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we secure in our institutes by getting broad men, by getting strong men, by getting men who will lift the profession out of its ruts and lift it by bis aspirations and inspirations. But do not understand me to say now that we succeeded. When we have succeeded we will put the institute on the shelf.
I have gone into the State of New York, and I admire much of their work there; in fact I have been half converted since my visit last year; but I am not fully converted yet. I have been in Michigan; I like their work there. Also in Illinois.
Also in Illinois. But, as I started out with saying, you no more can saddle New York on Pennsylvania, or Iowa on Illinois, than you can harness Pegasus with a mule.
H. S. JONES: Mr. President and fellow members of our association: I am well noted to weary you on this subject, but I am not going to fire off. I will make this remark and stop: This beautiful presentation of the institute as it is managed in Massachusetts will be printed, and I want you not only to read it, but study it.
STATE TEACHERS' INSTITUTES,
By JOIN W. DICKINSON,
Secretary Massachusetts Stoto Loard of Education.
An institute is a society organized for teaching the principles of things.
A teachers' institute is an association of teachers, esta blished for the purpose of discussing the principles and methods on which the science and art of teaching are founded.
A State teachers' institute is one established and directed by State authorities.
The idea of a school teachers' institute was invented at a teachers' convention held in Tompkius County, New York, some time, I believe,
I in the year 1843.
The first institutes were organized and supported by their members. Horace Mann, observing the work of these voluntary associations, thought it best to present to the teachers of Massachusetts an opportunity to judge of their value from personal experience.
Hon. Edmund Dwight, a personal friend of Mr. Mann, and ever ready to aid himn in carrying ont his educational plans, contributed $1,000 to enable liim to try the experiment of training the teachers of the Commonwealth by means of teachers' institutes. To encourage attendance, the funds contributed by Mr. Dwight were expended in paying the board of the members of tlie institute. The first teacliers'institute in Massachusetts was held in the town of Pittsfield in the autumu of 1815, two years later than the first held in New York. The Governor of the State
was present, and was, throughout the session, one of the most attentive and interested observers. He was himself a graduate of the public common schools of western Massachusetts, and he knew well of their great deficiencies and their great importance.
The experiment at Pittsfield was considered by all to be eminently successful.
Governor Briggs, in his next message to the Massachusetts Legis. lature, recommended a generous appropriation for the support of teachers' institutes to be held in different parts of the Commonwealth and under the direction of the State board of education. The recommendation was approved by an almost unanimous vote of the legislators of the State, and from that time the teachers' institute became a State in. stitution.
The first teachers' institutes ever held in the Commonwealth of Mas. sachusetts were conducted after the manner of a public school.
The members were formed into classes; they were required to prepare lessons and recite them, and to conform in all respects to the formalities of a well-regulated school.
The expenses of the members while attending the institutes were paid by the State, and their wages by the towns, the same as though they were doing their regular school work.
The exercises of the early institutes had less to do with a discussion of methods as founded on principles than with a study of the subjects to be taught. Arithmetic, grammar, geography, and reading, those stúdies known as the coinmon English branches, were pursued with reference to a knowledge of them as subjects, rather than with reference to the method by which they should be presented to the learner's mind. The evening exercises consisted of lectures on subjects of interest to the teachers and to the people as well. The lecturers endeavored to communicate information; to magnify the value and necessity of popular education and to awaken a deeper interest in the public schools. Among those accustomed to speak to the teachers and the people at the first Massachusetts institutes, were the most distinguished educators of that time. They were such wen as Louis Agassiz, the great naturalist; Prof. Arnold Guyot, the most noted geographer of his time; Prof. William Russell, the renowned teacher of clocntion; Dr. Lowell Mason, the pioneer teacher of vocal music in the public schools; Samuel Green, the grammarian; and Warren Colburn, the mathematician. These distinguished philosophers attracted the attention of the teachers of the Commonwealth and inspired them with a desire to increase their knowl. edge of the subjects they taught, and to improve their methods of teaching these topics to others.
The interest that these gentlemen manifested in the simple work of the elementary schools elevated these institutions in the estimation of the people, and gave a new impulse to the cause of public instruction throughout the State. The State teachers' institutes, the normal schools,
and special, well-educated supervision, as a means of placing over our public schools competent instructors, have done much toward producing a radical reformation in these institutions, and toward enlisting an intelligent sympathy in their support. In Massachusetts the State insti. tutes are organized and directed by the State board of education. When the State board is satisfied that fifty teachers of public schools desire to unite in forming a teachers' institute, it shall, by a committee or by its secretary, or, in case of his inability, by such person as it may delegate or appoint, give notice of a time and place for such meeting, and make suitable arrangements therefor. To defray the expenses to procure teachers and lecturers for such institutes a sum of money is annually appropriated to be paid out of that half of the income of the school fund not apportioned for distribution to cities and towns. The board may determine the length of time during which a teachers' institute shall remain in session and what sum of money, not exceeding $300, shall be appropriated to meet its expenses. These are the principal statutes regulating the establishment of the institutes. As a fact the institutes are held wherever they are invited, or in those towns which may consent to receive them on a request from the secretary of the board. The secretary also organizes the institutes, appoints the teachers, and arranges the exercises to be conducted.
