The New Departure in the Common Schools of Quincy and Other Papers on Educational Topics

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Estes and Lauriat, 1879 - 51 pages
 

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Page 33 - In other words, it appeared, as the result of eight years' school-teaching, that the children, as a whole, could neither write with facility nor read fluently. Brought face to face with such a condition of affairs as this, the committee certainly were not guilty of a too strong use of terms when they said in the extract from their report of 1873 which has been quoted, that the pupils of the schools could " neither speak nor spell their own language very perfectly, nor read and write it with that...
Page 37 - ... that they are here now, that they will be at such another point to-morrow, and at their terminus at such a date; — while a general superintendent sits in his central office and pricks off each step in the advance of the whole line on a chart before him, — this whole theory was emphatically dismissed. In place of it the tentative principle was adopted. Experiments were to be cautiously tried and results from time to time noted. The revolution, however, was all-pervading. Nothing escaped its...
Page 38 - So daring an experiment as this can, however, be tested in but one way : — by its practical results, as proven by the experience of a number of years, and testified to by parents and teachers as well as observed in children. The method has now been four years in use in the schools of Quincy and has ceased to be an experiment ; its advantages are questioned by none, least of all by teachers and parents. Among the teachers are those who, having for many years taught class after class in the old way,...
Page 37 - In place of the old, lymphatic, listless "schoolmarm," pressing into the minds of tired and listless children the mystic significance of certain hieroglyphics by mere force of overlaying, as it were, — instead of this time-honored machine process, young women, full of life and nervous energy, found themselves surrounded at the blackboard with groups of little ones who were learning how to read almost without knowing it; — learning how to read, in a word, exactly as they had before learned how...
Page 10 - ... halfa-dozen, — remarkable men and women, who but for you and your observation and watchfulness and guidance would have lived and died not knowing what they could do, then, if you do nothing more than this, you have done an immense work in life. This dealing with the individual and not with the class, is, therefore, the one great pleasure of the true schoolteacher's life. It can only be done in one way, — you have to furnish the individual mind the nutriment it wants, and, at the same time,...
Page 33 - The fact was that the examinations had shown that in far too many cases they could neither read nor write it at all. To the majority of the committee the reason of this state of things was apparent. The school system had fallen into a rut. A great multiplicity of studies had in one way and another been introduced, and each was taught by itself. The ever-present object in the teacher's mind was to pass a creditable examination ; and, to insure this, he unconsciously turned his scholars into parrots,...
Page 39 - In place of it, an arbitrary system of names and sounds, having no significance in themselves, was adopted ; and with these generation after generation of children have been tortured. Only now do we deign, in imparting knowledge, to give any attention to natural processes which have forever been going on before our eyes and in our families, and yet we profess to think that there is no science in primary education, and that all there is to it can be learned in a few hours. The simple fact is, however,...
Page 25 - I have heretofore hinted, the people on this island were very illiterate, making but a small calculation for information, further than the narrow circle of their own business extended. They were almost entirely destitute of books of any kind, except school books and bibles ; hence, those who had a taste for reading, had not the opportunity. I found a number of those young people who had attended my evening school, possessing bright abilities, and a strong thirst for information, which would lead...
Page 37 - The programme found no place anywhere in it ; on the contrary, the last new theory, so curiously amplified in some of our larger cities, that vast numbers of children should be taught as trains on railroads are run, on a time-table principle, — that they are here now, that they will be at such another point to-morrow, and at their terminus at such a date ; — while a general superintendent sits in his central office and pricks off each step in the advance of the whole line on a chart before him,...
Page 7 - That, the one all-important thing, — the great connecting link between school-education and self-education, — between means and end, — that one link we make no effort to supply. As long as we do not make an effort to supply it, our school system in its result is and will remain miserably deficient.

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