« AnteriorContinuar »
one ungraded room. There are about 40 pupils in each of the regular grade rooms. Most of these children come from the city district adjoining the building. Others from outside the district may be admitted on the payment of tuition at the rate of $32 a year for the kindergarten and primary grades or $40 a year for grammar grades.
The course of study in this school is similar to that in the Providence public schools. The same subjects are taught and the same books are used. In addition, much time is given to various forms of practical training. The girls have sewing in grades 5 and 8, and cooking in grades 6 and 7. The boys have wood and metal work or printing.
An effort has been made to connect the manual training as closely as possible With elementary science, in which many of the boys have become greatly interested.
The functions served by the school of observation are as follows:
1. It furnishes opportunity for the students of the normal school to see good teaching. It supplies illustrative material for class discussions on methods. Lesson plans may here be tested and criticized from experience, instead of on a theoretical or imaginary basis. It is to the normal school what the clinic is to the school of medicine. It helps to keep the work of the normal school on the right basis by constantly magnifying the practical instead of the theoretical. It gives a worthy ideal to the prospective teacher.
2. It furnishes under the most helpful and encouraging conditions an opportunity for the young teacher to begin her practice teaching. For one hour of the day the school may be used for this work. The rest of the day the children spend under the regular grade teachers. By having this preliminary practice so closely connected with the study of methods, something more is added to the discussions than could be gotten from observation alone. At the same time the student has an opportunity to do her first teaching in a most stimulating environment, and with little responsibility for the general discipline of the / room. Her first effort may thus be given to a masterly presentation of her subject, unhampered by needlessly disturbing conditions. She gains confidence in her own ability, learns to be critical of herself and to accept criticism from others, and in a measure gets the professional point of view, which is, essentially, that by continued endeavor and the wise use of aids of various sorts, it is possible to continually improve in skill and general teaching ability. She is brought to a recognition of the fact that good teaching is fundamental to discipline. It follows that the young teacher is here trained to emphasize the essential matters, and that she is well fitted for the next step in her preparation, the training school.
3. It is a meeting place for theory and practice in the school itself, offering to teachers in the different departments facilities for testing themselves and their own methods in the light of experience with the children for whom the work is intended.
4. It should illustrate for those teaching elsewhere the methods and courses recommended by the normal school. The school of observation should be the model school through which the State may present, as far as possible, its ideal of a satisfactory public school. It should not attempt to carry on its work expensively or to include courses which may not to advantage be included in other public schools. Its aim should be to show how a course of study that is truly efficient in its results may at the same time be conducted with economy.
5. While the main functions of the observation school are those expressed above, it would not fulfill its duty to the State if it did not provide opportunity for the study and evaluation of new ideas which seem to give special promise of worth. Its work with the Montessori material is an illustration of this point.
The training schools are established by contract with the local authorities. At present there are 24 such centers established as follows:
Grades for practice.
Barrlngton: Lincoln Avenue School 5-7
Oliver School 1, 5
Walley School 4, 5
Burrillville: Harrisvllle School 2,4
Central Falls: Garfield Street School 1,6
Eden Park School 4, G
Meshanticut Park School 1-7
East Providence Grove Avenue School 3, 4
East Street School 1,3
Prospect Street School 6, 7
Bridgham School 5, 6
Doyle Avenue School 5, 6
Branch Avenue School 3,4
Grove Street School 2,3
Regent Avenue School 1, 3
Temple Street School 3, 4
Thayer Street Grammar School 5, 7
Willow Street School 1, 3
Camp Street School 1-4:
South Kingston: West Kingston School 1-8
Warwick: Apponaug School 4, 5
Westerly: Bradford 1-4
Pothier School 3, 4
Willow Street School 2, 4
Each training school has a critic teacher nominated by the trustees of the normal school and elected by the school committee in the town or city In which she serves. Two of the regular schoolrooms are set aside for student teachers under her direction. Here the young teachers receive a thorough training In the actual work of the schoolroom for a full half year of apprenticeship.
This system of training embodies to a remarkable extent the recommendations of the " Report of the Committee of Fifteen on the Training of Teachers." After the first preliminary teaching in the observation school, student teachers are trained, not by making them assistants or substitutes or by giving them small groups of children, but by placing them in charge of regular schools under such conditions as they will meet after graduation. Here, during the five months of training, they are thrown on their own resources to a large extent. They learn to master the work of one grade and to teach with due regard for the development of the children; and they gain that close contact with child life, so essential to a good teacher, winch can be gained only by one who is in charge of her own children.
The West Kingston Training School, of which a plan is shown [on page 52], is intended to be a model of what rural schools should be. When constructed in 1912 it took the place of four single-room buildings, and it is a clear demonstration of the possibilities of consolidation. The children are transferred to and from the school by carriages. The building is arranged as indicated by the plan of the ground floor. The problems of lighting and heating have been very satisfactorily solved; the closets are on the main floor; in the basement are a kitchen and manual training shop, which have been adequately equipped at very small expense, and a hot-air engine for pumping the supply of water.
