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1919. Since that time several cities have issued courses of study in which the kindergarten is recognized as the first stage in a complete school system.


In the training of kindergarten teachers the progress has been especially marked during the years from 1922-1924. This is shown by the organization of kindergarten training departments in institutions that have not had them before; the movement for the lengthening of existing courses; the reorganization of the separate kindergarten and primary courses into unified kindergarten-primary courses, and the organization of graduate courses for teachers in service. In the past two or three years kindergarten departments or courses have been organized in the City Normal School, Atlanta, Ga.; Cotner College, Bethany, Nebr.; Ashley Hall, Charleston, S. C.; the State Normal Schools of Danbury and New Haven, Conn.; and the Maryland State Normal School, Towson. In this latter case the State of Maryland took over the Baltimore City Teachers Training' School, which included a kindergarten department. Emory University, Atlanta, Ga., gave kindergarten courses in its summer session in 1924, and efforts looking to the creation of a kindergarten department as a part of its school of education are in progress. The total number of institutions that give kindergarten training courses is now 155. Of these, 79 are supported by States, 25 by cities, and the remaining 54 by private funds. In addition to these a few institutions give a brief general course in kindergarten education for the purpose of giving all students a general idea of the aims and methods of the kindergarten. There are also 15 or 20 that have kindergartens as a part of the demonstration school and use them for observation work in the methods courses.


The movement for the lengthening of all teacher-training courses included the kindergarten courses also. This effort was led in large part by the State institutions, and in 1921 the legislatures of several States empowered the normal schools in these States to give courses of more than two years in length and to grant degrees to those completing prescribed four-year courses. The States in this group having publicly supported kindergarten training schools or departments are California, Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia. These States include 40 institutions that give such training, and in those therefore the more adequate courses may be given. Thus far, however, but two States have increased their graduation requirements. All the courses in the California State teachers colleges have been increased to two and one-half years, and all those in the State teacher-training institutions in New York have been increased to three. Many other institutions, both public and private, are offering additional courses or summer courses of advanced character for which credit toward a degree is given. A few institutions are giving four-year courses. The course at Wellesley College is a graduate course and therefore requires more than four years. The course leading to a degree in the University of Cincinnati is a fiveyear course.


The recent changes in the aims and methods of elementary education have created a need on the part of teachers in service for courses in the application of the new ideas to the daily schoolroom procedure. In order to meet this need many cities have organized extension courses for the several groups of teachers. These are • sometimes optional, but more frequently required. Since the changes in the materials and methods of the kindergarten are very marked, courses in kindergarten education are usually included. These usually deal with the newer aspects, such as the use of the new materials, the new methods of recording children's progress, mental measurements, and the unification of the kindergarten and first grade. Such courses are being given in a number of the large cities—Cleveland and Detroit, under the auspices of their respective colleges of education; Baltimore, under the direction of the educational department of Johns Hopkins University; and Cincinnati, under the auspices of the University of Cincinnati.

Closely related to such courses in purpose and character are those given during the summer sessions of State normal schools and teachers colleges and private institutions. Among the State institutions kindergarten courses are given in many of those that give such courses during the year. The number of private institutions that give summer work is comparatively small. The teachers who attend these summer schools are likely to be of varying degrees of experience and to have varied needs. In consequence, varied courses are offered. Like those taking the city extension courses, these teachers wish for credits that will contribute to the securing of promotions or salary increases or that will count toward a degree. The number of teachers who attend summer sessions is astonishingly large, perhaps not fewer than 250,000. This attendance was required in many cases to enable teachers to meet the new professional qualifications that the States had set. Thousands of others attended of their own volition, because they wished to improve their preparation. Among these were many kindergarten teachers.

The offering of advanced courses in kindergarten education and the granting of degrees in that subject have contributed very materially to the progress of the kindergarten movement. Much of the kindergarten training in the past has dealt with the kindergarten only, and thereby prevented the kindergarten graduate from doing the best work because she did not see her own work as a part of the whole educational process. This condition could be remedied only by broadening the training teacher's preparation. That this broadening is in progress is shown by the replies to an inquiry sent out in 1924 asking for the names of the kindergarten instructors in the order of their rank and the degrees, if any, held by each. Replies were received from all but 10. They show that a remarkable advance in scholarship has been made in this group in the past few years. They show that 71 of the heads of the 145 kindergarten training institutions or departments that replied hold college degrees and that a corresponding number of the instructors in the kindergarten subjects in these institutions hold degrees also. Of the entire group, 51 hold master's degrees also, 2 hold doctor's degrees, and 1 the degree of doctor of laws. This progress is cumulative, like that in several other lines, and can not be measured by special years, but those who are familiar with the development of kindergarten training know how great an advance it is.


