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clined to wander away into the green fields. At the very first opportunity, he says, “John, what is your opinion about this point?” or “Do you agree with Mary?” Some such question at the right time saves John from getting away and makes him think that he is needed to settle the matter under consideration. If he had wandered away, it serves to call him back and suggest to him that he needs to put forth a greater effort to attend to business.
THEY FORGET IT.
It is sometimes argued that it is useless to teach certain subjects or certain parts of a subject, because the children soon forget what they learn, and because it would not be of any value if remembered. These objectors frequently say that they, for example, have forgotten nearly all they ever knew about Latin, Geography, Algebra, etc., etc.; and that they have had very little use for what they learned any how. They have managed to get along very well, even if they have forgotten these things.
These people probably regard the mind as a store-house where facts may be laid away on shelves for future use. But the mind is not a store-house any more than the muscles are. The black smith does not remember how many strokes he gave each day, nor just what article he made on any given day. But the strokes he has given have made his muscles grow stronger day by day, and he is fitted to do any work where great muscular strength is required.
Just so in studying any subject. The fact that the pupil has learned the details strengthens his mind so that he is the better able to handle details of whatever business he may undertake in after life.
Teach for mental growth as well as to impart useful information. There are, of course, some things that every body should know, and when they serve as well to strengthen the mind as others, they should have the preference.
An act of injustice to another makes you his enemy also.
SOUTHERN INDIANA TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION.
HELD AT VINCENNES, MARCH 25, 1886. THURSDAY, A. M.-After opening exercises and music, Mayor Wilhelm extended a cordial welcome to the teachers.
R. A. Ogg, of New Albany, President-elect, responded to this welcome in appropriate terms. He spoke of the historical renown of the city, and the pleasure felt in being on such ground. He then proceeded to his address on
“THE TEACHER'S PARENTAL RELATION.”' That the teacher should be to the child as a parent, may be seen from the relation they each sustain to it. The government he exercises, like that of the parent, should depend upon the conditions of age and development. As early in life as possible, the child should assume direction of itself, with the teacher to aid. Home should be a sacred spot, and the school should imitate it, and as the power of the home is in the life and character of parent, so that of the school is in these same elements of the teacher. The teacher's value is not so much in what he does for them, as in what he is to them. Time is required to develop this power of personal influence, and hence frequent change of teacher, and promotion of pupils are to be regreted. The power to influence others for good is based upon love manifested for them, and whatever prevents harmony between teacher and pupil, detracts from this power. Teachers may insist on certain order and work, and lose power over their pupils, or may do things for appearance's sake that are not strictly honest, and thus lose power to influence for good. These times demand not brains, but character, and teachers training character have no superiors.
The Association was then entertained by a vocal solo by Miss Cora Watjen. The next paper was by Miss Blanch Wolfe, of Mitchell, on
"THE CULTIVATION OF THE BEAUTIFUL." There is no satisfactory definition, but the spiritual theory comes nearest accounting for the effect produced by beauty. God having placed us in a beautiful world, has given us the sense of beauty to enjoy it. It is bestowed universally on mankind, and there are many reasons for its cultivation. 1. It refines, 2. Suggests noble models of excellence. 3. Adds to happiness. 4. Inspires piety in the heart and leads to morality. 5. It should be cultivated in the school-room, because, a It increases interest; b Produces pleasant feeling ; c Aids. in all other branches; d For children of poverty, it is the only chance of the cultivation of the artistic nature. The only way to cultivate this sense in young children, is to surround them with beautiful objects, calling attention to points beauty. Some means that may be used: neatness, order, flowers, shells, curiosities, pictures, drawing, colors, and music. Another line of culture is beauty of spirit. That which
is good, pure, and true, leading the possessor nearer the perfection of beauty, which dwells alone in God.
The President then appointed the following Committee on Resolutions: W. F. Cain, Carlisle; A. J. Snoke, Princeton; J. P. Funk. Corydon; Miss E. L. Jackman, Mitchell: Miss Grace Lyon, Bloomfield.
AFTERNOON.—W. W. Parsons, of the State Normal, presented his paper on “What Constitutes the Necessary Preparation of the Teacher." [This paper will be printed in the Journal.]
Discussion opened by Supt. Hoffman of Washington. He followed the same line as his predecessor, giving three main points: 1. Preparation of every lesson. 2. Direct study of mind, and knowledge of how to teach. 3. Development of moral men and women.
Further discussion by Profs. Parr and Parsons.
F. M. Churchill, of Aurora, followed with a paper on “ The Relation of Superintendent to the Teacher.” [This paper will be printed.]
Discussion opened by A. J. Snoke of Princeton. He did not advocate entirely omitting examinations, lest we go to the other extreme. Suggested mutual courtesy, and that the superintendent refrain from speaking in a peremptory manner to the teacher. Prof. J. C. Branner, of Indiana University, gave his paper on
“ GEOLOGY AS AN EDUCATOR." An educator is something that develops and broadens the mind. Geology is the science of the earth's crust. The failure to understand this subject comes from the fact that it is studied from the text-book, not from the field, therefore is learned and forgotten in the class-room. It must be pursued with persistence. Does the pupil as he walks over hill and valley think of the geological formations and effects? Can he in imagination see the ice of the glacial period? Some question the utility, but men who use the soil will be much more successful if they have a knowledge of geology. It throws a light on the formation of the earth, the primitive condition of man, broadens the mind and prepares it for the truths metaphysical and physical.
The President then announced that members could enroll their names at the close of the session.
EVENING. - Exercises were opened with a violin solo by Mr. Blum and piano accompaniment by Mrs. Horton.
