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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.

me on.

HENRY SABIN: Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen-I am not

, -I here to represent any particular State. I do not claim the merit of representing the great Northwest, which my friend from Boston twits

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 before 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

I 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

who have never taught. Before they are enrolled they should be required to pass an examination the requirements of which have been known to them for at least a year. Then their work at the institute should be to review points in which they are deficient and to receive instruction in organization and management of schools, and in such matters as will tend to guard them against mistakes arising from their inexperience.

At the close, before they leave the institute, they should be definitely informed as to the amount and kind of work, both academical and professional, which they will be expected to finish during the year, and in which they must be examined at the beginning of the next institute, and before they are permitted to pass into the next higher grade. Care must be taken not to require too much of them; the amount must be very reasonable so as not to overtax their time and strength.

Having passed the second examination, the work of their second institute should be devoted to elucidation of points connected with that year's work. Then they should be ready to take the work of the next year, which should be largely devoted to professional subjects and to reading professional books.

The examination at the end of this period should be not technical, but rigid, calculated to show how thoroughly they have digested and assimilated the books which they have read.

The work for the succeeding and last period of twelve months should be wholly professional, devoted to elementary psychology and the history of education.

Here we have the preliminary examination, followed by the work of three successive years, not very extensive, but thorough; each year's work, the ground and base of the institute instruction, following it. At the close of such a course of institutes those teachers who have attended through the whole (series) and who have shown their fitness and ability to instruct and govern children and youth, might be granted a certificate good for three years, renewable at the end of that time for ten years, if the holder could show continued improvement in his profession.

Something of the kind here indicated has been tried, but not with that thoroughness which enables us to say anything of its success or failure.

I believe that the plan which I have sketched, however, contains the elements out of which or rather the basis upon which, the future institute will be constructed. That feeling along these lines of thought, we shall eventually reach a conclusion which will render the institute the most important and most effective factor in our educational work.

E. E. HIGBEE: How is it possible for us to come to any conclusion in regard to county institutes in such an endless variety of suggestions? I give up any prospect for having any general law for institutes. All that I have attempted to do has been confined simply to three things: (4) The professional work, if it is to reach the highest degree of success, must be given by those who are (a) adepts in methods of imparting knowledge; (b) who have that enthusiasin which begets enthusiasm, who are to the teachers in the classes as the steel is to the flint; (c) and whose instructions are guided by that wise pbilosophy which induces a spontaneous, yet lasting, self-activity on the part of the learner. Tell me with any degree of exactness the worth of the instruction, and I can foretell with equal exactness the worth of the inst.

itself. (5) The institute as first devised exerted a wide inului.

the tone of public feeling in relation to the schools. The institute oi v is very often as isolated from the public as the high school. It is looked upon by the community as something with which they have very little to do. The evening lectures, of which there should be several, should be devoted very largely to arousing an interest in the schools, and to disseminating among the people true ideas of education, what it is, what it is worth, and how it is obtained. The fact is, the schools are losing their hold upon the public, not because the public do not appreciate their work, but because they do not understand it; they look upon the schools very much as we look upon a piece of complicated machin. ery-it is very intricate, and therefore very wonderful.

The institute ought to afford us a very ready means of bringing the schools and the people together once more. It is right to say here that the institute, if it is to be a permanent force in our educational system, should be controlled by the State. Those who are employed to aid in its administration should be compelled to give proof to some authority of their ability and fitness for the peculiar work intrusted to them. Institute workers must be recognized as specialists, and be largely treated as such.

I am thoroughly convinced that we are approaching a period when the normal institute must choose between a new departure in its man. agement or being abandoned as worthless. If it is to remain as a fac. tor in our educational system, then some degree of permanence must be attached to its work so that it will no longer be looked upon as the end, but as the means to an end.

(1) In the first place, some amount of academical knowledge should be required as a prerequisite for enrolment in an institute. It may be only enough to entitle the holder to a low-grade, certificate even, but it should be something fixed and definite, and known to the teachers in the county. The effect of this plan would be to shut out a certain amount of worthless material; as the conditions of enrolment were gradually raised, the institute would take higher rank in the public mind, while at the same time there would be room to make a marked improvement in the character of the instruction given. I believe this step would change the whole tone of the institute.

