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many instances our best teachers, while read- or again, the teacher reads some interesting ing extensively books interesting to them- story which is reproduced as a language exerselves, forget that it is a part of their duty- cise, or the teacher may stop reading the story as it should be of their pleasure—to be read at its most interesting part and ask the chilers of books which are of interest to their chil. dren to imagine how it turned out, thus afforddren. A failure to do this causes the teacher ing valuable drill in language and in the use of to lose one of the best means of keeping in the imagination. Pupils are permitted to read touch with the sympathies and interests of her after their lessons are learned. boys and girls. In one instance the town clerk 4. “What care is taken of the books by the brought to one school four books of the same teachers in the school (is there a suitable place kind in order that he might more easily ex- in which to keep them; is the teacher the lipend the school's amount of money. In an- brarian, etc.), and by the teachers and patrons other, the entire sum to be expended for a in the home?" certain school was used for purchasing books In most counties in the state book cases for the higher grade, none being bought for have been provided and the teacher acts as lithe lower grades. I am glad to be able to add brarian, but in some counties the board refuses that the picture is not always so dark a one, to make any such provision. No systematic for one county superintendent says: “When record of the books is kept, and thus many ever I visit schools I always talk with the books are lost. No classification of the books teacher and ascertain how she is using the li- is attempted; pupils are allowed to help thembrary and what books she wishes to purchase selves and do not keep the books in place. In next, and find her suggestions very helpful." very few counties in the state are the books Another says: “Teachers make out lists from covered. In some counties cases have been which my lists are largely compiled.” And made by the teachers from shoe boxes, these again: “A part of the program at each teach- being neatly papered or painted and provided ers' association and local institute is devoted with a curtain to keep out the dust. to instructing teachers in the contents of the 5. "What is the general sentiment of the library books and how to use them." "Teach- community regarding the library?”. ers abuse the library by giving upper form “A waste of money.” “Pupils have enough books to lower form pupils.".
to do if they get their lessons.” “More favor2. "To what extent are the books used by ably than at first.” “Many intelligent people pupils and patrons, and with what result?" consider it an unwise investment.” “Many
“The books are widely read.” “Almost are opposed to it for financial reasons." universally in a haphazard way, showing lack Strong opposition at first but it has all disof interest on the part of the teacher." appeared now.” “School officers were slow in “Teachers and patrons read all books." "Most- distributing the books." ly foreigners and can not read the English, but 6. “Would it, in your judgment, be desirchildren read out loud to parents, translating able to devote a portion of the time in each as they read.” “Depends largely on the com- institute to the subject of the township limunity.” “Eagerly read.” “Books fairly brary?” devoured.” “The cry is more, more."
From nearly every county comes the answer 3. “What means do the teachers employ to that at each institute an afternoon or evening interest pupils and patrons in reading the should be devoted to consulting with the teachbooks, and with what success do they meet?" ers as to the needs of their schools; the na
"As a rule teachers do nothing." "Lay out ture of the books in the superintendent's list, a course in reading in every grade for each pu- and what books they should buy with their pil.” “Read a portion of some interesting next year's share of the money. An evening's book and talking about it, either at opening talk upon the use and abuse of the library exercises, at recess time when the weather is might with profit be given by some one from story, or at noon time.” “Teachers use books the state department at Madison, or one of in connection with their history and geography the conductors. work, for example: In connection with the 7. “General remarks.” study of Holland, chapter two of 'Hans Brin- “It is as important to teach pupils to read ker,' or the Silver Skates,' is read by the pu- good books as to teach reading at all.” “Is pils.” The books may be used for supplement- educating our teachers as well as the parents; ary reading, one pupil reading and the other let the good work go on." "Too much fiction listening. If desired, a pupil may be asked is given in the state list; give us more history, at the close of the reading exercise to report geography and science.” “The department on what has been read as a language exercise, should make a district catalogue of subjects connected in the recommended books." "Let aminations from which the following table is each school district keep a record book for the compiled were all made in the forenoon. town clerk. Let these record books be uni- Number of persons examined ...........562 form and furnished by the state.” “Have a. Manifesting normal vision in both eyes. 106 teachers trained in the care of the library at b. Apparently normal but found to be the institute."
hyperopic ........................ 33 It may be urged by some that I have pre- c. Manifesting normal vision in one eye sented the darkest side of this question. It is only ........
