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A great deal of heat is made inside the Sometimes the people are buried in the earth.
ruins. The inside of this big ball is like a Such skakings of the ground are called furnace.
earthquakes. Sometimes the fire comes out.
This heat inside the earth is very strong. It comes out through the volcanoes. It can do a great deal. Volcanoes send out fire, ashes, and lava. There is really no such thing as cold. Lava is melted rock,
When we say a thing is cold we mean Hot springs are found in many countries. there is little he in it. The hot water rises from the inside of We do not know whether all the heat can the earth.
get out of anything. Sometimes the ground trembles.
There is a little heat even in ice. Houses and trees are thrown down.
The following is a list of books found in one good school library. The average age of children in the school was 8} years : Anerican Revolution. Fiske.
War of Independence. Fiske. Our New Arithmetic. Wm, M. Peck. Normal Course in Reading. 4th book. (10 copies.)
(10 copies.) Stories of American History. Dodge. Through a Looking Glass. (10 copies.) American History Stories. (10 copies.) Stories of Heroic Deeds. Johonnot. (10 Pilgrims and Puritans. Moore.
Little Red Riding Hood. (10 copies.) From Colony to Commonwealth,
Natural Science for Young People.
The Middle Kingdom.
Cyclopedia of Common Things.
Cyclopedia of Persons and Places. The children were able to use the dictionary, consulted the cyclopedias, and were reading the books intelligently.
Few teachers ever learn to teach penmanship; they lean upon the copy book. These books pretend to be graded for different stages of progress. The children copy the letters at the top of the page a few minutes each day. The last line is often less correctly drawn than the first, because it is an inch or two farther removed from the copy. Yet to ask children to write outside of the copy book is often called unfair.
Can it be said that permitting the children to make the letters or words in one or even five writing books is teaching penmanship? Should a person who can not teach penmanship be given a certificate of qualification. The record shows that more thai half of these teachers do not claim to be able to teach penmanship.
Consider the instruction in arithmetic, the so-called “practical" branch. The best instruction in arithmetic does not regard addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division as four processes graduated from the lowest to the highest, and to be learned successively; it assumes that the true progress is from small numbers to large, and from easy processes to more difficult ones. Hence, the beginner adds, subtracts, multiplies, and divides all the numbers in succession. He ascertains the parts of each number, including its fractional parts. He then applies the number to common things, like time and measurements of every kind. He learns to perform different arithmetical processes and explains what is within the limit of numbers he has gained.
He proceeds in this way from one number to another. Large numbers and all extensive notation are reserved until later, or entirely discarded. By thus knowing simple and manageable numbers, and by infinitely varying the exercises upon thein, he obtains a mastery of common and useful processes. lle gains genuine preparation for dealing with larger numbers if he ever needs them. He approaches problems which are not obscured by large figures. The method is a workable and rational one.
The papers of all children under 10 were rejected in making the summary, and the result of the test shows what children of 12 have learned in the public schools. In giving the oral questions, the children were allowed reasonable time and all reasonablo helps. In the written work and problems they were allowed all the time they desired.
It should be noted that these are the elementary, the very simplest processes, perfectly easy to children of 6 or 7, as can be readily shown. They ought to have been acquired in the first two years of school life.
The following table gives the per cent of incorrect answers :
Children whose failures are here recorded are taught to work the examples in the book, and to repeat the rules in the same book. There are cases where children can begin and repeat every rule without prompting: These rules are taught verbatim, and the children sedulously practiced in working examples. The real needs and capacities of young children are disregarded; business facility in the common operations not thought of. Arithmetic has thus become a science of difficult trifles and intricate fooleries peculiar to common schools, and remarkable chiefly for sterility and ill-adaptedness for any useful purpose. It is pertinent to inquire, and parents ought to inquire, why children over 11 years of age can not correctly divide 546 by 3.
The reason is that there has been no teaching whatever, or that the method of teaching is radically unsound.
II. Many teachers do not possess the necessary practical wisdom and professional skill. They do not know how to so arrange courses and to 8o instruct as to do the most possible of what is worth doing in a given time.
