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Some Problems in Education .....

Dr. John M. Coulter.

405 The Fighting Téméraire-Turner.

Joha L. Lowes

407 Indiana.....

.John M. Bloss

409 What Can We Learn from the German Primary School System ?

Carina Campbell Eaglesfield.. 411 PRACTICAL PEDAGOGY.

413 BY THE WAY

417 THE SCHOOLROOM.

420 A Review of Some Thoughts from Dr. Balliet's Lecture.

Anna Brochhausen.
An Eighth Year Grade Arithmetic Lesson, ..J. E. J. Whistler.
MATHEMATICS.

Robert J. Aley.
Incommensurable Number - Corrections Solutions Credits - Solutions
Requested ...

424 EDITORIAL.

Benjamin Harrison – Superintendent Jones' Report -- Department of
Superintendence N. E. A. Training Children...

427 A HOOSIER AFTERNOON.

Chas. M. Curry and Laura
Bryant

431 OFFICIAL DEPARTMENT

John M. Bloss.
Synopses of the New School Laws..

437 Personal and Educational...

440 State Board -- Questions for March, and Answers..

449 Business Notices

454 New Books..

456

Published by
THE EDUCATOR - JOURNAL Co.

Indianapolis, Indiana
WM. H. WILEY, Supt. Terre Haute Schools, J. W.WALKER, Secretary and Business Manager
President

D. M. GEETING, Treasurer
One Dollar a Year

Ten Cents a Copy

Entered at the Indianapolis postoffice as mail matter of the second class.

leduc P P 140.13 vil, no. 9

1901

Books for Supplementary Reading

The Jane Andrews Books.

The Seven Little Sisters Who Live on the Round Ball that Floats
in the Air,

For introduction, 50 cents.

Each and All; The Seven Little Sisters Prove Their Sisterhood.

For introduction, 50 cents.

Ten Boys Who Lived on the Road from Long Ago to Now.

For introduction, 50 cents.

The Stories Mother Nature Told Her Children.

For introduction, 50 cents.

Stories of My Four Friends.

For introduction, 40 cents,

Long's Ways of Wood Folk. For introduction, 50 cents.
Long's Wilderness Ways. For introduction, 45 cents.
Morley's Little Wanderers. For introduction, 30 cents.
Morley's Seed Babies.

For introduction, 25 cents.
Catherwood's Heroes of the Middle West. .

For introduction, 50 cents.
Blaisdell's Story of American History.

For introduction, 60 cents.
Blaisdell's Stories from English History.

For introduction, 40 cents.
Eddy's Friends and Helpers. For introduction, 60 cents.
Ramée's Bimbi stories for Children.

Containing “ The Nürnberg Stove,” “The Ambitious Rose Tree," “ Lamp-
black,” “The Child of Urbino,” and “ Findelkind." By LOUISE DE LA
RAMEE.

For introduction, 40 cents.
Summers' Thought Reader. For introduction, 30 cents.

GINN & COMPANY

Boston

New York Chicago San Francisco Atlanta Dallas Columbus London APRIL, 1901.

Vol. I.

NUMBER 9.

SOME PROBLEMS IN EDUCATION.

DR. John M. COULTER, UNIVERSITY OF Chicago.

Never in the history of education in shall know what we want. Out of this America has there been such a universal mass of negations we are constructing movement towards change as now. Con- our hypotheses, and even venture to hope scious that existing plans must be modi- that they may stand. That student of fied, all who are interested in education education has not advanced very far into have a feeling of great unrest, and this his subject who has any great measure of feeling expresses itself at every educa- confidence in his own opinions, or in tional conference. Discussions are end- those of any one else. The effect of all less, and often apparently fruitless, for this should be, not a discouraged, but a opinions are as numerous as are the fac- receptive mind; not dogmatism, Lut libertors of the problem, and the mighty ality. There need be no expectation that power of what has been over the frail the true education is just at hand, and form of what might be holds us with a those impatient souls who can not rest death-like grip.

