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teacher in order wisely to develop the body "The Rights of Children and the Rights of and mind of the child. Teachers can learn Others.” For similar reasons and with unimuch from the fathers and mothers, for they formly good results, in different districts, we have had many experiences that most teach- have discussed such subjects as “The Importers only theorize about.
ance and Value of Habits of Regularity and In Green Bay, teachers' and parents' meet- of Punctuality,” “Dangers of Forced Developings are held in the place where it is most con- ment-physical and mental," "Educative and venient for the parents to attend them, and at Uneducative Punishments,” “The Discipline a time when it is most convenient for fathers of the Home and of the School.” as well as mothers to attend. By means of By taking an actual part in these meetings these meetings, we become better acquainted parents are led to follow up a line of thought with the parents and we give them an oppor- suggested by the discussions and other exertunity of becoming better acquainted with the cises that broadens their educational horizon aims and methods of the teachers of their chil- and increases their interest in the school, the dren. Since both are laboring earnestly for a teacher and the child. By a better undercommon cause, an intimate acquaintance is standing of the aims, the methods, the charmutually helpful. To this end, invitations acter of the teacher, and the difficulties that he are written on the blackboard by the teachers has to encounter, parents are better able and and these are copied by the pupils and deliv- more willing to support and assist the teacher. ered to every family in the district. How It must be remembered, however, that, in generously the parents have responded to these order to secure the best results, these public invitations may be observed from the fact that, conferences must be supplemented by such at the last meeting which was held on the private conferences of teacher and parent as 15th inst., three rooms were crowded with the individual needs of the pupils may require. grown people and it was necessary to repeat Both parents and teachers need to be watchevery number on the program three times. ful of the physical, mental, and moral tendSome of the parents and many of the teachers encies of children and to hold frequent private have attended all of the meetings. The local conferences concerning the same. On account papers have rendered valuable assistance by of the frequent change of teachers resulting publishing the programs and by their accounts from the current methods of promotion, it is of the meetings.
of primary importance that this should be done Another purpose of these meetings is to as early in the year as possible. Teachers show the parents how we teach school to-day, grope blindly in ignorance of a child's physiand what is taught in the schools at the pres- cal peculiarities which the parents understand. ent time. The class exercises afford an ex- Defective vision and imperfect hearing often cellent opportunity for revealing the fact to the bring children under severe censure at school. parents that the methods of teaching have un- A word of explanation from the parents would dergone as much of a change since their child- locate the child in the schoolroom at the most hood days as have the methods of conducting favorable point for overcoming the defect. their business. By means of exhibits in draw- Parents may know that their child possesses a ing, penmanship, etc., and by conducting class nervous temperament which they have found exercises in nature study, music, or supple- a way of mitigating but not of controlling. mentary reading, we are able to enlist their The wise teacher will gladly coöperate with interest in these new lines of school work and the parents in the use of like methods of disto get them to appreciate their importance cipline. and value.
On the other hand, parents are frequently In a district in which parents were reluct- blind to habits and tendencies which the teachant to provide their children with material for er's practical eye detects. If pupils develop drawing, a great deal of good has resulted from certain characteristics at school which they do the discussion of "The Practical Value of not manifest in the home; if imperfections of Drawing.” In a district in which there were sight unknown to the parents are discovered many cases of truancy, the topic “Truancy, by the teacher; if a pupil known to be hard of Causes, Remedies, and Methods of Dealing hearing grows more so; if a pupil is poor in with Truants," has been discussed from the one study or has some mental weakness which point of view of the teacher, the parent, and the teacher bas discovered; if the teacher disthe board of education. In a district in which covers any other physical, mental, or moral parents were inclined to be sensitive of the characteristics in his pupils which the parents noise that children made on the playground, do not know; or if he discovers any modificait has been helpful to have parents discuss tion ci tendencies that are known to the par
ents, it is his duty to report the same and to of Third Readers and Fourth Readers the coöperate with parents in their efforts to over- better. come these tendencies. Early conference, on
Mathematics. matters of this kind, often leads to the cor
Boys who go to college at eighteen have, rection of habits at a time of easy abandon
as a rule, spent from one-sixth to one-fourth ment.
of their entire school life in studying matheAgain, parents do not always realize the
matics. Yet they know very little matheimportance of regularity in school hours.
matics; what they know they usually know Children are called from school or kept out of
very imperfectly. They have wasted untold school for some trifling service at home, or to months, perhaps years. The mathematicsdo some errand that might be performed out
superstition is still very strong in this country. side of schools hours without inconvenience to
Mathematics is thought to be more practical" the home. By means of such unnecessary in- than literature, or science, or history, which terruption, lessons are not properly prepared,
seems to me absurd; and to be an unrivalled interest in school wanes, careless habits are
training for the reasoning powers, which is formed, and the value of school hours depre- easily disproved. Mathematics has an indisciated. A few minutes of calm conference of pensable place in education, of course, but teacher and parent may remedy this and set- that place is a much more subordinate one tle these questions for an entire school, and
than it has been in the habit of occupying. It thus save time of both teachers and parents. is, as now administered, a very wasteful subThe value of these public and private meet
ject of instruction, and more than any other it ings of teachers and parents is inestimable. impedes the improvement of the average They produce a better mutual understanding
course of study.
