The Project Gutenberg eBook of The training of teachers in the United States of America, by Amy Blanche Bramwell
Title: The training of teachers in the United States of America
Authors: Amy Blanche Bramwell
H. Millicent Hughes
Release Date: January 11, 2023 [eBook #69766]
Produced by: David E. Brown and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at https://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)
AMY BLANCHE BRAMWELL, B.Sc.
Late Assistant Mistress at the Ladies’ College, Cheltenham; Lecturer at the
Cambridge Training College for Women Teachers
H. MILLICENT HUGHES
Lecturer on Education and Head of Training Department, University College
South Wales and Monmouthshire
SWAN SONNENSCHEIN & CO
NEW YORK: MACMILLAN & CO
Butler & Tanner,
The Selwood Printing Works,
Frome, and London.
In view of the growing interest in secondary education in England, and the important educational problems demanding solution, the Gilchrist Trustees decided, in the early part of 1893, to send five women teachers to America for the purpose of studying and reporting upon Secondary Schools for Girls and Training Colleges for Women in different parts of the States. The Trustees made their intention widely known, and invited the governing bodies of the various women’s colleges and associations of teachers to submit to them names of persons specially qualified. Out of the list of able and experienced women teachers thus furnished to them, the Trustees, after careful consideration of the qualifications of the numerous candidates, selected the following five: Miss Bramwell, B.Sc., Lecturer at the Cambridge Training College; Miss Burstall, B.A., Mistress at the North London Collegiate School for Girls; Miss Hughes, Lecturer on[iv] Education at University College, Cardiff; Miss Page, Head-Mistress of the Skinners’ Company’s School for Girls, Stamford Hill, N.; and Miss Zimmern, Mistress at the High School for Girls, Tunbridge Wells. They were awarded travelling scholarships of one hundred pounds each to enable them to spend two months in the United States in prosecuting their enquiries. The five scholars visited America in the summer of 1893, and submitted to the Trustees carefully prepared Reports, two of which—viz., those by Miss Bramwell and Miss Hughes—are presented to the public in this volume. The Trustees have aided in the publication of these Reports because they believe that a knowledge of the educational systems and experiments which have been tried in America cannot fail to be of interest and value to those engaged in teaching in the United Kingdom.
R. D. ROBERTS,
Secretary to the Gilchrist Trustees.
Gilchrist Educational Trust,
17, Victoria Street, London, S.W.
In publishing the following reports, which we are enabled to do through the courtesy and generosity of the Gilchrist Trustees, it may not be altogether out of place to submit a few prefatory remarks. When the five Scholars were appointed to visit American Schools and Colleges in the summer of 1893, it was found advisable, in view of the magnitude of the task, to somewhat divide the responsibility. Three of the number undertook to visit and report upon institutions offering the means of general education, while we desired to especially investigate the provision made in the United States for the Training of Teachers.
As our interests thus lay in one direction, the Trustees further approved of our suggestion that we should travel and work together, and this plan we found most helpful and satisfactory. It will be seen that we have covered exactly the same field, but we have thought it desirable to write separate reports, without mutual consultation, rather than to embody the results of our work in a joint account.
AMY B. BRAMWELL.
H. MILLICENT HUGHES.
|Schools and Institutes||3-4|
|West Chester and Millersville||5|
|New Haven, New Britain, Willimantic||6|
|Perkins Institute for the Blind||7|
|Women’s Annex (Fay House)||10|
|Institute of Technology||11|
|Michigan State University||14|
|I. STATE NORMAL SCHOOLS.|
|Advantages offered to Students||23|
|Co-education. Relative numbers of men and women Students||24|
|Early Normal Schools||25|
|The early character still maintained||26|
|Academic character illustrated by the courses of study—|
|(a) In Massachusetts||26|
|(b) In New York||27|
|Arguments given for retaining their academic character||28|
|A. Academic Studies|
|Importance given to Science Teaching||30|
|Laboratories and Museums—|
|(a) At Bridgewater, Mass.||31|
|(b) At Willimantic, Conn.||32|
|Libraries and Apparatus at Willimantic, Conn.||33|
|Plant Study at Worcester, Mass.||34|
|The “Recitation” Method||34|
|Importance given to illustration by means of concrete objects||36|
|Study of many Sciences by concentrative methods||37|
|B. Professional Work|
|Pedagogical subjects studied late in the Course||39|
|Psychology and History of Education in the schools of Connecticut||40|
|Psychology and Child-Study at Worcester, Mass.||41|
|“Methods” as a subject of study||42|
|“Methods” in the Model Schools||44|
|Unification of study||45|
|C. Practice in Teaching|
|General plan of Practice-Work—|
|(a) In Pennsylvania||48|
|(b) In New York||49|
|(c) In Connecticut||50|
|Importance attached to Model Schools||51|
|Special plan of Practice-Work at Worcester, Mass.||51|
|State Examination and “Graduation”||52|
|E. Supply of Teachers|
|Number of Normal School Students teaching in the Common Schools||53|
|Small number of Normal School Students who become Secondary Teachers||54|
|II. CITY NORMAL AND TRAINING SCHOOLS.|
|Effects of local management||56|
|A. City Normal Schools|
|Conditions of admission||57|
|Functions of Normal and High School combined||58|
|B. City Training Schools|
|Emphasis of the practical side||61|
|Boston Normal School||62|
|Courses in Massachusetts||64|
|Courses at New Haven, Conn.||65|
|Psychological Experiments at New Haven||65|
|Criticism lessons at New Haven||66|
|Reports of work of Students at New Haven||69|
|C. City Training Classes|
|The teaching of reading at Quincy, Mass.||70|
|Courses in New York State||72|
|Inadequacy of Training Class Courses for qualifying for responsible work||73|
|Practice of allowing beginners to teach in the lowest grades||74|
|Importance attached to “Methods” of the Primary School||75|
|III. UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENTS OF PEDAGOGY.|
|A. Departments of State Universities|
|Importance to the State of the Professional preparation of Teachers||78|
|Courses in Pedagogy proper, and “Teachers’ Courses”||78|
|University of Michigan||79|
|University of Illinois||80|
|University of Missouri||81|
|General Features of State Universities||83|
|B. Departments of Universities in the Eastern States[ix]|
|Teachers’ College, New York City||86|
|(a) Courses of Work||87|
|(b) Teacher’s Diploma||88|
|(c) Purely professional character of work||89|
|(e) History of Education||91|
|(f) Methods of Science||92|
|(g) Practice department||93|
|School of Pedagogy of the University of the City of New York—|
|(a) Pedagogical Degrees||97|
|(b) Courses of Study||97|
|(a) Students’ Inspection of Schools||100|
|(b) Teachers’ Courses||101|
|(c) Connection with Secondary Schools||101|
|(a) Character of work||102|
|(b) Courses of work||102|
|(c) Psychological Research||103|
|IV. SUMMER SCHOOLS.|
|Benton Harbour, Mich.||105|
|(b) Blackboard Drawing||110|
|Cornell University, Summer School||111|
|The problem of “Training” in England and America||116|
|State Systems of Education||118|
|Bureau of Education||118|
|East and West||118|
|Institutions for the Training of Teachers||120|
|State, City, and Private Normal Schools||120|
|Academic versus Professional Studies||121|
|Comparison with English Elementary Training Colleges||122|
|Lack of uniformity in standard of admission and length of course||123[x]|
|STATE NORMAL SCHOOLS.|
|Courses laid down by the School Law||124|
|Final examinations and graduation||126|
|State Certificates for untrained teachers||127|
|Grants to Normal students and graduates||128|
|Millersville Normal School||129|
|West Chester Normal School||130|
|Conditions of admission||132|
|Provision for Theoretical and Practical Work||132|
|Final examinations and graduation||133|
|The Printing Press in the School||133|
|Practice School at South Manchester||134|
|New York State|
|Statistics of State Normal Schools||135|
|Conditions of admission||136-138|
|Courses and diplomas||139|
|Special Training Course||142|
|Laboratory method of teaching History||143|
|The founding of State Normal Schools||145|
|Design of Schools||145|
|Statistics of Normal Schools||147|
|Training the “time sense”||154[xi]|
|Normal Art School||154|
|Ypsilante Normal School||155|
|Courses of study||155|
|State Normal Universities||157|
|Cook County Normal School||157|
|Conditions of admission||158|
|Graduation and post-graduate courses||159|
|The Practice School and its use||160-161|
|Theory of concentration||162-165|
|CITY NORMAL SCHOOLS.|
|Girls’ Normal School Course||166|
|School of Pedagogy||166|
|Course of study||169-170|
|CITY TRAINING SCHOOLS.|
|Welch Training School||171|
|Notes of Lessons||171|
|Leading features of Training School||173|
|List of Training Schools in Massachusetts||174|
|Table of Training Classes, Massachusetts||175|
|PEDAGOGICAL DEPARTMENTS IN UNIVERSITIES.|
|Theoretical side of training emphasized||176|
|Lectures on Education||177|
|Inspection and supervision of Schools||178|
|Elective courses in Philosophy course||178|
|Professional Training for Teachers||179|
|Reasons for providing the same (extract from Calendar)||179-180|
|Teacher’s diploma and certificate||181|
|Course in Pedagogy counting towards a degree||182|
|Courses in Department of Pedagogies||183|
|University of City of New York||183|
|Regular Students and Auditors||183|
|Courses of Study||183|
|Requirements for the Doctorate in Pedagogy||184|
|University of Iowa||185|
|Teachers’ Training College, affiliated with Columbia College||185|
|Course of study leading to degree of Bachelor of Pedagogy||186|
|School of Observation and Practice||188|
|Extension and publishing work||188|
|Clark University at Worcester||189|
|Twofold aim of Educational Department||192|
|Character of Work||194|
|Various kinds of Institutes||195|
|SUMMER SCHOOLS AND COURSES.|
|Summer course at Cornell||196|
|Summer Course at Clark University||197|
|The Prang System||198|
The Training of Teachers in the
OUR educational quest began in the city of New York, on May 29th, 1893.
Having interviewed the City Superintendent, Mr. J. Jasper, who gave valuable information as to what was most worth seeing in connection with the educational life of the city, we proceeded to the Normal College of the city of New York. The session was just closing, but we were able to see some classes in physical training and cookery, and to gain some insight into the methods employed in other subjects. Two or three days were most profitably spent at the Teachers’ Training College, a sketch of the work of which is given elsewhere. A hasty visit to Columbia College, with its annex for women,—Barnard College,—a still more cursory glance at the University of the city of New York (our information concerning which we were fortunately able to supplement at Chicago), with an afternoon spent at the Press Fair, was all we were able to accomplish at New York. The Press Fair proved to be a most interesting exhibit of specimens of the work in the public schools of New York. The methods of teaching various subjects were set forth, and we were especially struck, as again later at the education exhibit of the World’s Fair, by the apparatus and illustrations made by the children themselves.
The power of “making,” whether of maps (drawn, painted, modelled), models (in clay, putty, paper, wood), pictorial illustrations of lessons (history, geography, literature, natural science, and even mathematics) appears to be much more encouraged in America than in England. We made friends with several of the school children at the Press Fair, who proved most eager and interesting guides, naturally anxious to fully explain what had been sent from their own special schools.
Decoration Day (May 30th), on which New York had a holiday, we determined to spend at Vassar College. A pleasant railway journey up the banks of the Hudson River brought us to the little town of Poughkeepsie, two miles to the east of which is Vassar College. Here we were most cordially received, and spent the day in seeing over the various buildings connected with it, and hearing lectures. This college was founded in 1861 by Mr. Matthew Vassar, who provided the grounds and buildings, together with a sustentation fund of about £50,000. He desired, to use his own words, “to found and perpetuate an institution which should accomplish for young women what our colleges are accomplishing for young men.”
It led the way in opening the advantages of a liberal education to women, and holds a place in the first rank of women’s colleges in America. It is undenominational, but, according to the wish of its founder, daily prayers are held in the chapel, and all classes meet on Sunday for the study of the Scriptures. In order to emphasize the dignity of manual labour, each student is expected to undertake a small share in the household work of the College, at least, at some period of her college career. The ordinary course is for four years leading to the degree of A.B. These four years are known respectively as Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior. A further course of two years leads to the degree of A.M., and special courses are also provided. There are, moreover, in connection with the college, schools of music and painting, the latter possessing a very fine collection of casts. There is a uniform annual fee of £80 (400 dollars) for board and tuition. The students’ rooms are usually arranged in groups of three sleeping rooms opening on to a common study. Just before our visit the students had given a most successful performance of the “Antigone.”
From New York we went to Philadelphia, where the city superintendent, Dr. Edward Brooks, kindly explained the city system of education. He is keenly alive to the importance of the training of teachers, and ample provision for the same is made in the city. For the training of men teachers, a School of Pedagogy (the scheme for which was drawn up by Dr. Brooks) has lately been opened in connection with the Boys’ Central High School. The Girls’ Normal School has had to serve the double purpose of high school and place of training for women teachers, but Dr. Brooks has long urged the necessity of separating the two, and at this time the new building for the Girls’ High School is being erected. Kindergarten training is also not neglected, and on our first evening in Philadelphia we attended the commencement exercises of Mrs. van Kirk’s Kindergarten Training School, at which the graduates read essays on various educational topics, sang songs and acted a little scene, in which the virtues of the Kindergarten were set forth. The next day we were able to visit the school itself, and we found that, not content with providing the ordinary graduating course, Mrs. van Kirk has arranged for one that is post-graduate.
A delightful visit to the Drexel Institute, which provides for the technical instruction of the city, a glance at one of the largest Friends’ Schools, and an unavailing attempt to see over the James Forten Manual Training School, was all we had time for in Philadelphia.
Ten miles from Philadelphia, on the Pennsylvania railroad, one reaches the Old Welsh settlement of Bryn Mawr, with its college for women, which bears the same name. Several halls and laboratory buildings, standing in fifty acres of ground, make an imposing show. Of all the colleges that we visited, Bryn Mawr appeared the most English, and it needed the sight of a preserved specimen of a wicked-looking snake, which had been killed in the grounds, to convince us that we were really on American soil.
Perhaps the fact that the Professor of Mathematics, Miss Scott, and three of the Fellows have come there from Girton helped to build up the illusion.
It is a college without rules; even attendance at lectures is not compulsory, but as failure to pass at the yearly examinations brings with it a request to withdraw from the college, there is every inducement to attend regularly. The same freedom is extended to the choice of studies. Instead of the four years’ course with the more or less definitely prescribed work for each class which we found at Vassar, Bryn Mawr has adopted the newer plan of the group system, which allows more opportunity for specialization. A distinctive feature of the college is the attention paid to post-graduate work, original research being especially encouraged. The students have adopted caps and gowns, which, however, are only worn within college precincts.
Acting on the suggestion of Dr. Brooks, we determined to visit the two chief normal schools of the state of Pennsylvania—West Chester and Millersville. The little tree-shaded town of West Chester was a pleasant change from the heat of Philadelphia. It is a most distinctively Quaker settlement; even the landlord of the little inn at which we stayed was a Friend, and wished to know if “thee was travelling all by theeself.” The normal school is a little way out, but easily reached by means of the electric cars, which are to be found in even the smallest American towns.
It was interesting to us as the first co-educational normal school that we had seen. The dining and lecture rooms are used in common, but the dormitory accommodation is in two separate wings.
From West Chester we went to the normal school at Millersville, near Lancaster. Returning north through New York, we first stopped at New Haven, Connecticut, a most picturesque place, famous as being the location of Yale College.
Superintendent Curtis most kindly supplied us with information about the State of Connecticut and its normal schools. He also took us to see the Welch Training School in New Haven, which, however, is elsewhere described.
From New Haven we went to Hartford (visiting the normal school of New Britain on the way), and from thence to Willimantic, South Manchester, and Springfield, Massachusetts. At Springfield the Training School, and an interview with Superintendent Balliet, gave ample material for thought. The work carried on by Mr. Balliet in the city strikingly exemplifies what a superintendent may do for the cause of education. Not only does he give weekly lectures on applied psychology and kindred subjects, but he has paid special attention to the elaborating of methods of teaching such subjects as arithmetic and geometry, geography, English language, etc., on which he has published pamphlets, setting forth the results of his thought and experience. It should be noted that, as in America schools when inspected are not judged by results, but by the methods used, and the general teaching efficiency, it comes about that the question of methods holds a more important place in educational thought than in England. More time, therefore, is devoted to their study in normal and training schools, and a superintendent has a wide field of influence in the matter of methods in the city or district over which he presides.
From Springfield the normal school at Westfield was visited, and from thence we went on to Albany to see the State Normal College and City Training School.
Boston offered a wide choice in matters of educational interest.
The Perkins Institute and Kindergarten for the blind well repaid a visit. The former, associated with the name of Laura Bridgman, has now in Helen Keller and Annie Thomas two wonderful examples of what education may do even for those who lack what at first may seem the necessary basis for all instruction—the senses of sight and hearing. Helen Keller was not there at the time of our visit, but we just saw her later at Chicago. When she entered the Institute she, being blind, deaf, and consequently speechless, lived in a state of almost complete isolation, but now, through the careful training of her marvellously acute sense of touch, she can take a very full share in the life of the world. She moves about quite fearlessly, recognising people by a touch of the hand, speaking easily (even sometimes in public), although, of course, those speaking to her must use the hand-language, or let her put her fingers on their lips. She is acquainted with a good deal of the best in literature, and writes most poetically. Indeed, from her letters it is difficult to suppose that she has never seen or heard anything. Her life seems a very happy one in spite of all, and she makes friends everywhere. Annie Thomas was at the Institute, however, at the time of our visit. She, like Helen Keller, has only the sense of touch by means of which to gain knowledge of the world, but she too has learned to talk, write, sew, etc. She acted as guide to us over the building, leading us from room to room, and drawing our attention to various things, including specimens of her own work. Younger than Helen Keller, she is very fond of dressing dolls, and felt our dresses all over, to try to get new ideas in dressmaking. She appears to have a good memory, and can recognise people after a long lapse of time by just touching their hands. We asked her through her teacher if she remembered the visit of an Englishman, who some years before had been there and had given her a little ring; she remembered at once, and talked about him. In the Kindergarten we saw two other such children—Willie Robin and Tommy Stringer. The first, a little girl, is a pretty child, and seemingly very intelligent. It was wonderful to see all the little blind children playing Kindergarten games, but when this child came forward and joined in playing cat and mouse, with an evident keen sense of the fun, and even sang the songs with the others, finding out what was being sung by touching the throat of the child next to her, we realized what education had done for her. The little boy, Tommy Stringer (who was admitted mainly through the efforts of Helen Keller, who, having heard of him, did not rest until she had secured his admission), is only at the beginning of his training, and cannot yet do much. Of course the first work of establishing a system of communication with these children is the most arduous, and patient indeed must be the teachers who devote themselves to it.
Several times we crossed the river Charles to Cambridge, for no visit to America would have been complete without some time spent in seeing the leading University of the country. It seemed curious to find that women were still excluded from the lectures, although in the Women’s Annex they are allowed to work as if for a degree. It seemed strange that such a state of things could exist in a land which boasts itself of freedom and of the position given to women. Indeed, it really appears that the eastern States of America are behind England in the matter of offering equal educational advantages to men and women. There are, of course, the great Women’s Colleges of Bryn Mawr, Wellesley, Vassar and Smith, which offer splendid opportunities for work, but their courses lead to degrees which are for women only, and which will, for that reason alone, never be considered as of such importance as those which are also granted to men.
The Harvard Annex for Women has been opened at Fay House, Cambridge. Professors and lecturers from the University give their lectures over again at the Annex for the benefit of the women students, who can thus go through the course for a degree, which, however, they may not receive, having to be content with a certificate. We were able to be there on Class Day, on which the students invite their friends to an “at home” in honour of the women graduates. At first all assembled in the library to listen to appropriate speeches, then they dispersed into the lecture rooms to talk to their friends, an arrangement which gave the English visitors opportunity to meet the various professors and lecturers. The women’s Class Day, however, fades into insignificance by the side of the men’s, which is the gala day of Cambridge. The morning is devoted to speeches by the students and professors, and in the afternoon and evening the seniors (those who graduate) have the opportunity of giving teas and “spreads,” to which they invite their friends. On the Tree of Liberty is hung the famous wreath, the flowers of which are scrambled for at a given signal, and dancing and other entertainments bring the day to a close. Commencement Day, at which the actual degrees are conferred, is held some days later.
From Boston we visited another famous college for women—Wellesley, which takes rank and is conducted on similar lines to those of Vassar and Bryn Mawr. It is quite out in the country, and has beautiful buildings and grounds of its own.
The Institute of Technology well repaid a visit. It is a most imposing institution, every opportunity being afforded in it for work of all kinds, chiefly, it is true, for scientific work (the laboratories and various departments being most splendidly equipped with apparatus), but almost any subject can be studied there. There are special courses arranged for those who are actually engaged in teaching. We also visited the Boston Normal and Rice Training School, Normal Art School, and the Latin High School. From Boston, we went to see the State Normal Schools at Framingham, Bridgewater Providence (Rhode Island), and the other Training Schools at Fall River and Pawtucket.
The fame of the Quincy Schools, near Boston, attracted us thither, and we spent a delightful morning listening to lessons in the primary and grammar grades of one of the best. It was of course a mixed school, and every class had a large room to itself with a continuous blackboard, all round the walls, of which constant use was made either by teacher or scholars. These blackboards are an essential part of school-room furniture in America, and without them a great deal of the teaching could not be carried on. The teacher begins at one end of the board facing the class, and can work right along the side of the room, thus being able to leave all her drawings, etc., unerased during the lesson. She can also send any or all of the children to the blackboard at once to work sums, write or draw. It was at Quincy that Colonel Parker (now at Cook County Normal School) began his work as school superintendent, and through him the Quincy methods of teaching attained an almost world-wide fame.
The little town of Milton, a few miles out of Boston, among the Blue Mountains, was also a place of interest. We there visited the Milton Academy, an endowed school, chartered as far back as 1798, and opened in 1807. It is a school for boys and girls, although there is only a boarding-house for boys. The Academy much resembles an English High School, in that it provides education for children between the ages of eight and eighteen, and has an upper and lower school. It is really a preparatory school for Harvard, the courses in the upper school being determined by the requirements for the Harvard entrance examination.
We asked the head-master as to the practical working of co-education in a school of that kind. He appeared to believe in it, and gave us an excellent opportunity of learning how the boys and girls themselves regarded it. The upper school had to write for ten minutes on some given subject, and on this morning the one announced was “co-education.” We were afterwards allowed to look at the papers, and were very much interested by them. About half the pupils expressed no definite opinion at all—many saying that as they had never been to a school on any other plan, they could not judge of the relative merits of mixed or separate schools. The rest, however, had fully made up their minds, some for and some against. Those who defended the system did so on the grounds of the higher standard of work resulting from the rivalry between the boys and girls, and of the good influence each had on the other—the girls making the boys gentler, while the boys’ admiration of courage tended to render the girls braver. The objections brought against it were, however, almost more interesting. Several boys objected, because they said they had to work harder than in schools for boys only, while some of the girls who did not want to take the Harvard entrance examination disliked the course of study rendered necessary by it, and would have preferred to take other subjects. According to one boy, “girls have so much more time than boys (not playing so many games), and therefore can easily get their lessons perfect”; and another bewailed the fact that when optional extra work was given out by the teacher, “the girls always did it, and so got more marks.” A more valid objection, perhaps, was that the school had no reputation for athletics, or outdoor games, as the girls took no interest in them. How far this was really true in this particular case, we could not judge; but wherever we went, we were struck with the fact that American girls do not play or get enough exercise in the open air. This dislike to outdoor exercise and fondness for hot rooms (their rooms are kept ten to fifteen degrees higher in temperature than we consider healthy in England) are probably the chief causes of the delicacy and excitability of American women.
One day was spent at Concord, so long the home of Emerson, Hawthorne and Thoreau, where one realized as never before what their lives and writings have meant as educating influences in America. The life of Concord seems to be in the past, and it appears as if quietly awaiting the return of those great presences which made it famous. The house once occupied by the Alcotts is now in the possession of Commissioner Harris, of Washington (Head of the Bureau of Education), who spends a part of each year there. The Concord schools are good, and a new scheme, by which all children within a radius of ten miles are collected in conveyances and brought in to school, has just been adopted. This plan does away with the necessity for district schools, which are rarely efficient.
From Boston we started westward, and first stopped at Syracuse. This is the seat of a Co-educational University, placed on the top of the highest hill, the view from which is very fine. Besides the ordinary departments, it has one for music and one for painting, which have both been carefully organized. There is also an observatory.
By way of Oswego, Niagara and Detroit, we reached Ann Arbor, the seat of the Michigan State University, which is the centre of the life of the town. It is co-educational and non-residential, the students boarding with the people of the place. It appeared that nearly every house took in students, usually only to lodge, but other houses opened their doors at meal times, and it was a curious sight to see students and others wending their ways three times a day to certain houses where they had arranged for meals.
The University has many departments, including those of law, medicine and dentistry. Two graduates of the last were Englishwomen, who are now practising in Chicago.
We were fortunate enough to arrive there in time for Commencement Day, when we saw several hundred students receive degrees. They went up on to the platform in batches of twenty or thirty at a time, and were then handed their diplomas. Neither the graduates nor the professors wore any academic dress. Just below the platform, tables were arranged which were covered with bunches and baskets of flowers and presents. These were placed there by the friends of the students, and each bore the name of the one for whom it was intended. At one point in the ceremony these were handed round. An address is usually given by some well-known speaker—this year by Dr. Charles Warner.
This University is the crown of the Michigan State system of education, and its advantages are equally open to men and to women. All connected with it seemed to approve of its being co-educational. Great freedom is allowed to all students, but he or she who will not work, and wastes time and opportunities, has to leave. Graduation time is also that chosen for the meeting together of old students of the University. The students who graduate together are known as the “class” of the year in which they take their degrees—such as the “class of 1870,” or of “1890.” The members of the various classes try to keep in touch with each other all their lives, and like to meet at the University at Commencement time. Several classes, in some of which the members were all grey-headed, had thus met together to talk over old times.
From Ann Arbor we went to see a Summer School, at Benton Harbour, a watering-place on Lake Michigan. The school was mostly attended by teachers from the country, who wished to use part of their holidays in preparing for one of the Teachers’ State Examinations.
