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CONVENTION OF SUPERINTENDENTS AND PRINCIPALS. A Convention of County and City Superintendents is hereby called, to meet at the Capitol, in Madison, Thursday evening, December 26th, at 9 o'clock. It has been deemed best to call it at the above mentioned time, instead of January, in order that the Principals of the Graded Schools and other Teachers might have an opportunity of consulting with the Superintendents upon topies of common interest, and especially upon the Institute Work for the ensuing year.
Prof. Graham is desirous that the Superintendents be prepared to designate, as far as possible, at what time and places the Spring and Summer Institutes for 1873 shall be held.
The Principals of the Graded Schools, the Teachers of our Common Schools, and the friends of Education are requested to meet with the Superintendents, and all are respectfully invited to be prepared to speak on the topics embraced in the accompanying programme; also to present any other topic whose discussion will help forward the educational work of the State.
All Teachers who have heretofore given instruction in Institutes, and all who are desirous of engaging in Institute work during the coming year, are particularly requested to be present.
Prof. Graham will arrange, as far as possible, a programme for the Spring and Summer Institutes of 1873, and will form a class of the Teachers who are to instruct in them, in order that there may be uniformity of work.
Superintendent of Public Instruction. MADISON, November 18, 1872.
PROGRAMME FOR THE MEETING OF THE COUNTY AND CITY SUPERINTENDENTS AND
PRINCIPALS, AT THE SENATE CHAMBER.
Meeting of Superintendents-Thursday Evening, Dec. 26. 7.00–Oganization. 7.30-Compulsory Township System. Discussion led by A. F. North. 8.30—Change in Reports of Joint School Districts. Discussion led by W. H. Chandler.
General Meeting—Friday Morning. 9.00—“Shall a Knowledge of Natural Science be required for a Second Grade
Certificate ?" Discussion led by 0. R. Smith and A. Salisbury. 10.00~Changes required in Appointment of Students to Normal Schools. Dis
cussion led by W. D. Parker and J. K. Purdy. 11.00–Miscellaneous Business.
Friday Afternoon. 2.00—Institute Work for 1873. Class Drill of Institute Teachers. By Prof. R.
Graham. 4.00–Meeting of County Superintendents at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, for Miscellaneous Business.
General Meeting-Friday Evening. 7.00–Relation of University to Graded Schools. Discussion led by B. M.
Reynolds, Dr. Twombly and Samuel Fallows. 8.30—Reports from Normal Schools. 0. Arey, E. A. Charlton and G. S. Albee.
General Meeting-Saturday Morning. 9.00—Discussion of Educational Topics. 10.30-Miscellaneous Business.
NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION. We resume the report of the proceedings of the annual meeting held in Boston in August last. We give this month the report of what was done in the sections:
The first session opened at 212 o'clock, Tuesday, Aug. 6. The exercises were introduced by a few appropriate and happy remarks by the President, Miss D. A. LATHROP, of Cincinnati.
N. A. CALKINS, Assistant Superintendent of Schools of New York City, read an able paper on “ Object Teaching:”
He contrasted the methods of instruction in the kindergarten school with the system of the ordinary primary schools, and urged that primary instruction should be in harmony with the nature of the child. The true office of object teaching is to prepare for the study of text-books, by observation and oral instruction. The proper methods of object teaching were briefly stated.
The discussion on the paper was opened by ZALMON RICHARDS, of Washington.
He thought that a thorough reform is needed in our system of primary in. struction, and that object teaching should become a principle instead of a conviction as at present. He was convinced that we are radically wrong in our whole system of primary instruction, in both our school-rooms, our play-rooms, and our books. The discussion was continued by A. BRONSON ALCOTT, of Concord, Mass., who expressed himself in full sympathy with the advanced educational movements of the day, and Mr. BAKER, of Troy, N. Y.
Prof. M. A. NEWELL, Principal of the State Normal School of Baltimore, Md., read a paper on “ English Grammar in Elementary Schools.”
He said that among modern writers of distinction not one in a hundred ever studied English grammar as such. We learn to sing by singing, and to draw by drawing, and in the same way we must be taught to speak and write correctly by speaking and writing. He thought that text-books in grammar should be abol. ished in all grades below the high school.
Mr. W. C. CROSBY, Superintendent of Schools of Davenport, Iowa, who opened the discussion, believed that theory and practice must go hand in hand. He thought that Prof. NEWELL would have many disciples, but very few followers. The subject was discussed by other speakers, after which the session closed.
Wednesday's session was opened by a paper on “The adaptation of Froebel's Educational Ideas to American Institutions,” by W. N. HAILMAN, editor of the Schul Zertung, Louisville, Ky.
He believed that the application of elementary methods should differ widely in different countries, and that what in one might prove beneficial in another would turn out the reverse. Only such foreign methods should be adopted as could be used with advantage. He thought that the United States offered the greatest field for the system of education invented by Froebel. He proposed the appointment of a committee of true-hearted, clear-headed people from all parts of the land to examine this system, and consider what is needed to adapt it to the wants of our schools, and report at the next meeting of the department. In closing he offered a resosution to that effect, which was adopted, and a committee of seven appointed to carry out its provisions.
