commonly called weeds, in preference to cultivated ones with all their complications.” From this we must not infer that man should be left in his primitive, uncultivated state, but the human soul is to be studied in its simplicity. The young human plant, in its instinctive, primitive state, uncalculating, unspoiled by false culture, presents to the observer who is capable of seeing and understanding them, the laws and the logical processes of development despite individual differences. - The Child.


[ocr errors][merged small]

The pupils should not, in their study of reading, pronounce (inaudibly) the separate words; neither should they, in their oral reading, point with the pencil or finger to the separate words in the sentence in the book, or with the pointer, to the separate words of a sentence upon the board.

The aim in reading is to so train the child that it can grasp the thought of the sentence by a glance at the sentence as a whole. This can be best done, by making the parts of the sentence quite subordinate. It is true that the child must consider the separate words. But the stage that precedes work in the reading book is the one in which such work is most prominent.

After the child commences the study of sentences and paragraphs to allow him to speak the separate words (inaudibly) in study, or to point to them as he reads orally, tends to make him a halting, hesitating reader. If the pupil is permitted to read in such a manner in school, he will tend to do so in his after reading, according to the principle that the mind tends to act again as it has acted.

The teacher should not do for the child that which he is fitted, by his stage of development, to do for himself.

There are two things to be considered under this prohibition : 1. What meaning is to be put into it? 2. Upon what law of mind is it based ?

The interpretation that is to be put upon the prohibition is that the child is to master by his own efforts (the teacher direct


ing or suggesting, but not telling) all ideas that his mind is capa. ble of dealing with, except: a. Arbitrary facts, (e. g., names). b. Those ideas that bear a very remote relation to the knowledge that the child already possesses, (e. g., the distance of the sun from the earth). c. Those that are presented as data for his thinking, (e. g., the comparative numbers of contending armies).

In regard to the ideas indicated under “b”, the thought should be that they should not be presented in any way until their relation to the pupil's knowledge and needs is less remote.

The mistake that is usually made in respect to "a" and "c?? is to include under them a great deal that should be excluded. Thus, if the pupil says he does not know kow to pronounce the word porringer, many would say that it should be pronounced for him, either by the teacher, other pupils, or the dictionary, on the ground that the pronunciation of a word is an arbitrary fact. It is very unlikely, however, that such is the case. If the child knows the words correct, sin, and German, (many other words would serve equally well), he could be led to infer the pronunciation of porringer, through analogy of form and sound. Such work would not only give him the pronunciation of that particular word, but would also confer upon him added power to master new words.

Again, a teacher may hold that it is best to tell the child that the heat of the sun is felt more just at the earth than it is at some distance from the earth and hence nearer to the sun, if the desire is to use that fact as a part of the data from which he is to reason to the kind of vegetation far up on the slope of a mountain. The teacher should not tell the child that fact, however, if a heated stove, a wall, and the intervening space, furnish him data for inferring it. If it is claimed that economy in time will not permit this kind of work, the question arises—“Is that time the better employed which gives the maximum number of facts and but little mental power, or that which gives greatly augmented power to see and think, and a paucity of facts ?”

Alexander Bain regards it as a “bold fiction " to assert that the teacher may regularly place before the pupils a set of facts pointing to a conclusion and leave them to draw the conclusion for themselves. He says that this “belongs to the occasional luxuries, the bon-bons of teaching," and seems to prefer the implanting in the pupil of that spirit which will give “a zest in receiving and imbibing to the letter what “is imparted, and jealously restraining any independent exercise of judgment such as would share the credit with the instructor." It would seem that the results upon the generation that has been educated in conformity to this idea, would cast doubt upon its adequacy as a substitute for the pupil's independent self-activity.

The laws of mind upon which the prohibition under consideration is based are:

Mental development arises through self-activity.

The mind tends to act again as it has acted. 3. The goal of mind activity is self-direction.



THE SCHOOL ROOM. [This Department is conducted by Geo. F. Bass, Supervising Prin. Indianapolis schools.)