The child first "goes between the home and the school.
They through” a primary, or elementary arithmetic; strengthen the hands of school authorities
then he goes through" an advanced arithmewhen these are honestly working for the im
tic, devoting more than half his time to the provement of the schools, and they furnish a
identical topics contained in his former textmeans of checking them if they attempt to do
book. This is simple waste, of course.
The wrong Since such meetings have been held problem of the arrested development of chilin Green Bay, the discipline of the schools has dren, which is the most fruitful field of investibeen much easier, because parents are natur- gation that lies before the child-study specialally more willing to uphold a teacher who is
ists, is bound to engage attention in the near personally known to them and with whose line
future; and I am of opinion that the closer we of action they are familiar. The children
get to it the inore clearly will it appear that themselves seem happier and more responsive mathematics, as she is taught," is the chief while the stiff formal relation of parent and offender. I am familiar with a public school teacher has given place to a sort of friendli
system in which much time is given to matheness that is very valuable.
matics. The elementary school children study In conclusion, it is but just to say that very it for many hours each week. Those of them much of the success of out meetings is due to
who get into the high school keep at it with the hearty and intelligent coöperation of the the same devotion and energy, and study board of education, and of the teachers with pretty much the same subjects as they did whom I have the pleasure of being associated. when in the elementary schools. When the
F. G. KRAEGE.
brightest high school graduates pass over into Green Bay, Wis.
the city training class to fit themselves to teach, the asking of three questions is sufficient
to prove that they do not know any matheTHEORY AND PRACTICE.
matics, that they have not the dimmest idea
of what it is all about, and that its boasted WASTE IN EDUCATION.
power of logical training has been wholly lost
on them. What it has done is to keep them If a child, on mastering the words given on from learning something else. So they are the first twenty pages of his Second Reader,
taught the same mathematics again. This is is able, with a little help, to read intelligently not an isolated, but fairly typical, instance of in the Third Reader or even in the Fourth-- whät is going on all over our country. and not a few children are able to do this-it is both wasteful and a form of fetish-worship
Literature and Nature Study. to keep him dragging through the intervening To plan intelligently for a child's education pages. Nowadays the less that children see means to keep him constantly at something
that is new and something that is real to him, give way to facts. The “system” is for the something that is adapted to his capacity and pupils, not the pupils for the “system.” Of related to what he already knows. It is to course, to deal with the needs and capacities make a plan for a particular child; but it may of each pupil costs trouble; but then all eduinvolve grave error to copy it exactly for his cation is more or less troublesome to somebrothers or sisters or cousins or friends. It is body. It worries some principals and teachto make a plan that aims to discover and to ers to think that a pupil promoted in November, develop capacity, no matter how young the for instance, will be likely to “lose" all that child may be. Whatever the variations in his old class goes over from November till detail, literature and nature study should be February, and all that his new class has gone the earliest and ever-present elements of any over from September to November. What plan. From the hours that a child spends in there is to worry about is a puzzle to me. It his mother's arms, he should be brought into seems rather a cause for congratulation that contact with the material and form of genu- this particular child can get along without ine literature, literature that means something. some scraps of information that others seem This does not mean Homer or Dante or to need. Shakespeare, of course, but the fairy tales, the
Thoroughness. myths, and the nursery rhymes that are part
The fetish of Thoroughness is another form of the inheritance of the race. A boy ought of the pedagogue's paganism. To know anyto know a good deal of literature, to love it,
thing thoroughly does not necessarily mean, and to have caught a bit of the literary spirit,
happily, to be able to call it by name, or to if only by imitation, long before he knows by recall it on any and every occasion, but to sight more than half the letters of the alpha- know its relations to other things or occurbet. From his first stumbling steps about the
rences, its causes and its effects. That sort nursery he should be kept similarly in contact
of knowledge comes, and can only come from with nature in some form. Animals and
reflection. To do a thing or to repeat a thing growing plants should be his earliest teachers
over and over is by no means to reflect upon in nature study, and when he first takes his
it. Repetitions are not always reviews, and seat in an organized school, a considerable
memory-tests are rarely examinations. A number of the facts of nature should be famil- review and an examination should always be iar to him, and he should be truly appreciative
reflective in character.—N. M. Butler in the of them. To the query as to how this is pos- Outlook sible, it may be bluntly answered because it has been done and is being done all the time
THE RECITATION by observant mothers. Of course, if the child is so unfortunate as to be given at this time The time when pupil and teacher face each the task of acquiring some facility in speaking other in the class is the most important period French or German, from association with a of the school day; it is the one devoted to acnursemaid or a nursery governess, at the ex- tual teaching; the rest of the day the pupil is pense of gaining an idiomatic and careful use
supposedly studying. That this period is of the mother tongue, and if all his mental often frittered away will be agreed to; very energy is turned inward instead of outward, conscientious teachers are as guilty of it as then an educational chaos is likely to result, others. that does incalculable damage and prevents Not long ago a school was visited where the any number of good things from taking place principal had a class of fourteen boys and girls in his mental life.