................179 true that I have omitted replies from many su- d. Manifesting vision normal in both perintendents which show that the law is prov eyes .......
..........160 ing of invaluable assistance in their counties. e. Manifest vision normal in one eye,
My purpose has been to show that the library the other manifesting less vision .... 65 problem is not yet solved, and to set before f. Manifest vision s normal or less in both your readers some of the conditions of that eyes ............................ 79 problem as they exist in some counties.. In some cases of class "of" the persons were
W. H. CHEEVER. obliged to stand within ten feet to read print State Normal School, Milwaukee, Wis. composed of letters three and a half inches
high and line's three-fourths of an inch broad. A NEEDED IMPROVEMENT IN BOOKS.
Such persons were practically blind from
myopia. When a youth the writer was much troubled From the above table it will be seen that by “weak” eyes and for years was not allowed about twenty per cent. of the students of the to read by lamplight as the yellow light of normal department have normal vision, that burning oil was found to be very trying. His sixty per cent. have slightly defective, and experience led him to conclude that the or- twenty per cent. have very poor vision and dinary book print is not hygienic. Some years probably need lenses. later he discovered that he had a slight opti In many cases of class "c" experiments cal defect which defect caused the “weakness" were made to determine the vision when using experienced in his case.
both eyes; in nearly all cases the manifest In the September number of the Psycologi- vision was the vision of the better eye; but the cal Review, there is an article by Harold Grif- almost universal testimony of such was that fing and Shepherd Ivory Franz on “Fatigue when very tired vision was indistinct and eviin Reading” in which the writers describe a dently that of the poorer eye. large number of experiments in determining Under the most favorable conditions school the influence of size, shape, and spacing of work is very fatiguing to the visual apparatus, type; and the color, and illumination on fatigue but under other conditions is liable to produce in reading. These experimenters found that serious nervous disorders. The books used when vision is normal the least fatiguing print should be planned not for the one-fifth having is on pure white paper, in type one and a half normal vision but for the three-fifths having millimeters, 1.5mm high, and with lines one- slightly defective vision. Such books must third of a millimeter wide.
therefore have the following qualities of type During the present year the writer with a and paper: Ist. If the paper be pure white little assistance from a local optician, made the type must be two millimeters high and systematic tests of the vision of nearly all stu- have lines four-tenths of a millimeter broad; dents in the normal department of the Osh- that is, one-fourth larger than Griffing and kosh school. The method employed was to Franz found the best for the normal eye; 2nd. cover one eye and have the student read from If the paper be soft, the type old, or the paper Snellens “test types” hung either twenty or light gray the above dimensions should be inthirty-eight feet distant and well illumined. creased by a fourth; 3rd. The paper should Each eye was tested singly. By the use of never be any other color than white or very lenses the character of the manifest defects light gray nor possess highly calendered surwas determined, and the results were recorded. face. The most fatiguing colors are those beIn many cases the vision when using both eyes tween the spectrum red and spectrum green. was determined. Before beginning the formal It may be argued that such an increase in the work a number of tests were made to deter- size and spacing of type would largely increase mine the time of day when vision is the best. the cost of books but the increase would be Persons were examined in the afternoon be- paper and ink and paper is very cheap and tween four and five o'clock and again in the growing cheaper every year. morning. In nearly every case vision was
G. M. BROWNE. ound to be best in the morning. The ex Oshkosh, Wis., Apr., 1897
SCHOOLS IN GERMANY.
