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The pure, professional courses very generally approved themselves to the students pursuing them. They became convinced that there were enough matters of special importance to them as teachers to fill up a year pretty full of earnest labor.

One matter that is working against the school is the fact that there is not now in the State any adequate system of examination and supervision outside of the larger towns. The standard of qualification for teachers, especially in the country, is very low. If competent examiners were in the habit of requiring for a license some special knowledge of the art and the science of teaching, in addition to good character and scholarship, the success of the present plan of instruction in the Normal School would be assured beyond a doubt.

In regard to the other obstacle to the new plan,—the question of pupilteaching,-it is believed the experience of the school during the past year, and indeed during many previous years, justifies the belief that it may be made a success.

For many years, indeed from the organization of the school, there has been a training or practice-school department covering the usual primary and intermediate grades. The classes in this department have nearly always been taught by pupil-teachers; and this work has often been done in the past by these inexperienced teachers without adequate supervision and assistance from the regular teachers of the school, who were occupied all the time in giving academical instruction to their own advanced classes. The pupil-teaching has consequently, in the past years, been often very poorly done ; and yet there has never been any lack of pupils to fill up these classes in the school of practice. People in the city withheld or withdrew their children from the free public schools, and sent them into the classes of the pupil-teachers where tuition fees were charged. With the improvement that now comes from a more constant and a more systematic supervision there is no reasonable doubt these lower classes will continue full.

In regard to the practicability of extending this work of pupil-teaching to higher grades, to all the grades, indeed, of a high school, there is naturally more doubt. Many think this cannot be done; possibly it cannot be. Those people who believe in precedent more than in progress, those who think what has never been done never can and never ought to be done, those who have great talent for sitting still and croaking at those who disturb the quiet by moving about,-and there are a few such in Michigan,- loudly pronounced the experiment a failure before it began; these noisily-expressed predictions of disaster added needless impediments to the trial. Classes in the higher branches, they said, ought never and would never submit to being taught by mere practice-teachers. And yet the Normal School had for years at each graduation day been sending out a large number of young men and women who never had had any experience in any but primary instruction., as licensed to enter the public schools and teach Geometry and Chemistry and Latin and German and other advanced studies. It naturally occurred to some that if these persons, two months after graduation, without experience and without the aid and advice and supervision of a skilled teacher, and often without the necessary books and apparatus, were still competent to teach these branches, they might possibly two months before graduation be able to teach them reasonably well, with the help and counsel and constant oversight of experienced instructors, and in a school well equipped with all material aids. Moreover it would seem that what the school certified her pupils as able to do she ought to know they are able to do, and that by the certain knowledge of actual trial. In the Normal School, pupil-teachers cannot make mistakes either in matter or manner without speedy detection and correction; in their own actual schools, after graduation, and when alone, they may continue to blunder for years. Furthermore there was no very obvious justice in allowing young and inexperienced teachers to practice upon little children more than upon larger ones. If it was good in one case, it might be good in the other; if bad in one case, it would be bad in both.

For several years, previous to the last, tentative experiments had been made in the school, more and more each year, in the matter of practiceteaching in the higher branches. Pupils have often been put in charge of classes for a single day, or for a week, or for a term, and their work in all its bearings carefully scrutinized. These experiments were nearly always reasonably successful ; and this gave hope that this work might with profit be greatly enlarged.

And now during the past year a very large part of the academical instruction in all grades has been given by pupil-teachers, and for the most part with a success hardly anticipated. With proper supervision this work can be made a success, and in every sense profitable.

There is no difference of opinion as to the value of properly-directed practice-teaching to the practice-teacher himself,—this is one of his best means of preparation; the only question is:-can it also be made profitable to the pupil taught ? Those discussing this question pretty generally agree that if the instruction given by the pupil-teacher can by careful supervision be made as good as the average instruction in the public school of corresponding grades, it may be safely and freely employed for all classes in Normal Schools as a means of training teachers for their work.

