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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE WISCONSIN TEACHERS'
ASSOCIATION-FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING.
Primary Section. Miss Alice H, Shultes, Chairman, The meeting was called to order promptly at o, clock, P. M., by the chairman, who spoke as follows:
Melvil Dewey said truly that the evolution of school systems has been from the top downward. Universities were established first, then schools of lower grades, and it has taken many gradations for educational interest to reach down to primary schools and kindergartens. Supt. Skinner paid you none too high honor in his address when he said:
The primary teacher is the saviour of our country." Correspondence with about three hundred primary teachers of Wisconsin revealed a desire on their part to have the subjects of number, busy work, and writing discussed at this meeting. For many years methods of teaching primary reading occupied the attention of primary teachers, with the result that at present a generally accepted belief in the sentence method prevails, with a somewhat less general practice of the same, owing to lack of skill on the part of the teachers. Interest in language lessons and nature lessons followed until few doubt their importance in school work. Recently there has developed a growing dissatisfaction among thoughtful primary teachers with the results of their number work and I hope that our discussion of that subject to-day will be productive of much good. Busy work, too, has been much misunderstood and misapplied, very often amounting to mere fancy work, instead of fulfilling its true purpose as a means of expressing thought. One has but to read the controversies over vertical versus slapt writing to know that it is time for every primary teacher to be informed of the merits of vertical writing and understand methods of teaching it. That our meeting may be most valuable, let us lay aside our reserve, forget that we are strangers and talk together about the questions that so much concern us. Let us forget also that we are a section and think only that we are a company of co-workers, anxious to help and to be helped by the opinions and experience of one another.
The program consisted of informal talks, rather than formal papers.
NUMBER WORK, HOW AND HOW MUCH? Miss Rose C. Swart, inspector of practice work in the Oshkosh state normal, made an appeal for more of the old fashioned oumber drill, where children learn the processes by faith. Do not teach all processes at once. Teach them as reverses of each other. Do not make the number work too concrete. The element of exactness should pervade all number work. Do not be particular as to form. Teach arithmetic to children as though they were intelligent be
How Make Busy Work Education? was discussed by Miss Katherine C. Mavity, Instructor of Methods and Supervisor of Practice, Whitewater State Normal: By thoughtful selection to be governed by the purposes it may serve:
1. To occupy the children in an educational way-not simply task work. 2. To develop the children. a. Physically: The eye trained; the hand trained to grasp hold, use and exercise in obedience to mind. The co-ordination of the two. b. Intellectually: to prepare for recitation and to apply the recitation. By the recitation he thinks and finds. In the seat work, he does. A certain advantage of the seat work over the class work, is in the tasks being done without aid. The seat work should, of course, reinforce as many lessons as possible. c. In character: Æsthetic sense, purpose in activity, self-control.
2. By skillful management. a. Thorough preparation. b. Definite assignment, having the tasks well divided as to time. c. Careful supervision of work. d. Patient persistency. e. Care of materials, calling on children to assist as it promotes habits of carefulness, and respect for school property.
The speaker closed by an appeal for a permanent, satisfactory product of the child's effort to be obtained through the teacher. First. By giving him a goal worth striving for. Second. By having it far enough away to fully occupy his time. Third. By arousing his energy at the start. Dis. cussion. The slow pupils may be assisted by the bright ones. Assign less work to the slow pupil that his work may be completed. The teacher should not always work with the children. The name 'busy work" is an unfortunate term, because it implies work assigned merely to fill up the time.
Miss Jennie Faddis, primary teacher, Stevens Point state normal.
Only teachers of small children appreciate the necessity of busy work. It demands careful attention to be truly educative.
It must be proportionate to his needs and suited to his capacity of mind and body. The small child expresses himself easier through the body than through the mind, because of his lack of language. The child should feel the necessity of making in order to express himself.
IN LANGUAGE. 1. Not too much copying. 2. Their own stories copied. 3. Memory gems copied. 4. Written reproduction of stories told by the teacher to the children. Aid them by questions written on the blackboard. 5. Silent reading, writing down the difficult words. It is a good thing for a child to be conscious of the difficulties. 6. Write letters to children in foreign countries.