The schooi committee of the town in which an institute is to be held is requested to invite the teachers and school committeemen of as many other towns as it pleases to join with it in the exercises and hospitalities of the occasion. In later years the institutes have been attended by school officers as well as by teachers, and by the people of the community in large numbers. The subjects taught are, first, the principles of teaching and the true method founded upon them; second, the application of the method to teaching the various branches enumerated in the list of compulsory studies.
This includes presenting to the institute a set of topics on the study brought before it, and a full plan of teaching these topics to others.
The means of illustration are presented also, as well as the manner of using them.
It is the duty of the institute teacher to show that in the construction of the topics he presents he has provided for teaching his subject according to the principles illustrated in the lesson already given on prin. ciples of teaching.
In teaching the individual topics themselves, he is expected to exhibit a practical application of the true method founded on the same principles. In this way it will appear that the work of the institute is to train its members to teach rather than to give them information. Great care should be exercised in presenting the priuciples and method of teaching
The laws of the human mind which control it in the acquisition of knowledge and in the development of its faculties can not be made objects of consciousness by means of words alone. Learned lectures written and read on this subject to a company of young persons who have never before directed their attention to it do not always.communicate much solid information, nor are they the occasions of much useful knowledge. The subject must be taught by directing the learner's mind to its own operations, and to the conditions necessary for their performance.
In teaching to the members of an institute the principles or laws of the mind upon which all teaching depends, and in devising a method of teaching that shall be in harmony with the principles, a simple plan may be devised by which these most important and fundamental topics may be made clear to all who may give their earnest attention to the exercise.
First. The institute teacher should teach, not tell his class in words, but teach the definition of teaching. This may be done by teaching what an object of thought is, and what a subject, and what it is to present these to the learner's mind, as occasions for knowledge, and for that development of the faculties which may be produced by their right activity. From this teaching, the definition of the act may be easily de.. rived.
A clear understanding of what it is to teach is important. It will prevent the teacher from too much talking and explaining, and assigning lessons from text-books to be committed to memory and recited without ideas or without any development of active power. It will lead him to present the objects and subjects of the lessons to the learner's mind and simply direct the thinking that should follow.
Second. After the definition of teaching has been thus presented, the ways or methods of performing this act should be considered.
There are two methods of teaching and study. One employs the analytic process, the other the synthetic. The laws of the intellect that determine its modes of activity in acquiring knowledge and which form the basis of a philosophic method of teaching are, first, the law which requires that whatever is to be known shall be made to bold the relation of object to the mind; second, the law that requires the object to hold the relation first of unity and then of parts or attributes in their order.
These two laws of the intellect are the principles upon which a method of teaching should be based. The objective element of the method is based or founded upon the first principle. The analytic element is founded upon the second principle. From the two principles found in the laws of the intellect that control its activity may be de. rived the analytic objective method of teaching, which the mind must be trained to use with facility, that its power may be cultivated. It must be borne in mind that the analytic process includes two acts of the intellect. The first in order is an analytic act; the second a synthetic. Both these acts, taken together and in the order suggested, constitute one process of the intellect, called the analytic process. The synthetic process is the reverse of the analytic. After teaching with considerable care the nature of method and the characteristics of the two methods which inay be used, it may be easily shown what the principles of teaching are, and that the analytic method is founded upon them.
From what has now been taught, it will appear that school exercises may accomplish three ends: (1) They may direct the pupil to some useful knowledge; (2) to a right method of study; (3) to a right use of the faculties. It will also appear that there is a logical relation between the analytio method of teaching and the ends to be secured by
This part of the subject should be made clear by objective illustrations, in which the pupil teachers should be made familiar with the application of method in teaching.
The lesson on the principles and method of teaching is the most important exercise that can be brought before a teachers' institute. If it is successfully given and faithfully received, it will communicate that knowledge which will make intelligent work of every school exercise the teacher will be required to conduct; it will guide him to a true course of studies and to a way of presenting the different subjects enumerated in the course to the learner's mind; it will prevent him from making the unfortunate mistakes that a false philosophy is sure to introduce.
The lessons of the institute that follow the first should all be given after the same manner, and for the purpose of making the teachers familiar with the application of the principles and method to teaching the various branches which are required to be pursued in the schools. These illustrative exercises will include an exhibition of both elementary and scientific teaching, and an explanation of elementary as distinguished from scientific knowledge.
This will require the institute teacher to supply himself with the means of teaching the facts he would present to his class, and to use them with special reference to the scientific teaching that is sometime to follow. That he may give to his institute class the best exhibition of his skill as an elementary teacher, he siould be provided with a class of children, and spend a portion of the time allotted to his lesson in directing them in their elementary thinking and in giving proper expression to their thoughts. Complaint is sometimes made that the exercises of the institutes are too exclusively confined to elementary topics of study and teaching, and no scheme of scientific work is illustrated.
The institute lessons should include both the elementary and the scientific elements of instruction. The subjects of the institute lessons should be those taught in the public schools, including industrial drawing, modelling in clay, the construction of simple apparatus for illustrating the facts of natural science and vocal music. A simple system