Here we spent the “glorious fourth,” being roused by fireworks at three in the morning, and obliged to tread the streets most carefully by day to avoid stepping on the fire-crackers which lay about everywhere.
Crossing the lake by steamer (a three or four hours’ passage, in which we were quite out of sight of land), we reached Chicago. There we stayed at the new University, which, of course, was not then in session. The dormitories were let out to those who came for the Educational Congresses. Our first sight of it was not inspiriting, for we arrived at night, and the half-finished buildings, placed at intervals on what must at no distant date have been a swamp, looked cheerless and forlorn. Things looked better in the morning sunshine; and we then found that there was every promise of its being a large and handsome University. It is co-educational, like Michigan, and has, moreover, three women on the staff—one as Dean, one as Assistant-Professor of English, and one as Lecturer in Spanish. It is residential, some of the dormitories being built for women and some for men.
The World’s Fair was held in the parks adjoining the University. It would take too long to describe, but one building must be mentioned—that of the Liberal Arts, the top floor of which was entirely given up to educational exhibits. Nearly every country was represented, from Japan—which really appears to be far advanced in the making of teaching apparatus—to the exhibit of our own London School Board, which was exceedingly well arranged, and attracted much attention. The United States had naturally the lion’s share of the space—each State having a section allotted to it. In each section places were given to the Universities, Normal Schools, Public and Private Schools, and other Institutions. Specimens of work, exercise books, apparatus, were all shown. Several States had taken great pains to make the exhibit complete. Some had collected valuable statistics and placed them on revolving screens, some had published pamphlets describing certain branches of educational work in the State; and some greatly heightened the value of the exhibits by placing some one in charge who was competent to explain them. Some exhibits were, of course, much more valuable than others—the States of Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New York appeared perhaps the most complete.
From these exhibits, and especially from those in charge of them, we learned much, and were able to supplement the knowledge we had gained by visiting the various schools.
Two Educational Congresses were held, the first under the Women’s Branch of the World Congress Auxiliary, began on July 17th, and the other, held under the charge of the National Educational Association, began on July 23rd.
Under each there were many sections, those for the first being Higher Education, University Extension, College and University Students, College Fraternities, Kindergarten Manual and Art Education, Social Settlements, Chautauquean Education, Stenography, Teaching of the Deaf and of the Blind.
For the second: Higher, Secondary, Elementary and Kindergarten Education, School Supervision, Training of Teachers’ Art, Vocal Music, Technological, Industrial and Manual Business and Physical Education, Rational Psychology and Experimental Psychology in Education. On the whole the Congresses were disappointing, with perhaps the exception of that on Experimental Psychology; but the people we met there were so interesting as to quite make up for any loss in the Congresses themselves.
All our spare time we spent at the Cook County Normal Summer School, Colonel Parker having given us free passes to all lectures. There we met teachers from all parts of the States and from Canada.
We also visited the University Settlement in one of the poorest parts of Chicago. It is known as Hull House, and is conducted on much the same lines as Toynbee Hall.
From Chicago we went to Chautauqua, the huge encampment by the side of Lake Chautauqua, in New York State. Here for several months in the year people gather (no longer in log huts, but in hotels and boarding-houses erected for the purpose) to attend the summer school, or the religious meetings, or simply to enjoy the social life and popular lectures, concerts, etc., which make the time pass quickly for them. Not only, however, in the summer does Chautauqua exercise its influence. An elaborate system of reading circles and education by correspondence has been established, and connects one summer meeting with another. It does educational work among those who are reached in no other way, and its influence is felt not only throughout the States and America generally, but even in Europe and far Japan.
We returned to New York through Ithaca, where we stopped to see Cornell University. A University Summer School was being held, and we were able to attend some lectures, and interviewed one or two professors.
A breakdown of the train by which we were to leave Ithaca delayed our journey, so we arrived in New York too late to see any more institutions, and sailed from thence feeling sad at the thought that such a delightful tour was ended; but glad, too, at the remembrance of the many friends we had made, and feeling that America would be no more to us a land of strangers.
IN making my report of observations in one department of the Educational System of the United States, I am anxious to point out, at the very outset, that the nature of that System (its complexity, its many modifications, and the vast extent it covers) renders the work of drawing general conclusions from the data supplied by the observations of one person a task of extreme difficulty. The difficulty is further increased by the fact that my personal observations were limited to the North-Eastern States of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois. These States, although covering only a small portion of the whole field of observation, differ so greatly as regards conditions and organization that they exhibit results widely opposed, and furnish facts from which it is not easy to generalize.
I had, however, many and valuable opportunities of supplementing personal observations by a further study of educational matters in the exhibit of the Educational Department of the World’s Fair, and by attending the Educational Congresses held in Chicago in July, 1893. The meetings held during the Educational Congress were, in themselves, disappointing. Nevertheless they enabled me to meet educationalists and teachers of all kinds from all parts of the United States, and to learn, by personal interviews, facts which it would have been impossible to gain by merely visiting educational institutions. I found throughout my visit that personal interviews were an important means of supplementing the observation of work actually done in the schools. In some departments, the most valuable information I gained was acquired in this way, this being especially true in connection with the Training of Secondary Teachers in the Eastern States, where the subject, although widely discussed, is only just beginning to have any practical outcome.
In reporting on the Training of Teachers in the United States, I have chiefly confined myself to the work done in:—
i. State Normal Schools.
ii. City Normal and Training Schools.
iii. Departments of Pedagogy in Universities and Colleges.
It will be seen that I make constant references to methods of Science taught in the training schools, and adopted in their connected model schools. This is due to the fact that my observations were made with especial regard to that branch of training. I have not reported on the training of Kindergarten teachers, for although the question of Kindergarten instruction is one of great interest and importance at present in America, I had little opportunity of seeing and judging the methods employed in the preparation of teachers in that department.
I wish to record my grateful thanks to those who so readily helped me in my work; and to express my appreciation of the great kindness and hospitality shown everywhere throughout my visit. I should also like to take this opportunity of thanking the Gilchrist Trustees, through whose liberality I have been enabled to gain much that will be very valuable to myself, and possibly something that may be of interest or help to other teachers.
The State Normal Schools are schools supported wholly by a particular State, to provide trained teachers for the public schools of that State. They are under the management of State Boards of Education, which determine the length of the Normal School Course, and arrange the studies. Much discretionary power is, however, given to the principals or presidents of the respective schools. Instruction is usually free to those who pledge themselves to teach in the State, and, as a further inducement, students attending non-resident schools are allowed to come in by train at reduced fares, or lodge and board in houses near the school at a very low rate. Students of resident schools have rooms and board in the school building, or in separate smaller halls, or “dormitories,” at a rate of 150-180 dollars a year. To very needy students the State makes extra grants. Most of the Normal Schools are co-educational institutions; but a few admit only women. In the co-educational schools, the men and women have classes and meals in common, and reside in different parts of one building, or in adjacent buildings. It is a noticeable fact, however, that in most of the co-educational Normal Schools the women students outnumber the men. In the two Pennsylvanian Schools I visited—those at Westchester and Millersville—the discrepancy between the numbers of men and women students was not so great as in the Normal Schools of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York, which devote themselves more strictly to professional training, i.e. to pedagogical instruction and teaching practice. Having enquired as to the cause of the greater number of women students, I was told it was due to the fact that teaching, as a profession, offers few attractions to men in the United States, and that in those few Normal Schools where the attendance of men and women students is almost equal the courses are such as to allow of their being used by the men as preparatory courses for college. Such an explanation seems to be corroborated by the relative numbers of men and women teachers in many of the States. In Massachusetts, the number of teachers is 10,965, and of these only 992 are men. In Illinois, there are 23,033 teachers in the Common Schools, and among them only 7,091 men. In New York, of the 32,161 teachers in the State schools, 26,869 are women.
The first Normal Schools were established in Massachusetts in 1839. The particular needs which these early schools were intended to satisfy, and their early aims, have influenced the courses of instruction and lines of work of most of the Normal Schools since established, whether in Massachusetts, or in other States. The purpose of the early schools at Lexington and Barre was to provide more competent teachers for the lower grades of schools, and their course of training embraced:—
i. The subjects of an ordinary school curriculum, known as “academic studies,” as distinguished from pedagogical or “professional studies.”
ii. Instruction in the Art of Teaching and Governing.
iii. Practice in Teaching in the Common Schools.
The standard of admission to these early Normal Schools was low, and at that time, opportunities for any thorough study outside universities were few, especially in the case of women. Accordingly their theory of training gave the greatest importance to “a careful review of the branches of knowledge required to be taught in schools.” The first business of a Normal School was said, by Horace Mann, to consist “in reviewing, and thoroughly and critically mastering the rudiments of elementary branches of knowledge.” And although conditions have changed much since 1839, most of the Normal Schools of the United States still pursue the lines of work adopted by Massachusetts. Standards of admission have been raised, courses of study have been correspondingly extended, but the Normal Schools, with a few exceptions, still remain more or less efficient schools for the teaching of ordinary subjects, and devote half the course, and in many cases even more, to academic work. It is thus a distinctive feature of Normal School work to pursue school subjects side by side with professional, or pedagogical subjects. But there seems a general tendency to emphasize the academic part, at the expense of the professional. Examples of the courses of study for Massachusetts and New York, two of the foremost of the Eastern States in educational matters, will indicate this.
Normal Schools of Massachusetts.
Two Years’ Course:
Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry.
Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry.
Physiology, Botany, Zoology, Geology.
Language, Reading, Orthography.
Etymology, Grammar, Rhetoric.
Penmanship, Drawing, Vocal Music.
Psychology, Science of Education, Art of Teaching.
School Organization, History of Education.
Civil Polity of Massachusetts and of the United States, History and School Laws of Massachusetts.
Four Years’ Course:
Subjects required in the Two Years’ Course, with the addition of:—
 Advanced Algebra and Geometry, Trigonometry, Surveying.
Advanced Chemistry, Physics and Botany.
Drawing, English Literature, General History.
Latin, French, German or Greek.
The order of studies, and the relative lengths of time spent on academic and professional studies, is determined by the president of the school. In the Bridgewater School, pedagogical subjects are not studied systematically until the fourth term or semester, for those who take the Two Years’ Course, and the seventh semester, for those who take the Four Years’ Course. Thus with the exception of a single semester, and a few hours of the first semester given to an introduction of psychology, the whole of the two years or four years is devoted to school subjects. In the Westfield School, the last half-year of the Two Years’ Course is devoted to pedagogical subjects, and the additional work of the Four Years’ Course is entirely academic.
The studies prescribed for the Normal Schools of New York State are in three courses:
i. The English Course, comprising the usual English subjects, Mathematics and Science. This occupies three years.
ii. The Classical Course, comprising more advanced English subjects, Mathematics and Science, with Latin and Greek, or German and French. This occupies four years.
iii. The Scientific Course, including all subjects of the English Course, with two years’ study of two of the languages, Latin and Greek, French, German.
The order of subjects, and relative times devoted to academic and professional studies, is approximately the same for all the Normal Schools of New York State. Taking the schools of Oswego and Oneonta as examples, we find:—
Three Years’ Course: Psychology, philosophy, history of education and methods of teaching various subjects, taken up for the first half of the third year, and sometimes made to extend into the second half of the same year.
Four Years’ Course: The same work, chiefly done in the first half of the fourth year.
It is maintained by some, that all the Normal School work is professional, in that throughout the curriculum the aim is to present the subject matter of instruction in the way that the teacher should present it to his or her class of children, and so to make the lessons model lessons. I was present at some excellent lessons of this kind: a geography lesson and a history lesson in the Bridgewater Normal School. But for the most part the needs of the Normal School pupils themselves, and not the needs of imaginary future school children, have to be considered, and the Normal School lessons or “recitations” resolve themselves into ordinary school lessons. Even if we assume, however, that this is not the case, and that great skill is shown on the part of the Normal School teacher, may not such a plan of teaching “Methods” be dangerous, in that it encourages imitation and rigidity. Such appears to me to be the tendency of the generally adopted plan, of giving professional training in “Methods,” by actual lessons in the various subjects given by the Normal School teacher; and the danger of encouraging cut and dried methods is intensified where it is the custom for a Normal School student to give a lesson to children, or her fellow-students in that subject and section of a subject which has just been presented to her by the Normal School teacher. It is maintained by others that apart from any advantage which may accrue to the students from hearing good lessons in the various subjects they will have to teach, it is absolutely necessary that each student should change her standpoint, and review the various branches of knowledge as a teacher, rather than as a pupil. This, it is argued, is secured by such a plan of teaching “Methods.” As a third motive, it is held that direct teaching of ordinary school subjects is necessary before beginning pedagogical instruction, on account of the inadequate and unequal preparation which the future teachers bring to their work. It seems to me that both these necessities might be obviated by more rigid requirements for admission to Normal Schools. The well-equipped High Schools can do the academic work of the Normal Schools with less effort than can the Normal Schools themselves; and were the standards of admission such as to necessitate a thoroughly sound preliminary knowledge in common school subjects, might not the Normal School students be found more capable of themselves reviewing old facts from a new standpoint, and the schools have more time and opportunity to carry out other means of training?
It is a marked feature in the academic work of Normal Schools that great importance is given to the teaching of science. Here, as in American Schools in general, a large place in the curriculum is given to what is known as “nature study.” Extensive laboratories, for the different branches of science, are fitted up in most of the schools; books, microscopes, physical, chemical and biological apparatus, specimens for observation and dissection, are supplied free to students; outdoor work is organized, weather-charts are kept daily, and students are encouraged to use the school workshops for making simple physical apparatus for their own use. In all the schools great stress is laid upon practical work by each individual student. The following list shows the number of lesson-hours given to science at the Normal School, Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
|Two Years’ Course:|
|1st year.||1st term||12 hours per week.|
|2nd ”||7 ” ”|
|2nd year.||1st term||6 ” ”|
|2nd ”||5 ” ”|
|Four Years’ Course:|
|1st year.||1st term||2 ” ”|
|2nd ”||10 ” ”|
|2nd year.||1st term||7 ” ”|
|2nd ”||2 ” ”|
|3rd year.||1st term||4 ” ”|
|2nd ”||8 ” ”|
|4th year.||1st term||8 ” ”|
|2nd ”||4 ” ”|
The school, which numbers 274 pupils, has five laboratories—viz., chemical, physical, physiological and zoological, geological and industrial, and the equipment of these, and the care with which students kept daily records of laboratory work, were its special features. The chemical laboratory is in two sections: one for elementary, and one for advanced students, and between these is a teachers’ laboratory. The students’ daily records of work are carefully examined by the teacher, and much use is made, by both teachers and students, of the continuous wall slate round the class-rooms and laboratories. Physiology is taught by aid of the skeleton and life-size models, also by the dissection of lower animals, and microscopical examination of tissues. The methods and means adopted for geology and geography teaching at Bridgewater seemed to be particularly good. In the school museum were duplicate collections of rocks and minerals, classified on various bases; and in addition to these, the school possessed two sets of trays of working specimens, one set containing labelled typical class specimens, and the other containing unlabelled specimens for identification by students. Books, giving printed directions for work, interleaved with blank sheets for observations, notes and drawings, were provided for all students. I heard two excellent lessons in geography at this school. One on the Slopes of the United States was well worked out with the students in sand, great care being taken by the teacher to state and compare actual distances, so that the relief-map should not convey an impression of false proportion. The other was a lesson in map-drawing from memory. All students had places at the slate round the room, and two minutes were given to draw the outline of a map previously prepared. Then one minute was given for the drawing of a particularly difficult isolated part of the outline. When this was done, a correct map was uncovered, and students were required to correct their own drawings. After the drawings had been individually criticised by the teacher, faults were generalized, and help was given.
The special features of the science work at the Normal School, Willimantic, Connecticut, is the emphasis placed on manual training, and its practical connection with all science teaching. All students, men and women, are required to invent, or make with their own hands, simple apparatus for teaching the elementary facts of physics. I saw students in the workshops, making relief-maps and models for their lessons. One was constructing a very simple model of a water-wheel, to illustrate lessons on the conservation of energy; another was making a relief-map of paper pulp, on a ground of blue-painted wood.
In this school the students do not, as a rule, follow stated text-books in science. Wide reading is encouraged, and there is an excellent library of standard text-books and works of reference. There is also a model library of children’s literature for the students’ use, and an exhibition of the latest devices for “busy-work.” “Busy-work” is the work done alone by one section of a class, while the other is being directly taught by the teacher. All sorts of occupations are devised by the clever teacher for impressing facts already learnt, and the “busy-work” hour is frequently employed in cutting out outline maps, sorting beads, counting beans, etc. The object of the exhibition of “busy-work” at Willimantic is to encourage examination and criticism of such devices with regard to their educational value. The figures representing the amount granted to this Normal School last year, for “busy-work” exhibits, library books, text-books, periodicals, etc., were kindly given to me by the Principal, and I note them here, as an illustration of the readiness of New England States to furnish school supplies and apparatus. A few details of expenditure for the past year, which was by no means an exceptional year, are:
|Text-books and School Supplies for Normal|
and Model School
|Total amount,||2,060 ”|
Thus more than £450 was spent in one year for library materials, in a school numbering less than 150. The abundant supply of apparatus and books for the teaching of science, and the importance given to practical work, are a marked feature in all the schools. At the Albany Normal School for teachers in higher grades and colleges, the students spend most of their free afternoons in making physical apparatus for their own future use. The laboratory here is well equipped, and the work is done with great care, accuracy and finish. I saw a home-made tangent galvanometer, and a Wheatstone’s bridge in constant use for somewhat fine measurements.
At the Normal School, Worcester, Massachusetts, plant study receives special attention. This is not technical botany as usually understood, but is rather a daily observation and record of plant surroundings, the practical study of all stages of plant-life. A feature of the study is the daily exhibit, made by the pupils in turn, of some plant in bud, leaf, flower or fruit, with its common and scientific name, and the place where it was gathered. Directories furnishing information respecting the localities of trees and plants in the neighbourhood are made in the school, and dates of their times of blossoming are noted from year to year on special blank sheets provided for the purpose. Moreover, collections of the woods of different trees, and of leaves of trees growing within the county are made. Work of this kind is usually done in the free hours for independent study, which each student has several times during the day. Practical gardening is also systematically done in free time.
The lessons in science, unless actual laboratory lessons, are usually given in the form of “recitations.” A “recitation” is a lesson in which certain parts of a subject, specially prepared beforehand, are contributed by the pupils. The teacher asks questions and explains difficulties, and generally connects the facts brought forward; but the material of the lesson is wholly supplied by the pupils. This way of working out a subject has at least two distinct advantages over our own method of lesson-giving, in which the chief work devolves upon the teacher. By the recitation method the pupils are taught how to use books, how to gather from many sources material for their recitation. They also learn to rely on their own efforts in class-time, and to be alert in thought and speech. The disadvantages of the plan, however, seem even more apparent. Where one text-book is chiefly used in a subject, or even where several books are referred to, there is a distinct tendency to “recite” in the words of the book. Several times I heard lessons in which such “recitations” were accepted by the teacher. This method, moreover, seems likely to lead to too great a dependence on text-books, and too constant a reference to books, on points where thought and reflection might be better guides. It also encourages digression in class, and a resulting slowness in getting through the subject matter, unless the teacher be very skilful in conducting the “recitation.” The constant raising of points by the students, at all parts of the discussion, leads sometimes to waste of time by debating on questions of merely individual opinion. Such results point to the difficulty of conducting an ordinary recitation. Great skill and much experience are needed, before such a lesson can be made completely satisfactory, and many are the teachers’ temptations to omit careful preparation. As a method to be used constantly, and in all subjects, it seems open to many objections, and to show but few advantages. As resorted to occasionally, and by skilful teachers, and as particularly adapted to subjects such as geography or history, the “recitation” may be made a valuable means of training.
The tendency to bookishness and slavery to word-forms, which may seem to be encouraged by the recitation method of teaching science in the Normal Schools, is opposed by a greater tendency to emphasize the concrete, to refer in all science teaching directly to the objects themselves, to use laboratory methods wherever possible. Observation and experiment are essentially the methods of many of the American science teachers, and no pains are spared to illustrate all facts and principles by an appeal to the senses. As a result, much of the science teaching is excellent. On the other hand, there seems a possible danger of pursuing these excellent methods too far, of appealing to the senses alone, at stages of development in the child when reason and reflection might be appealed to and trusted, and of generally emphasizing the value of observation at the expense of neglecting the reflective faculties. In the excellent Outlines of Laboratory Work, used by some of the Normal Schools, the danger is to some degree recognised by Questions for Thought and Reference being placed at the end of each lesson-scheme. Assuming, however, that the questions are followed out carefully by the students, it may still be doubted whether this is the best method of arousing thought.
Another feature of the science teaching in the Normal Schools is the taking up of many branches of science. Chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology, mineralogy, zoology, botany, physiology, are studied by all. In order that students may be able to take up all these, the plan usually adopted is to concentrate attention on one science for a short time, and then to pass on to other sciences, until five or six have been taken. It is seldom that even one branch of science is allowed to run through a whole course of two years. The division of science studies for the Normal School at New Britain, Connecticut, where the science work is most carefully done, will illustrate this point.
|Chemistry||5 recitations a week for 13 weeks.|
|Physiology||5 ” ” ” 13 ”|
|Physics||4 ” ” ” 40 ”|
|4 ” ” ” 4 ”|
|Physics||4 recitations a week for 13 weeks.|
|Botany||5 ” ” ” 10 ”|
|Geology||4 ” ” ” 5 ”|
|4 ” ” ” 10 ”|
When it is remembered that no preliminary science is required for admission to the Normal Schools, and that many of the entering students have not done any work in the subject at all, it seems impossible that any very thorough knowledge can be secured in a course of five, ten, or even thirteen weeks. It may be possible for the student to obtain and verify a few scientific facts during a short course such as this; but there is no time or opportunity to realize the extent or bearing of the subject in hand, or to study it adequately in a scientific way. To allow a beginner to feel he has completed a course in geology, botany, or any other science in thirteen weeks is to encourage superficiality, to arouse in him a feeling of satisfaction and attainment, and surely nothing can be more opposed to the true spirit of science. In the New Britain School, physics is carried through fifty-three of the eighty weeks in the Two Years’ Course; and this seems a good plan, even if, during some part of the time, only two or three hours a week can be given to it. When one science, or possibly two, are chiefly taken up, and others considered merely accessory to the main subject of study, a more adequate knowledge of science and scientific method can be gained, especially if the sciences taken up are such as botany, and physics, which illustrate respectively different methods of scientific research.
It may be maintained that the Normal School students must be prepared for their future work in the Primary and Grammar Schools, in most of which the elements of several sciences are taught. This, of course, must be remembered. Nevertheless, the attitude of mind developed by the thorough study of one science is the best possible preparation for the safe study of the elements of others, while a superficial study of the elements of many sciences is fatal to the proper estimation of facts in any one of them.
The purely professional work of the Normal State Schools consists of:
(a) Instruction in the theory of education and its application.
(b) Actual practice in teaching, under the guidance of experienced teachers.
(c) Theory of education.
It is usual for the Normal Schools of the Eastern States to postpone the study of strictly pedagogical subjects until half or more of the course has been completed. School methods are sometimes taught in connection with academic subjects in the early part of the course; but such instruction, coming, as it does, before any principles of the science of education have been considered, or any practical experience has been gained, must be purely empirical. At the Normal School, Millersville, Pennsylvania, school management is taken during the first year, and applied psychology (as distinguished from empirical methods), history of education, and school teaching, are required during the second year. If the student takes up a further scientific or post-graduate course, additional professional studies are required—viz., psychology and the philosophy of education, ethics, logic, and professional reading. In the Westchester Normal School, Pennsylvania, no professional work is taken up until the second year. Then psychology is studied, and history of education; and methods and school practice are taken. The additional pedagogical studies for the advanced courses are the same as at Millersville. At the Normal School, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, the students, after having studied the elements of psychology, during their first semester, leave all technical studies until the fourth semester, when they take up simultaneously, study of the body, study of the mind, principles of education and methods, school organization, school government, history of school laws of Massachusetts. A fifth semester, when it can be given, is devoted entirely to professional work and actual teaching. At the Normal School, New Britain, Connecticut, psychology is given four times a week during most of the two years’ course. Text-books are not used except for reference. No pure psychology is studied, but school subjects are taken up one by one, and their facts and methods of treatment are used to illustrate psychological principles. The history of education is studied side by side with this applied psychology; but not much time is given to this subject in class. The lives and works of the chief educators only are taken, and private reading is much encouraged as accessory to the class work. At the Normal School, Willimantic, Connecticut, psychology is studied one hour a day throughout the last year, and is treated almost entirely from the physiological standpoint. No special text-book is used, but Spencer and Darwin are recommended for reference. The history of education is not taken up systematically in class, but the work and influence of modern educators, such as Arnold, Thring, and Horace Mann, are thoroughly discussed. At the Normal School, Worcester, Massachusetts, class work in psychology is taken almost daily throughout the whole course. The value attributed to the subject, and the unique way in which it is studied, together with other points distinctive of the professional work, give to the Worcester School a foremost place among New England Normal Schools. The method adopted for its study is one which entirely leaves the beaten track of ordinary text-books. It does not, in the earlier stages, trouble the student with the divisions and generalities of pure psychology, but rather fixes his attention solely on the child, and seeks to gain from actual observation and individual and combined experience laws which shall be valuable aids in teaching. “The principal requests the students to observe the conduct of children in all circumstances—at home, at school, in the street, at work, at play, in conversation with one another and with adults, and record what they see and hear as soon as circumstances will permit.” The work thus suggested has been organized as a definite part of the school course, and although optional, is usually taken up by all students. It is intended, not to supplant, but to supplement later systematic instruction in psychology, and is taken up, not for the sake of the facts gained, which may or may not be of intrinsic worth, but for the value of the process of such observation to the teacher. In order to help forward the systematic study of children, a scheme of work is drawn up. Records are to be made whenever convenient, and for these records blank sheets of six different colours are provided. The colours are a means of roughly classifying the records into six groups, thus:
(i.) Facts of personal observation.
(ii.) Facts related by others, together with names of recorder and observer.
(iii.) Personal reminiscences of childhood.
(iv.) Facts gained from books.