IN ARITHMETIC. 1. Seat work more engaging by use of blocks, straws, seeds, etc., etc. 2. Each lesson the outgrowth of the previous one. 3. Emphasize number in all things made. 4. Constant use of the foot-rule for accuracy. 5. Plenty of sewing and cutting magazines, catalogues, etc., can be obtained at the stores for the purpose of cutting. 6. Practical problems in abundance.
GAMES. 1. Mother Goose stories dramatized. 2. Rhyming games for analogy of sound. 3. Direction games for points of compass.
Festival Occasions.-All should have a part. The heedless child should be given responsibilities. Let all know the joy of making gifts appropriate to the season and month.
Individual cases may sometimes be reached through special seat work. For instance, the tardy child may be requested to make a clock dial with the hands pointing to nine o'clock. The teacher must require neatness and accuracy in all work; and must respect the child's result. Voluntary obedience is the great end.
Miss Faddis recommended the most careful supervision of all seat work. She thought that children might sometimes be allowed to pass to the seats of those in other classes and look at the work accomplished.
Mrs. M. D. Bradford, Supervisor of Practice, Stevens Point Normal School. Owing to the lateness of the hour, Mrs. Bradford limited herself to answering what she sup
Miss Harriet Smith, primary principal, Milwaukee, said:
The aim is not the mere getting af knowledge, but the development of the reasoning powers. To this end let there be full play of the constructive powers; individual work rather than mass work; and remember that the mathemati. cal mind is an imaginafive one.
Miss Swart thought the difficulty with number work was not in beginning too soon, but in the amount and kind given. She would not have the beginner grade make a continuous study of number; but would have them study it for a quarter, and then "take a vaction. Do not use the concrete after the child should know the abstract, as it retards mental development. Examine his mental condition when he enters school, to see where he needs to begin. There are three grades of children: 1. Those to whom mathematics is poison. 2. Those who do not enjoy mathematics. 3. Those who do enjoy mathematics. Deal diferently therefore with the different minds. The graded system must not make their lives miserable. Denominate numbers, possibly, are to be preferred to secure accuracy. Children should be taught the technical terms used, and to generalize, i, e., to classify examples under heads.
posed would be the questions uppermost in the minds of the teachers present.
1. When to begin to teach writing? When the child wishes to express something. 2, What size? Large. The teacher demands what the child cannot perform if she expects small work. Let children write without lines, on paper, so as to be free. 3. What characteristics? Simplicity of form and rapidity of execution, rather than flourish. Each line cut out that does not conduce to fluency. 4. What position? The front for the sake of the body.
The speaker gave her preference for the "Living hand" rather than for the copy book. It was suggested that in district schools where one was obliged to use the copy book that the teacher might use practice paper first for movement and exercises. Mrs. Bradford said that from her own experience she felt that the vertical system was capable of rapidity of execution as well as satisfying the eye for legibility. The meeting adjourned.
Maude Ball, Secretary.
Culture is the primary aid of education. Whatever tends to cultivate higher feelings tends to educate; nothing can elevate and refine like music, hence the great value of this important branch of study. The ear is the important channel of feeling. It not only appeals to the aesthetic nature, but to the practical as well. It controls and appeals as nothing else can do, leading every one to a higher and better life.
Mrs. J. R. Williams, of Milwaukee, asked some very practical questions which led to interesting discussions in which Prof. McNeil, of Superior, C. R. Showalter, of Lancaster, Mrs. Terry, of Waukesha, and many others took part.
Round table talks were arranged for by Prof. D. l. Churchill, to be held in the parlors of the Plankinton House.
Prof. Churchill was elected chairman for the next meeting of the association.
Association Badge. To the Wisconsin State Teachers' Association :-Having been appointed at our last annual session to present a design for a State Teachers' Badge, I beg leave respectfully to submit the following, with the recommendation that it be adopted and recognized as the official badge for Wisconsin teachers (cut omitted).