all cases outsiders pay from two three times as much as residents. The question undoubtedly
comes to you as it did to me: "Why do not The educational system of Germany has all attend the bezirksschulen with the low tuimany lines of divergence froin that which tion?” The government, however, looks out readers of the JOURNAL are used to observing for that. People have to pay schulgeld acAn educational system is not an artificial con- cording to the income which the father earns. struction, but a growth which represents the All families that earn less than 2,500 marks thought of the people upon whose soil it is yearly send their children to the bezirksproduced. This is oftentimes lost sight of by schulen. When that point is reached the chilreformers who would transplant this feature or dren go to the bürgerschulen. Thus the social that feature from German soil to our own pub- class system on a money basis is early indilic school system. The German school system cated to the children in their school relais as similar and as unlike the American sys- tions. In Berlin the lower schools are free to tem, as the German people are similar to or all classes and require no tuition. unlike Americans. Their system has grown The volksschulen have a course of eight and developed with their national thought, – years, with a supplementary course of two ours likewise. All those characteristics of the hours weekly for two or three years, (varying typical German stability, tenacity, slowness, in the different provinces) in the fortbildung. thoroughness, are exhibited in the schools. I schulen. This course is frequently an evening can best, perhaps, give an idea of the system course and the branches pursued are those of by describing some of the most apparent fea- a practical nature, such as book-keeping, bustures a foreign observer notices, confining my. iness arithmetic and in the case of girls, cookself mainly to the common schools.
ery, sewing and other domestic arts are purIn general there are three classes of educa- sued. All children must begin school at the tional institutions, primary schools, secondary age of six years and continue until fourteen, schools and universities, as in America; but or a year longer if the course is not finished. here the divisions between the grades of The year begins at Easter and all children schools are quite different. In one sense the who will be six years of age by June must then schools are divided according to a money rank enter school. There is no such thing as being as well as according to scope of instruction. admitted at four or five years or waiting until The lowest schools, the volksschulen, include seven years as is too frequently the case in the bezirksschulen, bürgerschulen and the ho- American schools. Moreover, no stragglers a here bürgerschulen. The secondary schools few weeks late are admitted. It would seem include the realschulen, the realgymnasia, the better to admit at two different periods of the gymnasia, and some others which are modifi- year, but here the rule is one admission and cations of some of these and not necessary to one promotion yearly. · (In some gymnasia a general description. The secondary institu- the last years of the course are in half year ditions do not fit as the second block in a pyr- visions, giving two graduations yearly, but it amidal system as do our high schools. Their is not the rule). relation to the primary schools and the uni- Attendance during the schulpflichtige period versities will be shown later on.
(6-14) is obligatory. Pupils are seldom alThe several classes of primary schools in the lowed to be absent from a lesson under any cities are distributed around somewhat the consideration except cases of sickness. If a same as ward schools are in American cities. pupil is absent from school the teacher must However, I was much puzzed when I first came inquire into the cause of the absence, and if to understand why I should find a bezirks- the pupil is needlessly absent or unexcused the schule in such close proximity to a bürger- director of the school may require the school schule. The former word, I readily translated servant to notify the parents to forcibly take to mean district school, and the latter into the child to school. The police coöperate people's or citizen's school. On later inquiry with the teachers in guarding against truancy. I learned that a money distinction is all that They keep a list of all children of school age divides them, the instruction being essentially and in cities report weekly to the school authe same and the length of course the same. thorities the arrivals and departures from their The pupils who attend the bezirksschule in respective districts. Attendance at an apLeipzig) pay schulgeld or tuition money of 41 proved private school, of course, frees from atmarks ($1. 12) yearly, while those who attend tendance at the public schools. Children who the bürgerschule pay 18 marks. In the höhere are weak-minded or who are vicious and bürgerschule the schulgeld is 36 marks. In troublesome in the public schools are compelled to attend schools specially prepared for closed against women, but now many of the these classes. Thus the pupils and teachers universities admit women as horerinnen, i. e., in the public schools are in no way hampered they may listen to lectures if the professor is and liindered by those who are incapable or willing but are not eligible to the full privilthose who would require undue discipline. eges nor to receive degrees. Recently HeidelThe result is a steady onward march of the berg and Göttingen have admitted women to classes with very few drawbacks to hinder the full privileges in certain departments and have even progress of the pupils. All pupils in conferred the doctor's degree upon a few. (Aleach grade throughout the schools are very most without exception those who have renearly of the same age..
