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DEPARTMENT OF NORMAL SCHOOLS
President—D. W. HAYES, president, State Normal School..
Vice-President G. W. NASH, president, State Normal School.
..Peru, Nebr. . Bellingham, Wash.
.Eau Claire, Wis.
FIRST SESSION—TUESDAY FORENOON, JULY 2, 1918 The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m., and the following program was presented:
Music (9:00-9:15): Community and Patriotic Singing—Leader, Vincent B. Wheeler, Pittsburgh, Pa.
“Training for National Service in Normal Schools”-L. D. Coffman, dean, College of Education, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.; Secretary, National Education Association Commission on National Emergency in Education.
“Coordination of Theory and Practice in Normal Schools”—H. A. Sprague, super visor of practice, State Normal School, Newark, N.J.
Music-Helen M. Acheson, soprano, South High School, Pittsburgh, Pa.
“Report of the Committee on Federal Aid and the Training of Teachers”—John A. H. Keith, president, State Normal School, Indiana, Pa.
SECOND SESSION-WEDNESDAY FORENOON, JULY 3, 1918 The meeting opened at 9:00 a.m., the following program being given:
Music (9:00-9:15): Community and Patriotic Singing—Leader, Vincent B. Wheeler, Pittsburgh, Pa.
"Relation of Extension Service to the National Emergency in Education"-W. A. Brandenburg, president, State Normal School, Pittsburg, Kan.
“The State Normal School and the Problem of Child Health"-W. S. Small, specialist in school hygiene, United States Bureau of Education, Washington, D.C.
Music-Elizabeth Martin, contralto, Pittsburg”, Pa.
“Report of the Committee on Resolutions and Restatement of the Declaration of Principles”—J. G. Crabbe, president, State Teachers' College, Greeley, Colo., Chairman.
The following officers were elected:
PAPERS AND DISCUSSIONS
TRAINING FOR NATIONAL SERVICE IN NORMAL SCHOOLS L. D. COFFMAN, DEAN, COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA, MINNEAPOLIS, MINN.; SECRETARY, NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIA
TION COMMISSION ON NATIONAL EMERGENCY IN EDUCATION Sweeping tho the changes seem to be which are being brought about by this war, urgent tho the demands are, the wise leader will not too strenuously seek reform nor too tepaciously cling to tradition. To him the disintegration of existing institutions will not be complete. The new will grow out of the old and will be built upon it. This will be particularly true of all phases of public education. Schools will not go out of existence. On the contrary, they will be needed more than ever. The need for trained teachers will be more acute than ever. The main excuse and primary purpose for the continuance and maintenance of normal schools will remain unchanged-their greatest possible service to the nation will be that of training teachers for the public schools.
This duty, however, will not be as simple in the future as it has been in the past. It will not be enough for the normal schools to send out teachers scholastically equipt; they must be familiar with and sensitive to the problems of instruction. Formalism in instruction is doomed. A new curriculum, rich with new materials and in vital contact with the shifting currents of social life, will not permit the disassociation of method from content. Ability to make mental diagnoses and to prescribe treatment will be a part of the professional equipment of the well-qualified teacher. The study of problems relating to the technique of teaching will be regarded as the daily duty of the successful teacher.
But the work of the normal schools will not end there. They will have an extended curriculum; this expansion will be required because of new obligations devolving upon them. It must be clear at least that the schools of tomorrow will be open to men and women as well as to boys and girls; it must also be clear that they will be open day and night and more months of the year in many places. The need of providing Americanization courses for immigrants, the removal of adult illiteracy, and the increasing demands for vocational training will force these changes upon the schools.
America, with wide-open doors and extended hands, has welcomed the foreigner to her shores, sublime in the blind faith that she was the meltingpot of the nations. The present crisis has brought us to a halt and caused us to take stock. We find that there are nearly thirty-two and a half million persons in the United States who are foreign-born, or one or both of whose parents were foreign-born. This is 35.2 per cent of the population. Literally hundreds of thousands of these, altho enjoying all the freedom, liberties, and rights, with the exception of suffrage, of nativeborn Americans, have nevertheless declined to become American citizens. But America has reacht the place where she should not be regarded as an asylum for the unfortunate unless they wish to become her defenders. America has been a polyglot nation; now she must become a unified nation. This is not a local problem; it is a national and an educational problem. The normal schools, if they have caught the spirit of the times and the drift of events, should have something to contribute to this movement. They should assume some leadership in it.
Another factor tending to focus the attention of the nation upon education is adult illiteracy. It is widespread and is confined to no particular region. About seventy-seven out of every one thousand persons in the United States are illiterate. The percentage of illiteracy among the negroes and native whites has been steadily decreasing wherever drastic action has been taken, but the percentage of illiteracy among the immigrants has been steadily increasing.
No democracy can be safe or efficient when more than five million of its people are illiterate. Mass education on high levels is essential to collective thinking, and collective thinking about common problems of national importance is the ultimate safeguard of democracy.
The schools are the only adequate agency for the elimination of illiteracy. The instruction must be carried on by regularly trained teachers. The wasteful efforts of the past, due to a lack of unified action of all the agencies coping with this problem, must be avoided in the future.
