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PREFACE

This textbook applies to high-school instruction the same general principles that have been applied so frequently and fruitfully to the consideration of elementary-school methods. It contains some of the materials used by the author in his classes in educational methods for prospective high-school teachers. Sometimes his classes contain both prospective elementary and high-school teachers. At such times, after a general principle of method has been discussed, applications are made to both elementary and high-school teaching, because practically every general principle of method does apply in both places. Inasmuch as the line between elementary and secondary (or adolescent) education should probably be drawn at about twelve or thirteen years of age, the illustrations given in this volume will apply in many cases to the seventh and eighth grades as well. It is the intention to issue a companion volume which will follow the same general lines as this one, but will draw its illustrations from the elementary grades proper; namely, from the kindergarten through the sixth grade.

The scientific basis for part of the discussion in the book is found in modern experimental psychology. This is particularly the case in the discussion of certain aspects of learning which have been subjected to extensive laboratory investigation, such as motor learning and practice. In other cases, where experimental data are not available, I have relied on authoritative, analytical discussions such as Professor Dewey's " How We Think.”

The author's general point of view has been determined by a number of influences. The first factor was four years' experience as a pupil and one as a teacher in the Technical School of Cincinnati, a private manual-training high school which exemplified in its instruction the efficient and progressive application of many of the most important principles of method. The second factor was a year's training in general and experimental psychology and education under Professor C. H. Judd. The third set of influences included studies under Professors John Dewey and E. L. Thorndike of Columbia University. The latter's textbook, entitled Principles of Teaching” (1905), has been especially influential, since I have used it as a basis of discussion in my classes for nine years. The final factor in determining the preparation of this textbook was the opportunity given me to teach the courses in the subdivision of Educational Methods in the Department of Education at The University of Chicago. It is the function of this subdivision of the department to discuss and investigate problems of method or classroom procedure at all stages of schooling.

In general the author takes the point of view that efficiency and economy in instruction are facilitated by (1) radically adapting all instruction to contemporary social needs, (2) basing methods of instruction on sound psychological principles which have been determined, as far as possible, experimentally, and (3) applying principles of scientific business management to the conduct of all teaching. The first of these standards eliminates processes that have no direct social value ; the second eliminates waste of effort resulting from the use of uneconomical and ineffective methods of learning; the third eliminates waste of time which results from failure to standardize materials and processes.

In order that this volume may serve to introduce students to the great body of practical educational literature that is now available, and may initiate habits of consulting such material, especially as it appears in current periodicals, I have quoted, wherever possible, from worthy discussions of the topics under consideration and have suggested that the students follow up the topics more fully in the sources that I have used.

I am indebted to a number of my colleagues in The University of Chicago for suggestions and criticisms. Of these, Professors J. F. Bobbitt, F. N. Freeman, R. L. Lyman, and Mr. W. S. Gray read and criticized certain chapters or parts of chapters; Professor Harvey Carr made a number of suggestions in connection with the discussion of learning processes; and Mr. A. F. Barnard, Mr. E. R. Breslich, and Miss Lydia Schmidt, of the University High School, have contributed a number of practical examples. For permission to reproduce illustrations from various sources I am indebted to a number of authors and publishers whose names are noted in the list of illustrations and in the body of the text.

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