in interest. He was a competent man, well Once in school the chief elements of wasted posted, and a good manager, and yet he protime for the child are: (1) annual, or even duced a feeble result; he was aware of this, semi-annual, promotions that may not be de- and charged two or three pupils for being abparted from; (2) reviews and examinations in sent and not knowing the lesson as the cause the interest of so-called “thoroughness;" and of the defective recitation. First, he assigned (3) bad teaching.
each a problem, and all except one went to the A school that moves forward in February or blackboard, and went vigorously to work; this June in solid phalanx, and then only, might he questioned and debated with, but as the rest do for wooden Indians, but it is not suited to were at work, they did not get his explanagrowing human beings. A pupil ought to be tions. This was the first defect.
All having changed in grade just as often as it is apparent finished, one was called on to explain a probthat he is either overtaxed where he is, or lem in computing interest at six per cent. A that he is not taxed enough. Theories must mistake had been made in pointing off,” and
the teacher questioned for the rule for point- at his forge. He must contrive to keep every ing off in division of decimals. None could one busy, thinking on the same subject. At give it accurately for some time; full half of their seats they are busy, but there they the period was spent thus. Then percentage think on different things; that is needful, of was taken up; there the pupil showed ignor
In the recitation, he must contrive ance, and the rest of the class was called on to hold them as the orator does; but not by by questions. As they understood the matter his words; they are held by the thoughtsthey were not interested. Finally, one after the arithmetic, the geography, etc, another analyzed problems; but as the rest A well-managed class like this last one deunderstood them, some yawned, and others scribed will often be found to need no recitalooked in books and thus passed the hour. tion. (1) They understand the problems per
Another class was visited in another school fectly. (2) They compare from the compustudying the same subject-computing inter- tations rapidly and accurately.
In this case, est at six per cent. -and it seemed to me he the skilful teacher will employ the time (1) in accomplished an adequate result.
reviews, (2) in anticipating matters that lie his method: The class was larger than the some days in advance, (3) or in some problems other, having twenty-two pupils; (1) ten prob- that will demand skill in untying knots. Some lems having been assigned on the preceding teachers frankly say, “You need no help from day, and the method explained, the teacher me, and may return to your seats.” asked: “Any who have not performed the In the recitation, the teacher should stubproblems?" No he
negatives being given, ne bornly refuse to teach one pupil; it is his credited all with ten. Each pupil handed in business to teach all. If one pupil cannot a "scratch-book," with the problems, and re- perform the problem, he is not to stop and ceived the books they handed in yesterday. show that pupil. That he did yesterday when (This demanded that each should have two the problems were given out. To-day he will books.) (2) The problems to be solved to- perform a problem in the light of whose solumorrow were given out. The teacher had a tion ten others can be performed, varying in blackboard beside him, and quickly worked particulars. To-day he will have one solution out a problem, to illustrate the method by inspected with microscopic care, and the whys which they were to be solved. Any one that and wherefores given. This is the place wanted to, questioned. (3) A small black- where the one who cannot perform the probboard, three by four feet, was put on the easel lems is to gain help. on which one of the pupils had previously In the first class described, all the pupils placed a solution of one of the problems for were supposed to be able to add, subtract, the day.
All now gave close attention; (a) multiply, and divide; and yet they spent much one stated the problem, (b) one gave the first
of the time in the class on these operations. step, (c) another the reason, etc. The teacher But this time is too valuable.
I had heavy questioned closely and rapidly: "Why was
paper boards, three by four feet, covered with this?” “Why was that?” The pointing off" slating, thus making small blackboards. On came up as in the other class, but they had these, each pupil put a solution before the been over it so thoroly that it offered no ob- recitation period. Then one placed his on the stacle. All this was done so rapidly that easel and rapidly explained; then another, there was time to spare. (4) A problem was and so on. It was not uncommon when one given out to be solved in their "scratch- was placed before the class to ask, after it books,” one pupil performing on the black- was inspected, “Is there anything here that board. The teacher demanded, “Work fast.” needs explanation?" If no one spoke, it was Then followed criticisms on the method of the laid aside. one using the blackboard.
