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through high school than when they are drawn away by these same normal schools a year or two earlier. We should limit the work of each institution, fix a proper entrance standard, make the high school come up to its conditions, and when the pupils thus bring the proper acquirements, confine the normal to its proper business of teaching them how to impart knowledge. At the very least, State aid should be withheld until the pupil has reached a minimum qualification for entrance on a professional course. Without such provision, the pupils will be drained away from the high schools more and earlier. I agree with the previous speaker on the importance of English studies; but if we were to insist on what any of us would call a good knowledge of these subjects, there would be fewer graduates from high schools and fewer pupils entering the normals. I think it is true that the average student will be better prepared for the world by taking the course, or the major part of it, in even a middling high school, than (without this) to be drilled up to the very highest point of perfection in the rudiments of education; and I am not sure he would not make a better teacher. However that may be, there can be no doubt that the State should not pay two classes of institutions for doing the same kind of work, and that students should not be required to put double time upon the same work.
Supt. Hotchkiss: The fault may be in myself, but I cannot see any relation between high and normal schools. Their purpose is different, and the only connection is that normal graduates come to teach some of our schools, and a few of our graduates go to them, as they do to other professional schools-all alike branches, as it were, of a great university. If the conditions were such that only college or high school graduates could be employed, we might find it necessary to establish definite relations; but as it stands, even a college graduate, if he go to a normal school, must take the course in common branches for instruction in teaching. This whole discussion might better have been deferred until we had heard the paper on "The Place of the High School," where it more properly belongs.
Supt. Cyrus Boger, Lebanon: It seems the system of education in Pennsylvania is still in a chaotic state. We are told by the gentleman that the high school course is x, and some of us are equally convinced
that the "professional" course of the normal school may properly be called y; and with these two unknown quantities, and no data sufficient to work them out, we have trouble in adjusting relations. The normal school is not yet in its true position. Until it gets there no definite relation is possible and the present parallel work will go on. Meanwhile the high school can and does lead up to the college, while the normal school cannot very well do so, and in fact does not. The normal school is doing some of the work belonging to x-a good deal of it sometimes-and pretending it is y. [Laughter.] The true position and province of the normal school is not settled. I agree with the Normal Principal that the public school system should be a connected chain; it is so, up to the high school. The question is, What next? Can it be the normal school?-a technical professional education? The question answers itself. What then but the college? This leaves to the normal school its legitimate sphere of pedagogics-and it only remains to see that the high schools below do their work properly, and send up graduates properly prepared for the technical course. repeatedly thrust at us (and with some truth, doubtless) that our high school graduates who go up to normal schools are not thoroughly prepared, and the normal's work on the common branches is better. Why? Because one province of the high school is to prepare for college -and in what are our pupils examined for entrance there? Not English, or bookkeeping, or history, but Latin and Greek, and geometry and algebra-and if these are satisfactory, the colleges will admit a boy who cannot spell. It is not surprising that the common branches receive less than their full share of attention.
Supt. Buehrle: This is partly a question of terms. There was a controversy whether Luther attended a high school, since it was called hoheschule, or a university. In Massachusetts the early law required every town of a certain population to maintain a grammar school" that should prepare pupils for the University -that would be far above the high school as we have it to-day. Just so the term "free school" leads to confusion when the reader does not know the historical sense of the term. What is a high school? Our State Superintendent is now collecting information which will tell us what we have; and when we know
that, we will be in better shape to decide | school; but I have reason to think that what a normal school (in the true sense some normal schools give room for such of that word) ought to be. Pennsylvania Pennsylvania | criticism. has made several attempts to foster higher education. In 1838 aid was given to schools which taught Latin and certain mathematics-this started many local academies, some of which were directly founded by the State. When the normal schools came along, they met some opposition on the ground that they would smother these academies and seminaries; and such has been the case. The State paid part of the expense of going to normal school, and the pupils went where it was cheaper. There was a relation of mortal hostility. In some places the same cause has prevented the establishment of high schools; where a normal school is in easy reach, such effort is less likely to be made, and sometimes normal schools actively discourage the effort when made. To this extent, so far as their preparatory work is concerned, the normal schools are hostile to higher education; since an advanced school at home could benefit a much larger number of children, besides the uplifting effect of all higher work-every teacher knows the value of even a single advanced pupil in stimulating and inspiring those below. Of course I do not mean that this result is intentional, or that the normal schools were created with any such purpose-it is an incident of the situation, but a fact all the same. I feel no hesitation in saying to those who are working for township high schools, that they will be successful just in proportion as the preparatory work done in normal schools is minimized.
