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AWEEKLY JOURNAL OF EDUCATION.s
Vol. X., No. 41.
PHILADELPHIA, PA., NOVEMBER 10, 1894.
$1.50 A YEAR.
were taught to read words from the first and behold first
reader children talking off the sentences smoothly and PUBLISHED WEEKLY
fluently when they hadn't been in school three months.
The world couldn't do a thing but stare and stare for a EDUCATIONAL NEWS COMPANY,
while. What a pity the inventor hadn't got the idea Philadelphia, Pa.
patented and placed the royalty so high no one would have
dared infringe ! CONTENTS. COMMUNICATIONS:
When teachers recovered their breath sufficiently they WEIGHED AND FOUND WANTING..............
..643 said, “Certainly, if such results can be accomplished in a THE SCHOOL MUSEUM......
.644 few months what can't we do in a few years?" Well, they GRAMMAR......
.645 tried it through the school life of that generation and what THE WEAVING OF THE KINDERGARTEN..
have we? A generation of young men and women THE OLD-FASHIONED COUNTRY SCHOOL.......
who can neither read nor spell. This statement must be EFFECTS OF GOVERNING BY FEAR...
modified to some extent. Thanks to the good hard sense ELOCUTIONARY
of some of the parents, a part of the children were rescued EDITORIAL:
from this infamy in spite of the method. Some parents EDITORIAL NOTES.....
.632 PERSONAL ITEMS....
would insist on their children's reading at home right in
.634 the face of the method which said "children must never EDUCATIONAL INTELLIGENCE.........
.635 have a book in their hand except under the eye and direcQUERY COLUMN................
..637 tion of the teacher.” Some parents were even addleLITERARY AND SCIENTIFIO,
.638 brained enough to make their children study words from a
spelling book in spite of the objections of theorists. Original and Selected.
Children of such parents have been rescued from the dreadFor the EDUCATIONAL NEWS.
ful calamities of the method, the others are lost. WEIGHED AND FOUND WANTING.
The hand-writing is on the wall over against the word
method. Weighed and found wanting. Some teachers Any good thing can be overdone. We constantly go to are not yet able to read the inscription or the interpretaextremes. Let some man try a new method of presenting tion thereof, hence I assume the position of a Daniel and any subject. The chances are that he will make a success will try to assist such to a proper understanding of the of it, not so much because of the method as because of the signs. man's individuality. He is enthusiastic over his method, Go into any school above the primary grade where the he imbues it with his personality, he is anxious and on the Word Method has been in vogue for several years and if alert and of course he is successful. The man succeeded, you can find any good readers your experience is different not the method. Some one else tries it, but lacking the from mine. There will be a rare exception and close inenthusiasm and the insight of the inventor becomes a quiry will reveal the fact that this child is in the habit of machine, pushes the method to the limit of absurdity and either reading or spelling aloud at home. The children presto! failure.
will read fluently and glibly except for two things: First, Ten or fifteen years ago the teaching world went wild they will substitute for a word they see, another that looks over the "Word Method” of teaching reading. Children like it; as, felt for left, saw for was, then for when, now for
how; second, a much more fatal blunder, they are per- what the words were." I said what did he do, did he spell. fectly helpless on a new word, especially if it has more than them when he didn't know them? He answered, “No, he six or eight letters. They haven't the faintest conception would just try to think, and sometimes he could mind (reof the power of letters to represent sound. They can't member) them and sometimes he couldn't." I ought to even pronounce from the dictionary where the syllables are add by way of parenthesis that the parents of this sevendivided and marked. They don't know what a syllable is. year-old boy told me about a year ago that they intended Ask any High School teacher who has taught a class 'the to teach him to read before sending him to school but the Roman pronunciation in Latin, provided the class has teacher had told them not to do it. I presume the teacher come from a school where the Word Method has prevailed, was afraid he would be like "Dodd" was,- he would know and my word for it he will tell you the class has no con. so much he wouldn't move along according to prescribed ception of phonics, of syllables, or of accent. I have seen rules. children stand and wait when they come to a new word. To sum up:- A five and a half year old boy, taught to When asked what they were waiting for the invariably re-read by spelling out the words has power of himself to take ply, "I don't know what the word is.'' In that case the a book and read intelligently, by and for himself, a story stereotyped teacher does one of two things, she either tells containing words of eight and ten letters, and having two the child what the word is, or, worse, she asks him some and three syllables. A seven year old boy, equally as question that will enable him to guess what it is. When I bright in every way, having studied as long by the word have seen such work, and I have seen it hundreds of times method, was entirely helpless on a word of three letters unin all grades from primary to High School, I could not tell til he could “think” what the teacher called that word. Of which passion predominated in me, pity for the helpless course if the teacher had been there she would have helped child, reduced almost to an imbecile by precarious teach- him to “think” by asking “What does the teacher write ing, disgust for the system, or despair of ever seeing our with?” He might have guessed "pencil" and "chalk" schools brought to a basis of common sense.
