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but I fear that very many self-satisfied teachers would be appalled at the meagerness of the products of their labors, would they but critically examine them.

Questioning closely has its humorous side.

A little third-reader girl read: “Besides Jamie, Mrs. Brown had three other children, and her hands were full.” “Full of what ?” asked the visitor. "Full of children," was the prompt reply.

At "morning exercises," a hundred pupils, and several visiting Reverends present, a pupil recited a "gem” which contained the word "proverb.” “What is a proverb ?” asked the principal. “A proverb

“ is what some man writes,” said one. "I wrote something a few days ago," said the principal ; "was that a proverb?" "No," replied an eleven years old girl; a proverb is a wise saying which some smart man writes.” The principal proceeded with the exercises as soon as preachers and pupils stopped laughing.

A pupil called the teacher's attention to a sentence in Froude's “Cæsar : a Sketch." "Political storms are always cyclones.” “Why cyclones ?" asked the teacher. With a twinkle of humor came the answer—"I suppose because there is so much hard blowing.” Perhaps the humor might excuse the slang.

The style of question and answer illustrated in the examination conducted by the gentleman who visited the school with "Thomas Gradgrind, sir; a man of realities, a man of facts," is probably not wholly out of use. “Now let me ask you, boys and girls, would you paper a room with representations of horses ? After a pause, one half of the children cried in chorus, “Yes, sir.' Upon which, the other half, seeing in the gentleman's face that yes was wrong, cried out in chorus, 'no, sir,'—as is the custom at such examinations. Of course, no. Why wouldn't you ?' 'Do you ever see horses walking up and down the sides of a room in reality-in fact ?' 'Yes, sir,' from one half, 'no, sir’ from the other,” etc.

Class in Physics.-Universal properties of matter. The term universal properties defined, universal properties named and defined, and teacher about to pass to next topic. The visitor says, “Name an elastic substance.” Done. “Another." Done. “Is rubber elastic?" "Of course.' “Is water elastic ?” “Yes, sir,” from one half. A pause on the part of the visitor. "No, sir,” from the other half, and discussion failed to settle the question to the satisfaction of all. “Is putty elastic ?” “No, sir," from a decided majority, “yes, sir,” from an undecided minority. The class needed the discipline of crossexamination.

I will close by expressing the hope that some master will soon give us a volume on “The Art of Questioning.”

A FEW HOURS WITH EDUCATIONAL JOURNALS.

I

We think our readers will enjoy the following racy article, contributed by Dr. E. E. White to the January number of the Indiana School Journal :

I have just put in my library, eleven newly bound volumes of the Indiana School Journal. These, with the nine volumes bound in 1870, contain a valuable record of school progress in Indiana for twenty years, and I am very desirous of securing the preceding five volumes, several of which were edited by the lamented Henkle.

I have also added to my library seven bound volumes of the Ohio EDUCATIONAL MONTHLY, completing the set of this journal from 1852 to 1882 inclusive. These thirty-one volumes (15 of which I edited), with the prior four volumes of the Ohio School Journal and a volume of the Public School Advocat?, both edited by Dr. A. D. Lord, present a complete history of educational progress in Ohio from 1848 to the present year.

My library also contains twenty volumes of the Pennsylvania School Journal, beginning with 1861, and twenty-seven volumes of Barnard's American Journal of Education, beginning with the first volume, issued in 1856—the greatest work of the kind in the English language, if not in any language.

My collection of Educational Journals also contains one or more bound volumes of nearly all the more important American journals, hitherto published. Among these are four volumes of the Connecticut Common School Journal, from 1838 to 1842, ioclusive, edited by Henry Barnard ; three volumes of the R. 1. Institute of Instruction, 1845 to 1848 inclusive, also edited by Henry Barnard; twelve volumes of the Massachusetts Teacher, the first being the sixth volume, issued in 1852, and early volumes of the New York Teacher, Connecticut Common School Journal, Rhode Island Schoolmaster, Illinois Teacher, Wisconsin Journal of Education, etc.

Of all the educational journals published prior to 1870, only three are still issued. These, in the order of their ages, are the Ohio EDUCATIONAL MONTHLY, the Pennsylvania School Journal, and the Indiana School Journalall three being well sustained and vigorous, with the promise of many years of usefulness.

I have recently spent several hours in look og over the later numbers of these journals and comparing them with the earlier volumes. The comparison has been very interesting and suggestive. The improvement in the character of the journals is very marked, and in no direction has this progress been greater than in the practical value of the articles. There is a clearer grasp of guiding principles and a more intelligent application of these principles to school work in the later than in the earlier volumes; and this suggests the value of these jour. nals as a record of school progress. Nowhere else can the improvements made in school systems and in methods of teaching be more satisfactorily learned. In the earlier volumes will be found articles earnestly advocating measures and agencies now almost universally employed. The later volumes advocate improvements in these agencies and the remedying of defects.

But in no other respect is the change in these journals so marked as in the discussion of methods of instruction and especially of primary instruction. Thirty years ago there were very few articles devoted to the teaching of little children, and these either described methods long since discarded, or they hinted at better methods in such terms as show that they were ideals and not methods actually used by the writers.