An examination of our schools will seldom reveal a teacher who is devoid of interest in her work. Many of them are young. Some of them are uneducated, while only a small per cent ever received anything like special training in the art of instruction. They are like lawyers who begin to practice when they begin to study, and like doctors who begin to give medicine when they first open their books. The analogy would be complete if physicians were appointed over mited districts and the children within these districts were obliged to take medicine and advice from them, or not at all. There should be no more thought of employing a publicschool teacher who does not know how to give instruction than there is of employing a musician whose musical education is limited to the hearing of a street band.
The ends of education, therefore, demand that teachers be trained, and that if the State is to establish schools, it also expend some of its money in giring our teachers greater skill.
Omitting one town, i. e., New Haven, in the county under review, it appears that 35 of 203 teachers visited by the examiner had normal school or equivalent training. Such training may mean much or little; the minimum would be a tolerable knowledge of the way to teach the common branches.
Evidence is wanting that committees are strenuous in their efforts to secure teachers of approved character and qualifications. There are many pernicious influences at work of which family and locality are the most conspicuous. No new blood can get in. The natural inilux of trained teachers is prohibited, and the inefficient are protected. This is educational politics. The machinery and the output of this machinery are well known, and yet we do nothing about it but let the children suffer. Thus worked, the school system is not performing a great public duty, but perpetrating a great injustice.
Often when an inadequate examination is passed and a certificate is secured by a teacher, professional equipment is regarded as complete. Of serious and systematic realing, of the pursuit of any branch of letters or of science for its own sake, or of the habit of seli-instruction which alone can furnish the freshness of intellect needed by teachers, there is not much evidence.
Those whose class work is observed and tested sometimes have some technical skill in the art of teaching, but there is absolute poverty of illustration and thought. This results from lack of reading and observation, by which light would be slied upon lessons and text-books.
The recent development of primary education, so remarkable and widespread, has not touched many of these towns, and has not compelled an improvement in the qualifications of teachers. There are some men and women who have no conception of progress in education. They do not reject the idea; it has never been in their minds. Their schools are not only behind this age, but behind all ages.
Nor is there in some towns much encouragement for teachers to secure by expenditure of money and hard work substantial qualifications. The school oflicers have prescribed schemes of instructicn, founded on text-books, and exhibiting in minute detail the work to be done; no discretion either in plan or detail is left to the teacher. There is no scope for her training, or kuowledge, or individual experience. There is a limited and solidified programme; every subject and part of subject is obligatory. The question for the teacher is, not what is useful, not what is best for this child or that, not what will do each the most good, but what is prescribed by the committee, school visitor, or superinten«lent.
It follows that children are not expected to know anything ontside of this limited routine, because it is not in the course of study, or has not been reached in the course of study; it is not in this gratle; tho page where it is found has not been turned over, That a subject is not prescribed, or has not been regularly reached, is an all-sufficient excuse for ignorance. For instance, in many, perhaps most, schools fractions are not touched until children aro 10 or 12 years old. In such schools if a question involving a fraction is asked, it is then suliicient to say that the children lare not bad fractions. If the children should be asked to add a lalf and a quarter before they came to written addition of fractions in the book, they ought not to have heard of such an operation. They ought to keep silence if they liave heard of it.
An illustration is found in the fact that at least one-fourth of the children over 11} did not work correctly the example, 516--3; they had not reached division, Children learn to add, and leaving school at 8 or 9 years of age, can not subtract uor use small fractions.
The courses of study, if any exist, are in reality constructed to conform to textbooks, while the books themselves are books of reference, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but not suitable to direct the method or even the order in which subjects should be presented.
The same auherence to text-books is found where there is no course of study. The childiren will be required to give what the book contains, to perform the examples, say the rules, enumerate the mountains, and recite the battles in the order of the book. One teacher exhibited a boy as a moritorious scholar who had begun at the beginning of a United States history and repeated without verbal error 45 pages. Another boasted that his class could begin at the beginning of ono of the larger arithmetics and give every rule and definition without prompting. Both of these teachers were men and adults.
III. There is no adequate supervision.
In 23 towns the schools are visited and supervisory duties performed i wice in a term.
There are in this county two large districts, New Haven and Waterbury, which employ a superintendent.
