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too much with the child's spontaneous effort to master his own problems, for his instinctive curiosity should be led to replace itself by a higher mental process which is still normally childlike.
The training school must also consider to some extent the question "after kindergarten, what?" Therefore the student should have some knowledge of the best that the elementary school stands for to-day, that children leaving the kindergarten may not find themselves strangers in a strange land. The training student should be made to feel that the kindergarten is but part of a larger whole, and that its isolation means weakness if not death.
Our student is a social being as well as an individual, therefore all the vital questions of life are to be, or are now, hers, and she should have help in the art of living with her fellows. To this end a "Student's home" seems to be almost a necessary adjunct to a training school. Out of this closer life with her fellow students will come lessons that can not be set down in any curriculum—friendships which vitally affect character for better, for worse, and many lessons in human nature, in home problems, in self-government, etc.
Nothing has been said definitely about the student's spiritual growth, but if all "religion has relation to life, and the life of religion is to do good," we have a right to believe that the guiding, controlling, right motive of the student in all that has been suggested is the center, the spring from which the higher life may flow.
Here is where the personal human contact between training teacher and student may make, or mar, development. It means a course of study and action in which a stranger may not meddle, and yet the "motive" is what gives strength and poise to every human soul.
Such, in brief, are the ideals for which we should stand, knowing well that every truth which we inculcate, if spoken with a right motive at the heart of it, will "remain and like the 'mist which went up from the earth' will fall again and water the whole face of the ground."
Ideals Of Kindergarten Training Schools. (By Lucy Wheelock, Principal of the Wheelock Kindergarten Training School, Boston, Mass.)
I. Environment.—The kindergarten training school should be suitably housed in light, airy rooms, with appropriate pictures upon the walls, and other reminders of the ideals which govern the work with the children. Pleasant surroundings help in the social atmosphere of the school, and have an effect in determining its efficiency.
II. Numbers.—A large training school offers the stimulus of numbers. It makes possible a more perfect democracy. It prevents provincialism by bringing students into contact with many others, often from different parts of the country. The horizon of each is widened, and the life of each individual student enriched by interchange of ideas and contact with different personalities. The large Bchool secures more esprit de corps and enthusiasm.
III. Faculty.—The faculty of a training school should be sufficiently large to secure individual attention for each student.
There should be an expert teacher in all departments and a special teacher for general educational subjects, such as psychology, history of education, and principles of education.
Special teachers for music, art, handwork, games, and stories should be provided. The supervisor of practice should follow carefully the work of each student and be able to judge of her ability in controlling children and of her teaching capacity.
IV. Curriculum.—The curriculum of the training school should include the general educational and special subjects already mentioned, as well as a careful and continued study of Froebelian literature and Proebelian materials.
Every school owes its students the opportunity to become thoroughly acquainted with these Froebelian agencies.
Other materials may be studied and used, and the student should become sufficiently independent in her thinking to be able to choose those best adapted to meet her own conditions as the future may develop them.
Some cultural subject, as literature or ethics, should make a part of the curriculum in order that doors may be opened into a larger life and the students may have help in their own thinking and a treasury from which to draw.
V. Child-study.—Child-study should be correlated with psychology and the observation of the junior year. The observation should begin with the opening of the course and continue throughout the year for at least two or three days a week.
The scientific attitude gives the desire to know. Knowledge leads to understanding and understanding means sympathy; hence the scientific attitude toward child life.
The ideal for the observation is living with the children according to FroebeFs motto.
The student should be allowed to participate in the games and to become a part of the kindergarten life without taking any direct teaching.
VI. Aim.—The students in the kindergarten training school, as well as the children in the kindergarten, have a right to the life that now is. They have a right to the normal relations of life during the two years of training.
No drill, no preparation for dreaded examinations, should take the place of the normal interest in studies and in child life, which will make an earnest, thorough, and enthusiastic teacher and a lovable woman.
The school is society, and the student in training is already a momber of society. A part of her training is to equip her to meet all the relationships which naturally claim her. She should be from the first in sympathetic cooperation with her fellow students and teachers.
The curriculum should not be so crowded as to make all social intercourse impossible during the time of training.
The kindergartner comes into closer relation with the families of the neighborhood than any other person; therefore, she is a social worker.
The training course should include a study of sociology, of community problems, of child-welfare agencies and racial psychology, so that the student on graduation may find herself not only perfected in the technique of the system, but ready to meet the demands that will be made upon her in her neighborhood work.
Ideals Basic Of Kindergarten Training.
1. By means of cultivating personalities.
2. The highest standard of civilization should be incorporated in the curriculum,
such as philosophies, history, science, literature, art, etc.
3. Curriculum should be based on spiritual interpretation of life.
(a) Life itself is the expression of spirit.
(6) Means to the above end; ethics practically demonstrated as well as studied;
a student resident home to embody the above, (c) Special course in home-making.
4. Apply concretely ideals in student work through social relations.
(a) Through sympathetic and emotional channels.
(6) Intellectual development in relation to curriculum and ethical life.
(c) Training of will by application of self activity in practical affairs.
5. Presentation of ideals for service.
1. By means of fine personalities believing in ideals and standards working for them
along concrete lines.
2. Constant aim, the development of character for the sake of life; and the relation of
the human beings to the Unseen.
3. Presentation of ideals.
(a) Through actual experiences.
(b) Through all means offered by the kindergarten ("doing") music, art, lit
erature, technical materials, etc.
(c) The interpretation of all means for the above ends with distinct emphasis
on "feeling, thinking, willing" for social good.
Ideals Implied In Standards Op Kindergarten Training. (By Alice E. Fitts, Principal, School of Kindergarten Education, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, N. Y.)
