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gogy, who could meet them occasionally with the heads of the de. partments under whose direction they are working.
On Saturdays a seminary of two hours' duration might be held, conducted by the professor of pedagogy and attended by the studentteachers and the more ambitious teachers of experience in the vicinity. These seminaries would doubtless be of great profit to both classes of participants and the greater to each because of the other.
It will not be needful to specify further the advantages to the student-teachers. The arrangement likewise affords advantage to the affiliated school, especially in the breadth of view this work would afford to the heads of departments, the intense desire it would beget in them for professional skill, the number of perplexing problems which it would force them to attempt the solution of.
The visits of the professor of pedagogy, and the constant comparison he would make between actual and ideal conditions, would lead him to seek the improvement not only of the students in practice but of the school as a whole.
When several earnest and capable people unite in a mutual effort to improve themselves and their work all the essential conditions of progress are present.
HORACE S. TARBELL, Chairman,
Superintendent of Schools, Providence, R. I.
Superintendent of Schools, Philadelphia, Pa.
THOMAS M. BALLIET,
Superintendent of Schools, Springfield, Mass.
Superintendent of Schools, Peoria, Il.
Superintendent of Schools, Galveston, Tex.
[REPORTED BY C. B. GILBERT OF ST. PAUL, MINN.]
A. B. BLODGETT, City Superintendent, Syracuse, N. Y.-I shall not attempt to present a philosophical discussion of the report submitted on the topic now before
I am satisfied that too many technicalities, too much psychology, and too much pedagogy are talked to and at young, immature persons who are preparing to become teachers.
I do not believe in the born teacher. The truly born teacher must receive a second birth, either through professional training or an extended uphill experience.
I believe a thorough normal training to be a necessity. The report very wisely omits a discussion of the relative merits of city training schools and normal schools, and I agree with the committee that "each is a necessity.”
For myself, in this discussion, however (and I speak from the standpoint of our own work in this line), I must give the preference to the city training school. It must be acknowledged that many teachers-in-training are not qualified for the work before them, because their academic education and general culture are too meager. They are not qualified to master the problems which they must meet in pedagogical study.
There is a vast difference as to fitness between the students who enter these respective training schools. In many cases, the requirements for entrance to a normal school do not measure up to the requirements for entrance to a good city high school; while the candidates for the city training-class must be graduates of said high school. This gives to the city class greater maturity of mind and body,being older,—and a broader and clearer comprehension of the professional work to follow.
There is great danger, in the professional training of immature minds, that the work presented shall be too technical in its nature; that terms too scientific shall be used.
[Here Mr. Blodgett read from a pamphlet, prepared by a normal school principal, some "assumed principles" in the training of teachers. The extracts read were absurd, ultra-metaphysical statements, and their reception by the association should not be considered as representing the position of the speaker or of the association on this question. Mr. Blodgett closed the reading of these statements by saying: “From all such elements and factors in the proper training of teachers, may the good Lord deliver us-or me, at least,"']
In further discussion, Mr. Blodgett remarked, that in normal schools, the pupil classes, eight to twelve each, were too small to secure the best practical results to the trainer; and going out from such training many a young teacher has found herself overwhelmed by the numbers she has been compelled to face, and failure has resulted. They should also be trained in every feature and detail of school work. At some part of their training they should be given the management, and should be held responsible for the discipline of the room, the playground, and all the details of actual school life. They should receive and dismiss pupils, make out reports, etc.
In my own city (Syracuse), the course covers one and one-half years after graduation from the high school, and no one is admitted to the training-class without this excellent preparation. The first half-year is devoted to a review of subjectmatter studies. The second half-year is given to the study of methods, psychology, school economy, history of education, etc. The third half-year is devoted to practice in a school, covering eight years of work, from the lowest primary to the highest grammar grades. The work of the first year is in the hands of an excellent male graduate of the Oswego Normal School. The practice work of the last halfyear, frequently covering an entire year, is presided over by a graduate of the Cook County Normal, who received her last and best training after she had proven herself an excellent teacher of some years' experience. In herself, she illustrates my position, that of the necessity of maturity before professional training is taken on.
