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mendable stress on simplicity of instruction and coherence in teaching, the exclusion of profuse explanations that cloud the subject instead of clearing it and the persistence of teaching in the logical and grand lines of the subject in hand.

There should be greater continuity, however, in another direction also. I refer to the frequent changes of teachers during the school life of the child. In many of our large school buildings, as soon as the child has completed a certain task assigned to the grade-say, the arithmetical knowledge and use of the number seven, or pages 27 to 100 in some reader or geography-he is "promoted" into the next room, where he has another teacher, whom he does not know and who does not know him. Why not let there be a little more continuity in this matter, and let the same teacher "move up” with the class, so that the friendly and intimate acquaintance may spring up which promotes education in every way?

MR. S. G. WILLIAMS.--Herbart, in an opinion on school classes, favors in a modified degree the plan of letting the teacher go up in the school with his class during the earlier years of instruction, passing the class finally to more special teachers when greater maturity is reached. This carries farther the idea just expressed by Professor Soldan.

As regards that part of the report which seemed to emphasize the use of textbooks, the speaker believed we could learn something useful from the practice of the Germans, who, in all the earlier years of instruction, cause the pupil's work to be done with the teacher, thus teaching him how to study and to use his time economically in gaining knowledge from books. Much time is wasted in mere cram of memory by our too prevalent practice of setting text-book lessons without such preparation for study. When a boy has learned how to study he no longer needs teachers.

MR. JOSEPH BALDWIN.-For half a century I have studied these problems as best I could. This paper awakens in me the burning desire to roll back the wheels of time that I might begin these studies over again. I realize that full half the energies of teachers and pupils are wasted because of our failure to observe the laws of mental congruity and mental effort. When we learn to lead our pupils to do their best when at their best, we will begin to realize the meaning of the art of manhood. The astounding soul-waste in all our school work still dwarfs our race. I am thinking of the future. The boundless possibilities of pupils will be developed because teachers and pupils will work according to law.

In reply to several questions by Mr. James H. Baker and others, Jr. Hinsdale said that narrow training must precede broad training. “In elementary teaching," continued Mr. Hinsdale, “I am in favor of close limitations in the subject-matter, of working on a single line of thought till that is established, and then the path should be widened. I am opposed to electives in high schools if the choice of studies is left wholly to the pupil. The pupil needs the guidance of his parents and teachers in determining what studies he should pursue. At the University of Michigan about one-half the studies are prescribed and one-half are elective. I rather favor the 'group system, and incline to think that the college elective system is 'overworked.'”

MR. BAKER.-You believe with me in liberty, but not license, in the election of studies.

MR. Z. RICHARDS.-The world is full of incongruities and contradictions, and one part of our work in the schools should be to prepare the pupil to encounter these incongruities and contradictions and overcome the obstacles which they place in his path.

MR. John W. COOK-The striking feature of this paper to me is the fact that it is in line with the great economic movements of the modern world. It looks toward some relief from the dreadful waste which characterizes the work of the teacher. Let us hope that in some way it may go to the country so that teachers everywhere may find access to it.

MR. L. H. JONES. –The paper of Dr. Hinsdale may make us feel discouraged, but, at the same time, hopeful. We are in danger of overlooking the fact that educators are at work upon problems as difficult and as important as those of other learned professions.

MR. N. C. SCHAEFFER. - There is a line of school work along which the report is defective, viz., examinations. These are a necessary evil. We cannot do without them. But the examiners seldom pay any attention to the principles of congruity, and mental energy, and fatigue announced in the report. Some of the principles will have to be modified when applied to examinations; for instance, work must be stopped often when the maximum of mental energy has been reached. Perhaps the author of the report did not intend to discuss this phase of the ques. tion. The importance of it makes me hope that his committee will do this at some future meeting.

