« 前へ次へ »
personal to each one of us, and may be achieved only by each one's self-directive and self-originating effort. School-education, on the other hand, is such an amount of training under direction of another mind as will free the pupil from the need of direction. When thus free, each one is to be left to his own plans and purposes, to achieve culture for himself as his freedom of rational thought may direct. This distinction is the dividing line between teacher and pupil. The teacher ought to be able to use school-education as an instrument, both in himself and in others. As a matter of fact many teachers have not reached this condition, but this has nothing to do with the question at issue. That many who fill the teachers' chair are mere pupils arises out of the stage of development and out of the material limitations of the art of teaching.
We must dissent from Supt. Klemm's judgment that teachers should not become pupils again, and that each adult is by nature a specialist. These things will depend on whether or not the individual is capable of using his school education as an instrument for achieving personal culture. Those teachers whose superintendent was disturbed because they sought culture in their own way had a right, nay a duty, to do this if they had reached the ability we have described. The clear appreciation (practically, not merely theoretically) of this distinction is a powerful aid to successful teaching.
THE SCHOOL ROOM.
(This Department is conducted by Geo. F. Bass, Supervising Prin. Indianapolis schools.)
TO AND AROUND THE SUBJECT.
N presenting a new subject, it is necessary to consider what the pupils already know that they may use to help them un
derstand the new. Pupils who are ready to study Decimals, understaud Integers and, usually, Common Fractions. On the supposition that they understand both these subjects, what should be the order of procedure in teaching Decimals?
The teacher writes it on the black-board and has each pupil write it on his slate. Now, the easiest and quickest thing to do, is to write . I and tell the pupils that this is another way of writing one-tenth : but is it the best for the pupil? If the only object is to teach Decimals, possibly, we may say, “Yes.” But all are agreed that there is still another object in view; viz., the strengthening and developing the thinking power of the mind. simply tell them this fact as unrelated, we appeal to arbitrary memory only. The thinking power is not aroused at all.
But if we call up what they know of Integers and cause them to use it, they are led to think. The teacher writes in on the board and recalls the fact that the one in unit's place expresses only to of what the one in hundredth's place does; and further that a period is understood to follow unit's place. They are then ready to discover another way of expressing to. The teacher may now ask if they can think of another way of expressing '. Some will discover it for themselves. Others will not, but even they will be stimulated to think out things for themselves.
A great deal of time is worse than wasted by talking all around a subject instead of talking to it. Teacher asks, “How many of you can think of some other way of expressing one-tenth ?” The pupils begin to pump their arms up and down, and snap their fingers, and jump out of their seats. The teacher says, “Y-e-s (with a long upward slide) “Mary.” The answer comes. Mary says, “With a led-pencil." Nobody knows what she means. The teacher expressed it with chalk, and probably many may have heard of “The chalk talking,” so her answer is not quite as wild as it at first seemed. The teacher says, “No, that is not what I was thinking about.” Then follow a number of guesses; each enthusiastic little guesser hoping that he will guess what she is thinking about. Finally when the vocabulary of guesses is about exhausted, some little fellow guesses what the teacher was thinking of. They then all fasten on to this lucky guess and it is drilied into them. They have gained nothing except the fact that one-tenth may be expressed in two ways. They have not even improved in their ability to guess what the teacher is thinking about. Talk to the subject, and not around it.
“STUDY YOUR LESSON.”
“Nothing is lost: the drop of dew
That trembles on the leaf or flower
“So with our deeds,--for good or ill
QUITE frequently pupils who are from 10 to 14 years of age are told lo study the reading lesson with no further instruction or suggestion given. The lesson is assigned about as follows, after reading until there is only one minute of the time allowed for reading left: “Take next lesson; study.” This is all good enough, if the pupils know how to study it-know what to look for. But one says, “I tell them to look for everything they do not understand.” The trouble is they do not know what they do not understand.
If some suggestive questions like the following, which were made on the above stanzas, could be given, much more might be accomplished during the study hour :
What is meant by exhaled ?
How is water exhaled ? 3. Describe the process it must pass through before it can fall in a thunder-shower.
4. How can it shine within the bow? What bow is meant ? 5. Why must it front the sun ? 6. What does the poet mean by fall of day? 7. How may this drop sparkle in fountains far away?
8. To what are our deeds compared ? 9. In what way are they alike?
What is meant by circles on a lake? Such questiong put on the board before time to study, will give the pupil something to think about. Besides, they will help to form a habit of study that will be worth more than all the oral reading we can ever give him.
“Never tell a pupil what he can discover for himself.”
Never is a long time. I do not like any of these never-rules. The only one that should be followed is this : Never make a never-rule. No one hesitates to tell a child the fire will burn, yet the child could discover this for himself. I see my neighbor's house on fire. I don't hesitate to tell him about it, although I am certain he will discover it for himself.
"These are extreme cases,” you say. Yes, extreme cases are always getting in our way. They come up in school and out. They must be dealt with in school as well as out of school. Here is a boy at the board trying to solve a long and difficult problem. At the very outset he has said, “Once one is two." Don't tell him of it. He will discover it for himself after awhile. Yes, but much valuable time will have been wasted, before he discovers it. Why not call his attention to the fact that he has made a slight mistake in the beginning, instead of letting him go entirely through a long process first. Let him look for it himself then, and he will gain all that he would by going entirely through the work before looking for it.
THE INDIANA SCHOOL JOURNAL-VOL. XXXI.
THE JOURNAL, with this issue, enters upon its
A Happy thirty first volume. It starts
out with high hopes New year
and a laudable ambition to maintain its place in the front ranks of educational papers. It now has
a bona fide circulation of six THOUSAND—a circulation never before reached, and one surpassed by but few other educational journals in the United States. The fact that this success has been achieved in the face of unprecedented competition, is strong proof that the JOURNAL is what the teachers want.
In the future, as in the past, every reasonable effort will be put forth to supply its pages with the best thoughts of the best thinkers and workers in the profession.
Three Indiana educational papers—The Educational World, of Logansport, The American, of Valparaiso, and the Educational Weekly, of Indianapolis-having failed within the last year, the JOURNAL will in the future have pretty nearly a clear field. This field it will try to cultivate so faithfully and so worthily that every one will commend it. It returns hearty thanks for the many words of cheer and confidence received from every hand, and it will strive to continue to be worthy of such confidence and such generous support.
The JOURNAL wishes a happy New Year to all its readers, and it will do all in its power to make each and every one of them realize this wish..
* STOP MY JOURNAL WHEN THE TIME IS OUT." Several times we have said that teachers need not notify us to stop their Journal when their time is out, because that is done any way. This is done not because of want of confidence in teachers, but for three good reasons, viz:
1. When a teacher subscribes for a paper for one year, and pays for it, the contract ends with the year, and an editor has no right to presume that the subscriber wishes to renew the arrangement. Suppose a tailor should sell a customer a coat for winter, and the next fall, seeing that the coat was worn out, should presume that the man wanted another coat, and send it around, and a little later send the bill demanding payment, how would the man like it?
What argument is there that will justify the editor in his presumption that will not justify the tailor in his?
2. An experience of fourteen years justifies the conclusion that the Journal's course is founded on the best business principles.