It is quite impossible to characterize the ordinary visitation of schools as supervision. It has no effect upon the teacher anıl is only intended to satisfy the visitor that in general the legal requirements of the school have been met. This is all he is obliged to testify to. It is not essential to a legal school that any child or any class should havo made any progress, or that a single child should have learned anything whatsoever. It is only necessary that the school should have been begun, continued, and endel in conformity to the statutes, which require no test of the quality of the education.
This is a go-as-you-please system, which will make a good school if there happens to be a good teacher who is not hampered. The school system of the State does not, however, supply any assurance that the quality of the education will be gooil. On the contrary, we should naturally expect that it will sometimes be good and sometimes bad, and that children will sometimes be educated and sometimes not. Tho only conditions absolutely essential are that the teacher shall be employed and tho schoolhouse kept open. It is not even necessary that the studies prescribed by the State shall be taught. It is found that in many, perhaps most, schools writing, which has been specifically prescribed, is not, in any proper sense, taught. The one result which is almost certain is that the children will not attend å good school continuously during their school lives.
The mischief which is here suggested has its seed in part in the law itself, which prescribes two visits a term as the legal requirement, aud by implication expresses itself satistied with that number. These two visits can not amount to supervision, and if supervision be necessary, it can not be had under such a law executed to the letter. School visitors can not be held responsible for tlie failure.
The inefficiency in teaching noted above in some measure arises from the fact that the committees and visitors are entirely unacquainted with what should be taught in schools, and are not competent supervisors. Many of these teachers go astrav in their work, because they have no one to tell them what they ought to do. Very frequently young persons labor hard but fruitlessly, because they have no notion of what they ought to accomplish. These teachers are thankful for suggestions, and no teacher has been found to reject recommendations or receivo them otlerwise than gratefully. Without question, the school committees and school visitors inight inform themselves, and thus participate more frequently and actively in school work. This would bo an impulse to the efforts of teachers, if it were weil directed.
IV. The high schools are dislocated from and do not lend a helpful hand to the elementary schools.
There is no cement by which the grammar schools are bound to the high schools. The high schools have dictated the studies of elementary schools to the endless harm of the latter. Schemes are formed, one school first grade, another second, another third, etc., but these names which represent a valuable reality when a school of Jower grade gives an education useful in itself and thus fits for a higher, simply imply a harassing limitation upon the subjects of instruction when the higher scliool dictates the studies and directs the instruction in the lower, or when cach school, instead of being a part of an organism, must act as an independent body.
Possibly high schools are supplying as much education above the elementary as is demandeii, but they are doing very little, perhaps nothing, to stimulate this demand. In the larger towns the high schools furnish the instruction which a few wislı for, but they do not help, or help only to a very slight extent, the main body of the youth in the town.
This means that they are doing only what could be done without them. For when so few demand what the high schools atford, it is probable that the people who want this education for their children could be trusted to find it for them. These high schools provide at the expense of the taxpayer what a few want a little cheaper than private individuals could provide it. They should prove their right to exist by creating a demand for their special training and fitting youth for useful occupations.
Notably is weak teaching mauifest in the high schools and in the advanced grammar grades in the elementary schools. Deficiencies in these grades are not easily detected. Children can be set to tasks useless or useful. Memory exercises indicating an apparent intellectual activity can be given, while the whole process of learning is fatal to thinking, and ultimately to independent right action. As in elementary schools, so in high schools tho cardinal need to-day is a supply of persons qualified to intelligently instruct.
EDWARD D. ROBBINS.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
(From the report of Supt. W. B. Powell for 1892-93.) Adrantages of free tert-books. The distribution and preservation of text-books and supplies, though restricted to the first six grates of school, involved a large amount of extra work and care, which, notwithstanding a custodian was employed, devolved largely on the supervising corps. This work added a large percentage to the labors of the supervisors, and at the same time correspondingly reduced the amount of work and attention that could be given to supervision and improving the teaching in the schools. Books and supplies to the value of $10,000 or $30,000, in use by 40,000 children at work in a hundreil schoolhouses distributed over 61 square miles of territory, required for their distribution, their preservation, and such constant knowledge of tủeir condition as is desirable from a business as well as an ethical point of view not only much time as well as care, but also great labor and thought, demanding an expenditure of no inconsiderable nervous force.