irst but he couldn't have failed to get the word in that I cannot forbear relating an incident that came under my case by the third guess. This would have been “developnotice yesterday, which admirably illustrates what I have ing" the word, you see. said concerning the helplessness of children right from the I said, children taught by the word method can't spell. beginning when taught by the Word Method. A small Our children are fairly good spellers but it is in spite of the boy about five and a half years old has learned to read a word method not because of it. If a child can't pronounce little at home. He has read a primer a first reader and a a new word when he sees it written, he can't write it when book of fables. The other day he got a new Raub's first he hears it pronounced. He doesn't know the power of reader. His mother was a teacher ten or twelve years ago, letters to represent sound, and when he hears a worá he but quit it about the time the Word Method came in style, can't make the letter that stands for that combination of fortunately for her boy, she never learned to teach that sounds. He has been taught to regard the word as the way. So what reading he has done has been by spelling unit and he sees it all at once and not as made up of letters. out the words. Yesterday he read a story which contain- He perhaps remembers how the word looked, that is he ed these three words, no one of which he had ever seen be- can nearly name its letters. He may omit a letter or insert fore, and all of which he made out for himself; viz., over one or transpose some but such an absurdity does not coat, medicine, spectacles. He read it slowly to be sure make itself known to him; and mark you, the omitted letthe first time, but he had the power in himself to get the ter is as liable to be a vowel, the most prominent letter in thought from the printed page and he afterwards told me the syllable, as anything else. In the spelling of words the story. In the evening a neighbor boy, seven years old the memory recurs to two senses, seeing and hearing, for -a bright, keen, manly little fellow-called to play a short its information. By the word method, the use of the sense time. This seven-year-old boy has been in school, taught of hearing for this purpose, is entirely eliminated. Again, by the Word Method, since last April. The boys soon taking in a word as a whole leads to pronouncing it as a got the new first reader and began to read easy sentences. whole, hence mumbling and inarticulate pronanciation are The page they turned to has the following sentences: "I sure to ensue. see a pig," "I see a hen,” “I see a pen," "I see a cat.” “I I would not, however, condemn the Word method absee a rat.” I afterwards asked the small boy if the other solutely and without qualification. I believe with Dr. could read well. He replied, "sometimes he could't think White that it has a use in a very limited field. That place
is in the first few weeks of the child's school life. By it The queer horn-shaped stone or “petrified wasp's nest,” the teacher can hold the attention of primary children for a picked up by the road-side on the way to school, might, if short time at the first, better, perhaps, than by any other it could speak, tell of a wonderful ride on an ice mountain plan. The children seem to themselves to be doing some ages before toboggans were ever thought of. The "moss" thing right from the beginning. Even then I would tell collected from an old fence rail is suggestive of the multithe child what the word is rather than have him guess tude of the tropical air plants. from an object, a picture, or from some skillfully framed A collection of seeds, together with their coverings may question. Along with this work right from the first should become an exceedingly profitable study. Here we find be associated much spelling and phonic drill; and when the that the thistle-down has a value in the ecomony of plant life
a child has learned, say fifty words--not more, he should and that the child who joyously blows the downy heads drop the word method forever.
GEO. H. LAMB, to pieces to find the time o'clock,'' is enhancing this valYoungstown, O.
Prin. Wood St. School. ue in so doing. The maple wing, the seed-pods of touch
me-not, that fly at the slightest touch after the seeds become SCHOOL MUSEUM.
ripe, speak, too of one of the many phases of nature's care
of her plants,-the dissemination of seeds. Then there One of the simplest and surest methods of arousing an are the provisions against destruction by the elements, food interest and enthusiasm among pupils, of strengthening the store and many other things that even these tiny seeds bond of sympathy and harmony between teacher and pupil, tell. so essential in effective work, is the establishment of a Inasmuch as the material required by any two schools school museum. If no vacant room is at hand, boxes may will necessarily vary, the discussions and topics for the
. be made to serve as receptacles for the specimens,-sep- study will also be different; but if the plan is entered into arated ones being used for each of the three kingdoms, with zeal, there will be no paucity of subjects for investianimal, vegetable, and mineral.
gation.-Bessie L. Putnam, in Educational Gazette. The intrinsic value of the collection may be nothing, but if the proper spirit is shown in its collection, if each pupil
GRAMMAR. becomes a stockholder in the enterprise, and consequently earnest in his endeavors to make a success, if the material
BY GEORGE F. BASS. made is the subject of real thought and study, its value cannot be estimated. Charles Kingsley says, "He is a There is a difference between grammar and a book on thoroughly good naturalist who knows his own parish grammar; just as much difference as there is between thoroughly;" and in making such naturalists this plan will zoology and a book on zoology. We have heard of people be of po inconsiderable assistance,
who wish to turn out all the books on grammar and zoology. Some of the most interesting geological collections at the We do not wish to do this. It is better to teach the pupils World's Fair owed their chief merits to the fact that they bow to use the books in studying the subjects. The books were school collections,-labeled by pupils who had gath are a means not an end. Pupils are prone to make them ered them in their own neighborhood. They testified that an end, and it does seem that teachers are prone to allow the most fascinating of the natural sciences, geology, had them to make them an end. been pursued by those pupils in a thoroughly practical The science teacher tells us that the way to study a lobmanner; that the secret of the rocks over which they daily ster is to get a lobster and study him, not a book about walked had been to a certain extent learned.
