Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE SOUTHERN EDUCATIONAL JOURNAL.

The second year of our course, or Practical Year, will comprise the study of-

Physiology in its connection with Psychology.

Application of Principles of Psychology to actual teaching.

Pedagogy in its practical bearing as school-laws, government, methodology, etc.

Also a comparative study of educational systems.

Observation in school-rooms, and written reports of same, will be continued during this year.

Practice in teaching training classes just entered, with criticisms by fellow-students and teachers will occasionally be in order.

The chief work of the year will be practice in school-rooms, with written reports of the work.

"The realization of ordinary school conditions, with the opportunity to go for advice to a friendly critic, is the most valuable practice; and no practice short of this can be considered of great value except as preparation for this chief form of preparatory work."

"The responsibility for order, discipline, progress, records, reports, communication with parents and school authorities must fall wholly upon the young teacher"-and thus she is practically being fitted for work which shall some day be her own.

We desire to make our teachers-in-training wise as to the three fundamental principles of teaching :

How to organize.

How to govern.

How to instruct.

An eminent educator has said: "I believe the first condition of success in the work of education is the formation of distinct and adequate ideas of what it is to educate, what it is to teach, what a school should do, what it is to organize and to govern," etc.

And again-Teachers should be taught to aspire to a high type of school organization and government, and the principles and rules of this art should be expounded with all possible clearness. In a thing so apparently simple as the making of a programme, there is involved a large amount of pedagogical knowledge. To organize and grade a public school, and to provide it with a suitable course of study, I believe to be one of the highest feats of pedagogic skill."

If we shall succeed in awakening intellectually, in developing and establishing a love for the scholarly vocation, in causing a survey of the work from "the summit of a lofty conception," in causing an outlook into the future, and in infusing the professional, "scientific spirit as distinguished from the spirit of tradition and routine "-into our teacher-in-training, we shall have accomplished our design, and shall have approximated, in small measure, the Ideal Training School.

Growth of Religious Tolerance.

The following extract from an article by Dr. Lyman Abbott, in The Forum for August, ought to be written upon the sky:

"One other element in our national life has also contributed largely possibly more largely than all other forces combined-to make this age theologically tolerant, namely, our public school system. It is impossible for us to estimate what has been and is the effect of this system in teaching the American people that character and life are more than dogma, and that no church has a monopoly of that religion which promotes virtue. When a Roman Catholic boy has been captain of a high school nine or eleven, and has depended for school victories, which are much dearer to him than prizes of scholarship, upon the fidelity to duty of a Protestant companion, it is impossible for him to believe that his Protestant playfellow is doomed to eternal torment because he has not been confirmed in the Catholic communion; and it is equally impossible for the Protestant to regard his captain as a child of the scarlet woman and a citizen of the modern Babylon. These boys in learning to respect each other learn to respect each other's religion, or at least to learn that the defects of each other's creeds are not such defects as to be fatal to honorable character. They come to see that there is some truth in all creeds, and some virtue in all communions. The process is the more efficacious because it is both gradual and unconscious, and because its result is not so much toleration for each other's vices and errors as respect for each other's virtues and intelligence."

THE SOUTHERN EDUCATIONAL JOURNAL.

[ocr errors]

Keep Serene.

A young friend of mine, a boy of fourteen, used to tell me a great deal about his school life, and from his talk I learned many and many a lesson which I put to practical use in my own school work.

He told me one day how the boys had "cut up" until the assistant was tried almost beyond endurance.

"Why do they treat Miss B. in that way?" I asked. "Don't they like her?"

"Oh, yes; but they just love to rattle her, you know; she gets so 'mad."

"Do they treat Miss C. that way, too?"

"Oh, no; they can't rattle Miss C. The worst boy in school wouldn't try that."

"What would she say if he did?" I asked artfully.

[ocr errors]

"Oh, I don't know; maybe she'd say, That'll do, Otto, subside,' and she'd say it in that pleasant we-understand-each-other' way, that would make him feel kind of good, you know, even if he is ashamed.” Here I made a mental note: No idle words there; just a pleasant we-understand-each-other" way which the boys immediately fall in with and like immensely.-Ex.