A third factor calling for an extension of the public schools and imposing additional burdens and obligations upon the teacher-training agencies of the countries is the need for trained persons in commercial and industrial employments. It is clear that the war may be won by that army which has the most and the best-trained mechanicians. Every cantonment has been turned into a great industrial school. Literally hundreds of unit courses have been organized for the training of mechanicians. These courses will be taught largely in evening and continuation schools. Here and there they will be taught in day schools. They will not all be dropt after the war. Many of them will be and should be continued. Teachers must be trained to direct these courses. Those normal schools that are so located and so equipt as to provide these teachers should begin at once to prepare for this work.
But there is another form of service that is far more important than these; in fact, it will determine their character. I refer to the new point of view that is developing in education as a direct outgrowth of the forces that have been set loose by the war. Hitherto American impulses have been individualistic and personal. Social consciousness, social justice, and social imagination have been regarded as theories and conceptions of idle dreamers or impractical professors. The lack of these qualities has jeopardized our social structure and constantly undermined the foundation of American government. The universal support the government is receiving in promoting war activities indicates that the old ideas of individual opportunity and personal initiative will hereafter be thought of in terms of social obligation and social responsibility.
In England and France there are already organizations engaged in the study of these problems of reconstruction. The work of the British Ministry of Reconstruction and the program of the English Labor party are particularly illuminating and instructive. The English program reaches far beyond the problems attending the actual demobilization of the soldiers. It involves taking stock of British resources and collecting data on problems relating to transportation, electric power, housing and town planning, afforestation, public health, labor exchange, organization of industry, standards of living, insurance against unemployment, and a reorganization of education and recreation. It is time that we were at work upon similar problems. It is time that we caught something of the new social point of view. It is time that educational institutions were preparing themselves for leadership in this new work.
The new point of view will be social, not individual; concerned primarily with the common good, not primarily with personal welfare; altruistic, not selfish; it will emphasize felt responsibilities, not "felt needs”; duty and obligation, not personal liberty and individual freedom. The interpretation of this point of view and its dissemination is clearly a function of the normal schools.
COORDINATION OF THEORY AND PRACTICE IN NORMAL
H. A. SPRAGUE, SUPERVISOR OF PRACTICE, STATE NORMAL SCHOOL,
NEWARK, N.J. In our democracy the necessity of having our normal schools produce well-trained educators is second only to that of having our army and navy produce efficient defenders of our ideals. Conservation of time, energy, and materials must be the aim in both of these fields.
The fundamental requirements in avoiding waste are, first, a disposition to cooperate and, secondly, an organization that will procure the most effective result from all who participate. A war department or a normal school which is productive of jealousies, dissensions, and the spirit which says, “You go your way, I'll go mine,” is lacking in a disposition to cooperate and therefore is wasteful and undemocratic; just as great ineffectiveness results from lack of unity thru organization. From the standpoint of organization conservatism must not be considered synonymous with conservation.
Teachers have said that theory and practice are two different considerations. If theory is to be purposeful and practice rational, this cannot be true. Personal interviews were conducted with thirty-seven state-normalschool principals, instructors, or supervisors in twenty-two different states. It has been noted that these representatives have said practically that there is little or no direct relationship provided between their departments of theory and of practice. In other words, students in the theory department study professional subjects for over a year and a half and then go out into the profession for observation and practice under different directors. Consequently the students' partly digested theories are often neglected and forgotten. If this is true, then normal-school officials have a war-time duty toward conservation in education which is quite commensurate with that of the officials in our war department.
The principal activities thru which theory and practice in normal schools might cooperate are as follows: demonstration lessons, organized observation, and practice teaching. The principal parties to maintain cooperative relationships and uniformity of principles are theory teachers, student teachers, demonstration teachers, observation-school teachers, practice or critic teachers, supervisors, and principals. The three
of data which have been distributed show some of the vital phases of these relationships. All data were collected by means of personal interviews.
In considering demonstration lessons it is interesting to note that 40 per cent of the normal schools do not make use of this means of helping theory to function. In the great majority of cases theory teachers never
ach lessons to test or demonstrate their own theories, and in 32 per cent of the cases they do not attend the demonstration exercises that are given.
As to organized observation as a means of illustrating and clarifying the instruction in theory, it will be noted that ten out of thirty-seven schools do not maintain this type of work, and in the twenty-seven schools where observation courses are conducted they vary in length from ten to two hundred hours. In most cases the courses are directed by the supervisors or principals of the practice departments. In five cases there is a very direct relationship between the theory instruction and the observation. However, in 55 per cent of the cases those who teach lessons for observation do not use intentionally the methods and principles advocated by the theory department.
The next point to be noted is the actual working relation between theory instruction and practice teaching. In 65 per cent of the schools studied theory instructors have nothing to do with the students' plans for teaching, in 57 per cent theory teachers do not observe or consult student teachers, and in 59 per cent students are not sent to theory teachers for assistance. It may be noted that in about 56 per cent of the cases theory teachers and critic teachers do not have meetings or appointed consultations.
Supervisors of practice teaching are in a position to unify the work of the departments of theory and of practice. It may be noted under IV in the outline in your hands, that in about 50 per cent of the cases supervisors of practice do not visit the theory department nor necessarily become familiar with the methods which they advocate. In five cases out of thirty-seven no one is engaged to occupy the position as supervisor of practice teaching. This may be lookt upon as a point of strength, as, for instance, in three schools where the only supervisors of practice are the theory teachers. In twenty of the thirty-three remaining normal schools the supervisors of practice do not have meetings with the instructors in the theory department, and in nineteen cases they make no effort to bring critic teachers and theory teachers together for conferences. In twenty cases they are supposed to represent