The badger in the foreground is the central idea, and may represent our state or any one of us its citizens. The schoolhouse on the hill beyond him is the stronghold of liberty. The open schoolhouse is the guaranty of our future growth and safety. Keep it open and our state is secure; hence the legend around the margin, “With the school door ajar, the Badger is safe." The monogram includes the letters B, S and T, “Badger State Teacher." The badge may be made in the form of a button or a pin.
H. W. Rood.
Report of Music Section.
J. Dixon Churchill, Chairman. The meeting was called to order by the chairman, Prof. J. D. Churchill, of Platteville normal school.
The first paper was "Essentials in Teaching School Music" by Mrs. Harriet D. Torrens, of Lake Geneva.
The discussion was led by Miss Rose B. Mullay, supervisor of practice teaching in Platteville state normal school. A strong point made by Miss Mullay was the fact that music must first charm, second, strengthen ethically, mentally and morally, and third it must teach, i. e., lead into new fields of ideas and thus lead to perfect symmetry. Music leads to more perfect relations between teacher and pupils, thus proving itself of inestimable disciplinary value.
Second paper, "Reasons Why Children Should Become Good Readers of Music'' was read by Miss Sophis Linton, Stevens Point. These are some of the reasons: Pupils should become good sight readers of music because of its disciplinary value in training the ear and the eye and in developing accuracy and good judgment. It prepares the individual for the enjoyment of the best life can give. It is a positive aid in training into life-giving force those energies which bring the successful solving of life's problems.
The paper was discussed by Miss Howard, of Oshkosh, and others.
The third paper was by Miss Nellie Farnsworth, "Influence of Music in Primary Grades." She showed the value of music in physical, mental and moral development. The discussion was led by Miss Caroline Troatman, Waukesha, who urged the importance of letting out activity in music, since it is bound to come out some way. Rhythm is an instinct in the child. The importance of special songs was commented upon by Prof. Churchill.
Miss Pierce spoke of the ultimate value of education, that it should not be what one knows but what he loves. How much better a lover of music is prepared for life.
The fourth paper was by Miss Baker, of Whitewater, “In What Way can Good Quality of Tone be Obtained from Children?
a. Development from above down; 6. Use of head voice; c. Soft singing; d. Aid of Emotions; e. By imitation; f. Minor ways.
4. Preparation of teachers.
The discussion was led by Mrs. Eleanor Terry, of Wau. kesha. Let the children be natural; do not urge them to sing loud; use many devices to secure pure tones.
Mr. Metcalf, of Menomonie, took part in this discus.
D. Appleton & Co.
-Froebel's EDUCATIONAL LAWS FOR ALL Teachers, by James L. Hughes, (296 pp.; $1.50) develops the larger applications of Froebel's educational philosophy. The kindergarten was the creation of his old age, and was the carefully thot out application of his ideas to the training of the earliest years of life. This was so new, unique, and skillful that it attracted more attention than the general doctrine. It was indeed concrete in the kindergarten gifts and exercises, and hence appealed to those who were not ready for general philosophical principles. But these principles had been systematically set forth by Froebel in the “Education of Man," published fourteen years before the opening of the first kindergarten. Mr. H. Courthope Berven is quoted as saying of Froebel: "it is the work which he did for the education of infants between the ages of three and seven that chiefly demands our gratitude, so far as his aims have been realized up to the present, in the future unless I am seriously mistaken, his greatest service will be in the reforms which his principles and methods will have forced on our schools and colleges." Inspector Hughes sets forth simply and somewhat diffusely the most important of Froebel's teachings in their application to general school work. After a glance at the distinctive features of the system he treats of the law of inner connection, the process of selfactivity, play, control and spontaneity, correlation of studies, apperception and individuality and self-expression. His discussions are practical and stimulating, and the volume deserves to be widely studied.