In the training of the kindergartner, or child educator, Froebelian educational ideals should take precedence. They should be taken into consideration in arranging the curriculum, in determining the relation of subject to subject and in the order in which experiences are given to the student.
The kindergartner is to become an educator, not merely an instructor, and should experience the meaning of self-education and self-knowledge. She should have, as far as possible, first-hand experiences of life prior to theorizing about them. The plan of the training school should be such that it may furnish opportunities for assuming responsibilities, for fulfilling duties, for taking the initiative, for self-government, for meeting new problems, and for culture and general efficiency. Wherever possible, homes should be opened in connection with the training school, so that students may in this way have some experiences of home making and keeping, and of social responsibilities, and learn to adapt themselves to each others' differing ideals of living.
As the field of the kindergartner is a wide one, covering work with mothers as well as children, of all races, classes, and creeds, some general sociological outlook is imperative. The student must become familiar with existing conditions of life in the homes of her children, and with the modern agencies for the betterment and education of these people. Lectures on related topics, and opportunities to visit settlements, institutions, and schools should be given to all student kindergartners.
The varying physical conditions found in children of kindergarten age, together with the prevalence of contagious diseases, make it important for provision to be made for students to become acquainted with normal physical standards and the tests for determining them. Therefore, observation of children in any way departing from the normal should be made, and some training given in making tests of individuals, so that normal conditions may be recognized and sustained.
The agencies for creative self-expression of the students should be the excursions, plays, games and rhythms, songs, stories, gifts, and occupations of the kindergarten, together with such knowledge of their wider application in music, art, science, and literature as may be necessary to increase the students' appreciation and culture.
As the work of the kindergartner rests upon an understanding of nature and her processes it is of paramount importance that she be placed at some time during her course in an environment that will enable her to come in sympathetic touch with all phases of life in nature especially through participating in the nurture of plants and animals. The next step which naturally follows is this gained power of observation and nurture transferred to children. Students should have ample opportunity to observe all phases of child life, especially manifestations of individual children, and to become responsible for their physical care, as well as for their education. While love for children is what sustains the kindergartner through the patient painstaking necessary to nuiture, yet only through the following of principles can she hope to make her work truly educative. A sympathetic attitude is the basis for understanding, but is not enough; she must be guided by definite educational principles. These she will find in Proebel's writings, in modern child study, and psychology.
The aim of the kindergarten training is the harmonious development of body and mind in relation to the soul. Spiritual ideas must be placed before the student; she must become aware of the fact that these can he realized in life, and that only those things are worth while which have eternal value.
As the kindergarten is to become an integral part of the whole of education, the training schools for kindergartners should give definite knowledge as to the aims of the primary school, its methods and means, and the possible relation it bears to the kindergarten. Students should see how the educational principles at work in the kindergarten may be further defined and carried out as the child's education advances in the school. They should see that, as mutual understanding of principle comes to kindergartner and teacher alike, antagonisms cease, and that they then will find themselves in company with the many others who are striving for the etsrnal goal of truth.
While this broader aspect of kindergarten education is an ideal that may not be immediately realized, it is in accordance with those principles enunciated by Frederick Froebel 75 years ago. With renewed insight into the needs of humanity that modern life shows us, we can not expect to train its leaders of education in a short time; therefore, two years would hardly suffice for realization of these ideals in the training of the kindergartner.
Ideals To Be Realized In Kindergarten Training.
(By Nina C. Vandewalker, Ilead of Kindergarten Department, State Normal School, Milwaukee, Wis.)
If the conception of education which the kindergarten embodies is to be realized through its work, the kindergarten training teacher must be guided by certain ideals in organizing and carrying out a course for the training of kindergartners. Since the right kind of kindergarten work requires certain inborn qualities, the training teacher should encourage only young women of earnest purpose, natural adaptation to little children, good intellectual insight, and musical and artistic ability to enter the course.
Because the demands of work with little children are varied, the course must provide for the different kinds of demands. The student requires knowledge along several lines as the basis for her work. She needs to gain an insight into the child's progressive development and the educational needs to which that development gives rise. She needs an acquaintance with the instrumentalities of education appropriate to the different stages, and the methods of using them effectively. She needs a knowledge of nature, of art, of music, and of literature, since these are agencies for the child's development in the home, the kindergarten and the school alike. To give the prospective kindergartner the knowledge to make her work intelligent in these and other lines must therefore be one of the training teacher's ideals.
If the kindergarten course is properly organized, however, this knowledge will have been acquired as a means to an end, that of using it to further children's development. The course must therefore provide opportunity for experience with children of different types and ages, in the different phases of kindergarten work, and under sufficient guidance to insure success. To lead young women to success in furthering children's development is to lead them to the evolution and mastery of their own souls, a result often bought with a price by both students and training teacher. To bring about the development in students that will enable their work with children to reach the plane of art is another of the training teacher's ideals.
To give the prospective kindergartner the command of her own resources that will enable her to realize the ideals of the kindergarten in a fair degree is to accomplish the main purpose of kindergarten training. That training has not accomplished its full purpose, however, unless it has given her the abiding interest in her work that only an exalted conception of life can give. The conception which the kindergarten embodies is the root from which such an interest grows and the literature which embodies it must therefore form a part of the kindergarten course. It is from this mainly that kindergartners have received the impulse toward the realization of a larger life for themselves—the life of service to the mothers of their children, to the school of which the children form a part, and to the community in its various forms of cooperative effort. To give students the knowledge needed for effective work with little children, to assist them in developing skill in carrying on their chosen work in all its phases, and to inspire them to a fuller realization of the meaning of life in its varied relationships— these are some of the ideals to be realized in training kindergartners.