(SECOND READER PUPILS.) a child has become familiar with the “telling sentence” containing verbs that assert action, he is

ready to learn how to use is, are, was, in “telling sentences.” It must be kept in mind, in this kind of work with this grade of pupils, that all grammatical terms are to be avoided. We are not to say verb, noun, or pronoun. We are to lead the child to use the proper word by practice, and by calling attention to some characteristic use of the word. Give blanks to be filled with either is, are, was, were. The following will serve as an illustration : 1. The dog black. 2. Some dogs small. 3. The boys

in the yard.
4. John and Frank

here yesterday. 5. Frank at school this forenoon.

When quite a number of such examples have been copied with the proper word supplied, the teacher inay call attention to the fact that is is used when one thing is thought about, and that it

I. I

means now, to-day, etc. That was is used when one thing is talked of, and means yesterday, last week, etc. That are and were are used when more than one thing is meant, and that the first means now, while the second means yesterday, etc. Avoid all'exceptions." Should they be brought up by the pupil, tell him what is right and drop the matter immediately. Keep the main object always in view; viz., lead the pupil to use the words intelligently.

The forms of some of the more common verbs may now be taught. The teacher should exercise his own judgment in selecting these verbs. Those most frequently misused should be selected; a few are here given: write, drive, bite, rise, ride, etc. Have the pupil fill blanks first, and afterward make sentences of his own, using the given form.

now on my slate. 2. Yesterday I on my slate.

on my slate before you came. Give many such ; then call attention to the facts that write means now; wrote means yesterday; written must be used with have, had, or has. Of course every teacher knows that written may be used with other verbs, but he need not tell all he knows. We are not compelled to teach exhaustively. Let what we do teach be the truth. Written is used with the words given above. If the pupil should give such a sentence as, “My lesson is written on the slate," tell him he is right; but do not say to him that the “past participle may be used with all auxiliaries," or that this form may be used with many other little words, and proceed to either give or call for illustrations of the

Don't talk so much. Lead the pupil to talk. Study to do this in as few words as possible.

3. I had



Nothing is more necessary in the school-room than attention. He who can get the attention of his pupils and keep it, is on the road to success. To be able to do these two things one must understand something about the laws of attention. There are two kinds of attention, voluntary and the involuntary. When we determine that we will pay attention to a given subject and do so by the effort of the will, we give voluntary attention. When we attend because we are interested, we give involuntary attention. The attention that children give is generally involuntary. True they may be made to attend through fear, and some times through a sense of duty. But when a boy listens to the adding of a column of figures so closely that he can take up the adding at any point when asked, just because he is afraid he will be punished if he doesn't, it does not produce the best results in mind growth. But if he becomes interested in the work a d has a desire to succeed awakened, and this desire is coupled with a sense of duty, the best of results will follow.

The attention of a child or young person is best secured, by something that appeals to his senses. If an appeal is made to two of his senses simultaneously he is more likely to attend than if only one is appealed to. In presenting geography, a map greatly assists in getting and keeping the attention to the subject. especially is this true, when pupils have been taught to think from the map to the thing represented by it. A child's attention can be held better by lessons in which objects are used. As he grows in mental power the object may be dropped-should be. He should learn to hold his attention on abstract matters. Many drop the objects too soon, however,

There are many ways of getting the attention of children. It is much easier to get it than to keep it. A teacher once spoke sharply to a very noisy crowd of three or four hundred children and, as he did so, held before them a large watch saying, “No body in this room can look at this watch a minute.” He challenged them to do a thing that they thought easy to do. They became quiet. He had their attention. To keep it he had to supply something that would interest them. Teachers usually get the attention of their classes by having the pupils take the proper position for recitation. If they fail to keep the attention it is usually because they do not give their questions in a way that makes every one feel that he is called upon. A skillful teacher will watch the faces of the pupils so closely that a pupil very seldom wanders away in thought. He sees, for example, that while Mary has been discussing a point that John was in

« 前へ次へ »