Principal Waller, of the Indiana Normal School: I have had some trouble following the drift of the discussion, so far as the criticism of normal schools is concerned. First we are condemned for requiring pupils to spend time in going over work already creditably done at home; then for taking away those who should have stayed at home and pursued their course-which is it? Here we require too much-there too little. As a matter of fact, in my experience in normal work, I never knew a student to be required to spend time or work on subjects in which he was ready for examinationand if the examination found him prepared, we encouraged him to drop that study and spend his time on others. I think that is the uniform practice.
Principal Eckels: We do that at our
Principal Waller: I have no personal knowledge of it anywhere. Now, this body represents the flower, perhaps the fruitage, of our common school systema class of high schools, most of them good, many admirable. The normal schools were not created to meet the wants of graduates of such schools, but to supply teachers with some training for the ungraded schools—the great body of schools in the State. Even yet we have supplied but a fraction of the 25,000 places. Did not the founders do right in legislating for the great body, and ought we not to be patient in adjusting to the wants of the few high school graduates? If we are to discuss this question profitably, the original design of the normal school must be kept in mind: we are not set up especially either to train high school graduates or to prepare high school teachers. Supt. Coughlin considers it an unwarrantable waste of public money that high and normal school courses shall cover the same ground, and thinks normal schools should receive only those who bring acquirements equivalent to a given minimum high school course. Now, if all the young people of the commonwealth could have at home the opportunity of taking such a minimum course, coming to the normal only for a professional course in addition, then his proposition would be all right; but since we all know no such advantages exist, and since the object of establishing the normal schools was to provide such opportunity for our boys and girls who are to become the teachers of our children, and since these schools are in fact giving their pupils a knowledge they cannot get at home and also the beginnings at least of professional training, it seems scarcely just to criticise them for doing what they were made to do. I do not suppose it is intended to argue that the country children should be first required to come into city or borough for the elements, and afterwards go to normal school for the professional course. How many would do that?-and surely we have few enough now preparing for teaching. It will not be denied that the profession of teaching has been benefited by the work of the normal schools; and it may be admitted on their side that there is a weak point in the seducing of pupils away from good home schools, and sending them out to
tion they can before they come to us. think it is not proven that there is no ielation between the high schools and the normal schools.
Prof. A. J. Stewart (Hollidaysburg): In a locality where of an aggregate of 215 schools only 55 can give pupils access to a high school course, what is to be done for the others?
Prof. Maris: Though not now engaged in public school work, three years in the superintendency and nine as a normal principal entitle me to an opinion. I am a thorough believer in the public schools; my sympathy is with them, for all I am I owe to them. The trouble complained of does not stop at competition of normal with high schools, but they compete for pupils with the little rural district school as well. The superintendent of one of our best counties tells me "the country schools grade lower and lower every year"
teach, before they reach the standard of general knowledge they would have done by following their high school course to graduation. But granting that, what then? At most this class will be small, and even these get more or less equivalent for their loss in the professional preparation, limited as it may be. Is it a loss, even to those who drop out of high school early, and get into teaching by this "short cut?" If we were to consider only such schools as are represented by this body, here would be an evil to be remedied; but if we take into account the best interest of all, the question is one of a minor difficulty to be adjusted by correlation. Even as it stands, it is not an unmixed evil, if the State is getting the intended benefit from the normal schools. We ought to consider how best to help high school graduates prepare for teaching, and how to prepare teachers for high schools; and at this point the normal schools are in no antagonism with the colleges; they never pretended to do college work, but they do claim to lay a good, broad foundation-broader than ordinary-for a college course. We try to get men of enlarged training for professors, and to hold them; but are at pecuniary disadvantage, and the towns-set it as low as you may, it will be an call them away and make them superintendents and principals. [Laughter.] The phenomenal growth of the high school in later years raises a question that we must meet; they must have teachers, and those teachers should have normal training; but in meeting that question let us remember that it is a new one, not contemplated in the original design. Thirteen normal schools were included in the original plan-twelve more than would be required to train all the high school teachers for years to come-and the interests of the great majority must not be lost sight of, nor the greater attention given them too sharply criticised.
