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Again, last year I overtook a man hunting in such exercises, and that the impetus received along the Conestoga. In his game-bag he had then to the study will carry many children out twenty-five robins, and some days afterward I of doors and from their play to the observafound another man with forty redwing black- tion of our beautiful birds. Birds are endowed birds. These they intended eating.
with many almost human characteristics, and The shooting of flickers and doves goes on as active living things would be more inspiring every year in autumn, and so many are de- even than trees and flowers.-Prof. H. J. stroyed that the diminution in their numbers Roddy in Penn. School Journal. is becoming very perceptible. Doves may not be beneficial birds, but what intelligent man
HOW TO TEACH COMPOSITION. would want to banish them from our farms and lawns? Every one knows the value of the
1. Add to the children's conversational woodpeckers, and especially those who study
vocabulary all the new words in the reading the relations of these birds to forest, fruit and
lesson. shade trees.
2. Develop the power of oral expression in Another notable bird more beneficial vet your pupils by a few well prepared questions than the flicker is the redhead woodpecker.
on the lesson. He is an unique and original character, and
3. Let children describe a picture in a yet year by year they are disappearing from
book, each write a sentence about it on a our woods. I have known them so abundant
slate, then on blackboard. Let teacher corthat a small woods of an acre contained sev
rect what pupils cannot. Then all write seneral pairs. I knew a year ago of five pairs
tences correctly. within a radius of a mile around Millersville.
4. Let the teacher write questions on the This is due to the indiscriminate destruction
board about the lesson; the children write the by boy hunters, who are out to kill something
answers at their seats on slates, and bring no matter whether fit for food or not.
them to recitation. Ten years ago there was a colony of a hun
5. Occasionally read a short story and redred pairs of black-crowned night herons two
quire the children to reproduce it in their own miles west of the school. Now they are all
all language. gone. The cause was the same as in the case
6. Allow impromptu composition to take of the redhead.
the place of reading every Friday afternoon. Then think of the plumes and wings and
7. By judicious management, letter writing heads used in millinery and other decorative
may come in at the close of the second school purposes for which women are responsible! In
year. 1892 1,000,000 humming bird skins were sold
8. Whenever the pupil can tell a story in London at one sale occupying less than a
pretty well, require him
to write out the day. The demand for aigrettes has caused the s almost total extinction of the Egret family of ' 9. Correct one fault at a time. America, both north and south.
10. In all your methods in all studies, de. This destruction of our birds is going on rap
velop the power of correct expression.—Exidly, and of course is affecting our forests and
change. vegetation generally. The rapid increase of
NOTES ON TEACHING ARITHMETIC. insect pests affecting our shade and fruit trees attests the fact that the balance between the Arithmetic furnishes the most valuable field two worlds of bird life and insect life has been in the entire curriculum for training the readisturbed.
soning powers, and is also of the utmost pracIt seems to me we can reach this question tical utility. These two objects should be in no way exept by creating a sentiment kept constantly before the mind of the teacher. against such wanton destruction. There is no Since the practical side of arithmetic furuse making laws fixing penalties. Young peo- nishes abundant material for disciplinary purple do not know the law or evade it. Then poses, all rules and problems should be elimiagain no one enforces the law here in Penn- nated from the class-room. sylvania, because it is generally believed to Long and intricate examples should not be impose too heavy a penalty.
used, particularly in primary grades. Now, I propose the establishmant of a Bird Concrete problems should always accompany Day or the devotion of half of Arbor Day to abstract work, but should, in the primary exercises in the literature and science of our grades, be simple and easy of solution, and
have enthusiastic and appreciative participants
ing powers of the children.
The first steps in numbers should be illus- cussed in a separate section of the National trated objectively; but such illustrations should Association, which has a large and enthusiasnot be continued after the properties of a tic membership. More than a half-dozen states
have organized child-study associations, and Tables of weights and measures, the funda- local societies and mothers' clubs are in successmental operations of fractions, and the solu- ful operation nearly all over the country, while tion of problems in mensuration, should, as hundreds of parents are observing and keepfar as possible, be taught objectively. .ing records of their children's development. —
Every operation in arithmetic should be December Review of Reviews. performed orally before written problems are submitted, and the only difference between oral and written problems should be the greater
THEORY AND PRACTICE. simplicity of the former. The method of solving every problem should
NOTES FROM PRUSSIAN SCHOOLS. be stated by one or more of the pupils, but [Extracts from an Article in the Educational Review for set formulas for such explanation should be December, entitled "Some Characteristics of Prussian
Absence of Blackboards. In every grade, pupils should be required to
The general absence of blackboards' for the invent problems for the class to solve. The arithmetic lesson should generally be a
use of pupils marks a difference between Prus
sian and New England schools which is far class exercise. When an oral problem is given
from superficial. It affects not only the it should be solved by every member of the
methods of instruction in the classroom, but class, and answers should be written at a given
also the teacher's manner of testing the pupils' signal. In written work, as many children
knowledge from day to day and of correcting should be required to work at the blackboard
their mistakes as well. Not once did I see a as can be accommodated, while the remaining
pupil go to the blackboard and, face to face members of the class are working on their
with his teacher and the class, demonstrate a slates. After the solutions are worked out,
proposition in geometry, or work out a probthey should be discussed by pupils and teach
lem in arithmetic, or write a sentence in a ers, corrections made and explanations given.
