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PUBLIC DISCUSSIONS.

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The organization and conduct of normal schools and kindred topics have been freely discussed in our own and in other countries during the year. The following extracts from various sources exhibit the opinions of recognized authorities with reference to important questions.

In 1884 the committee on normal education, one of the standing committees of the National Council of Education, made a report on "Academic and professional instruction in normal schools,” in which the following general propositions were recommended :

1. That the amount of academic knowledge to be required of candidates for admission to normal schools must largely depend upon the condition of education in the communities in which those scbools are established.

2. That a uniform standard for admission to normal schools is impracticable.

3. That the main work of normal schools should be professional ; the academic work mainly incidental and illustrative.

4. That the professional instruction should be based on a thorough study of man as a physical, intellectual, and moral being.

For the present year the same committee, through its chairman, Dr. C. C. Rounds, reported upon the subject of “Practice schools in connection with normal schools.”

After a brief review of the usages in Europe and in the United States, the following recommendations were submitted:

1. A school of application, to be used as a school of observation or practice, or both, is essential to the complete organization of a normal school.

2. In its course of study this school should cover the ground of the common school, commencing with the kindergarten and extending through the grammar grade at least. It should comprise the high-school course, if practicable.

3. For the work of teaching in this school, careful preparation should be made by a course of professional study, comprising psychology and pedagogy, with special reference to their mutual relations, the history of education, and sereral principles of teaching. The study of methods special to the various branches in the course should accompany the work of the practice school.

4. The principal of the normal school should have the direction of the course of professional study, including general principles of teaching, and the regular teachers of the practice school should give instruction in the methods of teaching their respective branches. If, for any reason, instruction in methods can not be thus secured, special teachers of methods should be members of the faculty, as assistants of the principal in his professional instruction. Each teacher in the normal school should be teacher of methods, under the direction of the principal, in the branches in which he gives instruction.

5. The practice school should receive its character from its regular and permanent teachers, and should be under their sole care and instruction enough to secure this end. The practice teaching may take a part of each day, but it is best to have periods devoted to professional study in the normal school, without practice, followed by periods in which practice in teaching shall be substituted for professional study. The school of application should be used as a model school, while under the sole direction of its regular teachers,

6. Lessons should be first observed as given by the teachers of the school for practice, and schemes of lessons to be given should be carefully reviewed and corrected by the teachers of methods in their respective branches.

7. Lessons given should be observed by other members of the class, by the teachers of the methods of the branches taught, and by the teachers of the practice school concerned in the lessons, and so far as possible by the principal of the normal school. Conferences for criticism of these lessons should be frequently held. Criticisms should be systematically made by the pupil-teachers and the teachers observing the lesson, or the teachers may criticise the criticisms of pupil-teachers merely. From time to time, written reports of the discussions should be prepared and presented.

8. Through at least the first two or three years of the course of the practice school, cach pupil-teacher should give instruction, in order, in each subject in the course, and in cach grade. Later the pupil-teacher should be assigned to the teaching of special classes and subjects in the several grades for a longer time, to secure familiarity with class-work, and still later should have charge of an entire grade, to gain a knowledge of the problems arising in the conduct of a school, as regards care and discipline, as well as instruction. In these later periods of practice it should be the aim, by making criti

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cisms more and more general, to approximate the freedom in work which would attend the pupil-teacher's work in her own school.

9. There should be a weekly conference, under the direction of the principal of the normal school, and with the participation of the faculty of the normal school and of the practice school, for a free and full discussion of questions suggested by the experience and observation of pupils and teachers during the week.

10. l'reparatory conferences should be held by all teachers concerned, under the direction of the principal of the normal school, to make such arrangements for the work to be done in the practice school that there may be the least possible disturbance of its regular order. To this conference pupils of the highest class in the normal school should be admitted, to give them a better acquaintance with school administration and the duties of teachers.

11. Lessons should be given to classes from the practice schools, before the normal school or classes of the same, as examples of method. For these lessons careful previous preparation should be made, and they should be followed by criticisms by pupils and teachers.

12. Though exercises in teaching classes or sections out of their school-rooms may be recommended for special ends of illustration or instruction, the practice in teaching, should be in the schools themselves, under circumstances like those which will attend the future work of the pupil-teacher.

The opinion expressed in this report with reference to the necessity of a practice school, as a part of the complete organization of a normal school, is undoubtedly that which prevails wherever the training of teachers has been a subject of serious attention and practical endeavor. The opposite opinion, however, is advocated by some of the most accomplished professors of pedagogics. Among these we must count W. H. Payne, professor of pedagogics in the University of Michigan. Recognizing three distinct aims of the normal schools, viz, scholarship, method, and doctrine, Professor Payne assigns pre-eminent importance to scholarship. In discussing the essentials of this scholarsbip he does not overlook the attitude of mind that should characterize the student, which attitude he evidently thinks is liable to be disturbed by exercise in the practice schools,

While in pursuit of scholarship, as here considered she says], I wonder if I am wrong in thinking that the pupil's mind should not be kept intent on the technical uses which each study is hereafter to serve? It seems to me that I am not; at least, I would not have pupils preoccupied with hourly anxieties about the demands of the class-room. It is not prevision that I am discouraging, but a certain sort of prevision. A comprehensive scheme of life that is most befitting a rational creature must exclude anxious questionings as to what we shall eat, or what we shall drink, or with what we shall be clothed. These subordinate purposes are all implicated in a wider and higher purpose, and they are best provided for by a living allegiance to the needs of the higher life. I suspect that this truth has a direct bearing on the intellectual life of the teacher.

