UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.
Deceived -7 7 1694 ,
AS PORTRAYED BY
LEADING, LIVING EDUCATORS.
BEING A COMPILATION OF THE BEST THOUGHTS OF
MANY OF THE LEADING EDUCATORS OF THE
DAY UPON LIVING EDUCATIONAL ISSUES
AND ACTUAL SCHOOL-ROOM LIFE.
BY JASPER BENNETT.
The excuse offered by the author for presenting such a book as
this to the public is a desire to save to the teaching 1 profession the
many gems or crystallized thoughts, relating to the teacher and his
labors but which, valuable as they appear otherwise must have
These thoughts emanated from the minds of leading educators
of the present day and have nearly all been uttered or written dur-
ing the past four years; and while some matter presented may not
appear to come up to the "ideal," yet, in the main, it approximates
the ideal sufficiently to justify the title of the book.
Much that is written upon the various interesting topics of the
times in which we live reaches us through the columns of popular
magazines and periodicals of the day, is read with or without com-
ment, is then, iixmost cases, carelessly cast aside, and in a few short
months almost wholly relegated to oblivion.
Even though the theme be of momentous import, the author of
world- wide fame, and the language of classic merit, its common fate
is that of one of our meanest daily newspapers.
The author, while reading the leading educational journals of
the United States during the past four years, has been enabled to
collect and preserve the material for this little volume collected
and arranged at first for his own reference and pleasure. But he
has concluded, at last, that the collection merits publication and
that other teachers should share the riches of this little store.
This necessitates a very considerable second culling, and though
the elimination brings it down to the present limits, yet there may
be some superfluous matter left. However, it is well to remember
that the book as a whole represents the thoughts of many persons,
and that any apparent superfluity is but a preservation of individ-
Again, it may contain some apparent or real contradictions upon
a given theme. But it should be considered " all the more " a broad-
' Tis hoped that some of the great army of teachers will find in
it something to commend, something that will inspire them to
higher aims and greater effort; and that if there be a faltering one
who is down-cast and discouraged, he will read and catch the inspi-
ration, resolve, and re-resolve.
In the preparation of this work the author acknowledges his
indebtedness to the New York School Journal, New England Journal
of Education, American Teacher, Tennessee Journal of Education,
Intelligence, Education, and other professional journals; and for the
original thought give credit to the following leading educators,
most of whom are Americans and most of whom are living:
A. D. Mayo.
B. W. Boyd.
G. E. Gorden.
A. R. Sabin.
S. H. Lockett.
Julia A. Pickard.
Prof. John Ogden.
Anna C. Brackett.
T. W. Bicknell.
Prof. J. T. Hand.
Cr E. Meleney.
N. E. Leach.
G. W. Hoenshel.
Eva M. Tappan.
E. M. Harriman.
Lillian M. Munger.
H. 8. Jones.
Geo. A. Littlefield.
Dec. 24, 1887.
G. Stanly Hall.
O. B. Bruce.
David W. Hoyt.
W. H Payne.
Ida A. Ahlborn.
Gen. John Eaton.
Rev. Mr. Frisbie.
Dr. J. H. Kellogg.
W. N. Barringer.
W. H. Venable.
E. D. Brinkerhoff.
8. P. Bobbins.
H. S. Tarbell.
Jas. A. Garfield.
J. H. Seelye.
E. E. White.
Pres. Noah Porter.
A. E. Winship.
B. F. Patterson.
E. F. Mead.
John W. Dickinson.
M. A. Newell.
Miss M. V. Gillin.
M. Jules Ferry.
J. L. Pickard.
George H. Cook.
Wm. M. Giffin.
Wm. F. Fox.
George D. Shultz.
J. S. Babcock.
Amanda J. Young.
J. W. Dowd.
Col. F. W. Parker.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND WHAT is EXPECTED OF THEM.
Skilled Industry The New Education Igno-
rance of Voters Universal Education Free
Education Education in Language What
Ought to be Expected of Our Schools What
Should be Taught in Our Schools Courses of
Study Application of Knowledge Reforms in
Education Functions of the American Schools
Overloading of the Schools Industrial Schools - 9-35
THE TEACHEK. Fitness for Teaching The Teacher's
Culture The Etiquette of Teaching Model
School Characteristics of the Teacher Hints
for the School-room The Successful Teacher
Hints to Young Teachers Be Ye Kind to One
Another Teachers Temper Knowledge by Hard
Efforts Baby Study Elements in Teaching
Love for Your Pupils Usefulness of the Teacher
Appearance of the Teacher Why We Migrate
Elementary Teaching Visit the Homes of the
Pupils Individual Instruction Paramont Ped-
agogical Prerequisites. 36-61
TEACHER'S FOLLIES. Talking Too Much Teachers
Don't Bead Enough Hobby Horse Systems
Comparisons Too Many Things What Should
be Memorized How to Improve One's Methods
Valuable Teaching Pupils Can't Kemember
Everything Teachers Are Not Faultless Los-
ing Control of School Wasting Time On Fuss-
iness Driving Don'ts. - 62-74
MORALS AND THE INSTRUCTION THEREOF. Outside
Influences Eeligious Teaching Moral Instruc-
tion Moral Education Morality Taught by
GENERAL HINTS AND DIRECTIONS. Text Books Brief
Hints The Elements of a Good Teacher
Questioning Public Sentiment Children Know
Something On Spelling School Boards Inter-
ruptions Beginning a New School On Recita-
tions The Teacher's Conduct General Hints
With Regard to the Pupil Rules for Teachers
The New Education. 89-107
DISCIPLINE. True Objects of Discipline About Fret-
ting and Talking Cast Iron Rules Some
Further Hints on Discipline On Suspension
Liberal Discipline Restraint and Freedom
Keeping In Love and Discipline The Bright
Mischievous Boy Questions on Discipline
How can Whispering be Prevented. 108-124
THE RECITATION AND How TO SECURE ATTENTION. The
Objects of a Recitation Recitations in Yale
College Every Pupil Should Recite How to
Secure Attention Make the Recitation Cheery-
Objectionable Practices in the Recitation The
Art of Questioning. 125-135
TEACHERS AND PARENTS. PARENTS VISITING SCHOOLS
TEACHERS VISITING PARENTS Parental Visitation
Visit the Pupils Home Influence. - 186-145
EXAMINATIONS. Many Pointed Remarks The System
is Bad Examinations by Essays Banking by
Exact Per Cent. Results are the Tests Can't
Discard Examinations Yet. 146-154
SANITATION. Steam Heating Hygienic Questions
Means of Promoting Health Depriving Pupils
of Recess. .... 155-158
PEDAGOGICAL QUESTIONS. On Little Things Ques-
tions by A Superintendent Questions I Should
Ask Myself As to Studies Questions by the
MISCELLANY. The Teacher's Office Do You Do All
the Talking Early Eisers Some Things that
Our Schools Need Make the Same Mistake but
Once Letting Things Slide Along System in
School Work Lessons in Patriotism The Dull
Pupil Little Things The Beginning of the
School Year. - - - 166-180
PUBLIC SCHOOLS. AND WHAT IS EXPECTED OF THEM.
In an article written by the REV. A. D. MAYO, a few
years ago, the following expressive language was used :
The best friend of every youth should now tell that youth,
that character and trained power are the only assurance of
success in this country. Every church in America should
be warned, betimes, that without intelligence and practical
holiness no sect of religionists will be found worthy to greet
the Lord when He comes in His new Kingdom. The
aspiring young politician should get on the school commit-
tee, study the resources of his state, aod preach the gospel
of skilled industry from the "furrow up to the Senate' or he
will not carry the election twenty years hence, at the crisis of
his career. The American girl, however gifted or highly
born, who can not fashion a home with her own brain,
will always be a dependent upon society and a hanger-on
in the social paradise that is to be. In this law there is
no exception of race, or class, or profession, section, party,
or creed. If the people of Louisiana, down in its cypress
swamps, put more brains into their heads for the next half-
century than the people of New England, the Creole will
go up and the Yankee go down. The gospel of educated
labor, the expert in every profession, the man fitly trained
10 Pedagogical Ideals.
always in the right place, is the one impartial message of
the hour to all men, women, and children on American soil.
Many there will be who will not heed it; and they will go
the way of all second-rate people in all ages and lands.
But they who hear and do, will be saved, and lead the Re-
public along the line drawn by the finger of Providence
toward the America that is to come.
THE NEW EDUCATION.
That same writer, two years later, said of "The New
Education" and its aims: It is first a revival of faith in
human nature itself, as that nature reveals itself in child-
hood. Instead of imposing a theory on the child to mold
and fashion him into a given shape on the one hand, or
concentrating all his powers on the work of making him-
self a practical success in life on the other, it proposes to
develop the child into the most complete manhood or
womanhood possible for his order of ability and natural
endowment. It believes in child nature, and studies it
with the hope of finding out the beautiful, divine ways by
which the child shall become the woman or man. And it
believes that the child, thus trained for character and such
ability as belongs to it, will in the end be a far more valu-
able member of society than if molded into the imitation
of any other man, or fashioned to a machine for any special
Further on he says of "The New Education," It holds
that the thing taught is of less importance than the spirit
and the method in which everything is taught; the object
being not to cram the mind with knowledge, but to im-
plant the love of truth, and to train the faculties to find it
by vital contact with nature, humanity, literature and life.
In character-training the New Education accepts without
question, the Christian method of love, in the noblest
Public Schools. 11
Christian meaning of that mighty word. It believes that
labor can be raised above drudgery into a region of joy
and hope, and does not despair at once, of obtaining accu-
rate knowledge and dutiful conduct, and making the life
of a child joyous and beautiful, with the beauty of courage,
faith, and boundless hope, and trust in God."
IGNORANCE OF VOTERS.
In his first and only inaugural, the lamented Garfield
gave utterance to the following: But the danger which
arises from ignorance in the voter cannot be denied . It
covers a field far wider than that of negro suffrage and the
present condition of that race. It is a danger that lurks
and hides in the courses and fountains of power in every
State. We have no standard to measure the disaster that
may be brought upon us by ignorance and vice in citizens,
when joined to corruption and fraud in suffrage. The
voters of the Union who make and unmake constitutions,
and upon whose will hangs the destiny of our government,
can transmit their supreme authority to no successor save
the coming generation of voters, who are sole heirs of our
sovereign power. If that generation comes to its inheri-
tance blinded by ignorance and corrupted by vice, the fall
of the Republic will be certain and remediless. The cen-
sus has already sounded the alarm in appalling figures,
which mark how dangerously high the tide of illiteracy has
risen among our voters and their children."
In an address before the State Teachers' Association of
South Carolina, in 1886, the HON. E. W. BoYDmade use of
the following language : It is for universal education, if
it can, to change the temper of the people, re-awaken the
patriotic spirit, recall the old pride in the Republic, inspire
12 Pedagogical Ideals.
to the loving and intelligent discharge of civic duties, and
make the people feel that with all draw-backs they have a
great country, and the best government under the sun.
Let education un-
dertake and accomplish its highest work; let universal
education, furnished with bountiful hand by the State,
supply proper training for citizenship, and then with virtu-
ous and intelligent mothers, with a press in the hands of
culture and patriotism, and with churches full of zeal and
good works, we might hope to see the old pride and faith
return. We could hope to see political life and methods
purified and elevated, honesty and capacity fill the public
offices, and each new political question easily and happily
met and answered.
The EEV. G. E. GORDON, of Milwaukee, Wis., a few
years ago, while criticizing Eichard Grant White's paper
published in the North American Revieiv, December, 1881,
expressed the following opinion of the American idea as to
purpose of free education. .... "The
uncultivated masses of Americans simply think of the
public schools as means of giving their children a chance
to get a better living. Cultivated people, whether poor or
rich, think of the schools as at least providing a certain
mental furniture for children's minds, whereby they may
make use of the advantages which a free social competition
offers them. Thoughtful people believe that whatever
amount of education can raise a person in the social scale,
tends to make that person respect both his own opinion
and that of others. But neither class of people would be
foolish enough to believe that book-learning and thrift, or
book-learning and good citizenship are so directly connect-
ed as to be always found together. Mr. White's state-
Public Schools. 13
ment that the only justification for sustaining the public
schools at the public expense is that, but for them, life,
liberty, and property would be unsafe, is very weak. The
most that is advanced under this head, in favor of schools,
is the general truth that they make life more worth living
by increasing its horizon, and liberty more enchanting by
enlarging its possibilities, and property more desiralle by
developing the advantages of its possession. Knowledge
introduces us into a world full of chances ivhich are denied
to the illiterate. .... However we may
lament a defective method in education, or lament
the defective material upon which it has to act, the thing
itself is, beyond question, one of the most potent agencies
in the advancement of modern society. Education sup-
plies its possessor with efficient help to satisfy physical
wants. Education SMS wants, in the person of its happy
possessor, which lead him to rise into a more virtuous
position in society. And in both ways men are removed
from the temptation to ordinary crimes, and society saved
from corruption. Education is the mightiest machine we
have for the civilization of the world. Americans already
believe this, and are not asking shall the people be edu-
cated? But, How best can we reach all classes with
our schools, especially the lowest and poorest? And as
we answer this question with a practical mind we shall
best satisfy the demands of the age.
EDUCATION IN LANGUAGE.
At a public meeting of educators, but recently, PRES. J.
H. SEELYE, of Amherst College, advanced the following
The education which we need is, largely, an education
in language. Language is not only the form of thought,
but it represents the very body of thought itself. All
14 Pedagogical Ideals.
possible achievement of thought, therefore, in science, nor
art, nor study, can possibly furnish so copious a discipline
of thought, a discipline so rich, so varied, so comprehen-
sive, so complete, as language itself. The child's develop-
ment of thought will be found to proceed, step by step,
with his development of language; and as in every vital
process, so here, the product of life is also the reproducer
and strengthener of life. A very large proportion of time
and effort spent in education should be given to language.
Almost the largest proportion, certainly it is not easy to make
this too large The only way in which the child can be
taught to know the real mind of the people among which
he is born, is by the study of their language, and the only
way in which he can grow up to be a living and influential
member of the nation or race of which he is to form a part,
is, by first becoming facile in the language wherein alone
the true life and inner spirit of the nation or race is ex-
pressed. The true heart of a people is uttered only in its
speech, and the only way in which we can get access to
the heart, to move and mold it, is by its speech. Teach
the child language, then. Teach him his mother tongue. Give
more room for writing, reading, and spelling in our schools.
We need not disparage scientific and practical education ;
but this comes later, and belongs properly to the grade of
the professional school. Common schools are not professional
schools, and we shall make a great mistake if we start the
professional training too soon."
WHAT OUGHT TO BE EXPECTED OF OUR SCHOOLS.
PROF. A. R. SABIN, Principal of Franklin School, Chi-
cago, in stating what he thinks "Ought to be expected of
the public schools," begins with a quotation from the con-
stitution of Illinois : The General Assembly shall pro-
vide a thorough and efficient system of free schools, where-
Public Schools. 15
by all the children of the State may receive a good common
^ He then continues : If these State Constitutions be
further inquired of it will be found that nearly all of them
set forth in a Bill of Bights that religion, morality, and
knowledge are the necessary conditions for permanently
securing to society the inalienable rights of life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness.
4 To meet these three necessary conditions we recognize
three agencies the church, the home, and the school.
The church and the home have their existence in society,
and are not called into existence by the State; their exist-
ence antedates that of the State. Their function, there-
fore, is not prescribed by the State. What is the function
of each ?
( It is the function of the church to teach religion.
It is the function of the home to provide for, to care for,
and to secure the physical, moral, and intellectual well-
being of every child born into it. The mission of the
church is a divine one, ordained of God. So the Christian
church holds, and so I believe.
It is the function of the school to impart knowledge.
Called into being by the State, the schools can claim no
diviner origin than that of human wisdom, fore-sight, and
prudence. From their origin and function they may be
properly termed secular. Such they are and such they
ought to be.
Human foresight has seen that without the free schools
not all the children of the State will have the means of
obtaining a good common school education.
Human prudence has established the school for the
training of children in useful knowledge.
Distinct as are these three agencies, the church, the
16 Pedagogical Ideals.
home, and the school in their origin and function, they are
clostly interwoven in our Christian civilization. They are
all a part of it, are necessary to it, and have one common
interest, viz. : the realization of the greatest good of all. }
It is deemed important to this discussion that the rela-
tion of the school and the home be determined, to the end
that the question of religion and morals be impartially
considered, and certain responsibilities rightly placed.
Many persons have claimed that religion should be taught
in the schools. It is here claimed that the responsibility
for direct religious teaching rests with the home and the
church, but that both the church and the home have a
right to demand that all such religious teaching be treated
with respectful and sincere reverence by the schools. In
reverence for things held sacred and divine the school
should be the intelligent and sympathetic ally of the church.
While the relation of the school to the home is a very
close one, yet the school is not the home, nor does the
teacher stand in loco parentis to the child even while at
school. Protection the school affords. It may be more
moral than the home ; the teacher may be a kinder and
more helpful friend than the home affords ; yet the school
does not clothe nor feed the child, does not minister to
it in sickness, does not bury the dead, keeps no vacant
In morals the school ought to aim at nothing less than
what the best home realizes. The pure should be kept
pure. The vicious should be shown the better way. And.
yet the school is not responsible for failures in the matter
of morals. The school does not see the child during the
first five years -of its life. The home has had the twig-
bending all to itself during these first years.
The schools deserve credit for undoing a world of mis-
Public Schools. 17
chief, but they do not merit censure for failing to undo it
all. .... The home is responsible
and can not delegate its responsibility; nor does a
good home wish to do so. As a patron of the public
schools I desire that in matters of personal, vital religion,
my child be let alone; that in the realm of morals, the
instruction be so conducted that the right and the true be
made always to sit on the right hand, the wrong and the
false, on the left.
More than one respectable writer is charging failure upon
the public schools because of alleged immoralities among
school children. A boy swears. Is it more likely that he
acquired the habit at school, where he is under control and
supervision, than at home, on the street, or in the saloon ?
A boy tells lies. Let the decrier
of the public schools acquaint himself with that boy's
nursery before fixing the responsibility elsewhere. A boy
is leprous with all that is unclean, impure and vicious. Will
any honest man dare affirm that such a boy has a pure
home or one that has followed his going out and his com-
ing in ?
While MR. SABIN did not state definitely ALL that it ex-
pected of the public schools, his statement of the case is so
replete with "good things" that the author finds ample
excuse for giving it a place in this chapter.
WHAT SHALL BE TAUGHT IN OUR SCHOOLS.
But, following it under the head "What shall be taught
in our common schools" an article written for the "Tenn-
essee Journal of Education' in 1883 by PROP. S. H. LOCKETT,
of Tenn., the line of demarkation is much more definitely
drawn as to what should be admitted into the common
school curriculum. Omitting some preliminaries, the
thread runs thus :
18 Pedagogical Ideals.
My present purpose, however, is to answer the ques-
tion 'What should be taught in our American schools to
the great masses of youths and children of both sexes,
who attend them; who have neither time nor means for
mere culture ; who, on the contrary, can scarcely afford to
acquire the rudimentary equipment for the stern battle of
life, into which they are drawn before the period of ado-
lescence is passed?' Some parts of the answer to this
question are so patent, that it needs nothing but the bare
statement of them to command the assent of every one.
Beading, spelling, writing, and arithmetic, all will
acknowledge as indispensable branches of study, no matter
what sphere of life is to be occupied. But there is another
important question to be answered concerning these funda-
mental and essential branches. How much of each of
these phould be taught to every child, and how much time
should be devoted to them? In replying to these inquir-
ies, I doubt if I shall do so to the satisfaction of any person
but myself, but I hope to be able to give some good
reasons for the faith tliatis in me.
Every child should commence to read as soon as it
enters school, and its reading lessons should be continued
uninterruptedly until it can read intelligently any ordinary
composition in its own language. Whether it can read in
accordance with the elaborate rules of the treatises on
elocution or not, is a matter of utter insignificance. If it
can read silently, without movin g the lips, so as to under-
stand thoroughly the meanin g of the printed or written
matter before its eyes, that is the main point . For that is
the kind of reading most of us are ca lied upon to do in our
actual li ves. Perhaps one in ten thousand may be called
upon, occasionally, to read aloud; but it most generally
happens that even that one is self-called, and is a great bore
to the rest of the ten thousand.
Public /Schools. 19
How reading should be taught is not my purpose to
discuss; nor, in fact, the methods of teaching any of the
branches of study, except incidentally in this article.
Spelling, like reading, should be taught, during the
child's entire school life, as it is of great importance, and
unfortunately to an English speaking person, the most
difficult of all things to learn well. But every person ought
to learn how to write the ordinary colloquial and epistol-
ary language of his native speech with fair correctness.
Whether any one can stand head in a "spelling bee" or
not is unimportant. Oral spelling is of no value, either as
training or an accomplishment.
Writing should be taught during all of the school years,
so that every child by practice shall acquire a plain, legible
hand- writing, which it can execute with facility and with-
Every child should learn arithmetic, of course ;
but when, how, and how much of it? These last are vital
questions, and an unwise neglect of a due consideration of
them has done more harm to the school-life of untold
millions of children than could be by any possibility over-
A child should begin to learn arithmetic the very first
clay it enters school, no matter how young it is. It should
be first taught to count correcfly, if it has not already
acquired that knowledge at home. . . From
counting it should be led by easy steps to the writing and
reading of numbers, and then to the performance of simple
calculations in the four fundamental rules; always without
being wearied and overtasked. And through thefirst three
or four years of school-life arithmetic should be taught
gradually, easily, and pleasantly; and in this brief period
all the arithmetic likely to be needed in after years can be acquired.