My contention is, first, that professional training should be preceded by a definite, well-rounded high school course of study, or its full equivalent. This is the rule in city training classes, but not the rule in normal schools. Second, that the training should be in the hands of those who dwell upon the spirit of the normal work and not so much upon the letter. And, further, that the mechanics
of method and the technical, professional terms should not stand in the mind of the normal student of any school for the real essence and truth that training is intended to give.
SUPERINTENDENT SCHAEFFER of Pennsylvania asked whether Mr. Blodgett considered the extract read as typical of New York normal schools, and was answered "No."
PRESIDENT JOHN W. Cook of Illinois State Normal University.-Is it typical of any state excepting a state bordering on insanity?
PRESIDENT WILLIAM J. MILNE of the State Normal College at Albany, N. Y., commended the report of the committee for its clearness, its philosophical basis, and its eminently practical suggestions. He called the attention of the association to the fact, that, whenever a body of school superintendents, or men engaged in similar work, attempted to discuss the training of teachers, they invariably found it necessary to cast some slur upon normal schools, and that the body assembled at Cleveland was no exception to the rule. He implied that one of the reasons why such a condition of affairs existed was, that very few of the superintendents had themselves had any previous professional training, and that they could not tell good training from poor when they saw it; and, further, that probably very many of them (and those were the ones who were most given to denouncing normal schools) had never in their lives visited such an institution. He thought that it was no criticism on normal schools at all that the principal of one of them, somewhere in the United States, had prepared a pamphlet on the training of teachers which expressed the principles underlying the work in a form that was unnecessarily involved, and perhaps absurdly metaphysical. Moreover, he defended the statements on the ground of their being accurate and very likely true; that there must be principles underlying all instruction in pedagogy, on which the work is based, and that it is not unlikely that scholarly thought and investigation will sometime fix them absolutely in some form which may be metaphysical and yet within the comprehension of people who ought to discuss and apply those principles.
PROFESSOR NICHOLSON.—The young men and women who come forward to be teachers are as far away from childhood as possible. They have forgotten childish feelings and experiences. The first thing necessary is to create in them an interest in children. The way to do this is to begin with the scientific study of childhood. This will lead to the sympathetic study.
PRESIDENT JOHN W. COOK of Normal University, Illinois, said that the department should not be so ready to pass judgment upon the extract read by Mr. Blodgett. It is a just criticism upon it, perhaps, that its language is so formal and technical; but because the writer has chosen to present his thought in a phraseology with which we may not be familiar, we should not conclude that he is neces. sarily foolish. It is not always wise for us to make ourselves the measure of the wisdoin of what others may say. We should remember that our great philosophical seer formerly used terms in these gatherings which not all of us were able to understand.
As to the relation of city training schools and normal schools, Mr. Cook in. sisted that there was no such thing as conflict. In this country the normal school came first and the city training school was an outgrowth from it. It is true, that, in some of the states, like New York, the order may be said to have been reversed. Clearly, indeed, each has its function. The method of the city training school cannot become universal. It has very manifest advantages over the normal school on one hand, while it has serious drawbacks on the other. It furnishes a greater opportunity for practice work in actual teaching, but a smaller opportunity usually for theoretical work. The normal school is usually limited in its practice department; the city training school in its theoretical department. The great peril of the city training school is the tendency toward inbreeding. Its pupils are usually graduates of the local high school, and have come up through several grades of the system. When they leave the training school and return to the city schools as teachers, they have not had that experience with different systems which is necessary for the best preparation.
The motive in establishing city training school systems has sometimes been rather low. It has been claimed by their promoters that they could thereby diminish the expenses of the management of the system by using the pupil-teachers to fill vacancies occasioned by sick-leaves, and also to supply the lower grades with teachers without expense to the city.
But the city training school, since it is always local in its purposes, can never supply the teachers for the rural schools. The normal school is their only opportunity. It is true, that, with the large classes, they cannot all be in charge of schoolrooms while in training, but they can do much teaching and can receive very great assistance.
Mr. Cook thought that the danger with regard to the self-sufficiency of the young teacher who comes from the normal school was very greatly exaggerated. He had not been a witness of this unfortunate condition of things, and rarely heard complaint in his own state. It is probable that there is ground for it, because the young teacher goes from the normal school with a technique which is but partially assimilated, perhaps. Yet this stage, in which the technique assumes the formal aspect, is one through which we must all go before we attain any high degree of skill.