-SCHOOL Management and School Methods, by Joseph Baldwin, (395 pp.; $1.50) is volume forty of the International Education Series. Its author has had a long experience as a teacher and maker of books for teachers. This book, he says, "has cost me years of hard work." Its central idea is the school as an agency for the betterment of the pupils, and this is enforced by making the heading of each chapter begin with "Pupil improvement by etc.," certainly an infelicitous phrase. Perhaps with a view to being more easily understood the matter is presented for the
Journal of Education
MADISON, WIS., JUNE, 1897.
ADDRESS ALL COMMUNICATIONS TO
gram offers an extensive list of subjects to be JOURNAL OF EDUCATION,
· discussed. 208 East Main Street, Madison, Wis.
A TENDENCY to specialization in the work J. W. STEARNS, I A. O. WRIGHT, . .........Editors and PROPRIETORS. of preparation for teaching is shown in a re
cent action of the Board of Regents of Normal SUBSCRIPTION PRICE $1.00 A YEAR.
Schools. The presidents are authorized to (Entered at the Madison postoffice at second-class mailing rates.)
offer an additional course of study specially TABLE OF CONTENTS.
adapted to preparing teachers for primary and
intermediate grades. The course will be a EDITORIALS...........
.... 121-124 modification of one of those now in force with Brief Comment–The Fiction Habit-American Homes.
a view to affording the special training needed The MONTH. ..............
by teachers in these grades. The presidents Wisconsin News and Notes-Wisconsin Badges
are also authorized to provide a course of one The Traveling Libraries at Nekoosa—The Travel
year in addition to and in advance of the ing Libraries in Pleasant Valley--The Wisconsin Free Library Commission-Recent Wisconsin Li courses now offered especially directed to the brary Legislation - Traveling Pictures-Wisconsin
training of teachers for grammar and high Song–Courses at the University for Normal Grad
school work. This indicates clearly the aduates - Pedagogy at the University-Observations upon Children's Reading.
vance which is going on in teaching. The The School Room........
......... 131-135 general preparation hitherto offered is no Harriet Beecher Stowe-Kindergartens at West
longer adequate to the changed conditions, Superior-Song of the Ocean-Song of Rivers. Child STUDY....
and the Board wisely determines to keep ................... 135-137 What Children Think about Punishment.
these schools abreast of the demands of the CONTRIBUTIONS .....
times. The Normal School Library-Use aud Abuse of Township Libraries--A Needed Improvement in
The Wisconsin Free Library Commission Books--Schools in Germany.
solicits contributions of wholesome and enterOFFICIAL DEPARTMENT.....
taining popular books, magazines, illustrated paReport of Treasurer of Wisconsin Teachers' Association.
pers and children's periodicals for the use of the Book TABLE....
................ 144-vii free traveling libraries in northern Wisconsin.
A file of a child's paper, sewed and bound EDITORIAL.
with a strong manila paper, can give pleasure to the children of fifteen or twenty families
through the agency of a country librarian. Those who look over the summer school
People who can make such gifts are requested circular this year will note the more complete
to write to F. A. Hutchins, secretary of the differentiation of the school of library science
commission, at Madison. in the title and arrangement. While the summer school of science holds but four weeks that The program of the Library Department of of library science holds six, with correspond- the N. E. A. has especial interest for this liing fees. This school last year drew to it li- brary issue of the JOURNAL. It is brief, embrarians from various states of the northwest, bracing but two papers on Thursday afterand the work was so practical and vigorous as noon, viz.: Purposes of our Meeting, by F. M. to absorb the energies of most of those who Crunden, St. Louis, and Co-operation beattended it. With the rapid increase of li- tween Libraries and Teachers, by Miss May braries a new profession is thus being built up, Schreiber, of the Milwaukee normal school, and those who are looking for positions in it and two on Friday afternoon, viz. : Observarecognize the necessity of special training. tions upon Children's Reading, by Prof. J. E. This library school, held in the summer Russell, of Colorado, and a lecture, subject months, affords special facilities for such train and speaker not announced. The general ing and is the only one in the northwest at sessions of the Association will be addressed present where they are offered. The pro- by between twenty and thirty speakers from
different parts of the country, among whom cance. In short, emotional intoxication is all we note the Rev. Lyman Abbott, Alexander that is sought, and this becomes as much a Graham Bell, Bishop J. H. Vincent, Miss Jane necessity to the comfort of the novel fiend as Addams, Pres. Harper, Pres. Canfield, etc. the fatal drug to the victim of the opium The most novel feature is a poem by Clinton habit. Scollard, The March of the Ideal.