20 Pedagogical Ideals.
Yes, I honestly believe that a child of average intelligence
can be taught between the ayes of sevfti and twelve years, all
the arithmetic it will be called upon to use in any ordinary
life. I know that from ten to twelve years is generally
devoted to arithmetic in our common schools, but I con-
sider it a fearful loss of precious time. A loss because so
many other useful things could be learned in those years,
when the mind is young and receptive a loss of time be-
cause a great deal of the arithmetic learned is never
applied in after life. I have no hesitancy in asserting that
in all the city of Nashville, with its busy inhabitants,
including men in all the trades, occupations, and profes-
sions, there can not be found one-half dozen men, who
have been called in real business transactions to use one-
half of the rules and operations given in the ordinary
school arithmetic. Yet children are made to plod and
worry through these useless rules with utter disregard of
the time expended.
The addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
of simple numbers, of denominate numbers, of common
and decimal fractions; the old rule of three or simple pro-
portion; involution and evolution; the simplest cases of per-
centage and interest embrace about the amount of arith-
metic needed in business life. My own life has necessarily
made me deal largely in mathematical problems, but ex-
cept in my capacity as a teacher, I never had to use more
arithmetic than above enumerated. . . In all
my life I have never known of a really difficult problem to
arise in actual business transactions, and yet the arith-
metics used in our schools are filled with involved and
ambiguous examples which puzzle even experienced teach-
ers to unravel. Away with such utterly useless, becloud-
ing, and obscuring of the otherwise beautiful and simple
Public Schools. 21
science of quantity ! But, if arithmetic
is to be made so easy, some will ask, "from whence are
you to get your mental training?" I answer. "By going
ahead into new fields of intellectual development."
Let algebra and geometry take the place
hitherto occupied by arithmetic during the last three or
four years of school life (of many children). Both of these
branches of mathematics are more easily mastered, than
the latter part of most text-books on practical arithmetic,
as many teachers will testify. And both of them are more
useful in common life. .... Algebra is
a far more powerful and easily managed means of analysis
than arithmetic, so that problems which are difficult to
state in arithmetical language are readily rendered into an
algebraic expression, and the solution follows as a matter
of course. Every teacher is aware that he never troubles
himself to solve a complex problem by arithmetic, but at
once applies his algebra to it and robs it of all its difficulty.
Why should not the same means be given to every child in
our schools ? Beyond a doubt, every child can and ought
to be taught so much algebra as to enable it to use the lit-
eral notation and signs and symbols with facility, and to
state problems in the form of equations. So much algebra
would do away with half the rules of arithmetic, by sub-
stituting in their stead formulas ; would rob all the inverse
problems of percentage and interest of their terrors, by
bringing them under one set of simple equations in which
the only possible variation would be a mere change in the
required quantity; would relegate to the limbs of obsolete
and useless lore compound proportion and arithmetical
analysis; would illumine with a flood of light which would
sweep out of existence all that conglomeration of ill-stated,
badly- constructed puzzles called Miscellaneous Examples.
22 Pedagogical Ideals.
As to the propriety of introducing geometry into our
common schools, even of the lowest grade, if taught in a
commonsense, practical way, there can be no possible
doubt. Not one man or women, no matter how high or
low be the station occupied, but needs in daily life a cor-
rect knowledge of magnitude and form. That correct
knowledge can come only from a study of geometry.
Such knowledge will aid the farmer in laying out and
measuring his lands and buildings, the merchant in plan-
ing his residence and store-house, the carpenter and brick-
layer, the stone-cutter and quarryman, the tinner and
blacksmith, the founder and machinist, the dirt-digger and
rock-breaker. It will help the ladies in their ornamental
work, in the decoration of churches, and, in fact, in ways
and places innumerable. This knowledge can easily be
acquired by all, and at the same time a very useful train-
ing be gained in drawing and designing.
Geography and history, which are generally
considered as among the most essential of school studies,
I have purposely left out of the curriculum, till here.
That geography should be taught to very young pupils
I freely concede, for it can be made interesting to them,
and is an excellent means of awakening observation and
attention. Coupled with map-drawing, geography can be
made useful in other directions, which it is needless to
more than merely indicate. But that any child in the
world should be forced to go through in succession the
child's first, the primary, the second, the intermediate, the
high-school, the higher, and advanced geographies, I shall
never voluntarily give rny consent. In the first place each
of these graded geographies repeats its predecessor almost
slavishly, simply using bigger words in the definitions and
descriptive portions as the advance is made. Second, the
Public School*. 23
child sickens and becomes disgusted with the same dreary
repetition of barren names and unimportant facts, as it
completes book after book, and filially gets to hate the
very name of geography before the long list is half finished.
Third, the knowledge gained from the study of geography
is, most of it, utterly valueless, and iusignificant, and a
great deal of it is not true, when taught. Of what possi-
ble importance is it to any human being, except, perhaps
a Maine lumberman, that the Androscoggiu river rises in
Lake Moosetocinaguutic, and flows south and then east
and then south again into the Casco Bay? Or who cares
to know that the town of Wattawamkeag is situated at the
confluence of the Penobscot and Wattawamkeag rivers,
and has so many inhabitants?
Besides the uselessness of such knowledge, it is the
most fleeting and difficult of retention of all knowledge.
No human mind can or ought to retain such trash, and so
far as my experience goes, the average mind simply refuses
to do so.
I have in my life made an actual survey of one State,
and made a map of it. It took me five years to gather the
data and make the map. I visited every town, village,
cross-road, ferry, etc., in the State, located them on the
surface of the earth, and on the map, yet, I can not to-day,
remember the names and localities of a hundredth part of
them, nor do I wish to do so, if I could. But, some oue
will say, you need geographical knowledge when you
travel. No, you do not. Go to the nearest ticket office,
say where you wish to go, and the agent will sell you the
right ticket, and a map with the route marked out upon it
in a big black or red line, so broad you can see it across
the room. If you depend upon your geographical knowledge as
a guide in traveling, you can not go ten miles from your home
24 Pedagogical Ideals.
without being inextricably lost. So let us abolish at least
one-half of the geographies it matters but little from
which end of the list we cut off the discarded ones.
As for history, I would say use some good history
always as a reader, suitable to the stage of advancement
of the pupil, and by means of it try to teach the child to
read understandingly. But for poor humanity's sake do
not compel children to learn history "oy heart."
Grammar should be taught to every child, every day
during its school life; by the teacher's example of correct
speech, and the correction of every error of its own speech.
Theoretical or philosophical grammar should undoubtedly
be kept for the last days of school life, as it can be profit-
ably studied by advanced pupils only.
Now after this elimination of the branches usually
occupying the attention of the school, the question natur-
ally arises, what can be substituted in the place of those
left out or cut short. I answer, the elementary natural
sciences; physics, chemistry, physical geography, botany,
physiology, and astronomy, with some music and drawing.
I know many will sneer at this long list of 'ologies and
deny their utility, and the practicability of teaching them
in the common schools. .... What
can be of more importance to any human being than a
knowledge of the laws of nature as manifested in the
world of animate and inanimate objects with which he
comes in daily contact by the aid of his senses? Should
not the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we
eat, the earth we cultivate, the flowers that bloom around
us, the rocks which make our mountains and with which
we build our houses, the animals we domesticate, the stars,
and sun, and moon, which hang overhead, and the bodies
within which our immortal souls reside possess some inter-
Public, Schools. 25
est to us? And should not each human being have at
least an elementary knowledge of the laws which regulate
and govern all this grand cosmos of which he, to himself
at least, is a most important part? To these questions
there can be an affirmative answer, only. And every one
can have a really useful knowledge of nature, if proper
means are taken to teach that knowledge, and the golden
hours of youth are utilized as they should be, instead of
being wasted, as is so often the case-
It is but justice to PROF. LOCKETT, that it be said, he
believes in a classical education, so far as higher education
is concerned, and if one could afford time and means he
would say, 'The classical is a solid and safe foundation
upon which to build one's own self-development, in any
department of intellectual activity.'
In the March, 1886, number of Education, the REV. A.
E. WINSHIP says. . . . . It is clearly an
educational blunder to train our school system to aesthetic
perfection, and then, by a law of compulsory attendance,
confine children in schools that are as ill adapted to their
needs as a hot-bed is to an oak. The public school must
be specifically adapted to the greatest possible good of
those who most need its influence. Wisdom, expert skill,
fervent spirit, must be utilized in devising and applying
systems and methods of giving the greatest possible ben-
efit to those who will instinctively drop out of school ranlcs
be/are they are half through the grammar school course. If the
most needy three-fourths of the children of our cities and
manufacturing towns are never promoted throuhg the
grammar school, it is a fatal error to magnify the promo-
tion idea until it sends the non-promoted out into life with
little other remembrance of school-life, than that it was a
perpetual failure with them. .... If
26 Pedagogical Ideals.
America is to Americanize the multitudes from all lands
and climes ; if she is to have a home-loving, patriotic, loyal
people, developed from the heterogeneous mass of human-
ity within our borders ; if she is to have rectitude, integ-
rity, and virtue developed in the boys and girls born of
vicious parents, bred in poverty, schooled in crime ; if she
is to have her wealthy citizens enjoy the grandeur of Amer-
ican scenery better than the classic ruins of Greece and
Borne; if she is to have her aesthetic sons love the home
comforts and rustic graces of America better than the
fashion and frivol ty of Paris ; if she is to have her literary
aspirant appreciate Bryant, Lowell, Longfellow, Whittier,
Irving, Hawthorn, and Emerson as well as the British
verses of legendary days; if she is to have her newspapers
loyal to American progress rather than British greed, she
must adopt the public school to the demands of the day.
There must be reform. In place of the patch- work reading-
book with a square of prose and a square of poetry set with
matronly exactness there must be reading enough to form
character and direct reading habit. In the place of the
classics of antiquity and fables of England's mythological
days there should be American classics with the sufferings and
heroism, the character and glory, the consecration and
devotion of the Puritan, the pioneer, the frontiersman, and
the revolutionary saint In schools
for the poor and for the peculiar foreign elements massed
in large cities, let there be, less technicality, less unreasonable
drill in ]jrecisiun t a winnowing of the subjects to be taught,
an adaptation of the school to the individual, temporal, and
moral necessities and loyal requirements of home, society,
COUESES OF STUDY.
In a small and unpretentious journal styled the Nor-
mal Teacher^ published at Covington, Indiana, in
Public Schools. 27
February, 1887, the following was found, over the single
letter C : Courses of Study. Everywhere the people are
discussing the courses of study. Much progress has been
made within the last twenty years, and much greater will
be made within the next ten years. The schools should
prepare children for the world, and not for college . The
school should touch the world as it is. The question
asked everywhere is : What should our sons and daugh-
ters learn in order to prepare for any station in life? Col-
lege and school boards have been slow in their progress,
but some day these tardy boards will wake up and find
that a progressive board has been selected for the purpose
of sweeping the sham course of study out of the schools .
Teachers say to pupils: Now, if you will take the
High School course, pass all your examinations, and go
through the routine of school regulations, you will be pre-
pared to enter the Freshman course in the university.
Even some school men have gone so far as to tell pupils
that the completion of the courses of study in the High
Schools will admit them to the Sophomore class. Here
they add a falsehood to their enthusiasm, which in after
years pupils will find out. We want more true honesty
and less flattery. We need more thinking and investigat-
ing, and less standings and grades. Many pupils spend
more time studying how to PASS, than in investigating the
Three-fourths of the graduates of the city schools are
no better prepared for the fierce battle of life when they
get through the High School than when they entered it.
The strong essentials of an education have been neglected.
They have uttered a few scientific terms and learned the
names of a few things, but the uses of none. They can name
a few literary men, but they have never tasted the kernel
of literature .
28 Pedagogical Ideals.
Many things that are in our course of study should be
omitted or given a second place.
Every student should possess the power to think logic-
ally and quickly, to speak easily and fluently, and to write
correctly and rapidly.
In the puhlic schools all pupils should learn to read
well; ... he able to write a good letter;
know the history of the country sufficiently to become
intelligent citizens; know a fair aimuut of the geography
of the United States; understand the laws of health; be
taught to hate tobacco and alcohol; learn the story of the
wonderful march of the Immitn ra,co across the centuries;
learn so much arithmetic as is necessary for the duties of
busihess life; be able to write plainly and with ease; have
inculcated honesty, truthfulness, punctuality, industry,
and a respect for the rights of others. Good manners
should not be neglected.
Pupils are pushed too rapidly in the higher studies.
Many pupils who are hurried through to graduation, learn
in after yeais that they have been greatly injured. The
so-called higher branches can be quickly learned, if the
foundation is good. . . . Let us strive to
give our pupils a good practical education, and to develop
all that is good and valuable in human nature. Pay less
attention to graduation, and more to developing manhood
APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE.
Ill the New York School Journal of Jan. 29, 1887, the
following editorial comment was noted : It is an acknowl-
edged principle that knowledge is not power unless applied;
in fact, learning and knowledge may become burdensome
weights, text-books may be memorized with no profit, and
the possession of facts may become a hindrance to success.
PuUic Schools. 29
Unless the possessor of knowledge can apply it in some
way in life, it would have been better for him not to have
had it. The minds of children may be crammed full of all
sorts of material, but all this load will be a positive hin-
drance to success until it is in some way applied. We
want knowledge that can be used to-day. The needs of
the world are urgent never more so. Our schools must
waste no time in making pupils learn what they will, in
all probability, never use. Cut down arithmetics, gram-
mars, histories, by this standard. Let the most rigid
severity be used. The idea that our public schools wmt <iirt
a general culture is exploded, and that other idea that the
mind must be filled with knowledge against a possible time of
need, that probably will never come, is exploded also. We
have often asked 'what will be the fate of a girl upon the
streets of a great city like New York, knowing Latin but
not sewing; able to tell a hundred dates in history, but
ignorant of bread-making; able to demonstrate the binom-
ial theorem, but not able to keep a set of books; compe-
tent to find the value of x in a quadratic equation, but not
knowing the value of money ; accurate in drawing a dia-
gram of Africa, but utterly unable to draw a. working dia-
gram of her own dress? Knowledge that does not touch
the work of life is well nigh useless, for the work of life is
just now urgent, and men and women are in great demand
who can do that work
REFORMS IN EDUCATION.
On the same page of the same Journal in issue of Feb.
5th, 1887, the editor applies the "utilitarian theory" to
"higher education" in commenting upon the courses of
study in colleges and high-schools.
He says : Reforms in education work their way from
above down. If a boy is designed for college, his course
30 Pedagogical Ideals.
is early shaped by what colleges demand as admission, and
what kind of learning will help his standing when he
enters one. Quite an amount of Latin, Greek, and math-
ematics, a little English grammar, no English literature of
any consequence, a little of either German or French, will
admit him to any <.->//<'//<? in our country. These require-
ments make the courses of study in our most advanced
normal schools, because it is their design to prepare their
graduates for principals of high schools, fitting students
for college. Would it not serve the cause of thorough
education just as well to make Greek optional in a college
course, to he commenced after a student has entered, if at
all? Would it not also be just as well to relax the require-
ments in Latin, and ranch increase them in science, Eng-
lish literature, and composition? Can not just as much
study be gotten out of chemistry, botany, physics, and
English, as from Latin? We are living in an age pre-
eminently distinguished for its scientific and mechanical
inventions. At no time during the history of the world
have there been so many books published, and so many
papers printed. We need chemists, botanists, zoologists,
geologists, mechanical engineers, builders, writers, and off-
hand public speakers. We want men conversant with
modern literature and able to write fluently and correctly
in at least two languages. We must have men and women
of gpod common sense concerning the things of to-day,
4able to discuss with reason the issues which this new era
lias forced upon us. Work and thought have altogether
changed since fifty years ago. In these new times new
men are needed, filled with modern ideas, abreast with the
age, and well established in morals. Our c.uUnjps mmt sup-
jtlif thin material. They must not only not relax their thor-
oughness but must increase it, not by means of knowledge
Public Schools. 31
of the culture of the past, but through the solving of the
hard problems of the present. It is a good omen that
many old institutions are waking up to a realization of the
necessities of the case.
FUNCTIONS OF THE AMERICAN SCHOOLS.
The judgment of PROF. W. H. PAYNE, of Ann Arbor,
Michigan, will go far toward settling almost any contro-
versy pertaining to things of an educational character.
Here is an extract from a paper prepared by him. It bore
the title 'Functions of the American Public School,' and
was read at the meeting of the National Educational
Association, held at Topeka, Kas., in 1886. Prof. Payne
says : As the primal right of the State is that of self-
preservation, the education that it may enjoin upon all is
that without which good citizenship is impossible. The
essential elements of good citizenship are intellectual pene-
tration and breadth sufficient to distinguish between right
and wrong, the just and the unjust, truth and error; the
knowledge needed for individual guidance as a man, a
citizen, a parent and a bread-winner; obedience to civil
and moral law; physical soundness, patriotism, industry,
economy. All these qualities are implicated in instruction
It is not to be presumed that the school is to be held
responsible for all that is essential to good citizenship.
The co-operating influences of public opinion, the family,
the church, the press, the court, etc., are assumed, and the
State puts upon the school the duty of supplementing or
complementing the work of these other agencies. As intel-
ligence, discipline, and knowledge are the foundation and
condition of all the civil virtues,' the distinctive function of
the public school lies in three lines.
Probity, accuracy, and industry are school virtues, the
32 Pedagogical Ideals.
almost necessary results of its organization, instruction,
and discipline ; and when the pupil becomes a citizen these
become cardinal, civic virtues. The minimum of instruc-
tion that will answer the needs of the State and that should
be obligatory, may be stated as follows : Skill in reading
sufficient to interpret ordinary written composition ; writing
that is facile and legible, and the ability to speak and write
the vernacular with facility and accuracy; some knowledge
of American literature, and arithmetic sufficient for all
ordinary computations; comprehensive knowledge of gen-
eral geography, and a minute knowledge of home geogra-
phy; a good knowledge of American history, and of our
governmental machinery; a comprehensive knowledge of
general history, and of the sciences, chemistry and physics;
a knowledge of those parts of physiology that discover the
art of healthy living; and a knowledge of the principles of
morality, of economy and of Republican government.
There are breakers ahead, no doubt, and though free
education may not suffer wreck, yet she should be piloted
clear of all suspicious appearing matter floating upon the
great ocean of universal knowledge. As to some of the
dark appearing objects of which she should steer clear, an
unknown writer gives some hints in the following :
OVERLOADING OF THE SCHOOLS.
There is a tendency on the part of the friends of the
schools to over-load them, and impair their efficiency, by
assigning to them, in addition to their own proper work,
the work of the family, the church, the Sunday school, the
shop, and various benevolent institutions.
Are the children of from four to six years of age in the
way at home ; try to smuggle them into the already over-
crowded public schools and thus convert said schools into
Public Schools. 33
Is there any philanthropic or benevolent enterprise in
contemplation; the public schools are thought to be the
most inviting field for operations.
Is religion thought to be a desirable thing: the schools
are called upon to teach it, and the teacher who wisely
thinks it best to hold his school to its own proper work
and not to dissipate his pupils' energies upon a number of
outside matters runs the risk of having his school denounced
as Godless and himself as an infidel.
Is temperance thought to be a good thing, immediately
the school-master is called upon to teach all the minute
effects of alcohol upon the system, even to its effects upon
the molecular structure of the various tissues .
It is found by experience that through culpable neglect
of mothers, many of their daughters are not taught to sew,
cook, and perform the various household duties in a proper
manner, it is insisted that sewing, cutting and fitting,
cooking, and the multifarious duties which our girls may
be called upon to perform, must be taught in the public
Is it observed that a majority of boys in towns and
cities must follow some mechanical pursuit, it is urged
that the trades, or, at least, some of them should be taught
in the schools, that is, we must have industrial training,
and the boys must be initiated into all the mysteries of
toe-nailing, blind-nailing, and nailing flush; of chamfers,
modeling, embossing, etc.
The tendency is to introduce everything into the
schools regardless of time, expense, or consequences.
The HON. JOHN W. DICKSON, of Massachusetts, has
said, but recently, .... One defect
charged against the work of the school is the failure to train
34 Pedagogical Ideals.
children in independant use of the mind. To remedy this,
the orderly use of tools is recommended. Yet mere manual
dexterity is the result of imitation, and great manual skill
is found in persons of little culture.
It appears that ample provision for general intelligence
should he provided hefore special training, since the intelli-
gent man is more important to the State than is the skilled arti-
san. The fundamental idea of education is the superioritij
of man to his 'uses.' This, the language of experience and
philosophy teaches and directs to other than "industrial
methods" for its accomplishment. If children can not do
independent work at graduation, it is because they were
not allowed to work independently in the class-room. One
may use a book and be ignorant of its truths. The abstract
use of words cultives the y>r/.s.s7/v poirerx nnlij. All this is
changed when thimj* take the place of words. The pupil
becomes an investigator and will find an investigation
within himself The object of the
public school is to develop the child and bring him to his
special work with trained powers. Then let the technical
and industrial schools prepare the way for active life.