ceived the degree, however, have been AmeriThe realschulen, and gymnasial courses be- can women). A few German women are in gin with the fourth year of school life. The the Swiss universities where they are admitformer institutions have courses of six or seven ted to equal privileges with men. years and the latter nine years. The realschu- As a rule boys and girls are educated in len make natural science, mathematics and separate classes, though sometimes they are modern languages, particularly German and kept together in the first two or three grades. French, the most prominent subjects of in- In the volksschulen'they go to the same buildstruction. In the gymnasia the humanities ing, though above the third grade they are form the core of all instruction. Latin is pur- never in the same room. Over one entrance sued for six or seven hours a week throughout to the school building is usually seen the word the nine years, Greek six hours a week for "Knaben” and on the other end of the buildabout seven years; and a large part of the his- ing “Mädchen," and the different parts of the torical work bears upon classic periods. In building are so completely separated that they order to pursue without serious loss of time are practically in different schools. Girls either a gymnasial or a realschule course they never go to the same higher schools as boys. must be begun with the fourth year of school They are entirely separate and have widely diflife. To make a change from the volksschule ferent courses of study. at a later time means that many years of the Women teachers are rarely to be seen in secondary course must be in part gone over the public schools, and then only in the lowest when above the normal age. The result is classes. In many visits to all grades of schools that few who take the entire course in the peo- I have seen only one woman teacher in the ple's schools ever enter the secondary schools. public schools. This one was teaching a secSince only gymnasial graduates may enter the ond grade. Quite a number are employed in universities, it is easily seen that only those the private higher girls' schools and in private who start right may enter the universities. A kindergartens. The kindergartens, however, boy has little chance of determining for him- are deemed to play a very unimportant role in self when he reaches his teens whether he will the German educational system by most Gergo to the university or not. If his parents mans. Here in the land of Froebel public have means enough to pay the necessary fees kindergartens are very scarce. The only in the gymnasia (about 110-120 marks kindergarten I have visited,-a private one,-yearly) he is usually sent as a matter of course, was very poorly equipped both as to teaching while if born under a less lucky star he is sent force and appliances. The latter were very to the volksschule and his chances of higher primitive and the building most deplorable. education is small. Many of the gymnasia The branches of instruction in the volkshave in connection with them vorschulen or schulen are much the same as are to be found preparatory schools of their own where those in American schools. One important differwho can afford it send their boys to be pre- ance is made, however, in that religious inpared for the gymnasia.
struction is an integral part of every course of While only a very small proportion of girls study. Throughout the entire primary and receive secondary and almost none receive secondary courses about two hours weekly are higher education all must receive eight years devoted to Bible study and religious instrucof training in the volksschulen or in other ap- tion. Every session of school is opened with proved institutions. Girls of well-to-do fami- prayer, also. The object of the volksschule lies may then attend a hohere mädchenschule as defined in the Sachsen school laws is to but they are not admitted to the gymnasia or prepare through instruction, exercise and eduthe realschulen. (Within the last two years cation in the fundamental principles of moral girls' gymnasia have been established in Ber- and religious training and to impart the genlin, Leipzig, and two other cities). Until very eral knowledge necessary in the Bürgerliche --rently the university doors have been entirely life.” The branches deemed necessary as aids in accomplishing these ends are religious and in their strivings after trained, enthusiastic, moral teaching, German language, including earnest teachers, and the exclusion of all reading and writing, arithmetic, form teach- others by rearing up more trained educators, ing, history, geography, natural history, sing- we ought all to say to America, “Go thou and ing, drawing, turning, and for girls''weibliche- do likewise." thandarbeiten” (household arts).