As a rule, the earlier papers on methods are general and indefinite, with few details, but here and there the reader finds a paper that opens wide windows into what is properly called a natural method of primary teaching-papers showing clear vision and practical knowledge. The more recent papers on methods abound in details, showing, on their face, that they are not mere theories, but are the delineations of actual school work. They map out the way and note the steps to be taken with the minuteness and accuracy of the practical surveyor.

All this indicates the progress actually made in elementary instruction. The better methods known to a few superior teachers thirty years ago, and later taught in normal schools and teachers' institutes, have widely worked their way into the American school, and are now skillfully used by thousands of progressive teachers. This has been the work of no one man or score of men. Hundreds of wise teachers have been solving this problem of child teaching, and, as a result, the methods of the primary school have been radically improved-not in all communities, but in many communities. The progress made in embodying sound theory in successful practice in the schools has, it is true, been slow-an illustration of the wise remark of Jno. Stuart Mi!l, that "a reform even of governments and churches is not so slow as that of schools, for there is the great preliminary difficulty of fashioning the instruments; of teaching the teachers.It is for this reason, that improved methods of teaching are usually worked out by individual teachers or by a body of teachers under the instruction and oversight of a superior teacher. It is for a like reason that such improved methods are disseminated largely by what may be called the training

the eyes

process, and hence the importance of supervisory school officers who have a clear grasp of the principles of education and a familiar acquaintance with the best methods. The American people are slowly learning that improved methods of school instruction involve the training of the teachers, and, in the present condition of education, this devolves largely upon school superintendents, aided in the larger cities by training schools, and elsewhere by normal schools and teachers' institutes. A live man at the head of the schools in a small city, with power to carry out his plans, can work wonders in a few years, provided he knows what superior teachers have done and are doing in the most advanced schools.

Those who suppose that any method of primary instruction has been evolved and perfected within the past fifteen years, are commended to the pages of the educational journals. Here they will find evidence that what they supposed to be a very recent discovery is much older than the supposed discoverer-older not merely as a theory, but as a method successfully used in many schools. An acquaintance with the literature of education would

open

of many

of the ardent advocates of the “New Education” (whatever this may mean). I have often been amused to hear methods advocated as “new” or sharply criticised as "new-fangled,” which, to my personal knowledge, have been successfully used in American schools for a quarter of a century. In a recent heated discussion of the spellingbook question in a teachers' institute in the East, the proposed nonuse of such a book in elementary grades was both advocated and opposed as a “Quincy idea.” I think, Mr. Editor, that it would not be difficult for you to name a score of cities in whose schools no spellinghook has been used, especially in the lower grades, for over twenty years, to say nothing of the practice in German schools. As many

readers are aware, the past eight years of my life have been devoted to the practical solution of the difficult problem of higher industrial education, and so arduous have been my duties that I have been able to give very little attention to the progress of elementary education. I now turn to the educational journals and to school reports to learn what improvements have been made since my last visits to some of the most advanced public schools in the country. The first thing that strikes me is the frequency with which the term “The New Education" meets me, and I am trying to find out what is meant by it. I have been familiar with the term as first used by Dr. Eliot, now President of Harvard, to designate a higher education in which the physical sciences have a large place and the modern languages take the place of Latin and Greek. I have also heard the term ap

your

of

plied to industrial education, both elementary and advanced, but this use of the term to designate a method of primary instruction is novel and to me confusing. Is it true that Dr. Eliot's higher education, based on the sciences and modern languages, and technical or industrial education, and the natural methods of primary education are all correlated parts of one system of education ? If there be such a system, it seems proper to designate it "The New Education,” but the application of this term to a method or system of primary education strikes me as akin to the applying of the title “Professor” to an elementary teacher with a year's certificate or license. The term is too big for the thing it covers. What is the explanation of this tendency to apply big names to small things, and new names to old things ?

What is meant by “new” as applied to this primary method ? Thirty years ago drawing and music were systematically taught in all the grades of the Cleveland schools, and the “word method” as an initial process in teaching reading had superseded the a-b-c or lettermethod, and twenty-five years ago the word-method, the phonicmethod, and the letter-method were united in scores of schools as a practical method of teaching the child the art of reading. More than twenty-five years ago technical grammar was put up at least three years in the Cleveland course of study and more practical instruction in language was begun. Over twenty years ago the writer gave a systematic course of language lessons in teachers' institutes. Are these and other like improved methods of primary instruction, used in the best schools for twenty years or more, included in "The New Education ?” Can not the educational journals help perplexed teachers to determine what is new in "The New Education ?"

By the way, have you read Miss Partridge's "Notes” of Col. Parker's “Talks on Teaching ?” I recently read the little book with some care, though not in a critical mood, my special purpose being to learn what is characteristic of the so-called “Quincy Method.” specially pleased with the eight talks on the teaching of reading and spelling, though they contain little that is new or that can be characteristic of the Quincy schools. The methods sketched are rational and natural, and, what is important, have been successfully used by hundreds of wise and skillful teachers. It seems to me important to keep in mind when reading these talks that the principles and methods advocated by Col. Parker relate to elementary instruction and not to secondary or advanced. He clearly has in mind the primary pupil, and not the pupil in the grammar school, or in the high school. The talks on "School Government,” “Moral Training,” and several other topics are less satisfactory. The book contains some statements that

I was

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