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The particular results to be sought may be somewhat specifically indicated as follows:1 I. In general, the immediate aim of secondary English is twofold:
(a) To give the pupil command of the art of expression
in speech and in writing. (6) To teach him to read thoughtfully and with appre
ciation, to form in him a taste for good reading, and
to teach him how to find books that are worth while. These two aims are fundamental; they must be kept in mind in planning the whole course and applied in the teaching of every term. II. Expression in speech includes:
(a) Ability to answer clearly, briefly, and exactly a ques
tion on which one has the necessary information. (6) Ability to collect and organize material for oral
discourse. (c) Ability to present with dignity and effectiveness to
a class, club, or other group material already
organized. (d) Ability to join in a conversation or an informal dis
cussion, contributing one's share of information or opinion, without wandering from the point and
without discourtesy to others. (e) Ability (for those who have or hope to develop quali
ties of leadership) to address an audience or conduct a public meeting, after suitable preparation and practice, with proper dignity and formality, but
without stiffness or embarrassment. (f) Ability to read aloud in such a way as to convey to
the hearers the writer's thought and spirit and to
interest them in the matter presented. NOTE.- All expression in speech demands distinct and natural articulation, correct pronunciation, the exercise of a sense for correct and idiomatic speech, and the use of an agreeable and well-managed voice. The speaker should be animated by a sincere desire to stir up some interest, idea, or feeling in his hearers. III. Expression in writing includes:
(a) Ability to write a courteous letter according to the
forms in general use, and of the degree of formality
or informality appropriate to the occasion. (6) Ability to compose on the first draft a clear and read
able paragraph or series of paragraphs on familiar subject matter, with due observance of unity and order and with some specific detail.
1 This outline, here considerably modified, was originally prepared by Allan Abbott, of the Horace Mann School, Columbia University, and appeared in the English Journal for October, 1912.
(c) Ability to analyze and present in outline form the
gist of a lecture or piece of literature, and to write
an expansion of such an outline. (d) Ability, with due time for study and preparation, to
plan and work out a clear, well-ordered, and interesting report of some length upon one's special in
terests—literary, scientific, commercial, or what not. (e) Ability (for those who have literary tastes or ambi
tions) to write a short story or other bit of imaginative composition with some vigor and personality of style and in proper form to be submitted for publication, and to arrange suitable stories in form
for dramatic presentation. NOTE.—All expression in writing demands correctness as to formal details, namely, a legible and firm handwriting, correct spelling, correctness in grammar and idiom, and observance of the ordinary rules for capitals and marks of punctuation; the writer should make an effort to gain an enlarged vocabulary, a concise and vigorous style, and firmness and flexibility in constructing sentences and paragraphs.
IV. Knowledge of books and power to read them thoughtfully and with appreciation includes:
(a) Ability to find pleasure in reading books by good
authors, both standard and contemporary, with an increasing knowledge of such books and increasing ability to distinguish what is really good from what
is trivial and weak. (6) Knowledge of a few of the greatest authors, their
lives, their chief works, and the reasons for their
importance in their own age and in ours. (c) Understanding of the leading features in structure
and style of the main literary types, such as novels,
dramas, essays, lyric poems.
knowledge of when to use each:
ground, getting quickly at essentials.
exact understanding of its meaning and
implications. (3) Consultation, to trace quickly and accu
rately a particular fact by means of in
dexes, guides, and reference books. (e) The habit of weighing, line by line, passages of espe
cial significance, while other parts of the book may be read but once.
(f) The power to enter imaginatively into the thought of
an author, interpreting his meaning in the light of one's own experience, and to show, perhaps, by selecting passages and reading them aloud, that the
book is a source of intellectual enjoyment. NOTE.—All bookwork should be done with a clear understanding on the student's part as to what method of reading he is to use and which of the purposes mentioned above is the immediate one. To form a taste for good reading it is desirable that a considerable part of the pupil's outside reading be under direction. To this end lists of recommended books should be provided for cach grade or term. These lists should be of considerable length and variety, to suit individual tastes and degrees of maturity.