This larger scholarship on the part of training teachers has been one of the factors in the organization of combined kindergartenprimary courses to supersede the separate kindergarten and primary courses. The lack of unity between the work of the kindergarten and that of the grades has been due in no small degree to the differences in the training of kindergarten and primary teachers. Each may have been good of its kind, but the basis for unity was lacking when prospective kindergarten teachers were instructed in the work of the kindergarten only and primary teachers in that of the grades only. In consequence neither saw her own work in its right relation to that of the other, since neither saw it as a part of a continuous whole. With a larger knowledge of the child's development on the part of both and a type of training that covers both the kindergarten and the primary grades, a secure foundation is laid for the continuity essential to real progress.

The organization of such courses has been a matter of progressive development. A few have been in existence for a number of years, but the majority have been organized within the past five years. In Pennsylvania the curricula of all the State normal schools were reorganized in 1921 so that each school would have four types, each of which Avould prepare for a definite type of work. A kindergartenprimary course was one of the four. Action of the same general character was taken by several other States—California, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and perhaps others.

A study made in 1923 of the catalogues of more than 100 institutions that give such courses showed that considerable experimentation will be necessary to make these courses serve the purposes for which they came into existence. If the idea that underlies the course is carried out, the work should cover the four to eight year period; i. e., that of the kindergarten and the first and second grades. It is therefore evident that there should be a fair balance between the time devoted to the work of the children of kindergarten age and those of the primary age. In this respect, however, the courses are still far apart. A number of these, those in the State normal schools and teachers colleges in particular, devote relatively little time to the work for kindergarten children and the major part of it to the grade work. In the private kindergarten training institutions one is likely to find the emphasis on the kindergarten side and but a small amount of time devoted to the primary work.

In consequence, the first ones are in effect primary courses with a slight kindergarten flavor, and the second kindergarten courses with a slight primary flavor. This is doubtless due to the fact that the majority of graduates of the first-named institutions will teach in the primary grades and the majority of those in the second in kindergartens. This may be true, but it is evident that such courses are kindergarten-primary courses in name rather than in fact. The real purpose of such a course should be the preparation of teachers capable of teaching either kindergarten or primary work, or both. Unless this purpose is carried out the preparation of either the kindergarten or primary teacher will be inadequate. In a course in which the emphasis is on the primary side the training of the prospective kindergarten teacher will be weak, and in one in which the emphasis is on the kindergarten the prospective primary teacher will lack adequate training. As a result the work with the children will lack the continuity that it should have during the six to eight year period. A balance between the time devoted to the work of one tj'pe and that of the other is therefore essential if a kindergartenprimary course is to be true to its name. The organization of such courses is a step forward, but much remains to be done to make the progress real.

The study referred to was a response to many requests for information and suggestions as to the organization of kindergartenprimary courses, and it has therefore been issued as a Bureau of Education bulletin, entitled "An Evaluation of KindergartenPrimary Courses in Teacher-Training Institutions." This contains suggestions as to the means of improving the courses in order that they may accomplish their ultimate purpose—the strengthening of the beginnings of education by a more complete unification of the kindergarten and primary grades.


In the matter of kindergarten legislation there has been reasonably good progress. Two kindergarten laws were enacted in 1923. The first of these was in New Mexico, which up to that date had no kindergarten law. The second was in Illinois, which, in the same year, amended its permissive law by adding a mandatory-on-petition feature. The two laws are as follows:

New Mexico kindergarten law.Section 1425. New Mexico School Code, 1023: Any school in a district having 200 or more pupils in average daily attendance shall have power to establish and maintain, through their governing authorities, kindergartens for the instruction of resident children of the district between 4 and 6 years of age, the cost thereof to be included in the budget allowance of the district and paid from tax proceeds as other maintenance expenses are paid. The State board of education shall have the power to prescribe the course of training, study, and discipline for said kindergartens. No person shall teach kindergarten schools without a diploma from a reputable kindergarten teacher's institute or without passing an examination in kindergarten work prescribed by the State board of education.

Illinois kindergarten law.1Section 115. The board of school directors shall be clothed with the following powers: * * *

Sixteenth. To establish kindergartens for the instruction of children between the ages of 4 and 6 years, if, in their judgment, the public interest requires it, and to pay the necessary expenses of the same out of the school funds of the district. Upon petition of a majority of the parents or guardians of children between the ages of 4 and G residing within any school district where such kindergarten is proposed to be established, the board of directors shall, if funds are available, establish a kindergarten in connection with the public school designated in the petition, and shall maintain such kindergarten as long as the annual average daily attendance therein is not less than 15: And provided further, That such petition must be signed by at least 50 persons living within 1 mile of said public school who are parents or guardians of one or more children between the ages of 4 and 6. No one shall be employed to teach in a kindergarten who does not hold a kindergarten certificate as provided by law.

There are now but four States that have not yet adopted kindergarten laws, viz, Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, and Mississippi. In four others, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, kindergartens may be established without legislation for that purpose because of the low age for school entrance.

1 The School Law of Illinois. Circular No. 17S. Issued by superintendent of public instruction. 1923. P. 22. Act approved June 20, 1923.

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