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should have one or more periods of practice in each of many grades, and, if possible, in each of all grades of school.
It is practicable and profitable for a class of twenty normal students to teach four or more schools. It is found at the close of the year that schools so taught have been better taught and have made more advancement than other schools in the system of corresponding grades taught by good teachers.
The poor teaching at the beginning of the year must be met by ample supervision.
The work of the training teacher now is, first, to know that the pupil. teacher understands definitely and broadly what he is to accomplish, not what he is to do; second, to inspire and encourage him to work intelligently, honestly, and earnestly. The student should not be burdened with formal methods, suggesting questions and answers, or any other "toggle-and-link" contrivance that weakens or destroys originality and represses spontaneity. With the outline of work to be done well in mind the teacher develops strength more rapidly if he is allowed to invent his own methods of giving it. Just criticisms after the work has been done will result in more successfulmethods the next time, and the teacher will thus learn to criticise his own efforts respecting unity, method, symmetry, completeness, and style.
The kind and just criticisms of the training teacher during the year (all just criticisms are kind), as well as those made by associate members of the class, will free the teacher's efforts from all radical error and trim from them much of their crudeness and give to them method, accuracy, and efficiency.
The pupil-teacher by this work does not prepare for his future use a book full of sample lessons, but he acquires the ability and strength to analyze a unit of work, to arrange the parts in proper order to be taught, and to know the values of the parts, and acquires an original way of developing them, which is good, because it has been developed by trial and proved by criticism, but its chief merit is that it is his own. The same reason exists for developing the individual when a teacher is made as when a child is taught in the schools. Imitators do not do good work. Their work requires too much supervision, too much readjusting and setting right.
It now remains to speak of another work in the preparation of the teacher. This should begin in the normal school. The teacher will find it desirable to continue this as long as he finds it desirable to teach. I refer to broadening the view of the student by bringing him under the influence of mature and well-developed minds. In addition to teaching at least one unit of work in each branch of study in each grade of school, he should be required to visit the various grades of school, following a prescribed plan. Each visit should be made for a definite purpose. The visits will therefore be systematized and re. ported. The results must be criticised. The pupil-teacher, during the
. last half of the year, should attend all grade meetings, held either for
specific or general purposes, should be made to report these, and should have his reports criticised. He will not understand grade meetings at the beginning of the year; they will serve only to confuse him. should hear lectures by specialists toward the close of his normal school year—the artist, the scientist, the successful business man, the historian, the traveller, the physician, the lawyer, the school superintendent, the college specialist. I don't include in this list the institute lecture fiend. These lectures, too, may be reported and the reports criticised. I would have these lectures for the purpose of giving the pupil a broader general information, a broader view of a general application of knowledge, not expecting that everything heard would be remembered, but believing, if the lecturers are properly chosen that everything heard would be understood and classified, for the student's work of the year has been to train him to understand and to classify.
The teacher's mental horizon must ever recede, his plane must broaden. I would have these lectures that this thought might be impressed on the young teacher and habits consistent therewith fixed. The teacher should ever work with that nascent inspiration belonging to new growth and new achievements.
I would have the normal student listen to the words of successful men for another reason, namely, that his work shall be imbued with and inspired by the latest thought, the latest process, and the latest application of knowledge; that his teaching, whether literary, scientific, historical, or other kind, shall be in harmony with the latest developments of those subjects.
How many a myth is thus dispelled, how many an error is thus corrected, how many a formula is thus eliminated, which otherwise poor childhood must learn only to be forgotten.
I would have the pupil-teacher visit art galleries, museums, libraries, public works, business houses, factories, police courts, asylums, by direction and for a purpose, to see the results of effort, to catch the spirit and know the ways of life, and to learn the tendencies of man under the varying conditions of development.
The pupil.teacher must be made to know early in his career that true education lies along those lines that lead to the highest culture and the broadest economic value.
The following paper was read in continuance of the discussion:
THE PURPOSE AND MEANS OF CITY TRAINING SCHOOLS.
BY S. S. PARR,
Superintendent of Schools, St. Cloud, Minnesota. Ladies and Gentlemen : Before beginning some points of the paper which I have prepared, I desire to review briefly, thinking perhaps by so doing I could have the attention of this meeting to some of the remarks which have been previously made upon this question. I think the gentleman who preceded mo missed the fact that each exercise has
been preceded by an apology. Now I think I have not missed that fact. I want to apologize that I missed the subject in thinking of the first paper. It seems to me that it was directed to manual training. There is running through all these papers a vein of curious criticism. I want to quite agreo with what the gentleman said in regard to defini. tion, only I want to push that thought one step further and define the normal school itself. The definition, like charity, begins at home, and the normal school can do no better than apply that definition to itself.
The historical origin. — The city training, or normal school, is an Amer. ican institution. There is nothing like it in purpose and organization in any European country. Normal schools there are either state or denominational instrumentalities. The American city normal school is unique. It is the creation of the municipality to which it belongs, and is intended to supply a local demand. Schools of this class are commonly founded under the special or general act empowering the corporation to organize and maintain schools of various kinds.
According to the reports of the Bureau of Education 1 the first training school organized in this country was that of Philadelphia, in 1843. Boston followed in 1852; St. Louis in 1857; and Indianapolis in 1866. According to the latest report there are about twenty-six such insti. tutions now in operation.
