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CITY TRAINING SCHOOLS IN IOWA.
THE Schools of Davenport have a high reputation for thoroughness of instruction and for successful results. Much of the success which has attended the operations of the school system in this city is the consequence of the special arrangements which have been made for the training of skillful teachers.
The Training School of Davenport was organized in September, 1863. It is under the general supervision of the Board of Education of the city, and the special direction of the city superintendent of schools. For two years after it was established, it was no extra expense to the city, the services of the pupil-teachers in the model or practice schools more than compensating for the extra expense of securing a trained and skillful Principal who could instruct and direct the pupil-teachers.
The number in the class is not limited; any one who is able to pass a creditable examination before the county superintendent may be admitted. The course of instruction is a year, and usually a new class is received at the beginning of each year.
of ten dollars a year.
There is a nominal tuition fee
The school has connected with it a model and practice-school of four rooms of fifty-six pupils each. The members of the Training School receive direct instruction from the Principal, in mental science, school economy, and the science of education and methods of teaching. About one hour and a half of each day is occupied with recitations in these branches, and the remainder of the time is passed in the model and practice-schools in observation and practice.
The pupil-teachers have regular classes in the schools of practice, which are changed occasionally; in the first term once a month, and in succeeding terms more frequently, if necessary to give each student an opportunity to practice in different grades and teach different branches. The instruction is similar to that given in the elementary training course at Oswego. It includes lessons with the children in the elements of natural science, object lessons, and the usual studies of common schools. With the exception of reading, most of the instruction is oral, being given without text-books. The lessons are carefully prepared by the pupil-teachers, and kindly criticised by the Principal, the good points being noticed, while the bad are corrected. The course has been found eminently useful in giving confidence and imparting skill to young teach ers, while they become better acquainted with the philosophy of mind.
The public schools of the city are supplied almost entirely from the Training School.
OTTUMWA, NAPELLO COUNTY, IOWA.
The schools of Ottumwa were reorganized in the Autumn of 1865, under the supervision of L. M. Hastings, Jr., the city superintendent. A fine public school building was completed that year, and the superintendent and School Board sought to adopt the best system of organization and instruction for the public schools. The schools were carefully graded under the personal supervision of the superintendent, and placed under the charge of such teachers as could be obtained. But it was found difficult to secure competent teachers, and the "old methods" of instruction were unsatisfactory to the superintendent and the School Board. The greatest drawback to the success of the system was “poor teachers." The superintendent gave much of his time and attention to training and instructing teachers, and some improvement was seen the second year in the methods of instruction. But other duties demanded the time of the Superintendent, and the Board, in 1867, authorized him to establish a Training School for the special preparation of teachers.
The Superintendent was successful in obtaining a competent and experienced teacher, and the Training School was opened in the Autumn of 1867. Miss Pride, the training teacher secured, was a graduate of the Normal and Training School at Oswego, N. Y. Three classes of the graded school, comprising about fifty pupils, were constituted a model and practicing-school, and placed under the charge of the training teacher.
This Normal Training School is expected to be a permanent institution, and though established primarily as a department of the schools of Ottumwa, is open to all qualified to enter. Those only are admitted who show a natural fitness for teaching, and have literary qualifications sufficient to admit them to the High School classes. Tuition is free to all students residing in the district; others pay a tuition fee of eight dollars per quarter.
The class which entered on the organization of the school, in 1867, consisted of twenty-two; five were teachers from the Ottumwa primary schools, sixteen young ladies and one young man were from the High School. Several of these High School students had taught before, and all were expecting to teach. They receive special instruction in methods of teaching the different branches taught in public schools, and then pass to the model and practice-school, where they put in practice the lessons received, conducting exercises in this department under the eye of the training teacher, who superintends the work and gives such counsel and directions as are needed.
During the last hour of the day the whole class of pupil-teachers meet for criticism lessons, and receive such suggestions and assistance from Miss Pride as are necessary to enable them to carry out the plans and employ the methods adopted.
As far as results can be estimated, they are very satisfactory. The
change for the better in the primary schools is already apparent, and the difference between the new methods and the old is already marked.
The Training Class at Manchester was organized in connection with the public schools in September, 1867. It was opened with two rooms, and the Superintendent, Prof. J. Piper, reports (1867) that "it bids fair to be a complete success." Though its primary object is to educate and train teachers for the public schools of that place, all candidates properly qualified are admitted so long as there is room. The teachers have an opportunity to pursue studies usually taught in public schools. Instruction is given by lessons and lectures in methods of teaching, school organization and systems of education, and the students occupy a portion of the time daily in observation and practice in the model and practiceschools. It is intended that the course of instruction and training shall be very thorough. The requisites for graduation are a good knowledge of school organization, the principles of education, and methods of instruction and training, with successful practice in all the grades of the model schools. Only skilled teachers will be approved.
