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that she does not possess enough knowledge to teach the elements of grammar to small children in an elementary school. Under such circumstances the need of university and high school methods (that is, departmental teaching) is not apparent for small children.
It is sometimes maintained that departmental teaching enables a really brilliant teacher to extend her influence more widely over the school than she could if confined to one set of children, but it is submitted per contra that in scattering her influence abroad so prodigally, it is dissipated and lost in the general shuffle; that the most brilliant teacher will lose her freshness and inspiration in too frequent repetition of the same subject day after day; and thereby becomes perforce a very mediocre teacher. What wearies her is the sameness of the topic, not the sameness of her audience. Concentrating her efforts on one room, she could retain her freshness and inspiration by that constant change of studies required by the curriculum. Such a room as that would be a model for the rest of the school.
It is sometimes claimed, on the other hand, that the baleful effects of an incompetent teacher are disguised and concealed, if spread over a number of classes. This may be true, but, rightly, there is no place in the public schools for an incompetent teacher. It would be better to confine her to one room where the fact of her poor teaching would be before everybody's eyes. Responsibility is thus easily located. Confronted thus with the indisputable evidence of her own ineptitude, she could see her own faults—when pointed out to her —and she would have at least a fair chance to improve.
Principals of elementary schools who have previously been specialty teachers in a high school, sometimes favor the departmental system even to the extent of introducing it from the fifth grade upwards—choosing perhaps the methods most familiar to them personally. Other elementary principals, ever on the alert for something new, because new and untried in a certain school, introduce the system. especially when the fad seems to be favored by someone high in authority. And there are conceivable circumstances in which, to meet an unexpected emergency or deficiency, a partial and modified adaptation may be profitable.
In Chicago the policy is to concentrate on each principal the responsibility, within well-defined limits, for the welfare of the one or two thousand children intrusted to his care. He may adopt the departmental system or not as he likes; he has entire freedom in this respect. At present these children are not suffering from the brainfag and worldweariness apparently so prevalent in New York. They still retain the normal child's exuberant vivacity and wholesome tendency to harmless mischief, nor has it been found necessary to let them travel about the building in search of fresh emotional impressions.
The fact that the New York system is adapted to that city proves that the condition of New York children and the ideals of New York teachers are decidedly different from—and unsuitable to the rest of the country.
E. L. C. MORSE Chicago, ILL.
The management and training of children-By WILLIAM J. Shearer, A.M.,
Ph. D., Superintendent of schools, Elizabeth, New Jersey. New York : Richardson, Smith & Co., 1904. 287 pp. $1.50.
The book contains some 280 pages of open type, and is easily read. The subject is popular, as it appeals to the many parents and teachers of the land. The author seems to regard it as new. In his Preface he says, “Upon almost any subject which one can imagine, no matter how unimportant, many excellent books can be found: yet a diligent search thru the libraries of even our largest cities will fail to disclose any book of practical suggestion to parents on the management and training of their children.”
Is it possible that such works as Rosmini's Method in education, Rousseau's Emile, Pestalozzi's Leonard and Gertrude, Preyer's The mind of the child, Spencer's Education, Kate Douglas Wiggin's Children's rights, Hopkins's How shall my child be taught? Kirkpatrick's Fundamentals of child study, and a hundred more, have not found their way into the
libraries of even our largest cities," or, if they have found their way there, that they are not regarded by Dr. Shearer as offering practical suggestions? Most people would regard the whole library of pedagogy as pertaining to the management and training of children.
The book is divided into forty chapters. These chapters are catalogued in the beginning pages under various headings and sub-headings. A glance at these headings and sub-headings gives one the impression that the author's object was to see how many different headings for chapters he could think of, rather than to show clear discriminations in topics and logical treatments of those topics. For instance, one chapter is entitled, Responsibility of parents, and gives as its first sub-heading, A terrible responsibility. Second, Cowardly attempts to shift the burden. Third, Why chips do not fall far from the block, etc. Another chapter is headed, Responsibility of the father; another, The mother's influence. One will at once be wondering what will be the dividing lines between parents and fathers and mothers. Another chapter is entitled, The home influence; another, Home behavior; another, Training of body and mind. The question will naturally arise, can the training of the body and mind be separated from the home influence and home behavior?
Examination of the table of contents impresses one that the book, while containing many truisms, does not partake of the nature of a scientific treatment on the training of children. No book can be said to contribute to learning on any subject of morals that does not give data of morals, that is, definite standards of right and wrong as the bases of comparison. For instance, what will good example mean unless the good is defined? What would leniency or severity mean unless there is first established a rule of conduct?
The defect in the table of contents of Dr. Shearer's book may readily be inferred to characterize the pages. Opening the book at random (chapter ii), Time, place and character of training, the first paragraph begins as follows: “All life is a constant warfare. That of a child is especially so. While developing conscience and embryonic reason strive for supremacy, animal appetites and propensities tempt to utter ruin by offering in exchange all the grosser and more material pleasures in the child's heaven and earth.” This language seems grandiloquent, but hardly presents any clear picture to the mind.
In the second paragraph of this chapter, the author says: " It is very important that those upon whom rests the responsibility of training children should fully understand the significance of the word 'training. That some do not is shown by frequent acts of many earnest parents. Many parents still believe it means teaching. Such is not the case. Primarily, teaching means the imparting of knowledge. Training implies, not merely the imparting of knowledge, but also inspiring to repeated action, which results in the formation of habits. Teaching gives to the child new facts. Training enables the
child to make use of the knowledge he possesses. Teaching is very important. Training is far more important.
In the third paragraph, he says: “Parents should ever be mindful of the fact that all will receive some kind of training. During almost every wakeful moment every child is being trained. Every sense reaches out after knowledge, all of which helps determine his training. The great aim should be to see to it that the training is of the right kind.” Set these two paragraphs side by side, and one discovers that training in the third paragraph must correspond, or nearly, to the teaching of the second.
In chapter v, under Requisites, “ Third Requisite. Many parents are heard to assert that they expect their younger children to be controlled by correct principles. Tho meaning well, such parents make a grievous mistake. It is important that every parent should clearly appreciate the truth and the importance of the statement that principles are for adults and rules for children.” Here again the reader is puzzled to understand just what is meant by principles in comparison with rules.
These samples quoted are characteristic of the book all the way thru. While there are many things in it that are true, the best that can be said of it in the interests of the parents is that it is not necessary. All that it says that is true has been said in thousands of ways. What we need in our books on the subject of the training of children is not desultory platitudes and truisms, but carefully thought out statements based upon a knowledge of psychology, ethics, religion, and the utilities of life.
The industrial history of the United States for high schools and colleges
—By KATHARINE COMAN, Ph. B., Professor of economics and sociology in Wellesley College. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1905. xviit 342+xxiv pp. $1.25 net.
If American civilization has a materialistic tone, there is a satisfactory historical excuse. As Professor Coman puts the matter in her preface, “ The history of the United States, more than that of any old-world country, is the record of its physical achievements.” Within a hundred years half the