foreign language. Instead of this every boy A teacher should not waste the time of her
had a blankbook, and the work that would be class in marking the exercise of each pupil as
done in our schools by a few individuals at a right or wrong.-Supt. W. H. Maxwell.
blackboard was attempted by every member
of the class in a notebook. In this way every THE CHILD-STUDY MOVEMENT.
pupil is put upon his own resources, and the Reforms in education are sometimes called teacher, who must examine and correct these fads, and mere fads proclaimed as great re
written exercises before the next recitation, forms. Of all educational movements which can make an accurate estimate of every boy's have received both names, few have at any effort and accomplishment, and adapt his next time progressed more rapidly than has the day's instruction accordingly. child-study movement during the last few years
Manners. and there is no topic at the present time more These sturdy 'Teutons are no less solicitous prominent in the niinds of the educators of the in respect to the manners of their children. United States. Scarcely an educational news Pupils were everywhere respectful in their depaper appears that does not contain some ref- meanor, and prompt and cheerful in their erence to the subject, and an entire number obedience. For instance, when the teacher devoted to child-study is not unusual. One entered the classroom at the beginning of the journal, the Child-Study Monthly, edited by hour, the boys ceased their conversation and Dr. Krohn of the University of Illinois, is de- rose to receive him, and the same evidence of voted wholly to that subject, and another, the respect was shown when he left the room at Pedagogical Seminary, edited by Dr. G. Stan- the end of the recitation. Visitors were ley Hall, president of Clark university, and treated with an equal degree of respect by generally known as the “father of child-study both pupils and teachers. I may say parenin America,” while dealing with all phases of thetically that I found the Berlin schoolmaseducation, yet gives more than half its space ters uniformly kind-hearted and courteous. to the various phases of child-study. The Of all the threescore teachers whose classroom subject is one of the prominent topics consid- work I inspected, only one received me with ered at local, state and national teachers' meet any manifestation of impatience or indifferings, and since 1893 the subject has been dis- ence. On the contrary, several of them put: me under serious obligations to them by their certificated candidate for an appointment. He sympathetic interest in the object of my visit may even then have to wait several years beand their generous efforts to give me the infor- fore he obtains an appointment. But when mation that I desired.
once the position is won it is his for life and Attention of the Pupils.
cannot be wrested from him by an overturn in
a municipal election, or by the enmity of a One of the most noteworthy characteristics of all the schools that I saw was the undivided
group of men who happen to have influence in attention which the pupils gave to the instruc
local politics. The position of teacher in the tion of the teacher and the subject-matter of
common schools (Gemeindeschulen) is much the recitation. It was so complete and ab
less desirable, and is of course more easily obsorbing that I have not ceased to wonder at it
tained. At the end of ten years' service a and admire it. The children were attentive
teacher in Berlin may retire with a pension in all the schools, but especially so in the
equal to one-fourth of his salary, which ingymnasia.
creases annually There are several reasons for this,
by one-sixtieth. apart from the rigorous discipline that has
twenty-five years' service he may retire on a
pension which at the outset is one-half as large been described. In the first place, a very large proportion of
as his salary, and increases each year one
twentieth until it equals two-thirds of the the teachers in the higher grades of schools are graduates of the university, and are there
salary that he received at the date of his refore well-equipped and scholarly men.
tirement. With a carefully guarded method
They command the respect of their pupils and the
of appointment, permanency of tenure, and a communities which they serve not only for
generous system of pensions it is not surpris
ing to find that the Prussian teachers are men what they know, but for what they are as well. Furthermore, these teachers prepare them
of maturity, scholarship, and skill. selves for their class exercises with the utmost
Ways of Work and Teaching. care and skill. There is no hesitation in the
In the common schools the demands made instruction from the nervousness and confu- upon the time, the attention, and the strength sion of the instructor.