As a rule the school buildings are dreary, It is well known that all teachers in Germany unattractive looking structures. They present are thoroughly trained for their work. Only to the eye a square unsymmetrical appearance. after thorough study and long probationary pe- While in the United States the school buildriods are teachers able to secure a permanent ings generally are the most lavishly constructed position. Besides having received thorough buildings in the towns and villages, here the instruction in all branches which they are ex- buildings bear no comparison with the court pected to teach, all must have good grounding houses and other public buildings. Usually in underlying principles of pedagogics. Prob- the brick work is entirely plastered over in the ably in no other country can be found so large prevailing style of the country, giving a most a proportion of thoroughly trained teachers as monotonous appearance. Almost invariably in Germany, also, few countries where they they are poorly lighted and poorly ventilated. are so poorly paid. Notwithstanding the thor. It is a common remark among Americans here ough scholastic training of the teachers there that Germans have no idea what good ventilappears to me (also to many Americans) to be ation is. Defective eyesight is well known to something pedantic about the German school- be exceedingly prevalent among students in master. There does not appear to be enough the secondary schools and universities. This flexibility of method, —too much according to the Germans attribute in part to the use of one fixed rule. Throughout there seems to be black slates and to the use of German print. too little of what we Americans are pleased to To the last there is probably much that justiterm “practical insight.” (The Germans think fies the supposition, but my firm belief is that us too practical and not "wissenschuftlich" much more is due to the illy lighted rooms in enough). For example all the schoolrooms which they are obliged to do all their studying. have the high teacher's platform and a stand- Especially in winter when a light is necessary ard type of desk, behind which the teacher re- until nine in the morning and as early as half mains almost invariably. He does not get past three in the afternoon the rooms are exdown among his boys, “touch elbows with ceedingly dim. (Consult Dr. Klemm's article them," and work with them. He is literally in Bu. of Ed. Rep., 1891–2 on these points.) and figuratively above them. In all my visits I am afraid that if American boys who are I have never heard a pupil ask a single ques- used to luxurious patent desks and seats were tion. The questioning attitude we deem most asked to sit for a term on a German school important. Here pupils “speak when spoken seat they would make strong objections. They to," and never otherwise. The discipline is are hand made and somewhat similar to the most perfect from an orderly point of view. type some of us used to sit on in the country Teachers seem to make little effort to main schools. However, in all my country school tain discipline, though on occasion they are experiences I never sat in any so awkward very severe, and sarcasm and words of reproof looking or so uncomfortable. A straight for failure in recitation are frequent. From board about eight inches wide forms the back the German ideal of education the system must of the seat. The desks are, however, made be admitted to be most perfect. They have for two. The desks and seats are made heavy an aim in view standing out clear and distinct, enough not to need fastening to the floor. A and by faithfulness and unswerving persever piece of timber from three to four inches high ance they approach their ideals as probably no forms the base, and over this the pupil must other nation does. They certainly “correlate step every time he gets in or out of his seat the pupils with the age, time and place in which or stands up to recite, for neither the desks they live.” As to whether those ideals would nor seats are hinged. Frequently the recitafit American needs at present, I shall not at- tion benches are “back-less." When we contempt to discuss in this paper already too long. sider that recitations are from 45 to 55 minI would just briefly mention that most of us utes in length it seems heroic treatment to would not concur in their ideals regarding edu subject small boys to, or even larger ones. cation of women, the practical exclusion of the Our boys and girls would also consider it a poorer classes from the benefits of higher hardship to start for school as early in the training, their views concerning kindergartens morning as German children do. In the winand the practical equipment of schoolrooms. ter schools begin at 8:00 o'clock and in sum