In the Normal School of Michigan during the past year a great many classes have been thus taught in German and French, in the various branches of mathematics up to and including trigonometry, in Latin and in Greek, in Botany, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and Physiology, and in nearly all cases the instruction has been very good, the order in classes without fault and the interest and progress of the pupils excellent. So far as the writer knows not a single case of insubordination occurred, and the instances of discontent or of disaffection were not more frequent or more serious than occur yearly toward regular teachers. Better instruction is indeed seldom witnessed than was given during the past year by some of the pupil-teachers in German, French, Geometry, Algebra, Chemistry, Physics, and Physiology. These branches are especially mentioned because of the writer's accidental opportunity of observing them; and the opinion confidently expressed that there are very few high schools in the State where the work was as well done. At any rate it entirely safe to say that if the pupils taught in this way had been left to their own local high schools, very many of them would not have been so well instructed. "There was this advantage in the case, it is true, that nearly all who were in the professional courses and who consequently constituted the teaching corps, had taught before, many of them in the lower grades of the School of Observation and Practice, and many in the public schools ; but this advantage will doubtless continue, for the greater part of those who resort to the Normal School have previously had some experience as teachers. On the contrary a disadvantage, of no small extent, arose from the plan being a new one, and from its being in possible to devise a system of assignment of the work that would fit in all respects unforseen conditions. A second though temporary disadvantage came from the fact that, as many of the pupils of the school had made considerable advancement in the old mixed courses before the adoption of the new plan, it was necessary to conform somewhat to their circumstances. This difficulty, however, will disappear as the school is gradually adjusted to the new scheme.

Some things, of course, have been learned from the year's experiences. These things will be presented from the writer's personal stand-point, although in most of them he believes his co-laborers of the schools will generally agree with him :

First, Pupil-teaching is worth less to the pupil-teacher as well as to the pupil taught, unless very carefully and very constantly supervised by skilful teachers. With that supervision it is of immense value to the practice-teacher, and not unprofitable to the pupils taught.

Second, This supervision must be so close that the supervising teacher shall be half the time, or at least, one-third, except possibly in the lower grades, present during the work of teaching Generally he cannot supervise properly more than three classes at once.

Third, The pupil-teachers, except for marked inefficiency, should have charge of their classes for at least a term of ten weeks; more frequent changes are harmful to both teachers and pupils.

Fourth, A careful and wise discrimination must be made in assigning the work to the pupil-teachers,-a discrimination that shall consider their fitness and their aptitude for the different grades and studies.

Fifth, The plan must provide a means by which the supervising teachers can meet their pupil-teachers at regular and frequent intervals for counsel and for marking out and giving directions for their work.

Sixth, The pupil-teachers must be made to feel that the classes are their own, and that they are to be held to a close accountability for the order in recitations and for the progress made; while, at the same time, the classes must know that they are to be held to an implicit loyalty to their immediate teachers.

Seventh, The right of appeal from the decision of a pupil - teacher in matters of examination or discipline, etc., must not be denied the pupil; and yet the supervising teacher must in this particular exercise the utmost care and discretion.

These conditions complied with, the writer believes that practice-teaching in all grades and in all studies may be very safely and very generally used by the Normal Schools as one of the most profitable means of giving to their pupils practical training for their future work ;-a training that theoretical teaching can in no manner reach, and a training of indisputable necessity. The young teacher must get this first practice either unaided and alone in his own school, or else-far better-under the eye and with the aid of one who can show him the dangers that impend before he meets them, the errors that are near him before he commits them.

The writer cannot perhaps so well present his views of what pupilteaching can and should be made as by giving a little more detailed description of work that has been actually done. This he will undertake, though at the risk of being tedious.

Chemistry, in the courses of the School of Observation and Practice of the Michigan Normal School, is in the twelfth or highest grade ; the pupils pursuing it are from sixteen to twenty-five years of age, and the time devoted to the study is thirty weeks. The instruction, so far as possible, is made objective and experimental.