MR. HINSDALE, closing the discussion, made the following observations: Mr. Soldan has spoken of tbe mischiefs that flow from the too frequent changes of teachers in the schools. He has said that the principle of continuity applies to teachers as well as to subjects. What has been said is not only perfectly true but it is very important. Few things in education are more absurd-if, indeed, anything is more absurd—than the too frequent changes of teachers. Suppose the child had a new mother every six months or every three months? What would be the effect upon the child's life and character? It may be replied that the avaiogy does not hold throughout, but it certainly does hold to a very considerable extent. It is well understood that the Jesuits were the most accomplished school teachers of their time, in the days when they dominated the nascent intellect of Europe; and it is well known that one of the rules laid down in the Ratio Studiorum, which was constantly enforced, was, that, extending through a series of years, the teacher should be promoted with the pupil or with the class. What is more,—there can be no question that the success of the Jesuits as teachers, in considerable measure, was due to this very fact. The regimen that now prevails in the large high schools of the country, so far as my observation extends, is to an extent vicious and mischievous. Suppose the pupil, on coming from the grammar school where he has had but a single teacher, has three leading subjects, Latin, algebra, and physical geography. Suppose, further, that he has some subordinate subjects in which he has only an occasional exercise, as in drawing, reading, and the like. Suppose, still further, that he has a different teacher for each one of these subjects. The result is, that no pupil in such a school has a teacher, and tlíat no teacher in such a school has a pupil; every pupil has several teachers, and every teacher has a great many pieces of pupils. Who does not see that some of the most valuable results of sound education are necessarily sacrificed by such a system? It is my opinion that the employment of special teachers is overdone in many of these schools, and that the results would be far better if the pupil, on coming to the high school, could be introduced to the rigor of the special-teacher system gradually. Let him, at first, have the same teacher in two or in three subjects at least, if possible.

Mr. Williams appears not to have understood the report on the subject of textbooks. The report does not recommend a text-book grind, or any kind of a grind. The committee expressly refrained from discussing that subject. It said nothing

about the correlation of the teacher and the book. What it said was, that, if text-books were to be used, then the criteria laid down should be followed. I may add, however, that text-books are now used in the schools as a source of instruction, and that, to a great extent, they will continue to be so used.

Mr. Richards has told us that the world is full of incongruities and contradictions, and that one part of a school education should consist in getting the pupil ready to encounter these incongruities and contradictions. Both of these statements are certainly true, but we must remember that everything should be done in its time. Broad teaching in the beginning will defeat broad teaching in the end. Due limitation of matter is a necessary condition precedent to successful instruction. To give every one his portion of meat in due season, is a scriptural expression. Mr. Richards is a religious man, and in training his children no doubt took pains to establish them in religious faith and piety. I cannot suppose, that, at first, he stated to his children some religious ideas, and then immediately added that many people do not accept these ideas; that there is such a thing as infidelity in the world, and that, after all, it is a very serious question, in the estimation of some people, whether there is any truth or value in the essential Christian doctrines. He no doubt grounded his children in the faith, and introduced them to incongruities and contradictions later, as they were able to bear them.

Mr. Schaeffer has called our attention, and very properly, to the important subject of examinations. The committee was not unaware of the fact that that subject is embraced within the field of the laws of mental congruity and energy. It was, however, impossible to introduce the subject into the report. I may dismiss it with the remark that the subject of examinations needs to be thoroughly investigated in the light of the fundamental psychic laws that were laid down in the report. Examinations are an essential teaching process. We are not going to dispense with them. We are going, I hope, to relieve them of some of their abuses; and this we can do only as we consider the subject in the light of fundamental principles.

Mr. Brown has told us, and very truly, that the great question—the really practical question-is, what school subjects are congruous, what incongruous. No more important statement has been made in the course of the discussion than this. The object of the report was to state fundamental principles, and to refer to studies and the elements of studies only in far as was necessary to illustrate clearly the propositions laid down. There has never been in this country, so far as I am aware, any thorough investigation of the question that Mr. Brown has stated; nor am I aware that such an investigation has been made abroad. It is a very important matter, and I shall close my remarks with recommending it to the further consideration of the Council.

REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON NORMAL EDUCATION, THE

KIND AND AMOUNT OF PRACTICE-WORK, AND ITS
PLACE IN THE NORMAL SCHOOL COURSE.

BY JOHN W. COOK, NORMAL, ILL.

In order that information might be obtained respecting the practice of state normal schools in this country, a circular was prepared, asking for quite detailed statements as to the courses of study offered, and especially as to the organization of practice-schools, the amount of preparatory theoretical discipline given before entering upon practice-work, the size of classes in practice-schools, whether normal pupils teach these classes for a part of each day or take entire charge of a room for a number of weeks, methods of criticising the work of the pupil-teacher, and the whole amount of time spent by them in the actual work of instructing children.

Reports were received from fifty-seven state normal schools, one county normal school, and five city normal schools. Twenty-nine states are represented in these returns; hence, your committee concludes that it has obtained sufficient information to enable it to de. termine, with a fair degree of accuracy, the methods generally employed in these institutions. With four exceptions, these schools are provided with model or practice-schools. The number of grades represented varies from three to twelve. Eight appears to be the preferred number. Where there are but three grades but little practicework is done, the children constituting a model school or school of observation rather than a practice-school.

Forty per cent of the practice-schools are public schools. In a few instances they are the only public schools in their locality.

The instruction given by the normal pupils in these schools varies from seventeen to one hundred per cent of all of it. Since the average is about seventy-seven per cent, it appears that the children receive little instruction from any other source.

Three plans are followed in the practice-work. The first plan occupies the pupil-teacher for one, two, and sometimes three periods each day with the care of a class of from five to fifteen children. He is expected to carry on a portion of his regular work in the normal department at the same time. A second plan discontinues the normal pupil's recitations, and puts him in charge of a room containing from fifteen to thirty children, of whom he is to take entire charge. A third plan combines the first and second, requiring a preparatory

discipline of several weeks in instructing a single class for one or two recitation periods daily before taking charge of a room.

The large majority of normal schools use the first plan. The second has a few followers, and among them are some of the most reputable of our teachers' training schools. The third is followed in a small number of schools; yet is more popular than the second.

The time in the course at which the practice-work begins is by no means uniform, yet there is a strikingly preponderating preference for the senior year, where the course is three or more years. The number of schools in which this work begins earlier is scarcely a third of all the schools reporting.

The time spent in practice-work varies from twelve weeks of one recitation a day to the entire charge of a room for twenty weeks. The average of the schools using the first plan is not far from thirty weeks, which would seem to be about the quantitative equivalent of six weeks of regular school work, although there are considerations which render such comparisons difficult.

Equal diversity is found in the organization of the critic force. Three quite distinct plans appear. In some cases the work is all done by the instructors of the normal department. The teacher of arithmetic not only instructs the normal pupils in their study of the subject, but he also supervises the practice-work in the same subject. A second plan puts a principal over each grade, and assigns the surervision of the pupil-teachers as an additional duty. A third plan provides critic-teachers, whose entire time is devoted to the work of supervision, principals being supplied for each of the rooms, whose duties include the care of the children and a considerable part of their instruction, in order that they may be protected, at least in part, from the inexperience of the normal pupils. These critic-teachers take entire charge of several grades, or of specific subjects in all of the grades.

The methods of making the criticisms are quite uniform. They are given in the form of general corrections in teachers' meetings, and in private conversations with individual teachers.

The reports of the various schools have proved to be very interesting to the members of the committee, and this opportunity is taken to express their appreciation of the kindness manifested by the several principals in placing the material at their disposal.

The committee ventures to offer a few suggestions upon some of the topics presented.

For convenience of discussion the order of the general theme is inverted, and the last question receives consideration first.

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