Prof. Eckels: About the academies giving pupils a chance to study "within the shadow of their own homes," as some said, and the normal schools smothering them, as we are told here, I may say that hearing such a complaint from Perry. county, I took the trouble to look up the matter, and found they had just eight students in all of the normal schools. The truth is that the high schools crushed out the academies, by doing their work. better. The aim of the normal school is to encourage pupils to get all the educa
and why? Because the parents are flooded with letters from one of these normal schools with "return card" for names of possible pupils, and thus the better class of pupils are drawn away, the public schools suffer, and their average is lowered. There should be some reasonable standard of admission to these schools
improvement on those who do not even require knowledge of the multiplication table. [Laughter.] I am told of a school where one of five children in the upper grade was thus enticed away, and the others became discouraged and left. If the State spends its money in keeping up both public schools and normal schools, and lets one thus cut the throat of the other, it is time we point out the wrong and demand the remedy. The normal school standard should be such that no
one could enter there who had not exhausted all ordinary home facilities. Personally I have nothing at stake in this matter-we have every pupil we can possibly accommodate-but this is a weak place that will call loudly for strengthening, and very soon.
Supt. Mackey: We are told that in some normal schools the strongest men in the faculty hold chairs of academic instruction. If so, why? It ought not to be so, surely, in a professional school.
The discussion closed here, and the next subject on the programme was taken up, namely, "The Best Results to be Derived from Teachers' Monthly Grade Meetings."
BEST RESULTS FROM TEACHERS' MONTHLY
Supt. S. H. DEAN (Mount Carmel): We have a small town, and what helps us may not suit other places, but this is what we aim to do in our grade meetings -First, to build up the young teachers, to give the beginners the benefit of others' experience; that result we get. Then we try to strengthen weak teachers, those who have not had the opportunities of doing or observing advanced work in particular lines; we get that also. Sometimes we use the grade meeting to check those teachers who think they know more than anybody else, trying to make them see themselves through other folks' spectacles; we get that done sometimes. We use them also to enthuse certain teachers who seem to be working only for the salary, and often they learn to sympathize with others, and evince a different spirit. We compare notes and exchange what we think are good points; one is more successful on one line, another on another, and by bringing their work before all together, we become stronger all along the line. Thus we have had a teacher who was particularly successful in language and object lessons present that work to the grade meeting, and most of those present were helped. So in arithmetic, we had a class of pupils brought in, and methods demonstrated by actual teaching. Occasionally a grade meeting is held in some teacher's room, the work of the day being left on the blackboard, or a class of pupils detained and given a lesson in our presence. All these plans have done us good which is perceptible in after work. The grade meeting may be used to wear off the corners of those who have too many; a teacher who at first knows more than anybody you ever saw, after a few experiences under fire of questions knows much less, to their advantage and ours. We think a well conducted grade meeting helps to create a better atmosphere, so to speak. Besides, the Superintendent has here an opportunity to deal impersonally 'but systematically with difficulties he has noted in the different rooms. With our shifting mining population, it is necessary to keep each grade a unit, and these meetings help us to keep in touch; this is one of the most important results. We hold meetings once in two weeks until Christmas--now once a month, alternating with the teachers'
monthly meeting. Work is assigned from time to time--sometimes a book to be read, though we think our educational work is too much tinged with book often, and we try to get the best results of our own thinking, by having papers prepared and discussing them. Perhaps the most benefit is derived by the one who prepares the paper. Where we see a weakness, we have that teacher appointed to look up that particular point: try that, and you will be surprised at the improvement -sometimes it works quite a revolution in the work of the reader and of others.
