
A varying amount of didactic philosophy, however, is wrought into the course, and this, as well as other studies, is sometimes conducted topically, and on the University investigation method. The systematic order is avoided, and questions are propounded which the students are expected to investigate, and at recitation to elucidate. Colonel Parker has said some things which might be plead in defence of this plan.
The subject of Object-Teaching is magnified and employed as a means of introducing scrap-knowledge on a multitude of scientific topics. It seems to be an effort to embody Agassiz's and Huxley's views of science as the gateway of knowledge, and is carried to ridiculous lengths in a certain school supported by private means in Boston. This is, however, a mere travesty of the views of those eminent scientists. In some training schools, notably at New Haven, the objective method is ably employed in due proportion.
The theory of such city training schools as we said is right in its radical principle-namely, that independent thought should be culti vated by independent observation, investigation and reasoning; but in order that the resulting freedom or independence of mind may be rightly restrained or directed, it would seem that there should be less eclecticism of method, and more systematic philosophy. With a soundly constructed normal course, the city training school in such cities as those named might be strictly professional, because the students come from the high school after a long course of education conducted by good teachers, employing the best methods.
But such cities, even among cities, are exceptional, and they no not present the conditions on which a State Normal School anywhere can base its system of instruction. Nowhere have we found or heard of a State Normal School which could assume the previous education of its students.
The same conditions, differing only in degree, are found in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and other States, where public schools have longest existed, that are found in States new in the work of public education. Whilst in each State there are some centres where the preparatory education is satisfactory, and whilst the teaching in some States is better than in others, there is no State where the best teaching prevails so generally as to allow the Normal School to dispense entirely with studies which properly belong to other schools. The applicants come professing to have mastered certain branches, whereas in fact the most of them have mastered nothing that they have gone over, and have never pretended to study other branches which are taught in some grades of the public schools and in some places, and not in others, but which are properly regarded by sound educators as essential to the professional teacher.
Whilst an entrance examination is required in the primary branches, yet persons very imperfectly prepared even on these branches, whilst wholly ignorant of many other essential branches, must of necessity be admitted in order to have a school at all. The Normal School must, therefore, to a large extent educate its students academically, as well as professionally; for it is on these students thus educated and trained the State must chiefly rely for so improving the common schools that ultimately they will be able to furnish the necessary preparation for the normal course. In any view of the case the Normal School cannot afford to put its stamp upon an inferior product. Its diploma should mean thorough education as far as claimed.
The best State Normal Schools have different courses—not necessarily in regularly ascending grades-some regular courses, and others somewhat specialized, in order both to supply deficiencies in previous training, and to qualify for teaching special branches.
The Normal School law of Pennsylvania embodies the best established, though not universally received, sentiment of the country in respect to the courses of study which should be provided in a State Normal School. These courses are three in number-namely, the Elementary, the Scientific, and the Classical: the titles suggesting that the first is intended to qualify exclusively for teaching a primary school, the second for the teaching of science, including mathematics, and the third for general work in the high school. The last, however, or classical course differs from the scientific course only by the addition of Latin and Greek, with such omissions as will allow of attention to these studies without extending the time beyond two years, which is the period allotted to each course.
Whilst each course is embodied in a curriculum, there is flexibility enough to allow those who are already prepared on certain branches to substitute others, and thus shorten the period of study, and in order to accommodate such irregulars, graduation is allowed in the middle as well as at the end of each session.