He has already de
He has already des of the children are a little less rigorous, but termined just what topics shall be considered would be appalling to American parents. The and discussed in the hour of the recitation,
course of studies is six years long and children and in what order they shall be presented.
begin it at the age of six. The number of ex
ercises a week for each year, which include The Teacher's Position.
two hours for singing and two for gymnastics, The chief reason, however, why it is worth is indicated by the following numbers: 22, 24, our while to study the Prussian schools is the 28, 30, 30, 32. No one would attempt to unmistakable fact that they accomplish more state accurately the number of lessons a week substantial results in scholarship than are at in schools of corresponding grade in the United tained by the schools of the United States. States, but the average is far below the PrusSome of the reasons for this are quite evi- sian standard. The importance of this differdent.
ence between the school systems of the two I have already said that the teachers are countries is not easily exaggerated. I had more mature and more learned. Their super known it in a vague way for some years, but I iority as a class is considerable. Teaching never realized its full significance until I saw with them is a profession for which long and the Prussian system in actual operation. What careful preparation is required. The respon are the consequences of this difference? They sible nature of the teacher's office is clearly are radical and far-reaching. The teacher in recognized by the government both in its the Prussian schools gives his pupils a larger cautious methods of selecting and appointing measure of helpful guidance in their studies; teachers, and in the liberal pensions provided saves them from costly mistakes and misdifor teachers who have lost their health or be- rected efforts; has larger opportunities for come superannuated in the service of the training them to fix and hold their attention schools. In general a man who seeks an ap- upon their work; stimulates sluggish minds to pointment to teach in a gymnasium must have greater and more prolonged activity; gives been graduated from a gymnasium and the more time to repetitions, reviews, and unpreuniversity, and must have spent two years pared exercises that illustrate and fix in the without pay, one in studying the classroom memory principles already learned; and actuwork of experienced teachers and the other in ally teaches in the classroom with minute preteaching under the direct supervision of an ap- cision all subjects that are at all difficult or proved instructor, before, he can become a complex. The advantages of extending by
one-half the time during which the teacher and pupil are in actual mental contact in the schoolroom are especially noticeable in the study of such subjects as history, geometry, and the grammar and idioms of foreign languages. Young and untrained pupils are not sent home to make their way blindly through a period of history, or a proposition in geometry, or a Latin verb the forms of which they cannot even pronounce. On the contrary, such subjects are presented clearly and logically in the classroom, and the home work consists mainly in formulating and memorizing things that the mind to some degree has already apprehended. For the reasons just stated children in the Prussian schools may and do begin difficult subjects much earlier and make more rapid progress in acquiring knowledge, than pupils of corresponding age in the schools of the United States.
But the advantage is not wholly on the side of the Germans. Our boys undoubtedly know less about the subject-matter of books; but they are more independent in their thinking, more self-reliant in their methods of work, and, as Dr. Harris has already pointed out, have unequaled power in getting usable information from books. But, if we are to have a respectable standing with the most progressive European nations in accurate and sound scholarship, we must go no farther in shortening the school year or in cutting down the length of the daily sessions of the school. · On the contrary, we should adopt the suggestion of the Committee of Ten and lengthen the time of mental contact between pupil and teacher, even at the risk of increasing the cost of instruction.
educational. The former is of the nature of business and may be acceptably rendered by any honest man of ordinary intelligence; the latter is the service of the expert for which special preparation is essential
Those who examine persons who seek to enter this professional service, to determine whether they are qualified, discharge an educational function of the highest importance. General school legislation in Wisconsin has always recognized this distinction between business and educational functions, by committing them to different officers, Local directors have had charge of the business affairs of school districts, while the examination of teachers, the inspection and supervision of the schools and the power of discharging those teachers found after trial to be unworthy or incompetent, belonged to other officers quite independ. ent of district control. There were first five inspectors, then three commissioners of schools. Later their duties and powers were given to town superintendents, who were again superseded by county superintendents. The powers of county superintendents have long been ample, in the hands of competent men, to effect great improvement in the common schools. Their proper exercise required educated and experienced men. Insufficient salary, uncertainty of official tenure and political influence in selection, largely defeated the ends for which the office was created.
The act of 1895 requiring practieal experience as a public school teacher, and the possession of a certificate of qualifications of a high grade, to make a candidate eligible, has advanced the office of county superintendent to a position of dignity, and given it a high place among the educational forces of the state.
In order to realize the full benefit of the act, salaries should be increased and the term of office lengthened, as inducement to men of required ability to accept the office. With exclusive authority to pass upon the qualifications of teachers not professionally trained, and having full power of discharge, by annulment of certificates, he is truly at the head of the public school system of his county.
