« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
COPYRIGHT, 1911, BY HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The Riverside Press
THE inspiration for this edition of The Spy arose from my work in one of the English classes of the Newton High School. I was trying to teach them more than mere story I was anxious to have them learn something of the art of fiction. Our plan was this. Two weeks before we were ready to take up the study I placed copies of The Spy in their hands for rapid reading, with the single direction that they were to acquaint themselves with the plot of the story.
When we were ready to begin our class work I supplied each pupil with a note-book, with the direction that he should do two things: (1) make out such a list of questions on the first two chapters as would, when answered and discussed, bring out all interesting and essential points in the assignment, particularly details in the setting, the plot, and the character; and (2) make out a list of unfamiliar words. Two succeeding chapters successively became our daily task.
The class was further informed that the recitations would be conducted by themselves. When the division met I called upon one pupil to come before the class, ask the questions he had prepared, accept or reject, supplement or have other pupils supplement the received answer, supply the necessary comment, interject opinion in a word, be the teacher of the class. My office gradually became that of a silent director sometimes an umpire. The atmosphere of the recitation room became unusually free and bracing. A sense of responsibility was developed, for no pupil knew when he should suddenly become the teacher of his classmates.
A few of the questions which are printed at the back of the book were suggested by the pupils, though it is but fair to say that most of them were written out as a part of my own preparation for the daily recitation. The word-list I also prepared in advance, but sometimes I found it wise to supplement it from the student's list.
I take this opportunity of thanking the members of the division for their serious devotion to their task and for the inspiration they unconsciously furnished.
NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS, June, 1911.
CHARLES SWAIN THOMAS.