Dr. ADOLPH DOUAI, of Newark, N. J., spoke in commendation of the kinder. dergarten system. Miss ELIZABETH PEABODY, of Boston, thought Froebel's pe. culiarity to be, that he prepares the child to learn. She gave an interesting account of the gradual development of a child's perception, illustrating the method by means of some of the appliances used in the system. By these methods children gain accuracy of perception before they are seven years old, and also the development of many of the best faculties. Miss Peabody was warmly applauded for her instructive remarks. Several other persons also testified to the great effi. ciency of the kindergarten system.
After a short recess, Mr. AMBROSE P. KELSEY, Principal of the High School in Clinton, N. Y., read a paper on “School Architecture and Furniture,” speaking principally of the school buildings of small towns. He treated of their size, internal arrangements, external appearance, location, grounds, etc., and gave many excellent suggestions respecting the heating, ventilation, and other accessories of the school room.
On Thursday afternoon, Mr. C. 0. THOMPSON, Principal of the Worcester Free Institute of Industrial Science, read a paper on “Physical Science in Elementary Schools.” He advocated the teaching of the elements of the physical sciences in common schools, giving the preference to natural history. He would make room for such instruction by abolishing the study of grammar, and substituting therefor the teaching of language orally.
The subject was discussed by I. N. CARLTON, Principal of the State Normal School of Connecticut, and C. M. WOODWARD, Dean of the Polytechnic Department of Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.
A paper by Dr. F. H. UNDERWOOD, of Boston, on “ English Literature in Popular Education " was next read. He thought that the constant reading and rereading of books, intended for elocutionary exercises, was a great error. Literary hash is the proper term for these compilations. The course of reading in our schools should be so reformed and revised as to give pupils a course of instruction in English literature, thorough but not necessarily exhaustive. No field would be mere certain to yield abundant fruits.
The following officers were elected:
The first session opened on Tuesday afternoon, at 242 o'clock. The President, C.C. ROUNDS, of Maine, made a brief and appropriate address.
Mr. J. C. GREENOUGH, Principal of the State Normal School of Rhode Island, read a paper on “What is the Proper Work of the Normal School ?”
He held that the object of the normal school is to prepare teachers for schools. of higher grade, and also for elementary schools. The most important element in normal training is a knowledge of the laws of mental activity and development. He sketched the course of instruction in elementary and scientific branches, and indicated the methods of teaching to be employed in normal schools.
The paper was discussed by A. G. BOYDEN, of the Bridgewater Normal School, Mass., and Dr. M. R. LEVERSON, of New York. Gen 8. C. ARMSTRONG, of the Hampton Normal Institute, Va., read a paper
Normal Work among the Freedmen.” He urged that the great demand for colored teachers in the south should be met by normal schools supported by the charity of the north. He described the normal training needed.
Miss ANNA C. BRACKETT, of New York, recently of St. Louis, read a paper on " The American Normal School.”
She urged that it should give to its pupils the garnered treasure of the past, and send them forth with the ability to dispense it. It should also give its pupils, though sparingly, special methods and rules for doing this work. There should be a uniform system of normal training, so far as principles are concerned, and women should acquire a practical knowledge of life by contact with the world as a preparation to teach boys.
The exercises of Wednesday afternoon were opened by a discussion of the papers by Mr. GREENOUGH and Miss BRACKETT.
Mr. WILLIAMS, of Vermont, believed that the true work of the normal school was to teach methods, not subjects. No scholar should be admitted to a normal school until he has mastered the branches of study he is expected to teach. GEORGE P. BEARD, of Missouri, said that subjects and methods should be taught together, and that the recitation should be topical in form. E. H. Cook, of Pennsylvania, thought that the principles of education, its science, should be taught as well as methods. The individual power of the teacher is to be developed. CHARLES H. VERRILL, of Pennsylvania, said that normal pupils should study every subject under the idea of learning how to teach it. C. F. R. BELLOws, of Michigan, did not believe that subjects and methods could be separated in normal schools. They should be united, but in the latter part of the course subjects should be made subordinate to methods.
Hon. T. W. HARVEY, State Commissioner of Common Schools of Ohio, read an able paper on “ Professional Training in Normal Schools.”
He urged that the course of training in normal schools should be mainly adapted to the wants of those who intend to make teaching a life profession, and that the preparation of temporary teachers should be left to normal institutes, state and county, and to other institutions. Except in special branches, the course of training in normal schools should be purely professional. This will permit a review of the branches, with a view to illustrate methods, but academic instruction as such should not be given. He thought that the wisdom of establishing expensive normal schools to give temporary teachers academic instruction, thus duplicating the work of high schools and academies, may well be doubted.
The paper was discussed by J. H. House, of New York, GEORGE P. BEARD, of Missouri, Miss ANNA C. BRACKETT, of New York, Mr, BLAKE, of North Carolina, Wm. F. PHELPs, of Minnesota, J. P. WICKERSHAM, of Pennsylvania, and A. BRONSON ALCOTT, of Massachusetts.