A false method of reading leads to the forTHE REPORT of State Superintendent Emery
mation of this habit. It may be called paswas greatly delayed at the printing office, so
sive or merely receptive reading. One enthat copies of it could not be had until after
tirely surrenders himself to the book he has the adjournment of the legislature. In our
in hand. His mind, as it were, floats along April issue we published a summary of its
on the current of plot interest furnished by it, very encouraging exhibit regarding the work
without reflection, without comparison or criting of the school library law. The progress
icism, without impulse to put together the of the high schools is a subject for special con
material furnished so that it may yield insight gratulations. The erection of fine new build
and fresh combinations. It has been too ings, the tendency to establish the four years
commonly assumed that reading necessarily course of study in place of the three, the non
leads to mental growth. Librarians even have resident pupils—2,688—who are increasing
told us that we must furnish the kind of books very rapidly and proving the value of these
people will read whether they have literary schools to the surrounding country, the in
merit or not, and that readers so gratified will crease of libraries and equipment for science
soon rise to demand better things. Experiteaching, the growth of the accredited list,
ence has shown the contrary. Since the openthe improved preparation of the teachers are
ing of the Carnegie Free Library in Pittsburg occasion of congratulatory comment. Manual
the percentage of adult fiction drawn out, nottraining departments have been established at
withstanding the steady cutting down of the Menomonie, Eau Claire, Appleton, Janesville,
nesville supply, has steadily increased from fifty-six and Florence. It is greatly to be hoped that
to be hoped that to sixty, sixty-three, sixty-seven and sixtythis movement will extend among the schools
eight per cent. in successive years. Moreduring the coming year. The expense is not
over, the grade of fiction read does not heavy, as the report shows, and the results,
improve. By reading such books as they dethough limited, are full of promise. The re
mand, people do not educate themselves to port contains illustrations of the Janesville
desire better ones. The reason is obvious; high school, of the normal school at Superior,
they are mere passive, receptive readers; they of the new historical library building at Mad
are, or are becoming, fiction fiends. The ison, of the new ladies' hall, and of the horti
managers of the library have been so impressed cultural building, with the number of pictures
with this that they have considered it best to showing deformities discovered in the study
retire from the collection the works of certain of physical development at the normal schools.
authors admitted on the theory of giving people what they want to read. Thus the works
of Bertha M. Clay, Mary J. Holmes, E. P. THE FICTION HABIT.
