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point of nervous tension? Exhausted brain may produce something; but that something is a thing of weakness, and the process has reacted in reflex weakness to the brain itself. The individual method bases everything in intellectual growth upon better health, and the habits that go to make the trained, self-reliant, independent, and spirited thinker.
5. When a school plan appears that successfully accomplishes the usual work of schools within the legitimate hours of the school session, it does seem that that plan possesses elements commending itself to consideration; but when that same plan realizes more work in shorter time, then what shall be said ? Such has been the result. For instance, the principal of a high school where individual methods have been in operation for several years writes me of pupils who, in Latin (and I refer to Latin simply for illustration), in one and onehalf years of time of one and one-half hours per day, have read and qualified upon two books of Cæsar, seven orations of Cicero, six books of Virgil, including grammar drill, scansion, prose composition, historical reference, etc.; this done in fifty-seven weeks, of one and one-half hours per day. Parallel with this, these same pupils have carried three other major studies, besides the usual incidentals belonging to public school life. Has such result been accomplished under the graded plan? It never has been in my experience. Now, wherein has the individual plan the time advantage over the usual graded effort? In this, that every period is a vitalized hour, realizing from the greater power of the pupil to do work. But, let me say, this condition of affairs will not appear in a day nor in a year, but comes with systematic growth under scientific conditions.
The teacher in the graded school stands confronted by the many new elements demanding incorporation into the school program. The report of the committee of ten, with its demands for enrichment, arises before her like her ghost. How shall a program already full be crowded more? How shall there be enlargement and extension of work without extension of time? In the midst of this dilemma the individual method presents itself, reduces the working hours of the pupil, and still finds the need of extension of courses of study and general enrichment in order to fill out the time.
6. But not only does the individual school realize in more work but in better work. Every part of a pupil's work must be his own. No one else reads to him the Latin lesson or permits him to copy the solved problems in mathematics. To him there is no royal road by the substitution of another's endeavor. He must do work by himself and for himself. He qualifies, not upon selected fragments of a whole but on every line and on every problem. He recites and passes examination in the most thorough manner. The result of this is, he may at first not do so much work, but he is thoroughly grounded upon every step; each acquisition becomes a part of himself, and there is no need of endless reviews and repetition of work. Whenever a dull boy is given a piece of work absolutely his own, that piece of work becomes to him an inspiration for the future, a solid rock of accomplishment and interest upon which he can and will build an educa. tional superstructure. Hence, I repeat, the individual school realizes in more work and in better work because of utilization of the leading principles of vitalizing economy.
7. There is another glorious result. There is every promise of a more permanent class of results. Every step of the work, being basic, leads to the natural determination for continuance. There is no poor work. Excepting as a given piece of work is good, the pupil cannot pass on; and this passing on is determined daily. This all tends to making him the true student, and inculcates a nobler motive in work. Life to the pupil takes on a new meaning, an inspiration dawns upon him, an impulse uplifts him, and he is born again to a world of possibilities and accomplishments.
Now, I am well aware that my friend of the graded school says this all tends to disorganization; but he is mistaken, for it presents opportunity for order of the highest type. But this order will not obtain of itself. Back of the whole plan there must be the superintendent or principal, who is willing to live in his schoolrooms and not in the office; and, with it all, there must also be the teacher of higher qualification, who will certainly appear when the superintendent gives opportunity for life and realization.
I am also aware my friend asserts that the happy characteristics I have described belong to the better graded school. Well, I don't think they do; but I will not quarrel with him, for I am ready to recognize any school as good where there is individual opportunity. I do not care absolutely for individual practice, but I do demand that nothing shall stand in the way of individual advancement. However, whenever opportunity is given for untrammeled individual advancement, mechanical gradation gives way to the school of individualism.
The school of individualism does not entirely discard class methods. When there is the starting of a new subject, or the giving of working directions common to all, there may be utilization of class practice to advantage. There may also be the giving of certain typical exercises as the basis for individual ramification and extensions. There may be the symposium for the interchange of findings, or the utilization of seminar methods. There may also be the flexible grouping of pupils who happen at particular times to be working simultaneously upon the same or similar exercises; but nothing shall be allowed to stand in the way of individual enthusiasm, individual accomplishment, and individual advancement.
The school of individualism, then, is the one that provides for the masses by holding a greater number to continuous educational life. It realizes in better health, enthusiastic spirit, nobler motives, better habits of thought, work greater in quantity and better in quality, with opportunity for enrichment, and in other results that go to make the true permanent student. It brings the teacher into the living necessity for child study, and presents an intelligent basis for scientific instruction. It may not be a system perfect in all its parts, for it demands adjustment, accommodation, and conservation all along the line; but it has already solved, for those who have used it, many school problems, and comes from the people with emphatic demand for incorporation into the public school policy of America.
The reading of this paper was followed by discussions. In reply. ing to the opposing arguments made in answer to many questions, Mr. Search closed with these statements:
1. The school must be built for the perfect conservation of the individual. As such, he must be received and placed where he can get the greatest amount of good to himself, irrespective of all relative or mass considerations. The class method is too expensive in its demands upon time, is conservative of the few, is full of unjust comparison, of tendency to over-pressure, poor health, and mechanical results. It is possible, even in the public schools, to meet the individual at the door of his actual needs and to provide for his perfect conservation.