Mr. BEARD urged that normal institutes must be relied upon for the professional instruction of the great body of teachers. Mr. WICKERSHAM that, for many years, there would be two classes of teachers, permanent and temporary, making necessary two classes of normal schools. In one class chiefly professional work should be done; in the other, there must be academic instruction. Mr. PHELPS thought that academic and other professsional instruction must be combined in the normal schools of the West, and that elementary normal schools -localized institutions--are needed as well as normal schools of a high grade.
The first exercise on Thursday afternoon was the reading of a paper on The Relation between Matter and Method in Normal Instruction, by GEO. P. BEARD, Principal State Normal School, Warrensburg, Mo.
He said that the teacher must have a knowledge of the subject matter of instruction as well as of methods, and, hence, matter and method must be combined in normal schools. Method must be taught in connection with matter. The theory that pupils should come to normal schools with a good education, merely to receive professional training, lacks practicability. Normal schools should be more than academies; they should impart a knowledge of the principles and methods of teaching.
Mr. WILLIAMS, of Vermont, who opened the discussion, did not see how normal schools were to reach a professional basis by continuing the practice of academic teaching. Mr. VERRILL, of Pennsylvania, said that if only professional work was done in normal schools, many of them would have very few pupils. Mr. GREENOUGH, of Rhode Island, thought that the plan of giving professional instruction only, did not preclude the attainment of academic knowledge, for in learning how to teach a subject, a pupil's knowledge of it would be increased.
Miss J. H. STICKNEY, Principal of the Boston Training School, spoke on “ Practice Schools—Their Uses and their Relation to Normal Training.”
She said that practice should have at least one-third of the attention of the nor mal pupil. Abstract professional instruction in methods is not enough. Practice schools will enable teachers to acquire much which they can get in no other
way. She doubted the wisdom of making the normal class a class for practice When children are so numerous, she did not see why adults should make believe they are children. As classes for practice, they are better than nothing, and but little better. Practice schools should be graded, and be otherwise exactly like other schools. The normal pupils should go into these schools, and teach under the supervision of the regular teacher. They should first observe, and afterwards teach. The address was listened to with the closest attention, and with general approval.
The following are the officers elected: President-A. G. BOYDEN, Massachusetts; Vice President–J. ESTABROOK, Michigan; Secretary-M. A. NEWELL, Maryland.
DEPARTMENT OF SUPERINTENDENCE.
This Department held its first session Tuesday afternoon, the President, JOHN HANCOCK, of Cincinnati, in the chair.
Rev. HENRY F. HARRINGTON, Superintendent of Schools of New Bedford, Mass, read an elaborate paper on “The Extent, Methods, and Value of Supervision in a System of Schools.”'
He said that wherever schools are defective and poor, the cause, in almost every case, is a want of the right kind of supervision. The value of the supervision of a single mind is no more important in business enterprises than in education. It is impossible for local school committees to supervise schools properly, because they rarely, if ever, are fitted for the work by nature or training, and have not the time which they are willing, gratuitously, to give to the work. He advocated a system of supervision comprising a state superintendent, next county superintendents, then town and city school committees or directors, towns and cities being left free to appoint superintendents. He strongly urged the creation of the office of county superintendent, which twenty States had done, and had no excuse to offer for for Massachusetts’s neglect of this agency. The paper was herrtily applauded.
The discussion was opened by Supt. W. T. HARRIS, of St. Louis, who spoke of the advantages of the system of supervision in St. Louis. He was followed by Supt. J. P. WICKERSHAM, of Pennsylvania, Supt. J. L. PICKARD, of Chicago, Secretary JOSEPH WHITE, of Massachusetts, and others--all of whom urged the value of supervision. Mr. WHITE did not believe that county supervision would work well in Massarhusetts. The entire civil system of the State is based on the town and not on the county.
On Wednesday afternoon, W. T. Harris, Superintendent of the Schools of St. Louis, read an able paper on “ The Early Withdrawal of Pupils from SchoolIts Causes and Remedies.” He said
That one of the principal causes of early withdrawal of pupils from school is neglect of early education, consequently he would have the age which scholars were admitted to school reduced to four years. A second reason he found to be defcctive discipline and want of skill on the part of the teacher. A third, and perhaps the most fruitful cause, was to be found in defective grading. The result of this mistake was to keep part of the members of a class strained to the utmost, in order to maintain a proper standard, while others were not exercised to the extent required. He would do away with the yearly examination for promotion, believing a period of six weeks or two months sufficient to intervene between such tests.
The discussion was opened by A. P. STONE, Principal of the Portland High School, Me, who was followed by Supt. John HANCOCK, of Cincinnati, Supt. W. E. CROSBY, of Davenport, Iowa, Supt. E. A. Hubbard, of Springfield, Mass., and Supt. H. F. HARRINGTON, of New Bedford, Mass.—all of whom dissented from one or both of the remedies recommended in the paper, viz: the admission of pupils at four years of age, and the frequent transfer of pupils. Mr. SEAVER, of Iowa, and Rev. Mr. STONE, of Providence, supported Mr. HARRIS's views.
The exercises of Thursday afternoon were opened by the reading of an excel