Roe, Mrs. E. D. N. Southworth, Marion
Harland and others have been withdrawn So we may designate one deleterious result from the library, not because they are imwhich in some cases follows upon the estab- moral, for they are not, but because they are lishment of free libraries. A certain per cent. not literature—they are not worth reading. of the patrons become fiction fiends. They The action has, of course, given rise to a good live to read stories. They soon become rapid deal of criticism, but we are satisfied it will readers, and thus demand an enormous sup- meet with the approval of thoughtful persons. ply to feed their unnatural appetite. One such books form passive readers. They furnovel a week grows to one a day, and some- nish no thought material, they contain no pentimes two or more a day. The person so pos- etrating interpretation of life, they lack artistic sessed becomes indifferent to everything else, form. Thus they can be of no real service to real life is a dream and its duties and respon- any one. sibilities disagreeable intrusions. Nothing This brings to view the higher service of the but fiction, or next to nothing else, is read. school with regard to reading. It must not This is rushed through for the excitement it only teach how to read, but what to read. yields, with no sense of literary art, no appre- What to read cannot be taught by any enuciation of delineation of character, no recog- meration of books. There are no "hundred nition of cause and effect or ethical signifi- books” with exclusive right to be called the greatest; new books are to be read as well as manners and morals, the bulwark of the church, old ones, and "what to read" is not taught the primary school of citizenship, the fundauntil it guides to these. In fact teaching mental factor in making manhood or womanwhat to read is developing taste and reflection, hood. The glory and safety of America is in an active and original instead of a merely pas- her homes, and the hope of her future is in sive and receptive habit of reading. In regard the children sheltered by these homes. Her to the literature of power, and more especially danger and disgrace is in the comparatively in regard to novels, this kind of training is few homeless or worse than homeless children, peculiarly needed. Books of this sort which who are growing up to immorality and crime, are worth reading have a two-fold function. to want and disease; to be burdens and pests First, they are interpretative. They deal to society instead of pillars for its support. with life in a large and true way, dispelling While it is true that there are some homes the cloud of commonplace which so frequently that are such in name only and some that are hides its deeper meaning from us in the slowly even worse than none at all, the immense madeveloping drama of actual experience, and jority of all the homes in our land are far betrevealing clearly the consequences that follow ter for the children in them than no homes at upon conduct, the unfolding of character un ill, and a large part of all the homes are as der the play of circumstance, the action and perfect as any human institutions ever are. reaction of persons upon each other for good Never before have the average population of or for evil. To see these things under the any great country been so prosperous, so conguidance of a master spirit is to grow intellec- tented, so intelligent, or so virtuous as in the tually and morally. But in the second place, United States to-day. Never before in the this master spirit is an artist. He has the history of the world has a great and powerful artist's eye for detecting the critical moments, people been so self-governed under such demand the artist's skill for displaying them effect- ocratic forms, and relying so completely on ively with proper settings, and due propor- the intelligence and virtue of the whole peotions, and in effective language. To catch ple. Never before has a great nation accorded and understand his interpretation, and to ap- such opportunities to every inhabitant for edupreciate and enjoy his skill is highly educative; cation, for justice and equal rights, for social and the work of the school in teaching what advancement, for political power. The to read is that it initiates into this appreciation. shackles of rank and class, of slavery and
It is obvious that this active reading seeks servitude, the prejudices founded on difference after the substance of literature; and the of nationality, of color, of sex, of religious and search for the substance both makes the read- political opinions, are melting away, and every ing more deliberate and the reader desirous boy or girl, white, black, yellow and copper of matter and of growth. Thus it comes colored, of American or of foreign patronage, about that he will not attempt to live by fic- of every religion and of no religion, is supposed tion alone. That spirit of life in him which to have a fair chance in life, and does have a leads him to seek after the realities in fiction fair chance so far as the law can give it. For will also make him eager for the realities of the average child brought up in an average knowledge. He will not fall a prey to the home with average ability and opportunies, fiction habit, but will find in it the free realm the future offered him here in this land of freeof art, capable of affording delight and instruc- dom, political and social, is of priceless value. tion, but not dissipation such as enslaves the The progress of democracy and the growth fiction fiend.
of freedom are giving our home life a new There is a period when children naturally form and a higher spirit. Love instead of read much. Usually from the age of ten or fear is more and more the governing force;. twelve to eighteen more is read than at any the good of the child instead of the comfort other time of life. It is in accord with the of the parent, the end aimed at. Childhood vigorous and active spirit of youth that a good is no longer repressed in its activities, thwarted deal of this reading should be of fiction. If of its pleasures, stunted in its ambitions. Parit is of the better sort this is not to be regret- ents no longer force reluctant children into ted, provided the reading be active, intelli- hated avocations and loveless marriages, no gent and appreciative, and provided that it longer apprentice them to hard and cruel mastbe not exclusively of fiction.
S. ers, no longer treat them as slaves and sell AMERICAN HOMES.
their labor or use it for their own profit till
the welcome majority releases the unwilling The best thing for a child is a good home. bondman. All these things were not only legal The natural life is the family life. The home possibilities, they were the usual incidents of is the protection for innocence, the teacher of ordinary family life a century ago, even in