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THE TRAINING OF THE TEACHER.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE NEW YORK COLLEGE FOR THE TRAINING OF TEACHERS.
its development; and by the study of the methods of school organization and instruction, by which he is informed of the best results of experience in the field of educational practice. This knowledge is not to be gained by what is vaguely termed intuition, nor by imitation alone.
The absence of any proper and adequate professional training in the past — of over three hundred and twenty-five thousand teachers in the United States, but a small proportion are graduates even of normal schools — has made itself felt not only in the schools of the United States, but in those of Europe as well. The work of the schools, speaking broadly, has been poorly done and the mass of the school population has not even been properly instructed, much less educated. It is not meant by this that the common school, the world over, has accomplished nothing; for the history of Scotland since Knox, of the United States under
the Constitution, of Prussia since Jena, and of et
France under the Republic, tells a far different story. But popular education has not accomplished all the results hoped for, simply because popular education does not as yet exist. The framework, constitutional and administrative,
is generally provided, but the proper supply T is very instructive to study the of the necessary agents, thoroughly trained and
development of the professional equipped teachers, is not yet forthcoming. teacher. In earlier times teach- Reasons may doubtless be given why this is ing was the duty of the parent, a so. The teacher's salary is small and his tenure little later a function of the priest. of office is insecure. These obstacles are not Hrabanus Maurus himself, who easily removed. In the United States the ab
holds the proud title“primus præ- sence of any national system of education makes ceptor Germaniæ" even against Melanchthon, their removal a matter of extreme difficulty could not see that the monk who was to be- and one involving great loss of time. Public come a teacher needed anything more profes- opinion — which, as our latest and kindest sional than broad culture, high character, and critic, Mr. Bryce, says, is not made, but grows sound learning. But the training of the teacher, in America — must stimulate State, munici
to be adequate, must include professional pal, and district authorities in turn before any knowledge and skill in addition to these gen- appreciable results can be secured. The proeral and very desirable characteristics. This cess is a laborious and uncertain one, for the professional element in the teacher's equipment name of these authorities is legion. Because is to be gained by the study of the history and these obstacles are not removed, the profesphilosophy of education, which unfold the sion of teaching involves a sacrifice which the principles on which education is based and lawyer, the physician, or the man of business the story of their growth and development; by is not called upon to make. the study of psychology, which familiarizes the Another consideration, and a very imporfuture teacher with the characteristics and tant one, deserves notice. The fact that the qualities of the human mind and the laws of universities have very generally neglected to
1 “Scientiæ plenitudinem, et vitæ rectitudinem, et provide instruction in the science of education eruditionis perfectionem."
has had a powerful influence in retarding the
progress of the teaching profession. In view that its earnest advocacy is to-day chiefly in of the relation which in any sound system the the hands of those educationists who are known universities should bear to the schools and to among their fellows as radicals and progresthe state at large, this neglect is nothing less sives. than culpable, and the efforts now making to It seems clear enough that certain fundarepair it come too late to prevent serious loss to mental principles of this professional training the cause of popular education. At least nine may be laid down. In the first place, it should German universities, two Scotch universities, follow the secondary education and be wholly and six of our own institutions of first rank have distinct from it; and in the second place, it recognized the claim of the science of educa- should include the practical work of teaching tion to a place in their calendars. It is only a under competent supervision and criticism, as question of time when the English universities well as the study of educational theory. These and the older and more conservative of our two principles should be examined separately American colleges will follow their example. and somewhat carefully. What has been lost by the delay is pictured by If the teacher's professional training is to Professor Laurie when he says, “ Had Roger follow his secondary education, it should not Ascham's college, at Cambridge, founded a be begun before the student is at least eighteen lectureship on the first two books of Quintilian years of age and in possession of what is known and on Ascham's own work, and done nothing as a good high-school or academic education. more, the whole character of English public This is the foundation on which any special education would have been revolutionized more education should rest, and on which it must rest than two hundred years ago. We should have if it is to be really valuable. If a college course been as great a nation, measured by the stand- can be added, so much the better, but the ards of imperial power and wealth, but our number of those who seem to be able to spare citizens would have had a better use of their the time and expense for this advanced instrucbrains, greater love of truth, more open minds, tion is not large. It is not easy to see how this more kindly hearts, more of wisdom, justice, position as to the necessity of separating the righteousness." Enough has been said to general education from the special training can show that while the adequate training of the be gainsaid, yet the normal schools of this teacher is not a new subject, yet any general country, almost without exception (there are recognition of its importance is new. Indeed a few notable ones), violate this principle enit would be concealing the truth not to say tirely and plead the force of circumstances as their justification. The result is that too many a knowledge of them from candidates for adnormal schools are but high schools with a mission, and only refer to them again to disslight infusion of pedagogy in the curriculum cuss their pedagogic relations and for the of the last year. More often than not students purpose of explaining how their subject-matgraduate from these schools before they are ters may best be taught. eighteen years of age, and before it is possible As to the principle that the professional for them to have acquired that necessary gen- training of the teacher should include the eral education which should precede any special practical work of the school-room under proper and professional training whatever. Students supervision and criticism, there is little differthus graduating become at once teachers in ence of opinion. But the practice of normal the common schools, and at the expense of the schools falls far below their professions in this reeducation of countless children slowly acquire spect. The student teaches in a practice school that “ experience” which is to serve as a sub- for a few hours each week or for a few days stitute for the training they have not secured. each month, but this is not sufficient either in
This is a serious evil and one which is not quantity or in quality. In some of the German being very rapidly remedied.
