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CITY TRAINING SCHOOL
AT NEW HAVEN, CONN.
The Training School of New Haven originated in the effort of the Superintendent of Schools, Ariel Parish, Esq., to give to young persons who were candidates for the position of teacher, an opportunity to observe for a time the methods of teaching and discipline in daily practice in the city public schools. During the first year of the experiment, the candidates had little opportunity to teach, but the advantages derived from the process of observation were such as fully to warrant the adoption of other measures more valuable and efficient.
The opening of a new school in 1867 afforded a favorable opportunity to provide actual instruction for young teachers, and to carry out the proposed plan without additional expense to the district. The school was placed under an accomplished teacher, formerly from the State Normal School at New Britain, and four rooms were placed under her charge.
The aims and purposes of this school can be learned from the following statement of the Superintendent :
This school has been organized on its present basis,
1. To avoid the necessity of employing, in responsible positions, young persons entirely destitute of preparation and experience, with no means of improvement, except by crude experiments on the children in their teaching and government, without any one to aid or guide them. It is believed that the instruction and practice of a single term here will better fit them for their duties as teachers, than a year's experience in the ordinary mode of guess-work teaching.
2. To save beginners from failure—disastrous to their reputation as teachers, and a very serious loss to the District in the demoralization of the school.
3. To furnish them practice in teaching while learning how to perform the duties required, under the supervision of a competent teacher, who shall be able to correct their errors, point out their defects, give advice, and render all needful assistance. Under her instruction they learn how to organize a school, to classify the pupils, and so order the daily exercises as to secure a complete sys. tematic performance of all duties pertaining to the school.
4. Especial care is taken to present the best methods of elementary instruction, in all the branches taught, by daily practice; also, to indicate sources of information in educational publications by which the experience of others may be called into requisition.
5. Special attention is given to that most difficult of all duties, school gov. ernment. While the order and discipline of the room is left in the hands of the teacher, the Principal is always ready, in cases of emergency, to advise and render assistance. The dispositions of the children, their temperaments and habits, their probable home treatment, are made prominent subjects of study; also the best method of encouraging the pupils to a cheerful observance of all requirements. Judicious modes of punishment are carefully sought for, to meet all necessary cases where other measures fail.
6. This school comprises the first four grades, properly the primary department, of the school system, and the young teachers are confined to these in their practice; yet the instruction they receive involves general principles which are applicable to all the higher grades, and with good judgment in their application, experience will in due time enable thein to take charge of higher rooms according to their qualitications.
7. Among the gratifying results of the experiment, thus far, are the thor. oughness of the instruction and the progress of the children in their studies These are due, first, to the efficiency of the Principal, who is never satisfied with partial success, whose watchful care suffers no pupil to be neglected; and second, to the earnest desire of the young teacher to perform her work success. fully, knowing that she can have no better passport to promotion. Parents who witness from time to time the exercises of the classes and the general movements of the school, can not but feel satisfied with what is done for their children.
8. In view of the results, on the whole, in providing competent teachers from the pupils as they complete their studies in our schools; in the excellent instruction the children receive; and in the economy of the arrangement, costing, as it does, less expenditure of money than would be required to conduct the school in the ordinary way, I commend this enterprise to the attention of the Board, as one of the most influential elements we possess in strengthening and perfecting the whole system of our public schools.
The first Training School for teachers in the public schools of San Francisco was organized, September, 1865, in the lower rooms of the building occupied by the State Normal School. Such was the popularity of the school, that additional class-rooms became necessary, and a separate building was provided by the city, in 1867, capable of accommodating two hundred and seventy-five pupils. The Superintendent of Schools in San Francisco gives the following account of this school in his Report for the year ending October 15, 1867:
The management of the school is intrusted to one Principal, Mrs. C. H. Stout, and two assistant teachers, who are all appointed by the City Board of Education.
As its title implies, the school is designed primarily for the training of Normal School students in the art of teaching. These are deputized to teach, each for one week at a time, and twice during the term, one of the six training classes. Before assuming charge of a class, the pupil teacher is required to spend a week in special preparation for her work. This she does usually by studying the course of study prescribed for the class, by inspecting the methods of teaching pursued by other teachers already plying their task, and by receiving the suggestions of the Principal in regard to the details of school management. For each of the six grades in the school there is provided a programme of recitations, which vary in length from ten to thirty minutes. The subject of each lesson in oral instruction is assigned by the Principal, and of this lesson an abstract must be prepared by the pupil teacher and be presented to the Principal for criticism, before the same be given to the class.