him. We learn certain attributes, (a), (b) and (c) that The Indian relics in some of these displays spoke of the belong to the lobster. Our class-mate has examined "stone age'' and suggested thoughts on the march of the another individual lobster and
and found attributes (a), human races from barbarism to civilization; and, by the (b) and (c) belonging to his lobster. The teacher calls the way, if your grandfathers had been taught to realize the class together, when it is found by comparing notes that value of these things, how much rich ethnographical mate nearly all have found attributes (a), (b) and (c) belonging rial they might have preserved that is now forever lost! to the lobster that each has examined. The inference is The plowman of the present day rarely brings to the surface that these are general attributes of the lobster. But here arrow-heads and skinning stones so common some two or is one who has found only (a) and (b) in his lobster. Now three generations ago.
what must be done? Refer to the book on zoology?
No. “Look at the lobster again,” says the teacher. He ine this thought,” said the teacher. This thought is the looks but does not succeed in finding attribute (c.) What lobster for one who gave it. Remember now that it is the then? Does some pupil say that my book says all lobsters thought we are examining and not its expression. The have this attribute? If some one did say such a thing the thought is an internal something but the expression is an student with the specimen would triumphantly present his external, tangible something. lobster. No, we must examine the specimen. We do so, Teacher.-What did you think about? Pupil.-I and show the doubter that he has not looked carefully. thought about the pencil. T.-What did you think of the The attribute that we have denoted by (c) is pointed out pencil? P.—I thought the attribute round of the pencil. to him. Now we, of course, are glad to know, what the T. Had you the ideas pencil and round in your mind? P. author of the book has observed in regard to lobsters. We --I had. T.-Did you see that the idea round belonged turn to the chapter on this interesting animal. We find in to the idea of pencil? P.-I did. T.—How many ideas it, not only his personal observations recorded, but the ob- did you unite? P.-Two. T.-Then how many elements servations of many other persons who have zoology a life in the thought, The pencil is rouud ? P.--Three. study. They have all found the attributes (a), (b) and (c)
The teacher asked whether each had found this true of and several others that we failed to find. Do we now pro- his thought. There were some who had not found it true: ceed to commit them to memory in order to “stand well” One pupil said that in his thought he found only two elein the coming “test”? Not at all. The testy "test" is not ments. “What are they?" said the teacher. The reply
" troubling us. We are too busy studying the lobster to was "My thought is the sun shines. One idea or element think about the test, (examination, we used to call it.) is the sun, another the act of shining.” The teacher asked Our author says that attribute d is found in the lobster. him if he united the idea of shining with his idea of the We catch our lobster and ask him about it. Sure enougb, sun.
He replied that he did. "Well, then," said the there it is, just where our author said we would find it ! teacher, "is not this uniting that you say you did a third We are delighted to find it and disgusted that we did element in your thought? "Yes, but we have one word," not see it before.
said the pupil. "True," said the teacher, "but we are not
" Perhaps it might have been better for the pupils if the now discussing words. We shall have something to say teacher had said, “You have done, but one of the most about them later. By this "lobster plan” the pupils were important attributes you have failed to see. What an ex
led to see that these are the universal elements of the amination of every lobster would have followed! This is thought. one illustration of the fact that a true teacher is better than
We hope to discuss the expression of the thought at anthe book can be.
other time.-Indiana School Yournal. But we headed this article “Grammar.” The subject of grammar is just as real as the lobster. Before one could THE WEAVING OF THE KINDERGARTEN. study the lobster, he must have the lobster presented to his intellect. To study the lobster through the book alone Kate Douglas Wiggin says: "Observation teaches us would prove futile. The same is true of grammar. The that the full use of our senses is only acquired by suitable subject must be presented to the intellect. What is the training. How fully this training is effected in the gifts of subject? The ideas and thoughts that each of us has. We Froebel, only the initiated can appreciated and understand. cannot examine these until we are able "to see within.” It Weayling," she continues, "is one of the most beautiful is a process of introspection to do this. A child is not able and useful of his occupations; it develops the eye, the hand to do this, so he should not be asked to study grammar. and the memory, all affecting the child's after life, be he He cannot study his own ideas and thoughts and the pro-artist or artisan.” The combination of color in this occucess of mind in getting them.
pation sets it apart from all others, for in no other part of The pupil who begins grammar, then, should be led to the hand work is combining color an absolute necessity. center his thought not in the book, but on his own think- Mathematically considered, weaving seems one of the ing. The teacher might mention certain objects as pencil, most practical means by which to illustrate to children the house, tree, star, sun, etc. Each has ideas of these objects relationship of number. It is impossible for the child to "Can you say something of each ?” says the teacher. A weave his strip up and down, in and out, without counting, variety of sentences would follow if the teacher wishes and estimating the effect of two strips or threads up, or them. "The pencil is round,” says one. "Let us exam- three down. Aside from the industry required on the part