CITY TRAINING SCHOOLS IN INDIANA.
THE Training School of Indianapolis was organized March 1st, 1867, and placed under the charge of Miss Amanda F. Funnell, a graduate of che Oswego Training School, and a former teacher in that school. The design of this school is to give to those who have already completed the racademic course of study, an opportunity to pursue a thorough course of training in the principles and methods of oral instruction, and in the science of education and the art of teaching and governing schools.
The school was established with especial reference to meeting the demand for teachers in the schools of Indianapolis, and to furnish these schools with a supply of trained teachers. The Training School is supported from the public funds, as the other city public schools, and is under the supervision of the city superintendent of schools. The quali fications required for the admission of students are, good sound health, good moral character, and a good knowledge of the common English branches of study. The school has two departments, one of instruction, and one of observation and practice. In the former, the course includes the study of methods of teaching, reading, spelling, number, form, size, place, color; lessons on animals, plants, and objects; inventive drawing, language and geography. In connection with the study of methods, lessons are taken in mental philosophy, school economy, zoology and botany. In the department of observation and practice, there are seven rooms, including the four primary and the two intermediate grades of the city schools, and a model school. These rooms are under the charge of three efficient and experienced critics and a model teacher. Each teacher employed as critic has the supervision of two rooms in which the members of the Training Department practice. The seventh room is intended for observation only, and is under the permanent instruction of the model teacher. The class of pupil-teachers is formed into two divisions, each division passing one-half of the time in each department. The time required for the course is one year.
The number of pupils is limited to twelve.
FORT WAYNE, INDIANA.
The Fort Wayne Training School was organized in August, 1867, having for its object the training of young ladies to take positions as teachers in the city schools. The instructors appointed were Miss Mary H. Swan, Teacher of Methods, and Miss Mary L. Hamilton, Critic; both graduates of the Oswego Training School, and both experienced teachers. The school occupies one room for the teacher of methods, and five
school or practicing rooms, in each of which are forty-eight children. Ten young ladies, most of whom were graduates of the Fort Wayne High School, entered the first term. The students are divided into two sections, one of which is in charge of the teacher of methods in the morning, while the other is teaching in the practicing rooms under direction of the critic. The sections change places in the afternoon.
The teacher of methods gives lessons and lectures on the science of teaching, methods of teaching, number, primary arithmetic, place or geography, reading and language lessons, color, form and objects. An effort is made to present each subject objectively. Small classes of children are brought into the training room, and the teacher of methods gives an illustrative or model lesson on some one of the subjects under discussion, or calls upon some one of the pupil-teachers to give one, while the others are required to criticise the method and manner of giving it. The pupil-teachers are also required to write out model lessons, stating the subject matter of the lesson, the various points to be made, the questions they would ask to bring out these points, also the probable answers of the children, &c.
The work of the critic-teacher is indicated by the name. She goes about from room to room in the department of practice and criticises the work of the pupil-teachers, offers suggestions and gives illustrative lessons. She has the general charge and oversight of the practicing rooms. The teachers of the Training School also render valuable aid to the city Superintendent of schools, by giving model lessons to the primary-teachers in the Teachers' Institute, which is held weekly.
The Superintendent of the public schools of Fort Wayne, James H. Smart, Esq., in speaking of this school, says:
The results of the work, so far, are very gratifying.
I. It is economical, five regular school-rooms being taken care of for less money than any other five rooms in the city.
II. The methods of instruction are an improvement over the old methods. We think that these rooms will, at present, compare quite favorably with any other rooms in the city.
III. We are training up a class of home teachers who, being acquainted with our system, can take new schools as they are established and teach them with a certainty of success.
The Training School at Evansville was established by the Board of Education of the city in 1867. Its primary object is the training and preparation of teachers for the public schools of Evansville, but it is believed that its influence will extend not only to the schools of the city, but to all places where the teachers graduating from this school shall be employed. It was fully organized by the appointment of Miss Abbie A. Locke as Principal, and opened Sept. 9th, 1867.
The general course of study is similar to that adopted at Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. It includes mental philosophy, methods of teaching the ordinary school studies, philosophy of education, school government, and those branches necessary to "the cultivation of the students as teachers and members of a social and accountable race."