The same writer, still later, has said : There is a grow-
ing sentiment in favor of directing public instruction
towards that general development of the individual which
will make a man of him, and fit him to enter with intelli
gence upon any work to which his capacites, and his incli-
nation may finally lead him. The proper function of the
public school is to furnish the occasion of symmetrical
human development. Human development is produced
by the rujht exercise of power.
With the last few hints at the probability of 'Industrial
Training' being laid upon the already overloaded educa-
tional wagon, the author leaves the subject to be discussed
Public Schools. 35
by the living educators and statesmen of the day. It is
fast becoming one of the issues of the times in which we
Industrial Schools are in demand and are on the
increase. The only question is, "Can the State undertake
to give Industrial Training to the masses?" If not, then,
to only a portion of her citizens(?) To what portion?
And who posesses the divine right? Can the State dis-
criminate in this matter? If so, in favor of whom? Can
the citizens of a state, by their billots, legalize, and their
posterity tolerate discriminating legislation upon this vital
subject? Or shall the whole matter be forever relegated
to private institutions? The experiment was bom there
and is being tested. Meanwhile thousands of bright-eyed
boys and girls are growing on to maturity without the ben-
efits, getting knowledge in the abstracts, whilst the prac-
tical side of nature in them lies dormant and undeveloped.
The author knows that this is "utilitarian doctrine." But,
be it known, he is on that side of the issue. He believes
it to be within the possibility of any State in the Union, to
put this matter to test, and that, too, by impartial legisla-
tion, and that no great stretch of time need elapse ere it
conies to a trial.
THE TEACHER, CHARACTEE, ATTAINMENTS, CULTURE,
DUTIES, AND RESPONSIBILITIES.
FITNESS FOR TEACHING.
"Fitness for Teaching," as understood by Payne in
his "Outlines, "involves two factors "Natural aptness and
acquired ability." "Under the last term is to be included
the results of experience. Pocta nascitur non fit is a gen-
eral formula, Poeta standing for lawyer, merchant, physi-
cian, carpenter, teacher or farmer. Freely translated it
means this : 'Eminent success in any department of labor
is conditioned on an innate predilection for it.'
Natural aptness for teaching is especially indicated by
two qualities, the love of knowledge and governing abil-
ity. He who is fond of knowledge and is conscious of pos-
sessing it, naturally desires to impart it to others. A
school must be brought under the teacher's control before
it can be successfully instructed. Discipline is natural
and easy for some, while for others it is difficult or impos-
sible, because it is unnatural.
No one can become a good teacher who is not a good
student. One chief purpose of instruction is to ere ite and
foster a zeal for study; but the teacher cannot impart a
warmth that he does not feel.
The teacher's knowledge should comprehend much
more than the subject matter of his daily lessons; and
constant acquisitions should be a law of his life.
The good disciplinarian is one born to rule, one to
whom is given a marked degree of co-ordinating and execu-
tive ability. The mind cannot be instructed unless it be
The Teacher, 37
in a fit attitude or posture; but children, especially in
masses, will not voluntarily assume and keep the proper
Order, promptness, a respect for the proprieties of life,
are among the best fruits of good instruction. They are
invaluable both as an end and as a means.
Natural ability in the teacher, however great, should be
supplemented by professional study
Society may as properly require a preparatory training
of the teacher as of the lawyer, the physician or the divine ;
it has as clear a right in the first case as in the others, to
protect itself from empiricism. Professional teachers
should be men of science ; their power of precision should
enable them to construct wisely and well ; and the power
of revision to reconstruct on a rational basis. This recon-
structive ability should determine three things : existing
defects, their cause, and cure. .....
Progressive self -improvement in method is the duty of
every teacher. The means of self-improvement are the
following: The study of one's own practice with a view to
its amendment; observing the methods of other teachers ;
the study of Educational Science through educational liter-
Continuing in the same line of thought is an extract
from the pen of JOSEPH F. LUKENS :
THE TEACHER'S CULTURE.
Every profession requires a general and a special
preparation. A general knowledge of the common branches
will not make a teacher. A special professional education
is needed in addition to the general culture. Lack of prep-
aration is the great fault in those who essay to be teachers.
There are more failures from low grade scholarship than
from any other cause. The teacher must have a thorough
38 Pedagogical Ideals.
and fresh knowledge of what he teaches. He should have
such a knowledge that he would be able to teach if the text
books were burned. Teachers of to-day need ah 1 the cult-
ure and training they can acquire. The topics can never
be so thoroughly mastered but that something new may be
learned. In each new class will be found some new phase
of character, some mental peculiarity never before pre-
The teacher who sits down in the belief that he has
learned all that can be learned of the topics assigned to
him, or the wants of his grade, will soon find his task less
pleasant and his success less marked.
It is the teacher's duty to notice little things, to
become attentive to small formalities. Discipline is made
up of these minute formalities. When the teacher has
learned how to repress his inclination to scold or punish
and has acquired the habit of noting the manner of per-
forming the smallest formalities, he is on the road to
No teacher is strong enough to force a whole school at
once. A wise teacher will conquer chaos and caprice by
introducing order in little things. The teacher who is
strong enough to secure the performance of one of these
small formalities can secure everythiny by persistence.
To the youthful teacher: Think more
and do more for the health of your pupils. Do you see
that girl yonder with a puffed unhealthy looking face ?
What is the matter with her? See how tightly she is
laced; she can scarcely breathe. Perhaps that is the mat-
ter with her. At all events she is losing her vitality, and
will enter womanhood a mere wreck unless something is
done to relieve her, soon. It is within the province of her
teacher to look after her health. What can you do for her
and for others in like condition?
The Teacher. 39
Think and do more for the hearts of your pupils. There
is such a thing as heart culture ; in fact, if there were not,
man would be a monster. Study more than ever before
how to cultivate the souls. Do you know what to do to
make a soul grow ? By sermons(?) That is a great mis-
take. Be sure that no day passes that you do not by a
settled plan contribute to the growth of the hearts of your
Think and do more for the minds of your pupils. It is
possible that you were in a groove during your last school,
and that with the best of intentions you stayed there. The
study of arithmetic, grammar, and geography is not
enough; these work but partially. You want to reach
the whole mind. Boundless possibilities !
THE ETIQUETTE OF TEACHING.
4 'The Etiquette of Teaching" from an unknown writer,
is to the point, and must occupy this place.
In and out of school, the' teacher should avoid the
company of persons who refuse him the respect due to his
station, and should train himself to be able to do without
them. The plea of having no one else with whom to asso-
ciate is worthy very little, even if urged in strict accord-
ance with truth. If you observe this rule, you shall rise;
if you violate it, you shall fall.
Be careful how you do anything unusual before children.
They will speak of it in other places, and without intend-
ing harm, give an imperfect or distorted account of the
transaction, leaving out some salient point, or that which
is the most important incident of all, perhaps.
If it be worth your while to make a rule, it is worth
your while to observe it. If you make many rules, one
will interfere with the other. It may sometimes happen
that you yourself will forget one of them, and that the
40 Pedagogical Ideals.
children noticing the fact will remind you of it. This, you
mut>t admit, would be very disagreeable. There are many
little things done in school, of no harm in themselves, but
inconsistent with perfect order. If you forbid these, you
are bound to take care that they do not occur again, or, if
any of them be repeated, to punish, in some way, the dis-
obedience. You will find it, almost without exception,
the case that they take place at the time some matter of
real and pressing importance claims your attention, and
when, of course you are not at liberty to deal with them.
Before making a rule against a petty thing, consider
whether or not the good resulting from its discontinuance
will repay you for the time lost, the labor expended, and
the severity required in enforcing the rule, and also
whether the act is likely to fall into disuse as general good
Do not allow yourself to fall into the habit of giving,
unasked, a reason or an explanation for everything you
do or require to be done. Do not train pupils to expect it.
It is not necessary, and you would find it very inconven-
ient at times. Besides, there are many persons to whom
explanations sound very much like excuses. This does
not apply to the subjects you teach, or to occasions when
new plans are to be introduced or important changes
It is a great advantage to bear in mind fully and
clearly the occurrences of yesterday and former days. To
be able to recall every particular, as occasions require,
proves solicitude for the welfare of your pupils, and
strengthens your influence with them. They have so little
of importance to think about, except 'school' that they can
not understand how the teacher could forget anything con-
nected with it.
The Teacher. 41
An imprudent teacher stretches his authority to per-
sons mill things that are not under his control, thus pro-
voking and encountering opposition. Some persons yield
to him; but while yielding revile him. Others resist, and
he, being powerless to enforce obedience, is discomfited.
Discomfiture of this kind, of any kind, in fact, lessens
a teacher's influence. All teachers may have read that
"To govern others you must govern yourself." It is a
truth of which teachers should never lose sight, for in their
case this self-governing means, not controling the temper
only, but in everything else, keeping within bounds of the
duties of their office. So long as one confines himself
within the sphere of his labors it forms his proper protec-
tion, but as soon as he goes beyond it he exposes himself
to injury and offense.
Again to young and subordinate teachers, Center in
yourself the authority of your school ; the possession of it
makes you more useful to your pupils and less troublesome
to your superiors. You cannot have an orderly school
while you favor the boy who is above his fellows in height
or age, while you connive at or suffer to pass unpunished
in him sayings or doings that you would not permit in
another. Such a one is more likely than any of the rest
to take liberties, and it happens in many cases from in-
dolence or want of confidence on the teacher's part that
his assumptions meet but feeble resistance. The teacher's
duty, in all such cases, is to act with a moderate share of
resolution, and if he neglects to do this, he must be pre-
pared to pay the penalty of his unworthy conduct.
Children sometimes appear to suppose that, so long as
they are submissive to their teacher, they may be as rude
and insolent as they choose to other persons; no teacher
should foster such an opinion or even tolerate it for a
42 Pedagogical Ideals.
moment. And though zeal for the school or the teacher
himself may cause pupils to manifest violence in speech or
action, yet the teacher should promptly condemn such
conduct. He has the right to demand that pupils deport
themselves as gentlemen and ladies even when not in his
It is unwise to display partiality for children who are
favored by nature, or by fortune, in good looks, or in the
easy circumstances of their parents. If favor be shown to
any, those who, from obvious causes, may expect but a
small share from others have the best claim upon the
teacher. Bear in mind, 'he who favors is unfit to rule.'
Every child in the school no matter what are his disposi-
tions, habits or circumstances, is entitled to the full meas-
ure of fair play. Of course this fair play does not forbid
the teacher to recognize and commend deserving pupils.
But, if a teacher, without regard to merit, singles out one
of his pupils as his companion and uses him as a spy, or
a person to be spoken to when speaking of the rest, he re-
veals a weakness and shows that he is but imperfectly
qualified to govern children. It is unfair to set any child
upon his school-fellows as a spy. The person so employed,
if continued in office any length of time, will finally, after
the manner of all favorites, presume too much upon his
patron and give offense. Then sooner or later he must be
degraded and punished, and from that time he will look
on the teacher with dislike, justly regarding him as the
author of his disgrace. If a teacher desires to govern his
pupils with ease and credit to himself he must not favor
any of them. So long as his measures have no other
object than the securing of what is agreeable to himself,
and conducive to his own ease, so long will he be at strife
with his school.
The Teacher. 43
And last, but not least, the annoyance teachers suffer
from pupils and others out of school.
To pass it over without comment could serve no good
purpose. The better course is to examine the evil calmly,
and enquire how it may be remedied, and to what extent.
When assailed by persons who have never attended his
school, it ought to give him very little concern, since he is
in no way accountable for their misconduct. But if those
who offend him are, or have been under his care, he should,
at once perceive and acknowledge that the cause of the
grievance is his own faulty management; and further, that
while he pursues an arbitary and unreasonable line of
conduct in school, where, in a great measure, the children
are in his power, he must expect that upon obtaining the
mastery, which they really do after leaving school meet-
ing him in public, they will repay his injustice with
An eminent speaker, in addressing a body of teachers at
Detroit, but recently, said: Have a clear, well-defined
idea of the kind of school you want. Have in mind an
imaginary model-school, but do not be discouraged if you
fail many times before you attain this; for each day's
determined work, will bring it nearer. Teach pupils how
to study. Teach them how to get from a book the
thoughts which it contains.
Much time is wasted in getting ready for work. Too
often when a visitor enters the room there is the appear-
ance of getting ready for inspection.
Teach pupils to attend to the business in hand, to do
the work assigned them at the proper time, and to do one
thing at a time.
In having recitations, be interested yourself, be enthu-
siastic, and have a soul in the work.
44: Pedagogical Ideals.
If you are obliged to punish, do it out of school, or
not in the presence of other pupils.
If anything unpleasant has occurred during the day
between teacher and pupils, never allow the school to close
without dropping some pleasant word, which will cause all
to leave the room with a good feeling.
Cultivate in pupils, as far as possible, self-respect and
self-government, and never attempt to ferret out mischief
without certainty of success. Better let it pass than fail
in the attempt.
It is not necessary, in governing your school, to lower
yourself to the level of your pupils ; but always be dignified
in your deportment in all the little things pertaining to
government of your school, thus silently and imperceptibly
lifting your pupils up to a higher standard.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TEACHER.
The following is a translation from the French L'en-
seignement Primaine: The teacher should be modest
in his tastes and manners as well as in his language. In
speaking to his pupils he should be careful to make use of
only simple expressions which they can easily understand
without effort. He should, therefore, lay aside all affecta-
tion, and everything which flavors of pretension or pedantry ;
otherwise he will run the risk of laboring in vain. He
may utter torrents of eloquence, learned words, choice
expressions, without exciting the least smile of intelligence,
the sign which shows that he is understood ; while if he
adapts himself to the children's understanding, he will see
their faces glow with pleasure and joy, as they learn of
things interesting to them and of which they were before
The teacher should be active, of engaging manners,
and should have a great amount of energy. Nothing is to
The Teacher. 45
be more regretted than a kind of slowness or dullness
characterizes some teachers. It seems as if they had to
exert themselves extraordinarily to make the slightest
movement. Consequently the school suffers and lan-
guishes, and if any progress is made it is only moderate.
We know that children have a tendency to imitate and
copy all they see and hear, and to assimilate the qualities
of a teacher, even his faults. So it is not astonishing if
those who attend such a school as we have mentioned,
become stupid, idle, careless, and good for nothing.
What a contrast with the class whose teacher is full of
zeal, energy and activity ! All the scholars are constantly
occupied. He puts so much life and feeling and soul into
the lessons as to hold his scholars, so to speak, fast to his
lips, they are so afraid of losing one of his words. While
teaching one class his watchful eye overlooks the entire
school ; he follows the doings of the other groups, entrusted
to his assistants or to his monitors, in the smallest details.
In this way his efforts are crowned with complete success,
and the enthusiasm and ardor with which he is animated
are communicated to his scholars, and leave profound and
HINTS FOR THE SCHOOL ROOM.
Still another anonymous article is here submitted. It
was clipped from the Pennsylvania School Journal and
contains the following thoughts :
Earnest, conscientious, progressive work, is the cen-
tral idea of school management. The underlying princi-
ples of school instruction is to elevate the scholar to a
higher plane of thinking, acting and being. To this, all
discipline tends ; in this all methods converge. The end
is not to be obscured by irrelevant issues, or merged in
the machinery of order and the adjustments of an elabor-
46 Pedagogical Ideals.
ate system. We must have, first of all, honest work with
reference to the mental and moral requirements of the
pupils; and no amount of display, in the school-room or
on exhibition days can atone for the lack of earnest labor
as the chief essential of school life. Rose water is not a
beverage, nor is confectionery strong meat or healthful
But in work as in everything else, there is a right way
and a wrong way. A burden may be carried to a destined
point by being dragged over the ground under the lash of
the task master, or, it may be borne on willing shoulders, with
songs of praise and a shout of ' 'harvest home.'"
Certain requisites of a school-room make it pleasant
and lighten the labors of its inmates. There must be
plenty of fresh air, comfortable seats, and a proper admis-
sion of light, without exposure to draughts. More than all,
there must be scholars anxious to learn, and teachers able
to impart instruction. There must be enthusiasm on the
part of the Master, and a generous response of affection
and interest on the part of the scholars. There must be
a living principle, growing stronger and stronger, day by
day, that knowledge is good and desirable, that virtue is both
right doing and right thinking, and that duty, great or small,
is the true end and purpose of life
Good order is essential to a well-regulated school-room;
without its harmonizing influences all progress would be
lost in -the general chaos. But order is not the chief end
of school-life. In some schoolrooms there is too much
order. The inmates seem to be under a spell of enchant-
ment. In such schools the quiet is so oppressive and awe-
inspiring that the children are afraid to speak above the
low tones which are usual in houses of mourning or among
the tombs. There is no tyranny or cruel discipline here,
The Teacher. 47
not even the sight of a rod, only the low, dreary, monot-
onous voices of the teacher and children engaged in the
cold, hard, mechanical routine of question and answer.
The order is excessive, overwhelming. It permeates
every part of the room. A laugh in such a school would
be altogether out of place. To drop a book or pencil
would be a catastrophe.
THE SUCCESSFUL TEACHER.
The following appeared in The New York School Journal
Oct. 6th, 1883. It is presumed to be an editoral.
Of many occupations it is said that there is no royal
road to success. How is it with the teacher? It certainly
would be a difficult matter to give a set of ready-made
rules by which a teacher of only average ability and in
ordinary surroundings may push ahead; but still, there are
a few essential considerations to which every teacher
should attend, and, doing so, may reasonably look for a
fair degree of success and promotion.
There is a two-fold work to be done in teaching as in
other arts; a two-fold success to be achieved, artistic suc-
cess and business success. Each has distinct methods,
and both are honorable. But with the true teacher, as
with the true artist, artistic success is first sought. First,
to be a success, then to make a success ; to be a GOOD TEACHER,
then to be known as one. To attain both of these ends, the
teacher must be a reader, a listener, a thinker; above all a
worker. By energy and activity he must compel the atten-
tion of parents. He should not, after a merely formal in-
vitation to parents to visit his school, allow interest to die
out. Parents ought not to be suffered to lapse into indif-
ference concerning their children. They must be impor-
tuned to investigate, and make suggestions regarding the
teacher's work. He need not sacrifice his dignity in the
48 Pedagogical Ideals.
position. He will rather enhance it by trying to create
public spirit in the matter; to invite discussion through
every possible channel, in the school-room, in the parlor,
in public meetings, through the churches, on the street,
in the local paper, everywhere. He should claim a cer-
tain monopoly of time and attention, not for himself, but
for his work ; and as a true teacher, he can not fail to
believe in the justice of this claim.
The real importance of teaching, its heavy responsibil-
ities, its grand and almost infinite possibilities, all these
must be deeply felt by the teacher; and through his efforts,
felt by the parents and the community. By this means,
individual teachers will help themselves, and the cause of
teaching everywhere will be elevated to its true position.
HINTS TO YOUNG TEACHERS.
Containing some excellent thoughts, Hints to Young
Teachers, is from the pen of CHARITY SNOW. One of the
difficult things for the young teacher to do is to draw
the line between an egotistical independence, a feeling
that "I don't care what people say," and undue sensi-
tiveness about their opinions. Perhaps more overstep
the line on the latter side than on the former. You
are young, hopeful and enthusiastic. Your every plan
seems to you so very desirable that you have gotten,
perhaps, just a little bit ahead of every body else. You
look to see your scholars seize and act upon your new
plans with avidity,' and the parents and overseers of the
school applaud. In short, you expect to make quite a rev-
olution and win renown.
But nothing of the sort happens. Everything goes on
both in school and out, about the same old way. Some
criticise behind your back, of which you are sure to hear,
some advise you not to try too many new notions, and some
The Teacher. 49
are very indifferent, to say the least. So you come to feel
that your teaching is a failure, and that it is no use for you
to try. You are chagrined, grieved, and humiliated, and
the interests of the school suffer sensibly from your depres-
This trial may come through various causes, methods
of teaching or of discipline, or too little or too much of the
social element, and your mental thermometer rises and
falls as public opinion is for or against you. Now, while
you must have a due regard for public sentiment, it must
not be your conscience. You cannot change your measures
according to this or that criticism, cannot cater to the
whims of all yours critics.
If you be successful you must cultivate a sensible,
steady, mental habit, not too easily elated or depressed,
learning all you can from observation and experience, and
holding steadily on your way with a degree of assurance,
which, while it should not border on egotism, should keep
you in a state of equanimity . Perhaps this can be attained
only by long practice, but you must come to possess it,
either by nature or by acquisition. Do your best always.
If people seem friendly, believe them and take the comfort
of it. If they seem unfriendly and cold, don't believe them.
Keep your mental temperature so warm and equable that
you shall disarm prejudice by the power of your own in-
When you find things going amiss and yourself the
subject of remark, a most excellent way is to look the
matter over, and have a candid and calm talk with the dis-
affected ones. In nine cases out of ten fault-finders will
modify their opinions. Perhaps you will yours somewhat,
and thus, serious trouble will be averted. A pupil will
often carry home a one-sided story of some punishment,
50 Pedagogical Ideals.
and the parents may feel aggrieved, very much. If you
can make it convenient to talk the- matter over soon, with
them, without excitement, you will usually find that they
will approve instead of condemning. One instance on
that speciai point is here given.
A lady teacher had occasion to punish a hoy some ten
or twelve years old. The punishment was two or three
strokes of the ruler on the hand, then to be left standing
on the floor near a warm fire. In a few moments, upon
looking at the hoy, she saw that he was faint. She sent
him into the open air and he soon returned all right. His
father was a very sensitive man where his children were
concerned, and very much inclined to pick flaws with
teachers. She was wise enough not to wait for the story
to spread through the district, the story, . "That the
teacher punished Georgie C. by feruling and then made
him stand on the floor till he fainted away." But when
school was out, she went straight to the business place of
the father, and told him the exact circumstances.