These suggestions are made to induce teachThere was no yawning for inattention in ers to rightly use the recitation time. In some this class. The teacher was asked, “Suppose way he must compel himself to give up teacha pupil is absent what then?" He said: “If ing one pupil, and give himself to the task of one is absent three days, that amounts to teaching all. He can teach one thru all, but thirty problems. I insist on these being per- not all thru one. --By M. L. Townsend, Iowa. formed, unless the pupil is sick. As these are
THE COUNTY INSTITUTE FROM THE TEACHER'S STAND. not too difficult, they bring me their "scratch
POINT. book," with the solutions, when they come.
The teacher must have a method that gives A large number of women and a small him possession of the pupil at the time of the number of men form the teaching force of this recitation. He must think of the blacksmith state. They work at their profession for nine
months out of the twelve faithfully, and most physics; just a hint of what the high school of them cheerfully.
scholar is expected to have mastered. Out of the three months of the year left they Is it to give culture that this week of study are called together for two weeks of institute is granted the teachers? work; presumably two weeks of study that Mental culture is only gained by the mind will make them better teachers, inspire them teaching new paths of thought. There is for the coming year's work. Such is the nothing gained by threshing over old straw; original purpose of the institute.
no wheat, nothing but dust. When we join a crowd of these teachers Is it for professional training? Then we going to institute do we hear them eagerly dis- are all to be grammar grade or high school cussing the new ideas they are gaining?
teachers. No primary or intermediate pupil By no means. If you ask the reason for was ever taught problems in discount and this some one will laconically inform you that mensuration, analysis of sentences or the inthey don't get any new ideas.
flection of parts of speech. If they have attended as many as two insti- Then is it to prepare the teacher to pass the tutes before the new has worn off, then you examination? will hear nothing but grumbling and fretting Haven't we wandered a little from Horace and criticism.
Mann's institutes? Any teacher can accomI know it is easy to find fault, but are we to plish more in one hour in her room reviewing use this tendency of human nature as an ex- than in the whole week of institute classes. planation of this complete lack of interest? So far as the common branches are conAre the teachers incapable of taking their cerned you have known it all once, else how own medicine?
All the year they have been did you get your certificate? It is simply a teaching the children to study, to love to question of refreshing your memory. The study, and now are they unable to do the same affair resolves itself into a problem of economy. thing themselves? No.
Is a teacher to pay money and spend two In an institute the new has no business to weeks of time for a review that she can do wear off. The purpose of an institute is to be better in as many days at home and save her fresh and living, new and inspiring. The old money? ruts are the dangers of teaching, and it is from But the new laws require other than the them that the institute should save us.
common branches. What does it do?
Yes. Imagine preparing for an examinaThe primary, intermediate, grammar, high tion in political economy, algebra, physics, by school and country teachers all study arith- a recitation in each of an hour a day for two metic and grammar, history and geography as weeks. they are taught in the grammar rooms. They Now, how much breadth of thought, how not only have them this year, but they had much appreciation of the sociological and pothem last year, and the year before, and the litical problems of the day is gained by the year before that, and so on back for every mastery of that little hand-book on political year since they entered the profession, at economy with which we were favored the year which time it was decided by an examination that study was introduced? that they were already fairly well versed in Our legislators have been throwing out laws these studies.
something like ready-made clothing, leaving It is understood that thoro mastication is the superintendents to fit them. It was only necessary for proper assimilation of food, human, in this rush of adaptation, to cut off either mental or physical, but there is nothing the coat-collar rather than the teacher's head you can chew on forever-except rubber gum. when something had to be done. And these studies are not gum.
But the fact remains that we have left with There is nothing grander than the study of us a two-weeks' institute in which to prepare our English language, its growth and history, for examination. its grammar and use in literature.
Time and money worse than wasted in thusiast's eyes will always grow bright over idling over the common branches; time and the beauties in the science of numbers and money worse than wasted in getting a smatquantity.
tering of the new studies. The whole thing But these are the enthusiasm of specialists. absurd on the face of it. A worry to the suWe all know that the institute simply takes up perintendent, an exasperation and aggravaor tries to take up part of the work of the tion to the teacher who is capable of in degrammar grade or high school.
pendent study, a crutch to teachers who are There are the problems in arithmetic, the indolent, a benefit to no one but those institucgrammar review, a peep into algebra and tors who are hired to do the teaching.