2. This is the day of child study. There can be no intelligent child study excepting as the teacher studies the individual. Of child study there can be no practical result, excepting as there is adaptation to individual necessities in the light of such findings. This leads directly to the only sound basis for scientific instruction. When a person wishes to become physically strong, he goes to the gymnasium to gain strength at the point of his actual needs. The old-time class instruction in the physical gymnasium has given place to the specific examination of physical condition, followed by individual assignment of drill and exercise in order that the person may become strong. Even so in the intellectual gymnasium. There must be examination of condition, and built upon this examination must be the intellectual drill calculated to develop the mind to its greatest advantage, not by the old hit-and-miss general exercise of traditional practice but by specific assignment directed to individual purpose. This is scientific instruction. It may be in advance of the school of individualism at its present development, but it will be the logical sequence of present effort at the conservation of the individual.
3. The school of individualism bases everything upon better provision for physical, intellectual, and moral health, utilizes the doctrine of interest as the great motive in work, and seeks above all things the generation of power. Through its recognition of powerability to do work—as the determining element in the placement and advancement of the worker, it changes the standard of schools and of colleges, and asks for reconstruction, that all educational provisions may conserve economy of time, enrichment of endeavor, adaptation to individual needs, and realization in higher opportunity.
SUPT. L. H. JONES of Cleveland. The paper has given us two vivid pictures, each graphically drawn by a few bold strokes. The first, a very poor graded school; and the second, a very excellent ungraded school-a school in which the instruction is chiefly individual. The lack of excellence in the graded school depicted is due chiefly to two causes. First, the school as described is really an ungraded school (that is, the pupils are of differing capacities), run on the program of a graded school. Secondly, the teaching in it as described is exceedingly poor. Now, a great teacher is an artist in his profession; he adjusts the pupils properly to the subjectmatter, and then enters into the life of each pupil as an inspiring power, leading each pupil to master the subject for himself. In good teaching, it is the pupil who does the learning, the pupil who is developed, the pupil who receives the discipline and training. The pupil is the one in whom the great transformation implied in learning takes place. If this kind of teaching be done, there is no danger that the pupils will become automatons, even though all the teaching be done in class recitation. Indeed, there are some kinds of development and some worthy ends to be reached which can only be best done through class instruction, The most educative process that I have ever seen going on is that of class instruction, in which each pupil is attent upon knowing just what attitude the teacher wishes him to assume with reference to the subject; alert to hear everything said by each pupil who recites; eager to hear every explanatory remark of the teacher; busy adjusting what has been said by each and what he himself has been led thus to think; rejecting the irrelevant and finally drawing out of the mass of information given the true conclusion. The processes of mind which have been carried throughout such recitation are very much those which adapt the child to successful action in real life. Besides, it is impossible to bring to bear the strongest classes of motives upon children in any other form of instruction. The strongest fear of criticism which the child ever holds is the criticism of his peers in age and experience,-that is, the other children,-and what his teacher thinks upon a question may be to him of great importance, but what his classmates think upon the same thing is the supremely interesting thing to him. It is said that even a colt upon a race track, to reach the best results in training, must have a running mate of his own age.
The picture here drawn of the ungraded school, or the school in which individual teaching was described, excels the picture of the other school chiefly because the teaching described was better; and, therefore, the actual excellence of such school as pictured in the address is due less to the method of its organization than to the ideal excellence of its instruction.
DR. RICHARD G. BOONE, Ypsilanti, Mich.-We concede all that has been said against the dangers of the class recitation in the ordinary school. But let no one fail to see that it is the abuses of the graded school system that have been criticised.
We are prone to emphasize individuality. It is easy to exalt it unduly. When a pupil leaves school he goes out to live and move with others. He must co-operate with them in the common life of his kind. The school must fit him to do this. The modern method, speaking broadly, is the laboratory method; and in this individualism is exalted. A noted biologist of my state recently said to me that the defect in this method is, that each one is left to work alone. There is a virtue in such independent work. Its excessive use is vicious. The method has its defects and limitations not less than those incident to class instruction.
In individual teaching we are apt to emphasize what we do not want to emphasize--the acquisition of knowledge and facts, the covering of books and pages. Five pupils so taught go at five different rates of speed. This is not in itself a virtue.
The wise teacher finds large advantage in group teaching. The many-sided friction is a good thing for the child. The class advantages are a tremendous impulse in forwarding individual children. Individualism tends to a loss of the advantage and spirit of co-operative effort. Class work re-enforces the effort of each by the understanding of all others.
DR. W. T. HABRIS. -In some cases the graded school system is so managed that it is made to do harm to all pupils except those of average ability. Where the intervals between classes have been made so large as to include a year's work or more it is evident that the lessons adapted to the average of the class are too long for the backward pupils and too short for the bright and quick-minded pupils.
Because the graded system may be mismanaged or injurious when applied to rural schools or small schools in villages, many persons have supposed that the system should be abolished altogether. But the class system is really one of the greatest inventions ever made in pedagogy. A class recitation is a great means of instruction; far more potent than any device of individual instruction. Some have supposed that the ideal of instruction is the private tutor with his single pupil; but the pupil in the class has the opportunity of hearing his fellow-pupils tell what they have learned by their study. They have glimpses of the subject which he has failed to get. And, on the other hand, he himself has some views which are new to them. The teacher's views are more or less new to all of the pupils. It is this process of seeing the lesson through the minds of his fellow-pupils that makes the recitation so valuable in gaining new insights and new methods of study. The pupil in studying his second lesson is on the alert in many ways which he entirely ignored when preparing his first lesson. In the graded school the teacher should have two classes. One should prepare its lesson while the other recites. This develops two kinds of attention. First, the attention of the pupil to his own work, forgetful of the presence of his fellow-pupils and of the teacher. This kind of attention is absorption. Second, the attention of the pupil in the recitation, when he is alert to catch all the suggestions made by his fellow-pupils in their answers and all of the criticisms on the part of the teacher or other pupils. The private tutor when at his best cannot arouse the interest of the individual pupil so well as the average class recitation can do it.