Supt. W. W. Rupert (Pottstown): We hold monthly meetings. Last year, finding our work somewhat weak in geography, reading, literature, because pupils and teachers had too little knowledge of the facts of nature, we started some work on that line, the teachers took it up and carried it forward, and it has done us good. We began by having the attention of the children called to the common birds and flowers; many knew none of them, few more than two or three. So with the stars-few knew even the most striking constellations, many not even the north star. It is not so now. Teachers and pupils have done observation work that is both interesting and profitable. When we had made a start, blanks were prepared to record the results of flower study, and the necessity of description sharpened the observation to a surprising degree. So we asked the teachers to note the moon's path, comparing month after month, questioning the pupils whether it rises at the same point; the sun's path, summer and winter; the rising and setting of the stars-you will find even some teachers are not sure whether stars rise and set at all; to ask whether any have seen an eclipse of the moon in day time, and so on. If you will start such work, it will go on, and wisely directed will help on many lines, and will certainly wake up the sleepy ones. We also derived benefit from an exercise on expression in reading
a five-minute essay, announced two or three weeks in advance, brought out a lively discussion. This year we continue the preparing of papers, and compare the plants as we find them with those of last year. I may say that with one exception all our teachers did this work well, and I have a few papers here, if any one wishes to examine them, from children in their fourth school year. This year we are doing some work in American literature.
By the way, any of you who take this up will find there is some confusion as to who are American writers in many teachers' minds. We had an exercise on our historians, then on Bryant, next on Hawthorne. We have grade meetings too, but as there are but 35 schools, much of the work proper to them can be done by frequent visitation. Sometimes we have methods illustrated by bringing a class before the teachers. We hold our meetings in the evening, from 7 to 9 o'clock, but never on Saturday-I believe in giving teachers a clear day of rest.
Supt. D. A. Harman (Hazleton): These meetings (we call them our city institute) are my greatest help. All the distinctively progressive work we have done, has had its inception there. We have met twice a month for twelve years; now on alternate Saturday mornings from 9 to 12. In the early days we felt that the line of work most needed was that bearing directly upon the theory and practice of teaching. We had some psychology, and methods illustrated with classes of children. In those early years we were in session all day Saturday-9 to 12, and 2 to 4; there were 22 days in the school month, and the directors paid for the time; since the law was changed we have the forenoon session only. Later we introduced music, drawing, number work, penmanship, and had everything thoroughly understood in the institute before new plans were tried in the schools. We give special attention to helping new teachers. We read books on professional methods-this year we have Baldwin's Psychology applied to Pedagogy. We find the institute to be an uplifting power, giving teachers a higher conception of their work. The frequency of meeting has not resulted in indifference: every meeting gives teachers better ideals, models, or methods of government; we realize more and more that we are dealing with human souls, and go back better fitted for the work. I set up a high ideal for the institute, as I expect the teachers to do for the school. The literary side, already brought out by the previous speakers, is also delightful and profitable; we do not neglect it; but I hold it secondary to the inspiring of teachers with faith, love, enthusiasm in their work.
Supt. Addison Jones (West Chester): This discussion has been profitable to me; some of what is described we have been
doing-some is new. Our grade meetings are held at irregular times; the small number of schools enables us to do more in visitation. In our meetings we hold up work that is well done for imitation, rather than directly correct errors. Our meetings cover two hours, 9:30 to 11:30; we have one major subject, and a variety of minor topics. We make the work as practical as possible. Finding that our pupils did not do well on arithmetic problems outside of those given in the book, we looked that up, compared notes, and soon got better work. In grammar we agreed to throw out the technical work, except in the two grades immediately below the high school; we find we have better results from daily exercises in composition. We found that our pupils did not spell as well as they should-they learn best in different ways, some by sight, some by repeating to themselves-we are looking into that, and improvement is being made; we do not expect to make all good spellers, but the average is better. One of the minor topics that is growing to a major is "child study "-trying to find out not only what the child knows, but how his mind works. A few months of such study decreases the trouble with stubborn and sullen pupils. We could not well do without our monthly or grade meetings, though our small number brings teacher and superintendent together by frequent visitation.
Supt. L. E. McGinnes (Steelton): I think prominence should be given to the professional element in these meetings. Many teachers seem to think if they once read a single book on psychology, no more should be expected. We looked about for a thin book for our use, and have been working at Macgregor's "Principles of Education." We meet every two weeks during the year. The last six weeks we have given some time to the "products of education;" the next six we take up "taste in education." We are thinking, investigating. Four or five leading questions are proposed for each meeting, to indicate lines of thought. Every alternate Monday evening we have a public meeting of our literary institute; before the anniversaries of our living writers we have written to them, and several have answered with their own hand. This plan has been operated for ten years. We have a good public school library, open to the town, where you can find all the works of leading authors. All