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teacher. Teaching was her profession, and she deserved a life-certificate as much as any of her examiners, but she was compelled every year to fret her honest soul with vile problems on higher arithmetic and syntactical analysis. Her examiners were honest men, and they knew her worth. They made a compromise between their sense of right and the time-system of grading; they ignored the ignorance of syntax, and every year issued a certificate for one year. The system ought not to make such compromises necessary. Every teacher known to do good work ought to have a certificate for life.
On the other hand, no amount of scholarship or of science can of itself make one worthy to be admitted to the profession. The college graduate, with the highest honors of the class, may be unprepared and unfit to teach others. Then the object of the examination of teachers may be definitely stated to be,
1. To separate those who may not teach from those who may ;
2. To divide those who may teach on trial from those who are finally admitted to the profession ;
3. To ascertain in what subjects each teacher is competent to give instruction, and to grade accordingly both trial and life-certificates.
Of course, when teachers already having life-certificates wish to be authorized to teach a higher grade of school, they can be examined as to the new subjects.
The manner and the matter of the examination are indicated somewhat in the discussion of its objects. The subject-matter must, of course, include all of the course of study to the end of the grade in which the applicant wishes to be ranked. It must include more than this. To teach properly the mathematics of any grade, the teacher should know at least as much as is taught in the grade above. To teach anything well, the teacher should know more than is given in the text-book, for we do not know anything well unless we know what is around and beyond.
In addition to what is in the school course, the examination should include a knowledge of the science of education. Even those who have never taught and are candidates for only a trial-certificate, should have studied the science of education; they should have studied what is written by experienced teachers. It may be said that if this were insisted upon, in many parts of the country the schoo!s would be closed for want of teachers. With sorrow I am compelled to believe this is so. Nevertheless, the rule is right. Its justice is so manifest that I do not see how to make it clearer by argument. We might as well admit lawyers to practice who have never opened a law-book, or physicians who have never studied medicine, as teachers who have
never studied the science of education. If we cannot apply the rule now, we can at least recognize its propriety, and we can try to make it possible. In the meanwhile, examiners niay, with due caution, extend the trial period in certain cases.
Candidates for final admission to the profession should be examined on all the previous matter, and their knowledge should be more thorough than is required for those who are admitted on trial. Such a candidate should be able to explain and defend his own methods of government and instruction. In addition to the direct examination, the examiners should have before them a detailed report on each case by the superintendent who has inspected the candidate's school-work. They may learn something from the school records which the candidate has made. Also the evidence of the school committee, and of others, might be admitted, leaving to the examiners to determine its -weight, as is done by other courts. This is the rule of evidence in courts of justice. A board of examiners exercises a judicial function. They are judges, and they may with propriety receive and fairly weigh all evidence that bears upon the fact which they are to determine.
In what remains to be said about the methods of examination, the judi. cial character of the work must be borne in mind.
The evidence given by the superintendent is of greater value than that given by others, because the superintendent is an expert; he knows better than the average member of a board of education what is good work done by a teacher. I have assumed all the while that efficient supervision is a part of the school system. There is no room in this paper for the argument of that question, farther than this,there ought to be superintendents, even if there were no other use for them than to constitute boards of examiners.
Statements given by persons who are not teachers are of very little value. This is true of statements from teachers, if there is no opportunity to question the witness. Such evidence ought not to be admitted at all on a matter which the examiners can find out by examining the candidate. In West Virginia, the rule is announced that “ diploma or recommendation from a college president or faculty supercedes the necessity of an examination." This is in accordance with the established rules of courts in the admission of evidence. No candidate having the required knowledge has any cause to fear a fair examination. Diplomas from normal schools ought to be received on the same ground, allowing them their due weight, but not to supercede the necessity of examination.
When, in the board of examiners, the superintendent tells what he knows about the candidate, he is for the time a witness rather than a
judge, and he should state the facts, that his fellow-examiners inay exercise their own judgment.
No person of bad or of doubtful moral character should have charge of children in school. The evidence of character required by examers is frequently very flimsy,- merely certificates from persons themselves unknown. It was the custom of the first State Board of Examiners of Ohio to make an independent investigation, and obtain evidence entirely separate from the statements presented by the candidate before a certificate was issued. A life-certificate ought never to be allowed on merely one-sided testimonials.
