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This appreciation will, however, never be attained by a purposeless or aimless study.
Then, too, if ever geography is to attain a commanding position in our educational system, it must show its value as a disciplinary as well as an informational subject. The simple acquiring of information does not train citizens. The why and the because must play as important a part as the behold and the remember. Probably most of us can remember when physics and chemistry were taught entirely from books, and consisted simply of a mass of information which was accepted on authority. During the past few years this kind of presentation has been superseded by a rational method and, I believe, we are destined to see in the near future the same rational method applied to geography. To attain its highest efficiency, geography must become to a considerable extent a laboratory subject, in which actual work is done, and the principal use of the text-book is as a guide and fount of reference, and not as something to be learned and recited.
The government during recent years has gone to great expense in making contour maps of different parts of the country. How many of our educated people even are able to intelligently use these? What does great circle sailing mean to the average student of geography?
The aim in geography should be to impart a scientific knowledge of the surface of the earth. This scientific knowledge, however, is not general information. It is the experimental knowledge which enables us to understand exactly what sort of topography is represented by a contour map, to form a mental picture of a region when properly described, and by means of photographs, maps, and description to be able to appreciate and explain the phenomena discovered. It is necessary, therefore, to have a material equipment for the teaching of geography. There must be an actuality about the subject, not a mere hearsay. Chicago by its school museum, which it has prepared to move from school to school, is the first city to supply one of these needs. The larger part of the apparatus for this subject has not yet been invented, and it devolves upon those who are today teaching the science to construct and bring together the tools. The first decade of the twentieth century will see this done.
SOME OF OUR MISTAKES.
BY PRIN. GEORGE M. GRANT.
Queen's University, Kingston, Ont. 1. We have undervalued the teaching profession. All history shows how great is this mistake, for teachers have determined every permanent advance of the thought and life of humanity Aristotle, Plato, Socrates and the Greek dramatists were the teachers of their time, and Europe and America still sit at their feet. So in the east with Guatama and Confucius. Jesus was known simply as rabbi or teacher. What was the characteristic of those great teachers? That they spoke with authority, because they had mastered what they taught.
2. We have fancied that there is a royal road to knowledge, and so we have encouraged intellectual levity and trifling in our children. There is no such road. If we would know any subject, we must work. But if strong drink has slain its thousands, idleness has slain its ten thousands. The mission of the school is to teach the young to subordinate pleasure to duty. Interest by inspiring, not by amusing them.
We have fancied that there is a royal road to the making of teachers, and so have tried short cuts. The study of psychology is good for graduate students, but useless for average teachers. It deals with abstractions and each pupil is a concrete being.
These mistakes are rooted in low ideals of life. How shall we correct them? Give such inducements to the best men to enter and remain in the profession as they give in England. Honor teachers by a right attitude to them in the home, as in Scotland and Germany. And as the attitude of the teacher determines in the long run the attitude of the public to learning, let him show that he regards it as an end and not merely a means to a material end.
NECESSARY ELEMENTS IN WORK AND PLAY AND
BY C. GERALDINE O'GRADY.
Teachers' College, New York. Activity: co-operation, to some extent; progression, and rhythm, orderly alternation of activity, seem to be necessary elements in all wholesome work and play. Rhythm is the special point we shall discuss at present. It is observable in so many physical and natural conditions of the world around us and is so much a part of our make-up, that it must be considered in all activity, whether of work or play. Some of it we cannot escape from; but in other cases it is a variable quantiti. Variation and spontaneous impulse are also necessary elements in educative work or play, and the make-up of children differs so much on account of mixed heredity and varying nutrition, environment, etc., that allowance for individual growth and differing needs must prevent our planning too many stereotyped forms of rhythmic exercise for young children. Early childhood is especially the time of trial, experiment and gradual selection in all activity and growth in co-ordination; but to allow for this, activities must not become stereotyped too soon. Many teachers are giving too definite and co inplex form of rhythmic exercise to the children. There is danger in the blind enthusiasm and energy with which young teachers seize a new idea and lose sight of all others for the time. We need balance and sanity in this as in other things. Some mention of experiments with rhythm and their results observed with children concluded the paper.
PROGRESS IN EDUCATION.
BY BISHOP JOHN L. SPAULDING
Peoria, Illinois. Bishop Spaulding sketched the great epochs in the progress of education from the time of the Romans up to the present. He then said, in part: “At the opening of the nineteenth century there is an enthusiasm such as never before existed. Education being a process of conscious evolution, those who assist and guide it must themselves continue to grow. The work accomplished in the United States during the last fifty years in the organization of a great system of schools was never before equaled in the history of any people. In our white native people at present illiteracy has almost ceased to exist. Our progress in higher education has been even more rapid. The number of colleges has more than doubled in the last quarter of a century, while the standards for admission into almost all of them have been raised. Original investigation along scientific lines has been introduced and developed to a wonderful extent. In scientific and technical education, in agricultural and industrial education, we are making genuine and rapid progress. The bishop said that the normal schools of the country had rendered important service in the past, but that their training alone is insufficient, as teachers should have more than mere professional skill. "The more comprehensive our grasp of the power and the meaning of teaching becomes, the easier it shall be to persuade the best men and women to devote themselves to teaching, for we shall make them feel that the teacher does not take up a trade, but the highest art. Education is the furtherance of life, and instruction is education only when the knowledge acquired gives truer ideas of the worth of life and supplies motives for right living."