She said to him, "I know it has a bad look, but I have
told you the exact truth, and you can question any of my
large, reliable scholars about it if you wish. I am sorry
it happened so. I intended no undue severity. I choose
to tell you myself before you hear exaggerated reports."
Perfectly pleasant, he replied "That is all right Miss
. I am glad you came to me. If Georgie needs
punishing, of course you are at liberty to do it. He faints
very easily, always did from a little child. A slight hurt
or fright always makes him faint." He then bowed her
out with as much sauvity as though she had greatly hon-
ored him by chastening his boy. And when gossips ran
in to talk the shocking affair over, he knew all about it,
and the excitement soon died out. This was a striking
instance of "getting the inside track."
The Teacher. 51
The teacher upon rehearsing the story to a friend, said,
"If you think it was easy for me to go to him, you are very
much mistaken. But I have saved myself a precious row."
But teachers cannot pass through such experiences
repeatedly, and come out of them successfully. Such
instances must not often occur, if one would stand secure.
Such an experience safely passed is a good lesson for any
young teacher. For a young teacher is only a scholar in
the great school of life, still undisciplined, in need of
some sharp and wholesome lessons, and the only way to
acquire the lessons of experience is to do the work. Others
can not do it for him.
Of elementary teaching PROF. HUXLEY said, also, There
are a great many people who imagine that elementary
teaching might he properly carried out by teachers pro-
vided with only elementary knowledge. Let me assure
you that that is the profoundest mistake in the world.
There is nothing so difficult to do as to write a good ele-
mentary book ; and there is nobody so hard to teach prop-
erly and well as people who know nothing about a subject;
and I will tell you why. If 1 address an audience who
are occupied in the same line of work as myself, I can as-
sume that they know a vast deal, and that they can find
out the blunders that I make. If they do not, it is their
fault and not mine ; but when I appear before a body of
people who know nothing about the matter, who take for
gospel whatever I say, surely it becomes needful that I
consider all that I say ; make sure that it will bear exam-
ination, and that I do not impose upon the credulity of
those who have faith in me.
In the second place, it involves that difficult process of
knowing all you do know so well, that you can talk about it
52 Pedagogical Ideals.
as you con talk about your ordinary business. A man can
always talk about his own business. He can always make
it plain ; but if his knowledge is mere hearsay, he is afraid
to go beyond what he has recollected, and put it before
those who are ignorant in such a shape that they shall
comprehend it. That is why, to be a good elementary
teacher, to teach the elements of any subject, requires
most careful consideration if you would be master of the
subject; and if you are not master of it, you have need of
familiarizing yourself with so much as you are called upon
to teach soak yourself in it, so to speak until you know
it as part of your daily lire and daily knowledge, and then
you will be able to teach anybody.
That is what I mean by practical teachers, and although
the deficiency is being remedied to a large extent, it is one
that has long existed. And it has existed from no fault
of those who undertook to teach, but until the last score of
years it absolutely was not possible for any one, in a great
many branches of science, to get instruction which would
enable him to be a good teacher of elementary things. . .
VISIT THE HOMES OF THE PUPILS.
An unknown writer regards it as a teacher's duty to
visit the homes of his pupils. He writes as follows: The
teacher who would be successful must win the confidence
of his scholars and be in sympathy with them; he must
know their natures, their surroundings, and their needs.
In no way can he better do so than by visiting their homes.
He shows his interest in them and wins their love, thereby.
How such visits enable you to bind the children's hearts
to your own ! I go round in the district and see the par-
ents, brothers and sisters of my pupils. I am shown a
favorite picture-book, a pet dog, or pussy, or pony, or a
little garden, over which a pupil exercises absolute owner-
The Teacher. 53
ship, and afterward I take occasion to inquire about these
I ask one whether his big brother has gone into that
big store to clerk yet; I tell another that I never saw such
n saucy little dog as hers; I recall some pleasant incident
of niy visit to their house ; or ask Johnnie whether he can
manage the potato bugs in his garden yet. In this way I
gain the love, confidence, and hearty co-operation of my
The parents, too, are pleased with the attention, and no
longer regard me as merely a school teacher, but more as
a friend. My experience proves this an excellent way of
securing the support and co-operation of parents.
Besides, I get many valuable hints. I learn that the
most effective way to manage Willie E., if he does amiss, is
to drop a line to his mother. I know that Jennie B. is to
have a certain beautiful apple-tree as her own if she main-
tains her standing in her class, and that suggests a way of
getting her to study. I find out what course of discipline
the several families endorse, and that shows me what mode
of punishment will be most judicious and effective with
different pupils, in case I must resort to punishment. I
learn, too, the likes and dislikes of the district, and those
of the children, and that saves me from making mistakes
in seating schoolars, enables me to avoid unpleasantness
of various kinds.
These calls are beneficial to myself. I find men who
can teach me many things about the practical affairs of
life. I find that in some things I have much to learn yet,
myself. I get more correct views of life, expand, and get
upon a higher plane.
Another writer says : The most efficient teacher is she
who acquires the skill to reach the entire class as though
54 Pedagogical Ideals.
they were one, making each pupil feel as if he were
receiving the full measure of her instruction.
Forgetting this, many teachers miss their golden
opportunity by being too individual in their instruction'
thus losing forty pupils, and leaving them free for mischief
while dealing with one. Giving special attention to one
may be needful at times, but the occasion is rare. Beach
the one through the many, is the highest principle to be
adopted in the school-room. The results of such a course
are not to be seen in a day, but will, ultimately, pay the
"BE YE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER"
was the text a teacher placed upon the blackboard, from
which to speak from time to time to her pupils, enforcing
the truth it contained by many an illustrative story and
incident, until she had created a public sentiment in her
school, making it uncomfortable for a pupil, through
anger, jealousy, or envy, to be unkind to a playmate and
worse yet to the teacher.
If one-tenth of the words some teachers use in scold-
ing, fretting and fuming about the disobedience of pupils
were used in creating a public sentiment in favor of char-
ity and kindly forbearance, the average school would run
itself without disciplinary friction.
There is in any school a liability to the development of
a clique or ring, who succeed, if not counteracted, in mak-
ing a sentiment which pays a premium upon illegitimate
fun, such as rough jobs, coarse jokes, applying oppro-
brious nick-names and playing mean tricks upon school-
fellows, and in ways innumerable revealing a tantalizing
disposition or a tormenting spirit. It is a wise use of time
for any teacher to use extra efforts to thwart the machina-
tions of unscrupulous pupils who attempt to be leaders of
The Teacher. 55
such cliques, thwart them by creating a counter public
This little gem is from the German. The teacher
should avoid a display of anger or bad temper. There are
days when nothing seems right. All is wrong. If one
inquires whether he has made any mistake, he will usually
find the fault to be his own. He was not, perhaps, suf-
ficiently prepared, or was disturbed by some incident at
home ; but he should never grow angry. Many a person
has made himself unhappy for a life-time by some rash,
thoughtless deed. Never be the slave, but the master, of
your temper. Be very careful never to inflict punishment
when laboring under excitement.
KNOWLEDGE BY HARD EFFORTS.
From the American Teacher : Knowledge is best that
comes by hard effort, and it is best because of the effort,
and not because of the knowledge. Effort that has a high
motive in connection with it is best, and it is best not
because of the effort, but because of the motive. Knowledge
is not much if it be the end and the all.
The teacher is not the giver of knowledge. He is not
the full reservoir from which the pupils are to draw sup-
plies of fact and theory at will. He is the awakener and
quickener of the knowledge-getting faculties of his pupils.
He is the artesian well-driver, connecting the power of the
pupil with the resources of the world beneath and above,
not giving and not getting ; but drilling and getting ; the
pupils, because of the drilling, getting. He does not
accumulate that they may accumulate. He sets them to
accumulating from every source but himself.
G. STANLEY HALL says : What we need are teachers.
They must not be tyrants and their pupils henchmen, or
56 Pedagogical Ideals.
the latter will lose their independence and finally become
the slaves of political bosses upon reaching manhood.
Schools must not be the place for developing what is syco-"*
phantic and cringing. They must be controlled by the
force that comes from knowledge. We know too little
even of our own children. The time is coming when we
will scrutinize and examine them as we do other spec-
imens of natural history. Baby-study is, even now, being
undertaken with great promise of results.
ELEMENTS IN TEACHING.
PKOF. E. E. WHITE says: The vital factor in teaching
is the teacher. There are five elements in teaching. Con-
trol comes first from power, which is inborn; then there is
a perfect magnetism. The first element in teaching is
good scholarship, competency, which begets confidence
on the part of the pupil ; second, skill ; third, heart-power,
love for the pupil, and love for the work ; fourth, back-
bone, will-power, a good article anywhere; it always
tells in school. Manage a spirited boy as you would a
spirited horse; keep a steady line and a still whip. Fifth,
good eyes and good ears, soul-sight; a blind teacher is at
a great disadvantage in the government of children^
LOVE FOR YOUR PUPILS.
From the American Teacher again, the following:
Teachers, remember that a kind and encouraging word,
especcially to the duller pupils, can never come amiss.
Be chary of finding fault. If you can find anything in your
pupils' work to commend you should commend it; if not,
kindly and gently show him how to go about his work,
then let him do it himself. Always strive to make the
pupil understand the fact that he can do anything he
undertakes, provided he will stick to it; and when he
The Teacher. 57
fails, do not scold, nor become impatient, but help him
up and encourage him to try again.
Love your pupils and they will love you. Loving you
they will strive to please you; and your rules, which
would seem to them intolerably irksome did they dislike
you, will become to them a source of pleasure in the ful-
fillment. If you wish to have an orderly school ; if you
wish to be happy in your work ; if you wish your pupils to
obey you and love you, yon must love them* These three
words applied in their full meaning would have prevented
many a failure, love your pupils.
A good, live teacher will do much toward overcoming
surrounding difficulties. It is mind, after all, which is
both the means and measure of success. There are true
teachers in some schools, producing excellent results, with
but limited appliances ; there are others whose every want
is supplied, producing inferior results. Considered purely
as an investment, there is nothing that yields surer returns
than a conscientious teacher with a talent for the work.
There is a constantly increasing demand upon our
schools for results of greater commercial value. Teachers
must consider these things.
USEFULNESS OF THE TEACHER.
This from the New York School Journal: Much of the
usefulness of a teacher depends upon what his pupils think
of him. Confidence, is back of influence, and respect
behind confidence. This is just as much a law of nature
as the law of chemical affinity. It would be as easy to
overturn a mountain as to create confidence in a teacher,
among pupils, who do not respect him.
The teacher who sits in his chair and dictates like a
tyrant, or commands like a general, holding his pupils at
arm's length, with a sort of '.don't-touch-me 1 abhorrence,
58 Pedagogical Ideals.
may succeed in making martinets, but his pupils will never
become loving, useful, sympathetic men and women.
A well-educated man may be called a machine with a
head and soul attachment. When the three elements are
equally developed, the result is strength and love. The
heartless disciplinarian leaves out the love, but cultivates
the strength. But strength of body and mind, unless tem-
pered with sympathy, is a dangerous union. Dynamite is
strong; so were Jim Fisk and Bill Tweed; so were Nero
APPEARANCE OF THE TEACHEE.
The following as to qualities of the teacher is from a
MR. 0. B. BRUCE: Before his class the teacher should
have due regard for his person, being becoming in his ap-
pearance, attitude and gesture; being cheerful, informed,
and devoid of pedantry, or idiosyncrasies ; being earnest,
active and facile; being vigilant as to self, in tone, man-
ner, patience, poise; as to pupil's answers, attention, and
positions; as to temperature and ventilation of room, and
the divisions of time for reviewing, imparting, testing and
His language should be simple, precise, concise, and
graphic; amply illustrated, yet devoid of diffuseness or
WHY WE MIGRATE.
An article written by PROF. AARON GROVE, of Denver,
contains some points of interest.
No small part of school troubles arise from misunder-
standings caused by the teacher, and for which the teacher
is chiefly responsible. Of hundreds of teachers now about
folding their tents, many can find, upon reviewing the
year's work, that some trivial and avoidable incidents have
led to prejudices culminating in active opposition and pos-
The Teacher. 59
itive enmity. In tracing causes of dissatisfaction, one
usually finds that the school did no actual wrong; that the
management was entitled to the full support of the author-
ities; yet there lurks about the affair an unexpected idea
that a more judicious line of conduct might have averted
the unsatisfactory issue.
Prejudice and enmity are frequently engendered against
teachers and principals, especially during the first year of
service, for slight and sometimes ridiculous causes. One's
first year in a district is, for more than one reason, the
critical and precarious one. The earnest and honest
teacher who believes that the exact truth should be told,
errs in saying to the mother of a boy, 4 he is very dull of
comprehension!' Suppose he is; it is not likely that the
mother will believe it, and it is very likely that she will fail
to appreciate the zeal that proclaims the fact. Failure to
comprehend the relations of parent to child accounts for
many a distressed hour of the teacher.
Writing notes to the home is a fruitful cause of mis-
understanding. Only a master of the language can write
a direct epistle without the probability of a reader's appro-
priating a meaning not intended by the writer. Notes are
often misconstrued, and a little tempest caused thereby,
when a personal interview would be sure to bring about
the desired result. It is a cheap and easy thing to sit at
one's desk and send to the home a note of complaint; the
outcome is much safer and usually more effective if a visit
be made to the house.
It is well known that true politeness is of the heart;
however much may be there, the exterior should indicate
its existence. 'You don't tell the truth!' 'You are ill-
bred' taken alone are monstrous expressions to pass from
teacher to pupil; but they do pass, and from those who
60 'Pedagogical Ideals.
ordinarily are ladies and gentlemen. Such expressions
are buried in a mass of colloquial verbiage and not as em-
phatic as when the child repeats them at home, stripped
of all modifying circumstances, so holds them up in all
A compromising and conscjliatory policy need never
mean sacrifice of principle or dignity. One may be sen-
sible of deep convictions, and yet not proclaim them upon
unnecessary occasions. No power competent to direct suc-
cessfully the district schools can lie in a purely negative
character; but the evidences of a positive character need
not necessarily be offensive. It has often been said of
one of our old Illinois school-masters, who always made
students, but who "migrated" yearly, until he left the pro-
fession, that 'he would cross a block and turn a corner for
the purpose of treading on a man's toes.'
It sounds simple to write that it is unnecessary to
tread on people's toes often, but, as I understand it, that
js what causes the frequent changes of teachers in our
PARAMOUNT PEDAGOGICAL PREREQUISITES
by JULIA A. PICKARD is an apt alliteration that I shall close
the chapter with.
Probably no profession requires more skilled workers
than that of teaching. To be fitted for the responsible
duties, the teacher should posess :
First: Purity, that he may come before his pupils as a
living example to them in thought, word, and deed; that
his life may influence them to all that is good, and noble,
Second: Politeness, true and genuine, that he may
have regard for the views and opinions of the little com-
munity over which he rules,
The Teacher. 61
Third: Personal neatness, that he may appear before
them in a creditable and becoming manner.
Fourth : Peculiar fitness for the work ; pleasant, to
attract instead of repel; patient, with faults and failings;
pity in trivial trials and troubles; a physiognomist, to
know how to deal with the different natures ; a philanthro-
pist, to exercise justice without favoritism.
Fifth : Preparation, by hard work, time, and thought,
to be thoroughly qualified in all necessary studies; able to
come before the classes master of the subject under dis-
cussion, instead of confined to text-books; knowing the
how and why of methods and systems.
Sixth : Power to govern, not merely to quell revolts,
and administer law, but to direct and guide the many wills
in the proper channel, and, having done so, to hold them
Seventh : Punctuality, to be in the right place at the
right time. If he must vary, better be too early than as
many minutes late; having made a promise himself, keep-
ing it, that he may expect and require the same of others.
Eighth: Practically, as only a few years, at most, is
given to school-training; therefore pupils should be taught
what is needed to make them thoughtful, earnest men and
women to contend successfully with the realities of life.
Ninth : Personally, having a firm belief of what is
right, an object to be attained, and following his own
course carefully and to a successful issue, instead of wav-
ering and altogether losing himself in another's way and
Tenth : Pluck. Don't become discouraged because un-
appreciated, but perseveringly, persistently, pertinaciously
press on, and success will ultimately crown your effort.
POINTS IN THE FORMER CHAPTER CONTRASTED,-
TEACHERS' FOLLIES, ADMONITIONS
TALKING- TOO MUCH.
In a school journal styled the Moderator, published in
Michigan, a few years ago, a writer signing himself 'Peda-
gogue' gives vent to the following : How many teachers
we find who talk almost constantly to their pupils when
not hearing a recitation, thinking this the only sure way
of securing attention and government. This is especially
true with teachers who have a great many rules, so many
in fact, that they themselves almost forget, till they have
gone over them, at least once a day, before their school
for two weeks.
Such teachers are guilty of cannonading their pupils
with orders like these: "Take down your hand, sir."
"Turn round in your seat, James." "Sit up, Mary."
"Attention, Susan." "John, did I not say no more leav-
ing seats?" Etc., etc.
These are commands, and the wise teacher will never
even make a request, when a suggestion will accomplish
the purpose. They appeal to instincts which are slumber-
ing, and to motives, which, so far as they are concerned,
have no existence.
Then, again, time taken up talking to pupils takes time
from their studies, and interferes with the progress of their
work. But, here, the teacher seems to think that the pupil
can listen to a scolding and get a lesson well at the same
time. This of course, after a time, become monotonous
The Teacher. 63
to the pupil, who soon manifests a disinterestedness.
Then, failure to interest fails to instruct.
The lecture system in recitations will fail of its purpose
for the very same reasons. Pupils may receive instruction
under this system, and still have little or no idea of the
subject, never having been called upon to express them-
selves. Thus one of the main objects of the recitation, viz.
power and habit of correct oral expression, is lost to the
TEACHEES DON'T READ ENOUGH.
The following from the lou-a Teacher. Most teachers
do not read enough. They do not realize how much help
they could get from good books relating to their profession.
They worry along through an entire term with a few vex-
atious questions of teaching or school management, when
a few hours reading might clear up all difficulties. Teach-
ers frequently lose positions, or are unable to get any ex-
cept the most unsatisfactory ones, when by the careful
study of two or three books, they could so improve them-
selves as to be able to secure good positions. Economy
in preparation is extravagance in results both in financial
and educational points of view.
HOBBY HORSE SYSTEM.
ANNA C. BRACKETT says : We have to guard continually
against the two extremes to which school-work ever has
tendencies, the riding of a hobby and the moving in a rut. The
hobby-horse system is the one in which guiding lines ought
to be tense, and steadily held, but at the same time, lightly.
Each mind must be felt, but no one pushed or pulled ; the
entire class as a whole must be worked smoothly and har-
moniously together, moving on in a right line, or round-
ing a curve with caution, yet with safety.
64: Pedagogical Ideals.
In an editorial column of the Educational Weekly, this
language occurs: "Comparisons are oderous," quoth Mrs.
Malaprop (meaning odious). And this sentiment of the
old lady, albeit her memory of words was defective, finds
an echo in every human breast.
There is nothing we so generally and cordially detest
as comparisons, if they do not show us off to the best
advantage. It is the nature of a comparison, obviously,
to add to the advantage or praise of one by what it takes
from another, and thus it is so purely a one-sided affciir
that it is altogether tabooed in polite society.
Some teachers in trying to stimulate a dull or lagging
pupil, compare him to one who stands higher in his class.
This is a most objectionable method. It is certain to make
the one pupil bitter and angry, and the other intolerably
vain. The slow pupil would be more than human if he
were not aroused to hate his more successful school-mate,
while the brighter one can hardly resist the temptation to
be conceited, and look down with scorn upon others.
Especially bad is the effect when the teacher draws com-
parisons of this kind before the whole school.
Teachers, themselves, would find it especially disagree-
able to be thus singled out for an object of especial
remark, disparaging or complimentary. Then one thing
certain, children instead of being less sensitive than their
elders are usually more so. Hence the shrewdness of
Mrs. Malaprop's remark.
"TOO MANY THINGS,"
is from the same source.
There is a tendency in our day to attempt the teaching
of far too many things in our schools. There seems to be
a general impression that with the constant enlargement
The Teacher. 65
of the province of knowledge, the curriculum of the schools
should be enlarged to correspond. But there is a decided
limit to possibilities in this direction.
So much of the knowledge that has been given to the
world of late years has been the result of the study of
specialists, that it is folly for a general student to attempt
to master a tithe of it. Much more absurd, then, is it to
expect to teach this tithe or less in the common schools,
and more, it is not the mission of the common schools to
attempt such a thing.
Our schools should teach a few things thoroughly, and
by so doing arouse in the young a desire for more extended
study. A few a very few subjects well understood, as far
as the pupil has progressed in them, are far better than
numberless topics merely touched upon Do not try to
teach pupils too much, but teach everything that is taught
with the utmost thoroughness. Duty is not accomplished
by simply informing the young minds on this or that
topic; but in endeavoring to interest them in the acquisi-
tion of knowledge, and in training and developing, their
faculties so that future study will be not only profitable,
but pleasant to them.
WHAT SHOULD BE MEMORIZED.