There are several details of methods which I had purposed to discuss, such as a State board of examiners to supervise all the work of examination of teachers throughout the State; the relative value of oral and written examinations; the publicity of examinations; how far candidates may be trusted ; the use of marks received at previous examinations, etc. ; but already this paper is long enough. Suffice it to say, that the examination should be thorough, and it should be fair. There should be time enough, particularly for life-certificates, and when examiners are in doubt, they should not reject, but continue the examination till their judgments are satisfied.
A word about questions. I cannot too strongly condemn the fool- . ish questions that are sometimes put. Our journals frequently amuse their readers with examples of silly answers, answers that are very ridiculous and deserve to be laughed at. But what shall be said of foolish questions? A foolish answer merely shows that one candidate is not fit to pass, but a foolish question is an injustice to a whole class of candidates. I have seen an "arithmetic paper" at a teacher's examination, in which one problem required the demonstration of a new proposition in geometry; and when it was done, the only arithmetical part of the solution was to divide 30 by 2. No candidate's blunder could be more ridiculous than the vanity of the examiner who invented such questions. Such puzzles do positive harm. They bewilder the candidate. Besides these harmful questious, there are many that are simply useless. Such are questions involving some controverted point. The answer, given either way, affords no fair means of judging of the candidate's knowledge. Such, also, are questions about some obscure item of knowledge, an exception to a rule in grammar, or the location of some insignificant town. Knowledge or ignorance of such a matter is no test. Every question should test, but not strain, the candidate's skill or knowledge.
In conclusion, where there are good teachers, there are good schools; there may be good teachers without a system of selection, but such good fortune is exceptional; in those places where there is no efficient system of examination (which is necessarily connected with supervision) there the schools make least progress. No possible system, no amount of expenditure could produce in one year, or in two years, good public schools all over the United States, because there are not enough good teachers, and they cannot be trained in one year or in two. The number of good teachers and good superintendents is increasing. It will increase more rapidly if there is a constant demand for such persons. That is the best system of schools which makes a steady demand for good teachers,—and that means universal, fair, and thorough examination.
EMERSON AS A SPIRITUAL LEADER.
BY ELIZABETH PORTER GOULD.
The cry from the cross, “It is finished," ended for Emerson the revelation of the highest in form through which he could know of the highest in spirit. This completed Christ-work became to him but another mighty force, added to the world's preceding movements, to open the way for the larger and more subtle reign of the Holy Spirit. For him Jesus Christ was buried forevermore to live only on history's page ; while for St. Paul, He had risen out of his grave, ascended into heaven, and was the Lord whom he loved and preached.
Emerson's conception of Christianity in its relations to him personally caused him to become the loyal subject of the Spirit's dispensation. Hence his great work, with the light he could receive, must be to seek for and worship the spirit subtly hidden in all forms; and, also, by life and by teachings, to be a revealer of the hidden spiritual meanings. This conception of faith and duty, or loyalty to the Spirit, was as natural to him as the conception of loyalty to a living, personal, risen Christ was to St. Paul. Therefore, while the thought of the one, in its largeness, was tinged, and even imbued, with Christian philosophy, the thought of the other was Christian philosophy itself.
These two different realizations of Christianity guaged the power of the spiritual leadership of these two men. Emerson had a Mars' Hill, but not a Macedonia. He had St. Paul's calm ecstasy, but not his burning zeal. He had his longing for personal immortality, but not his unbounded assurance of its reality. He could say, "I have fought the fight,” but he could not see so clearly the crown laid up for him.
While Paul's intense soul-realism, as centered in the living Christ, brought forth the “ Epistles to the Romans,” – the most profound book in existence, as Coleridge said, -Emerson's intense spiritism, as centered in the immanent Spirit, brought forth his suggestive work called Nature. While St. Paul's book is for all phases of the human heart and so for all men, Emerson's book, like much more that he wrote, is limited by the condition that it fall into fertile soil. This limitation is both its strength and its weakness.
The greatest spiritual leaders have prepared the soil as well as planted ; they have converted as well as inspired. Emerson, then, as a spiritual leader, had his limitations in that he could not touch all humanity. In his thought as a whole, even if not in his limited experiences, he may