This work during the last year for a class of forty pupils was done by pupil-teaching. This expression, however, does not mean simply sending some young and inexperienced people to practice and to blunder; but it means something quite different and certainly very much more laborious for the supervising teachers. The pupil.teachers had studied chemistry, of course, before, --some in previous classes in the Normal School, some in the State Agricultural College and some in the public high schools. They were not, as under the circumstances they could not be, selected because of any particular fondness or aptitude for the study; and some were compelled to teach in this class those who were their own classmates in other branches.

These pupil-teachers were met once a week, or oftener if needful, by the teacher in charge, and the work for the week examined and assigned; cloudy points were cleared up; the best order and the best manner of presenting the topics discussed; the parts that were to be emphasized pointed out; the extent of the daily lessons was determined, and cautions pointing towards any pertinent though outlying questions which inquisitive members of the class might ask, and for which the pupil-teacher should be ready, were given; the apparatus was prepared, and all experiments which were to be made were gone over and repeated by the pupil-teachers until every one felt sure of his hand. Then one of the number was assigned to the work of teaching the class for a week, one was appointed to assist at the experiments and the rest to act as observers and critics. Then the class came in and the pupil-teacher took up his work. At the next meeting another portion of the work was looked over in the same way, new assignments were made and a critical, though good-natured, review of the past week was given, and suggestions and criticisms heard from the observers. This constituted the professional work in chemistry for this class of pupil-teachers.

In this particular case as the trial was a new one, the teacher in charge was present at nearly every recitation, ready to assist, as might seem necessary, in case any unexpected points were raised for which the pupilteacher might not be instantly prepared. Under the light of this experience the writer believes that two classes, instead of one, could have been



simultaneously supervised with entire success, and thus twice as much opportunity given for practice-teaching.

The result was : The work was well done, few of the writer's own classes having ever shown better interest or made more satisfactory acquisitions. To the pupil-teachers themselves the work was unquestionably of very great value. Some of them are already engaged to teach next year in the public high schools of the State; and if there are any branches which they can teach well, it will certainly be those they have taught in this way in the Normal School,

Of course in a large school with such a complex organization, it is difficult to arrange programmes of daily work so as to fit and entirely accommodate all pupils and all departments; but bearing in mind that the scheme does not recognize the need of every pupil-teacher having practice in every branch, or indeed, in every department, it is believed that experience and study can speedily remove or greatly reduce this difficulty.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, the writer fears this account of what the Normal School of Michigan is endeavoring to do is very unsatisfactory and incomplete; and the considerations he has presented, in the hurry of a too-rapid preparation, are not so clearly expressed as they ought to be, not so clearly even as they lie in his own mind;—but he dare not risk further intrusion upon your time by any additional attempts at elucidation.

Allow him, though, in conclusion, to express the very confident conviction, with which, too, he hopes and believes that many of you are in harmony, that if the Normal Schools of the country ever reach, as he believes they will, a surer and an unquestioned footing in the public-school systems, it must be by their taking up the exclusive work of affording that special and peculiar preparation the teacher needs, and which it is the province of no other school to give. In the present civilized economy there is, year by year, a closer and more sharply-defined division of labor, and it is by means of this division of labor that civilization advances. The farmer no longer makes his own tools, grinds his own corn or shoes his own horses; the housewife no longer spins and weaves and cuts and sews the clothing for her household. The different kinds of labor are relegated to the special trades. The same thing must become true of the different schools that constitute a harmonious system of education. There must be between them no interference, nor crossings of jurisdiction. Medical schools and law schools and theological schools and the schools of the mechanical arts must do a special and not a general work,-must have their well-defined orbits; and if the Normal Schools have no such special work to do, or if they neglect to do it,-if they have not their distinctive orbits, or if they wander from them,—then in some convulsion, at no dis. tant day, they will perish as unnecessary or as disturbing members of the public educational system.

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DISCUSSION OF PROF, MCLOUTH'S PAPER. This paper was discussed by E. C. HEWETT, of Illinois; J. C. GILCHRIST, of Iowa; EDWARD BROOKS, of Pennsylvania; GRACE C. BIBB, of Missouri;

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