(v.) Observations on exceptional or defective children.
(vi.) Continuous observations.
Each record must contain the date of the observation, the observer’s name, age, and post-office address, as well as the name or initials of the child observed, its age, sex, nationality. There must be also a statement of the length of time which has elapsed between the observation and the record. These records are preserved and catalogued under such heads as knowledge, imagination, feeling. Special attention is being directed to the subject of child language, and pupils and old students are supplied with small indexed books for records in this particular department. Further opportunities for daily observation and experiment in certain lines of child-study and in teaching are offered in a newly organized children’s class or kindergarten. The students merely watch the class, the teaching being entirely in the hands of two experienced kindergartners. As the class exists for the acknowledged purpose of experiment, tuition is free, and the teachers in charge have full liberty to follow any course they wish. When I saw the school, a long series of daily experiments were being made, with a view to finding out whether, when left perfectly free, the boys secured places next to girls by preference.
Much time is given to “Methods” in all the Normal Schools. Besides the so-called “Methods” taught by means of academic studies, the subject is usually taken up again in connection with applied psychology. The school subjects, treated one by one in detail, are used to illustrate principles of education, while much reference is made at every stage to the personal experience of teacher and students. Many different plans are adopted in teaching “Methods.” At the Normal School, Westchester, I heard a lesson which was in the form of a modified “recitation.” A certain point had been chosen for discussion. The students had prepared the subject beforehand, and some had written short essays, which they read in turn. Afterwards the whole class was questioned by the teacher. As new ideas were brought forward, they were noted on the blackboard by the students who supplied them, until a complete sketch was made. A discussion on “Noise in Class” was carried on somewhat in the same way. At Westfield, Massachusetts, the lessons on “Didactics” are carried out on a similar plan, the students being called upon in turn to furnish certain parts of the subject, and to build up a sketch on the blackboard.
At the Normal School, Albany, methods are taught thus:—With each of three terms of psychology, certain subjects are chosen for consideration. A syllabus of work in a certain subject is given in by each student. It is carefully discussed in class. Then parts of the detailed syllabus are taken in order, methods of dealing with any particular part discussed, and one method decided upon as best. For the next day, all the students prepare a lesson on the part selected, and any one of them may be called upon to give it to his or her fellow-students. Then follows criticism by teacher and students. The plan of requiring all students to consider detailed methods in all subjects seems not to be altogether a good one. It assumes a knowledge of all the subjects of study on the part of all students, a condition only attainable at the price of superficiality. Even where a general knowledge of subjects can be relied upon, details in method cannot do other than encourage empiricism, in cases where the knowledge of the subject matter is not thorough and complete. It would seem better, especially in the case of training institutions like that at Albany, designed to give purely professional training to teachers of higher grades, to encourage more specialization, and to allow all students some choice of method subjects, so that dead forms of method might be made as few as possible. The system of giving detailed methods to all stimulates, too, a tendency to rigid forms of lesson-giving, and somewhat encourages the idea that there is only one good arrangement of subject matter for a particular lesson, and one good way of giving it. This is, I think, a danger of all method-teaching; but it is much intensified where methods are discussed in great detail.
The actual methods taught in the Normal Schools, and followed out in the connected Model Schools, vary so much as regards both principles and details, that it is almost impossible to report on them as a whole. It is a feature of many of the Normal Schools to cling to old methods, and lines of work of twenty, thirty or forty years ago; while, on the other hand, a few of the Normal Schools I saw—those of Connecticut, the Oswego Normal School, and Colonel Parker’s School, at Englewood, Chicago—seem to be leaders in a campaign which is beginning to revolutionize “Methods” in America.
The educational principle which is effecting this reform is the connection or correlation of studies, a theory the most fully expressed and applied at the Cook County Normal School, Illinois. As a result of this theory, the hard and fast lines between the so-called subjects of study are being broken down. Reading is taught in all the grades through nature study, history and literature; e.g., natural objects studied by the children in different grades, or poems in the selected literature for the year, serve as subjects for reading lessons. The children are encouraged to express their ideas orally on these subjects, and the teacher writes their statements on the blackboard, and takes care that the statement is really the expression of an idea in the child’s mind. When various sentences, given by the children, have been connected and arranged, the class reads from the board, and afterwards from printed or type-written copies of what has been written. Thus the children make their own reading books, and need no ordinary reading primers. This method, as adapted to the earliest stages of reading, necessarily implies the learning of script before printed characters, also the learning of words and sentences as wholes, and their necessary association with the thought which they express. So, too, writing and drawing, as modes of expressing thought, are taught in close connection with all other subjects. At New Britain, the teacher of drawing in the Model School is present at all literature lessons, and children are encouraged to illustrate their literature by drawings or paintings. In papers on the “Spontaneous Drawings of Children,” read at the Chicago Educational Conference by Professor Earl Barnes, of Leland Stanford University, California, he showed how much of this illustrative work of children was being used by himself and others in the cause of experimental psychology.
At the Model School connected with the Oswego Normal School, natural history is made the central subject, and reading, writing, and drawing are made to bear upon it. The natural history course, including both plants and animals, is most carefully planned to suit the seasons of the year. As each plant or animal is studied, it is drawn by the children, stories are told about it, the children write about it, read about it, and make it a general object of study for some time. The work is carefully graded for different ages, but the subject or topic of study is the same throughout the school at the same time.
At the Cook County Normal School, Illinois, all the teaching is made to group itself round three subjects—science, geography, history; and these subjects are made to include everything forming the environment of the child. The study of form and number, instead of being followed as separate subjects in themselves, are considered merely as means of studying these three comprehensive subjects—as modes of thinking in fact. Hearing, observing, and reading are regarded as different ways of gaining ideas, and as such, silent reading is encouraged, and many devices are used for helping the child to get quickly and clearly the ideas from the printed or written page. Writing, music, modelling, painting, drawing, speaking, are considered as means of expressing ideas about objects studied—the act of expression making the ideas clearer. Thus, number or arithmetic is taught, not, as is usual, by means of problems specially made and arranged in books of arithmetical examples; but in close connection with any class subject. I heard part of a course of excellent laboratory lessons in Science, given to Summer School Students at this school, and as the methods employed were those of the ordinary Normal School Course, I may mention them here. At the end of each lesson the teacher used the numerical results obtained by individual students, and worked them into arithmetical problems. For example, the subjects used for successive number lessons were as follows:
Conductivity of heat in metals.
Expansion of metals by heat.
Determination of boiling-point of fresh and salt water.
Such a treatment of subjects is a strong protest against routine work and rigid method. It allows great scope to the teacher by concentrating attention on the child and its needs, rather than on the artificial divisions into so-called subjects, and their methods. On the other hand, it puts great responsibility upon the teacher, and taxes his skill to the utmost. There are many difficulties in adopting the plan, one of the chief being the construction of the school time-table. In any case, the practical application of such a system can only be partial, until all teachers are enthusiasts and experts; but the lines of work seem to be true lines, and may be suggestive of much that shall reform some of our own old methods.
It is usual for each Normal School to have attached to it a Model School, which serves the double purpose of model and practising school for students. The head of the Model School and her assistants are experienced teachers, known as the critic teachers, and to the care and supervision of these the students are submitted during their training in practical teaching. All the Normal Schools I saw had such a Model School except the one at Providence, Rhode Island.
The amount of time actually devoted to teaching by each student is different in different States, and the plans by which the required amount is secured for all vary in the different schools.
The State of Pennsylvania requires of its Normal School students actual practice in teaching for one hour a day during three-fourths of the last year of the Course; but students generally do more than this. At Westchester, Pennsylvania, the students go into the Model School in sections of six each morning after 10.30. A new section is chiefly engaged in observing the children, and hearing lessons given by the critic teachers or other students. Later, the students teach, but always under supervision. The subject matter of their lessons is definitely mapped out for them by the critic teacher, and they discuss with her the best ways of treating it. There are no written notes of lessons, and no public criticism of lessons, either by teachers or students. Each week, meetings of teachers and students are held, for the purpose of taking up any points noted during the students’ work of the week. These are really talks supplementary to the ordinary method lectures. At Millersville, Pennsylvania, each student gives two or three lessons every day for a year. She teaches in different grades, and takes lessons in different subjects, and has also practice in managing simultaneously several divisions of one class.
At the Oswego Normal School, under the regulations of the New York State, the student is in the schools only twenty weeks, but during this time she has much responsibility. She spends ten weeks in a primary or elementary grade, and ten weeks in a more advanced grade, and during the whole time is practically responsible for her class. Each afternoon, after the school is dismissed, the teaching class remains for an hour to discuss any points of difficulty with the Head of the Model School.
At Willimantic, Connecticut, the teaching class spends its first four weeks in general observation of children, and hearing lessons. Then each student is placed under the supervision of one special critic teacher, and she continues some of the courses of work already begun by the critic teacher. At least four weeks are spent by each student in every grade in the school, first in observing, then in teaching under the criticism of the class teacher.
The Model School at New Britain, Connecticut, is preserved strictly as a Model School. After observing teacher and class for some time, the student usually gives one trial lesson in the school, but there is no systematic teaching by the student. For the actual independent practice, the student must go to a practising school outside New Britain, and be entirely responsible for a class for four months. At the large practising school in connection with the New Britain Normal School, at South Manchester, I saw students dealing with the actual difficulties of discipline and class-management. Each student was in charge of a large class with different divisions or grades. There were four responsible, experienced teachers for reference in cases of emergency, and for criticism; but each student had her own class, and the school of 700 children was practically managed by students. Such is the general plan of practice-work in the Normal Schools.
Much care is given to the Model Schools. The class-rooms are supplied with all necessary apparatus, and they are bright and airy, and well supplied with flowers and children’s books. It is quite customary in some of the schools to give short periods in school hours for private reading, or to allow one child to read to the other children while they are doing some kind of mechanical work. Much importance is laid upon the observation of the teaching in Model Schools. It is possible, however, that this is insisted on too early in the course; indeed, the hearing of lessons is usually the students’ first work in the school. It would be much more profitable, and there would be less danger of blind imitation, if the student had herself previously gained experience in teaching. As it is, the danger of imitation, and one-sided and narrow lines of teaching is increased by the fact that one student is chiefly under the supervision of one teacher.
At the Worcester Normal School there is no Model or practising School, but the students teach in the public schools of the city. For the first six months of her last year at the Normal School, the student acts as an apprentice or pupil-teacher, serving in at least three grades during this time. Each teacher has the direction of only one student, who may be left in sole charge of the class for hours or days. One day in the week the apprentice-student attends the Normal School, where she shows her class diary for the week, and discusses any difficulties that may have arisen. On that day, too, she takes part in the “Platform Exercises” of the Normal School—viz., exercises in which students speak, read or draw, on the platform, in presence of the whole school. The apprentice-students usually give an account to their fellow-students of anything interesting or helpful in their practical work of the past week.
At the end of the Normal School Course, State examinations are held in most of the States. In Pennsylvania each school examines its own students, who, when they have satisfactorily completed the required course of study, and passed the final examination, receive a certificate, and are said “to graduate.” After graduation, they are recommended to the State Examiner, who awards a State-Teaching Certificate valid for two years. At the end of this period, the teacher is required to present to the State Board a certificate of good work from the county Superintendent under whom he or she has taught, and also a certificate from his own school board. He is then entitled to teach in his own State for life. The Normal School students of Connecticut are submitted to State Examination, but in Massachusetts no outside examination is required. Students who work satisfactorily through the course, and pass the final examination, “graduate” at the discretion of the President, or according to results of an examination set by the School Board of the city. The State examination of teachers and most of the final examinations of the Normal Schools are usually in academic subjects only. It is not attempted to test by actual examination the degree of skill in teaching or governing.
As regards the number of teachers who have been trained in Normal Schools relatively to the number who teach in the Common Schools of the State without previous training, statistics are apt to be misleading, because, in many cases, Normal Students do not take the entire course or “graduate.” Out of 372 students enrolled at New Britain in 1889-1890, only 77 completed the entire course; in 1890-1891, only 61 out of 401 graduated; and in 1891-1892, out of 444 students, only 91 were graduates. For 1888-1889 Framingham shows 30 graduates out of 205 present in the school; Salem shows 129 out of 292; and Bridgewater, 69 out of 232. In all these schools the courses are two, three or four years, and if all the students completed the course, the number of graduates each year would be ½, ⅓, or ¼ respectively of the number of students enrolled. The Report of School Commissioners for 1888-1889 shows that among 75,529 teachers in the Common Schools of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, there were only 1,461 students who completed the Normal School Course in these States. In all the States, arrangements are made for teachers who do not go through the Normal Schools. Certificates of license to teach in the State for a shorter or longer time are granted according to results of the State Certificate Examination. A third-grade certificate, entitling its owner to teach for a short time, may be exchanged for a second-grade certificate, when further proficiency is shown by re-examination. So a second-grade certificate may be exchanged for a life-certificate in many of the States. It should be borne in mind that these examinations are only in school subjects.
The fact that in a State such as Massachusetts the qualifications of teachers in the High and Latin Schools of Boston is stated merely as “Education at some respectable college of good standing,” shows that the necessity for the professional training of teachers for higher or secondary schools is not at present fully recognised. Until the last few years, no Institution especially devoted to the training of secondary teachers existed in the eastern States, and those who wished to prepare themselves for the teaching of the higher branches of subjects had no other means of training than that offered in the Normal Schools. At Worcester and Bridgewater, College and University graduates may take the pedagogical course as special students, and so prepare for teaching in the higher schools. At the Indiana and Illinois Normal Schools, and in other places, there are courses of study chiefly or entirely professional, for college or university graduates, if such present themselves. At Albany, too, where the standard of admission is high, many of the students prepare for work in the secondary schools. On the whole, however, the number of special students preparing for higher work in the Normal Schools is very small. In 1891-1892, the Southern Illinois Normal University had only six special students, the Terre-Haute Normal School, Indiana, only four; and we find in the eastern States generally that the Normal Schools take very little part in the training of secondary teachers. For the most part Normal School students are found only in the lower grades of public schools; and college graduates, even though untrained, are preferred as teachers in High Schools, good private schools and academies.
The reason for this is probably to be found in the nature of the Normal School itself. It, perhaps more than any other educational institution in America, has adhered to its old traditions. It was designed to train teachers for the lower grades of Elementary Schools, and in the early days was prepared to accept the only material at hand—would-be teachers, many of whom possessed few intellectual qualifications, and almost all were inadequately prepared for training. But with rising standards of work, and increased facilities for good preliminary preparation, the Normal School has not yet closed its doors to students whose general attainments do not qualify them to profit by courses in the Science and Art of Teaching. In one or two cases only is the standard of college graduation insisted upon, and in many cases the admission standard is lower than that required to complete the course in a city High School. Hence it results that most of the teaching in High Schools and academies is given into the hands of professionally untrained teachers—college graduates, whose scholarship can be relied upon, but who have no previous technical training, rather than to trained teachers, whose knowledge of the actual subject matter of studies may or may not be thorough. The choice, open to heads of Secondary Schools when appointing assistants, is, moreover, not between good scholarship and good training. Without adequate preparation the training must be inadequate, and in many cases cramping and injurious. On the other hand, it is only after the preliminary preparation has been sound and complete that the work of training can be carried out in the best possible way.
The existence of State Normal Schools and City Training Schools side by side suggests at once a fact which has an important bearing on educational questions in the United States—viz., the absolute distinction, as regards jurisdiction, between schools outside the limits of a town or city, under the supervision of a State Board and State Superintendent, and schools within the city radius, and under the supervision of a Town or City Superintendent. In educational matters, the city areas are completely exempt from State control. Their schools and training schools are managed by local authorities, and supplied for the most part by local funds. Hence it follows that City Normal and Training Schools show even greater diversity of methods and arrangement than is found in State Normal Schools, for their lines of work and efficiency are entirely dependent upon the respective City Boards of Education. One effect of local school administration is distinctly undesirable. The appointment of the principal of the school by the Educational Board, and the election of that Board by local vote, produces, in many cities, a tendency to display, in order to cull popular favour. The “graduation exercises,” yearly public ceremonies, held in connection with almost all American schools and colleges, consist, in the case of training schools, of various kinds of students’ and children’s exercises, to which the public are invited. Much valuable time is taken by the students in preparing essays to be read and lessons to be given in public; and in some cases the student or teacher conducts an examination of her class in the presence of parents and friends. Several such public exercises I heard, but in all cases it was evident that true results of training, or honest results of teaching, were not demonstrated. The endeavour to impress the audience, besides involving great waste of time, seems likely to create an unconscious dishonesty on the part of teachers, students, and children.
The City Normal Schools are the local training schools, maintained by the larger cities for the preparation of their own teachers.
They require as conditions of admission:—
i. Residence in the city.
ii. Satisfactory completion of the high schools course of the city.
iii. Statement of intention to teach in the schools of the city.
To all those who satisfy these conditions, and are eighteen years of age or more, instruction is free, and completion of the professional course entitles the student to become a teacher in any of the Common Schools of the city.
The City Normal Schools of New York and Philadelphia combine the functions of Normal and High Schools, admitting students who do not intend to become teachers to their academic studies, without requiring of them any professional study or practice in teaching. The necessity of extending the function of a Normal School in this way has arisen from the fact that there are no public High Schools for girls in these cities.
At the Normal College of the city of New York there are two separate courses of work:—
i. An academic or classical course of five years.
ii. A normal or training course of four years, with an optional extra year for specializing in any branch of manual training.
In the normal course, two full years are given to the study of school subjects only. In the third year two hours a week, in the first half of the fourth year six hours a week, and in the last half of the fourth year three hours a week, are given to the study of pedagogy. At the beginning of the fourth year, the Normal students enter the training or practice department connected with the school, and every third week hear and give lessons, and take part in criticisms and discussions on teaching. At the same time, they attend lectures and recitations in English, Latin, modern languages, natural science, drawing and music, chiefly with a view to gaining an insight into the methods of those subjects. The college had in December, 1892, 1,868 students, of whom 460 had belonged to the training department during the year—i.e., had observed and actually taught in the training or practising school. As large numbers are engaged in observing and teaching in one practising school, much individual practice in the actual work of teaching is impossible; for although the students are divided into groups for the school work, the groups are necessarily large. It has been found necessary for ninety-two students to be in the practising school at one time, a number too large to allow of much actual teaching being done by any individual student. Only a small part of the twelve hours spent weekly by each student in the practising school is given to teaching. The remaining time is given to hearing lessons and observing children.
I noticed a similar need for more practical work in the Philadelphia Normal School. Here, as in the New York Normal College, much purely academic work is done, and very little importance is given to actual school-room practice. Students are divided into six sections, each group containing about fifty. A whole division goes into the practising school at one time, and stays there for two weeks only. The remaining thirty-eight weeks of the last school year are entirely devoted to the study of pedagogical subjects, psychological methods and drawing. Kindergarten work is compulsory to all during the last year. The two weeks which each student spends in the schools are chiefly employed in hearing lessons, and observing children and teachers. Only two days in the whole course are spent in actual teaching. This arrangement of work and distribution of time in the Philadelphia Normal School is seen by the city school authorities to be far from satisfactory, and a scheme has been made out for a thorough revision of the course. The present school, which is inadequate for purposes of training, is to be made into a public High School for girls, and a new Normal School is to be built, in which three years are to be devoted to academic, and two years to professional work; but the two parts are to be kept entirely distinct. The training course is to consist of elementary and advanced sections, and much more time is to be given to actual teaching.
The examinations of the City Normal Schools are usually conducted by the faculties of the schools, under the supervision of sub-committees of the Board of Public Education of the city. In the Philadelphia School, a certificate is awarded by a “Committee on the Qualification of Teachers” for a general average of 85 per cent. on two examinations.
i. In academical subjects, at end of three years.
ii. In professional subjects, at the end of four years.
An average of 85 per cent. on the teaching in the school of practice is also required. Two certificates are awarded for lower averages of marks on work of the course, viz.:
An “Assistant’s Certificate” for average of 70 per cent., and a “Trial Certificate” for less than an average of 70 per cent. on work in the school of practice. Such a “Trial Certificate” is for one year only. If, at the end of that time, the teaching shall be reported as satisfactory by the Superintendent of the Schools, the “Trial Certificate” may be exchanged for an “Assistant’s Certificate.”
The City Training Schools are purely professional institutions. They admit only graduates of High Schools of the city, and give them a course of one or two years in theory and practice of teaching. The amount of time given to theory varies a good deal in the different cities. Practice in teaching is usually gained in a practising school well equipped with good teachers, who help and guide the students in their work. In some instances, however, students gain their experience by teaching under supervision, in the schools of the city.
Emphasis of the practical side of the teacher’s work seems to be a good feature of the training schools generally. In all the City Training Schools which I visited much opportunity was given for actual teaching, and for practically dealing with the problems of discipline and organization in the school-room. Such opportunities are multiplied by the system of substitute service, which seems to be organized in most of the cities of the United States. Students of the training schools, during the latter part of their course, are registered on a substitute list, and may be called to supply the place of teachers temporarily absent from the Common Schools. Responsibility taken for a week, or even a day, is excellent training for future teachers, and in cases where permanent vacancies occur the student who has shown herself capable in such an emergency is often appointed to the post.
Among the largest and most successful of the City Training Schools is the Boston Normal and Rice Training School. This, although a City Normal School by name, differs in many respects from the City Normal Schools of New York and Philadelphia. Its work is strictly professional, and seems to correspond rather with the Training Schools of other cities than with those known as Normal Schools. The Rice Training School offers an ordinary course of two years, and an advanced course for further professional work. The practising school in the same building gives the opportunity to the students of teaching and observing children, and beyond this the “Supervisors of Public Instruction” in the city have made arrangements for allowing the students to watch and teach in some of the best Primary and Grammar Schools of Boston. Completion of the Boston High School course, or college graduation, exempts from the entrance examination of the school.
Theoretical instruction in pedagogical subjects is given in the morning, teaching in the practising school occupies the afternoon hours. Psychology is taken almost every day throughout the course. Theory of the kindergarten is studied in the second term, and logic in the third. The history of education is also taken in outline.
“Methods” of subjects are taught in great detail, and on the same lines as in the State Normal Schools—viz., by means of lessons in the various subjects given to the students themselves. I heard a very interesting lesson in methods of arithmetic. A class of twenty girls were, by very skilful questioning, made to thoroughly discuss the process of simple addition, and also the methods of teaching children to realize numbers greater than ten. I heard, too, very skilful teaching in methods of English—viz., a literature lesson, and a first lesson in English composition. In the literature lesson, the teacher first reminded her pupils of the various poems and prose selections studied during the term. After having given short explanations, she read selections from other authors. Then the students were asked if these new selections reminded them of any parts in the poems already studied, and when the suggested parts had been quoted, the class was set to discover whether the similarity was in the subject matter, the underlying thought or the mode of expression. Many suggestions were given by the class, and much interest was aroused. The lesson was a most helpful illustration of how a teacher should stimulate her class, and how she should use her materials for the purpose of training. The study of methods of training occupies a prominent place in the curriculum of the school, and includes special work in illustrative drawing on the blackboard in connection with the teaching of geography, and the drawing of plants and animals. As part of the course on gymnastics, each student, besides studying the theory and doing daily drill, must act for one term as leader and teacher of drill, and must criticise drill lessons.
Practical work in the schools is arranged for each term. In the first half-year, the students’ work in the training school consists chiefly in observing methods of teaching, and hearing lessons, under the guidance of the critic teacher. She does not begin to teach in the school until the second term, two weeks of which she spends in a primary grade, and two weeks in a higher or grammar grade. In the third term she spends eight weeks in the schools, and in the fourth term four weeks. It is usual for each student, while in the schools, to give two or three lessons every day, under the supervision of the class teacher with whom she is placed. The teacher criticises and suggests in all cases. In the advanced course, students take up a further study of the principles of education. They also study the history of education, give more time to actual teaching in the schools, and act as substitutes in the city schools.
In addition to the Boston Training School, there are fourteen city training schools in the State of Massachusetts. In all these the time of training is fixed from one to two years; admission is by the High School graduation certificate, or an equivalent entrance examination, and is only at fixed annual times; a school is attached for practice, and the teacher at its head conducts the training class.
At the Springfield Training School the course may be extended to two years. A little academic work is done in science during the first term. Methods are treated of by means of lectures and discussions, and these, with organized observation of children and a few criticism lessons, constitute the practical work from September until Christmas. At Christmas, systematic psychology begins, and also teaching in the schools for one hour a day. The subjects of the lessons are chosen by the critic teacher, and the teaching is in all cases under supervision. At Easter the student begins to teach three hours a day, and occasionally has to give lessons in public. These, however, are not considered as test-lessons. Certificates to teach in the schools of the city are granted on the results of an examination, held by the City Board of Education each year.
At Newhaven, Connecticut, the City Training School has more than thirty students. The course is a year in length, the first half of which is devoted entirely to theoretical subjects, and the last half to teaching. Here, as at the Worcester Normal School, I found students being introduced to methods of psychological experimentation, more especially in the senses of sight and hearing. It is interesting to notice that these are special lines of research in the psychological laboratory of Yale University. I saw the records of several students who had been finding the average voice pitch of thirty children. The tendency in all the psychological teaching here was to make the subject really experimental, and the results those of actual observation. The history of education is not taught by means of set lectures, but topics are announced from time to time, with references for the students’ reading. After the class has collected facts on a certain subject, the teacher supplements the facts already given by selections from other books, and references to other parts of the subject. In treating the history of education in each country, general chronological order is followed, and the facts of each period are studied under four heads:
Religion, social and political movements; extent of education; character of education; methods of education.
The school has a good library for the students’ use, and also one for the children of the practising school. Students give one criticism lesson during the first half-year, and for this they write elaborate notes under fixed headings prepared by the head of the department, and the other students hand in, after the lesson, elaborate criticisms done in a similar way. Blank schedules with printed headings, such as the following, are given to students to fill up before giving the lesson:
|IV. Plan.||Review Work||What.||How.||Illustrations.|
|VI. Mechanical Details.|
|Arrangement of Class.|
|Distribution of Materials, etc.|
I noticed in schedules which had been thus filled up by students that the notes supplied under the heading of “Method” consisted entirely of proposed questions of the teacher, and assumed answers by the children. Such an item in the prepared plan of a lesson seemed to me unadvisable, and in many cases useless. Even if the prepared questions were asked by the teacher, the answers would not always be the ones assumed, and the lesson would be stiff, unnatural, and wanting in spontaneity. Broad lines of questioning might be indicated in the schedule, rather than the actual questions to be given. This would result in much more natural methods of questioning. The outline for criticism given to other students is according to the following plan:
|Purpose|| What. Whether accomplished.|
Why. Cause of failure or
|Matter|| Amount—accuracy. Adaptation,|
to purpose and to class.