State Supt. Holcombe addressed the Association on “ THE LENGTH AND UNIFORMITY OF THE TERM OF UNGRADED
SCHOOLS." The ungraded schools are fast disappearing : in nearly all the counties the course of study is well arranged and the pupils graded. At first the lack of means prevented an extended session-but as means increased the term lengthened, and we are now doing better. But experience shows that schools can not be maintained longer than six months, as the majority will not attend. Being farmers they must spend part of their time at work. It is a question of economy: 1. It is a waste to pay a teacher when only part of the school are receiving instruction. 2. It is also a loss of capital to allow the school-house to remain idle. As to uniformity, a certain degree is essential to success; a uniform course can not be maintained unless there is uniform length of time, by which means proper branches are pursued at the
Discussion continued by Messrs. Schively, Olcott, Parr, Smith, and Bryan. W. H. Wiley, of Terre Haute, gave a paper on
" EXAMINATIONS AND PROMOTIONS." Graded schools depend on promotion, and we should be certain the pupil is able to enter the next grade. 1. Parents urge teachers to advance their children. 2. Pupils are anxious to keep up with the class. 3. Teachers are anxious to promote. 4. Demand of a progressive age. Teachers are held responsible for failures. The superintendent should give tests, duly announced ; teachers mark their own papers—let a reasonable standard be fixed—and those faliing below may be admitted if possible for them to keep up. As teachers have to undergo examinations, and pupils as men and women will not be free from tests, they should not be abolished from the school-room, until all examinations and civil services are done away with.
The subject was continued by R. W. Wood, of Jeffersonville. It might be well to have a teacher advance with her class if this could be arranged. The tendency has been to hold examinations too frequently. The true object is to ascertain the discipline received by the teacher's instruction. In written examination there is no embarrassment. Oral examinations have their place, but are often harmful as, pupils are sometimes crammed for the occasion.
Association enjoyed a vocal solo by Miss Mattingly, of Poseyville.
Mr. Robinson, of Princeton, spoke in favor of the Township High Schools. He said the high school, though not at first provided for, was given in answer to a demand for something higher. Merely knowing how to read and write will not make good citizens. If the high school is taken away, an incentive to higher education is removed, and children at fourteen must stop school or be sent away from home: beside township children have as much right to them as town children. The arguments of cost, and that not enough attend or complete the course are made: but the latter is the fault of the parents, not of the school. Employ good teachers, continue the grades, and give us a compulsory school law.
S. E. Harwood, of Spencer, spoke against the high schools. He considered it sufficient to devote attention to the common branches, as the majority of counties are not prepared for systematic work; also the number is not large enough to demand them. Scientific instruction demands apparatus, which can not be afforded. Preparatory departments in colleges cripple the high schools. Why not gather all together in one school, in the county, money be spent for apparatus, and all united for a common purpose, attending one school.
Further discussion by Messrs. Smith and Parr.
FRIDAY, A. M.-The first business was selection of a place for the next meeting. Madison was selected.
J. H. Martin, of Madison, presented his paper on
“CHARACTER BUILDING." He said the public schools are designed for certain ends. Two ideas claim attention: I. The end or aim. 2. The means to attain it. The end is to develop power, give knowledge, and produce good citizens. Education should combine all three mental, moral, and physical. Moral training must implant: 1. Correct principles of rectitude; 2. The desire to do right when it is known. The greatest problem is, how can the citizen be made to stand in true dignity—to cast his vote with intelligence. This depends on the morality as well as the intelligence of the people, a morality based on religion-immortality of the soul and loyalty to God. Men must know duty and desire to do it, from love, not fear of law. Our schools exert a moral training: 1. In moral discipline. 2. Formation of good habits. 3. Power of right example. 4. All science must be taught in intimate connection with God and the Bible.
Messrs. Parr, Taylor, Bell, and Schively took part in the discussion that followed. The next exercise was a paper by Arnold Tompkins of Greencastle, on
"FAITH IN UNPERCENTABLE PRODUCTS." He said teaching produces two results: 1. Definite knowledge. 2. The unmeasurable. We prefer the tangible, being discernible, while the unmeasurable lie beyond. A lack of faith in unpercentable products causes us to give attention to the line of work pertaining to memorizing dry facts, instead of pursuing a course calculated to awaken live thought, and soul refinement on part of the pupil. Teachers think they have a certain quantity to teach, and dull routine is followed to get ready for examinations-clean-cut products are seen in perfectly memorized work, but methodical thought training is neglected. The Amazon is taught as a fact--the position of a little black line on the map is learned, but is it taught as a river, and thought and imagination brought to bear on it? That line of education is best which awakens most thought. What we need is a change in the line of work and base of faith, to turn the forces of our machinery for a higher range.
Discussion opened by Mr. Sweeny, of Jasper. He said the use of percent in measuring minds is wrong and pursuit of percents is detrimental, making both teacher and pupil a slave to text-books. Books are but sign-boards to education, giving general directions. The teacher is an agriculturist, and studying the soil of the mind, should present what will grow.
AFTERNOON.- First exercise was a paper by Mr. Baldwin, of Rushville, on the
"USE OF BOOKS AS A MEANS OF EDUCATION." Utility and progress are associated together--utility is the highest degree of the quality of usefulness. There is a demand for independent investigation, by which learning may be made a source of delight. The question is: How can we direct reading in correct channels? Much reading, without method, profits little. Pupils are warned to beware of the bad, and choose the good books, but how can they without intelligent instruction? Knowledge in the use of books should be given by actual work, and pupils held to account as for other work. It is necessary to use, as well as to select correctly. If a small library