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a cough, and knows about what the matter is with the children, if the doctor don't ; so that the children do grow and a good proportion of them live. Now if the main body, under the care of a loving, intelligent, observing, unscientific father and mother, can grow and assimilate enough to make a man and a woman in the end, I think it possible that there may be a good teacher who is not very far up in the sciences, if he has got the love of the work in him, and is devoted to it, and is fairly observant. Within the last year, having a little girl in school, eight or ten years old, I was on the point of rebellion with the teacher about the manner in which he taught arithmetic. Yet to iny astonishment the girl is learning arithmetic. I almost gave it up, but she is going to know something about the science. Well, now, there are two sides to this question. We must not magnify the pedagogical; but I think we must not lose sight of the other side, that the soul of the child, as well as the body, has moral capacity and can get along with a pretty poor teacher if even fairly intelligent and careful.
Now with regard to the character of the teacher: there are some things which a mere discussion in psychology may overlook. It is true that the mind does not aggregate to itself as a snowball. We want more in the illustration; we want a plant, a spiritual plant with a spiritual consciousness, reaching up toward something, with an eye that looks upward; and a begetting of that spiritual purpose and am. bition is the very secret of the best kind of education.
Therefore, in our normal schools the most important part of the work is the begetting of the spirit of the teacher. We rebel at taking these young people into our normal schools when they can read well, and it is objected that we keep them there so long. Now, notwithstanding all that, the good normal school, the ideal normal school, is the one that Las an atmosphere, a spiritual atmosphere aboutit, that loves the pupils, gives tone to the taste and the spirit of the teacher, independent of all these intellectual pursuits, so that if the student don't know any more about the books than he learned in other schools, he is a good teacher. Give me the teachers that can beget and foster a high spiritual and intellectual taste. When the doctor comes to your house and looks at the boy and sees that his tongue is clear he says that the boy doesn't need the doctor any more, if he is pale; feed him because his taste is right; he wants rest. And so the teacher that can cultivate a taste for that which is good, good in literature, noble in purpose and ambition, the love by which he shall forgive, is yet a great teacher, and he belongs to that class whose names are enrolled in the scroll of the world's lis. tory and will always be remembered.
So much for this side of the matter of education. Therefore I should say, insist upon psychology as a true intellectual basis, but remember that individual character, taste, and high purposes are the essential and highly important characteristics of all good work among teachers,
CITY TRAINING AND PRACTICE SCHOOLS.
W. S. JACKMAN,
Pittsburg Central High School. We live in an active utilitarian age. It is pre-eminently an age of applied thought. Its spirit pervades every field of human action and seeks to destroy all that it can not bring into accord with itself. Our school system is not to escape this general test of utility, and if it is to remain, it must prove itself capable of a development which will keep it abreast of the rapidly advancing times. There was a period when teachers were permitted merely to discuss the problems of life and character in temples; but now, by living, by acting, they are called upon to show their teachings true.
We may, perhaps, congratulate ourselves to-day upon the general excellence of our schools. At no previous time have so'many things contributed to their welfare. The log cabins of old lave given way to well constructed, healthfully located buildings that are justly the people's pride. The personal interest of patrons, the more liberal appropriations for apparatus and libraries, and especially the increased at. tention given to the careful and systematic training of teachers for their duties are unmistakable indications of the high favor of our schools in the public eye.
But notwithstanding these substantial evidences of prosperity, there exists a wide spread dissatisfaction with the work accomplished in the schools. When the pupil leaves the care of the teacher and passes over into the hands of the man of affairs, the latter complains that the results of school-room education, for some reason, are not proportional to the time spent in acquiring it; that the pupil is not only unfitted for the practical tasks of life, but he often finds implanted in the boy vicious ideas of honest labor which sooner or later injure or ruin the man, Complaints of this character are not new to the teacher, but with great self-complacency he has hitherto passed them by almost unheeded as unworthy, irrational efforts to estimate the value of his high calling in mercenary terms. This dissatisfaction, however, can no longer be charged to the chronic grumbler or the ignorant opponent of popular education. It is expressed everywhere and by men whose opinions we are bound to respect. It is further emphasized by the significant fact that parents remove their children from school to the farm, the workshop, or the counting room at the earliest opportunity, believing that time spent with books is precious time lost in fitting for the real duties of manhood and womanhood. If it were shown that this preparation can be more thoroughly made in our schools, the necessity for compul. sory education laws would not exist. Private schools also are but another partial measure of the lack of confidence in the public schools.
But the most decided expression of discontent is found in the great tendency everywhere apparent to replace much of the old curriculum with other and so-called practical studies under the collective head of Industrial Training. In short, the world has invaded the school-room. It has taken an inventory of the entire outit and has stamped its price in terms of utility upon all that is done. Whether or not the teacher will be permitted to retain his exalted place in public favor depends upon his energy and intelligence in adapting his work with the pupils to the demands of the practical world.