Order of presentation.
|Plan|| Completeness. Order of parts.|
Manner of presentation.
|Language|| Relative amounts used by teachers|
and pupils. Correctness. Accuracy.
|Illustrations||What amount. Adaptation. Use.|
|Voice||Of teacher and pupils.|
|Mechanical details|| Directions for work. Distribution|
|Results|| Training in mental power; accuracy;|
expression. Moral Training.
The suggestion of these points for criticism indicates a very complete and thorough analysis of a lesson. Such an elaborate form of criticism, if employed occasionally, seems to me good in encouraging a habit of mental analysis in those who hear the lesson. It may be useful, too, as a guide to those unaccustomed to criticising exercises, and may be helpful in impressing the fact that a lesson is a very complex thing, difficult to give, and far reaching in its results. The constant use of rigid forms, however, either for preparation of lessons, or for their criticism, is to be deprecated as stultifying, and as not adapted to all lessons and all occasions. It is probable that in many cases valuable criticisms might be given which would not come under any of the formal headings, even though the schedule were as complete as possible. For the last five months the students work entirely under the direction of teachers of the practising school. Plans of work and lesson-subjects are discussed with the teacher, and when the lessons are over, private criticisms only are given. Each student learns to make her own maps, charts and pictures, which she takes with her when she leaves the school.
At the end of the course of training, an elaborate report of the student’s work and standing is issued as regards her standards; enthusiasm; force; manner; language; writing; questioning; power of illustration; originality; interest; thoroughness; control.
A certificate qualifying to teach in the schools of the city is given to those who complete the training course satisfactorily, and who gain an average of 70 per cent. on examinations at the end of the year.
At Pawtucket, I saw a training school of from seven to nine students, with an excellent model and practising school attached. The course lasts for one and a half years. For a whole year, the class has instruction in theoretical subjects in the mornings, with observation of children and some lesson-giving in the afternoon. The last six months are spent by the students in the actual charge of children. Each student works under a Model School teacher, and for one week during the half-year has sole charge and responsibility of the class.
Closely allied to the work of the Training Schools is that done by City Training Classes. These are usually found in the smaller towns or cities of the various States. The general features of the Training Classes are the same as those of the City Training Schools. The differences are mainly:
(1) No special model or practising school is attached, but the students gain their experience by teaching classes in city or town schools.
(2) The work of training is carried out, not by a specially appointed person, as in the Training Schools, but by the Superintendent of Schools of the district, who holds classes in professional subjects, and arranges and criticises the work of the students.
The members of the Training Classes, while under the general guidance of the heads of the schools, where they act as assistants, are helped and instructed in methods of teaching various subjects by the Town Supervisors of Instruction, appointed for those special subjects. The appointment of supervisors in drawing, singing, reading, etc., whose sole work is to visit the schools and conduct and examine classes, gives unity to the methods in the various schools of a town, and affords much practical help to the student-teachers in the various schools.
At Quincy, Massachusetts, there is a training class of thirty students. The pupil teachers act as assistants in the schools, receiving no compensation, except the guidance of experienced teachers, and theoretical instruction from the superintendent. They usually teach in several grades during the year, but those who show special aptitude or wish to teach in any particular grade are allowed an alternative of remaining in that grade. At the Coddington school, one of the training schools for the Quincy Training Classes, I heard very good lessons given in reading, phonics, number, English and geography. A reading lesson, given to ten or twelve children about seven years old, was to teach one new word, “Flag.” The class stood around the teacher at one part of the wall slate. After carefully revising many of the words learnt in previous lessons, the teacher drew a flag on the board. Then she wrote the word as a whole, underneath the drawing. Then she told a short story about a flag, wrote the word in different coloured chalks, wrote sentences involving only known words and the new word “flag.” When the children could read these sentences easily, they were made to pick out the word “flag.” Some were allowed to erase the word, some to write it again. Every possible device was used in the lesson to associate the complete written expression with the spoken word and the idea. At the end of twenty minutes, when the association was complete, the new word “flag” was written among the list of known words, kept constantly on the board, and the children were sent to their seats. I noticed in all the reading lessons in which words and sentences were taught as wholes, that clever teachers constantly used the device of erasing the word or sentence to be taught. This, when skilfully done, secures concentration of attention on each word, by allowing the children only a limited time to note its general shape, before being required to represent it on the board or slate. The constant erasure and repeated re-writing of a word ensure repeated short acts of intense attention on the part of the children, and so help greatly in the learning of the new word. A lesson in “number” or arithmetic, given to the same class, was devoted to problems in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of numbers below ten. Many devices were used for interesting the class. The children were sent to work at different parts of the wall slate, and were encouraged to contribute problems for the class. The general use of the wall slate is seen to be of great advantage, especially in such lessons as these. By means of it, supervision of individual work is very easy, and corrections can be made valuable to the whole class.
The Training Classes of the State of New York show more uniformity of courses and methods than those of many of the other States. This is due to their organization by the State Superintendent, who issues regulations and a definite course of study. The course is a short one, from ten to thirteen weeks. Two hours each day is given to instruction. Methods in reading, spelling, number, language and primary geography are studied, and observation and criticism of lessons is a definite part of the work. Actual teaching is done wherever possible; but this is not a requisite. The time given to each subject is apportioned somewhat on the same principles as in the Normal Schools—viz., one subject is followed up for a very short time, another is taken up in the same way, and then another. On this plan, only a few days can be given to some subjects. The syllabus of work for 1889 gives four days to laws of mental development, seventeen days to school economy, ten days to the history of education, and four days to school law. Other set times are given to Methods. Such a course, lasting for a very short time, and including so many subjects, cannot but be inadequate and superficial when used as the only means of training. The experience gained in such a way is not sufficient in itself to qualify for responsible work in a town school. This is shown by the fact that those who have taken a course in the training class of a city are often expected to gain experience elsewhere, before taking responsible work in that city. In many instances, students are urged to take Normal School courses as well.
It may indeed be stated generally, that the work of Training Classes is to supplement a longer and more thorough course in training, rather than to train. Training Classes, for the most part, provide practice under supervision for those who have already gained some insight into the science of education and methods of teaching, but the small amount of time given to other sides of training prevents their work being at all adequate as the sole preparation for teachers. Training Classes exist, and will exist, to meet the needs of those would-be teachers who, in small towns, where there is neither Normal nor Training School, cannot afford to leave their homes to prepare for their work. The urgent demand for trained teachers for all the Common Schools has resulted in the establishment of many institutions, which, while fulfilling a present need, are existing under conditions which must prohibit work of the best kind. Among such institutions we must enrol the City Training Classes.
It is a noticeable fact, that in both Training Schools and Training Classes, the beginners usually practise first in the lowest grades. It is considered easier to teach little children than older ones, and less dangerous to the pupils. Indeed, the heads of many schools, far from adopting the theory that the primary teaching should be in the hands of the most skilled and efficient teachers, give their youngest classes into the care of those disqualified to teach in higher grades, on account of lack of knowledge, or want of skill. It may be urged in support of the plan of allowing teachers unqualified for other grades of teaching to become teachers in the primary schools, that the knowledge actually used in the teaching of little children is much less than that needed for work with elder children, and that certain devices for keeping children quiet, and for interesting them, can be followed empirically by the unskilful teacher. But this argument, instead of sanctioning the practice so commonly adopted, would serve to show that it is in the lower grades that bad teaching can remain undetected, and results, rather than means, made criteria of success. Much of the growth of the child-mind, in its early stages, depends on the teacher’s width of interest, a width only secured by a thorough knowledge of the subjects taught, and a broad range of subjects. This breadth of interest not only influences the class, but reacts on the teacher; for teachers of young children, having little necessity to make constant intellectual efforts, stand in great danger of becoming intellectually narrowed.
Partly as a result of the fact that most of the students in Normal and City Training Schools are prepared for work as primary teachers, and that others who hope eventually to teach in higher grades must first gain their experience in primary grades, we find that much more attention is given to primary methods than to methods of the Grammar School. This is true not only in Practising Schools and Model Schools, but elsewhere.
Therefore, the most rapid progress in American Education has been connected with elementary teaching. The present movement to reform the curriculum and methods of the Grammar School is only of recent development.
The pedagogical courses connected with the Universities of the United States differ so much in organization and scope, and in the nature of their connection with the University, that it is impossible to consider them under one comprehensive title, unless the exact meaning of the term “University Department” be defined. In the present case, the title “University Department of Pedagogy” is used to include all higher courses of study in philosophy, psychology, history, science or art of education established by Universities or Colleges of high standing, in definite recognition of the fact that the work of secondary teaching requires distinct and special professional or technical preparation, beyond a sound general education. Such instruction may be given in connection with Chairs of Pedagogy by series of lectures on science and art of teaching, theory and practice of teaching, etc., or it may be so complete as to constitute a school of pedagogy in itself, thoroughly organized and equipped to carry out professional training in all its branches. Pedagogical study may be a so-called “elective”—viz., one of the subjects chosen by the student to count towards his degree, or it may be a course for post-graduates only. It may consist merely of courses in special pedagogy or “methods,” by the various professors of different subjects in a University, or it may be chiefly the study of education from a scientific standpoint, as in Clark University, Massachusetts, where experimental and physiological psychology is pursued, not with the view of meeting the needs of intending teachers, but of offering opportunities of thorough study to scientific experts, whose results may be of great value to education in general. The number of Universities or Colleges in the United States which report pedagogical courses of some kind is 114. In many of these, however, the work is mostly of the Normal School type, with a view to prepare for teaching in the Grammar Schools of the State, and the certificate of proficiency given on completion of the course is not such as to entitle the work to be called “Higher Instruction in the Theory and Art of Teaching.” Leaving such departments out of consideration, as not belonging to the field of higher education, the departments of pedagogy in connection with Universities may, for convenience, be considered under two heads:
1. Those in connection with State Universities.
2. Those connected with other endowed Universities or Colleges of high standing.
State Universities, founded in accordance with the resolution, “Schools and the means of education shall for ever be encouraged,” have naturally been looked up to as the institutions more fitted than any other to supply higher instruction in the science and art of teaching. The first was established as the result of the Ordinance of 1787, by which two townships of land were appropriated from the North-West Territory for the support of a State University. Since then, twenty-eight States of the Union have set apart funds, derived from the sale of State lands, for the founding and endowing of institutions for higher education. These universities, gradually increasing in number and influence, and spreading from their origin in Ohio both west and east, are dependent for the most part for their students upon the city High Schools and other secondary schools; and the efficiency of their work depends greatly upon the efficiency of the preparatory work done in these schools. It is, therefore, to the interest of the State Universities to secure that the secondary schools are well equipped and well taught, and from this point of view one of the distinctive lines of work of a State University should be the professional preparation of secondary teachers. The University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, was the first State University to recognise the necessity of this work. In 1879 it established a Chair to give instruction in science and art of teaching, and since then, Training and Normal departments, or courses in pedagogy, have been established in the State Universities of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, N. Dakota, Ohio, Washington and others.
In some Universities the work of training is entirely given over to the pedagogical department and the professor of pedagogy. In some, there are no purely professional departments, but “Teachers’ Courses” are organized in various subjects of the college curriculum. These courses are given by college professors of the various subjects, and deal with the different methods of treating the subject. In some State Universities, however, training is provided both in pedagogical departments and “Teachers’ Courses”; and good work in both is required before a student can gain a “Teacher’s Diploma.” Where the two parts of the work are maintained harmoniously together, they must greatly strengthen each other, and advantages must accrue both to the students and to the work of training generally. In such a case the scientific, but more or less theoretical instruction of the professedly pedagogical department of the University is supplemented by the practical instruction, which is the result of the experience of experts in the respective subjects. The discussion of “methods” in any subject, with a specialist, who is constantly teaching that subject, must be most valuable to the future teacher, and especially so when the specialist can illustrate his methods by actual class work, and the learner is himself somewhat of a specialist. The existence of these double lines of work is also important, where it occurs, as illustrating unity of opinion among the presidents and professors of colleges as regards the needs and means of training of secondary teachers. Thus it will help on the cause of secondary training generally.
One of those State Universities which recognise these two distinctive branches of professional training is the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor. Work in both departments has been required in order to gain a “Teacher’s Diploma,” ever since the pedagogical course was arranged in 1879. The student must have completed three courses offered by the professor of pedagogy—one a practical course in the art of teaching and governing, school hygiene, school law, etc.; one a theoretical and critical course on the principles of teaching or applied psychology; and one other course which may be either:
History of education, ancient and mediæval.
History of education, modern, or,
He must also have taken a “Teacher’s Course” in connection with one of the subjects in the college curriculum—work which implies not only extra professional instruction in methods by the college professor, but also a special examination in the subject matter of study. Beyond the courses of study already enumerated as belonging to the Department of Science and Art of Teaching in the Michigan University, there is one on the comparative study of educational systems, and a section for seminary work. This seminary work, taken up in pedagogy, as in other subjects, only towards the completion of the course, is very much on the lines of the German “Seminar.” It is work of research and discussion, done with the help of the educational library. Special points are taken up by the students and worked out. The teacher guides the work and reading, and generally conducts the Seminary. As regards the time devoted to different parts of the pedagogical curriculum, four hours a week are given to each of the courses on the art of teaching and the principles of teaching, three hours a week to each of the history courses and those on school supervision, and two hours a week to the other optional subjects. The required course may be taken among the graduate or post-graduate studies. “Teachers’ Diplomas” are presented on graduation, provided the prescribed course has been taken. A “Teachers’ Certificate” given by the Faculty, on the gaining of degree and diploma, qualifies to teach in any school of the State.
At the State University, Illinois, the course in pedagogy is work which counts towards a degree. It is placed among one of the major or principal subjects of the “restricted electives,” that is, one of six subjects, each occupying six terms, two subjects of which must be chosen by the student for graduation work. Pedagogy is suggested as part of the work of the third and fourth year in the classical course, and when taken up for a third and fourth year, after any ordinary “Two Years’ Course,” it constitutes a course in philosophy and pedagogy. The different branches of pedagogy taken up in this way are:
Educational psychology, hygiene, philosophy of education, history of education, school supervision.
The “Pedagogical Seminary” is open only to students who have taken two other pedagogical courses. Psychology, school hygiene, and school supervision, constitute full courses for a term—the rest are half courses. In connection with the Philosophical Department is a course of lectures and laboratory work in experimental psychology. Apparatus has been purchased and considerably used in making psychological experiments.
In the University of Missouri there are two distinct courses, elementary and advanced. The elementary course corresponds very much to a Normal School course. The subjects for the first year’s study are chiefly English, algebra, physiology, zoology, botany, physical geography, rhetoric. In the second year, pedagogics, including applied psychology, history and school organization, are taken up with history, literature, physics, chemistry and civil government. Drawing and elocution are required subjects during all but one term of the course. The certificate at the end of the elementary course qualifies the holder to teach for two years in any public school of the State. The advanced course leads on to the degree of bachelor of pedagogics. The required work in this department may be taken by students who are preparing for degrees in other courses, or by those who have already a degree conferred by this or any approved University. The graduate students may, by selecting four of the offered subjects, and devoting five hours a week to the pedagogical work, complete the course in one year. Others, take certain prescribed courses, and certain optional courses in pedagogics, during the third and fourth years of their ordinary graduate work. The degree entitles to a life-certificate to teach in any of the public schools of the State. It is noticeable, in connection with the prescribed courses in this University, that the study of education, historically, comes before the consideration of theory or philosophy of education and its application in school work. The elective or optional studies are four—viz., school systems of Europe; school systems of the cities and States of the United States; the educational theories of Herbert Spencer; the philosophy of Froebel.
Of the other State Universities, some make pedagogics a complete course for graduates or undergraduates, while some, as at Missouri, make it an elective study during the third and fourth years of an ordinary graduate course. Where two complete courses exist—an elementary and an advanced—in the same department, the distinction is based chiefly on the difference of qualification needed for admission. Students qualified to enter the University may pursue the elementary course; only those of the third year or fourth year, or graduates, may take up the advanced course. As a rule, the students of the elementary course teach in the Primary or Grammar Schools, those of the advanced courses become teachers of secondary schools and colleges.
The State Universities of America, as a whole, follow, more or less strictly, the lines of German Universities. This is not only so as regards organization merely, but as regards methods of study, and lines of thought. In no department is the German influence more seen than in that of pedagogics, where methods of the German “Seminar” are increasingly used and valued by professors and advanced students. Few State Universities having pedagogical departments would be found which had not begun to use Seminar methods. In many Universities, a “Seminar room,” in which is a pedagogical reference library, is set apart especially for research and conference in matters educational. A natural accompaniment of these methods is much study of German pedagogical theory, and a constant tendency to emphasize and elaborate German lines of thought. The two great Schools in American psychology to-day, both of which are making rapid strides in progress, and influencing the whole of American education to an important extent, are the Herbartians and the Experimental Psychologists. Both had their beginnings in German Universities.
The most modern feature of German University Departments of Pedagogy is, however, one which has not yet been adopted by American State Universities. A means of connection between the theoretical and practical sides of training, by the establishment of a practising school attached to the University, has been made at Jena for some time. Such a connection would be of the greatest value to American State University Departments, but until now actual practical departments have not existed. The instruction in university departments of pedagogy, although such as to be of the greatest possible value and stimulation as a theoretical basis for teaching and organizing in secondary schools, is however incomplete unless opportunities are also supplied of gaining actual experience in teaching. A practising school, organized as a part of the University, and having as its principal one of the University Faculty, might, besides affording such a practising ground for secondary teachers, be the means of supplying tested facts to the teaching world in general, and would greatly help the University Department to fulfil its true function—that of stimulating teachers and unifying education in the State.
The study of pedagogy in connection with the universities and colleges of the Eastern States is a department of work of comparatively recent origin. The conservative attitude of the older Universities, such as Harvard and Yale, with regard to the recognition of the claims of pedagogy to be a science, and the needs of distinctly professional instruction for those who intend to become teachers in higher schools and colleges, has resulted in the fact that the training of secondary teachers has, until a few years ago, been almost entirely restricted to the Western State Universities. It is remarkable, however, that since the older educational institutions of the Eastern States have recognised education as a science, rapid progress has been made, and one finds on surveying the work of university departments of pedagogy as a whole certain features which, when further developed, will possibly cause university instruction to be the most valuable means of training secondary teachers. Among such lines of work, already begun in these pedagogical departments, are:
i. Supervision of secondary school work.
ii. Stimulation of all teachers by research work in educational matters.
iii. The acknowledgment by scientific workers in the field of pedagogy and psychology of the results of teachers’ observations of children in the school-room, as helpful to the scientific researches of the laboratory.
iv. Preparation and stimulation of professors of pedagogy, and of teachers for higher schools and colleges.
A very early attempt was made in Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, to arrange courses in theory and methods of teaching, but the movement was not successful. Little actual work in the training of secondary teachers was done in the Eastern States, until the Industrial Education Association of New York City, feeling the demand for skilful teachers in manual training, began to organize plans for preparing them for their work, and sending them out daily to teach in the schools. At the beginning of 1889, the work had developed so much, not only in connection with one branch of training, but many, that the institution gained a provisional charter from the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, under the name of the New York College for the Training of Teachers.
In 1892 the charter of the New York College for the Training of Teachers was made absolute, and the name changed to Teachers’ College. An agreement was also made, whereby certain pedagogical courses in the Teachers’ College are considered as courses in the Faculty of Philosophy at Columbia University, New York, and count towards a Columbia University degree. By the same agreement, qualified students of the Teachers’ College are admitted to the courses in philosophy and pedagogy at Columbia University. In this way we may regard the Teachers’ College as the newest of University departments, although, on the other hand, it has developed and become a most important and successful means of secondary training, quite apart from any connection with a college or university. The courses in pedagogy given at Columbia University, and open to students of the Teachers’ College, are:
The History of Educational Theories and Institutions—a course given each alternate year.
Systematic Pedagogics; the Psychology of Childhood; Principles of Teaching; (given also every alternate year).
A Pedagogical Seminar (one hour a week for advanced students).
The lectures in philosophy and experimental psychology are also open under the same conditions. Among them are the following courses:
(a) Logic and Psychology; (b) Ethics; (c) Introductory course in Physiological Psychology (lectures and laboratory work); (d) Advanced course in Physiological Psychology (experiment work in the laboratory); (e) Introductory course in Experimental Psychology (lectures, themes and laboratory work); (f) Vision (lectures, reports and advanced laboratory work); (g) Advanced work in Experimental Psychology and Research (individual instruction daily).
The courses at the Teachers’ College, open to all Columbia University Students, are:
i. Educational Psychology; Study of Children.
ii. Science and Art of Teaching, with illustrations from the Kindergarten and Elementary Schools. Observation.
iii. Introductory course on the History of Education.
iv. Institutes of Education, by Laurie. Rosenkranz’s Philosophy of Education and Herbart’s Science of Education.
v. Methods of teaching History in secondary schools.
The following can be taken only by advanced students:
i. Methods of teaching Science in elementary and secondary schools.
ii. Methods of teaching Manual Training in elementary and secondary schools.
iii. Methods of teaching Latin, Greek, French and German.
iv. Reading and discussion of German and French pedagogical works in the original.
v. Methods of teaching Educational Psychology. Observation and Practice.
vi. Practice in teaching and supervision. Criticism, School Management, Discipline.
Candidates for the A.B. degree of Columbia University may specialize for the last year in the department of pedagogy. They are required to take two subjects, one as major or principal subject, one as minor subject. A third optional subject may be taken.
To gain a Diploma of the Teachers’ College, a two years’ course of study is required. This includes:
i. Elements of Psychology—“a course to give skill in description and explanation of mental phenomena and insight into the observing and training of children.”
ii. Educational Theories since the Renaissance, with a general survey of earlier theories.
iii. A course in Psychology, History of Education, or in Principles of Logic and Psychology as applied to Science and Manual Training.
iv. Study of range of child’s mental activities as the basis of primary instruction: the vocabulary as a basis of language teaching; the child’s power and skill of hand as the basis of manual expression; Methods of Teaching: Observation lessons; Language, including Reading; Number; Manual Exercises.
v. Principles of Teaching, with special reference to application of Psychology to the cultivation of intellectual powers, the feeling, the will. The application of the principles of education to classification, organization, and school discipline.
vi. Observation and practice teaching, under supervision, and independently.
vii. Physical training.
viii. Special methods of one subject of study.
The college is distinctly and solely a professional school. There is no direct instruction in the subject matter of study, the admission qualification being such as to exclude all persons who have not had a satisfactory secondary education. Each college department provides training in the principles and practice of teaching the subjects which more especially belong to it; but all instruction is entirely from the standpoint of the teacher. It is particularly stated in connection with this teaching, that no student is admitted to a course in the methods of any particular subject unless he can show himself to be proficient in the subject matter of that branch of instruction. For those not qualified, by training or academic standing, to pursue the ordinary work of the college, it has been found advisable to arrange an introductory course to occupy one year. The preparatory course includes the study of English, an introduction to science, either drawing, domestic science, or wood-carving, and either constructive geometry, with the solution of original problems, or one branch of science with laboratory work. I spent several days in this college and heard some of the teaching in psychology, and in science. The psychology and history of education are both two years’ courses. In psychology the students begin by learning to make records of their individual observation of children. The chief use of psychology to the teacher is regarded as the making him conscious of processes of thought, which before might have been accurate, but were not known. As the end of education is assumed to be a moral end, in so far as it has to do with character and conduct, the will is made the basis of educational psychology and is treated first in order. One advantage of such an order of treatment is that the practical value of the study of psychology to education can be early shown. As the whole question of education is a question of the guiding and controlling of action, great importance is given to the practical study of action in its three phases of instinct, will and habit. Each of these is followed out as far as possible by means of the observation of children at play, or by the study of the student’s own willed movements. All questions of physiological psychology are avoided as much as possible in the study of psychology for educational purposes, the two reasons given being:
i. That most students have not a sufficient knowledge of physiology to take up physiological psychology.
ii. That those who have a sufficient knowledge of physiology find the correlation difficult. In beginning to study psychology, the two aspects of one set of facts and their bearings upon each other cannot be easily seen. Much work in both sciences is needed before good work can be done in physiological psychology.
The students use Sully, James, and Höffding as text-books. The lines of work, however, are not those of any particular writer or school. The students have ample opportunities of wide reading and research, not only in psychology, but in all branches of pedagogy. These are afforded by the Bryson Pedagogical Library in the college building. This library, founded in connection with the Teachers’ College, for the purpose of affording opportunities of research to students of the college, is open to all teachers of the city and to the public generally. It contains 5,000 volumes, including books on pedagogy and connected subjects, text-books of all kinds, and the current literary, scientific and educational periodicals published in America and Europe.
In the study of the history of education, the plan adopted is a thorough and exhaustive treatment of one or two great educational reformers, with mere outline sketches of others. The reformers specially considered are regarded, not only as educators, but in all other possible aspects. Their lives and works, their ideas, the contemporary history of their own and other countries, are fully discussed. When this has been done, all other facts of educational history are as far as possible compared with, and illustrated by, the facts connected with the reformer who has been specially considered. Such a method seems very stimulating and interesting to the student, and much more satisfactory, than a general treatment of the whole, suggested by many text-books on the history of education.
