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Journal of Education
Wisconsin News and Notes-Washington and Lin-
Midland Schools. We have taken the critical
comment because we discover nothing new in
Teachers' and Parents' Meetings.
quaintance, getting out of the ruts, and re-
Waste in Education - The Recitation—The County
is very great. Our problem is how to make the
institute additionally valuable; and one of the
SUMMER SCHOOLS will soon begin to receive library and how to use it a practical exercise;
some form of exercise in which they are lead-
ers to present a topic; to introduce singing
PROFESSIONAL training is now required by
law for all classes of teachers in Wisconsin
Aspirants at the county exam-
inations have a test of some sort in the theory
RURAL SCHOOL TEACHING. must be added. College graduates alone may enter the field without any preparatory study Rural schools have become differentiated of the principles or the art of instruction and from city schools by the operation of forces so management. Whether they come from our powerful that they perhaps may be called perown institutions or from colleges without the manent. We look to see a great extension of state, they alone are required to present no the influence of the city thru the development evidences whatever of professional qualifica- of better roads, of electric railways, of teletions. The defect is the more striking be- phones, and other appliances, but we do not cause they are for the most part aspirants for see how this difference is to be overcome in the most influential and highly paid positions the schools. We are not sure that it ought —for principalships—the headships of depart- to be.
to be. Too great uniformity in schools is to ments in our largest schools. Many of them be deprecated as tending to reduce our society have such qualifications because the best col- to a monotonous level. Rather it is desirable leges now provide pedagogical instruction, but that city systems should become diversified, the law does not require such. It is ob- as they certainly tend to become by the vious that this defect ought to be remedied in development of manual training schools, justice to others as well as for the sake of the commercial schools, and so on. The rural schools.
school, therefore, ought to be accounted a HIGH SCHOOLS have for some years been giv- permanent and peculiar institution, and given ing some instruction in teaching, usually under
a character of its own suitable to its condithe title Theory and Art.
tions. A good deal has
We are much concerned just now with been learned in these years about the nature
its weakness and stagnation, evils which cerand limitations of the work. It has, for ex
tainly ought to be overcome, and can be overample, found its place in the course of study,
come only by wise and vigorous efforts; but it which is effectively in the last year of the
should be a part of this effort to define more English course. Most of those who teach in clearly what are the proper aims of such the common schools follow this course, and
schools, and to devise means for realizing students in other courses who wish can take the
them. study as an extra. While this study has done
One obvious consequence of recognizing considerable service, it has not been wholly
their distinctive character is that those who satisfactory. One reason is that a satisfactory
are to teach in the rural schools require spetext-book is not at hand; but a more potent
cial training for their work. We have been one is the traditions of the high schools.
advancing rapidly of late in the differentiation These are abstract and bookish, while such
of the kinds of teaching. It is now rare ininstruction needs to be, in part at least,
deed for a primary teacher to become assistconcrete and real. Observation and discussion
ant in a high school; the experience rather of actual grade work has been almost wholly disqualifies than helps towards such a post beneglected. There are difficulties about this cause of the unsuitable habits and views which of course, but none which cannot be overcome
it begets. More lately we have ceased to value by tact and energy. Principals who expect
the general high school assistant, and ask for a to do institute work especially ought to push science teacher, an English teacher, a language in this line, realizing that the experience is
teacher. The same process will soon separate likely to vitalize and deepen their sense of the
the rural teacher. Already the transference character and needs of grade work. One who
from rural schuols to city schools is much less has some supervision to do would find its common than formerly, because the city school effectiveness greatly increased by teaching of prefers the high school or normal school gradthis sort. For the class recitations we believe
uate. Conditions, therefore, seem ripe for the that parts of the Report of the Committee of introduction of special training for rural teachTen may be used to much advantage. We ing. The demand for it has appeared in two specify, for example, the discussions of ele- or three counties in an effort to provide a spementary work in the reports on English, on
cial institution for it. The remark is common mathematics, on natural history, on history,
that conditions are so different in rural schools and on geography--not the whole of these
as to make normal instruction only vaguely but the parts treating of elementary teaching applicable. The most obvious differences are We believe the time has come for trying to those in organization and management, and make this instruction more effective.
in the ways of teaching necessarily resulting
from having a large number of very small SUBSCRIBE FOR THE JOURNAL.