Free text-books and supplies, however, have been a great boon to thousands of children, and have secured the prompt and regular attendance at school of many who, if they had been obliged to buy their books, could not have attended at all. They have also served to make the schools more efficient and more uniform in their efficiency than schools can be made whose pupils furnish their own books, because uniformity in the character of supplies and promptness in furnishing them are more easily secured when books and supplies are provided by the school authorities than when they are furnished by the pupils. With few exceptions, resulting from inability of contractors to fill our orders promptly, teachers had to do but little waiting for materials with which to work during the year. The advantage of this is considerable, being especially appreciable in the poorer districts of the city and the more distant county schools. No other purely administrative item has tended so much to unify the teaching of our schools and to make it as good in the less-favored localities as it is elsewhere as this uniformity of supplies and this promptness in getting them into the hands of the teacher.
Except in a few cases the books have been well preserved and the supplies carefully and economically used. The supervisor's have exercised a judicious, intelligent, and painstaking supervision in the use and preservation of everything that has passed through their hands. The teachers, as a rule, have shown that interest and exercised that care in the preservation of books and the economical use of supplies that they would be expected to show were they providing these things themselves. In many instances the teachers do more than this; they impress upon their pupils the moral importance in caring for property that is a loan or trust or whose use is in part a gift. Indeed the strongest teachers have made this an opportunity to impress upon the minds of the children the moral obligation that rests upon one who is the custodian of public property, making them feel not alone that their own interests in the ownership of what they use should insure a careful consideration for its welfare, but also that the fact that they are trusted agents is a much weightier reason why they should be careful of this property. If the coming generation of citizens can be trained to a feeling of responsibility in the exercise of care in the use of public property which shall result in the cessation of vandalism, careless destruction, and the hoidenish practice of writing their names and carving their initials in public places, thus marring the beauty of everything they touch, the furnishing of free text-books will yield a fruitage quite commensurate with the cost.
One may almost know before an examination of a school has been made the condition of the books in use and the care that is exercised in the preservation of perishable materials, as paper, ink, and pencils, by the condition of the fence inclosing the school lot and the fences of the adjoining lots, by the condition of the halls and other passageways of the school building, and he will be further strengthened in such judgment by the presence or absence of cuts, mars, and marks on the school furniture, on entering the schoolroom. These are telltales whose reliable stories the wise supervisor will not fail to read in passing. It has been the constant effort of the supervising corps to train the children to preserve the property of the District, not so much for the preservation, per se, though that is strong enough reason for the effort, but that the training of the children may be secured to that manly conduct, to that conscientious discharge of duty in the use of property that characterizes the safe man.
Moral effect of the condition of schoolhouses.- The condition of the houses and their surroundings at all times should be such as to influence the children to thoughtful care in their treatment of them. To the effects of this condition is due much that gives character to the conduct of the children. A scratch on the casing of door or window invites another scratch. A boy sees less harm in breaking a pano of glass adjacent to another that is broken than he does in breaking one in a sash containing only whole panes. It does not seem very wrong to jerk or twist from its post a gate that is hanging by only one hinge. To the mind of the child it is a small matter to take one or more bricks from a sidewalk already broken or partly toru up. The lesson to be learned from these facts by the management, if the children are to receive proper intluence from their surroundings, is that the schoolhouses and their appurtenances should be kept in perfect repair all the time. The effect of a clean schoolroom, in good repair, on a pripil's life and conduct is greater than any code of precept on order and cleanliness that may be dictated by the teacher or other person in anthority. The one becomes a part of himself, because he lives it; the other he is likely not to believe, if he understands it, because it has only been said to him. People are what they grow to be. They grow on what they take for nourishment. The life of a young child is u doubtedly attected by what is said to him, but it is influenced far more by what he does. The atmosphere of a well-ordered, well-kept schoolroom is not only an inspiration, but it is moral nourishment developing his tender life in desirable, profitable growthis. It is a crime to the State and to the individual child, to the State because to the individual child, to permit him to sit