Methods of chemistry, physics, physiology-botany, geology, are taught by means of actual lessons in the various subjects, given by the heads of departments and their assistants, to children in the practising school. Students are required to observe the teaching, to attend lectures and discussions upon the methods pursued, to learn the art of experimenting, and to prepare themselves for directing laboratories. They are also guided and helped in making a careful inspection of the science teaching in the public schools of the city. In addition to this, they are introduced to some of the practical problems of science teaching in the school-room, such as the difficulties of teaching science without a laboratory, or without fixed times for experimenting. All students who take science as their major or principal subject are required also to take courses in:—(i.) The use of tools for constructing home-made apparatus; (ii.) fundamental principles of drawing and their applications for students who take special work in other departments; (iii.) the specified courses in psychology, history of education, and science and art of teaching; (iv.) outlines of the lives and work of eminent scientists, as illustrating methods of scientific research. A Time-Table for the Two Years’ Course in Science is as follows:—
|Physics for High Schools||9.20-10.15.|
|Lecture and Laboratory||12.55-2.15.|
|Botany for High Schools||9.20-10.15.|
|Physics for High Schools||9.20-10.15.|
|Geology for High Schools||9.20-10.15.|
|History of Education||10.50-11.30.|
|Use of tools||9.20-10.15.|
|Lect. and Lab. Instruction||12.55-2.15.|
|Observ. and Practice||9.20-10.45.|
|Chemistry for High Schools||12.55-2.15.|
|Observ. and Practice||9.20-10.45.|
|Observ. and Practice||9.20-10.45.|
|Chemistry for High Schools||12.55-2.15.|
|Observ. and Practice||9.20-10.45.|
The practice department of the Teachers’ College is one of its most important features, for a fundamental assumption is that practice is the key-note of all training, that no one can consider himself trained who has not taught, and that the future teacher must observe good teaching, and must teach under normal conditions. The Horace Mann School for the observation and practice of the students of the Teachers’ College comprises kindergarten, primary, grammar and high school grades. The heads of departments arrange the teaching of the students, and great care is exercised in keeping the school efficient, as the observation of good teaching is considered only second in importance to actual practice.
I heard a botany lesson in the practising school, given by the instructor in methods of botany. The class, numbering about twelve children, of about ten years of age, was furnished with lenses, and needles, and a plentiful supply of flowers. Each child was required to see and examine all the flowers that were given to him, to describe carefully and exactly what he had observed, and to take nothing for granted. The methods adopted were such as to make the children original investigators, and the attitude of the teacher towards her subject was such as to develop a spirit of reverence in the children, and to arouse an interest æsthetic as well as scientific. No technical terms were used in descriptions. The botany lessons are adapted to the different seasons of the year. For example, the scheme of work for the Autumn term is:—
|How differing from Spring flowers in|
|” use to man.|
|” use to animals.|
|Study of Seeds.|
|Methods of Distribution.|
|Grain and harvesting.|
|Observation of Trees.|
|Falling of leaves.|
|Colours ” ”|
|Preparation for winter by plants.|
The herbarium is not much used, but in autumn each child and student brings a specimen of one tree or plant. All the specimens are kept and are used for the study of seeds during the winter. Twigs are brought into the school-room and made to grow in water, seeds are grown in shavings, and plants of all kinds are watched during the year.
The work in geology is a special feature of the practising school. Courses of work have been adapted by the head of department to the lowest grades of the grammar school—viz., to children about nine years old. The work is closely connected with the geography teaching, and children are encouraged to collect specimens of different kinds of building stone they see, or to bring any other specimens of rock or minerals. Trays of quartz, felspar and mica are provided for each child, for beginning practical work in geology. After examination of these minerals, granite is studied, and afterwards gneiss, as leading the way to the general history of rocks. Slag structures are given for examination, as specimens to illustrate the effects of heat. Artificial geodes and lavas are also studied, when connecting the history of rocks with their structure. Students who are preparing to become specialist teachers in geology have special work with the children. They prepare lessons under the guidance of the teacher—submitting written notes of the subject matter, but talking over with their head of department the proposed methods of dealing with the facts. They have also special laboratory work, in constructing simple apparatus, and making maps, charts and drawings.
The physiology lesson I heard was given to a high school class, by the director of the department of physiology. It was a revision lesson, conducted with the special object of making the class discover the general position of Man in the Animal Kingdom. The particular features I noticed about the lesson were:—
(i.) No technical terms were used in description, if the required meaning could be expressed in ordinary language.
(ii.) Any difficulty as regards animal structure which arose during the process of classification was settled by actual reference to the museum specimen at hand. The doubt as to whether a fish might be said to have a brain was settled by inspection of a haddock’s brain, brought from the museum.
(iii.) Great care was exercised by the teacher in order to prevent hasty or incorrect inferences being drawn.
(iv.) There was constant reference to text-books. The pupils had been taught to use a reference library.
It is evident to those who have watched the movement of the training of secondary teachers in the Eastern States that the Teachers’ College of New York has done a work peculiarly its own. It was organized on the present lines, to combat the idea, even still existent to some extent, that college graduation equips for successful teaching. It has done this, not by emphasizing the value of professional training in itself, apart from its connection with scholastic equipment, but by insisting that the secondary teacher can only be fully prepared for his work when careful scholastic preparation is supplemented by a consideration of principles and methods of teaching, and by actual class work. Much of the successful work of the Teachers’ College is probably due to the thorough preparation required before beginning work, and to the maturity of the students who take the courses. With such material, and under such conditions, it is possible to make training thorough and very valuable. This is especially so in an institution, such as this, which can extend its interests, and broaden its outlook, by alliance with a University like Columbia, securing by this means the philosophical as well as the practical standpoint.
The School of Pedagogy of the University of the City of New York, established to give opportunities of higher training to graduates of colleges or of Normal Schools, differs fundamentally from other departments of Universities already considered, in only offering its pedagogical degrees to those persons who can show evidence of three or four years’ successful teaching experience. This is a necessary qualification for admittance to the junior or senior pedagogical course of the University. A student who has a college degree, and who is credited with a sufficient number of attendances during two years’ membership of the senior class, becomes “Doctor of Pedagogy,” after passing an examination on five prescribed courses of work, and presenting a satisfactory thesis on some educational subject. Students of the junior class are required to pass an examination in four subjects, and to attend the required number of lectures during one year, in order to obtain the degree of “Master of Pedagogy.” The courses studied are:—
(i.) History of Education from Socrates to the present time (lectures and Seminar).
(ii.) Psychology and Ethics, special attention being paid to the Physiological Psychology and the Psychology of Experiment.
(iii.) Institutes of Education, including—
Educational values; incentives; co-ordination of studies; school hygiene; school organization; child-study; methods.
(iv.) Educational classics and æsthetics.
(v.) Systems of Education:—European, American, National, State, County, City, District.
Opportunities are given for visiting schools in the city, and observing teachers and children, but no practice department is connected with the University.
At Cornell University, at Ithaca, New York, systematic instruction in pedagogy is given as a part of the Department of Philosophy. There is a professor of pedagogy, who gives courses of lectures on:—Institutes of Education; School Systems and Organization; Logic and Methodology; History of Education. Simple problems for experimental investigation in the psychological laboratory are discussed. Pedagogical conferences, somewhat on the lines of the German “Conferenz,” are arranged, for criticism of school reports and plans of teaching various subjects; and seminaries of pedagogy and psychology have been instituted for laboratory work and original research. Beyond these strictly professional courses, there are courses in English, mathematics, Latin, etc., with direct reference to those who wish to become teachers in these subjects. Attendances at such courses counts towards a “Teachers’ Certificate.” The “Teachers’ Certificate” is given to graduates of Cornell University, who have successfully pursued the first course on the Science and Art of Teaching, or that portion of it which relates to the general theory of education; and have also attained marked proficiency in a course of five hours’ advanced work per week, for two years, in each subject for which the “Teachers’ Certificate” is given.
At Syracuse University, New York, pedagogy is an elective subject during the third terms of the third and fourth university year, for those who take the philosophical course. There are also Normal Courses given by the university professors in their various subjects.
The introduction of pedagogy as a definite branch of the philosophical department at Harvard University, is perhaps one of the most important movements in the progress and development of the Science of Teaching in America. In establishing its course, “adapted to the purpose of teachers and persons intending to become teachers,” Harvard has made recognition of the fact that something more than pure scholarship is needed to produce the successful teacher or professor. Accordingly, it has established two departments of training:—
i. Strictly professional courses in educational theory, history of educational theories and practice, lectures on the management of public schools and academies, and on the curriculum of the public schools; and a seminary course for advanced students.
ii. Other courses in methods, in connection with actual university instruction in the different parts of the curriculum.
Connected with the lectures on methods, and the organization and management of public schools, is the systematic inspection of designated schools by students, and a detailed report on some phase of school life observed there. Each student is required to make a comparative study of the teaching of a chosen subject, in all the grades of at least two schools; or he may make a study of supervision and discipline in two schools. Students must also make a comparative study of not less than three city school systems, of three State school systems, and of the school system of England, France, and Germany. This work of inspecting and reporting is considered a very important part of the pedagogical course.
The courses in methods, given by the professors of different college departments, are conducted by means of lectures and conferences in connection with Greek, Latin, English, German, French, history, mathematics, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, geology and geography. Most of these “Teachers’ Courses” require attendance at some other college course in the same subject, where the professor illustrates his own method. In a few cases, attendance at lessons in the specified subjects, in schools near the University, is required.
The courses in pedagogy have, until the present year, been closed to all but graduates. Lately, however, the regulations have been changed, and pedagogical work may now count towards a degree.
There is no opportunity given to the Harvard pedagogical students for actual teaching; but the connection brought about between the college department and the secondary schools, by the constant attendance of students in the school-rooms of the neighbourhood, may possibly develop into a system wherein trained students may act as substitutes in these schools. Quite apart, however, from this possible future connection, there is even now an important practical relationship between Harvard University and some of the secondary schools—viz., that of supervision. In establishing a system of examination of the teaching in such schools as make application, Harvard has acknowledged the important principle that chief among the functions of an university is that of directing and stimulating secondary education.
The Department of Education at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, is a branch of the Department of Psychology. While doing much to advance the cause of the professional training of teachers, it does not strictly adapt its courses to the wants of the future secondary teacher. The fact that Clark University, unlike any other University in the United States, exists solely for the purpose of research, and admits only graduates as its students, determines that the pedagogical work shall also have a special character, well marked off from that of any other university. The department is purely one of higher pedagogy. Its aim is stated to be twofold:—
i. To give instruction and training to those who are preparing to be professors of pedagogy, superintendents, or teachers in higher institutions.
ii. To make scientific contributions to education.
The work pursued is in six courses, with an additional seminary course. These are:—
i. Present status and problems of higher education in America and Europe.
ii. Outline of systematic psychology.
iii. Organization of schools in Europe. Typical schools and typical foundations.
iv. School hygiene.
v. Educational reforms.
vi. Motor education of children, involving the study of writing and drawing, manual training, play, and gymnastics.
The Pedagogical Seminary, an educational magazine edited by Dr. Stanley Hall, the President of Clark University, exists chiefly for the purpose of publishing results of work in this department. There is a special pedagogical library for research, and a complete collection of the current educational literature of America and Europe.
Among the other departments of psychology, there are many of great interest to the student of higher pedagogy.
Some of these are:—
i. History of psychology.
ii. Experimental psychology.
iii. Anthropology (the investigation of myth, custom, belief).
iv. Ethics (the investigation of criminals, paupers, defective classes).
v. Feeling (investigations of conditions of the agreeable and disagreeable, abnormal states, the hypnotic, the insane).
vi. Neurology (researches on brain fatigue, etc.).
For investigation in these departments, there are four psychological laboratories, a neurological laboratory, and an anthropological laboratory. Opportunities are also given to students to observe patients in State and city lunatic hospitals, and in institutions for the defective and criminal classes. The departments of research, most closely bearing upon the teacher’s work, are perhaps those of experimental psychology and neurology. Investigations on muscle and brain fatigue, the diurnal variations of mental vigour, the memory of children, etc., bring results important to the teacher, and especially so when carried out as at Clark University, by experts in scientific experiment. The American Journal of Psychology, edited by Dr. Stanley Hall, and published quarterly, contains the results of many of the researches in the psychological laboratories of Clark University.
It is to the contribution of new scientific facts to the educational world that Clark University chiefly devotes itself, and in doing this valuable work it has shown itself quite willing to acknowledge the results of observation and experiment of a very different kind from its own—viz., that of parents and teachers in the home and school. The records of the observation of children made by the students of the Worcester Normal School are given to Dr. Stanley Hall to be used in any way that may help true scientific research on the subject. It is evident that results gain by approaching the same problems from the practical and scientific standpoints, will be much more secure than they could be otherwise, and will supply valuable contributions to the educational world.
Among the most distinctively American educational institutions are Summer Schools for Teachers. They are meetings organized during the long summer vacations by private individuals, or in connection with some University Normal or Training School, for the help and stimulation of teachers who have otherwise no opportunity for training.
The exact character of the work of a school is dependent entirely upon the educational aims and methods of the principal of the school, and the purpose for which teachers give up three or four weeks of their holiday to attend a Summer School may be different in different cases. The teachers of country schools, inadequately prepared for their work of teaching, often attend the Summer School in their county, in order to gain a State training certificate of a higher grade than that which they already possess; while teachers in city schools, most of whom have been trained in Normal Schools, attend a Summer School like that of Colonel Parker, at Englewood, to get stimulation for future work, and to pursue, in addition, a systematic study of pedagogy. Graduates, who are teaching in schools and academies during the year, often attend a Summer School in connection with an University, in order to pursue further study in various branches. The Summer Schools I visited at Benton Harbour, Englewood, Chautauqua, and the Summer School of Cornell University, illustrate the different lines of work mentioned.
At Benton Harbour, a small town on the shores of Lake Michigan, a Summer School was held for four weeks, and was attended by about fifty teachers of the rural districts of Michigan, who came to prepare for a third-grade Teachers’ Certificate of the State of Michigan. Lessons were given in ordinary school subjects, pedagogy and drill from half-past seven in the morning until three or four o’clock in the afternoon. I spent three or four days at this school, heard daily lessons in psychology, physical culture, civil government, English, elocution, and other subjects, and saw the working of the school generally. The teaching in all subjects was very elementary, as little previous knowledge could be assumed.
Daily work began with exercises in which the whole school took part. The singing of a hymn afforded an opportunity for a singing lesson being given to the whole school, the principal acting as instructor. Then came the reading of Holy Scripture, or of selections from literature, and a short discourse by the principal, after which students were called upon to give quotations from the works of famous men and women, or to recite short poems which had been previously prepared. At the end of these public exercises, the students were required to dismiss according to word of command, to turn, march to music, and to drill as a class of children would have been required to do. This was intended to teach the students how to dismiss and drill a school or class.
Lessons in psychology were given by the principal. The treatment of the subject was necessarily very elementary, and, indeed, superficial. I noticed that the teacher constantly digressed on practical points, and seemed to know exactly when digression would be of advantage to his pupils.
Daily lessons on “Experiments” were also given. These were talks on some of the most elementary principles of science, and easy experiments showing how such principles might be illustrated in class. Capillary attraction was illustrated in a lesson I heard, and its bearing on everyday life was shown. Pupils were required to come out of their seats, and to arrange simple apparatus before the class. As they were quite unaccustomed to manipulate even the simplest materials, they seemed to find considerable difficulty even in drawing out glass tubing and clamping together glass plates.
The feature of the school, perhaps, the most interesting, was the anxiety shown by these rural teachers to lose no opportunity for improvement, and the keenness with which they followed their daily lessons. Some of them were so untrained as to find great difficulty in following the word of command during drill, but these, who were painfully conscious of their defects, made rapid progress even in a week’s time. Summer Schools like that of Benton Harbour may give real help to the ill-prepared and untrained country teachers, in increasing their knowledge, and widening their interests. They offer advantages to those who have no opportunity for training, but their conditions are such as to prevent their becoming an adequate substitute for it. Indeed, their very existence acknowledges the fact that country teachers have no opportunities for preparation, and in itself sanctions a certain amount of superficiality.
The principal object of Colonel Parker’s Summer School, held in previous years at Chautauqua, New York, but this year at Englewood, Chicago, is to stimulate teachers of all kinds, and to suggest lines of work to be developed by them during the year. Attracted by the name and work of Colonel Parker, more than 200 teachers, superintendents of schools, and persons interested in education, came from nearly all the States of the Union to attend the Summer School at Englewood. Most of the ordinary school staff of the Cook County Normal School at Englewood acted as teachers in the Summer School, and Colonel Parker himself gave daily lectures in psychology. Daily lessons were also given in the teaching of science, language, and reading, “number” or arithmetic, music, drawing, and also in voice culture, Sloyd, physical culture, blackboard drawing, and other subjects advantageous to the teacher. The methods of teaching taught in the Normal School at Englewood were explained and exemplified in the Summer School, and Kindergarten and primary classes attached to the Normal School were taught during the weeks in which the Summer School was held, in order to show the practical application of the methods discussed. The students selected their courses of study. All, however, were expected to attend the psychology lectures. The classes in methods of teaching science, methods of laboratory work, methods of teaching language and reading, and methods of teaching “number” or arithmetic, were the most largely attended. Very keen interest was also taken in the blackboard drawing.
The work in methods of science was carried on by lectures, laboratory work by students, and field work. An important feature of the science lectures was the attention paid to methods of meteorological observation. Blank charts, to show the daily range and variation of temperature and air-pressure, were filled in by the students; United States Weather Bureau maps were studied; the origin and course of storms in the United States were followed. The relation of science to other subjects, number, reading, modelling, painting, drawing, writing, language, was brought out in the lectures, all the instruction being such as to suggest methods of actually dealing with the subjects before a class of children. The laboratory work was especially suggestive. The Summer School pupils did individual experimental work, and had the same instruction and treatment as a class of children would have had. The practical science course for the Summer School was:
|(i.)||Making a magnetic needle.|
|(ii.)||Heat. Conductivity of Metals.|
|(iii.)||” Expansion of Metals.|
|(iv.)||” Determination of boiling-point of fresh and salt-water.|
|(v.)||” Expansion of liquids and air.|
|(vi.)||” Chemical change.|
|(vii.)||Pressure of air. Pump and syphon.|
|(viii.)||Mechanical constituents of soil (1).|
|(ix.)||” ” ” (2).|
|(x.)||Physical properties of soils (1).|
|(xi.)||” ” ” (2).|
|(xii.)||Mineral constituents of soils (1).|
|(xiii.)||” ” ” (2).|
|(xiv.)||Transpiration of plants.|
|(xv.)||Specific gravity of minerals.|
Field excursions were made weekly, and methods of conducting children’s field excursions were suggested and discussed.
The instruction in blackboard drawing, as illustrating geographical forms, was excellent. In all cases, the students worked on paper with charcoal, at the same time as the teacher drew on the wall slate. After making a sketch, the teacher erased her work at once, in order to secure rapidity in those who were copying. The members of the class then distributed themselves round the room at various parts of the wall slate, and were required to reproduce on the wall slate the drawing they had just made, the teacher meanwhile giving individual help and criticising. The subjects for blackboard drawing for the fifteen lessons of the course were:
(a) Illustrations to show how Blackboard Drawing can be used.
(b) Hills, valleys, mountains, plateaus.
(c) River-basins, waterfalls, lakes, deltas.
(d) Erosion, cliffs, cañons, terraces, gorges.
(e) Mountains, ranges, parallel, etc.
(f) Continent of N. America. Esquimaux huts; Indian wigwams; logging camps.
(g) United States. Cotton fields, rice swamps, sand bars.
(h) Mexico. Central America. Cacti; ruins.
(i) S. America. Fiord coasts, volcanoes; tropical forests.
(j) Africa. Deserts, sand-dunes, oases, canals.
(k) Abyssinian Highlands: Nile Basin, pyramids, palms.
(l) Australia Islands, coral, volcanoes.
(m) Eurasia; plateaus of Thibet and Gobi.
(n) India; Spain; Italy; banyan trees.
(o) Norway and Sweden; glaciers, icebergs.
Through the kind permission of Colonel Parker, I was able to hear all lessons and to see the entire working of the school. Daily visits for nearly a fortnight served to show, that much educational life was centered there, and that teachers who occupied responsible positions in all parts of the States were receiving new light and stimulation for the working out of their own particular problems.
At the college of the well-known summer assembly at Chautauqua, New York, there was no professional instruction for teachers this year. I heard some excellent teaching in physics, German and French; but beyond the fact that many of the Chautauqua college students were teachers taking holiday courses of study to equip themselves better for future teaching, the work that I saw here had no direct bearing upon the training of teachers.
At Cornell University, courses in pedagogy are usually given in connection with the summer course in philosophy. These are for graduate students only. Psychology lectures, with experimental demonstrations, are given every day in the week; lectures on psychological and psychophysical method, with demonstrations and laboratory practice, are delivered three times a week; pedagogy and the history of education are studied by means of lectures and conferences; methods of teaching the special subject of study are discussed in connection with the other summer courses for graduates at Cornell University. I was present at a very interesting meeting of teachers who were attending a summer course in English. Individual members of the class gave their own experience as regards the teaching of English and literature in the schools. The students were mostly specialists in English, and teachers in private academies, or High Schools, and an informal discussion of special difficulties and methods which had been actually tried was very interesting and helpful to the class as a whole.
A general survey of Summer Schools of all kinds seems to show that their work cannot be regarded as that of “Training,” but rather as accessory to it. Where the principal or conductor of the Summer School is a man of enthusiasm and enlightenment, teachers can be refreshed and stimulated in many ways, by a summer course of work; but to regard a course as training which supplies no practice-work, and exists under highly artificial conditions, for a few weeks only, is to overlook some of the most important features of training.
As a general summary of the work of Training, seen in Normal Schools, City Training Schools and University Departments, it may be stated:
(i.) That the State Normal Schools, adhering to old traditions, and failing to insist on adequate and thorough scholarship as an entrance qualification, have been obliged to devote themselves, either to securing that scholarship, or to the pursuance of so-called training under conditions the most conducive to mechanical lines of work, and dead forms of method.
(ii.) That the City Training Schools, being entirely local institutions, supported by local funds, and only supplying teachers to the schools of the vicinity, are in danger of being cramped in their methods by seeking to win public favour.
(iii.) That the University Departments of Pedagogy, especially those belonging to State Universities, are capable of affording the widest and best opportunities for the thorough training of primary and secondary teachers, and in supplying these opportunities, they will not only help forward the cause in which they are immediately engaged, but afford a valuable means of unifying and stimulating education generally.
The existence of the good and the bad side by side is as marked a feature in training institutions as in any other department of American education, and suggests great rapidity of progress in some directions. Where the training is bad, old methods have been retained under new conditions; and where good results have been obtained, they are due to the readiness to try new methods, and to keep in touch with the educational progress of the day. The stimulus to much that is good in the present training of teachers in America is the psychological study of children, which now is being systematically organized in a “National Association for the Study of Children.” Not only scientific workers, but teachers and parents throughout the country, are beginning to realize the important bearing of child-study upon all educational questions, and nowhere is their enthusiasm for matters educational more shown than in their united devotion to the solution of this new problem.
Amy Blanche Bramwell.
IN America, as in Europe, it is becoming increasingly recognised, that the fact of having received a good education, even if that education have included a University course, is no guarantee of fitness for the teaching profession. That some special professional preparation is also necessary before a teacher can be safely entrusted with teaching responsibility can hardly be said to be any longer a matter of debate among those who have devoted time and thought to educational questions. There may be much difference of opinion as to the best way of giving that preparation, but that it should be given is becoming more and more a foregone conclusion. There seems at last some chance that a well-earned rest may be allowed to the well-worn comparison made between the doctor’s and teacher’s professions, with its obvious moral—that just as no right-thinking parent would allow an unqualified practitioner to prescribe for his child’s body, so it should be impossible for that far less understood and delicate something, which we call the mind, to be entrusted to the care of one whose only qualification for the post is the possession of a certain amount of useful information. There are many battles yet to be fought, many experiments yet to be tried, many failures yet to be faced, ere all shall be agreed on the best kind of professional training that can be given to teachers; yet I have returned from America encouraged in the belief that the decisive battle in favour of training has been fought and won on both sides of the Atlantic, and that the old world and the new may with advantage to both join hands in the endeavour to discover the best ways and means of such training.
And it would seem especially fitting that England and America should thus join hands, for, after all, few things about the Americans impressed me more than the fact that they are really English, and that the inhabitants of Great Britain and the United States really form part of one great English-speaking nation, with the heritage of a noble language and literature, and a common life of thought and feeling. In matters educational, the truth of this oneness impressed me vividly. Allowing for such differences as must exist between an old and a new country, it is nevertheless true that most of the problems in education which they are trying to solve are those which perplex us also, and of these the problem of the Training of Teachers holds a place in the front rank. But it is a curious and interesting fact, that the solution should be attempted in both countries, and yet that so little attention should be paid in each to what is being done in the other. The ignorance that prevails among American teachers as to what is being attempted in England is, I fear, only equalled by our own ignorance of American educational life. This ignorance is largely the result of the difficulty that both American and English teachers experience, in obtaining definite information on educational matters in connection with either country. This fact made it very difficult for me even to map out my tour, so as to include as far as possible what was typical of American Training in the short time at my disposal, and had it not been for the unvarying kindness and courtesy shown me by American teachers, in directing my notice to what was best worth seeing, my task would have presented almost insuperable difficulties. As it is, I have, of course, been unable to cover the whole ground, and indeed have been able to personally examine into the opportunities for training in a very few States. These, however, I believe to be representative States, from a study of the means of training in which it is possible to arrive at a very fair conclusion of its condition in the States as a whole. They include the following: Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Michigan and Illinois. I was, however, fortunate in being able to supplement the information thus obtained by a careful study of the many excellent State exhibits in the Educational Department of the Liberal Arts Building, at the World’s Fair, and to further correct and intensify the impressions I had received by many conversations with educationists from all parts of the United States, whom it was my good fortune to meet at the Educational Congresses, held at Chicago in July.
In considering any American educational question, there are one or two points which must never be lost sight of, and perhaps it will be well to indicate them here. In the first place, it must be remembered that there is not one American educational system, but many. Each State has complete control of its own educational matters, has its own School Law, sets aside common lands, or levies taxes for the support of its own schools, and is responsible to no higher authority. The only part taken by the Central Government of the United States in connection with education has been in the establishment of a Bureau of Education, the chief functions of which have been (1) the collecting of statistics and general information respecting education in all the various States, which are embodied in an annual report made by the Commissioner of Education, (2) the publishing of monographs and circulars of information on topics of educational interest, such as Co-education, Teaching of History, etc., and (3) the maintaining of a valuable Pedagogical Reference Library at Washington.