(2) The institute must be graded upon a different plan from that generally pursued. The lowest grade should be largely formed of those

882—No. 26

who have never taught. Before they are enrolled they should be required to pass an examination the requirements of which have been known to them for at least a year. Then their work at the institute should be to review points in which they are deficient and to receive instruction in organization and management of schools, and in such matters as will tend to guard them against mistakes arising from their in. experience.

At the close, before they leave the institute, they should be definitely informed as to the amount and kind of work, both academical and professional, which they will be expected to finish during the year, and in which they must be examined at the beginning of the next institute, and before they are permitted to pass into the next higher grade. Care must be taken not to require too much of them; the amount must be very reasonable so as not to overtax their time and strength.

Having passed the second examination, the work of their second institute should be devoted to elucidation of points connected with that year's work. Then they should be ready to take the work of the next year, which should be largely devoted to professional subjects and to reading professional books.

The examination at the end of this period should be not technical, but rigid, calculated to show how thoroughly they have digested and assimilated the books which they have read.

The work for the succeeding and last period of twelve months should be wholly professional, devoted to elementary psychology and the history of education.

Here we have the preliminary examination, followed by the work of three successive years, not very extensive, but thorough; each year's work, the ground and base of the institute instruction, following it. At the close of such a course of institutes those teachers who have attended through the whole (series) and who have shown their fitness and ability to instruct and govern children and youth, might be granted a certificate good for three years, renewable at the end of that time for ten years, if the holder could show continued improvement in his profession.

Something of the kind here indicated has been tried, but not with that thoroughness which enables us to say anything of its success or failure.

I believe that the plan which I have sketched, however, contains the elements out of which,or rather the basis upon which, the future institute will be constructed. That feeling along these lines of thought, we shall eventually reach a conclusion which will render the institute the most important and most effective factor in our edueational work.

E. E. HIGBEE: How is it possible for us to come to any conclusion in regard to county institutes in such an endless variety of suggestions? I give up any prospect for having any general law for institutes. All that I have attempted to do has been confined simply to three things: First, to arouse a public interest in educational matters. The minds of men generally are not trained to it because there is no profit in it; it brings no dollars and cents. So it becomes necessary that public sentiment should be aroused, and I find county institutes to be a very fine organization for that purpose, to gather the men in-the physicians, the lawyers, the ministers--to get them all in and there have the opportunity at least of challenging their attention to school work. We have county fairs of the same kind in Pennsylvania to get an exhibit of the county in its material interest, and I have no doubt it does farming good. But here is the chance of showing off the teachers of the whole county, challenging the community at least to look at them, to see them in a body. I want the institute to serve that end, and therefore I made them, so far as I could, mass meetings of education.

There was another thing I had in view. Our teachers are of pecessity young. In the profession of teaching we cannot expect the age that we find in the profession of law, medicine or in the ministry. It is idle for us to expect that, with our present system. We have them in the old country. I met them in Belgium; the majority of them were sixty years of age, the great minority were twenty to thirty years of age. It will be years and years before we can reach any system such as that; and we must expect therefore that our teachers will be young girls and young boys, many of them simply teaching to get spending money, or to open the way to get to some other point, some other method of living. Now, such being the case, I found it very necessary to arouse an interest in the work. I wish to cultivate the esprit de corps, that teachers might at least see a large body of teachers around them and begin to feel that they are teachers, that they belong to a body of men called to an individual work. I never aimed at having instruction given definitely, like the driven ox. I don't believe you can do it in the two or three weeks or six weeks. It is hard enough work to do it in the normal school in a year or two years; and that instruction can't be given in our institutes with any degree of satisfaction. But what I did desire is that our teachers should know something outside of their profession that would be an advantage to their profession. The teacher must be broad in culture; he must stand before the pupil with breadths of knowledge to answer and feel what the child desires; and it is only by broadening his knowledge that he will be a good teacher. I don't mean that he should understand the whole theory and art of teaching; but he should understand more. It will take nine lawyers and more to make a man if they confine themselves to law and go not beyond it.

What do we want in our association with each other? Do we want to come here and see my friend Newell and hear him talk and play the pedantic bore? I want nothing of the kind. I want not Newell's pro. fession but Newell himself; he is broader than the profession. We want the coming together of life with life, spirit with spirit, soul with soul, deeper than any particular professional characteristics, and that

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