The struggle among the school book publishers of the country to secure the contracts for furnishing the books for the schools of Utah for the five years following next June has already begun. A. S. Barnes, one of the biggest school book men in the country, was in the city yesterday looking after the interests of Ginn & Co., of Chicago. Other book men are expected. Under the laws of Utah the school books can be changed every five years. The first five years will expire next June, and the fight will be on from this time out to get control of the business of the state for the five years to follow. Salt Lake Herald.
It is excellent
- William Shakspere. They say best men are moulded out of faults.
- William Shakspere. There was never yet philosopher That could endure the toothache patiently.
A Model Address to Teachers.
SUPERINTENDENT COOPER OF SEATTLE. "I have no pet schemes to exploit — no experiments to try. I have just one thing set before my ambition in this field, and that is to work out thru you and by your aid plans that will conduce to the lasting benefit of those committed to our care. I have no policy to announce, no platform to promulgate. They would better be worked out, but in any platform which may be developed there is one big plank which should overtop and obscure all others, and upon that I stand unalterably. The plank is this: The interests of the children of this city are sacred and inviolable. They are not to be trifled with for personal, commercial or political purposes. I shall permit no personal interest of my own or that of anyone else, as far as I can prevent it, to stand in the way of the accomplishment of their rights.
“I believe in the mission of the teacher, in the power of right instruction to minister effectively for the good of boys and girls, and have faith that it will be potent enough to overcome in some degree the effect of evil tendencies and bad blood. I believe in the teacher as something superior to books, to mechanism and to methods, and that a teacher of the right sort will prevail mightily, no matter what prescription of method or course of study may obtain. I believe in the teacher who works from the inside from the highest levels of her own inner life — in one who works from the inside of her pupils — from the highest levels of their inner life, for both teacher and boy have a lower level — an animal level — one not made of flesh either, but a level of mean prompting and unworthy passion. I believe in the teacher who looks for the best in pupils, in subjects, in methods, and finding the best, works at it so that thru it the poorer and meaner may be approached and bettered. The discriminating optimist is an injurious thing behind the teacher's desk.
“I believe that there are three things which go along with instruction that are more important than anything in the course of study. These are, first, the mastery of difficulty, the learning of the power of I can and I will; second, the effect of responsibility, the certain residuum left over from having something worth doing and having to do it, whether it is agreeable or not; tbird, the acquirement of inspiration, the intellectual and moral forces set aflame with right desire.
“I am your assistant rather than you mine. It is my highest function to help you to do your work better. Although I am very sure that there are many here who can do their particular work better than I might do it, yet if by counsel or suggestion or encouragement I can make you more effective at less expenditure, I shall have done well.
“We stand face to face with a year of life for us, and for the children of this city. As we enter upon it let us do so with the feeling that the whole earth centers about every school room door and every school room door opens into the wide earth. It will be a good year, a happy year, if we will have it so."
Present Tendencies in
ELMER ELLSWORTH BROWNE
University of California. The keynote of current educational thought seems to have been sounded by Professor John Dewey in his saying that, the school is not preparation for life: it is life.' Education is to provide for the future needs of pupils by providing for their real present needs. One of the most notable and comprehensive tendencies of secondary education, and of all education, is accord. ingly the tendency to seek an understanding of the living, growing, persons who go to school ; and to treat them in a way to promote their healthy growth. This doctrine is sound at bottom. Persons are the most precious things in this life; and child persons as precious as persons fully matured. In this view we have true humanism. It is a view that makes the school interesting. It is moral; for what is morality after all but fullness of personal life? It is religious, too. “The knowledge of ourselves,” said John Calvin, “is not only an incitement to seek after God, but likewise a considerable assistance toward finding him.”
On the one side, such doctrine as this is leading us into individualism. It prompts the demand for free election of studies in the secondary school ; for individualized processes of instruction.
On the other side, the study of development has shown how strangely dependent the individual is on his social relationships. We see, in fact, that there is nothing worth the name of human personality that has not arisen under the stress and strain of getting on with one's fellows. So we have come to attach new significance to the mere fact that in school many young people come together and have varied dealings one with anotter. seeing that social intercourse is not a mere accident of school education but one of the chief things in school education
We may go further and say that, the school is not only life: it is preparation for life. Just because it is life, it looks forward to larger life. Any life that does not look forward is poor and mean; and we should make a losing bargain if we exchanged the old school that concerned itself only with the future, for a new school which concerned itself only with the present.
So our secondary education looks forward to the citizenship which awaits all of our students, and consciously prepares them for its duties. Whether they are destined for the more extended training of the University or not, it undertakes to direct their attention to public affairs, well knowing that the time has already come for them to take anticipatory interest in such things. It takes account, too, of the fact that each citizen must have a life work