School directors are not qualified to judge of professional competency, and are apt to be governed in choice of teachers by personal, social, political or religious considerations. Teaching is professional work, and requires both scholarship and aptitude. The best, if not the only way to secure competency is through tests applied by able and impartial officers, with power to reject those they find to be unfit, and to disqualify those who fail after trial.
The reason and policy of the law as to outside schools applies with greater force to schools in the cities of the state. The scope of instruction is wider, the qualifications for many of the teachers higher. The superintendent here ought to possess superior learning, ability, experience and executive skill. He is to supervise the whole body of instructors, and to see that the educational plan of the city is faithfully carried out and expected results attained. Examination of those desiring to teach, as well as supervision, are among his appropriate duties. The public naturally and reasonably holds him responsible for the proper conduct of the schools and the quality of the instruction. To meet such responsibility requires that he have authority over teachers. Without this, his efforts must be ineffective. He cannot enforce discipline or command respectful attention. The result is confusion and demoralization.
How to choose good teachers and what conditions are best adapted to secure their fidelity and to stimulate them to strive for professional excellence, are the supreme questions on which the success of every system of public education depends.
Scholarship and moral character alone are not sufficient. Other qualities of mind and heart greatly affect the fitness of the teacher. Temperament and disposition are important. The mental and moral atmosphere of the schoolroom created by the teacher are of very great influence upon the development and future character of the pupil. The welfare of the child should be the paramount consideration in the choice of the teacher. And no one is more competent or more likely to choose wisely and for the best interest of pupils than the skilled and cultured head of the school department, on whom rests the chief weight of responsibility for the good or ill results of every teacher's work.
The appointment and control of teachers by school boards is fruitful of evil results. It introduces political and
OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE 44TH ANNUAL MEETING
OF THE WISCONSIN TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION.
The forty-fourth annual meeting of the Wisconsin Teachers' Association was called to order by its President, Arthur Burch, at 2:00 o'clock, Tuesday, December 29. 1896, in the Grand Avenue Congregational Church, Milwaukee.
After a vocal solo, the Hon. Joshua Stark, of Milwaukee, read a paper on the subject "What Authority Should be Reposed in the Superintendent?" a synopsis of which follows:
Synopsis. The due measure of official authority depends mainly upon three considerations: The qualifications required of the officer, the nature of his service, and the results for which he is held responsible. Every officer should be selected for bis fitness for the particular service required. In private business this is fully recognized. The degradation of the official service in public affairs through its neglect is compelling the adoption of the merit system.
School administration involves two distinct classes of public service. The one mainly financial, the other strictly
personal methods and motives, tends to favoritism and pat ronage, and to the destruction of discipline, and of all healthy ambition in the body of teachers.
Wise policy, and the highest interests of publication require:
ist. That all examinations for teachers' certificates shall be conducted by the superintendent, or under his direction by persons selected by him, and that the results shall be determined by him independently of the school board or any committee of its appointment.
2d. That the superintendent shall have absolute and exclusive authority, to appoint, transfer and promote teachers, or at least his written approval shall be made essential to the validity of every appointment, transfer or promotion.
3d. That he shall have absolute authority to discharge any teacher for inefficiency, inattention to duty, or other cause which in his judgment disqualifies such teacher for the service required.
At the conclusion of Mr. Stark's paper, President L. D. Harvey said the paper had so fully set forth the case and proved its points that there was little to be said. In a large number of cities and states men are chosen for superintendents who are not qualified. They are put in to fill a vacancy and they hardly fill it. This is a point that the paper omitted to touch, and with this amendment, it is complete. Unless the superintendent is given the authority claimed for him by Mr. Stark, his position is a farce. Give the school board authority to discharge a superintend. ent if he fail of his duty and the school system would be on a business basis. To give such power to the superintend ent might seem like a centralization of power. But there must be a centralization of power. It must be reduced to the system that obtains in other enterprises and not be left to the mercy of the ward politicians.
Superintendent W. H. Elson of Superior said: Some superintendents like to escape the responsibility and permit the board of education to share it with them. The superintendent should be a capable business man as well as be versed in the technicalities of teaching.
An examination is not the best test of a teacher's efficiency, but rather what are his powers and capabilities to promote in the child right ideals of life?
Committee on Enrollment. At this point President Burch announced the following committee on enrollment: Frank Kroening. Albert E. Kagel, P. T. Nelson, F. A. Lowell, G. W. Gehrand, Myron E. Keats, and as ex officio members, G. G. Williams, C. P. Sionott, F. S. Hyer, T. W. Boyer, C. D. Kipp, H. L. Terry.