The less obvious are more vital. They are pare now out of date and of little value.
Psybeginning to claim attention because of the chology has recently advanced remarkably, disposition of rational pedagogy to adjust the and moreover more competent men have preschool more closely to the conditions and de-pared texts of the desired grade. The purmands of life. Nature study and agriculture pose of this article will be to call attention to certainly ought to be made an effective portion a few of the later books, indicating so far as of the course of study in rural schools. This we can briefly the characteristics of each. the report of the Committee of Twelve fully Mr. Lloyd Morgan is now recognized as recognizes, and makes the first large attempt perhaps the foremost English writer in this to emphasize and bring into definite workable field, a thoroly competent scholar, a master in shape in appendices Ğ and H. The first of comparative psychology, and fully acquainted these is entitled, "Enrichment of Rural School with the best modern works moreover posCourses,” and makes suggestions for studies of sessed of a remarkably rich, clear, and vigorlandscape, atmospheric phenomena, and plant ous style. It is not often that such a man and animal life; while the second treats of finds time for the preparation of an elementary "The Farm as the Center of Interest." Such text, and that makes his Psychology for instruction cannot be successfully given by un
Teachers (Charles Scribners' Sons,) an exceptrained teachers; from which we infer, not that tional book. The usual formal methods of it must be neglected as impracticable, but that presenting the subject are quite ignored, and we must proceed at once to the work of pre- the reader is led with charming directness into paring those who can give it.
a fresh and stimulating discussion of practical Two strong arguments make this conclusion matters, the significance and importance of irresistible, a sociological and pedagogical one. which he is made to appreciate at once. The The first affirms that the drift cityward can- book will teach him to think psychologically not go on as it has for the past fifty years with- as few others with which we are acquainted out involving social upheaval and disaster; It is not properly a difficult book, for it and that the remedies for it are the improve- is admirably concrete and lucid, and yet we ment of rural life and the development of in- fear it may be considered hard by some high terest and delight in it, which are made all school classes, because of the range of the the more imperative by the rapid growth of author's vision and the copiousness of his maknowledge on farming such as renders larger terial. We are acquainted with no other short information and more intelligence necessary text which seems to us so attractive and valuto success. The rural school must help to the able as this, provided the class is capable of formation of the new rural life, such as the in- dealing with it, and we think a senior class in crease of our population and the studies of a good high school ought to be capable. our experiment stations have prepared the way We experienced a delightful surprise when for. Pedagogically the new instruction would we came to examine a small book written by be modern in matter and method. It would a schoolmaster, who is otherwise wholly unescape from routine and bookishness, and deal known to us.
Mr. Colin S. Buell, principal with realities in vital fashion; for the formal of the Williams Memorial Institute, New training which now usurps so large a portion London, Conn., has produced in his Essentials of school efforts it would substitute observa- of Psychology, (Ginn & Co.) a simple, teachtion and reflection; in due time it would affectable and interesting little manual based essenthe whole work of the school, and help on tially upon modern experimental studies. It that great change in the conceptions and aims is noteworthy for the number of easy experiof school work which many signs show to be ments which it suggests, and for the problems close at hand.
S. requiring investigation and thot which are
scattered thru its pages. The general plan of PSYCHOLOGY IN HIGH SCHOOLS..
