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To construct simple apparatus, to mould forms, to dissect objects, and to use the microscope.
To learn to use all means and appliances that the most enterprising and progressive teachers have developed and tested as an aid in the science of teaching,
To appreciate the great value of illustration and construction, or industrial training, in the education of a child.
In making preparation for the annual county institute of Cook County, which was attended last August by seven hundred and thirteen teachers, over six hundred of whom were teachers in graded schools, the work has been divided into seven sections.
The teachers in graded schools are classified into five sections according to their grade of work in school, as follows: (1) First grade section. (2) Second grade section. (3) Third and fourth grade section. (4) Fifth and sixth grade section. (5) Seventh and eighth grade section. (6) All high school teachers constitute the sixth section. (7) The seventh section includes teachers in rural schools who have had some experience. Those who have never taught, but expect to teach in coun: try schools, will be assigned to second and third sections of graded school work, because such persons coming directly from high schools or grammar schools, although poorly qualified to teach anywhere, are better able to teach the older than the little children, consequently their greatest need is a knowledge of the principles and methods in primary instruction.
The instructors are selected from the teachers of our county normal school, our State normal schools, and from the best primary and grammar school teachers that can be found anywhere.
The work outlined for each section is based entirely upon the general outline of study used in the county schools, consequently each teacher has an opportunity to study and investigate the work, methods and principles involved in the work of her own grade. Teachers of first and second reader pupils are not required to spend a large part of their time in learning how English shall be taught in high schools, how graphic history may be presented, or what subjects shall be omitted from arithmotic or geography, however valuable as a mental discipline, or desirable these special subjects may be to teachers in the higher grades of work. The whole effort of the institute is to present the grade work to teachers in such a way as to illustrate the best methods, based on correct pedagogical principles, that can be used in teaching,
One week immediately preceding the opening of the schools in Sep. tember is given to this grade work. The teachers go directly to their schools aroused, enthused, and inspired to do better work, and ready to put into practice what they have acquired.
For one week preceding the general institute, arrangements were made last year for special instruction in the sciences, botany, physiol. ogy, zoology, and chemistry. Teachers learn something of taxidermy, dissection, collecting and mounting insects, plants, moulding relief maps in putty, constructing charts, etc. About one hundred teachers took up this extra work, many being the best teachers in the county,
The same general plan will be followed for 1889.
9. 20 to 10. 15
Lectures in Assembly Hall. 10.15 to 11.10 Kindergarten Instruction.. Language. 11.10 to 12.00 Language
Number. 1.00 to 1.40 Music .
Music, 1.40 to 2.30 Number
Reading. 2.30 to 3.00 Reading..
Drawing. 3.00 to 3.45 Moulding and Paper Fold- Botany.
Fourth and fifth grade
Sixth, seventh, and eighth
Lectures in Assembly Hall.
9. 20 to 10.15
Country School section.
High School section.
9. 20 to 10.15 10.15 to 11. 10 | Language 11. 10 to 12. 20 Arithmetic 1.10 to 1.40 Geography 1.40 to 2.30 Reading. 2.30 to 3.00 Scienco... 3.00 to 3.45 Civics.
Lectures in Assembly Hall.
Zoology and Physiology.
3.00 to 4.00 Special work in dissection, moulding maps, wood-work,
botany, chemistry, zoology, water-color painting, etc.
Since Horace Mann traversed the State of Massachusetts appealing to the teachers and the people to recognize the momentous results that were to be the outgrowth of the right or wrong training of children, organizing institutes and conventions in which he set forth the methods and the fundamental laws and principles of education, there has been a sure, steady growth in public sentiment in favor of thoroughly trained, competent teachers. The institute has done much to supply and sustain the normal schools, and has brought the colleges of our land to recognize teaching as a profession by the establishment of departments of pedagogy.
Three-fourths of all the teachers in this country are working faithfully for the inost part, but with little or no adequate idea of the results which should be attained or of the correct ways to reach them. These teachers, millions of children, and the people of this country still need Horace Manns to travel up and down, warning, entreating, arousing, inspiring, demanding that the children be properly educated.
This end must be reached. The destiny of this nation hangs upon the issue of universal education. The attainment of this result depends wholly upon the high aims, right methods, true principles, and real power of educated, trained teachers.
The institute is one of the great agencies through which these results are to be reached.
JOHN HANCOCK: I come from a State that has no such normal school, from a State that has no county supervision—that central thing in all public school education. You might ask what State it is that is in this lamentable condition, that lacks these two great forces, the normal school and supervision. I won't tell you. However, while a State may be provided with normal schools, it is not certain that they as an instrumentality will not reach the great body of teachers. The State Normal School may furnish a few trained teachers; I had almost said well-trained, but that is not always true; but it will furnish a few teachers better trained than those who have no training at all. But the county institute is the people. The teachers in the county institutes must learn, what they are to learn at all, of the principles of education. The State Normal School may send out a few teachers who will be centres of influence and will very much elevate the whole body of teachers, perhaps meeting as a circle going out and out and touching each other, but when they get down to the real normal school work it must be done in the county institute.
