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home-work the habit of industry in brain work, a habit the possession of which is the surest guarantee of diligence in after life. It may be said, in reply, that these things may all be accomplished by study in school under the direction of the teacher. We believe not so. The experienced instructor will agree with us that the surroundings in the school-room, the large number of students, the constant change from study to recitation and the reverse, the very presence of the teacher and the reliance of the pupil on his constant help and direction, all tend to prevent that concentration of mind, that ab. straction, so needful to successful mental acquisition. — Pacific School Journal.
"The High Schools stand on the ground between the College and the Common Schools -between the head and the hands, which are thus united. The High Schools have the American mark of the almighty dollar on them. They produce men whose brains are well qualified to assist their skilled hands, and therefore bring forth the most effective kind of labor, and annually save the country 200 per per cent. more than it costs to educate them. The High Schools are the broad middle ground into which every avenue of society enters.”—Prof. T. H. JOHNSTON, Cleveland, O.
Economy of Time in Schools.
This can be accomplished by the following methods : (1.) By eliminating from the course of study, not any one perhaps, but parts of subjects unimportant in themselves and unsuited to the age, capacity and wants of the respective classes. (2.) By a more liberal supply of materials necessary to secure the most effective work. (3.) By a more judicious use of time. I do not propose to speak in detail of the first and second methods, but only of the third. In my visits from school to school nothing is more noticeable than the difference in real value between the work done in a given time in one school and that done in another. One teacher has methods by which he holds every member of his class to the work before him, while another with different methods commands the attention of only a few at a time. One teacher understands the importance of effort concentrated upon a given point, gaining which other points are easily secured; another gives to each topic an equal amount of time and thought. Let me be more specific. In one school I heard a class read forty-five minutes, each scholar reading in turn. The school was orderly and quiet; but it seemed to me that the benefit derived from the exercise was chiefly that gained by each scholar from reading his own paragraph. In another school I heard a class read thirty minutes. This class was arranged in two divisions, and a part of the reading was in concert. The teacher called for the reading as follows : “ John
Mary—first division--second division--Susan--class—James,” and so on, calling, perhaps, the same scholar several times. Each scholar and division promptly read when called on. I will add that the concert-reading was confined to one or two sentences at a time, the principal object in its use being to secure attention. Can there be any question which of these exercises is the more profitable? In my judg. ment, more was accomplished in the thirty minutes than in the forty-five.
In teaching spelling, time is often wasted, both in study and in recitation, upon words seldom if ever misspelled. A child would probably spend as much time in the study of the word exploration as in that of preparation, and yet three hundred scholars belonging to different schools, writing these words without study, failed on them in the ratio of one to thirty-two. On the words refreshment and especially, the failures were as one to sorty-six. Teachers should know by repeated tests what word requires careful study, and should by some method indicate these to their scholars in arranging lessons. Spelling-books should be arranged with this in view. The spelling of difficult words can be more securely fixed by writing them every day for a week than by writing them the same number of times at intervals extending through months. Let me not be understood, however, to favor the spelling of diffi. cult words unless they are in common use.
The same principle is true with reference to fixing the pronunciation of certain words. Many words are mispronounced all the way through the different grades of schools. To correct these errors when they occur does but little good; they are not the result of ignorance, but of habit. A list of such words should be prepared by the teachers, that special drill may be given upon them.
Classes are often detained too long at a time upon a given subject. Work in arithmetic is often confined to practice under one rule for days and perhaps for weeks. A better way would be to be constantly advancing to new work, and at the same time keeping in view the old. A lesson of ten examples all in division is not so profitable as one which contains two examples under each of the preceding rules and four in division.
Punctuation and the use of capitals may be taught incidentally better than by set lessons. A class may be reading the following passage, to which I happen to open : “ This increased the suspicion of the French, and when France and England arrayed themselves against each other in the Old World, in the war of the Austrian Succession, their American colonies at once followed their example. The struggle was here known as King George's War.'” After reading this, let the scholars close their books and express their opinions as to the capitals and punctuation marks to be used; then re-open them and compare their own views with the passages as printed. Such an exercise will take but a few minutes, and will tend to make scholars more obsery. ing as they look at the printed page.