treatment does not depart from the long es
tablished English scheme, but there is a clear “What text do you recommend for high directness of statement, a well considered seschool classes in Psychology?" is a question so lection of matter, and a many-sided suggestfrequently addressed to us, that perhaps a iveness in the treatment which makes the general answer may be timely. Fortunately volume very attractive. Altho it leans detexts for this purpose have greatly improved cidedly to the scientific methods it is not withof late, and there are several which can be out an agreeable literary Aavor, and we berecommended with satisfaction. It may be lieve it to be entirely within the range of a said in general that the older type of texts, fair high school class. such as were published eight or ten years ago, Mr. Reuben Post Halleck has produced a very readable and instructive book in his Psy
THE MONTH. chology and Psychic Culture (American Book Co.). It has a kind of eagerness and enthu
WISCONSIN NEWS AND NOTES. siasm about its style which is infectious; its
The secretary of the Massachusetts Board illustrative material is abundant and varied;
of Education urgently recommends legislation and the constant insistence upon pedagogical requiring professional preparation of all new applications gives it a practical turn not un
teachers who may be appointed after a fixed desirable for a high school text. The book,
date. which is a very good one, would be improved by some trimming in parts to remove redun- -Prof. Charles H. Cooper, of Carleton Coldancies, and to reduce a little the length of it. lege, Northfield, Minn., has been elected to Its teachings are modern, well arranged and
the position formerly held by Edward Seereffectively presented.
ing, president of the state normal school at Prof. Ladd, of Yale University, is well
Mankato. known as the author of several elaborate and -The faculty of the Milwaukee normal critical works in psychology and philosophy. school has been increased by the appointment His Primer of Psychology (Charles Scribners' of Prin. M. A. Bussewitz, of Mayville, to the Sons) has therefore the merit of entire trust
position of teacher of mathematics and Engworthiness which results from extensive and lish in the school. accurate studies. He tells us in his preface
-Dr. J. F. Millspaugh, a graduate of the that it is the result of the author's desire to make the experiment of telling, in a manner
Michigan University, and lately superintend
ent of schools in Salt Lake City, has been to correspond fairly well with its chosen title,
As the dedica
elected president of the Minnesota state northe story of the mental life.
mal school at Winona. tion shows, a young friend was kind enough to offer herself as both subject for the experi- -A new periodical for teachers appears in ment and judge of the result.” It follows in Chicaigo under the editorial charge of S. R. general the traditional scheme of treatment, Winchell. It is a sixty page monthly, and in is carefully organized with topical headlines, addition to the usual matter of such publicaand simple and clear in its expositions. The tions, contains a school board department. effect of abstract studies may be detected in -The Dane County Teachers' Association its style and method, in which we somewhat
met in Madison the last week in January, havmiss the freshness, objectivity and wealth of ing a full program with section meetings in practical and literary illustrative material
the afternoon. Indeed the program was overwhich men less completely absorbed in such crowded, which, with the good attendance, studies more readily attain.
shows that there is need for more frequent One of the earliest of the better books of gatherings of this body. this class still retains a claim to attention. Lessons in Psychology, by J. P. Gordy,
-The report of Secretary Hill, of the Mas
sachusetts State Board of Education, shows (Hinds & Noble) had a directness and power which at once gave it wide currency. The
that there are but 87 towns in the entire state author talks freely like a public lecturer deter
without superintendents, and only five per mined to drive home his point upon the list
cent. of the children of the state in such towns. ner, is resourceful, clear and earnest, some
Thus by the voluntary movement of the comtimes almost prolix. He has a sense also of
munities ninety-five per cent. of the school what it is useful for the teacher to emphasize
children of the state are now under the care -a sense somewhat obscured by the additions
of a superintendent. to the later editions. In these certain prelim- -The new catalogue of Beloit College inary chapters and certain philosophical ques- shows a total enrollment of 417, of whom 204 tions have obtruded, and, standing at the are in the college classes. Of the Freshman beginning of the book, keep the student off class of seventy-one, twenty-five are young from what he wishes, and perhaps discourage women. The new Pearsons Hall of Science him. By omitting the first seven lessons the is completed and to a considerable extent book will prove much more acceptable as a text. equipped. It is of pressed brick, two stories
There seems now no good reason why high high, 136 feet front, with north and south school pupils may not be successfully intro-' wings extending back 115 feet.