ADA A. AHLBORN writes : Very much of the knowledge
contained in our text-books ought to be so marked for the
benefit of those teachers who think every line in fine print
ought to be memorized, that they could not be mistaken
as to what to teich and what to leave out. Memory is
kinder to us than such teachers, and so soon excuses us
from the task of retaining unimportant matter. Recently
I heard a pupil say, "You are the first teacher who did
not require us to commit every table in compound num-
66 Pedagogical Ideals.
Of course all the principal tables were committed; but
what if they do not know that 120 wine gallons make a
pipe of Teneriffe ; that 28 pounds make a bushel of oats in
Connecticut, and 32 in California? What if they never
learn to give the old stereotyped answer, Mt. Everest is
the highest mountain peak in the world? Who cares?
These things are to be found by reference to the book and
not to the memory.
With the best training there is only a certain amount
of knowledge that the mind can contain, and, if we fill it
up with petty tables, dates, islands, mountain peaks, etc.,
etc., it must be at the expense of crowding out what is
Teachers should discern this truth, yet, teachers' exam-
inations very often consist of the kind of knowledge not to
For instance, this question, given at an examination:
Give the population and area of each state(?) Truly, an
applicant could give no better evidence of incompetency to
teach, than a correct answer to such a question. It would
almost certainly prove an attention to trifles ar.d details to
the neglect of broader and more important truths and
The teacher must decide upon the important points of
each lesson, and these mastered, should be sufficient. If
we group too many little facts about a great truth, the
pupils lose sight of it, in their endeavor to master details.
Fix principles and we might almost promise in scripture
language, "That all other things will be added thereto. "
HOW TO IMPROVE ONE'S METHODS,
by PROF. JOHN OGDEN, applies the 'reductioad absurdum.'
He says: Do not subscribe for an educational paper;
or if you do, don't read it. Don't hesitate, however, to bor-
The Teacher. 67
row your neighbor's journal under the pretense that you
are going to subscribe for it. Don't attend any teachers'
institutes, or educational .meetings of any kind in your
county, and be sure you do not go beyond its limits to find
one elsewhere. Don't study or read anything except the
branches you are expected to teach ; and make it a point to
study those as little as possible.
Proceed on the supposition that you know all about
teaching that is worth knowing ; and to be consistent stick
to that plan. Don't buy any books on teaching, unless it
be those with questions and answers, ready cut and dried.
Be sure, in case you do invest, that you buy thoso in which
the questions and answers both are short and easy. You
can find such not far away.
Be independent. Stick to the old traditions. Teach
as your fathers taught. Don't be wheedled into any of
the l new-fan<jled notions.'
In short, illustrate, as far as you can, your own ignor-
ance, by denying that there is any such thing as a science
of education, or if there is, that you know anything
Make strenuous efforts to know nothing except the
little .that you Jo not know how to teach.
Illustrate this by your strict adherence to printed rules.
The more inconsistent the better. It shows great faith in
And lastly, teach cheap. Don't insist on receiving
more pay for taking charge of the children of a neighbor-
hood, than a young man does, who takes care of sheep.
For your services probably will not be half so valuable as
These rules followed out with care and you will cer-
tainly succeed in making a dunce of yourself, and in
68 Pedagogical Ideals.
leading as many others to follow your example as have not
sense enough to do otherwise.
is from the Neir Emjland Journal of Education.
No reform in school life has been more fruitful of good
results, than the change from "hearing lessons" to gen-
uine oral instruction.
But every forward movement in education is dogged
by a group of caricatures, exaggerations, and imitations,
which threaten to overwhelm it, and often do postpone its
Among these caricatures of oral instruction none is
more mischievous than the habit of inordinate talking by
the teacher, who confounds it with an interminable pour-
ing forth of useful information by word of mouth.
This is the most dangerous abuse because the most
common. An untrained teacher is not easily routed from
the notion that instruction consists in pouring the contents
of a book into the mind of a child. If forbidden this use
of the book a teacher of this description naturally falls back
upon the next position, which is to fill her own mind with
the contents of the volume, and retail it in speech for the
benefit of her class. Of course, this is not oral teaching
in any sense of the term. It is rather the worst form of
book teaching. ....
Certainly, the author of a good text-book will condense,
arrange and study a suitable method of presenting the
matter he desires to impart. But an untrained teacher
will surely not improve on this presentation, but will so
dilute the author's statement, in dispensing it, as to rob it
of its chief value and increase the difficulty of the pupils.
A great deal of this sort of teaching may be
classified as information and twaddle, the hazy, inconse-
The Teacher. 69
quential, sometimes ungrammatical flood of words that in-
undates the weary class, as effectially drowning the infor-
mation imported, as a gallon of tepid water will strangle
the most fragrant cup of tea.
The disease was well hit off by an afflicted little boy
who came to his mother at the close of the first day of
school with the plaint, "0, mother, I am tired to death;
the new teacher talks so much u-ith her month. " Just that,
the interminable gabble that comes from no deeper place
than the mouths or the shallows of a vacant mind, flooded
with gossip and words, is the curse of thousands of school-
rooms. Perhaps this last stage of false teaching is worse
than the first. It is possible that a child, by dint of stor-
ing the memory with the well-selected periods of a good
text-book, may sometime awake to a realizing sense of
their contents and find himself possessed of valuable infor-
mation . But it is doubtful if even the elastic mind of
childhood is capable of wrestling with the flood of talk
with which the devoted class is so often deluged. . .
There is danger that this sort of teaching will greatly hin-
der the results of the new educational methods.
The object lesson has become a nuisance in thousands of
schools where the young graduate from the Normal has
simply recited her lesson from her notebook, and told her
children what to say. And there is a great danger, especi-
ally in the classes in literature, history, philosophy and
kindred studies, that the pupil will be cheated by his right
of individual acquisition, compelled to be one of an audi-
ence listening to a daily drizzle of talk, with occasional
interruptions of a hurried answer during the pauses.
Young graduates regard the slow gait of the average
school-boy and the flighty mental condition of the average
school-girl as positive torture. Hence the habit of inordi-
70 Pedagogical Ideals.
nate talk is thus formed as a refuge from what seems the
stupidity of the pupil or even from a conscientious desire to
do something in the recitation hour. But nowhere is self-
restraint so needful, humility so precious, judicious silence
so golden, as in the presence of a class of children making
their first essay at climbing the hill of knowledge.
PUPILS CAN'T REMEMBER EVERYTHING.
An unknown author gives us the following : It is a
mistake to attempt to demand that pupils remember per-
manently everything they learn . Of course they do not,
cannot do it, and to attempt to demand it is absurd.
The true idea is to have them carefully taught every-
thing that is taught, pausing in the teaching and studying
until certain that they have digested it, and after that
endeavoring to secure the remembrance, for ready use, the
leading thought which is likely to recall the details in case
of an emergency. Essential for permanency, details for
TEACHERS ARE NOT FAULTLESS.
Again, these words: It is vain for a teacher to attempt
to pass for a faultless character in the eyes of his pupils.
He is not faultless and never can succeed in so far deceiv-
ing his pupils as to make them believe he is. He who
would reach the human heart must himself be human;
and the most human thing in human nature is imper-
LOSING CONTROL OF SCHOOL.
From the New York School Journal, the following "Nine
Eules for Losing Control of School" certainly come under
the head of "Teachers' Follies:"
Neglect to furnish each pupil plenty of suitable seat-
room. Make commands that you do not nor can not see
executed. Be frivolous and joke pupils to such an extent
The Teacher. 71
that they will feel called upon to "talk back." Or be so
cold and formal as to repel them. Allow them to find out
that they can annoy you. Promise more in your pleasant
moods than you can perform, and threaten more in your
blue spell than you intend to perform . Be so variable in
your moods that what was allowable yesterday is criminal
to-day, or vice versa. Be overbearing to one class of pupils
and obsequious to another. Utterly ignore the little form-
alities and courtesies of life in the treatment of pupils in
school and elsewhere. Consider the body, mind, and soul
of a child utterly unworthy of study and care.
A quotation from the language of PROF. DOTY, of Chi-
cago, shows up a number of follies:
"Twenty ways of wasting time." Stopping work to
attend to individual cases of discipline. Waiting for dila-
tory scholars. Lecturing or talking upon matters of little
importance. Fussy and indirect ways of beginning work.
Slow and noisy movements of pupils about the room.
Inadequate preparation for recitation. Writing letters or
working upon records during session hours. Permitting
irrelevant questions by pupils. Permitting pointless cor-
rections by pupils. Wandering from the subject-matter
of recitation. Speaking too slowly. Speaking in such a
manner as to disturb and distract pupils at their work.
Putting work upon slates, paper, or blackboard too slowly.
Having no definite order of procedure in a recitation.
Tolerating habits of slowness or laziness in some pupils.
Dwelling upon what pupils already know. Repetition of
answers or parts of answers. Permitting such inattention as
to require repetition of questions. Failure of some pupils
to understand each step in a recitation. Having no well-
defined next upon which to direct effort.
72 Pedagogical Ideals.
There is occasionally a fussy soul, who is continually
troubling himself about things of no account. If he is in
church he is trying to find out : "Of what kind of dust
Adam was created," and, "how the star in the East can
be reconciled with astronomical facts."
If he is trying to be in business, he will spend much
time in computing exactly "how long it would take a cent
at compound six per cent, interest to amount to a million
of dollars," or, "what the national debt would have
amounted to if the war had continued a year and six
If he is teaching, he is puzzling and boring everybody
by his impracticable questions in reference to absolutely
unimportant and unprofitable subjects, such as, "How
many of the plays of Shakespeare were written during the
last two years of his life?" "Who was the first man to
whom Columbus suggested the possibility of finding a new
route to India?" "Can an adverb modify prepositions?"
"What great man was born with a wart on the end of his
little finger of the left hand?" He will kindly suggest to
you in a sort of pedantic way, that "the generally accepted
pronunciation of de'pot is depot, accented on the first sylla-
ble," and that you "inadvertently saidmu'seum instead of
muse'um." He will look wondrous wise and imagine that
you are mightily impressed with his erudition, and that
you are profoundly thankful for his suggestions. Such a
person has his place but it is a remarkably small one.
FROM CONFESSIONS OF A SCHOOL-MASTER :
Bead by HON. M. A. NEWELL of Maryland before a body
of educators: Abstract.
Among the things confessed were a fondness for hob-
bies and an inclination to ride them to death; sins of
The Teacher. 73
not ignorance of arithmetic, grammar nor even the ome-
tries and ologies, but of something still more important,
ignorance of the nature of the boys and girls to whom
this knowledge is to be imparted; ignorance of their intel-
lectual natures, of their moral natures, of their emotional
natures; a want of staying power; for though we run well
we get out of breath too soon.
We require to be wound up so often, some of us every
year, some every three years, except superintendents, who
run on an average of four years.
Still another anonymous point: An old doctor of
divinity once said : Gentlemen, remember that a man is
somewhat like a hog; rub the bristles the right way and
he is contented, but the wrong way and he squeals. The
teacher whose main object before his class is to make them
learn, is rubbing the bristles the wrong way. There is'nt a
particle of moral virtue in driving. Good may possibly come
of it, somehow, somewhere, sometime, but seldom.
Look out for the driving teacher! There is a screw loose
somewhere. The foreman who gets the best work out of
his men, says "Come" not "Go." There is very little good
public opinion in a school that is driven. It may be
orderly, quiet, famous for good recitations, but there is no
heart in it. Nine-tenths of the whole school will rejoice in
a good trick nicely done. Eespect, consciousness, moral
character, true scholarship, any or all of the virtues can
not be driven into scholars. Never \ It is not possible to
drive a boy and make a good man of him.
Miss ALICE M. BUKNEY, of Geneva, Ohio, gives a short
chapter of "Don'ts:"
74 Pedagogical Ideals.
Don't scold continually or for every little, trifling
offense; "familiarity breeds contempt," so your pupils
will soon come to think that scolding is your forte, and
that you do it for fun. Thus, its effect, when deserved, is
Don't attempt to teach by comparison until you weigh
well that the minds of children are easily confused; and if
you attempt to teach the correct by showing the incorrect,
you run the risk of impressing upon them the very thing
you seek to eradicate.
Don't try to have your pupils learn too many things, or
spend your strength in advancing them too rapidly. You
might as well "pour water through a sieve."
Don't forget that your pupils are rational beings, and
that they have a code of rights that should be respected as
sacredly as those of their elders.
Don't forget that your pupils are the men and women
of to-morrow; that they are essentially what they are made
by precept and example ; and that to primary pupils exam-
ple is of more value than precept.
Don't think that order consists in the quiet of the
tomb, or fancy that the air of an Egyptian mummy is cred-
itable in a child.
And, finally, don't forget to look and be your brightest,
sweetest and prettiest, when in the presence of your pupils.
MORALS, AND THE INSTRUCTION THEREOF.
A quotation from SUPT. EDGERLY, of Fitchburg, Mass.,
is used at the beginning of this chapter. He says : There
are many influences outside the school room affecting the
progress of the pupils. The home training is seen in the
work of the school room. The way in which the time of
the pupil is spent has much to do with this work. That
time may be so spent as to be very demoralizing to pupils,
unfitting them for their daily tasks.
Mentally and physically the pupil is weakened or
strengthened by the books he reads outside, by his com-
panions, by his conversation at home, on the street, on the
play-grounds. Thus, the school is only one of the many
influences tending to shape character. We are too much
inclined to speak of the school as the only agent at work
moulding the character of youth. The fact that a boy or
girl, a young man or young woman has attended this
school or that school, this college or that college, does not
of itself imply that the education is good or poor. We lay
too much stress upon this. Pupils begin to attend school
at the age of five or six. The majority do not attend after
they are fourteen. Under the most favorable circumstan-
ces the child is at school a little more than half the days
of the year. The schools, however, are responsible for
much, and every one connected with their management
must be made to feel that responsibility. The schools
should work in harmony with other influences for good.
76 Pedagogical Ideals.
KEY. MR. FRISBIE said before a gathering of Iowa edu-
cators : All specially religious text-books are put away.
There can be no religious machinery brought to bear at the
public expense. The state is not an evangelist. Very
well. There is nothing left to produce moral impressions.
The State does not specify them. It says, "I want intelli-
gence. " The way is clear for the living teacher to lead the
sparkling hosts of children by the sweet springs of truth.
He may not preach ; he may not evangelize ; but it may
shine out from his face that truth is better than lies ; that
a reverent spirit abhors profanity; that temperance and
virtue hold an inalienable right in the human soul; and,
until it shall be shown that there is no dinne power or per-
son, it will be no breach of honor for him to let it be under-
stood that before the Creator he walks with a subdued,
receptive soul. The Book, every book of creeds and forms,
goes out. The living teacher, a living epistle, to be read
and understood, even by the child, come in."
The following appeared in a recent number of the New
York School Journal : It is not possible to arrange a purely
intellectual system of instruction without a particle of
moral training in it. Morality cannot be divorced from
the teaching of arithmetic. It is absolute folly to teach
that religion is one thing and business or education
another. Bead the Bible. This is right. The ten com-
mandments. They are right. The Lord's prayer. Noth-
ing better. But all these are not religion. When work
begins, then practical religion begins. An angry scowl
on a teacher's face will knock all devotional feelings out of
a school in less than a "4 tenth of a second." Who would
Instruction of Morals. 77
hear a preacher preach, who is a saint in the pulpit, but a
Satan out of it? What is a teacher's moral teaching good
for, if he keeps his morality between Bible covers'? We
want everything great and good in the school-room, but
we do not want it assigned as an opening exercise. It is
not claimed that Christ's sermon on the mount was intro-
duced by reading the Scriptures, singing, and prayer. He
went up into the mount and when He was set His disciples
came to Him and He taught them. What taught them?
His words ? Yes, somewhat. But what would have been
those majestic words without his life? Tell us, ye stick-
lers of long prayers, made for a pretense, at the opening
of a school. Children are taught by living, tangible objects.
Sermons to children, good for anything, are almost as rare
as orange trees in Manitoba.
Let us have living, walking, talking, loving, Christian
actions in school teachers, and all else will take care of
itself. The teaching of the facts of religion are far more
intimately connected with success in life than the teaching
of any of the arts or sciences.
What is religion ? Here are few of its foundations :
There is a God. The principles of His government are
just. He sees and knows us. We are accountable to Him.
We know what is right and wrong. We voluntarily choose
to do what we please. When we do wrong we suffer for
it. When we do right we are made happy (always, for-
sooth?). We should obey the golden rule. We should do
right because it is right. We should love what is pure,
lovely, good, kind, and benevolent, and hate what is im-
pure, hateful, evil, unkind and malevolent. These prin-
ciples can be taught everywhere and always. Many can
go further and teach the Bible and the church. But all
teachers, everywhere and always can and should teach
78 Pedagogical Ideals.
Some extracts from an address by PROF. J. T. HAND, of
Texas, are very pointed.
The address was delivered at Gainesville, Texas, during
the session of a summer normal school.
It is not to discuss the Bible in the schools. It is not
Christianity against Judaism. It is not Protestantism
against Romanism. Nor Calvinism against Armenianism.
It is morality simple, pure, fundamental. Morality?
What is morality, moral teaching, obligation to law?
Morality is the doctrine or practice of the duties of life.
The need of such teaching is self evident. There can
be no such thing as training without it; no mental devel-
opment which brings the person not to this line. All
growth must increase the responsibilities. Duties increase
as life unfolds and knowledge comes.
Moral teaching shows one's relations to these duties.
It is in respect to the duties of life that every lesson, in all
the school days, is learned and recited. To teach a pupil
how to speak and write a language is one phase of prep-
aration. To teach that the pupil should speak and write
the truth is the moral part of the instruction. The former
without the latter is worse than speechless ignorance.
The light which reveals the right way to any place or
thing, will surely discover to the traveler all the by-ways
and pit falls. Morality shows the propriety and necessity
of walking in the highway, instead of wading the slough,
simply to see how deep the mud is and where one will come
out. Let this suffice for definitions.
How to teach. No instruction will influence to action
without the force of authority like a cyclone behind it. If
you say, "You must do this," it is incumbent upon you to
show "Why ought I." The 'oughtness' of the thing is the
Instruction of Morals. 79
point How are you to teach that you ought to do right, is
more important than how he may know what is right. God
in every soul speaks the eternal word of law.
One way is to repeat over and over that the church says
this or that is so; therefore you ought. Another is to say
"The Bible says so." "This has been the practice of
respectable people for generations past, and you ought to
do as other people ; because they probably are right, and
then, it is customary or fashionable. All these are wrong.
The latter especially. It is the supremest jibberism.
If you give the book, or church, or society as authority,
you will have to go. back to the question of genuineness,
and finally find that the authority which commands this
back of all, but still under both the church and the Bible.
The child is the offspring of nature ; show that ought-
ness is everywhere in the "nature of things" and you will
not only strike the root of the matter, but reach the roots
of the beings you address.
Do unto others as you would that others should do un-
to you, is so much an. instinct that no child's mind is so
obtuse as not to bow in submission to its divinity. Begin,
I say, on the plane of nature, keep the self-evident truths
of God that teach the duties of life ever before the pupil,
by the practice of morality yourself and by often pointing
out their application in the every day life of the pupil.
To reiterate precepts by the week, month or year,
unless the fountain is bursting forth from your own heart,
will be like laboring at a pump handle where there is no
water. I do not depreciate reading or memorizing script-
ure precepts, yet they are but the declaration of results.
The solution of the problem is in the heart and soul.
Get at the heart. . . . But to the question
as it relates to the interests of the child while a pupil under
80 Pedagogical Ideals.
your care : It is better for the government of the school.
Their is no governing children nor men without morality.
The rules of the duties of the school, duties to self, to
others and to the teacher, these duties observed, will
create a mental and moral habit that will extend to the
other duties in the home life and afterward to business life
and social intercourse.
As to the methods of moral teaching, would I be mis-
understood if I say, first : You should have no method.
That is, no stereotyped rule as to time and form of lecture.
Surely never administer a dose of ethics as a punishment
or revenge upon a pupil. Never! never!
If they are to have it daily, weekly, or monthly, they
will prepare for the affliction, like the boy who put a black-
smith's apron under his coat, and thus they will defeat
your purpose, be it ever so good.
The times and seasons will come when "words fitly
spoken shall be like apples of gold in pictures of silver."
For a soft answer turneth away wrath. No set time
should be given out. Make your own arrangements as to
time and matter. Be fully prepared to say the right thing
in the right way. But you need not advertise it. A good
thing will keep until used ; so bide your time ; speak only
such things as you know to be true and useful, and those
you believe and live yourself. Let the form of the lecture
be not all formal, stereotyped, dogmatic, and cold. Better
not speak at all unless your heart speaks. If one pupil or
class needs teaching on a special point, don't bring him or
them into contempt by personal rebuke. Tell them their
faults alone, and show them the true way. Do not put
off a duty indefinitely through modesty or caution. Be
heroic. Have the courage of your convictions.
But you can do nothing without thinking out a plan
Instruction of Morals. 81
for yourself. No other person's method will do yon.
David could not fight in Saul's armor.
Arrange what you want to teach in proper order; begin
at the beginning; be systematic, logical, natural. For
example, you determine to teach this month some
practical morals : You can classify them somewhat after
this order: Our duty to ourselves self-culture. Our
duty toward our fellowmen. Our duties to God piety.
The following on ' 'Moral Education" taken from the
Teachers' Institute, was probably written by COL. F. W.