City training schools are a part of the general movement to secure intelligent and trained teachers. This movement originated in Ger. many, at the close of the seventeenth century, and has spread from there to all civilized countries. The distinct impulse to which we owe our American normal schools is that inaugurated by Horace Mann and Ed. mund Dwight in Massachusetts, in 1839. The New York and Pennsyl. vania schools are a fruitage of the Massachusetts movement. The normal schools of the three States mentioned have inspired those of the remainder of the country.
The principal cause which has called city training schools into existence is the fact that in thirteenof the States supplied with State, city and other normal schools, the ratio of teachers instructed at such schools to the whole body of teachers is only eighteen per cent., and that in six3 States among those best supplied with normal schools of all kinds the ratio of yearly graduates to the number of new teachers demanded is only about sixteen per cent. of that number.
Another influence which has led cities to organize training schools of their own is the quality of State normal school work. These schools pitch their work mainly to the needs of the rural districts, from which their pupils come, and to which they as teachers return. The pupils
Report of the Commissioner of Education, 1885-87. 2 California, Counecticut, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wiscono sin. See Report of Cominissioner of Education, 1886–87.
3 New York, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, and Kansas. Ibid.
derived from these localities are deficient in the commonest elements of technical academic knowledge, and require that by far the greater part of the instruction given shall be applied to supplementing tbis deficiency.
If we take into account that each locality selects its teachers mainly from among its own citizens, in connection with what is true of the quality of State normal school training it will at once be seen why cities, which draw the largest supply of material for teachers from high school, acailemy, and college graduates, have organized normal schools to supply their own special needs. Omitting the professional subjects from the curricula of ourState and private normal schools, their training belongs to the high school or below. Persons of the classes named are already possessed of the common technicalities of academic knowl. edge, and can not be induced to subject themselves to a course of train. ing of which this kind of knowledge is the staple.
Cities sailing on the sea of politics, as a ship sails on the main, says Plato, in the “ Laws,” have to be watched night and day. Yet they are always centres of educational intelligence and progress. They are ever ready to give new ideas a trial, and to adopt and use whatever has proven itself good. This spirit has made them the first localities of limited extent to demand special training for their teachers. Their population and wealth have made it possible to realize this demand.
Sailing on Plato's sea of politics has introduced another element into the educational life of cities that has undoubtedly had much to do with the founding of the class of schools we are considering. Influential members of city school-boards of city councils, and of the controlling political element, have relatives and friends and the dependents of their supporters and followers, who must be provided with opportunities for place. High school graduates have their friends at court to urge their claims for place in the teaching force of the schools through which they have come. The country towns and smaller cities send up their sprinkling of experienced and aspiring teachers who wish to push their way into the teaching force of larger places. To offset the claims of this class, high school graduates and those who are advanced by personal favor must, in decency and deference to public sentiment, claim for them. selves the advantages of professional training. City training schools provide such persons facilities to this end, and afford a line of escape from crudity and inexperience to the schools themselves.
In brief, such appears to be the historical genesis of the city training school.
The purpose of the city training school.--The purpose of all normal school work is the same. Schools exist in different environments. Pupils present themselves possessing the most divergent kinds of intelligence. The demands of the localities for which particular schools train teachers are variable. But in all this diversity there is a recog. nizable constant. This is the quality which forms the dividing line between academic work--that common to high schools, academies, and colleges-and that which, by contrast, is called professional training, and has as its specific end intelligence, skill, and efficiency in the art of teaching.
i The Report of the Commissioner of Education, 1886-87, pages 398–399, shows by actual count twenty-two academic studies or terms, and six professional studies or terms, in the type of curriculum given for the Pennsylvania schools, as representative eastern schools; and twenty-five academic and six professional subjects or terms, in the California schools, as representative western schoois.
The purpose of anything determines its nature. The quality of professional teaching-knowledge is fixed by its design or end. It relates to certain specific activities of the human mind, concerning which it deals with definite and chosen relations, selected to suit the organizing idea of educational science. The science of education finds its significance in the art of teaching, which is a process of doing intended to produce a succession of foreseen changes, each of which holds definite relations to the other changes of the series. Each change is produced by the application of means which are consciously chosen to accomplish their work.
The fundamental thought in teaching is that of conscious purpose and conscious means. Teaching does its work by studied steps. It is not a game of chance, in which the end is not seen, or, if seen at all, appears as through a glass, darkly. Means are not selected at random, the hand using the first tool it falls upon. In these conceptions lies the difference between teaching done on a foundation of academic knowledge, however lofty its quality, however high the grade of institution which bestows it, and that which rests on the fundamentally opposite basis of true normal school training. The academic teacher wields his pupils' minds and his subjects at random. He is like the marksman who fires at the target with his eyes shut. Such a teacher is wanting in systematic insight into the effects his means produce; he does not distinguish between the essential and the accidental; and does not perceive the successive steps necessary to the end sought. He is an arbitrary and capricious manipulator of subject and pupil.
Such teaching is the polar opposite of what professional training seeks. The goal for which it strives is conscious, intelligent wielding of the pupil's powers and of the subjects of their exercise. For the accomplishment of this end, development is a process in which the place and value of the various means must be recognized. In conceiving the school as an agency for growth, the difference between spontaneous elucation and school-training is a distinct and well-defined conception. The aims of the school, direct and remote, are discriminated. Training is a process involving definite forms of activity. The modes of adapting particular minds and particular subjects to each other are, to the end we are considering, matters of conscious thought. Whatever it may be called, the school-process has true professional quality when it has these character.