On resolutions: W. H. Chandler, Rufus C. Flagg, J. C. Freeman.
President Harvey moved that the President send greeting to all state associations now in session, and invite them to the N. E. A, to be held in Milwaukee next July, which was carried. In compliance with this resolution the following telegram was sent to thirteen states:
"Wisconsin teachers, twelve hundred strong, in convention in Milwaukee, send greetings to -- , and cordially invite her teachers to this city in July, 1897."
(Signed) Arthur Burch, President W. T. A. Dr. J. H. Kellogg, of Battle Creek, Mich., was introduced and read a carefully prepared paper on “Physical Deterioration during School Life, Defects and Remedies." During the reading of this paper, Dr. Kellogg illustrated his subject, not only with charts, but by sitting in different positions to show how the evil effect complained of was brought about. Among the salient points of the paper are the following:
Physical Deterioration Caused by School Life. The writer claims that the difference between city boys and girls, young men and women, and those who are country-born, is largely due to the deteriorating influences of school life. The claim is made that there are annually turned out of our public schools thousands of crippled and deformed young men and women whose constitutions have been weakened for life by the unhygienic conditions to which they have been exposed during the fifteen to twenty years which they have spent in the schoolroom.
Chief among the bad and unhygienic conditions which surround the child during his school life are mentioned the following: bad air, lack of active muscular exercise, and bad positions in sitting. Bad positions result in numerous internal deformities of a grave character, such as prolapse of the stomach and bowels, floating kidney, narrow chest, and a variety of diseases and weaknesses.
A series of outlines of the human figure in health and disease graphically illustrate the relation between internal weaknesses and external deformities. The paper insists that physical work should hold a very prominent place in the exercises of the schoolroom; every teacher should be cognizant of the principles of physical training; that it is the duty of the teacher to have an oversight over the physical health of the student as well as his moral training, that every public school should be regularly visited by a physician for inspection in relation to its sanitary condition; and that the health of the student should be inquired into regularly by a physician competent to make inquiries of this sort. The remedy proposed to combat the evils spoken of is to introduce the health work as an essential feature of our educational system for all grades.
Professor Geo. Ć. Shutts of Whitewater said: "Physicians are legally responsible for malpractice, and I trust the day will come when teachers will be held to account, so far as they are responsible, fo: the physical defects that grow out of improper conditions during school life. Teachers should consider themselves called upon to look after the eyesight of pupils, to take as much care of the ventilation of the room as of the arithmetic lesson. They should attend as carefully to the round shoulders of the pupil as to bis bad English. It ought to be considered cause for anDulling a certificate if a teacher catalogues a pupil stupid, when it is only a case for the optician."
President Albert Salisbury of Whitewater said: “May not the reason why children sit improperly in school be traced to the lack of physical energy at the very start of the child s career?'' He also thought the bicycle might do barm by giving the boy a hollow chest.
Dr. Kellogg replied: That he recognized the force of what President Salisbury said, but regarded it as a part of the duty of the teacher to teach the child how to become strong. inasmuch as they could not go back to the child's grandmother to remedy the defect. He then defended the bicycle and showed how a person could even ride a racer without violating any essential condition of health.
Mrs. J. R. Williams asked: "Should a child be compelled to sit at the desk and write three-fourths of the day and maintain a correct position when he is in constant fear of failing to pass because of illegible writing?''
Professor Emil Dabbrich, of the German-American Academy of Milwaukee, thought Dr. Kellogg overdrew the picture. He said: "Doctors have a habit of accusing us of many vices of which we are never guilty. Teachers are more careful than parents about the observance of the laws of health. Is not the startling deterioration of our children due to improper food in the home?"
Dr. Kellogg: I accused the schools of so many things that I did not dare to say anything about eating. There are few homes that give the child so many favorable conditions of proper growth as are found in the schools. Sound miods come from sound bodies. Right conditions at home would go far to correct the defects found at school. The German proverb says: “As a man eateth so is he;"' another proberb says: “As a man thinketh so is he;" I suggest that these two be united to form this new one: “As a man eateth so thinketh he."
Tuesday Evening. The evening session was held at Calvary church, beginning at 7:30 o'clock.
After a pleasant half hour of song, by Richard Thomas, Hugh Williams, Mrs. Springer and Mrs. J. A. Bigelow, Charles R. Skinner, President of the National Educational Association, delivered an interesting address on "Education for Citizenship." Following the address was a reception of the Association at the Ivanhoe Commandery. The parlors and large hall were decorated with roses and Christmas holly. Bach's solo quintette was present and rendered several pleasing numbers. Dainty refreshments were served, There were about six hundred teachers present.