PARKER. First, what is meant by moral education? And
second, how can it be carried on? In the minds of many
it is supposed to be effected by reading in the Bible, and
remarks about lying, stealing, and profanity; and so the
teacher works aimlessly and often vainly. It is as difficult
to educate morally as it is intellectually. Probably far
more so. If moral education can be explained, it is possi-
ble for the teacher to learn how to carry it on.
A young man is in a bank; there are around him many
dollars lying unguarded ; he is tempted to take some of
them for his own use ; but does not do it. Here we say
is a moral act. A moral act is one where right and wrong
are concerned. We know, we feel, and we choose. This
distinction in our mental acts is very old. I know that
the sun is up; this is intellect. I experience love for my
mother; this is feeling. I choose to go to Boston rather
than Philadelphia; this is willing. All mental acts are
one or the other of these. It is not right or wrong to know
about the sun, or to love my mother. But the choosing of
one thing when the other should have been selected, may
be wrong. Moral actions, then, pertain to the will the
82 Pedagogical Ideals.
When we choose, we do so from certain motives. The
young bank clerk was influenced by some motive. He was
afraid of being discovered, or felt that it would be degrad-
ing to him, or some other motive. An individual who
chooses right tilings instead of wrong ones, acts morally
Look at the clerk once more. He has money by him.
He may take it or he may leave it alone. He leaves it
alone, and we ask him what induced him to this choice.
We find that he has been brought up to know that this is
right. Then he is -intelligent on right or wrong. We
find that he has followed such a course ever since he was
a boy. Then he has formed the habit of choosing to do
the right act. We find that there is associated in his mind
pleasure in choosing to do right, and pain if he chooses the
Whoever will morally educate a person, must see that
he acts from proper motives. Make him intelligent, form
good habits in him, and associate pleasure with right-
doing. Suppose the child who comes to the teacher is
what is known as a good child. Let us ask why he is good.
The answer is, his parents have morally educated him.
How? They have made him understand what right-doing
is; have insisted on his doing those acts until he formed
the habit; and, finally, caused him to be happy in doing
these acts. The little boy is told, for example, not to do a
certain thing, say, for instance, not to eat an apple. He
learns by his mother's face, even before he can understand
her words, that the act of eating the apple must not be
chosen. He refrains and sees the look of pleasure on his
mother's face. This is repeated, almost hourly, for many
years, and makes a deep impression. As he grows older,
by reasoning with him a ground of intelligence is laid,
Instruction of Morals. 83
why he should always choose the right. In all these years
he is forming a habit of doing or not doing, -that is, choos-
ing or not choosing; and, also, fixing in his mind, power-
ful associations as to choosing the good or preferring the
bad. As soon as possible he should learn the consequences
of right doing and wrong-doing. He tells a lie. His
father shows him that he cannot tell when to believe him.
He tells the truth and he learns that he gains the confi-
dence and good will of his father. By the steady pressure
of natural consequences of his acts his intelligence is culti-
vated; his understanding connects cause and effect; he
sees that there is a moral law.
A teacher in one of the lower wards of New York city,
had a class of boys who habitually told lies and stole. He
told an anecdote to them one day of a boy who was alone
in the office of his employer, and the money drawer stood
open, and yet that he did not take anything from it. "He
was a great fool," said one of the boys. To cite the moral
law, or to express horror at this remark, he felt would do
no good. He quitely replied, "I think not." He then
portrayed the return of the employer, his finding his money
all safe; and that he had done it as a trial; that it led to
increased confidence in the boy, and to his advancement.
In this way the teacher addressed the intelligence of his
pupils. They saw that right acts led to desirable conse-
The plan of the teacher should be mapped out. He
should proceed as systematically as he does to train the
There are, first, duties which the pupil owes to himself:
viz., self -control, which forbids or covers intemperance,
licentiousness, ambition, vanity, covetousness, jealousy
false-honor and gambling. Second, self -culture which de-
84 Pedagogical Ideals.
mands attention to diet, dress, exercise, cleanliness, taste,
science and morality.
Then there are duties to others; viz., respect, kind-
ness, courtesy, honesty, reciprocity, charity and gratitude .
This relation to others forbids hard-heartedness, insolence,
peevishness, arrogance, scorn, ridicule, vulgarity, assault,
defrauding, slander and censoriousness.
Instead of classifying an act, the teacher should, as a
practical matter, prefer to employ maxims that may he
easily learned. .Thus, he need not say, " Such an act is
slander and is wrong. " Or, " So and so is profane and
vulgar. " But use his maxims. For self-control, "Do thy-
self no harm." For self -culture, "Secure a complete self-
development." "Grow in kindness. " "Grow in wisdom. "
"Love the hright and beautiful," etc. For duties towa v ds
others. "Do good to all mankind as you have opportunity."
"Give to the poor." "Be thankful." "Deal justly." "Love
your neighbor." "Respect authority," etc.
The moral principles involved in an act of wrong-doing
by a pupil should be discussed by the teacher in the pres-
ence of the pupil before a punishment is inflicted. And
often the effect of such a course will justify the teacher in
withholding the punishment. To illustrate: Suppose
John has Henry's pencil and refuses to return it. He
says : "I found it." The teacher asks, "If we lose a pen-
cil do we still own it?" Say this before the school. The
school answers, "Yes, sir." "Whose pencil is this, then ?"
"Henry's." "Should John want to keep Henry's prop-
erty?" "No, sir." "Why not?" "It is wrong." "What
is the rule?" "Love your neighbor." "Would John be
happy if he kept Henry's pencil?" Etc., etc.
Suitable anecdotes could here be related. The boy
who wrongfully claimed the pencil will readily assent to
the claim of the other.
Instruction of Morals. 85
Suppose one boy is over-bearing and is guilty of strik-
ing smaller boys. A case comes before the teacher. He
states the case to all the pupils. They listen. The teacher
says, "I saw William crying, and learned that Thomas
struck him. It was not an accident. Thomas says that
William called him names. Should William have called
him names?" "No, sir!" "Why not?" "Be courteous,"
one pupil says. "Is that the maxim?" "Do good to your
neighbor," says another. "Was William made happy?"
"No, sir." "Why not?" ''It is not doing good to your
neighbor." "Should Thomas have struck William, then ?"
"No, sir." "Why not?" "Because he was not doing good
to his neighbor." "Was William or Thomas either made
happier by it?" "No, sir." "Thomas gratified his pas-
sions as a dog gratifies himself by biting a man who
speaks to him. He is larger and stronger than William.
Would he have struck William if he had thought William
would overcome him?" * 'No, sir." What is such conduct
called?" "Cowardice." "Are cowards loved and respected?
Or do they make others happy?" "No, sir." "Then, you
see, one wrong thing leads to another. When William
called Thomas names, he should have waited till William's
ill-temper subsided. Then he could have said 'William,
you did not do right in calling me names.' William would
certainly have made some applogy; but if he did not,
Thomas should then have* brought the matter before me.
I hope William will apologize, yet, and then I am sure
Thomas will do the same, for his conduct." Etc., etc.
Then again, there are very few pupils who will not
acknowledge a wrong act when taken in private. In fact,
this is one of the most wholesome and effective means of
breaking pupils off from vicious habits. They will confess
privately that they have done wrong. And although they
86 Pedagogical Ideals.
may do so again, yet each confession of the kind made to
a warm-hearted, sympathetic teacher weakens the tendency
towards vice and strengthens the better powers of the
moral nature, just as a repetition of the blow of a wood-
chopper tends to make of him an expert axman. It is so
in all the performances demanded of a human being. Re-
petition of the act, gives the power and insures a more
perfect performance the next time. It matters not whether
it be a mental or a physical act. Then a bad boy should
have an opportunity to perform a good act, if it be no
more than a confession of his guilt. And he will do this
in private, if rightly managed, and, that too, without hav-
ing it wrung from him by a coercive act on the part of his
teacher. In fact, it must come out free as a fountain
gushing from the hillside, in order to produce the impres-
sion desired. Then as soon as the confession is offered to
the teacher, thus, in private, if he be skillful he can then
and there turn the whole matter to account for the future
good of that pupil. If deftly managed, a vicious boy will
go away after a private interview, full of friendship and
respect for his teacher. Then a long step in the right
direction has been taken. The teacher has a tenacious
hold on him for the future, and may succeed in making a
radical change in his conduct. He who punishes an
infraction of rules without discussing the moral principles,
either privately or publicly, loses the opportunity to give
his pupils moral training. They are enlightened by dis-
MORALITY TAUGHT BY INFLUENCE.
PROF. G. W. HOENSHEL says upon "Moral Education."
Eight living is of more import-
ance than mere knowledge, for there is such a thing as an
Instruction of Morals. 87
Children are not naturally entirely good, nor are they
wholly evil. If prompted by right motives they will dis-
card vice and choose virtue. The training in morals is
not accomplished by the teacher alone, but he can do
much in arousing the sleeping energies of the soul.
Words are indeed powerful, but in moral education they
are not so mighty as actions. But little good can ever be
accomplished by giving to pupils, lectures on morality. It
is the silent influence of the surroundings that will form
character. Truth and beauty are everywhere associated
together, and what is beautiful can not be far from being
good. . For this reason the school room should be pleasant.
A dreary school-room is not favorable to a growth of mor-
ality. It should be the most cheerful place in the com-
munity. What incentives to right action in bare walls
and gloomy windows ? A child who is taught to appreciate
the true and beautiful in nature, art, and literature, will
strive after the beautiful in character, and can not be far
from right. Such are the teachings of nature.
The influence of the teacher is a prominent factor in
moral training. Children imitate the actions of their
superiors, and, strange as it may seem, they copy vices in
preference to virtues. The teacher exerts a silent influence
over his pupils for good or for evil, and this influence is
but the reflection of his own character. All exert this in-
fluence; then how careful should the teacher be, that it is
for good. Better have no school than . one taught by an
immoral teacher, for the influence he exerts upon the
minds of the pupils for evil will over-balance the good he
may accomplish by developing the intellect. The conclus-
ion, then, is, that all teachers should be positive moral
men and women.
By these external influences, pleasant surroundings
88 Pedagogical Ideals.
and a good teacher, much can be accomplished. Those
who talk the most about morality have not the greatest
claims to success as teachers of morality. It is the living
model that conquers, not directly, but indirectly. Many
incidents occur during the day by which a moral lesson
may be taught. The wise teacher will take advantage of
every opportunity to impress a moral truth. It can not be
done by lecturing, for a talk on duty is, of all things, most
distasteful. It is the word fitly spoken, at the proper
time, that is impressed upon the mind of the child. But
still more depends upon the teacher behind the word than
upon any thoughts uttered.
Teach morality indirectly by history and biography.
The life of every noted man contains a moral lesson, or
many. Let pupils search for them. Talk of the causes
of war, and the motives which prompted heroes to do deeds
of valor. Pupils will soon distinguish between noble and
ignoble acts. In teaching morality it is not necessary to
What is needed is a knowledge of the principles of
morality and the rules of action that will lead to success
in life. This is the foundation upon which all may build,
but the structure will depend upon the taste of the indi-
GENERAL HINTS AND DIRECTIONS.
ANNA C. BBACKETT in a kind of a general way says
some good things in the following :
Where there are schools there must be text-books, and
where there are text-books there must be publishers. But
because there are publishers, is it necessary that we use
every kind of text-book in a series? It seems to me that
these series of books on the same subject are one of the
most assidious evils in our schools.
Readers must be graded, and carefully, too; but it does
not follow that every thing must be graded. There is
sense in giving the child, at first, maps with only the gen-
eral outline of the continent and the principal rivers and
mountains, and not confusing his eye with the innumera-
ble details, which ought to be left until later in the course,
and most of which ought never to be given at all. But
the equator remains persistently the equator, and can not
be simplified. It is no easier to learn its definition from a
small quarto with a picture on the outside than from a
large octavo. If the idea can be grasped once for all, when
that time comes it should be given.
These series of geographies and of arithmetics as well,
have their most striking success in dulling and stupefying
the minds of the children who are so unfortunate as to
have them. It is especially of arithmetic that I want to
I venture to express the thought that too much time is
90 Pedagogical Ideals.
spent on examples of very simple numbers when the same
practice might be secured by longer numbers and some-
thing practical learned at the same time. For instance,
when children are adding, why may they not just as well
perform examples consisting of three or four numbers of
five or six figures each, as to add, simply, orally? And I
should not stop at sums which do not exceed nine. If you
do not make any difficulty about setting down the three
and saving the seven (the answer being seventy-three), the
child will find no difficulty. One will accept this as natur-
ally as he accepts the house he lives in. But if you stop
him to state that ten units make ten and that seventy-
three units equal seven tens and three units, and that he
must set down his three units and save his seven tens for
the column of tens, then he loses his way and gets tired
because he does not understand. Few people realize how
short sentences must be, in order that the child's mind
may hold them . The general trouble when a child does
not understand, is that like old Father Taylor, of Boston,
he "has lost track of his Noittinafirc rv/.sc."
The child of seven has not reached the stage of relative
pronouns or conjunctive adverbs. Let him work simply.
Take it for granted that he can do a simple thing in a
simple way and he will do it. Confuse and aggravate his
mind with long explanations, and he becomes worried and
disgusted. Let him have real examples in addition on his
slate. Teach him to set his examples down properly and
neatly, to rule his lines straight, and to put his figures in
straight rows. All this is work that ought to be done at
first. But it cannot be done if he is kept on real work.
Never mind about the "tens and units column" rigmarole.
Let him add. He will have quite enough to do to remem-
ber the number he is to save for the next column, let alone
General Hints. 91
thinking whether it is tens or units. That is of no conse-
quence, anyway. The main thing is to give him plenty of
varied practice to make him accurate. Do not permit him
to use any devices to save his memory. He must add al-
ways from the beginning straight up the columns, as a
business man adds. He must never say 3 and 2 are 5
and 6 are 11. But always 3, 5, 11 and so on till he reaches
the end of the column. He must never be taught to write
down the number he is to save. He will never do it unless
some one suggests it. In subtraction he must write noth-
ing but the minuend, subtrahend and answer. He must
not check off his figures in the dividend as I have seen
children do. He must use his memory and Ms attention to keep
the numbers. But he need not be kept so wearily on one
thing. Push on. An example in subtraction has nothing
difficult about it if the figures of the subtrahend are all
smaller than those of the minuend. Then addition and
subtraction may be taught simultaneously. If the upper
number is the smaller in subtracting, and the child says
'he cant do it' and turns to you to see what can be done,
again, I say, do not bother him with explanations. He
can take one from the next figure and that makes 13 or 15,
as the case may be. Now subtract, and he goes on. Then
he must be careful to remember when he comes to the next
figure that he took one away and that it is not l what it
seems.' Do not mystify him, and after helping him a few
times he will need only practice and care.
Multiplication is easy, too. Here he has to be careful
as to the number he is to save for the next column. But
don't stop here. Go right on. Short division will offer
no great difficulty. It needs only care.
All the usual ways of teaching children notation and
numeration seems to me a waste of time and a ' 'clacker-
92 Pedagogical Ideals.
ing counsel by words without knowledge." If you take it
for granted that the child can write the numbers, he will
write them. And when he hesitates in reading, JUST TELL
HIM. Don't make him think that he has forgotten some-
thing which he ought to know. Bead, and let him read
after you . In a short time he will catch the trick.
You can no more think for your pupil than you can
digest food for him.
PROF. GEORGE D. SHULTZ gives the following: Make
your school a subject of study. Think of it as a thing that
can be moulded, beautified, magnified; as something that
reflects you; as something that can have your spirit put in
it. Think of it as a garden. Look to see that all things
in it grow beautiful.
Give variety to your work. Do not pursue a dull
round. Be original. Keep the pupils expecting some-
thing. Do not let them feel that they have got to the
bottom of your attainments at any time.
Be careful about the language you use. Look out for
such things as the verbs sit, sat, lay, lie, etc. Use choice
language and teach your pupils to do the same.
Become skillful at the black-board. If you can not
write easily and handsomely on the black-board, "stay in"
and "practice" until you can. If you can not draw neatly,
a few minutes practice each day in rudimentary drawing
will be a great benefit to you. If you are teaching small
children and can draw neat pictures on the board it will
prove a great stimulus to your pupils.
THE ELEMENTS OF A GOOD TEACHER
is an article by JOHN W. DICKINSON, of Mass. He says:
First, the teacher should have a good physical body. The
body holds the most important relation to the mind. It is
General Hints. 93
the instrument that the mind uses in performing its
mental acts. If the body is perfectly constituted it forms
a good medium through which the mind can bring itself in
contact with the external world. If it is healthy and
strong, the mind can endure hard labor, and hard labor
usually brings success. It is not necessary for one to be a
genius, that he may make his mark in the world. Well-
directed, persistent labor is more reliable than genius. Or
rather, the ability to work until a thing is done, (without
much reference to opposition) is genius itself.
Good health is necessary to that cheerfulness of tem-
per so necessary to a sound judgement. A teacher who is
weak in physical strength may do his work well, but he
will do it in spite of his weakness, never on account of it.
Second, a good teacher is generally a good scholar. As
a general rule no one can teach more than he knows. The
possession of a general knowledge contributes to the power
of teaching particular knowledge. A teacher of limited
resources is more likely to magnify forms to the neglect of
substance. No one but a philosopher knows how to be
simple. A primary teacher must be familiar with all that
is taught in the schools above his own, or he can not tell
what his own work includes. For this reason it is neces-
sary to have thoroughly educated teachers in the primary
It is necessary that all teachers should be masters of
the topics they teach, and of as much related knowledge
as possible. And this is not ah 1 . The successful teacher
must know more than the branches of learning he teaches.
The right training of children is the end he is employed to
attain. This result cannot be attained unless he is master
of the true method of teaching. A true method of teach-
ing is the product of a successful study of the human mind.
94 Pedagogical Ideals.
From such a study it will be found that the learner at
school gains real knowledge, only when the teacher pre-
sents to him the real objects of thought; that his mind
unfolds itself in strength and beauty only when it exercises
its faculties in an independent and vigorous activity, and
that his moral nature is cultivated only by imitating a
healthful obedience to right moral precepts.
The following points are from the pen of PROF. WILLIAM
M. GRIFFIN of Newark, New Jersey:
A teacher should not call upon a pupil to recite before
asking a question. The rest of the class will lose interest,
thinking the question is for the pupil named; when if the
question is asked first, all will give attention, not knowing
who will be called to answer it. A teacher should not
write any copy for a pupil in a hasty and careless manner.
But should remember that both a copy and an example are
All questions asked of a class should require them to
think. If no thought is required there is no development,
and the pupils become restless and disorderly. No teach-
ing has been done in such cases.
The science of phonetics should be well understood by
a teacher before attempting to teach reading. Pronuncia-
tion cannot be taught by a teacher who cannot pronounce
well. If pupils do not know how to adjust the organs of
speech to produce a certain sound, the teacher should be
able to tell them just how to place the organs. Not one
in ten who says wu-k for winch knows that wh is sounded
hw. Never send a pupil to the blackboard to read a sen-
tence with a pointer in his hand. For he will then point
at each word and not read naturally, but as follows: I
see the boy. He has a new cap.
General Hints. 95
No question should be asked of a class in a general
way to be answered in concert, if it can be answered more
than one way. For if there is such a question put, answers
from all parts of the room will come in wildest confusion,
as "Yes, mam, "No, mam," etc. Better first say "How
many think so?" Or, "Hands up if you think so, and so."
No improper pronunciation or grammatical error in
recitations should pass uncorrected. This is a part of the
teacher's work. An excuse of 'not time enough is no excuse.
Is it teaching to' permit children in recitations to say 'waC
for what, 'wicli for 'which,' and such uncouth expressions
as l aint' and 'haint?'
A teacher should not call upon bright pupils to do all
the reciting on the plea of 'not time enough to hear the
dull ones.' The diamond will always be in the rough
unless it is polished. The dull pupils will not progress if
the pupils who are better favored with gab do all the talk-
ing. Bright pupils are as a rule attentive while dull ones
are not. Then, let the bright ones listen some. A teacher
should not become tired of correcting the faults of pupils,
or of telling them how or what to do. Children have
rights, and so long as they do not understand a subject
they have a right to ask and receive explanations. A
teacher should not do for a pupil what a pupil can do for
himself, with reasonable effort.
Every lesson assigned should be prepared by the
teacher as well as by the pupils. Then will the teacher
know how much to expect of a pupil. But one pupil
should be permitted to ask or answer a question at the
same time. It is not possible to distinguish the correct
answer from the incorrect when several are talking at
once. It divides the attention of the teacher an$ the class.
Then it is not good manners for one to interrupt another.
96 Pedagogical Ideals.
One pupil should be permitted to finish his answer before
another is called. If the pupil is slow, it discourages him
and deprives him of a rightful privilege to tell him that he
is too slow and that he may sit down. A second question
should not be asked until the first one is disposed of, satis-
Time should not be given to asking questions not
worth answering. Pupils should be required to have per-
mission before asking any question, leaving seat, to show
work on slate, or anything of the kind.
There should be a time for everything and everything
in its time; otherwise there will be constant interruptions
and confusion. And if pupils are permitted to ask and
answer questions in a haphazard manner they are inclined
to become saucy. Too large a division should not be
reciting at once. Twenty is enough. More can be accom-
plished in fifteen minutes with twenty, than in forty min-
utes with fifty.
The following from the American Teacher is pointed:
No teacher should try to be a radical reformer unless he is
ren/ <j<>uncj. And he should not forget that he is hired to
wrre the people, not to reform them. If he must turn
things upside down he should resign and take to lecturing.