The subject of each lesson, the date of the recitation, and the name of the teacher conducting it, are recorded by the Principal in a book provided for this purpose.
At the close of the week the Normal pupil makes out a report of the methods of teaching she has employed, and of the number and nature of the class exercises she has conducted, accompanying her report with such remarks pertinent to teaching as she may desire to make. To this report the principal attaches her record of credits assigned to the teacher for her performance in the Training School. The aggregate of these credits forms one-third of the maximum or standard required for graduation in the State Normal School. The Principal and her two assistants, besides exercising a constant supervision of the work and directing the unskillful efforts of the pupil teacher, themselves illustrate the principles of pedagogy by an actual application in teaching.
The fear once expressed that the primary pupils of the school would suffer from the frequent change of teachers, all of whom were to be regarded as untried and inexperienced in teaching, has proved to be groundless. Whilst there is no doubt that an incalculable advantage has accrued from this school of practice to the Normal School, it must be admitted that no disadvantage has been entailed, whilst securing this benefit, upon the children who depend upon this school for the rudiments of knowledge. In proof of this assertion, it may
suffice to state that this school has been subjected to the same examination as other schools in the city of like grade, and that it has never made less than eighty-tive per cent. in the semi-annual examinations of primary schools held by the City Board of Education. This fact reveals a degree of proficiency on the part of the Training School not surpassed by any other primary school in the Department. Deprived of this experimental school, the Normal School would be wanting in one important requisite of success, and without its aid but few Normal graduates could ever aspire to any distinction as skillful instructors To the Normal School the State even now looks for its regular supply of teach.
Should these instructors fail in any essential part of their professional duty, the children of our citizens must suffer the consequences of such failure. Upon the success of these teachers the Normal School rests its claims for public favor, whilst to the Training School, supported by the enlightened liberality of our Board of Education, must ever attach a large share of whatever honor the Normal School graduates may reflect upon their alma mater.
In 1867, the City Board of Education established a Training School for teachers in connection with the Girls' High School, under the special charge of a Principal, (Mrs. A. E. DuBois,) and an assistant. Originally there was but one model class, with forty pupils; at the close of the first three months, there was an attendance of two hundred and four primary pupils, distributed in six class-rooms, taught by members of the Normal Class of the Girls' High School, who are drafted for this purpose every week, under the direction of the Normal Principal and her assistant.
The members of the Normal Class will now pass as teachers into the public schools of the city, or elsewhere, with some experience in the instruction and management of children, and with some test of their ability to govern a school.
Replies to this Circular, endorsed
Oficial, pass free by mail.
CIRCULAR RESPECTING INSTITUTIONS OF NATURAL SCIENCE.
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION,
WASHINGTON, D. C., February, 1868. Schools, Societies, Museums, Academies, and other Institutions, wholly or in part devoted to the advancement of the Natural SCIENCES, are requested to communicate information respecting their organization, publications, collections, and other items included under the headings below, as soon as convenient.
Colleges, Scientific Schools, and similar institutions, receiving this Circular, will confer a favor by sending an account of their Natural History Department; its Collections, Library, etc.; the general course of instruction adopted; the names of the Professors, and other officers in the department; and such other matters as come under the general headings below. Historical societies will please give an account of any collection of an Archäological or Ethnological character they may possess.
Commissioner of Education. 1. The name of the Institution in full. 2. Its location (street, city, county, and state). 3. Date of its organization. 4. A short account of its history. 5. The amount of property held for the benefit of the Institution. 6. The average expenses in the several departments. 7. The number of members of each class (as Resident or Active, Corresponding,
Honorary, Patrons, etc.). 8. The amount of entrance fee and assessment of members. 9. The conditions for membership. 10. Meetings (their character, time and place of holding, etc.) 11. Lectures. 12. Library (its general character, number of volumes, etc.). 13. Museum (its general character and arrangement). 14. Estimated number of species in the Museum under the following general
heads, if convenient :-Geology, Mineralogy, Botany, Protozoa, Radiates, Mollusks, Articulates, Vertebrates, Anatomy, Palæontology, Archäology, Ethnology. (If possible, the estimated number of species in each class of the Animal Kingdom, and notice of any special or large collection that
may be in the Museum would be acceptable.) 15. The conditions under which the Museum, Library, and Meetings are open to
members and others. 16. The titles of the present publications and the time of their issue. 17. A complete list of the works published, with their size, number of volumes,
date of publication, present prices, and the manner in which they can be
obtained. 18. How often and in what manner are the officers elected ? 19. When is the regular election of officers ? 20. A complete list of the present Officers and Committees. 21. What offices are paid, and what honorary?