Race Problem.

The question of educating the negro seems to be just as perplexing and as difficult of satisfactory solution in the North and West as it is in the South. We believe in giving the negro in every way an equal chance with the white children to obtain an education; and we further believe that he does not have an equal chance unless he goes to separate schools and is taught by teachers of his own race.

The white teacher in the negro school never can come even approximately near to the ideal relation that should exist between teacher and pupil. That relation requires love, affection, sympathy and a common interest which can never be attained with a white teacher and a negro class.

A large majority of the negroes understand this and desire separate schools, but in almost every city and town in Illinois there are always some colored families that object, and at every opening of

school in the fall they make an attempt to enter the white schools. As the law now stands it is almost impossible in this state to compel the negro to attend separate schools, and many subterfuges and evasions are resorted to in order to keep him out of the white schools. Some of our so-called philanthropists make a great boast of equality of races, equal rights for the negro, etc., etc., but when it comes to sending his boy or girl to the same school to sit near to and recite with the negro, his great love for the race somehow vanishes, and he suddenly becomes a strong advocate of separate schools.

We believe and hope that much of the silly sentimentalism that framed some of the laws of Illinois has passed away, and that the time is near at hand when every city in the state will accord the negro his equal rights by providing his children with separate schools taught by teachers of his own race.—Ex.

Golden Points.

Take care to be an economist in prosperity and there is no fear of your being one in adversity.

Most of the shadows that cross the pathway in life are caused by standing in our own light.

To do nothing is not always to lose time; to do negligently is surely to lose time; it is fatigue without profit.

Wise books, wisely selected, are companions that bloom with eternal youth; and they are companions and teachers at the same time. Blessed are they that know how to love and cherish good books.

Brief Comparison of the Usual Iron-Clad Method of Grading Pupils With the More Flexible Plan.

WORKED OUT AND PUT IN OPERATION IN ELIZABETH, N. J., BY W. J. SHEARER, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS.

Finding it impossible to answer the many kind letters of inquiry which have come daily, especially since my article on "The LockStep in the Public Schools," in the Atlantic Monthly, I take pleasure in enclosing, instead, the following extract from my report to the

Board of Education, on Sept. 8th, 1897. Is it not time we stop claiming perfection for the present system, speak plainly of its defects, and work earnestly for its improvement?

I will appreciate criticisms or suggestions from those interested in. this matter. W. J. S.

Comparison of the Usual Method of Grading with the More Flexible Plan in the Use in Elizabeth, N. J. (OFFICIAL REPORT.)

At the last meeting of the National Educational Association, Dr. W. T. Harris, United States Commissioner of Education, emphasized the fact that the most serious weakness of the public and private schools of this country is found in the usual iron-clad method of grading pupils. No educator who values his reputation will dare deny the truth of this statement, made by him who stands without a peer among the educators of the present day. It is encouraging that, not only Dr. Harris and other leading educators of this country, have given their highest endorsement to the methods we have been using to correct this serious weakness, but that three hundred leading periodicals, of different States, have commended most highly the method of grading which is in use only in the city of Elizabeth.

When, less than two years ago, I came to this city, this plan of grading was gradually put in operation without the expenditure of an extra dollar. While no reasonable person would expect that the schools of a city of fifty thousand could be suddenly transformed, yet many marked benefits, resulting from the adoption of the plan, have already appeared. Statistics gathered in a hundred different cities, prove the correctness of the following comparison of the usual method, with the more flexible plan in operation in this city. The comparison will show some of the important differences in methods and results.

1. BASIS OF PROMOTION. Under the usual plan, pupils' ability to pass to advanced work is determined by the promotion examination sent out by the superintendent, who, of necessity, must be without information as to what the pupils have really done. Without uniformity of conditions it demands uniformity of results, makes the time limit

« PreviousContinue »