content until everything is settled must It is not probable that some great edu- cultivate the scientific spirit, which has cational reformer will arise and lead us learned to labor and to wait. It is no directly to the truth. In these days we less a fact, however, that the true eduare all searching for the truth so eagerly cation is nearer at hand than it was last that it is not likely to come as a sudden year, and that its coming will be hasrevelation. It will probably come by a tened in proportion to our dissatisfaction series of approximations, and it will not with the existing order of things, and be recognized until it has been thor- our rejection of that mind-benumboughly tested; and when it is known and ing dogma that the past contains all acknowledged no one can tell who has that is best in education. Our educabeen responsible for it, for it will have tional growth should be like that of a been evolved gradually from all our vigorous tree, rooted and grounded in all former experience. There is no problem the truth that the past has revealed, but concerning which we can so ill afford to stretching out its branches and ever rebe dogmatic; and no one concerning

one concerning newed foliage to the air and the sunshine, which past experience may be so unsafe and taking into its life the forces of a guide, since what we have attained can to-dav. not be compared with what we hope for With such a preface it may seem rash and have a right to expect. There is no to suggest anything, but all of us must problem in which theorizing may lead so keep suggesting, if it is only the suggesfar astray, and no problem which has tion of a doubt. The subject announced been so covered up with crude theorizing. is broad enough for me to select what We do not understand the structure we I choose from the mass of educational are seeking to modify and develop; we problems that are constantly presenting do not know what we want to do for it themselves. If any of those which I have when we shall understand it; and we do selected, or even all of them, do not not know how to accomplish when we seem pertinent to your situation, you must understand that for some reason that far too many teachers have learned they have forced themselves upon my at- the form of teaching merely, and have tention.

strangely neglected to gain some knowlThe first problem I would suggest is: edge of the subject matter to be taught.

1. The Act of Teaching. - This is With them it is form without substance, quite independent of the subject matter and what else are they equipped to do and has no reference to the equipment but to go slavishly through the motions of the school in material things. It con- of teaching? There is no flexibility, no cerns simply the contact of teacher and power of adaptation, no ability to depart pupil in the act of teaching. Perhaps from a fixed routine, and hence no adthe most difficult work of the teacher is justment to the very diverse mental conto appreciate the exact mental condition ditions they must meet and are expected of the pupil in reference to any subject. to stimulate. Necessary flexibility in Unless there is complete adaptation in methods is impossible without a broad this regard the contact is a failure, lead- grasp of the subject to be presented . It ing to mutual disgust and distrust. It should be unnecessary soberly to state has been my good fortune to witness a that methods of presentation amount to large amount of teaching in all grades, nothing without something to present, and the impression left upon me has been but the schools seem to need the stateone of astonishing lack of simplicity and ment. The amount of meaningless directness in the presentation of sujects, drudgery that this senseless formalism resulting in utter confusion. My own has forced upon pupils has long been conclusion has been that this indicates recognized by parents, whose indignation either ignorance of the subject, or lack occasionally breaks out in condemnation of teaching ability, or a wooden applica- of the schools as places where method has tion of some pedagogical refinement run to seed. It is very fortunate that which has been learned somewhere, and the human mind is so tough a structure which is either not worth applying in any that it will develop in spite of teachers, case, or is wofully misapplied. Hardly and all of our educational experiments can there be imagined a worse combina- have not succeeded in sensibly stunting tion than wooden teaching by one ignor- it. I have about concluded that the great ant of the subject. In the great mass problem in the act of teaching is not how of teaching, instead of using clear expres- to impart instruction, but how to oppose sion and a direct presentation, the effort the fewest obstacles to mental developseems to be to use most unusual phrases, ment. The human mind has a mighty as far from an ordinary vocabulary as way of overcoming obstacles, but, as possible, and to approach the subject in teachers, we have no right to attempt to such a devious way that its significance make them insurmountable. I have alis in danger of being missed. The phi- most cried out in indignation when witlosophy of teaching is well enough as a nessing some pupil whose quick mind has background, but philosophical teaching is discovered short cuts to results, ruthlessusually out of place. To inject the ab- ly forced upon the procrustean bed of stractions and phrase-making of normal method by some teacher who knows only training into the schoolroom is to dismiss one way. It is such things that bring the clearness and all intellectual contact with profession into deserved contempt, as one pupils. This is no criticism of pedagogi- that has not yet emerged from blind emcal training, for I would be the last to piricism. suggest that any profession should be at- The necessary combination of knowltempted without professional training; edge of the subject with knowledge of but it is a criticism of those teachers who methods needs further emphasis and apdo not know how to apply their training, plication. It is often supposed that the and follow what they regard to be rules, lower the grade or the more elementary rather than principles. Probably the the subject, the less the need of a knowlgreatest factor in this result is the fact edge of the subject on the part of the

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