Secondly, a distinction must be made between the Western States, of which Michigan might be taken as representative, and the Eastern, of which Massachusetts might be considered typical. In the former we find a most complete system of State education, leading from the Primary School right up to the great co-educational University of Michigan. The State Schools there have few private rivals, and the University none. In the State of Massachusetts, on the contrary, although Primary, Grammar and High Schools are maintained at the public expense, yet the children of a large proportion of the inhabitants attend private schools and academies, which undertake to prepare them for Harvard or the Women’s Colleges, such as Wellesley. In fact, few of those who enter upon a University career do so straight from the common school, as is the case in the Western States. It follows from this that there are two classes of teachers to be considered in the Eastern States—(1) those who teach in the common schools (Primary, Grammar and High), and (2) those who teach in private schools and in the academies. Those of the second class are largely recruited from the ranks of College graduates, who rely upon their University course as preparation for the profession of teaching, and amongst whom the idea of a special training for their work has only here and there been awakened. It is mainly in connection with State education that the idea of the training of teachers has been developed, although the fact that several of the older Universities, including Harvard, are providing courses of lectures on the Science and Art of Teaching may be taken as a hopeful sign of the gradual growth of the idea among all classes of teachers.
It will be perhaps well to enumerate the various means available for the Training of Teachers in the United States, and then to describe more particularly the special features of the training to be obtained in each kind of institution.
Training may be obtained at:
|Public or State.|
|iii.||Pedagogical Departments in Universities.|
There are three kinds of Normal Schools to be considered—State, City and Private. It was my privilege to visit a good number belonging to the first two classes, but I was not fortunate enough to be able to inspect any of the Private Normal Schools. These latter are, of course, chiefly to be found in those States which have few or no State or City Normal Schools.
The difference between State and City Normal Schools is mainly one of control. The State Normal School forms part of the State Common School system, and is under the direct supervision of the State Superintendent and Board of Education, while the City Normal School belongs to the City School system, and is under the jurisdiction of the City Superintendent. The State Normal School is intended to provide teachers for the schools in any part of the State, while the City Normal School has for its object the preparation of teachers for the City schools alone.
At present one of the most hotly debated questions in connection with Normal Schools relates to the subjects to be included in the curriculum. Shall the Normal School give professional training alone, or shall it also provide instruction in Academic subjects? There is at present much divergence of opinion on the subject, and some schools are organized on the one principle, and some on the other.
At present some of the Normal Schools have a double function to perform, that of serving as High Schools, and at the same time as professional Training Colleges. There is, however, a growing feeling against this plan, and a tendency, wherever possible, to separate those who intend to become teachers from those who do not. But many Normal Schools, while claiming to be only professional, yet include Academic subjects in their curricula. Two reasons for this are commonly urged. In the first place, it is said that it is impossible to get a large enough supply of candidates for training who are sufficiently well equipped for their profession from the point of view of mere information; and secondly, that even those who have the necessary information have acquired it in such a way that it is almost useless for teaching purposes. For such, a complete revision of the various subjects, taken in conjunction with a consideration of the best methods of teaching the same, is regarded as necessary; it being maintained by those in favour of this plan that it is almost impossible to get instruction in the various subjects that will be of any value to them as teachers, outside a Normal School.
On the other hand, there are some who maintain that the Normal School should be strictly professional, admitting none to its courses but those who can give evidence of having had ample academic preparation. Many, however, who believe that the courses in academic studies are at present necessary yet look forward to the time when they will be no longer required.
There appears to be a growing feeling in the States in favour of the complete separation of the professional from the academic course, and it is interesting to note that the question is agitating the minds of those who have to do with the training of teachers in America, at the same time that it has become a burning question in England in connection with the training of our Elementary Teachers. The Normal Schools correspond more or less closely with our English Elementary Training Colleges, and an examination of their points of likeness and difference may not prove unprofitable.
In the first place, it should be noted, that the absence of any uniform standard of attainment, such as is more or less secured in England by the fact that there is one government examination for all Colleges, makes it possible for there to be a great difference in the rank held by different Normal Schools. As each school fixes its own standard of graduation, and the conditions for admission, length of course and final tests vary with each institution, it comes about that much depends upon the Normal School, of which a given teacher is a graduate.
Some Normal Schools, for instance, have a course extending over four years, in others it only lasts from one to two years, while some offer a choice of courses of varying length. In England, on the contrary, the Elementary Training course is uniformly two years in all Colleges, the length being only occasionally varied in the cases of individuals, as when, on special recommendation, a third year is allowed, or a candidate who has already obtained a certificate is admitted to a Training College for one year’s training.
This lack of uniformity in the length of course in American Normal Schools is largely the result of the absence of any one standard of admission. While in England there is one examination, the Queen’s Scholarship, which must be passed by all, except University graduates who desire to enter an Elementary College, in America the conditions vary with each individual Normal School. Some require at least a certificate of graduation from a High School, some have an entrance examination of their own, which none may be excused, while others offer one to those who have no certificates to show.
Some Normal Schools are regarded as affording suitable preparation for the Universities, and are attended by those who hope to take up a University course later on, while others grant degrees of their own, or arrange special courses for those who have taken degrees elsewhere.
The fact that there are so many differences in respect of length of course and choice of subjects, between the Normal Schools of various States and Cities, makes it exceedingly difficult to form any accurate generalizations. It will probably, therefore, be wiser at this point to give a more detailed account of the Normal Schools which I had an opportunity of studying in the above-mentioned States.
Pennsylvania has eleven State Normal Schools, the two most important of which I was able to visit. The Normal School Law for this State provides for two courses of study; the Elementary Course and the Scientific Course. The first of these leads to the certificate Bachelor of the Element (B.E.), while the diploma of the second constitutes its holder Bachelor of the Sciences (B.S.).
The outlines of these courses are laid down by the State as follows, but each Normal School can adapt them as seems best. Most Normal Schools also arrange for a Preparatory Course.
Pedagogics.—Elements of School Management and Methods.
Language.—Orthography and Reading; English Grammar, including Composition; Latin, sufficient for the introduction of Cæsar.
Mathematics.—Arithmetic; Elementary Algebra.
Natural Sciences.—Physiology and Hygiene.
Historical Sciences.—Geography—Physical, Mathematical, and Political; History of the United States; Civil Government.
The Arts.—Penmanship, sufficient to be able to explain some approved system—writing to be submitted to Board of Examiners; Drawing, a daily exercise for at least twenty-eight weeks—work to be submitted to the Board of Examiners; Book-keeping, single entry, seven weeks; Vocal music, elementary principles, and attendance upon daily exercises for at least one-third of a year.
Pedagogics.—Psychology, embracing the intellect, sensibilities, and will; Methods; History of Education; Model School Work—at least twenty-one weeks of actual teaching daily during one period of not less than forty-five minutes; a Thesis on a professional Subject.
Language.—The outlines of Rhetoric, together with at least a fourteen weeks’ course in English literature, including the thorough study of one selection from each of four English classics; Latin—Cæsar.
Mathematics.—Arithmetic; Mensuration; Plane Geometry.
Natural Sciences.—Elementary Natural Philosophy; Botany.
Historical Sciences.—Reading of General History in connection with the History of Education.
The Arts.—Elocutionary Exercises in connection with the study of English literature.
Pedagogics.—Moral Philosophy; Logic; Philosophy of Education; Course of Professional Reading, with abstracts, notes, criticisms, to be submitted to Board of Examiners; a Thesis on a professional subject.
Language.—Latin, six books of Virgil, four orations of Cicero, the Germania of Tacitus, or a full equivalent; an equivalent of Greek, French, or German will be accepted for Spherical Trigonometry, Analytical Geometry, Calculus, Mathematical Natural Philosophy, and Mathematical Astronomy; Literature.
Mathematics.—Higher Algebra; Solid Geometry; Plane and Spherical Trigonometry and Surveying, with use of instruments; Analytical Geometry; Differential and Integral Calculus.
Natural Science.—Natural Philosophy, as much as in Snell’s Olmsted; Anatomy, Descriptive and Mathematical; Chemistry; Geology or Mineralogy; Zoology; Astronomy.
To graduate at a Pennsylvanian State Normal School, students must attend at least twenty-one weeks. The Faculty first examines the candidates in all the branches of study; if they find them qualified they recommend them to the State Board of Examiners, and certify that they have completed the course of study as required by law, and have taught the required time in the Model School.
The final examinations are conducted by a State Board of Examiners, who are appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, from the following classes:—the State Superintendent or Deputy Superintendent, who is President of the Board, the Principal of another Normal School, two County or Borough Superintendents from the First District, and the Principal of this Normal School. Each student must receive four votes out of the five in order to pass the examination, and to graduate.
The final examination occurs about two weeks before Commencement, the date being fixed by the State Superintendent. The examination is almost wholly in writing, and lasts two or three days.
Regular graduates who have continued their studies for two years (i.e. have completed either the Elementary or Scientific Course), and have practised their profession for two years in the Common Schools of the State, and who have presented to the Faculty and Board of Examiners a certificate of good moral character and skill in the Art of Teaching from the Board or Boards of Directors by whom they were employed, countersigned by the proper County Superintendent, receive further diplomas, constituting them Masters in the Course in which they graduated, and conferring upon them one of the following degrees: Master of the Elements (M.E.); Master of the Sciences (M.S.).
These diplomas confer upon their holders the right to teach the subjects therein named, in the public schools of Pennsylvania, without further examination.
It is also the duty of the Pennsylvania Normal Schools to grant State certificates to such teachers in the Common Schools of the State who make application for the same, and who fulfil the following conditions:
i. Each applicant must be twenty-one years of age, and must have taught in the Common Schools of the State during three successive years.
ii. Each must present certificates of moral character, and skill in practical teaching.
iii. The examination must be either in the subjects of the Elementary or Scientific Course, and must be taken at the time of the Annual Examination of the Normal School at which application is made.
iv. Each applicant is required to present an original Thesis on some educational subject.
The School year is usually forty-two weeks, and is divided into two sessions—a winter session of about twenty-eight weeks from August to March, and a summer of fourteen weeks, beginning with the end of March.
The usual charge for the Winter Session is $140 (about £28), and for the Summer Session $70 (about £14).
By a recent Act of the Legislature the following appropriations are made by the State to Normal students and graduates.
i. Each student over seventeen years of age who shall sign a paper declaring his intention to teach in the Common Schools of the State shall receive the sum of fifty cents (about 2s.) per week toward defraying the expenses of tuition and boarding.
ii. Each student who upon graduating shall sign an agreement to teach in the Common Schools of the State two full school years shall receive the sum of fifty dollars (about £10).
iii. Any student desiring to secure the benefits must attend the School at least twelve consecutive weeks, and must join a class in Methods of Instruction or School Management. These benefits will be deducted from the regular expenses of board and tuition.
About four miles from Lancaster, and connected with it by an electric railway, is the little village of Millersville, where is located the oldest Normal School of the State. It was established in 1855, and recognised as the First State Normal School in Pennsylvania in 1859. It is a co-educational school with accommodation for about 500 students, although permission is also sometimes given to students to board out. The buildings are typical of this kind of Normal School. There is a central building containing the Chapel, recitation and dining-rooms, etc., while on either side are two dormitories, one for the men students, and one for the women. There is also a gymnasium; and two handsome buildings—a Library, and a Science building with lecture rooms and laboratories—are in process of erection. There are more women students than men, and fewer of the latter intend to become teachers in the State; often they only use the Normal School as a stepping-stone to the University.
An excellent Model School, comprising a Kindergarten and eight grades, is attached to the Institution, in which the students observe the methods used by the critic teachers in various subjects, and also teach under supervision. I heard one of the critic teachers give a model lesson on a brook basin, and afterwards deliver a lecture to the students on the teaching of Geography, in which the special points of teaching method in connection with the brook basin, school district and township were dwelt upon and discussed. I had, moreover, the opportunity of hearing one of the students teach, and was also fortunate enough to be able to listen to a reading lesson given by the head of the Model School on the sentence method.
I next visited the Normal School at West Chester, which was started in 1871. Its buildings are on much the same plan as those at Millersville, with the two wings for men and women students, and the dining and recitation rooms in the centre. The Principal, with pardonable pride, drew my special attention to the gymnasium building, which, with the single exception of the new Yale Gymnasium, is believed to be the most complete connected with any school or college in the States. It contains a full supply of the best apparatus, running tracks, bath-rooms, large swimming-pool, bowling alleys, ball cage, etc. A thoroughly trained physician and his wife are in charge of the gymnasium, and all exercise is taken under their supervision. I was able to attend several of the classes—one on School Method, which took the form of a discussion of such points as the following: “What degree of quiet is necessary in a school?” “On what does ability to govern depend?” “Can ability to govern be acquired?” I was much struck here, as in other American schools and colleges, with the ease in speaking, and the keen interest shown by the students in taking part in the discussion. A lesson in Arithmetic, in which the students made excellent use of that distinctive feature of an American recitation room—the continuous blackboard, one on United States history, and a lesson on physiology given in the Model School, helped to fill up a most interesting morning.
There are two State Normal Schools in the State of Connecticut—one at New Britain, started in 1850, and the other at Willimantic, opened in 1889. These schools have for their object the definite preparation of teachers for work in the State schools, and no encouragement is given to other students to enter. They thus differ from the Pennsylvania Normal Schools, which are often attended by those who do not intend to become teachers. This difference appears to produce one curious and instructive result—namely, that while a large number of men students are to be found in the Pennsylvania Normal Schools, they are conspicuous by their absence from those in Connecticut. This is easily understood when one remembers that an overwhelming majority of the teachers in the Common Schools are women, and that as few men intend to take up teaching as a permanent profession, they are not likely to be found in those Normal Schools, the courses of which will not serve as stepping-stones to a future college or other career.
Neither of these two Schools are residential, but the Principals undertake to assist students in finding comfortable accommodation. Board and lodging can usually be obtained from $3 to $4 (14s. to 17s.) per week.
Candidates for admission must either (1) pass an entrance examination held at certain centres in the State, or (2) present a certificate of graduation from a High School or State Teachers’ Certificate, or (3) have taught successfully for three years.
The course is arranged for two years, but no student can graduate from the schools unless considered fit to teach by the Faculty. They may either remain longer as students, or if thought to be hopeless may be requested to withdraw.
At both schools there are at least two parts to the course: (1) that done in the Normal School, including the Theory of Education, and special work in science and other subjects; and (2) that done in the Model or Training Schools. Each School has also a Kindergarten, and at New Britain there is a special course for the training of Kindergarten teachers.
Students who attain the required standard of scholarship in every prescribed subject, and exhibit a fair degree of skill in teaching and governing children, and pass the State Examination for Teachers, receive a Diploma of Graduation.
The fitness of any teacher for her profession is thus determined partly by the authorities of the Normal School, and partly by the State.
All necessary text-books are free, but students are encouraged to purchase a few books of reference.
The aim of this school is entirely professional, but it is found so difficult to obtain a supply of sufficiently prepared students that some academic work, especially in science, is found to be necessary, and each student is expected to learn to make certain sets of apparatus, which will be afterwards helpful in the teaching of science in the schools. The Principal informed me that he considered that the school was stronger on the practical than on the theoretical side. Most certainly the practical training of teachers is most thoroughly arranged for. A Model School of 500 children is attached to the school, the classes in which are in the hands of trained and enthusiastic teachers, who are constantly endeavouring to improve existing and devise new methods of teaching. In reading, for instance, the children make their own reading lesson, the subjects being taken from lessons on elementary science, literature, etc., which they have had. With the help of the blackboard, simple sentences, giving an account of the lesson or its story, are collected, and then printed by the school printing press, which proves an invaluable addition to the school apparatus. Drawing is also taught almost entirely in connection with other school subjects, the illustrating of Science, History and Geography lessons being thus utilized.
During the training course, the students give a few lessons in the Model School, and spend a good deal of time in observation. But a comparatively new and important feature in connection with the practical training is the six months which students are encouraged to spend after graduation at a Practice School which has been opened at South Manchester. Here the graduates teach under supervision, and obtain that amount of practice under favourable circumstances which is so necessary to the perfecting of the teacher.
At Willimantic, as at New Britain, especial stress is laid on preparing the teacher for the practical part of the profession. The child, however, is the unit of the school, and on the right understanding of the child depends the teacher’s success in teaching. The child has both a body and a mind to be trained, and the two cannot be separated. It is therefore necessary that a teacher should know something about each, and students are therefore expected to devote a good deal of time to the study of Physiology in the Junior year, and to the study of Psychology in the Senior.
The Model Schools are most carefully staffed, and the students spend as much time as possible in observing work done in these schools.
During the last term of the course, each student serves as an assistant in the various grades of the Model Schools, thus having experience in teaching under the guidance and criticism of an expert in each grade.
The course is for two years, but the Principal is anxious to have the time extended.
The first Normal School for the State of New York was opened at Albany in 1844. There are now eleven such schools in the State, two of which—Albany and Oswego—are entirely professional, while the others provide also for academic work.
|Last Year.||Last Year.||Last Year.||Last Year.|
The following extracts from the circular issued by the Superintendent of Public Instruction give the principal features common to all the Normal Schools of the State of New York.
“Students will be appointed to the Normal Schools by the Superintendent, upon the recommendation of superintendents and school commissioners. These officers will be relied upon to properly represent to possible candidates the needs of the public schools for well-qualified teachers, and the necessity of professional and technical training on the part of all who intend to teach. No students can be admitted who have not already acquired a substantial elementary education. This can be gained in all of the ordinary schools, and the professional training schools cannot be properly taxed with work which the common schools can perform as well. Through the quality of the work performed, through the attainments and the professional spirit and purpose of graduates, rather than through mere multiplicity of numbers, can the Normal Schools best promote the educational interests of the State. There is room and welcome in the Normal Schools for the graduates of the elementary and secondary schools, and even for those who have made substantial advancement in the elementary course without technical graduation, provided that they give promise of becoming successful teachers, and possess the desire to become such; but there is no room for students who have laid no real foundation for professional training, and who have no well-determined purpose about the matter and no fair conception of the responsibilities and obligations of a teacher’s occupation.
“Appointments will ordinarily follow recommendations, but students will be admitted or retained in Normal Schools only when they show scholarship and other qualities in justification of the appointment.
“The following form of recommendation will be used, and will be supplied from the department or from any of the schools upon application. When filled out it should be mailed to the Superintendent, and when approved it will be by him sent direct to the school. No student can be appointed who is not fully sixteen years of age.
To the Superintendent of Public Instruction:—
I hereby recommend of in the County of aged years, as possessing the health, scholarship, mental ability and moral character requisite for an appointment to the State Normal and Training School at
District of the County of
Or, Superintendent City of
“Students duly appointed, and presenting the diplomas of colleges, universities, high schools, academies or academic departments of union schools, State Certificates or Commissioner’s Certificates, granted under the uniform examination system, and still in force, showing a standing of seventy-five per cent. in arithmetic, grammar and geography, may be admitted at any time and without examination.
“Students duly appointed, but unable to present either of the above-named evidences of proficiency, may be admitted at the opening of each term upon duly passing an entrance examination to be held at the school.
“Non-residents of the State are not to be solicited or encouraged to enter our Normal Schools, but such persons as specially desire to do so, and who comply with the requirements as to admission, may be admitted upon paying to the treasurer of the Local Board a tuition fee of twenty dollars per term of twenty weeks in advance. No mileage fees will be paid to non-residents.
“No student will be received into the academic department connected with any State Normal School who is not a bona fide resident of the territory whose people have heretofore given Normal School property to the State, and for whose benefit the State has pledged itself to maintain an academic department.
“Tuition and the use of all text-books are free. Students will be held responsible, however, for any injury or loss of books. They are advised to bring with them, for reference, any suitable books they may have. The amount of fare necessarily paid on public conveyances in coming to the school will be refunded to those who remain a full term.
“A year is divided into two terms of twenty weeks each. The Autumn term commences on the first Wednesday in September, and the Spring term on the second Wednesday in February. There will be an intermission for a week during the holidays.”
There are three courses of study which can be followed: an English course arranged for three years, a Classical and a Scientific arranged for four years. (Albany and Oswego have specially arranged courses.)
Students who satisfactorily complete any one of the above courses receive diplomas, which serve as licenses to teach in the public schools of the State.
The first Normal School of the State was located at Albany. Until 1890 it had, like most of the other schools, academic as well as professional work, but it was then reorganized on a new plan, under the title of “New York State Normal College.” This College now devotes itself entirely to the giving of instruction in the Science and Art of Teaching.
The courses of study are as follows:—
1. English Course, which extends over two years, and embraces Psychology, History and Philosophy of Education, Methods of teaching all ordinary school subjects, School Economy and School Law, Kindergarten methods and practice in teaching under criticism. Graduates from this course receive a life diploma or license to teach.
2. Classical Course. This is also a two years’ course on much the same lines as the English, but with the addition of Methods of teaching Latin and Greek, or German, or French. A much severer entrance examination must, however, be passed to gain admission to this course than is required for the English. A life diploma and the degree of Bachelor of Pedagogy are conferred on graduates from this course.
3. Supplementary Course. This takes one year, which is devoted to the reading of leading educational authors, the discussion of educational subjects, and the preparation of an original thesis. Those who take this course in addition to the English receive the degree of Bachelor of Pedagogy, and those who take it in addition to the Classical receive that of Master of Pedagogy.
4. One year Course for graduates from Colleges and Universities in which they are allowed to select a course (approved by the Faculty) for one year, and can receive a life diploma and the degree of Bachelor of Pedagogy.
5. Kindergartner’s Course.
I unfortunately reached Albany too late to see the school in working order, but from what its Principal, Dr. Milne, told me, it appears to possess the most purely professional course of any Normal School in the States.
The Oswego School was first organized as a City Training School in 1861, but was adopted as a State School in 1863. The history of this school is the history of its Principal, Dr. Sheldon. When quite young, he became interested in the question of the education of the poor of his native city, Oswego. With the help of friends the first free school was started, but as no teacher could be found, he had to teach himself. He was able, in 1853, to organize a city system of schools, and became superintendent. Dissatisfaction with the teaching results of his schools led him to consider the question of methods. On a visit to Toronto, he saw in the National Museum a collection of educational appliances used abroad, and especially at the Home and Colonial Training School in London. He brought back all the apparatus that he could, but both he and his teachers realized the need of training, and finally some of them resigned half their salaries for one year, in order that a training teacher might be brought over from the Home and Colonial Training College. Miss M. E. M. Jones, an ardent disciple of Pestalozzi, came in response to their request, and day by day, after school hours, she met this enthusiastic little band of teachers, which was the first Training Class. After she left, those she had taught were able to carry it on, and the training of teachers was an established fact in Oswego. The course was at first only for one year, but was later extended to three and four when the school was taken over by the State.
With the consent of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the classical department has been dropped out of the Oswego School, and more extended lines of English work have been taken up as elective courses. The regular English course is taken for three years, and one of these for the fourth.
This course includes advanced work in science, history, higher English, psychology, pedagogy, drawing, and teaching under criticism, and occupies two terms of twenty weeks each.
Those who show marked talent for primary and kindergarten work may, after graduation, be invited by a vote of the Faculty to take an additional year in special training for kindergarten and primary teachers. At the end of this course diplomas are granted, indicating fitness to take charge of kindergartens; and in addition, certificates of special qualifications for primary work are given, signed by all the members of the Faculty.
In order to meet the increasing demand for teachers who can undertake training work in Normal Schools, a special course has been started, which lasts for five months, and includes lectures in psychology, pedagogy, kindergarten principles and methods; observation of the work in the kindergarten; attendance upon the criticisms of the critics in all the departments of the training work; making out criticisms on the work in the different departments of the school of practice and actual teaching under criticism; making out time-tables for the different grades of schools; observation of work in the school of practice as done by practice teachers, to gain an idea of arrangement, distribution and grading of subject matter; observation of special lessons, followed by criticisms of same. A course of professional reading is prescribed, as well as the preparation of papers on various topics connected with method and criticism. Occasional opportunities are provided, to put into practice ideal and experimental lines of work, by teaching classes; and instruction is given in making apparatus, charts, etc., to illustrate the subjects taught in the common schools.
Teachers for this course are also selected by the Faculty, on the ground of their superior moral, intellectual, physical and professional qualifications, and of special fitness for the work; and on the satisfactory completion of the same, receive certificates, signed by all the members of the Faculty, indicating their fitness to act as critics and teachers of methods in Normal and Training Schools.
Experience in teaching in the various grades of the public schools is considered important before entering upon this work.
It is not in a strict sense a residential college, but students from a distance are expected to live in a boarding-house attached to the school.
Great stress is laid upon the elaboration of methods of teaching of various subjects, and from the Oswego School have come many improvements in ways of teaching. Perhaps the chief contribution to methodology is that known as the “laboratory” method of teaching history, which is said to have revolutionized the teaching of history in American Schools. It is an adaptation of the seminary method introduced by the German historian Ranke. In order to make this method possible in the schools, specially prepared text-books were needed, and these Dr. Sheldon’s daughter undertook to write. Two text-books have been published: Studies in General History, and Studies in American History, both of which have been extensively adopted in American Schools. In these books there is presented to the pupil a carefully chosen body of original historical material—typical extracts from the laws, constitution, creeds and other records of the past—pictures of monuments, temples, statues and relics, together with questions upon this material that test and train the pupil’s powers of judgment and reason. In connection also with the teaching of history the plan is advocated, and carried out in connection with the Model School, of allowing the children to compile the history of their own town, collecting the information for themselves, and recording it in a manuscript book kept for the purpose, which they can also illustrate by original drawings of their own. I saw a delightful history of Oswego compiled in this way, and in several other towns I found that school children were undertaking similar work.
Most of the method-teaching is carried on by means of discussions on topics given. I was able to attend one of these, and also to see some of the teaching in the Practice School.
Perhaps what impressed me most about the school was the large amount of liberty allowed to the students, and the absence of rules. Dr. Sheldon told me that the experience of his lifetime had only confirmed him in the belief, that the fullest freedom is necessary for the right development of character, and that year by year he had given his students an ever-increasing amount of liberty. The idea of self-government and responsibility is inculcated, and rare are the cases in which this freedom is abused.