V. The kinds of skill enumerated above are taught for three fundamental reasons:
(a) Cultural. To open to the student new and higher
forms of pleasure. (6) Vocational. To fit the student for the highest success
in his chosen calling. (c) Social and ethical. To present to the student noble
ideals, aid in the formation of his character, and make him more efficient and actively interested in his relations with and service to others in the com
munity and in the nation. NOTE.—These fundamental aims should be implicit in the teacher's attitude and in the spirit of the class work, but should not be explicitly set forth as should the immediate aim of each class exercise.
The committee has formulated a series of problems which must be worked out. These may be briefly indicated as follows: I. In general:
(a) What is the most effective division of the school
course? Is it, for example, that which provides for an intermediate school to include grades seven,
eight, and nine ? (6) Should the course be planned by years or by half
years (semesters) ? (c) What minimum of time for class recitations per week
should be demanded ? (d) Should a choice be offered in the twelfth or in any
other grade between a general course in English and specialized courses in English, such as commercial
English ? (e) How shall due emphasis be secured for speaking:
reading, and writing of the more practical matterof-fact sort without at the same time neglecting the literary or æsthetic?
II. As to composition:
(a) How shall progress from year to year be indicated
and measured ? (6) How shall the principles of grammar and rhetoric be
sufficiently enforced without over-formalizing the instruction and preventing spontaneity and the
operation of specific purposes? (c) How much of the time should be devoted to oral com
position and what are the proper relationships be
tween speaking and writing ? (d) To what extent may pupils be taught to criticise their
own work and that of their classmates? (e) What is the value of the various methods of criticism
employed by teachers ? (f) What reading is essential to the work in composition? (9) What cooperation of all departments in the work of
establishing right habits of collecting and ordering of ideas and of clear and correct expression of them
is possible and desirable ? (h) What legitimate opportunities for practice in ex
pression does the social life of the school afford
and how can these be most effectively utilized ?
(i) What equipment does the work require ? III. As to literature:
(a) How shall progress from year to year be indicated
and measured ? (6) How shall sufficient knowledge of the backgrounds
of literature be insured without defeating the ends of appreciation and a habit of reading books of
lasting value? (c) How much of the time should be devoted to oral read
ing and how shall this be made at once a social ac
complishment and a gateway to understanding? (d) What are the proper limits of the study of literary
art in the various years? How shall pupils attain
to standards of æsthetic judgment ? (e) What part should oral and written composition have
in the study of literature? What provision should
be made for draniatization ? (f) What principles should determine the selection of
books to be read? For example, should American authors have preference ?
(g) How shall pupils be trained in the use of current
books and periodicals and in the choice and enjoy
ment of current plays? (h) What responsibility shall the English teacher assume
for the general reading of the pupils and for their
(i) What equipment does the work require ? The members of the committee will welcome information and suggestions from all who are interested. They wish particularly to learn about the work of schools in agricultural and industrial communities which have developed English courses to meet their peculiar needs.
JAMES FLEMING Hosic, Chairman. CHICAGO TEACHERS COLLEGE, The other members of the committee on English are as follows: Emma J. Breck, Oakland High School, Oakland, Cal. Randolph T. Congdon, State department of education, Albany, N. Y. Mary E. Courtenay, Englewood High School, Chicago, Ill. Charles W. Evans, supervisor of English, East Orange, N. J. Benjamin A. Heydrick, High School of Commerce, New York, N. Y. Henry W. Holmes, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. Mrs. Henry Hulst, Central High School, Grand Rapids, Mich. Walter J. Hunting, superintendent of schools, Carson City, Nev. W, D. Lewis, principal, William Penn High School, Philadelphia, Pa. May McKitrick, East Technical High School, Cleveland, Ohio. Edwin L. Miller, Central High School, Detroit, Mich. Edwin T. Shurter, University of Texas, Austin, Tex. Elmer W. Smith, Colgate University, Hamilton, N. Y. Charles S. Thomas, Newton High School, Newtonville, Mass.
STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON
THE POINT OF VIEW.
It is probable that the high-school teachers of social studies have the best opportunity ever offered to any social group to improve the citizenship of the land. This sweeping claim is based upon the fact that the million and a third high-school pupils is probably the largest group of persons in the world who can be directed to a serious and systematic effort, both through study and practice, to acquire the social spirit.
Good citizenship should be the aim of social studies in the high school. While the administration and instruction throughout the school should contribute to the social welfare of the community, it
1 The term “social studies " is used to include history, civics, and economics.