A supply of short stories for Primary Schools and “ Cards of Information” for Grammar Schools, both to be used for silent reading, would be another means by which a waste of time might be prevented. It often happens that individual scholars finish their work before others of their class. These stories and cards could be used to occupy such unemployed time.-Selected.
THE NORMAL INSTITUTE AT WYTHEVILLE.--We had the pleasure last week of a visit to Wytheville and the Normal Institute in operation there. We found about two hundred and fifty teachers and three county superintendents assembled, though the total enrolment amounted to two hundred and eighty-three teachers and nine county superintendents. The sessions were held in Sexton's Hall, and the entire body was worked as a single class. Professor E. V. De Graff, of Washington, D, C., and Professor W. B. McGilvray, of this city, conducted the exercises, dividing the subjects of instruction between them. The course embraces instruction in the best methods of teaching the branches required in the common schools, and the best methods of discipline and of school management in general. The teachers are very earnest in their work and seem determined to make the best use of their opportunities. The instructors are skilled, faithful and diligent. A number of general lectures on interesting themes have been delivered by members of the Institute and visiting educators. We had the pleasure of hearing an interesting and instructive lecture on “The Sun” by Professor W. A. Obenshain, of Ogden College, Ky. Professor F. V. N. Painter, of Roanoke College, Professor T. N. Conrad, of the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College, and others, are expected to take part in the work. The county superintendent, Major W. G. Repass, has been untiring in his efforts for the comfort of the teachers. The citizens generally have given them a cordial reception. The large number of teachers present and the increased interest of the public in Normal Institutes augurs well for the future of public education in Virginia. Professor De Graff's engagement closed August 2d, and he returned home, leaving Professor McGilvray in charge. The Institute will close August 12th. At an examination of applicants for scholarships in the Nashville Normal College, eight applicants presented themselves. The examination was conducted by Superintendents Repass, of Wythe, and Obenshain, of Botetourt.
We were much gratified at the uniform testimony we received as to the value of the JOURNAL to the teachers individually, and as to the increased interest in school work and the greater efficiency of the schools in those counties whose teachers are counted among its constant readers.
THE MEETING OF THE NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION AT MADISON, Wis.—We copy from the Wisconsin Journal of Education the following account of this grand meeting. The accounts which we have seen indicate that it was a complete success. Virginia was not represented largely. We have seen only the names of Dr. J. L. M. Curry, President J. D. Dreher and a few of our teachers. President Bicknell and his corps of energetic assistants are to be congratulated on the gratifying results of their work:
It was, indeed, a great convention. The most sanguine expectations of the promoters of the meeting were fully realized. There are, of course, no possible means of determining with accuracy the number in attendance; but these facts remain : Twenty-five hundred annual memberships were taken during the week; a large num. ber of life and annual members previously enrolled were present; a large number bought excursion tickets upon some lines of railways which did not require them to be stamped by the Association to make them good for return, and a good many of these who were present did not pay the fee and join the Association. Probably not less than five thousand people were in attendance quite constantly, and perhaps nearly as many more were transiently in the city on account of the meeting. The weather being exceptionally cool and pleasant, comparatively little discomfort was experienced by the vast throng which crowded every meeting, filled the corridors and rotunda of the Capitol, all the new wing devoted to the exhibit, and overflowed into Capitol Park, upon the lakes, and to the dells of Wisconsin, and other resorts not far from the city.
Financially, the results were equally gratifying. The National Association for sume years has been struggling with the effort to promote interest in, secure attention to, and disseminate information concerning the facts, fundamental principles and essential practical features relating to public education, with very limited means wherewith to meet expenses. A few leading and generous members have annually contributed largely of personal means to pay the balances. At the close of the meeting last year at Saratoga the Association was six hundred dollars in debt. At the close of the meeting in Madison this year the Association pays up all debts and expenses and leaves with four or five thousand dollars in its treasury for an endowment fund. That tells the story of financial result.