To Massachusetts belongs the honour of having led the way in the establishment of Normal Schools. The Massachusetts Board of Education, established in 1838, at once took up the question of the training of teachers for the public schools. A member of the Board, the Hon. Edmund Dwight, of Boston, offered $10,000 on condition that the Legislature would appropriate an equal amount towards providing for such training. His offer was accepted, and three Normal Schools were opened, each of which was to continue for three years as an experiment. The experiments proved completely successful. There are now six State Normal Schools, which are under the direct control of the Board of Education, and supported entirely by the State. Tuition is free to all who undertake to teach in the State Schools. The arrangements for boarding vary with each school.
The State appropriates $4,000 per annum to be divided among those students of Normal Schools who stand in need of such aid.
Text-books and reference books are free.
 “The design of the State Normal Schools is strictly professional; that is, to prepare in the best possible manner the pupils for the work of organizing, governing and teaching the public schools of the Commonwealth.
“To this end there must be the most thorough knowledge; first, of the branches of learning required to be taught in the schools; second, of the best methods of teaching those branches; and third, of right mental training.
“The time of one course extends through a period of two years; of the other, through a period of four years, and is divided into terms of twenty weeks each, with daily sessions of not less than five hours, five days each week.”
Two Years’ Course:
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, book-keeping.
Physics, astronomy, chemistry, physiology, botany, zoology, mineralogy, geology, geography.
Language, reading, orthography, etymology, grammar, rhetoric, literature, composition.
Penmanship, drawing, vocal music, gymnastics.
Psychology, science and art of education, school organization and history of education.
Civil polity of Massachusetts and of the United States, history, school laws of Massachusetts.
In accordance with a vote of the Board of Education, pupils are encouraged to add a half-year to this course of study, provided six months of their entire time be spent mainly in additional practice and observation.
Four Years’ Course:
In addition to the studies named above, the four years’ course includes advanced algebra and geometry, trigonometry and surveying.
Advanced chemistry, physics and botany.
Drawing, English literature, general history.
Latin and French required; German and Greek as the principal, and visitors shall decide.
This course is intended to give pupils that broad culture indispensable to the highest success in schools of any grade, but especially to fit them for service as teachers in high schools. The studies are so arranged that graduates from the shorter course may complete the four years’ course in two additional years.
The following statistics and extract are from the Public Document of the Board of Education for 1893.
|Statistics for the Year 1891-92.|
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“There are now in the Commonwealth six State Normal Schools, established for the purpose of training teachers to teach in the public schools. The Normal Schools are now well provided with the means of communicating professional instruction.
“As a knowledge of the principles and method of teaching seems to be one thing, and skill in the application of principles quite another, it is necessary that ample opportunity be given in the training schools connected with the Normal Schools for practice in teaching by the normal students as they study the principles. Such practice, if systematically and intelligently conducted during the course of instruction, will prepare the normal graduate to enter upon the practice of his profession with the advantages of experience.
“If the standard for admission to the Normal Schools be raised, as the Board of Education now contemplates, they will be relieved of a large amount of academical work now required, and of many candidates whose limited knowledge and capacity for acquiring it make them improper subjects for professional training.
“The time has come when a professional training should be considered a requisite for teaching in the public schools of the Commonwealth.”
Framingham, the first State Normal School in the United States, was first located at Lexington, where it was opened July 3rd, 1839, with three students. In 1852 the school was removed to Framingham. It admits women students only, who reside in the boarding halls attached to the school.
“The design of the school is to give:
1. “A review of the studies taught in the public schools.
2. “A careful study of the history of education and the school law of Massachusetts.
3. “A study of Psychology, for the purpose of ascertaining true principles and good methods.
4. “A practical application of these principles and methods in teaching.
5. “A high estimate of the importance and responsibility of the teacher’s work, and an enthusiasm for it.”
Another school was opened at Barre, September 4th, 1839, but was moved to Westfield in 1844. It is intended for both men and women students, but out of 147 students in 1892 only 7 were men.
There is a Normal Hall of Residence, erected and furnished by the State, at which either men or women students can live.
The subjects taken are the same as those in the other Normal Schools of the State, for the two or four years’ course. All studies are pursued on the topical plan, and with special reference to the best ways of teaching them. Every student frequently takes charge of a class, and teaches topics, so that throughout the course he is under actual training as teacher.
I had the opportunity of hearing a class in Didactics, conducted by Principal Greenough on the topical method. I found that “topics” simply meant the heads or divisions of subjects. The students had been previously given topics to prepare, and they were called on two at a time to go to the blackboard and write up and explain to the class alternately the various points to be considered under each head. These points were one by one discussed with the Principal and other students. This topical method is adopted at many other schools and colleges. It often happens that one or two students only are entrusted with topics to prepare, which they are expected to be ready to explain to the rest of the class, subject of course to the criticism of the teacher and discussion by the class.
The students obtain the necessary practice in teaching, partly in the above way by teaching each other, and partly by giving lessons in the Model School under the critic teachers. Each student is also required to teach for four weeks continuously, and to spend a good deal of time in observing children, and the work of the teachers in the Model School.
The school is very well provided with apparatus. Almost every subject taught has its special room with appropriate appliances for teaching. I was especially struck by the apparatus for teaching geography. Large wooden trays lined with zinc, and placed on supports so as to resemble low tables, were used for modelling in wet sand. Special classes were held to instruct the students in the art of sand-moulding.
Bridgewater Normal School was opened in 1840. It receives both men and women students, the number for this year being 272, of which 58 are men, and 214 women.
There are two Halls of Residence, at which students may reside.
Four courses are possible: 1. Two years’ course. 2. Three years’ or intermediate course. 3. Four years’ course, and 4. Post-graduate course for college graduates.
There appears to be especially good provision for the teaching of science, the new buildings having ample laboratory accommodation.
Worcester is the youngest of the Normal Schools, having been opened in 1874. It is open to both men and women, but the latter largely preponderate.
In addition to the ordinary two and four year courses, college graduates are allowed to take up a special elective course.
This school has certain special features which distinguish it and require note.
The study of psychology is pursued in part by the original observation of children. The students are asked to observe the conduct of children in all circumstances, and to record what they see and hear as soon as possible, in a simple and concise manner, without any comment by the writer. They are advised to note the usual rather than the unusual conduct of the children observed. For convenience of classification, blanks of five colours are used: white for observations made by the students themselves; red for those reported by others; yellow for reminiscences of the student’s own childhood; green for records made from books, and chocolate for a continued series of observations made on the same child. The date, name of observer and post-office address; the name, sex, nationality and age of child observed; and also the length of time elapsing between the making and recording of the observation, are all set forth on these papers.
The making of these observations is quite voluntary, but the students become so interested in the work that an ever-increasing number of reports are sent in. Some 16,000 have already been collected. These are placed at the disposal of the Clark University, which has from time to time made use of the material thus brought together. These records are valuable in themselves, but still more valuable is the training in observation of children afforded to the students in making them.
The students in this school have the opportunity before graduating of serving an apprenticeship as teachers in the public schools of Worcester.
The “apprentice” acts as assistant to the teacher of the city school; takes part in the instruction, management and general care of the pupils under the direction of the teacher; and is sometimes entrusted with the sole charge of the school during the teacher’s absence for an hour, a half day or a day. One student only at a time is assigned to any teacher, but each apprentice serves in at least three grades of schools.
The time taken for the apprenticeship comes just before the final term in the Normal School, and amounts to half a school year. But the apprentices spend one day of each week (Wednesday) at the Normal School, where they are occupied in the following manner:
They consult with the teacher, and with one another, and make use of books.
They make informal statements to the school of such facts of their experience as it may profit the other pupils to know,—concerning ways of teaching, cases of discipline and the like,—keeping in mind always the private character of the daily life of the school-room, and under special warning against revelations that might seem objectionable.
Each apprentice keeps a diary of the occupation and experience of every day, and this record is inspected by the Faculty of the Normal School.
The Faculty of the Normal School have the right of visiting the apprentices while at work, and of giving advice and suggestion. When the six months are over, the teacher of the school makes a report on the work of the student. The School Board approves the system, as those students who have been apprentices are found afterwards to be the most capable teachers in the Worcester public schools. Students are not forced to undergo apprenticeship, but most choose to do so. After it is over, they return to the Normal School for six months, before graduating.
Forty minutes each day are assigned to “Platform Exercises,” which consist in reading, speaking, drawing on the blackboard, etc., before the assembled school. They are found to be very useful in helping the students to overcome nervousness. Each student can choose her own time and subject, but at least nine must be ready to take part each day. No exercise is to be prepared for more than four minutes, but as questions may be asked by the teachers or other students, and criticism is sometimes offered, they often take longer.
A new and interesting feature of the school is the children’s class which has just been started. Between twenty and thirty children between three and five have been admitted. No charge is made for tuition, and it is understood that the class can be taught in any way thought good by the Principal. This class affords a good field for child-study and experiment in methods of elementary teaching. It is in charge of an experienced kindergartner.
I was attentively listening to a lecture on Psychology, given by Principal Russell, when suddenly, to my amazement, the whole class rose and left the room while he was still speaking. To my surprise, he did not seem at all disturbed, and he then proceeded to explain, that finding that most students were deficient in “time sense,” such a necessary possession for a teacher, he had adopted the plan of making the students keep their own time at lectures.
The Normal Art School, Boston, aims at training art teachers and supervisors for the State. Two courses are offered—one of four years’ training in the scientific and artistic branches and their practical application to industry, and one of two years’ training for the work of teaching or supervising Art in the public schools.
The following is a comprehensive plan of the work of this second course:
1. Elements of psychology.
2. Outline course of drawing for Primary and Grammar Schools.
3. Practice teaching.
1. History of education.
2. Principles and methods of teaching.
3. Outline course of drawing for High and Evening Schools.
4. Practice teaching.
5. Practical details of supervisor’s work.
6. Presentation of the subject of drawing by each pupil before a body of assumed teachers.
The State of Michigan maintains only one Normal School, but, as we shall see later, this State has other means of providing for the training of its teachers.
This school is located at Ypsilante, and is not residential. It is open to men and women, and tuition is free to those who undertake to teach in the State Schools. Graduates from recognised High Schools, approved by the Board of Education upon recommendation of the Faculty, are admitted without examination, and are credited with advanced work already done. Other candidates must pass an entrance examination.
The school offers three classes of courses:
1. Those covering three years of instruction leading to a certificate, which is a license to teach in the schools of Michigan for a period of five years; of these there are two, one especially for kindergartners, and the other to prepare teachers for the rural schools and for the lower High School grades.
2. Courses covering four years, leading to a diploma and a life-certificate. Of these there are many to choose from, but all are more or less distinctly literary, scientific or classical.
3. Advanced courses, leading to the degree of Bachelor of Pedagogics and a life-certificate. One for graduates of any of the four year courses, and can be completed in two years.
Any one holding an academic degree from the University of Michigan, or from an incorporated college, may receive the degree of B.Pd. by spending one half-year at the school, and attending professional instruction for 250 hours, and teaching under supervision for 100 hours.
Any person holding the degree of Bachelor of Pedagogics of the Michigan State Normal School may, upon application, receive the degree of Master of Pedagogics upon the following conditions:
(a) He shall furnish evidence satisfactory to the Faculty that he has been engaged in teaching or in school supervision continuously, and with pronounced success, for five years since receiving the Bachelor’s degree.
(b) He shall prepare and present a thesis acceptable to the said Faculty, upon some subject connected with the history, science, or art of education, the Faculty reserving the right to assign the subject of such thesis.
The design of the School is professional—i.e., only those students are admitted who intend to teach, but a large portion of the various courses is devoted to academic work. The school is directly under the control of the State Board of Education, which grants all certificates, diplomas and degrees upon recommendation of the Faculty.
This State, which, like that of Michigan, is typical of the West, has provided two Normal Schools, known under the somewhat imposing names of the “Illinois State Normal University,” and the “Southern Illinois State Normal University.” Neither of these, however, are purely professional schools. The first of them has three departments—Normal, Training and High School, while the second has also three—Normal, High School and Preparatory.
Tuition is free in the Normal Department of both schools, to those who intend to teach in the State.
The courses in the Normal Departments are usually for three years, but may be extended to four, and at the completion of any course a diploma is granted.
The work is very largely academic, and in the first year hardly any really professional work is done.
One of the Counties of Illinois—Cook—possesses a Normal School which, although not technically a State School, yet is so in reality, or indeed something wider, for it attracts to itself students from all parts of the States. This is known as the Cook County School, or perhaps quite as often as Colonel Parker’s School.
It is situated at Englewood, a suburb of Chicago, and has a student’s hall attached to the school, where students may obtain board and lodging.
As a school it is probably unique, and as such exceedingly difficult to estimate. When visiting it, the charm of the School falls upon one, the enthusiasm of Colonel Parker and his band of teachers creates an atmosphere of inspiration which disarms criticism, and few would come away without feeling that the world was better than they thought, and a little child the most beautiful thing to be found on the earth. I think that it is in this genuine love and care for children that the real strength of the School lies, and that if it can continue to send out teachers who really love and understand children, it need fear no outside criticism. A chance remark of Colonel Parker’s seemed to me typical of the spirit of the School: “I do not want any of the children to know that I am not one of them.”
The following extracts from his report to the Cook County Board explain the distinguishing features of the School:
1. Any graduate (four years’ course) of an accredited High School, or a graduate of a college or university, will be admitted to the Professional Training Class, on presentation of diploma.
2. A teacher of three years’ successful experience in a Graded School, and holding a first-class certificate, will be admitted on presentation of said certificate, and certificates of success as a teacher.
Candidates with the above credentials will be admitted to the Professional Training Class at any time.
1. Students must be members of the Professional Training Class at least one year of forty weeks before they are eligible for graduation.
2. Whenever, after one year, the members of the Faculty are convinced that a student has the necessary knowledge, skill and governing power to teach and manage a school satisfactorily, the said candidate is recommended for graduation to the Board of Education.
The County Superintendent of Schools grants to each graduate a certificate to teach in Cook County, outside of Chicago, first or second grade, upon his own examination and the recommendation of the Principal.
First-grade certificates are given to those graduates who have manifested during their course marked ability in study and teaching.
Elective courses are allowed to those students only who have received diplomas of graduation.
Graduates of the Professional Training Class may elect for a one or two years’ course any one of the following post-graduate courses:
1. Kindergarten Training Class, physical training, elocution.
2. History, geography and literature.
3. Science, art and manual training.
4. Mathematics and manual training.
5. Modelling, painting, drawing and manual training.
6. Physical training, elocution, the Delsarte system of expression, music, anatomy, physiology and hygiene.
7. Advanced course in psychology, pedagogics and methods.
In all elective courses psychology, pedagogics and methods are included.
The Practice School consists of eight grades (nine rooms) and the kindergarten. There are two first primary rooms (A and B).
Each room in the Practice School is under the immediate charge of a critic teacher, who teaches the pupils in her room, and supervises the practice teaching in her grade.
The Practice School, with the exception of the kindergarten, is a public school of the city of Chicago.
The Practice School is an essential feature in the training of teachers. The entire professional work of the school is concentrated upon the teaching and training in this department.
One hour each day is devoted to teaching in the Practice School by members of the Professional Training Class.
The Practice School is divided, for the purpose of practice teaching, into forty or more groups, each group consisting of from six to ten pupils. Two groups are united, forming one section; two sections are united to form a division.
Pupil teachers are very carefully selected for merit, as (1) heads of groups; (2) leaders of sections; (3) teachers of divisions; (4) special assistants. Pupil teachers not thus chosen are assistants to group leaders.
The purpose of these divisions into groups, etc., is to give each pupil-teacher as much practice as possible. The teacher begins with a small number of pupils, and advances, as teaching power increases, to the leadership of a section, a division, and at last to a special assistant’s position. The latter position requires the ability to teach and govern an entire grade or room.
The entire work of the Professional Training Class is, in reality, preparation for practice teaching,—preparation in knowledge, theory and methods.
The course of work for the Training Class includes the following subjects:
1. Psychology, pedagogics, the history of education and methods of teaching.
2. Science in primary and grammar schools.
3. Geography with modelling, painting, drawing and chalk modelling as means of geographical study.
4. History and literature.
5. Mathematics; number, arithmetic, form and geometry.
6. Art, including modelling, painting and drawing.
7. Physical training, elocution, the Delsarte system of expression and vocal music.
8. Manual training, paste-board and wood sloyd and construction of apparatus for science teaching.
The special teacher at the head of each department presents the conditions for the knowledge needed for teaching his or her subject, and decides whether the pupil-teacher has the requisite knowledge and skill to prepare a plan for teaching.
The special teacher also teaches the principles and methods of his subject, and supervises the practice-work in his department throughout all the grades.
The practice teaching is divided into ten periods for one year, one period continuing for one month.
Each pupil-teacher is required to prepare one plan for teaching, each month, upon a subject selected by the critic teacher, under whose direct supervision the pupil-teacher is to work. This plan must be approved by the critic teacher, and also by the special teacher in charge of the subject taught, before the one who prepares the plan is permitted to teach.
Each month, certain group, section and division leaders are transferred from grade to grade in order that every pupil who has requisite ability and skill may teach in the eight grades during the course.
Whenever a pupil-teacher has reached the rank of special assistant, he or she is sent out to the county schools to act as substitute upon the order of the County Superintendent.
The course of study followed in the school is the application of a doctrine or theory of education, called the Theory of Concentration. Upon this theory it was my privilege to hear Colonel Parker lecture from time to time, and the following is a short synopsis of his lectures as drawn up by himself.
“In this theory, the subjects of thought and study are the natural sciences, geography and history. The unity of these subjects is found in the study of life—the laws of life—and the laws which support life.
“The laws of life enter into the child through education, and become the essentials in his intellectual and moral character.
“Form, geometry, number and arithmetic are the indispensable means for the study and investigation of the laws of the universe acting through matter; therefore form and number must be studied in order to understand any and all subjects of thought.
“Attention is the one mode of study. Attention may be divided into three modes of thinking: (1) observation, (2) hearing language, (3) reading or book study. The subjects or objects of attention are the natural sciences, geography and history—therefore observation, hearing language, and reading are the means of knowing and thinking. The subjects of knowing and thinking should be immediately educative. Therefore, all acts of attention, observation, hearing language and reading should be concentrated upon these subjects, and objects of intrinsic thought. For example: all reading should be the most educative thinking, and therefore should consist of the purest and most thoughtful literature. Every word and sentence learned by the pupil should be learned under the immediate impulse of intrinsic thought.
“Under the theory of concentration, the modes of expression—gesture, music, modelling, painting, drawing, speech and writing, are used as the direct and immediate means of intensifying intrinsic thought, and under these impulses and stimuli the technical forms of expression in each mode are adequately acquired.
“The central and sole design of concentration is the harmonious development of individual character—knowledge, skill, are means, not ends—the eternal is the end. It goes without saying that the application of this doctrine of concentration requires the highest grade of knowledge, skill, art and devotion to human development.
“Considering this course of study from the standpoint of ‘knowledge for the sake of knowledge,’ taking the subjects presented in the light of ‘going over,’ ‘going through,’ ‘being marked upon,’ ‘final tests by written examinations,’ there must be a hopeless confusion; the burden would be greater than any corps of teachers could possibly bear.
“A course of study is a means to an end, and that end the full development of all the possibilities for good and growth in a human being. It should consist of all the subjects of thought, the germs of which a child spontaneously assimilates and enjoys before he enters school. A course of study should be very carefully arranged and adapted to the successive stages or steps of development.
“Its application, however, depends wholly upon the knowledge and skill of the teacher, the teacher who watches closely and sympathetically every movement of her pupil’s mind; the teacher who looks upon a course of study as a rich storehouse of mental food, to be presented as the mind needs it, or rejected when the conditions are not favourable to growth.
“Following or ‘going over’ a course of study belongs to the trade of school keeping, and not to the art of teaching.
“This course of study cannot be understood by studying the work of one grade alone—it must be studied as a whole and applied with the comprehensive knowledge of the whole.
“The final decision as to what should be applied to each individual pupil must be left to the teacher of that pupil.
“No authority outside of the teacher of a pupil can possibly determine what that pupil needs at any given moment.
“Grading and promotion, properly understood, are economical means of knowing and helping each individual pupil.
“The course of study in its best form and last analysis is the best means of helping each child, and of helping each child to be of immediate and essential aid to all his mates.”
Very similar to the State Normal Schools in organization and curriculum are those maintained by certain cities. Of these the Philadelphia, New York and Boston schools may be taken as representatives. Such schools belong to the City School systems, and are under the supervision of the City Superintendent. Graduates from these schools are supposed to teach in the public schools of the city.
At Philadelphia the Normal School is in a transition state. Hitherto the Girls’ Normal School has at the same time been the Girls’ High School, and it was only possible to make a distinction in length of course between those who were going to teach and those who were not—the fourth year being especially devoted to professional work. The tendency in such a school would be, of course, to emphasize the academic work at the expense of the professional. According to the new scheme, the High School and Normal School will be separated, and the latter be purely professional. Admission to the Normal School will only be granted after a three years’ course at the High School, and the former will have a course of its own for two years. The present course of study and the future scheme are subjoined.
Subjects to be studied in the two years’ course at the new Girls’ Normal School, Philadelphia:
1. Educational Psychology.
2. Methods of Teaching.
3. School Economy.
4. The History of Education.
5. The Philosophy of Education.
6. Methods in Mathematics.
7. Methods in Language and Literature.
8. Methods in History, Sociology, and Civics.
9. Methods in Natural History.
10. Methods in Physics and Chemistry.
11. Methods in Elocution.
12. Methods in Vocal Music.
13. Methods in Modelling and Drawing.
14. Methods in Kindergarten.
15. Methods in Gymnastics and Physical Training.
16. Methods in Sewing and Fitting.
17. Methods in Wood-work, etc.
18. Observation in Model School.
19. Practice in Model School.
20. Discussion of Observation and Practice.
21. Educational Reading and Original Investigation.
Mention must also be made of the provision made for the training of men teachers in the new School of Pedagogy which has been opened in connection with the Central High School for boys. The students must be graduates of the latter, or of similar institutions. The course is for one year, and includes professional subjects only.
The New York Normal College is conducted in the same way as the present one at Philadelphia, it being at once a High and Normal School.
|Course of Study in the Girls’ Normal School.|
| B |
| C |
|English Language and Literature.|
|History of Education.||Literature.
Reading of English Classics.
History of the English Language;
including the study of the
derivations, formations, etc.,
Reading of English Classics.
History of the English Language;
including the study of the
derivations, formations, etc.,
Reading of English Classics.
|Mental and Moral
Science in their
relations to Education.
Accounts and Book-keeping.
|General Review of
method of the
|General History.||History and Civil Government|
of the United States.
|Modelling in Clay.
Instruction in the
Gifts and Occupations
of the Kindergarten.
1. Physical exercises throughout the first, second, and third years.|
2. Laboratory work in chemistry when possible.
3. Laboratory work as far as possible in physics.
4. Drawing to include the treatment of Geometric Drawing, Construction, Decoration, Representation, and Object Drawing.
The Boston Normal School is of the professional type, with an ordinary course of a year and a half, although many students stay for a post-graduate course.
The course of study in this school is pursued with special reference to teaching, and is as follows:
1. Psychology and Logic.
2. Principles of Education.
3. Methods of Instruction and Discipline.
4. Physiology and Hygiene.
5. The Studies of the Primary and Grammar Schools.
6. Observation and Practice in the Training School.
7. Observation and Practice in the other Public Schools.
8. Science of Language.
11. Vocal Music.
12. Drawing and Blackboard Illustration.
13. Special study of the Theory and Practice of the Kindergarten, for those members of the post-graduate class who desire to qualify themselves for teaching in that department.
The students practise and observe in the Rice Training Schools, and in the post-graduate class substitute service begins—i.e., any city school having a teacher absent may apply for a student to take her place.
|Subjects.||Hours per||No. of|
|Physiology and Hygiene||4||16|
|Oral Expression and Composition||3||9|
|Practice||12 minutes daily.|
|Subjects.||Hours per||No. of|
|Principles of Education||5||16|
|Reading, including Phonics||4||8|
|Practice||12 minutes daily.|
|Observation and Practice in the |
|all day, 4 weeks.|
|Subjects.||Hours per||No. of|
|Principles of Education||5||7|
|Oral Expression and Composition||4||3|
|Science of Language||4||4|
|Practice||12 minutes daily.|
|Observation and Practice in|
|all day, 10 weeks.|
The work of the post-graduate class includes:
1. A further study of the principles of education, with special reference to their application in teaching the different subjects of the regular course, and in school discipline;
2. The history of education.
In several cities an ordinary school is set apart for the special training of teachers, and is presided over by a head-mistress capable of giving instruction in the theory of education. In such a school the ordinary teaching of the children is largely carried on by the students, who at certain hours receive instruction in Methods, etc. These students often receive a small sum in return for their services.
I was able to visit several of these Training Schools, including those at New Haven (Connecticut), Fall River (Rhode Island), Pawtucket (Rhode Island), Springfield (Massachusetts), and Albany (New York).
At New Haven a most interesting Training School is carried on in connection with the Welch School. There are about thirty students in training for one year. The various classes of the school are in charge of regular teachers, who teach almost entirely during the first half of the year, for the students devote five or six months to the study of theory alone, only giving a few criticism lessons during that time. For the second half of the year the students teach more in the schools, and are supervised both by the critic teacher and the regular teacher of the class. Notes of lessons are prepared in various ways—sometimes the students are required simply to put the matter of their lessons into a series of logical statements, sometimes the matter and illustrations alone are given, and sometimes the lesson is written out as it is to be given in the order of statements and questions.
On the completion of the year’s training the students are usually appointed as substitute teachers to the districts, at a small fixed salary, and obtain permanent posts as vacancies occur.
At the Springfield Training School from ten to sixteen students take the course, which is usually for one year, but can be taken in two. Tuition is free to those living in the city, a charge of about £10 being made to those from a distance.
Students enter in the autumn, and devote the first term to theoretical work, only giving a few criticism lessons, and spending some time in observing the work of the school, and carefully recording observations.
The work in psychology is partly based on the observation of individual children, and partly carried on by discussion classes. The students also attend lectures given by Superintendent Balliet to all the teachers of the city. At the end of the year they take the city examination in order to graduate. In January they begin to teach for an hour a day in the school, and in the summer term this is increased to three hours a day. At the end of the course they give lessons in public, but they are not counted as necessary for graduation.
Some of the leading features of the Training School are the following:—
1. It is incorporated with a city or town Graded School covering from four to eight years’ work. This school is used as a place for observation and practice.