Now the question arises, What sort of instruction shall we give in the county institutes ? I don't know whether the gentleman who preceded me gave the average time of these institutes. I believe the usual
would eliminate the academic work from the county institute. The few hours which the teachers have to spend ought to be given to the higher work. That mere academic work, it is doing work over twice. There are other schools provided for doing that work and which can get better results than can be got out of teachers' institutes.
HENRY SABIN: Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen-I am not here to represent any particular State. I do not claim the merit of representing the great North west, which my friend from Boston twits me on. I find at least ten of us representing that section. But I would if I could-if I had the language and the ability to do it-I would put be. fore this Department to-day a plea for the teacher in the common schools. I would put before you to-day a plea, if I could, that would move this Department to do something in behalf of the schools in our rural districts; for it is there that we are making American citizens, my friends, and it is in those schools to-day that there is the greatest need of persistent hard work. I don't know that the normal institute reaches there as it should, or that there is any other means by which we can reach the common school teacher except through county institutes. In the position which we occupy we can feel something of the great throbbing wave of educational advancement which is going through the country; but the only means by which we can reach them is through the annual gathering of these rural school teachers.
Some of the gentlemen have made reference to the State I have the honor to represent. We expended last year in our normal institutes over $52,000, and when we closed we had in the treasury of the State over $14,000 of funds unexpended. We expended of the $52,000 over $43,000 for instruction alone. We have no disposition to abandon the normal institute; but we do feel year after year that we ought to get a great deal more out of it than we have been able to. The State gives each.county $50; all the rest is raised by an assessment upon our teachers. Every teacher pays a dollar for his certificate; the same in the institute; and my friend from Chicago will excuse me when I say it is an exceedingly unfair way to conduct an institute. I think the State of Iowa is great enough and rich enough to expend $50,000 every year on her school teachers; and I think the time is coming when she will do it. The gentleman from Ohio says, in regard to the length of time our institutes last, that it is on an average two and seven-tenths weeks. The fact is, we were in session four weeks. The original purpose of the county institute has very largely been lost sight of in many parts of the State, I fully believe with the gentleman from Ohio that it was their design that the normal institute should be turned into a cram: ming school; and that has been the case in some counties in our State, and is the case in various parts of the Northwest. I had an institute under my care a few years ago. I gave an advanced class some very practical hints in regard to school management. After the lecture was
counter to these mighty influences. We have gone counter to this nature that we have within us. Let us teach according to that and we shall have splendid results. Our friends console us when one man says, “I have forgotten all the mathematics I ever knew.”. The power is with you still.
It is an episode that I drew around the word “inspiration.” If man can do what man has done, I don't think his definition is broad enough. If he is brought in contact with the best thought and best things that have been done in the world, that is all a man wants in this world in the higher education. The higher education is the education. That higher education is the product of having ourselves moved mightily from within. Now, that is what the institute can do if you have the right spirit of instructors; otherwise, an institute is of no value whatever.
Now, how shall we get these good institutes? Shall they all come from the normal schools? Shall they be appointed as in New York, and license a band of State institutes as instructors? Several years ago in the city of Cincinnati, when we had an institute there, we sent out every year the very foremost men in this country to go and teach our institutes, and their very presence alone was sufficient to work up the teachers and make them live, as it were; and in the course of a few years that institute had become in itself a liberal education. Some of iny friends here will bear me witness to the fact that the teachers have the pick of all this country to talk to them, a man of high thought and high endeavor, when he does not say a word. I am one of those little fellows who like to bask in the sunshine of these men whose lives have been devoted to thinking good and noble thoughts and doing good and noble things. Their inspiration comes to me, and so they come to these young men and women in the city.
Much depends on the institute instructors. In Ohio we have no system of institutes. In Indiana we stand on spontaneity. Our institutes are managed entirely by the teachers themselves. They do not always employ the instructors wisely.
While I am all at sea how these things shall be done, I am rather inclined to the “no plan," if we may so term it. In Ohio we get pretty good results as to work. I believe the thing to be done in the week institutes is simply to stimulate the teachers and get them into broader ways of thinking and into kinder ways of feeling. I remember of going out from an institute and hearing one girl, whose eyes had always been bright during the whole week, remark, “I have had inspiration enough to last me a whole year."
One other thought: Perhaps there are two classes of teachers who attend institutes, those who already have an interest in professional work. There is another class who go over the work of examination. The first class will be benefited by the higher kind of institutes ; the second class may catch a thought that will do them good; but if their mind is on the coming examination, it will not do them much good. I