Public sentiment can be elevated by long-continued, quiec,
effective work not by loud talk or flashy measures.
CHILDREN KNOW SOMETHING.
An unknown writer says: We must not underesti-
mate the knowledge of the child. There are some things,
and they are not a few, that the bright child knows before
he comes under the teacher's care. And for us to dwell
with the air of gravity upon such matters, dilutes all our
General Hints. 97
We once saw a man devote a half-hour to teaching a
class to "whittle," when the majority of them felt that
with as good a knife and as good wood they could give the
man several points. In the same way we have seen
teachers dwell upon teaching a lake, brook, river, moun-
tain, or hill, when some of the class knew more about
such things than the teachers themselves.
While we must always make sure that the class is
knov/ing to the facts, it is better to assume their wisdom
and aid their ignorance about every-day matters than to
treat them as dunces.
From preface to Gages Practical Speller: Teachers
should always articulate clearly, and pronounce correctly
when giving words for spelling. Never overstrain the
enunciation of a word in order to indicate its spelling.
Allow only one trial in spelling, either orally or in writing.
Spelling can be taught by means of composition . In all
the written work which comes before a teacher, words
spelled incorrectly should be so marked as to call the
attention of the pupil to them. He should be required to
make out a list of them and master them.
From some unknown wiiter . Remember that school-
books officially represent the people. Assume that in fact
they conform to the will of the people. Do not assume
prerogatives which do not belong to you. Recognize that
school boards have rights which you are bound to respect.
Never try to indorse opinions in which you are not sec-
onded by the board. Have a distinct understanding with
the board as to what they will endorse . So long as you
remain in their employ, perform the duties they require of
you. Receive their directions as from those who have the
98 Pedagogical Ideals.
right to command. Show yourself willing and able to do
what they want done. If you really know how to direct
the affairs of the school better than they do, they will
recognize the fact if you give them time enough.
To prevent unnecessary interruptions : Have a time for
questions. Allow questions to be asked only after per-
mission has been given. Require every movement to be
quiet. Those who wish to whisper should get permission.
A minute or two between recitations should be taken to
answer questions. Pupils should be required to raise a
hand when they wish to speak. Dining recitation do not
permit a question to be asked for any purpose whatever,
except to leave the room, by pupils not reciting. Some
given sign should be understood for leaving the room.
BEGINNING A NEW SCHOOL.
The first mistake, says the Schoolmaster, that is made is
to turn the classes back to the beginning of the book
for a review. The last thing your predecessor did was to
review the work done last term. Common courtesy re-
quires you to consider that he was reasonably honest and
painstaking in his work, thet he taught something.
Your plain duty is to begin where he left off. If you
find that the pupils have forgotten a subject, you can
review that particular subject in one or two lessons and
then proceed in the advance work. You must not consider
that the former teacher did nothing. This is a false con-
clusion. He did reasonably fair work. You ought to con-
sider that though he may have been weak in some points,
you are also. No one is strong in all things pertaining to
the teacher's calling.
Then do not spend time in complaining of the former
teacher's incompetence. Strive to do something yourself.
General Hints. 99
He is absent and cannot defend himself nor explain his
plans and intentions. If he left no record, ask the pupils
for the last lesson they recited. Assign the next. Ask no
further questions at that time. One or two recitations will
show the weak points. Work at those. Do not waste
time on what is already known. Do not think of drill or
practice unless you have some definite purpose in view.
Be sure you accomplish what you undertake.
If the history class are through the American Eevolu-
tion, pray do not lead them back to Columbus and John
Smith. Boys and girls who have studied history much
know about Pocahontas. If you read it again, what good?
Suppose you find out that some pupil in the class thinks
the battle of Brandywine was fought in Massachusetts.
You need not review the whole history on that account.
In teaching history and following the movement of armies
teach the ye^ijra^liy of the country over which they passed,
as well as the events.
If the pupils know the fundamental operations of arith-
metic do not go over compound numbers again because
one girl in the class has forgotten how many cubic inches
in a bushel.
Expect pupils, in reading, to know the subject matter
of the text well enough to write down the points of import-
ance if called upon to do so. Do not assign one para-
graph, all humbug, assign a whole subject and then if
it takes more than one lesson to finish it, well and good.
Be sure to teach writing in every way; you can not
have too much of it. Let pupils write their recitations
quite often, and give them some attention. See that cap-
italization, punctuation, indentation, and margination all
get their share of attention. Eternal vigilance, here, is
the price of a nicely prepared paper. Expect each paper
100 Pedagogical Ideals.
to be an improvement and make your pupils feel this.
Permit no slovenly work with pen and ink. A pen and
ink education is what young people need most. Never
accept a paper written with a lead pencil after pupils are
old enough to write with pens.
Do your best, always. Work other hours beside the
time you are in the school-room if you wish to succeed.
Master every subject you have to teach if you must
burn midnight oil to do it. Each lesson should be thor-
oughly imbibed and assimilated by you before you stand
before your class to hear it recited.
Also find time to read something of more merit than
what you are teaching, wholly in advance of it. If you
intend to be a teacher, get upon a higher plane.
An editorial in American Teacher says : Study the effect
of your assignment of lessons; methods of conducting
class- work, manner of addressing children, also their inter-
est in their work, and- never be content until confident that
you have exhausted your resources for so modulating your
methods as to secure the best tone of work in the school.
You are not merely to teach them, but you are to secure
for them by your manner and method a teachable disposi-
tion. You are to adapt them to the lessons, as well as the
lessons to them.
The fault is more likely to be in the teacher than in
the class when % there is any general failure. The lesson
assigned may have been indefinite, the quantity of work
allotted, injudicious, as to the pressure brought to bear
upon them from other quarters, the introduction of the
exercise unguarded and irritating, the tone of the teacher
discouraging, the questions of a dissipating character, etc.,
etc. Children are susceptible to things to which a teacher
General Hints. 101
is hardened. The teacher oftentimes needs to seek for
error within self. Not charge failure to the class, alto-
gether. It would be a fine thing to have some teachers
marked on the scale of ten as to success in conducting recitations
and other school work. Possibly the record made would
make them more charitable toward their pupils.
THE TEACHER'S CONDUCT.
Miss BANCROFT says : Never come before your school
with a cross or vexed look on your face. Always, if possi-
ble, have a pleasant word for your school at the opening
of each session. As far as possible, believe in the good-
ness of each individual scholar. Never punish a pupil
with an air of satisfaction. Try to administer reproof
pleadingly. Or, if obliged to use severity, do so as though
the circumstances of the offense and the welfare of the
school demand it, and not your own wishes and inclina-
Always conduct yourself toward each pupil as though
you expect him to obey the rules of the school, and if pos-
sible have faith that he will. Never allow yourself to say
disagreeable things of your school, to anyone, except to
gain some advice.
S. P. BOBBINS, LL. D., of Montreal, Canada, says to
teachers : You must yourself be accurate. The distinc-
tion between the well-educated and the improperly edu-
cated is just here, that the one is, and the other is not
automatically and minutely correct in recollection, in mode
of thought, in manner of expression. Do not teach any-
thing that must be subsequently unlearned.
With little children, especially at the outset, much
attention must be given to them individually. This, how-
ever, in many instances, can be done so as to interest
102 Pedagogical Ideals.
others not directly addressed, who may be asked to give
the information that their companion requires. Try the
following device occasionally: Let the whole class stand.
Then as each one answers a question he may sit. This
continues until all are seated. Or to facilitate the work in
reviews, this plan: Say "all who can answer this question,
stand." Then ask the question. And if you have some
doubts as to the ability of one to answer it, ask him.
Pupils will not be apt to rise unless they are certain of
their knowledge of the question. Or you may reveise it
occasionally by saying '' Those who know whether such
and such a thing is so and so may sit." Then of course
those who have doubts will feel obliged to rise for fear of
being called upon to answer the question.
Holding up the hand to indicate the wish to reply to a
question is open to great abuse. Forward children
attempt to answer everything, but timid ones, nothing. It
is a good rule that the hand shall not be held up except
when another pupil has made a mistake. Or when the
teacher gives a very hard question and asks the class to
indicate their knowledge by raising hands.
Eising from the seat, running after the teacher, thrust-
the hand almost into the teacher's face, snapping the
fingers, etc., are very improper acts. At times the teacher
stands or sits so as not to see the whole class, hence is the
cause of such rudeness.
It is impossible to carry on the work with the active
co-operation of the teacher in two classes at once. Having
given one class an exercise in writing in some way on
slates or paper, the work having been properly explained,
then the teacher should give individual attention to another
In examination of slate work with small children, it is
better that they bring slates to the teacher instead of her
General Hints. 10'J
going to them. They can be taught to rise and march by
her, depositing slates as they pass and marching on around
to their seats without interfering with each other or taking
up much time or making much noise. Teacher can ex-
amine slates while they do something else. Preparatory
classes are not expected to do school work at home. Hence
all their books should be left in the care of the teacher.
WITH REGARD TO THE PUPIL.
The following appeared in the New England Journal of
Education as a translation from Diesterwig :
Teach naturally. Regulate your teaching by natural
grades in the development of the growing individual.
Begin teaching at the standpoint of the pupils. Guide
them from there, onward, steadily and thoroughly, with-
out interruption. Do not teach what is in itself nothing
to the pupil when he has learned it, nor what will be use-
ful to him at some future time. Teach intuitively % Pro-
ceed from the near to the remote. From the simple to the
complex. From the easy to the difficult. From the known
to the unknown. Follow, in teaching, the elementary
method. Also follow the psychological aim, or that and
the practical at the same time. Bouse the pupil through
the same topic presented from as many points as possible.
Combine, especially, knowledge with ability, and exercise
the knowledge until it is shaped by the underlying train of
thought. Teach nothing but what the pupil can com-
prehend. Do not simply train and polish. Education
and discipline are not for this, but to lay the general foun-
dation on which to build the character of the individual,
the citizen, and the nation. Accustom the pupil to work.
Make it for him not only a pleasure, but a second nature.
Eecognize the individuality of your pupil.
With regard to the subject taught, apportion the matter
of each subject from the standpoint of the pupil, and, as
104 Pedagogical Ideals.
indicated already, according to his development. Divide
and arrange the subject matter so that, where it is pract-
ical in each succeeding step of the new, the relation of
what has been taught may be seen. Connect all subjects
which are especially related. Go from the thing to the
sign not the reverse.
Be guided in your selection of a method by the nature
of the subject. Arrange the subject taught, not according
to a special scheme, but consider, constantly, all sides of it.
With regard to outside circumstances of time, place, order, etc.
Follow up subjects with your pupil successively, rather
than together. Consider the probable future position in
the life of your pupil. Teach with reference to a general
With regard to the teacher: Strive to make your teaching
attractive and interesting. Teach with energy. Make the
subject to be learned, palatable to the pupil. And above
all, require a good utterance, sharp accent, clear state-
ment, and thoughtful arrangement. Do not stand still.
Rejoice in development or progress; first, for yourself;
second, for your pupils.
RULES FOR TEACHERS.
Author unknown. Teachers should give personal
attention to the order of their pupils in passing in and out
of the school- rooms, and ghould watch carefully over their
conduct during recesses ; should see that boisterous noises,
throwing, boxing, wrestling, scuffling, etc., are not per-
mitted in the schoolroom or halls; should use due dili-
gence in securing the attendance of all pupils in the dis-
trict entitled to school privileges ; should not inflict bodily
punishment upon any child above the age of fourteen
years, without first consulting the parents or guardians;
and in all cases of difficulty between teacher and pupil, the
General Hints. 105
teacher should be presumed in the right. Teachers should
have watchful care over the morals of their pupils and
their conduct. Also their hygienic habits, as to the state
of health every da>j t and cause of ill-health.
THE NEW EDUCATION.
PROF. AARON GROVE, of Denver, Colorado, says to
teachers : Do not accept and appropriate the many devices,
short cuts, and patent methods, recommended to you
through the professional press, just because some well-
advertised name appears as the deviser. You read about
a new education, an unfortunate misnomer. There is no
new education. A new combination of methods, different
groupings of appliances, re-arranging of causes and
sequences, are the study and practice of the profession.
No more newness pertains to the work this year, or last
year, than has appeared every year for the past quarter of
If you are working in your school-room with all the
originality, personality, and genius that your studies and
your ambition can awaken, yours is a new education quite
as much as the great something, which is sometimes now
written as a proper noun.
By study, observation, experience, contact, conflict,
and consulation one with another, teachers learn to make
and not to appropriate methods. The Chinese exactness in
imitation is fatal to excellent teaching. The science must
precede the art, and in a certain way the art must be
A tendency appears amongst a peculiar school of teach-
ers of pedadogies, and the number is temporarily increas-
ing, to preach the ease, happiness, heavenly bliss, and
contentment of the pupils in all school relations. They
announce that the beautiful work of the kindergarten can
106 Pedagogical Ideals.
and should be continued through all grades of school life.
Their sermons tell of perfect schools, where all is perpet-
ual joy, where tears and regrets do never enter, where
tasks cease to be tasks, where geography is mastered by
playing with mud pies, and the science of numbers appro-
priated with "confectionery plums." When punishment
is uncalled for, all is continual bliss. They print pretty
statements, or permit others to do so, which appeal to
popular prejudice and parental devotion. They talk of
wrongs perpetrated upon the average pupil, and of the
unreasonableness of demanding results. What wonder if,
when a father sees his boy on the high road, as he is
told, to eminent scholarship, and ih&t journey wade with-
out pain, discipline, or anxiety, made because the boy loves
to apply himself, what wonder if the fond parent is
enthusiastic about that school.
My friends, your experience has already taught you
that he who performs an assigned task usually does it up-
on compulsion; not from love of work. In child life, as
in adult life, some drudgery is necessary. Do not be dis-
couraged at these declarations about loveliness : they are not
true. The multiplication table must be learned, somewhat
by force memory, however Grube may assist. Elementary
knowledge never was and never will be coaxed or wheedled
out of or into the average American school boy. Sterner
discipline is necessary.
Pleasant and happy schools are the only good ones.
But all this rot about leading a pupil through the eight
years of our elementary training, with only continual pleas-
ure to him, deserves the condemnation it will receive, while
its authors will soon disappear from the school platform.
THE NEW EDUCATION, AGAIN.
The following extract from the Illinois School Journal,
of Oct. 1887, upon the subject "New Education," has some
General Hints. 107
bearing upon the teacher. The editors in their comments
are finally led to say : We hold that some things are self-
evident : 1. The teacher must know the child, physically, ment-
ally, and morally, and the laws of his growth along these
three lines. 2. He must know the subjects that are to be taught
to the child in a larger and fuller sense than they are now
generally known. The great need of the schools is
scholarly teachers. 3. He must know hmv to use this knowl-
edge of the child and of the subjects, so as to stimulate the largest
and best growth in intelligence. It is along the three lines
here indicated that education must grow, and the necessi-
ties of the present age have given marked emphasis to the
first and third of these requirements.
We have little confidence in any educational leader
who ignores any one of these, or who is so blinded by the
light of one method of procedure that he can see no other.
We deny that there are short cuts, or essentially new methods
and processes of educating children. ....
As to method, we deny that "American pedagogy means
the art of wheedling children into learning things without
their knowing it," as our English critics affirm. But we
are compelled to admit that if much that passes current as
"new education" is to prevail this definition will hold.
The teacher must be a fountain of patience and kind-
ness, and love; but a fountain of vigor and intelligence,
TRUE OBJECT OF DISCIPLINE.
In 1884, J. S. BABCOCK, of New York city, published a
manual of the Board of Education of that city. Some
extracts from it are here presented: "True objects of
Discipline." The training of pupils so that they form riyht
habits and learn self -culture is the true object of discipline.
In all rules and methods of discipline employed, this pur
pose should be kept steadily in view. Discipline, in its
relations to order, exists for the sake of the pupils and the
school. It prepares the way for the work of instruction,
and makes it effective. Obedience is the first condition in
discipline. It includes conformity to requirements as to
time, place and manner, such as punctuality, regularity,
orderly habits, etc.
Like begets like. Then "as is the teacher so will be
the school." It is therefore requisite that teachers should
possess fixed habits of neatness, cleanliness, and order;
gentleness of manner, a watchful self-control, and a cheer-
ful spirit. In speaking, let pleasant tones of voice prevail.
Then the words of reproof will be more impressive and
Teachers should never forget that their pupils are con-
stantly and closely watching their conduct, and are prone
to imitate whatever they observe. Pupils should, there-
fore, see and hear nothing that they may not safely imitate.
There is an "unconscious tuition," the silent influence
of which produces the most permanent effects,
Encouragement inspires confidence. Children, more
than others, need encouragement. It is a strong incentive
to effort. Let it be given in all cases where it can be
wisely done. In class discipline, especially, is this needed
in cases of timid pupils whose reserve causes them to
speak with such a low and hesitating voice as not to be
understood. A proper degree of encouragement will render
them confident and spirited, eager to tell what they know,
and in an audible tone of voice. Letting a boy know that
you believe there is good in him is the best way of putting
it there, and promoting mental improvement as well.
A development of public opinion among pupils in favor
of right and against wrong, will give the teacher a lever
with which to handle individual members of the class.
Give proper attention to those cases of disorder in single
pupils, a disorder that cannot be overcome through in-
fluence upon the class. Success in discipline does not lie in
telling individual pupils their faults before the class. Neither
will right public opinion be developed, nor pupils be led to
a willing compliance with the wishes of the teacher, by at-
tempting to detect and correct each individual misdeed.
Judicious commendation, when pupils make efforts to over-
come faults, is more effective toward accomplishing the
desired results, than any system of suspicious espionage.
No system of education is complete if it neglects to
provide for physical training. Children should be taught
how to sit, to stand, to move, to walk ; to abstain from the
use of things, and to avoid the performance of acts which
are injurious to the health. Cleanliness of person, and of
clothing; the importance of breathing pure air, of eating
proper food, of caring properly for the eyes, the ears, the
teeth ; and the necessity for daily physical exercise should
receive special attention, and be made subjects of instruc-
110 Pedagogical Ideals.
tion and admonition. All the regulations and instruction^
regarding these things should be simple, and should be
incidentally brought in, and with discretion.
ABOUT FBETTINC* AND TALKING.
E. M. HAKRIMAN says: I wish, as teachers, we might
realize how little is accomplished in the school room by
fretting. Such an indulgence must bring every teacher,
thus guilty, to a realizing sense of loss of power, and it
inevitably weakens the teacher's hold upon the child. . . .
I have been surprised to see how little talking on discipline
is really necessary. There is another advantage in silence,
which, though secondary, is of value. A boy who is dis-
posed to be unruly, never knows just what policy you in -
tend to pursue in case of an offense, and he is less likely
In most instances, lectures delivered to a class as a
whole, produce a profound and even distressing effect upon
the very pupils for whom the remarks were not intended. So,
that the conscientious pupil who is straining every nerve to
meet all the requirements, and keeps up with his work, is
rendered nervous and unhappy, while the real offenders
depart in peace, because they have not been obliged, per-
sonally, to face the subject. Usually, their school con-
sciences are not sufficiently sensitive to be much affected
by any tiling but a personal application of the truth.
Then why waste time and strength in doing what not
only does no good, but actually produces just the results
which all kind-hearted teachers most deplore? The
answer must be, the impatience of human nature. It is
better to wait and call the offender to account, privately.
The advantage in this method is, that you have a surer
opportunity to rouse the better feelings of the offender, and
one thing sure, you do not arouse some of the worst
emotions, as is certain to be the result if you call a boy's
name publicly and humiliate him before his schoolmates.
A boy once told me, that all the boys generally stopped
work, in cases of public reprimand, to see who would get
the best of it, the teacher or the pupil ; that is, whether
the scholar was conquered and humbled, or only roused to
bitterness, though he dared not reply. Of course excep-
tional cases may arise where it is necessary to disgrace a
pupil publicly, but such instances are very rare and require
excellent judgment. Speaking hastily may work off the
teacher's ill feelings, but it works them into the scholars 1
SOLOMON SIAS says: More teachers fail in securing
good discipline in the school-room through lack of discrim-
ination than through most other causes. It is for this
reason that cast-iron rules are so detrimental. They allow
no discrimination in their application. Children have a
very delicate, sense of what is right, and many a teacher
has fallen into disrepute with them through his failure to
discriminate between an accidental and an intentional
violation of law, right, or propriety.
I knew one teacher who, in his ambition to have good
order, would punish for all violations without distinguish
ing between the accidental and the intentional, and each
with similar severity. The children learned to hate him.
The fault was not so much in his rules as in his adminis
tration of them. So is it with many others.
We must look carefully at the person, the manner, and
the apparent intention. A look, a slight motion, a kind
word is all that is usually needed when there is a violation
of some conventional propriety, some school regulation, or
when some accidental disorder occurs during school exer-
cises. A pupil who evidently intends to misbehave,
requires summary and it may be severe punishment, both
for his own good and for that of the school, but the aver-
age teacher punishes ninety-nine who are really innocent,
as well as the one really guilty.
SOME FURTHER HINTS ON DISCIPLINE.