2. The Practice School, or school of observation, employs one or more regular teachers, who conduct the training class. In most Training Schools, “trainers” are relied upon for much of the teaching.
3. The course in the Training School includes a study of the principles of teaching and the history of education, with practice in the art.
4. The length of the term of study and practice is fixed, extending from one to two years in the greater number of schools.
5. A new class is admitted at a fixed time; the admissions are annual or semi-annual.
6. The maximum number of trainers is prescribed.
7. Admissions are made by a course of studies previously pursued, or by examination. Most require the equivalent of a four years’ course in a High School.
8. All provide for dropping unpromising students from the roll.
9. Most allow some compensation to trainers after the first term.
A list of Training Schools in Massachusetts is appended. It is taken from a useful little pamphlet drawn up for the information of visitors to the World’s Fair Educational Exhibit.
In many cities training classes are held for one year. The students are distributed amongst the best schools of the city or town, and the instruction and criticism is given by the Superintendent and the highest teachers.
|Chelsea||17||1 year.||Practice limited to|
|four city schools, normal|
|Clinton||5||”||Not equal to normal|
|Concord||6||”||All urged to attend|
|Hingham||8||”||Not given school in|
|town until experience is|
|Malden||”||No teacher employed|
|not a normal graduate|
|or person of experience.|
|Watertown||4||”||Graduates expected to|
|teach out of town before|
|being employed at|
It has been seen that a certain number of college graduates enter the Normal Schools for a course of training, but most of the leading Universities of America are now providing courses in the Science and Art of Education for those who desire to prepare for the teaching profession. I was able to visit a good many of these pedagogical departments, and was much interested in the work I saw. This work, however, differs so widely in the various institutions in which it is carried on that it is hardly possible to make any very general statements concerning it. In some universities the only provision made for the special preparation of teachers is in connection with special classes held by the professor or lecturer on any subject, for those who wish to discuss with him the teaching of it. However insufficient for training purposes this plan may be, it yet has, I believe, very special advantages to recommend it, not the least being the influence that may be thus exerted by the University through those who are about to become teachers on the Schools. In addition to these discussions, some provide for a few lectures on Pedagogy, and in others, again, Pedagogy may be taken as an elective subject, and count towards an ordinary degree. The Universities of Harvard, Cornell, Michigan, Illinois, Syracuse and others have adopted one or other of these plans.
The University of New York grants degrees in pedagogy, while at the Clark University, to which only graduates are admitted, education may be taken as part of the Ph.D. work. It should be noted, however, that the courses of training provided at these Universities is almost entirely theoretical, little or no attempt being made to arrange for practical work. In so far as this is not arranged for, the training seems to fall short of the ideal, it being surely nearly as bad to attempt to train teachers without providing for practical work as to teach chemistry without giving any time to the laboratory, or to train a doctor without arranging for hospital work. Probably the fact that a course on pedagogics is usually taken at the same time as other subjects, and also that those who take such courses very often do not intend to teach in the schools, but rather to take posts as lecturers, superintendents, etc., has caused this side of training to be neglected, and a still stronger reason is to be found in the location of so many of the Universities at a distance from the schools. In many places, however, I found that the question was being faced, and schemes considered for the introducing of practical work.
Harvard has begun to realize its responsibility with respect to the training of teachers, and a subdivision of the department of Philosophy is devoted to Education, the following courses being arranged for:
1. Course of twelve lectures on Topics in Psychology of interest to teachers.
2. Course for Graduates and Undergraduates:
The History of Educational Theories and Practices.
3. Course primarily for graduates:
(a) Organization of Public Schools and Academies.
(b) The Theory of Teaching.
These courses are, however, but short, and intended to be taken at the same time as other subjects. There is as yet no attempt to arrange for a complete course of training, but every prospect that from the beginning already made there may develop a graduate school for the training of teachers.
Harvard has already realized its responsibility in respect to the inspection and supervision of schools, for which I was given to understand very special arrangements are being made, and it will be but a step further for it to provide such training for the teachers it sends out to these schools as shall fit them duly for their work.
There are certain elective courses allowed in the philosophy course, at the University of Cornell, which really constitute a pedagogical department. They include the following:
1. Institutes of Education (Lectures).
2. School Systems and Organizations (Lectures).
3. Pedagogic Conference, Discussions and Essays on Educational topics, and reports on visits to schools.
4. History of Education (Lectures).
5. Pedagogical Seminary.
It is understood that none must take these courses unless they also know something of physiology, psychology and logic. These courses may either be attended so as to count towards a degree or may be taken as graduate work.
The only arrangement for practical work is in connection with the visits to schools for purposes of observation. The location of the University on the top of a hill overlooking Ithaca, although most advantageous in many other respects, would make the arranging for work in the schools or the establishment of a University School of Observation a matter of serious difficulty.
Seminaries are held in most subjects, at which the teaching methods are discussed, and thus opportunity is afforded to those students who are specializing in any subject with the intention of afterwards teaching it, to study it from the point of view of the teacher as well as of the learner.
To Michigan belongs the honour of having been the first University to undertake to provide professional training for teachers. Professor W. H. Payne was made the first professor of the Science and Art of Teaching in 1879, and on his leaving the University Professor Hinsdale carried on the work. The following extract from the Calendar of the Michigan University explains the views held by its faculty as to the importance of the training of teachers:
“The aims of the University in providing instruction in the Science and the Art of Teaching are:
“1. To fit University students for the higher positions in the public school service.
“It is a natural function of the University, as the head of our system of public instruction, to supply the demand made upon it for furnishing the larger public schools with superintendents, principals, and assistants. Year by year these important positions are falling more and more into the hands of men that have received their education in the University. Till recently the training given to our graduates has been almost purely literary; it has lacked the professional character that alone gives special fitness for the successful management of schools and school systems. Now, however, the University offers students that wish to become teachers ample facilities for professional study.
“2. To promote the study of educational science.
“The establishment of a chair of teaching is a recognition of the truth that the art of education has its correlative science; and that the processes of the school-room can become rational only by developing and teaching the principles that underlie these processes. Systems of public instruction are everywhere on trial, and the final criteria by which they are to stand or fall must be found in a philosophical study of the educating art.
“3. To teach the history of education, and of educational systems and doctrines.
“The supreme right of the school is to grow; and much hurtful interference might be avoided by ascertaining the direction of educational progress and the history of educational thought.
“4. To secure to teaching the rights, prerogatives, and advantages of a profession.
“5. To give a more perfect unity to our State educational system by bringing the secondary schools into closer relations with the University.”
The Teacher’s diploma is given to a student at the time of receiving a Bachelor’s degree, provided he has completed three Courses of study offered by the professor of the Science and Art of Teaching, viz., Courses 1 and 2, and one of Courses 3, 5, 4, 6, or 7, and, also, at least one of the Teachers’ Courses offered by other professors, and by special examination has shown such marked proficiency in the Course chosen as qualifies him to give instruction in the same. The diploma is also given to a graduate student at the time of receiving a Master’s or a Doctor’s degree, provided he has pursued teaching as a major or a minor study, and has also taken a Teacher’s Course in some other department.
By authority of an Act of the State legislature, passed in 1891, the Faculty of this Department give a Teacher’s Certificate to any person who takes a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctor’s degree, and also receives a Teacher’s diploma as provided above. By the terms of the Act, the certificate given by the Faculty “shall serve as a legal certificate of qualification to teach in any of the schools of this State, when a copy thereof shall have been filed or recorded in the office of the legal examining officer or officers of the county township, city, or district.”
To meet these special requirements the following courses have been arranged:—
1. Practical: the arts of teaching and governing; methods of instruction and general school-room practice; school hygiene: school law. Recitations and lectures.
3. History of education: ancient and mediæval. Recitations and lectures. Text-book: Compayré’s History of Pedagogy.
5. School supervision; embracing general school management, the art of grading and arranging courses of study, the conduct of institutes, etc. Recitations and lectures. Text-book; Payne’s chapters on School Supervision.
2. Theoretical and critical; the principles underlying the arts of teaching and governing. Lectures.
4. History of education; modern. Recitations and lectures. Text-book; Compayré’s History of Pedagogy.
6. The comparative study of educational systems, domestic and foreign. Lectures.
7. Seminary. Study and discussion of special topics in the History and Philosophy of Education.
Special Teachers’ Courses are also arranged for in most subjects, and attendance at one at least of these is necessary in order to obtain the Teacher’s diploma.
The University of Illinois has a course in Pedagogy which may count towards a degree. It may count towards most of the degrees granted, but for the degree in philosophy and pedagogy, and which implies a four years’ course, the arrangement is as follows:—
The first and second years of this course may be those of any course in the College of Literature.
1. Psychology; Chemistry or History; Latin, German or French.
2. Logic; Zoology, or History, Latin, German, or French.
3. Philosophy of Education; Geology, or History; Latin, German or French.
1. History of Education; Educational Psychology; History of Civilization; English (half course); Elocution.
2. School hygiene; Constitutional History (England); English, (half course); Elocution.
3. School Supervision; Pedagogical Seminary; Political Economy, or Constitutional History (U.S.); English, (half course); Elocution.
The University of Indiana possesses a department of pedagogics the courses of which count towards a degree. There are three courses.
(a) Educational Psychology (a knowledge of Psychology being presupposed).
(b) The School as an Institution.
(c) The General History of Education.
(a) The Science of Education.
(c) City School Systems.
(d) School Supervision.
(a) Contemporary Education.
(b) School System of Indiana.
(c) Philosophy of Education.
Special Teachers’ Courses in certain subjects are also given.
The School of Pedagogy in connection with the University of the City of New York, is based upon the idea that a degree should follow successful teaching. It has three professors and a lecturer. Only those are admitted as regular students who are graduates of Colleges, or of the New York State Normal Schools, but others may, at the discretion of the Faculty, be admitted as auditors. It was established in 1890 and has had 134 students.
The courses of study are as follows:—
1. History of Education.
2. Psychology and Ethics.
3. Institutes of Education.
4. Educational Classics and Æsthetics.
5. Systems of Education.
For the degree of Doctor of Pedagogy a thesis to be known as the “Thesis for the Doctorate in Pedagogy” has to be submitted for approval to the Faculty. This thesis must discuss a subject belonging to the field of one of the courses of study, and must show original treatment, or give evidence of independent research.
Each student who has been a member of the Senior Class for two or more years will be entitled to the degree of Doctor of Pedagogy upon the following conditions:—
1. He must have been credited with attendance upon the required lectures.
2. He must have been credited with attendance upon the required seminaria.
3. He must have passed an examination upon each of the five courses.
4. He must have presented the prescribed final thesis, and have received approval of the same.
5. He must have presented upon entering the School of Pedagogy a certain certificate showing four years’ successful experience in school-room work.
Each student of the School who has been a member of the Junior Class for one or more years, and a resident student at least one year, will be entitled to the degree of Master of Pedagogy upon the following conditions:—
1. He must have been credited with attendance upon the required lectures.
2. He must have passed the examination upon each of the four courses first named.
3. He must present a certificate showing three years’ successful experience in school-room work.
The Iowa University was the first to allow pedagogics to count towards a degree. Graduates of the University who have included in their course the year’s course of pedagogy may, after two years of successful teaching, be granted the degree of Bachelor of Didactics.
There is at New York an Institution which appeared to me to be unique in America, but of which the work more nearly resembled the best Secondary Training as carried on in Great Britain than any other which I had the opportunity of studying. It is known as the New York College for the Training of Teachers. It received its charter from the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York in 1889, constituting it a Training College with the power of granting professional degrees. This year, however, it enters on a new phase of its life, having been affiliated with the Columbia College at New York.
Columbia College had already made provision for lectures on the Science and Art of Education, but its connection with the Teachers’ College, will enable it to offer in addition the advantages of training in the practical art of teaching to its students. On the other hand, it is felt to be an advantage to the Teachers’ College to be allied with a College of University rank—Columbia College—which will thus show by example that it is possible to combine both theoretical and practical training in a University Course.
The full course of study leading to the degree of Bachelor of Pedagogy occupies two years. All candidates for admission must pass an entrance examination unless they are graduates from Colleges or other specified Institutions.
The ordinary course of study includes the following subjects:—
1. Psychology (pure and applied).
2. History and Principles of Education.
3. Methods of Teaching.
4. Observation and Practice in the School of Observation and Practice.
5. School Organization and Administration in the United States, England, France and Germany.
6. Theory and Practice of the Kindergarten.
7. Teaching of Natural Science and construction of simple illustrative Apparatus.
8. Manual Training (this includes Form Study, Drawing, Domestic Economy, Mechanical Drawing and Wood Working).
All are recommended to take the general Course by special opportunities offered to those who wish to become specialists.
Any teacher of high scholarship and experience may come to the College for one year and take up an advanced elective course.
I. The degree of Bachelor of Pedagogy and the College diploma, respectively, are conferred, upon recommendation of the Faculty, upon such students, being duly qualified candidates for the same, as have completed a course of study covering two years, as follows:—
Required work in the following Departments:
Department of History and Institutes of Education.
Department of Science and Art of Teaching.
Department of Kindergarten, Course I.
Department of Form Study and Drawing, Course I.
Department of Physical Training.
A major course or minor courses.
II. The College Certificate is conferred, upon recommendation of the President, the Dean, and the Professor in charge of any department, upon such qualified candidates as have completed a course of study covering one year, as follows:—
Department of History and Institutes of Education.
Department of Science and Art of Teaching.
Department of Physical Culture.
In any department, a major course, together with such other minor courses as will suffice to make up the required amount of work.
III. The Departmental Certificate, Major or Minor, is conferred, upon recommendation of the professors in charge of the departments in which studies leading to this certificate are pursued, upon such qualified candidates as have completed a course of study as follows:—
Department of History and Institutes of Education, Course I.
In any department or departments, either Major or Minor courses.
There is also a two years’ course for the training of Kindergartners, on the completion of which a certificate is granted, and a post-graduate course for those who desire it.
One hundred and twenty-six students were in training when I visited it, and of these only three or four were men.
The whole course of training centres round the School of Observation and Practice. The lecturers on method also teach in the school, and are responsible there for the teaching of their own special subjects. They give lessons on these, which are listened to by the students, and they also criticise lessons given by the latter. A good deal of the time devoted to the study of methods is employed in the learning how to make simple apparatus and illustrations.
Classes are held on Saturdays for those who are engaged in teaching during the rest of the week.
The college has also undertaken the publication of a series of pamphlets on educational subjects.
The whole work of this college impressed me as being of a very high character, and there was such an atmosphere of life and enthusiasm that it would seem that teachers must go forth from thence inspired with a love for their work and a determination to advance it by every means in their power. It is just this rousing to enthusiasm which seems to lie at the root of training, and the surest means of bringing this about is for those who undertake it to be enthusiastic themselves. I had the opportunity of talking to most of the lecturers, and shall not readily forget the keen interest and pleasure they all seemed to take in their special departments, the readiness, nay eagerness, with which they appeared to welcome new ideas and work them out, and the willingness with which they shared with others the results of their own experience and research.
One of the most interesting of the many institutions which I visited was the Clark University at Worcester. It is entirely devoted to Graduate work, and consists of a group of five departments: 1. Mathematics; 2. Physics; 3. Chemistry; 4. Biology; 5. Psychology (with sub-department of Education).
Two or three years’ work at the University and an original thesis are the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
There is no very clearly marked line between professors and students. Students are often specialists, and as such asked to give short courses in their special subjects, and professors and lecturers attend each other’s courses.
Docents, or those who, having fulfilled certain conditions, desire to undertake research work, are provided with rooms and apparatus for their work.
The President, Dr. Stanley Hall, is especially interested in the department of Education. The following outline of the course is from the University Calendar:—
“Education.—This has been made a sub-department of the department of Psychology, and now offers a course which can be taken as a Minor for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Its work is in the closest connection with the work in psychology and anthropology, and in part based on these. The work in this department is intended to meet the needs of the following classes of men:
“First.—Those intending to teach some other speciality, but who wish a general survey of the history, present state, methods, and recent advances in the field of university, professional, and technical education.
“Second.—Those who desire to become professors of pedagogy, or heads or instructors in normal schools, superintendents, or otherwise to become experts in the work of education.”
The programme of the Educational Department includes courses upon the following subjects:
I. (a) Child-Study. (b) Educational Psychology. (c) School Hygiene.
II. (a) Principles of Education. (b) History of Education and Reforms. (c) Methods, Devices, Apparatus, etc.
III. (a) Organization of Schools in different countries. (b) Typical Schools and Special Foundations. (c) Motor Education, including manual training, physical education, etc. (d) Moral Education. (e) Ideals.
IV. Higher Education, including university work, technical education; training in law, medicine, and theology; recent progress, present state and prospects of the most advanced education in different countries, including our own.
The courses in education for 1893-94 are as follows:—
Dr. G. Stanley Hall’s Courses:
(A) Present status and problems of Higher Education in this country and Europe. One hour weekly, half a year.
(B) Outline of Systematic Pedagogy. One hour weekly, half a year.
Dr. Burnham’s Courses:
(C) Organization of schools in Europe, especially the schools of France, Germany, Sweden, and England. Typical schools described, and educational principles illustrated by them, expounded and discussed. References made to important literature, and the work may serve as an outline for further study. One hour a week, half a year.
(D) School Hygiene, following and supplementing his “Outlines of School Hygiene,” and considering special topics. One hour a week, half a year.
(E) Educational reforms, involving the discussion of a few fundamental educational principles and the presentation of chapters in the history of education. One hour a week, half a year.
(F) Motor Education of children. This course will endeavour to elucidate the principles that should govern this side of education, and will involve the study of writing, drawing, manual training, and of play and gymnastics as means of motor education. The course may include also the study of motor training and muscular development in relation to intellectual ability and moral character. One hour a week, half a year.
(G) The work of the Seminary, once a week throughout the year, will be, for the most part, adapted to individual students. It is hoped that each student will select, after conference with President Hall and Dr. Burnham, a topic for special investigation. The results of such study may be published.
The courses as announced above may be modified somewhat as the needs of the students or other circumstances may require.
The library of the department is especially rich in foreign educational literature, and a considerable amount of illustrative apparatus has been collected. The Worcester Public Library and the library of the American Antiquarian Society are also accessible to students.
The Pedagogical Seminary is published by this department, and offers facilities for printing digests, reviews, and more valuable papers prepared by the members of the department.
This department has the twofold aim of (1) preparing professors, superintendents and teachers for their future work, and (2) making contributions to the Science of Education. The second of these aims is being vigorously taken up, research of some kind being expected from every one. The fact that there is no school of observation in connection with the University is of course a drawback to the complete carrying out of both of the above aims. Visits, for purposes of observation, are however made to schools in the neighbourhood, the records now numbering some fifteen thousand made by the students of the Worcester Normal School, in connection with the study of children, are available for reference, and a scheme for establishing a University School is even now under consideration. Should this scheme become a reality, we might look forward hopefully to getting fresh light on many school problems. One especially, to which Dr. Hall drew my attention, might well have its solution attempted in such a school. It concerns the duty of teachers toward the bright, quick-working children in a school. In every class some will be found who work quicker and have more intellectual power than the others, and at the same time some who are dull and slow-witted. Now the power of detecting and directing one’s teaching to the latter is often made the test of a good teacher, and in a very true sense it may be said to be so. But there is another side to the question, and those of us who have taught cannot fail to have often been conscious that while the needed attention and explanations are being given to the dull ones, the time of the quick-working children is being practically wasted. As Dr. Hall points out, we have perhaps not yet realized how much power is lost to the world in consequence. It would be an interesting experiment to select such bright, quick-witted children, and putting them into a class by themselves, in charge of an able teacher, to note the results of thus allowing them to work at their own rate.
The Clark University is unfortunately not open to women, if the summer school (to which they are admitted) be not considered.
Students are expected to possess a reading knowledge of the French and German languages, and a knowledge of Elementary Psychology is also considered desirable.
There are many other Universities which have opened more or less complete pedagogical departments; but these which have been described will suffice to give a general idea of the courses offered in them. On the whole it appeared to me that while in America excellent provision is made in many of the States for the training of teachers for the Primary Schools on the one hand, and for the positions of professors, lecturers, superintendents on the other, far too little attention is given to the training of teachers for the High, Collegiate and Private Schools. High School teachers are mainly those who have worked their way up through the grades (salaries tend to increase with the grade, which brings about that inexperienced teachers are too often put to the lower classes), while the teachers in Collegiate and Private Schools have usually taken up the work straight from college without any special preparation at all. England and Wales have, I think, made much better provision for the training of such teachers, but I think we have a good deal to learn from America in providing for the training of lecturers, school inspectors, etc., etc., and perhaps also in the matter of setting the seal of University approval upon training, by the bestowal of educational degrees.
Teachers’ Institutes form an integral part of most state and city systems of education. They have been defined as “normal schools with a very short course,” and this definition is substantially correct. The work done by them is of much the same character as that done in the Normal Schools, and they have the same end in view—that of making teachers more fit for their profession. They, however, vary somewhat in character, and it will be perhaps well to distinguish between—
1. Those which are held on Saturdays for teachers in the city or district, and which are usually conducted by the superintendent, who gives lectures on the Science and Art of Teaching, discusses educational problems and methods, or follows out with them a course of reading. Attendance at these institutes is often made compulsory, and loss of part of salary is sometimes made the penalty for non-attendance. By the statistics returned from ninety-six cities holding institutes, it appears that forty-four thus enforce attendance.
2. Those lasting for about six to ten days, having short courses in certain subjects, and especially on the theory of teaching. These are usually those organized by the State Superintendent, who has however the power of delegating the conduct of these institutes to other persons whom he may deem qualified. Again, attendance at many of these is made compulsory.
3. Such institutes as are held at some country or sea-side place for a length of time, varying from a fortnight to six weeks. These, however, are mostly started by private agencies, and have little besides the name to distinguish them from Summer Schools. The summer meeting of teachers at Martha’s Vineyard is known as an Institute, and is of this class. The Teachers’ Institutes do not aim at supplying a complete course of Training, but rather at supplementing the work of the Normal Schools and Colleges.
A Summer School seems to differ from an Institute mainly in relation to the amount of professional work undertaken. It is usually open for from four to six weeks, and has a great variety of courses. I was able to attend several of these, and was kindly allowed to hear some of the lectures given and to observe the work.
One of these held at Benton Harbour, Michigan, was chiefly attended by those district teachers who wished to prepare for the teachers’ examinations. It was really a private Normal School, which used its buildings in July for a Summer School. The subjects given were mainly those necessary for the teachers’ certificates, with some classes on Methods, and School Management and Drill and Elocution.
Of quite a different kind was that held at the Cook County Normal School. This was almost entirely professional, and held on much the same lines as the ordinary work of the school.
The Summer Assembly at Chautauqua includes a Summer School, which again may be said to include a special course for teachers, called the Teachers’ Retreat.
In addition to the Summer Schools, there are summer courses provided for teachers at many universities. Cornell University makes special provision for such a course, of which the following is an announcement.
“In the summer of 1892, courses of instruction were offered by professors and instructors of this University in Botany, Chemistry, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, English, French, German, Drawing, and Physical Training. The Summer School has now been made an integral part of the University, and for the summer of 1893, courses are offered in the following subjects:
Political and Social Science,
Drawing and Art,
Without excluding others qualified to take up the work, these courses are offered for the special benefit of teachers. They afford a practical scheme of university extension, by which the teachers themselves are taught under university instructors, by university methods, and with access to university libraries, museums, and laboratories.
The courses are open to women as well as to men, and the same facilities for work are extended to these students as to the regular students of the university. The amount of work implied in these courses is so great that students are advised to confine their attention to one or two subjects. Every opportunity will be given for original research under the guidance and with the assistance of members of the instructing corps.”
In 1892 a summer course in Psychology and Pedagogy was held for two weeks at the Clark University. All the resources of the University—books, apparatus, etc.—were placed at the disposal of the students. About seventy men and women attended. Other universities arrange for similar courses, but these two suffice to indicate the lines of work.
The Prang system, which aims at the complete organization of Form Study, Drawing and Colour teaching in the schools, demands also the training of its teachers. The system is being introduced into an ever-increasing number of schools, and necessitates some preparation on the part of the teacher in order that its principles shall be rightly understood and effectively carried out. This preparation is being carried on by correspondence. The courses of study are definitely arranged, and the student chooses the one she desires. The text-books and materials are sent to her; she works lessons at home, and forwards to the instructors the results of such work—clay modelling, paper-folding, drawing, etc., written observation exercises describing the appearance of models placed in prescribed positions, written outlines for various class exercises, together with any questions she desires to ask. This work is examined and returned to the student with full criticisms. At the end of the course a certificate is awarded to those who have successfully completed it. This plan of training appears to answer well, and will ensure the success of the system.
Butler & Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works, Frome, and London.
 This is, of course, not the ordinary deaf-and-dumb language,—for which sight would be required,—but a special variety in which the thoughts of the speaker are conveyed by means of varying pressure on different parts of the hand of the one spoken to.
 The term “Commencement” is always used in America to indicate the ceremony which takes place at the end of a School or College course. The idea appears to be that the close of the College career really marks the beginning of life in the world.
 The word “recitation” is always used in the United States to signify lesson, class or lecture. Its use in this extended sense may be explained by the fact that in early days of American education (and the practice still survives to a greater extent than is desirable) teaching a class merely implied the hearing of lessons learnt by heart from a text-book.
 i.e., specialist in the subject of physical exercise.
 The Connecticut School Law provides for the establishment and maintenance of such schools for the benefit of the students.
 i.e., allowance to cover railway or other fares.
 It should be noted that although the design of these schools is professional, yet in all of them academic studies are pursued.
 The idea of making special provision for a supply of teachers to act as substitutes in case of emergency is almost universal in the States. In many cities a certain number of teachers receiving regular salary are set apart for this work alone, while in some places students in a Normal School or Training Classes undertake such work by special arrangement.
 The University of Iowa had, however, in 1873 made pedagogics a sub-department of general philosophy. As early as 1860 a course of lectures on the Science and Art of Teaching had been given by the State Superintendent, Dr. Gregory, in the University of Michigan.
Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.
Inconsistencies in hyphenation have been standardized.
Archaic or variant spelling has been retained.
The table on page 167 has been reformatted from the original to better fit a narrow screen.
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