The departduced into the study of the mental life, and ments of physics, chemistry, geology, and we hope soon to see the branch made much biology, with the Logan museum occupy the more effective in our schools than it has been building. The college now offers graduate in
S. struction in several departments.
-Wisconsin is by no means alone in having great amount of excellent work. The work of rural schools with so small an enrollment as the schools is exemplified in rural schools to make the maintenance of them a waste of taught by the graduates from the high schools. public funds. In the last volume of the Re- The rural schools in a great measure are deport of the U. S. Commissioner of Education pendent upon the high schools for the teachwe find the following paragraph quoted from the ers, yet my experience warrants me in stating. report of the state superintendent of New York: that the high schools do not fulfill the require"One of the officials of this department re- ments. If their mission is to pave the way to ports visiting a country school in company with some higher school of learning I offer no critithe school commissioner of the district, and cism, but it is my belief that a large majority finding there a teacher at work on a piece of of our boys and girls enter the high schools embroidery, but with no pupils in attendance. with the intention of qualifying themselves as Inquiry elicited the information that the school teachers of our rural schools. It is reasonhad been in session three weeks without any able to expect that a graduate of a high school pupils, and that there were only two children should be qualified to secure at least a second of school age in the entire district, both of grade certificate. Some are, but a majority whom were expected to attend the school are not. During the past two years several later on. This remark accompanies the quo- have failed to secure a third grade certificate, tation: "The average of attendance in 3,500 yet showed proficiency in second and first of these districts is not over 10 pupils. The grade branches." law provides for the consolidation of many of
-In his report to the School Board of Ashthese schools, but is hindered by local senti- land, Supt. B. B. Jackson has the following ment, which is satisfied to cling to the past regarding the position and authority of a city with all its clumsiness. This sentiment seems superintendent: “It seems best that the dualmost obdurate in such a case.”
ties of the superintendent be more definitely -A series of parent-teacher's meetings is defined. A superintendent from whom all being held throughout the wards of the Mer- responsibility is taken becomes a mere figurerill city schools. Only two meetings have al- head or, at best, a mere executive officer of ready been held, but appointments are out for the board. A competent superintendent four more. The first meeting brought out 115
should be much more. The relation of the parents. The second, about 150.
, Thus far Board of Education to its superintendent does it is a very popular movement. A half hour not differ materially from that of a board of program is rendered by the ward pupils in directors of a manufacturing concern to its which the meeting is held, followed by a fif- superintendent.
superintendent. His task is under the most teen minute recess for social purposes.
After favorable conditions a delicate one; but to serecess, representative citizens are invited to
cure the best results he should be given freediscuss school matters, and a question box,- dom, limited only by such restrictions as the thus far freely patronized-is taken charge of board, as the responsible financial managers, by the city superintendent. The purposes of may find it necessary to impose. The selecthe meetings are: (a) To show how we have tion, transfer and dismissal of teachers, the changed in school management. (b) To bring selection of text-books, the formulating of the parent and teacher into more friendly and courses of study, the classification and organsympathetic relation. (c) To discuss truancy, ization of the schools, the expenditure of absences, tardiness, discipline, promotions, money appropriated for professional purposes, classification, seating, ventilation, cleanliness, as library, etc., the reference of complaints by age to begin school, and general school mat- teachers and by parents as to the school work ters. If it is true that "the teacher must be and discipline, and the details of operation of inspired, the parent instructed, and the home the schools, some with and some without the and school co-ordinated," then here is a golden advice and consent of the board, seem to beopportunity.
long properly to the superintendent without -We clip the following paragraph from the
fear of interference." report of Supt. George H. Drewry, of She- -The final report of Sup't Roeseler, of boygan county: “About ten per cent. of our Sauk county, shows that during his service he teachers are graduates of some one of our nor- has to a large extent succeeded in introducing mal schools. At least 60 per cent. receive into the schools of the county the study of their training in our high schools of which home geography, the teaching and writing of there are four, located at Sheboygan Falls, history, the latter in the form of local district Plymouth, Glenbeulah, and Waldo. These histories, nature study, drawing, and vertical are excellent schools and are accomplishing a penmanship. He has also greatly developed