The school is near the West Kingston railroad station and can easily be seen as one passes on the train.
Calculation of standard for measuring practice facilities of a community.—The examples given above are typical of the arrangements 'made in normal schools to secure desirable conditions for practice teaching, namely, conditions that approximate as closely as possible the real public-school conditions that will confront the new teacher when she secures a position. This discussion of conditions was in
Kio. 3.—rian of model rural school of Providence (It. I.) State Normal School, located at
troduced in connection with the attempt to secure some standard by which the practice-teaching facilities of a locality could be measured. The other factor entering into the determination of this standard is the amount of practice teaching to be required of each student. To simplify the calculation we shall assume that this is the amount to be provided for each graduate in a two-year normal course for high-school graduates.
Minimum, 100 hours per graduate; maximum, 90 half days per graduate.—To begin our analysis we need a fairly representative minimum and a fairly representative maximum of the amounts of practice teaching that would be considered necessary by normalschool authorities. As a fair maximum we may take Morrison's figure for New Hampshire, namely, teaching one-half of each school day for one semester or half year, being responsible for the conduct of the classroom for that time. As a minimum we may use the minimum amount agreed upon by the representatives of the normal schools of Ohio, and which seems to fulfill the legal requirement in that State, namely, 100 full hours of actual teaching. This may be reduced to the basis of half days and weeks by estimating the number of hours in a regular school day. If 5 hours of teaching is considered equivalent to teaching a regular school day, the minimum of 100 hours would equal 20 full school days, or 40 half days. Forty half days are equivalent to one-half of each school day for eight weeks.
Minimum, 4- weeks of whole days; maximum, 9 weeks of whole days.—As maximum and minimum amounts of practice teaching, then, we would have the following figures as the amount of practice teaching to be required of each graduate: Maximum—18 weeks of half days, equivalent to 9 weeks of full days. Minimum—8 weeks of half days, equivalent to 4 weeks of full days.
Each group of children may train two-thirds or one-half times 4 to 9 practice teachers a year.—Assuming that the regular school year is 36 weeks long, we can easily calculate from these figures the number of practice teachers that could be accommodated by one group of children, providing all of the teaching of the children is done by practice teachers.
With the maximum amount of teaching—namely, 9 weeks of full days—one group of children may accommodate 4 practice teachers in a year.
With the minimum amount of teaching—namely, 4 weeks of full days—one group of children may accommodate 9 practice teachers in one year.
Not all teaching may be practice teaching; corrected estimate.— It is not likely, however, that all the teaching of a group of children will be done by practice teachers. No community is likely to permit more than half of the teaching in the public schools to be practice teaching. Moreover, many normal schools restrict the amount permitted in the training school; for example, in the quotation from the Rhode Island Bulletin given above, it was limited to one hour a day with each group of children. Most training schools permit more than this; however, probably not more than two-thirds of the teaching is usually practice teaching. Hence, in order to secure a more correct estimate of the practice teaching opportunities afforded by a single group of children, we must differentiate the specialized training school from the ordinary public school in which some practice teaching is permitted. In the training school it may be that twothirds of the teaching will be done by practice teachers, and in the public school, one-half by practice teachers.
According to this revised estimate we secure the following standards:
In a training school where two-thirds of the teaching is done by practice teachers, each group of children will accommodate annually two-thirds times 4 to 9 practice teachers.
In a public school where one-half of the teaching is done by practice teachers, each group of children will accommodate one-half times 4 to 9 practice teachers annually.
From W to 40 children constitute a "group."—With these figures (namely, two-thirds or one-half times 4 to 9 practice teachers annually for each group of children) it is only necessary to decide how many children should constitute a group in order to determine the practice-teaching facilities available in any community. If we take our point of departure for this estimate from the idea that the conditions should closely approximate real school conditions, we would say each group for which a practice teacher is responsible should consist of either half or all of a room containing about 40 children. Except in specially constructed training-school buildings (where there are " group " rooms) the practice teacher would orobably have to be in charge of a full room.
On the basis of these assumptions, with the standards obtained above, the following table is secured showing the number of practice teachers which a given number of children may accommodate hnually:
Special training-school building.—Twenty children to a group, each group accommodating two-thirds times 4 to 9 practice teachers annually, two-thirds of the teaching being done by practice teachers. The numbers of children which will accommodate annually certain numbers of practice teachers in special training-school buildings are as follows:
100 children, 13 to 30 teachers. 200 children, 27 to 60 teachers. 300 children, 40 to 90 teachers. 400 children, 53 to 120 teachers. 500 children, G7 to 150 teachers. 600 children, 80 to 180 teachers. 700 children, 93 to 210 teachers. Regular public-school building.—Forty children to a group, each group accommodating one-half times 4 to 9 practice teachers annually, one-half of the teaching being done by practice teachers.
The numbers of children which will accommodate annually certain numbers of practice school-teachers in regular public-school buildings are as follows:
120 children. 6 to 14 teachers.