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the child in the ungraded schools can be better taken care of. We are learning that we are teachers of the child, and not teachers of a section. Our work is a common one, and if we understand the work our sisters and brothers are doing in their line, we can better do our own work. We must learn from it how to do our work in our path well, and we can never do our work thoroughly unless we know how it is being done by others who look at it from a different standpoint.
The subject allotted to me, “A Knowledge of the Kindergarten Indispensable to Primary Instruction," I shall not attempt to adhere very closely to; but I want to say, first, to you, that there are two distinct lines in which the kindergarten has been of inestimable service to the primary work. It has been so in some cases without the knowledge of the primary teachers. We have found that the truth that has been dearest to us all our lives is the truth you have been trying to express, that the child must grow through his own activity and not through the teacher's will impressed upon him. I think you would be glad to see how that ideal is being followed in these schools. The impressing of a teacher's will upon a child's will in the primary school is a thing of the past, as I have seen it.
The teachers are working in harmony with the children, and are striving to lead the child to express the truth that is in him, instead of endeavoring to impress upon him their own personality.
Again, the primary schools have been largely permeated—in some places much more than in others—by the beautiful spirit of the kindergarten. I cannot tell you how deeply I feel in regard to this. We must ask much of ourselves as teachers. We must demand the highest of all who would be teachers of little children. When I look into the face of a little child, and realize what a difference there must be in his life because of our ideals, our strength, our courage, I think we never can be too pure, or too strong, or too noble to teach these children as they should be taught.
As I look in the faces of children and think of this, I realize more and more surely every year that the great thing for us is the spirit of our work. We are disturbed if other people differ from us in methods; and yet, after all, it is true if we are wise enough to recognize the right end in our work, if we are in sympathy with our children, if we love our work and have the right spirit, all the other things shall be added unto us. If the teacher does recognize the great end she must reach, she will overcome the difficulties that lie in the way in technique, etc. You will learn the right method of teaching the child if you are right heartily consecrated.
The power to recognize in the immediate act of the child something that will make or mar his entire future is something that you have given to us and something for which we are under an unending debt of gratitude.
It seems to me that the great mistake of the primary and grammar schools, and some kindergartens, of the past has been, that we have looked upon every act as if it were a thing of itself. We have taught the arithmetic lesson, and called it done and put it away. We have insisted upon obedience, and not thought upon what the result of that obedience or disobedience is to be. We have now come to learn that every act of a child is for the making of a habit which will prove wings or fetters to him.
One of the beautiful things is, that we have come to recognize the ultimate end of our work and to see farther than the single act of to-day. These three things—the spirit of the kindergarten, the power to help the child to work with his own activity, the power to recognize the great end of our work and the deep meaning that underlies it—these have come to us from the kindergarten.
We are constantly questioning how the kindergarten may be brought closer to the public schools. We think we must get the child through the primary schools, through the grammar grades, etc., in a shorter time. If we can plunge him out of the kindergarten into the primary, and out of the primary into the grammar grades, etc., at a little earlier age, we think we are doing him great good. It seems to me that it is a mistake. The work of the kindergarten should be the pure work of the kindergarten until the child is ready to go into the primary school. The work of the primary school should be in entire harmony with the work of the kindergarten.
Let me illustrate in the subject of reading, for example. We have always felt that the first business of the child is to learn to read, write, and spell. We remember how we learned to read, write, and spell. As we study the process of learning to read, we find that we may recognize the words and never get the thought that was intended to be expressed. I recently saw a class reading about the village blacksmith. These children lived in a tenement in a city. I found not one of them had an idea of what a village was. Finally, I got a little boy who had a grandfather who lived in the country to describe a village, the blacksmith, etc. Until then, the children could have had no conception of what they were reading.
Imagine the Esquimaux reading the "Song of the Brook!" suppose we told the boy who lived in the tenement district something about the life which is about the brook or took him to see one. The first thing we must do for the child is to widen his experience. The city boy must know something of nature if he is to read the poems of nature. The child who has lived away from labor of all kinds must visit the blacksmith, etc. So we are doing most for the child, we are best helping him to learn to read, when we are widening his experience, when we teach him to develop his power of imagination.
When you have your children play in the kindergarten the little games where they impersonate, they are learning to make real the things which by-and-by they will read about, and that is the best possible preparation for a primary school. It is the best possible way for shortening the course. We shall never learn to do our work well until we learn that these realities must precede the work that comes later.
I want to congratulate you upon meeting in this broader way, upon your taking hold of hands with those who are enjoying this common work and common privilege.
DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY EDUCATION.
FIRST SESSION.—THURSDAY, JULY 11, 1895. The department was called to order at 3 p. m., in Unity church.
Mr. F. Treudley, Superintendent of Schools, Youngstown, Ohio, President of the department, in a few earnest words welcomed the audience.
Mr. Lewis D. Bonebrake, Superintendent of Schools, Mount Vernon, Ohio, was appointed Secretary pro tem. in the absence of Mr. Warfield.
A chorus of 100 girls and boys of District No. 2, Denver, under the direction of Supervisor W. J. Whiteman, rendered a musical selection.
Dr. J. M. Rice, New York City, read a paper on "The Substitution of the Teacher for the Text-Book."
The discussion was opened by Supt. James McGinnis of Owensboro, Ky. He was followed by Henry G. Schneider, Grammar School No. 90, New York City; Supt. U. T. Curran, Santa Fé, N. Mex.; Channing Stebbins, Brooklyn, N. Y.; Mr. F. Louis Soldan, St. Louis, Mo. The discussion was closed by Dr. Rice.
Vocal Solo, “Hindu Song," by Mrs. W. J. Whiteman, Denver.
In the absence of Supt. W. M. Davidson, Topeka, Kan., the President introduced Supt. C. B. Gilbert, St. Paul, Minn., who spoke briefly on the subject, "Higher Education and the Elementary Teacher."
Miss Bettie A. Dutton of Cleveland, Ohio, followed in the discussion.
The chair then appointed as a nominating committee the following persons: J. A. Shawan, Superintendent of Schools, Columbus, Ohio; J. M. Fendley, Galveston, Tex.; Miss Mack, Denver, Colo.
SECOND SESSION-FRIDAY, JULY 12, 1895.
Miss Sarah L. Arnold, Supervisor of Schools, Boston, was introduced, and spoke on "Nature Study and Literature.”
The address was discussed by the following: Miss Brooks of St. Paul, Minn.; Miss Dutton of Cleveland, Ohio: Superintendent Wolfe of Missouri: Mr. James of California; Mr. Reed of Nebraska; Mr. Beggs of Denver; Miss Barnard of Chicago.
Solo by Miss Jean Fritch of Denver; also. "Old Folks at Home," by Girls' High School Chorus Club, District No. 2, Denver.
Principal J. M. Fendley, Avenue “L” School, Galveston, Tex., read a paper on “Departmental Teaching in Grammar Grades."
The paper was discussed by Superintendent Glotfelter, Hutchinson, Kan.
President-S. T. Dutton, Brookline. Mass.
Secretary-Henrietta B. Ayres, Denver, Colo.
LEWIS D. BONEBRAKE, 36
Secretary pro tem.
PAPERS ANI) DISCUSSIONS.
SUBSTITUTION OF THE TEACHER FOR THE TEXT-BOOK.
BY DR. J. M. RICE, NEW YORK CITY.
In my opinion, the greatest fault in the schools of our country lies in the professional weakness of our teachers. Consequently, in my judgment, the next step in raising the standard of our schools should be directed toward increasing the professional strength of the teachers. In the present paper I shall endeavor to point out just where the weakness lies, as well as to suggest a remedy, which might serve to improve the conditions.
By professional strength I understand the ability to apply expert knowledge in practice. In the domain of medicine, for example, professional strength must be measured by the degree of ability to diagnosticate disease and apply the proper remedy. From this standpoint, an individual may possess all the traits of moral character desirable in an ideal physician, such as sympathy, cautiousness, punctuality, conscientiousness, and yet be a weak diagnostician; and, consequently, a poor practitioner.
Just as the professional strength of the physician depends fundamentally upon the degree of ability to diagnosticate and treat disease, so the professional strength of the teacher must be measured by the ability properly to apply recognized educational principles in practice. While, in order to be an ideal teacher, more is required than the ability to conduct a recitation scientifically, yet the ability to teach is fundamental. One who does not possess a character destined to exert a good moral influence on the child should never be granted a license to teach; yet moral strength, in itself, no more constitutes professional strength in pedagogy than it does in medicine. Before our ideal individual is worthy the name of teacher he must add to his moral traits a knowledge of pedagogical principles and skill in their practical application.
In stating that the teachers in our country lack professional strength, I do not refer alone to the schools of low standard; I refer to the better class of schools as well. While the difference be. tween our best and our poorest schools is, in certain respects, enormous, the variations are great mainly in regard to professional spirit and ideals and in the general plan of work, the difference in the quality of the teaching being confined within much narrower limits.