Proceeding then to the question of method, he discusses the ways of mastering the same, viz, the scientific, the empirical, and that by observation, and then adds :

Practice, or, as it is more properly called, experiment, merely serves to make a method more completely known. But practice work in connection with normal-school instruction has become so prominent that it deserves our marked attention.

I think it is not extravagant to say that a practice school is generally regarded as an indispensable adjunct to a normal school ; and a trained teacher has come to mean one who has served a longer or shorter apprenticeship in this experimental school. · A school that for any reason is not provided with this necessary adjunct feels itself in an attitude of apology. From all I bave observed of the actual results of this kind of training, I do not share the popular appreciation of these experimental schools. In the main, the teachers thus educated, as I have observed their work, embody and display the very spirit of routine. What they do, they do with mechanical exactness, and if their methods chance to be bad, as sometimes happens, it is followed with fatal persistence. At the same time there is often a marked absence of the scholarly spilgt, and an indisposition to strive for higher attainment. The effect of technic on culture I have already attempted to illustrate, and so I need not restate this ground of objection to practice work. I will only add that the conditions under which this alleged training takes place are so peculiar and unlike those under which real school work will be done that harm is quite as likely to arise from it as good. The criticism ihat follows this practice-teaching is quite likely to be either superficial and worthless, or hypercritical and pernicious. If this experimental work is done, it seems to me that it should be done

subject to these conditions: The academic training should be well advanced, and the pupil should have gained a considerable mastery of educational doctrines, all to the end ihat he may preserve his freedom. A school of observation seems to nie indispensable. The normal school itself will illustrate the high-school grade, but some express provision should be made for representatives of the primary and the grammar grades.

At the international congress of teachers held at Havre in September, and at the annual congress of the Belgian teachers held at Antwerp the same month, the conduct of normal schools was a prominent topic. M. Sluys, director of the normal school at Brussels, and a recognized authority in respect to the training of teachers, presented his views quite fully before both assemblies. The following propositions advanced by him were adopted by the Antwerp congress :

(1) A preparatory course of two years in the normal schools for wide general culture, including the study of natural science, mathematics, literature, history, geography, music, gymnastics, etc. ; (2) a finishing course of not less than two years, the studies to include anatomy, physiology, hygiene, psychology, morality, school method, the science of teaching, the history of methods of teaching, and finally, practical lessons in the art of teaching; (3) the masters of training schools (écoles normales proprement dites) should be professors who have taught for some years in primary schools, and who possess a thorough grasp of the programme of study.

I have many times called attention in my Reports to the fact that higher scholastic attainments are required for teachers in most European countries than are required in the United States, outside of cities.

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The following time-table, drawn up for general use in the training colleges of the Grand Dachy of Hessen, will serve to give some idea of the nature and amount of work expected from the students in these institutions weekly.

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1 Pedagoglos 2 Religion 8 Bible knowledge. 4 German grammar.... 5 Reading and literature. 6 Stylo (composition). 7 Arithmetic and algebra.. 8 Geometry 9 History 10 Geography. 11 Natural history 12 Natural science.. 13 French 14 Writing.. 15 Drawing 16 Gymnastics. 17 | Theory of music 18 Individual singing.. 19 Choir singing.... 20

Piano 21 Organ. 22 Violin

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Culture of fruit trees a..

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This is a fair illustration of the preparation required of elementary teachers throughont Germany.

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TABLE IV.-COMMERCIAL AND BUSINESS COLLEGES.

The following is a comparative exhibit of colleges for business training, 1875-1885 (1883 omitted).

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1, 405

1, 105

300

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Alabama. Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut. Georgia Ilinois. Indiana Iowa Kansag. Kentucky. Louisiana Maine.... Maryland Massachusetts ....... Michigan.. Minnesota Mississippi.. Missouri Nebraska New Hampshire.. New Jersey New York .... North Carolina. Ohio Oregon. Pennsylvania Rhode Island. Tennesseo. Texas.. Vermont Virginia West Virginia Wisconsin Dakota...... District of Colombia

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145 h4, 221

525 1249 1,072

178

443 140 280 1, 304 161

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925 694 91 600 106 164

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4, 600 96 2, 274 497 2, 440 106

759 91 25
252 83 200

369 3, 375 150

1, 173 3, 365 462 60 10 15

2 2, 702

872
5, 533

150 118 27 75 18

614
2,000

417 411 114 222 9 218

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800 1,019 61 313 20 170

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1, 276 125 34 23 560 5 200 40 302

61 68 20 500 195 209

500 k33, 742 67, 748 80, 834 6,114

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a Not reported of 175 whether thoy are in day or evening school.
b Not reported of 60 whether they are in day or evening school.
c Not reported of 350 whcthor they are in day or evening school.
d Not reported of 206 whether they are in day or evening school.
«Not reported of 150 whether they are in day or evening school.
s Not reported of 43 whether they are in day or evening school.
g Not reported of 780 whether they aro in day or evening school.
h Not reported of 882 whether they are in day or evening school.
i Not reported of 22 whether they are in day or ovening school.
j Not roported of 2,677 whether they are in day or evening sehool.
k 461 ase reported as attonding both day and evening school.

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