SUPERVISOR GEO. H. MARTIN of Boston dissented from Mr. Blodgett's opinion in regard to the intelligence of students coming from normal schools as compared with those coming from city training schools. Most of the students in the state normal schools come from country homes where there is considerable culture. They bring with them some inherited taste for scholarly pursuits, and have selected teaching as a vocation to gratify this taste. They have a breadth, and insight, and sympathy with what is best which stands them in stead of the more showy attainments of the city girls.
Many of the students in the city training schools have come from homes lacking the refinements of hereditary culture. Sometimes they are but a single generation removed from absolute illiteracy. These seek to enter the teaching ranks through the training school for social advancement. Having graduated, they secure schools because their fathers pay taxes and have influence. The graduates of the state normal schools can urge no such claim on any particular town or city, and are forced to win their way upon their merits.
Miss ELLEN G. REVELEY of Cleveland.--In this discussion we have lost sight of the end, which is the child. Pupils who come to normal schools have been students of books. It is essential to put them in touch with the world aroundwith the thought of the day. It is very essential that every student be acquainted with himself and with his relation to the child; then will he make a strong teacher.
DR. D. L. KIEHLE, State University of Minnesota, spoke to the second part of the report, and emphasized the need of training for teachers of secondary schools and of superintendents and principals. The graduate of a normal school, who comes with a feeble possession of her new theories and ideas, often finds super
visors who have had a higher education of the college but no professional training, and who have little sympathy with primary education and do not strengthen and encourage the young graduate in the attainment of her ideals received in the normal school, but rather make light of it all. He hailed with the greatest satisfaction that portion of the report which favors pedagogical training in colleges and universities, and desired to emphasize the importance of instructing these young people in the study of children. Dr. Kiehle related, that, in his classes, he had found little sympathy with elementary teaching; but he had sent them out to visit kindergartens, and that they had returned regenerated. When superintendents and principals have sympathy with scientific pedagogy, then the young teacher will grow.
DR. WALTER B. HERVEY, New York Teachers' Training College, also emphasized the importance of the second part of the report. The first necessity in training college graduates is regeneration. The college graduate has grown away from the possibilities of second birth between the time of his own graduation and the time when he has children of his own to care for. He has lost sympathy with childhood. In order to develop this he must have contact with all grades; then he may approach the study of the period of adolescence with sympathy and intelligence. Dr. Hervey praised the practical suggestions for the training of secondary teachers outlined in the report that the committee had not waited for more training colleges, but had devised a plan for existing institutions. He spoke of a visit he had paid to a school in Germany in which five young men with the degree of Ph. D. devoted two years without pay to teaching under instruction.
SUPT. EDWARD P. SEAVER, Boston, Mass.-Why have city training schools become necessary? In my opinion, it is because the state normal schools, as usually organized and managed heretofore, have been unable to bring their pupils into immediate and vital contact with the minds of children. Their work has been far too exclusively theoretical. When you can run a medical school without a hospital for observation; when you can run a law school without moot courts; when you can run a theological school without giving the young theologians opportunities to preach to sinners—then, perhaps, you can run a normal school without practice-classes. Mr. Blodgett called our attention to some things they teach in the normal schools under very high-sounding names. There was mentioned some sort of a process called making a person's potential energy kinetic. Well, there is no difficulty in understanding what that means. The boys would call it “getting a move on." Now, that is just what the pupils in the normal school want. As long as they are taught only theory they are at a standstill, not knowing how to move. But put them into contact with real live children, and they must "get a move on" or fail. Therefore, let there be schools of practice connected with every normal school in the land.
STATE SUPT. E. B. PRETTYMAN of Baltimore.-The real question raised by this discussion is, whether teaching is, or ever will be, a profession. We know how men become professional lawyers; we know how they become professional physicians. It is by study in special schools, where they are trained in the principles of their profession. Where are we to obtain professional teachers except in normal schools and colleges for special training in the science of education, the art of teaching, and the mode of governing schools? Is a mere medical student allowed to become a practitioner without professional training and examination by experts, and imperil the lives of people by his ignorance and want of skill? Do we turn over our cases to a tyro of a lawyer? No. Then we should not intrust our children to a teacher who is a tyro. It would be just as sensible for a medical convention or an assembly of lawyers to decry medical colleges or law schools as for this department