training colleges, certainly in that at Weimar, The contention of some normal-school princi- the student has a subject assigned him which pals that unless the students receive their gen- he teaches uninterruptedly for a whole year in eral education under the normal-school roof the practice school; and careful preparation for it will not be good for anything will not bear this instruction is made. This arrangement is examination. An educational system cannot held to be necessary in order that the student be built up on any such basis as that. Trust, may obtain real grasp of his subject and familnot distrust, must be the motto. The grammar iarize himself
with the special needs of the chilschools and the high schools must be trusted dren whom he instructs. That the German to do their own work properly; the normal practice in this respect is superior to that comschool can protect itself by its entrance exam- mon among ourselves is very apparent. It ination. In teaching elementary or secondary should be that at which we aim. subjects it is leaving its own sphere and enter- On these two principles, and on the further ing that of another. The law school does not one that manual training should be an integral teach history, nor the medical school reading; part of the common-school course, the New neither should the training college give in- York College for the Training of Teachers has struction in those branches. It should demand been founded, and on these principles it will
be developed. Its aim is to equip teachers of instruction. Under the head of manual thoroughly for the work of elementary and training, female students only are prepared to secondary education and to insist that in that give instruction in sewing and cooking, and education, and consequently in the equipment male students only, when the necessary arrangeof the teacher, manual training must be per- ments shall have been completed, in metalmitted to occupy that place which history, working. Both male and female students are philosophy, and science unite in saying is its prepared to teach drawing and modeling, the due. This is not the place to discuss the sub- Swedish slöjd (pronounced sloyd), which is ject of manual training. An unbroken series the most useful form of constructive work for
of successful experiments has rendered further pupils from ten to fourteen years of age, and
method of recording observations of this kind, Candidates for admission to the College for begun at the Worcester (Massachusetts) Northe Training of Teachers are required to be mal School a few years ago, will be extended at least eighteen years of age, and either to pass and made a very prominent feature of the study a prescribed examination or to present a cer- of the child's mind and its development. tificate of graduation from some approved The work in natural science, which has so academy, high school, or college. Pupils of important a place in the curriculum, is designed either sex are admitted on equal conditions to serve two purposes. It trains the students and are given pretty much the same course in habits of accurate observation and logical
thought, as well as in the methods of experi- gradual steps he would have to follow in gainmentation, and also fits them to construct from ing the knowledge for himself by the much very simple and accessible materials the appa- longer road of experience." ratus with which to illustrate in the school- The history of education is an education itroom various physical, physiological, and self, and contributes largely to the professional mechanical processes. It is intended by the training of the teacher. It includes the study faculty to make, in connection with this science of the development of educational institutions training, a fair test of the assertion of Professor as well as that of educational theories, and inLintner, State entomologist of New York, that volves a critical analysis and study of such entomology is superior to botany as a means works as Plato's "Republic," Quintilian's “Inof training the child's power of observation. stitutes,” Luther's “ Letter to the Burgo
Just as natural science is made to serve the masters,” Milton's “ Tractate,” Rousseau's teacher's professional purposes, so is history. "Émile," and Froebel's “ Education of Man.” The teacher needs a highly cultivated imag- It describes and compares the contemporary ination and a power of illustration, which the educational institutions in various countries; it study of the philosophy of history and the pro- discusses the gymnasium and the realschule, gress of civilization can supply. In order to the lycée and the English board school, the gain this the curriculum contains instruction question of technical education and that of of this character, and it is carried on in con- electives in colleges, compulsory education nection with a carefully chosen course of col- laws and national aid to education in the lateral reading.
United States. The science of education — the pädagogik The student who has in this way compassed of the Germans — is almost unknown in this the science of education and its history, the country, as is the fact that Paulsen lectures on art of instruction and its practice, is entitled that subject to three or four hundred students to his baccalaureate degree in pedagogy. The each semester at the University of Berlin. It is degrees of master and doctor are reserved for to be developed at considerable length at the even higher attainments. The degree of bachcollege by educators who have made it a sub- elor of pedagogy is to be to the teacher what the ject of profound study. It includes a discus- doctorate of medicine is to the physiciansion of the philosophical principles underlying at once an evidence of thorough professional the theory of education, such as that given by preparation and a license to practice. Waitz and Rosenkranz, and also an exami- A single institution cannot do much directly nation of the relation of the family and the in so large a country as our own to supply the state to the work of education in the school. schools with properly equipped teachers. Even The subject of educational values, the relative should the number of its graduates reach sevimportance of various subjects of study for the eral hundreds annually, the teachers of the work of mental development, is also included United States are numbered by the hundreds under this head.
of thousands. Indirectly, however, it can and Instruction in the methods of teaching, in will accomplish a great deal. It will serve as school organization and discipline, connects a stimulus, and, it is hoped, call many similar itself naturally with the foregoing and consti- training colleges into existence. But should tutes what is known as the art of education. this hoped-for result not follow, it will serve to It embraces didactics, discipline and punish- bring home to the teacher a full appreciation ment, school hygiene, and kindred topics. of what it is to belong to a profession which The art of education is studied experimentally boasts a splendid history, a scientific basis, and as it were, for its precepts are to be observed in a classic literature; a profession to which Alcuin operation in the school of practice, and, under and Abelard, Colet and Comenius, Pestalozzi proper supervision, applied there by the stu- and Froebel, Thomas Arnold and Mark Hopdents themselves. In all this mere formalism kins belonged; a profession that has counted is to be guarded against, and this saying of and still counts among its members some of Rosmini must be continually borne in mind : the truest, noblest, and best men and women “ It is true that the teacher, enriched by his who ever lived. It will improve the character own experience, can communicate what he of popular education and through it the qualknows to his pupil; but the teacher himself ity of citizenship, particularly citizenship in that will, if he is wise, make himself the interpreter nation which Abraham Lincoln declared to and disciple of nature, and lead the child's be “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the mind to the knowledge of truth by the same proposition that all men are created equal.”
Nicholas Murray Butler.