The social features and spirit were admirable. There appeared to be a strong determination to get acquainted one with another; the delegations from several States wore badges indicating the locality from whence they came, and the National Association furnished badges as far as practicable to all members. These served as a sort of introduction. Ease and absence of reserve were noticeable, as well as a most commendable taste and propriety in dress and manners, without attempt at display or ostentation. It was a company of thoroughly earnest, thoughtful, intelligent people, with definite purposes, in which each recognized in every other the counterpart of himself.
The direct Association work was of great variety and interest, and of very high character. The men and women who presented papers and participated in the discussions were in the main persons of distinguished ability, wide reputation, and high character. By no ineans in entire agreement upon many of the great problems of public education, the great purpose seemed to animate all to so clearly and fully present the view entertained that the public can make just comparisons and discrimina. tions and form right conclusions. Almost every phase of public instruction received consideration. The problem at the South was exhibited more completely than ever before; no more effective, popular or able addresses on this subject were given than those by representatives of the colored people, and they spoke from the same platform with the representatives of the other extreme of Southern society.
The Indian question was presented both by laborers among the Indians in their homes and in the schools where they are gathered for instruction and civilization, The presence of a class of sixteen from the Santee Agency school, Nebraska, added greatly to the interest of the discussion of the needs and possibilities of that race.
The simultaneous meeting of the Froebel Institute called out in force the friends and champions of the kindergarten ; and the principles and philosophy of that sys. tem, and its relation to the public schools, as well as its educative value, were discussed with great ability and vigor.
Elementary education, art education and normal school work each received due attention, and called forth papers and discussions that were instructive, inspiring and helpful.
Perhaps no subject elicited greater interest or provoked sharper and more critical debate than that of industrial or manual training in public schools. Several gentle. men participating in the debate on that subject have had long experience in technical schools, wide observation in American and foreign schools, or have made the subject of education a matter of study, investigation and thought, from the standpoint of the psychologist, physiologist or citizen, and are very wide apart in their views on the subject. The sharp challenge of every fact presented, of every position assumed, and of every deduction from experiment, made the meetings on this subject instructive, entertaining and profitable in the highest degree.
The exhibition of school products and school work, although not an integral part of the Association, was a large, attractive and interesting feature of the occasion.
As a matter of course, the partisans of industrial education and manual training were on hand in force, and certainly made a most impressive exhibit. Schools in every part of the country were represented by handiwork, and specimens ranging from a wooden hatchet to a steam engine in actual operation were displayed. The work of the girls as well as boys was shown, and the schools for feeble-minded chil. dren, for the blind, and deaf and dumb, of various States, were included in those making displays. The department of drawing, free hand, industrial, inventive, architectural and mechanical, was a marvelous revelation of possibilities in that direction, and the quiet, but exceedingly great change that is going on in the public schools in relation to the matter.
The display in connection with the Froebel Institute of the work of Kindergartens attracted throngs constantly, and represented work in this department in institutions from Boston to San Francisco, and even from across the sea.
The readers of the Fournal can testify that in its pages very little was said in advance of this exhibit. The fact is, we had great fears that it might turn out to be a great collection of rubbish, of little interest or value educationally. We confess to a great and agreeable disappointment. The director, Hon. J. H. Smart, President of Perdue University, undertook the work independent of any responsibility to or by the National Association, and by his wise, untiring and persistent effort, aided by the efficient lieutenants called to his assistance, produced a display which commanded universal praise and admiration. Iowa and Indiana did grandly as States, Minnesota following closely.
Altogether, the gathering was one long to be remembered. Teachers and workers from every portion of this great country have stood face to face, touched elbow to elbow, as they formed along the lines of mutual interest and co-operative effort. The inspiration given and received cannot be overestimated in its value. Henceforth no one present can go about his work without a consciousness of being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, who will look for better work, more intelligent and discrim. inative application than was possible before, and of being supported by an army of earnest, able, high-minded men and women engaged in the same calling.
Ay institution of which all Americans feel proud and in which so many are directly interested is the NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY OF Music which begins its Fall Term under the most favorable auspices. In its NEW Home which has ample accommodations for 500 lady students, it has been a gratifying success. 1971 students representing 49 States, Territories, the British Provinces and Foreign countries have been in attendance during the past, with every prospect of an increased number for the coming year.