Evidently the cause of this disturbed condition is either that the studies themselves are poorly suited to develop the mind of the child so that he may successfully assume the duties of the future man, or it must be sought in the imperfect methods employed in teaching them. Judging from the strength of the present movement in the direction of manual training, it is safe to say that there is even a dangerous inclination to the former view. It is a dangerous inclination because it sets up all that is usually understood by industrial training as practical against all that we now have as not practical, which is a most unfortunate distinction. It must be the first and greatest work of the training school to demonstrate to its pupil-teachers the radical error of this notion, and through them to educate the public to a broader conception of the necessities of the developing mind of childhood and youth. Upon this point let there be no misapprehension. Appropriations for buildings and apparatus for manual training are perfectly proper; but, that education may be symmetrical and complete, similar and equally substantial provisions and training are needed for imparting practical instruction in the rest of the curriculum as well. Practically educating our pupils means much more than pinning them down to the details of a trade. Their education must be made worth more to them than the dollars and dimes they can earn by it. They must be taught that they can leave the world a legacy of character that may be of greater value to it than a legacy of money. We may bring a laboratory, a workshop, a bank, and all the rest into the school-room and still the pupils may receive an education of a most unserviceable nature. If the teacher has failed in the past to mould character with history and literature, he may fail to do it in the future with an anvil and hammer. If pupils now leave the school helpless with their science and mathematics, they may leave it hereafter equally helpless with their handsaws and chisels. Manual training may become one of the greatest "fads" (excuse the word) that has ever tried our schools in this age of 6 fads.” It is even powerless of itself, without improved instruction all along the line, to inspire the young with that respect for honest labor the lack of which is now so deeply and justly deplored. If honest labor has been despised, it is not because it is honest, but because it is unremunerative and the laborer is illiterate. The laborer himself detests it the most, for its grinding demands have prevented that acquisition of general intelli
gence and intellectual power which alone can command the respect and admiration of men. The most complete and elaborate training in the workshop, if it can be associated with nothing better than many of our present unnatural methods of instruction with books, will not make the mechanic an intelligent man, but will make what might become an intelligent man a mechanic.
The pressing need of the times is that methods of instruction be completely revised and reconstructed, with due reference to the demands that the future may have in store for the pupils. A boy or girl can get a practical education only by having the lessons of the school-room presented exactly as the lessons of life will be presented. They need not be the same lessons--they can not be the same lessons. But any. thing, everything, all things actually done in the school-room give the pupils a sound lesson as to how anything, everything, all things, will be done in after years. It gives them a glimpse of the realities of life which is never forgotten. It is, in fact, a lesson in the realities of life. Everything practically taught in the class-room helps to close that unnatural chasm which now separates the realm of books from the world of business. Our schools are said to be in a transitional stage. This is an ever-present fact. They change because the world outside changes, it is to be hoped, to higher and better things. In adapting the training of the one to the requirements of the other lies the heaviest labor of the thoughtful, conscientious teacher. If long experience has given skill in this direction, he must still feel that it has been gained at a fearful expense to the pupil. It is to these tedious experiments of the teacher learning his art by a sacrifice of the child's mind that the present condemnation of our schools is due. The age of experiment for the teacher in the public school-room is happily passing away. Academic training prepares no better for the profession of teaching than it does for the profession of law or medicine. It has at last dawned upon the public mind that if it is important for those who care for a child's body and have charge of its legal rights to have professional training, it is not less important for those who train its mind.
In large cities, now the chief centres of industrial interests and ac. tivity, in the bitter struggle between capital and labor, in the severe competition between man and man, people more fully realize that relief must come through popular education. Opportunity is here presented for the training school, if properly managed, to do effective work. In response to the just demands for more practical results in the schools, it must equip teachers who will by improved methods, rather than by new subjects, work the reform. To the mechanic who now deplores as wasted the time he consumed in parsing Paradise Lost it must be shown that the fault lies not with the immortal Milton; to the tradesman whose arithmetic has been of but little assistance it must be dem. onstrated that it was the arithmetic not taught that is to blame; to all, that if science has not given skill to the band and keenness to the eye the fault rests not with nature.
If the demands for practical education are most urgent in cities, here may also be found the conditions most favorable to meet them. The function of the training school is distinct from that of the high and por. mal schools, but it is by no means independent of them. They are in. valuable-nay, indispensable in their systematic and uniform academic and professional instruction, and graduation from them may with fairness to all be made the accepted requirement for entrance to the training school. Academic work must be completed and thoroughly done. The individual who can teach what he does not himself know or understand is a creature of fancy. In the high school and college a student studies a subject with reference to his own instruction; in the normal school it is considered with a view to imparting that instruction to others; while in the training school opportunity should be given him to work out those ideas in practice and to improve that practice by a systematic study of the mind development of those who receive the instruction. If entrance to the training school be established upon an academic basis lower than that of graduation from the high school, the tendency will be for the latter to unload upon it its weaklings and the immature, and the stream will be polluted at its source.
An indispensable adjunct of the training school is the practice school. The name " practice school” is somewhat unfortunate, but it should be in fact exactly what its naine implies. In it the inexperienced teacher must make his first biunders and learn his own weakness. Here must come the first rude shock between his methods of teaching and a child's methods of learning. Those with experience understand that even the best text-books can be but imperfectly adapted for practical instruction in individual cases. The annount of energy wasted by inexperienced teachers in attempting impracticable things, orin presenting the different parts of a subject in an unnatural order, is simply enormous, while the loss of time thus entailed upon the pupil is irreparable. No more difficult task confronts the teacher than that of arranging perhaps hun. dreds of lessons so that his pupils may advance regularly without waste of time. Every teacher has his moments of inspiration. To every one comes at least an occasional day when he feels that his work has been well done. A quick wit may be able to prepare here and there a practical, stimulating lesson which will brighten the eye and quicken the heart-beat of the pupils, but this alone does not constitute good teaching. Enthusiasm one day and dullness the next not only lowers the average of general interest but presents a subject in a fragmentary and unprofitable way to the child's mind. Each lesson of the hundred or more must have its clearly defined purpose. That is the absolute test by which it may be determined whether the lesson shall be taught or not. To so select, arrange, and present all the parts of a subject equally well, the difficult as well as the easy, demands a skill which no theory, no lectures, nothing but actual trial and observation can give. It requires trained genius and a mature mind.