AMANDA J. YOUNG is the author of the following :
Discipline, when taken in a broad sense, includes all
the appliances of school life. In a contracted sense it
refers to the correction of errors and faults. If the order
is bad in school the fault is with the teacher. The teacher
fails, first, to command respect. Second, to note, and
promptly correct the little faults of her pupils. Third, to
demand the strictest obedience in the smallest thing. For
example, if a boy is seen wearing out his jaws, or their
hinges, on a piece of rubber chewing gum, and you request
him to put it in the stove, and instead, he thrusts it into
the coal-bucket or out of a window, send him for it, have
him to throw it into the stove, and nowhere else. You thus
teach him that nothing short of exact obedience will
answer. The teacher must have an ideal school in order
to entertain a hope of reaching the real. Every effort must
be like that of the painter, or artist, to let every stroke of
the brush make the fancied picture a real one.
To attain good discipline it is not necessary to abuse
the many for the faults of the few. Neither is it necessary
to take scolding-spells three to five times a day. Nor to
deliver a lecture an hour in length, thereby wasting the
time of the pupils besides cheating the patrons.
Some teachers, like some house-keepers, allow things
to take their own course, and then have a general straight-
ening day. But the keen eye of the ever-watchful pupil,
like that of the mariner, sees the gale at a distance, and
hurries to make ready the ship. He knows, also, that
when the storm ceases, an undisturbed calm will follow,
and he can again unfurl his sails.
Some teachers feign not to see many things that occur
in school; either from indifference, or to shield some
favored pupil. Again, many teachers persist in saying
every half -hour, "Order, here! Less noise!" They are
surprised that they have more noise and less order, and are
often obliged to give up the attempt in disgust.
Silence is the basis of thought. It is the soil in which
it grows. Its purpose is therefore two-fold; to give moral
strength, and thought power. It need not be death-like.
It need not be the ghostly stillness of a church yard. But
it inmt be respectful and uniform. At intervals there may be
the rustle of turning leaves or an audible hum of voice;
but it must be the hum of busy industry instead of idleness
Punctuality is a great leverage in securing good disci-
pline in schools. Let the teacher set the example, and be
prompt in everything. Let everything be done in season,
and at a stated time. Such conduct on the part of the
teacher will inspire to systematic habits on the part of the
The Chicago Inter-Ocean said, but recently: A very
large majority of the pupils of the public schools can be
governed by moral suasion. The parents know it; the
teachers fully recognize it, and would scarcely consent to
teach if it were not so. As a rule, also, the best teachers
have the fewest cases of corporal punishment, often man-
aging their school for weeks without an instance of it. Yet
these same teachers attribute their success in part to the
fact that they have always had the power to maintain
114 Pedagogical Ideals.
their authority by physical means, if intellectual and moral
arguments failed. Undoubtedly the easiest thing for a
teacher to do with an unruly pupil is to suspend him.
Then, for a month, if no longer, he is rid of all trouble
from him. This effectually sets him back into the next
grade, because he gets behind all his classes, and it
probably so discourages him that he stays out of school
altogether. Of course the school is purified. After a time
none but those who scarcely need a teacher to instruct
them in good behaviour, remain, and all is lovely. The
well need not a physician. The physician in this case being
a paid salary, is not concerned about the loss of his patient.
Miss WADLEIGH, who was for several years connected
with New York Normal College, said : We do not aim at
the martinet in discipline, to lay down rules for physical
movements and attitudes. What we wish are simple, unaf-
fected, lady-like manners, which adorn alike the class-room,
or the drawing room. The merry laugh at intervals of rec-
itation, is always a welcome sound. Herbert Spencer
asks "if sportive activities allowed to boys do not prevent
them from growing up gentlemen, why should a like sport-
ive activity allowed to girls, prevent them from growing up
ladies?" To a certain extent we indulge this merry activ-
ity, and I think we see in the cheerful faces that surround
us, how much better a liberal discipline is than that which
is constrained and stereotyped. There should be no cor-
rection or discipline, whether the offense be light or grave,
which does not enforce some moral lesson.
EESTRAINT AND FREEDOM.
An unknown writer says : Order limits attention to
the work in hand. In reality the amount and kind of
work attracts the attention, and is the essential means of
keeping order. Two questions may be confidently asked:
"Is there too much restraint for good work?" "Is there
too much freedom to command the best attention?" The
only thing to be done is to make the work, the greatest of
all surrounding attractions.
It is simply cruel to try to prevent a child's talking a
little about his work to his neighbor. The frantic attempts
to stop whispering would be ludicrous if they were not so
Self-control is a growth that too much restraint stulti-
fies. Precision is necessary for accurate and orderly
arrangement, but when precision steps over the line and
encroaches upon the freedom necessary for thought evolu-
tion, it cripples and deforms.
No one can mistake the happy, joyoui atmosphere of
a good school-room. I am quite sure that I can feel the
growth of a school, and the best place in which to judge
of it is the play-ground. If the children break out of the
house with yells and cries like prisoners breaking away
from the Bastile; if they are coarse and rough in their
manners ; if insolent to their equals and impertinent to
their superiors, then be sure that such a school furnishes
but little better instruction than the street. Some teachers
work assiduously from morning till night and appear to
have fair success in the school-room and yet they have not
one particle of moral power over their pupils. The longer
such pupils attend the schools of these teachers, the more
ungainly in mind and body they become.
Keeping in, as a means of discipline, is thus commented
upon by the New York School Journal : The pupil is some-
times required to remain in during recess, or after school,
as a punishment. The plan has been sharply criticized.
116 Pedagogical Ideals.
Many never employ it. Very many steadily use it. It is
no uncommon thing in some schools to hear at the close
of the exercises, " John Jones, Mary Johnson, etc., may
stay in." The rest of the pupils file out, but these pupils
sit still ; nor do they seem to feel very bad about it. In
fact, they chuckle to themselves, " The teacher has to stay
in, too." Upon careful inquiry, we shall find that about
the same pupils " are kept in " every time.
Is this a good plan ? Certainly the teacher ought not
to be kept in. It works a wrong to him. Why should the
pupils be kept? The causes are numerous whispering,
tardiness, poor lessons, sauciness, disobedience, etc., etc.
In fact, if there is anything wrong, the pupil is told to
" stay in after school."
As to staying in during recess, we pronounce that bad,
unless the teacher send the pupil out before recess or after-
ward. To wholly deprive him of recess is a wrong to his
As to staying in after school, we say that the teacher
should aim to abolish it root and branch. It should be
permitted to those pupils who desire advice, information or
But some will say, " What am I to do for all these
other offenses? " We ask you if keeping in prevents tar-
diness, whispering, etc? A long experience leads the
writer to doubt the efficacy of keeping in for any offense.
Usually the same pupils are kept every night.
Years ago the rod was plied vigorously for tardiness,
sauciness, etc. Teachers then thought it indispensable.
They quoted Solomon to sustain them if there were any
doubt. But the rod has been laid on the shelf and " keep-
ing in " is the cure.
In a large department myself and two splendid assist-
ants daily had from ten to twenty delinquents to attend to.
There were lessons to make up, tardiness, disorder, etc.,
etc. In settling these up, an hour was usually consumed.
At the close of one these sessions, one of my assistants
declared that he believed we created in the pupils a habit
of staying in. It startled me. I investigated. There
was John W , who, a month before, had never been
on the list of those who were to " stay in." Now he was
on the list steadily. I determined on reform. The next
morning I told the pupils that I wished to go home when
the school was out that day, and would thank them to
have every thing right. To oblige me they behaved hand-
somely, and I marched home when they went. By a
steady effort the habit was abolished
There are better plans. Rolls of honor, reports sent home,
and the good opinion of the school are far more effectual.
As soon as possible, the teacher must lift his school up
and up, until it is on the basis of an assemblage of friends
in his parlors at home. But some teacher will say, " That
could never apply to my school." . . This is not
all fancy. Bough boys treated as though they were
worthy of good treatment will respond.
A plan must be made to cover the sauciness, disorder,
etc. And here the teacher's skill in management will be
apparent. For lack of a good plan for his campaign many
a general has been beaten. The teacher must study his
school and determine that for want of mere skill in man-
agement he will not " keep his pupils in " the foul air of a
school-room longer than is needful. Besides, he needs the
fresh air himself.
LOVE AND DISCIPLINE.
PROF. RAAB says : Children can be happy only when
they feel that their teacher loves them. They have a very
fine sense for detecting the love of their teacher. They ask
118 Pedagogical Ideals.
for love, for they were all made to be loved. But it is not
necessary for the teacher to tell them continually of his
love for them. When his love is genuine, the pupils know
it without words. In school where love dwells, the teacher
may be strict, Oh, so strict, and the children love him
nevertheless. But in order to be successful, love must be
coupled with justice, love must be consistent. This be-
comes evident, especially in the matter of punishment.
He only ought to be permitted to administer punishment
who punishes lovingly, who punishes to reform. The
rod is most effective in the hands of the teacher who loves
his pupils. Love and true happiness can be found in
school only when the teacher loves his profession, when
he is filled with holy enthusiasm for his cause.
The first requisite of the public school is vigorous dis-
cipline, and strict moral education in truthfulness right-
eousness, honesty, and conscientiousness in duty, decency
and reverence. These virtues must not be neglected.
Children must be guided in such a way that labor is joy to
THE BBIGHT, MISCHIEVOUS BOY.
LILLIAN M. HUNGER, of Wellesley, Mass., says: It is a
simple thing to acquire and keep order in school. A task,
not easy, perhaps, but whose difficulty is greatly lessened
by a little forethought and management. Have you not
noticed thaji the mischievous pupil is often the bright, act-
ive boy who never fails in his lessons, and who receives
the punishment for his misused activity in a manly fashion.
His shortcomings only demonstrate the truth of the
familiar sentiment, that a certain unmentionable person
always finds "mischief for idle hands to do."
If the author of the trouble received the punishment,
the consequence would not be so disastrous ; but since the
chastisement inevitably falls upon the boyish instrument
of his folly, the question becomes rather more appalling.
It is only in obedience to a natural instinct, we know,
that a child is always in motion ; a fact which should not
be ignored in the discipline of a school room.
It is not possible that the physical development of
ohe organs of a school boy may be hastened prematurely
or that he should cease their vigorous use. Only in Sun-
day School books can such a phenomenal case be known.
Beducing the problem to its simplest mathematical
form, it reads : "Given, a bright boy to find how to keep
him from pinching Jimmy or sticking pins into Johnnie."
Ride: Keep him busy.
There are numerous ways of applying this principle.
Have you in your ranks a dull pupil who needs more assist-
ance than you can give? Tell your mischievous boy
about it, and ask him to clear the matter up. Use tact,
and he will understand that he is conferring a great benefit
upon himself as well as increasing his own importance in
the estimation of his school fellows. If you approach him
in the right manner, he can assist you greatly and will
never take advantage of the situation. If you are fortunate
enough to have blackboards let him put your work on
them for you. Let him correct your spelling papers for
you, your language papers, your compositions. Let him
work out the problems you propose to ask your class in the
recitations. Quite a number of boys might he employed
in this way. Make use of the active boy, constantly, and
never give him to meditate upon anything only his school
work and the work you direct him to do. But you 'need
not let him know why you thus keep him engaged. He
will quickly conceive and carry out the most startling pro-
jects if you give him time to study them out. Hence em-
ployment will keep him out of mischief.
T* XT T '
120 Pedagogical Ideals.
Extra work can be assigned to these lively fellows, but
it requires sacrifice on your part." It takes extra time. Yet
they must be directed toward the useful.
Supply extra reading matter, if possible, for such boys,
something in which they will take an interest. Any-
thing honorable to beat disorder. You must plan to this
end. If you burn midnight oil in mastering the details of
management, the results will finally meet your approval.
QUESTIONS ON DISCIPLINE.
The following remarkable chapter of "Questions on
Discipline" appeared a few years back in the Pennsylvania
Teacher, I think. It is given "verbatim."
What is discipline from the teacher's standpoint? What
do other people call discipline? Why do you subject your
school to such a code? How do you discipline, or man-
age, or govern? What is the effect, present and prospec-
tive, of your methods of discipline upon the character
and after-life of your pupil? Will a community composed
of your pupils be wiser, happier, better, because of your
treatment? Does your idea of the term comprise merely
the method of government employed to paralyze unquiet
bodies, to silence active tongues, and to touch with apathy
all the emotions of the human heart? Does it mean pun-
ishment, chastisement, correction ? So that you sing with
"Plants raised with tenderness are seldom strong,
Man's coltish disposition asks the thong;
And without discipline the favorite child,
Like a neglected forester runs wild."
Does it not mean the application and enforcement of
those principles and rules which regard the purity, order,
efficiency, peace, and well-being of your pupils? If a
school is designed to develop head, and heart, and hands,
harmoniously, must there not be training of the heart, as
well as the others? Is the discipline that you enforce in
the line of this training ? Bather do you not discipline,
mainly, with the thought of your own bodily comfort in
view, that you may have a good, easy time in your teach-
ing labor, that your tongue may have uninterrupted sway,
and your brain free activity, unchecked by the wilfulness
and waywardness of children?
But how do you discipline? Do you speak in the loud,
imperative tones of the taskmaster, driving unwilling
workers to toil, as one who will not brook denial? Do
you speak with the dictatorial air of one born and bred to
the purple and the scepter? Do you play the part of the
bully, the virago, or the shrew? Do you saw the air with
hands, and gesticulate, and attitudinize before your little
world with all the empirical graces of a cheap actor in a
dime museum? Do you shut your heart, as well as your
eyes when you open your lips in judgment, and refuse
evidence that would be granted to the vilest criminal in a
court of Quarter Sessions ? Do you, whenever an act is
done which merits your disapproval, ever seek to find the
inciting cause? Do you ever try to find the cause of the
whispered word? Or the restless movement and laggard
attention? Is there an inner pleasure to your displeasure?
Do you lie in wait and spread a net to snare the feet of the
unwary? When a fault is committed and you, all justice
pronounce sentence, do you ever think of the words of
"One point must still be greatly dark
The reason why they do it."
Do you ever think of changing places with them, and
subjecting yourself to the same treatment that you are
dealing out so lavishly? Do you ever think that the
122 Pedagogical Ideals.
"golden rule'* applies to them, as well as to you? Do you
ever think that the community created the school wholly
for them? Or was it created for you? Do you not know
that the education of the heart is possibly of more value
than the education of the head? That ideas of justice,
and mercy, and fair dealing, and regard for the feelings of
others, and pity, and charity, are all very valuable adjuncts
to .modern society; and that possible criminals are made
by your methods of disregarding human rights, even if
they are wrapped up in child bodies? And above all, and
over all, do you ever think, when you are dealing so un-
mercifully with bodies, ideas, and principles, and grounds
of action, do you ever think of the homes of the children?
Do you not know that the home governments, and train-
ings and surroundings are as diverse as the flowers of the
fields? That the ideas of persons, manners and principles
in those homes may be entirely at variance with your ideas
upon the same subjects? That the child with his home
affection believes that his parents are right and that they
can do no wrong? What does your pupil know of the
home skeletons that are found in almost all houses? What
of the hidden vices, ignoble practices, nervous tempera-
ments, and domestic infelicities? What of the poverty, or
crime, or ill-health that cast their baleful shadows around,
and effect every view, and influence every thought? Do
you think that a child who is subjected to such influences,
can readily, quickly, and cheerfully come under your sway,
without a jar? Do you not know that a perfect, manly,
sensible discipline involves the co-operation of four differ-
ent parties, the school authorities, the parents, the pupils
and the teachers ; and that all four must be in complete
accord before success can crown their efforts ? Have you
never felt that as a disciplinarian you are a failure ? Have
you not experienced the pleasure of receiving the applause
of the great republic for work well done? Have you not
been esteemed for your successful efforts in moulding the
intellect and shaping the destinies of those committed to
your charge? Would you "hide a multitude of sins" by
converting one sinner from the error of his way, and sav-
ing a soul from death ?
"HOW CAN WHISPERING BE PREVENTED?"
by MARION TALBOT, translated from the German, contains
some excellent advice.
Hardly a lesson passes by but the teacher has occasion
to complain more or less of whispering, which interrupts
the instruction, if it does not render it altogether fruitless.
What can be done ?
In order to give a satisfactory answer, it is necessary
to find out (1) who whispers, (2) what is the reason for it.
If whispering is constant and general during school hours
the teacher is to blame. If only a few whisper, they are
so-called chatter-boxes who can not refrain during the les-
sons, from sharing their thoughts and observations with
Every class has some scholars who can not keep from
chattering, whose tongues are never quiet, who very soon
tire of any teaching, and who then yield to their own
thoughts and communicate their views to other children.
They are thoughtless and playful. Commands and cen-
sure are of but momentary service, because they are used
too often and are not commensurate with the cause. Each
fault should have its peculiar remedy. These noisy ones
must be isolated in order to be made harmless. They
should be given a separate place, on the end of a bench, or
on a seat by the teacher, so that they shall have no oppor-
tunity for whispering*
124 . Pedagogical Ideals.
If whispering prevails in the whole class or during cer-
tain recitations, the teacher's method is not suitable. He
goes on too slowly or too quickly, speaks monotonously or
too rapidly, is too wordy or expresses himself in phrases
which the children do not understand. Then he should
correct his own faults.
In general, whispering is caused by a lack of interest
on the part of children, and by their need of activity and
occupation. Idleness is the source of all vices. Accordingly
the teacher should know (1) how to awaken interests, (2)
how to occupy the children and make them participate in
Then, the entire cure for whispering rests, simply, in
the inquiry, "when and for what reason do the pupils
whisper?" They are tired, either because they feel no
interest in the lesson, or because they lack employment
and active perticipation in the work. If these causes are
removed the evil will be reduced, at least, to the minimum.
THE RECITATION AND HOW TO SECURE ATTENTION.
THE OBJECTS OF A RECITATION.
The objects of a recitation, G. DALLAS LIND says, are :
(1.) To ascertain what the pupils know of the lesson as-
signed. (2.) That the pupil may exercise instruction
from the teacher and other pupils, upon points not yet
discovered by himself. (3.) That he may learn how to
study and investigate. (4.) That he may, by the oppor-
tunity the instruction affords, learn correct habits of ex-
presion, both oral and written. (5.) That any erroneous
notion he has concerning the subject, may be corrected.
He might have added, also, a (6th), That the pupil
may " catch the inspiration," and be filled with enthusi-
asm, which will cause him to push on to something higher,
nobler, to attain the mastery of every subject that tends
to make him better.
A writer, who calls himself Pedagogue, says of the first
of these objects: Questions should, as a rule, be such as
will not suggest the answer, and should always, if possible,
be in such language that the pupil can not assume in the
language of the book. First determine if the pupil has
clear ideas upon the subject. If he simply repeat the
words of the author, ask him to explain what he means,
and by various questions, compel him to state the thought
in his own language.
The lecture system ought never to be used in mixed
schools. Pupils who do nothing but listen,- not having
been called upon to express themselves, or to form some
idea either oral or written, will be found to have no
126 Pedagogical Ideals.
definite idea of the subject. The conversational system is
excellent when not carried too far. The ability of the
pupil can be learned in less time by this system than by
Eegarding the second object of the recitation, men-
tioned, Pedagogue says: The teacher ought to answer
questions, brought up during a recitation, only when the
different members of the class fail in answering them, and
then should strive to bring out all the opinions he could
from the class before giving his own."
Of the third object of the recitation as here set forth,
Pedagogue says : There is an art of study, an art in
studying as well as in anything else. Few pupils know
how to use a book so as to obtain from it the useful points
without reading it word for word. Every book should have
an index. Show pupils how to use the index, then assign
topics to be searched out in different text books. This
plan will f xcite and stimulate a love for study. It also
enables the pupil to depend upon himself to a certain
RECITATIONS IN YALE COLLEGE.
PEES. ELLIOT, of Hartford, Conn., recently said : The
recitation is considered as an opportunity of examining a
student to see whether he has learned the lesson of the
day, and to give him a mark of merit or demerit has well-
nigh disappeared from Yale College. It has become, for
the teacher, an opportunity to give conversational instruc-
tion by asking questions, addressed either to an individual
or to a class, with a view to correct misapprehension and
to bring out the main points of the subject clear of the
details, byi explaining the author in hand, or by contra-
vening, re-enforcing, or illustrating his statements.
For the student it has become an opportunity to ask
The Recitation. 127
questions; to receive either in a critical or in a docile
spirit, the explanations and opinions of the instructor; to
review the lessons or re-examine the subject of to-day;
and to test occasionally his own power of translating, of
stating a proposition, a case, an argument, or a demon-
stration, of narrating a series of events, or of describing a
plant, an animal, a disease, a building, a person, or an in-
If this holds good in college instruction, there are cer-
tainly many excellent points in the above for teachers of
EVERY PUPIL SHOULD RECITE.
GENERAL JOHN EATON said of the recitation : It is the
exercise of expression, and, like study, belongs wholly to
the scholar. Study and recitation are the principal means
of gaining mental power and practical ability. Both are
indispensable to the end in view. Recitation has some
incidental advantages of its own.
If properly conducted, it induces study. Few lessons
would be learned in any school, if no recitations were
required, or if it were known an hour before-hand that
the teacher would occupy the time in lecturing.
Again, recitation gives distinctness and vividness to
acquired knowledge. No lesson is fully learned until it is
It follows, therefore, that every pupil must recite at
every recitation or suffer a loss. Classes should not be so
large as to destroy individuality. Concert recitation is
objectionable. It creates disorder, prevents quiet study,
destroys self-reliance, affords a hiding-place for the idle
and reckless, and removes the strongest motive for self-
All that is practical in education, in every department
of life, is developed by recitation. The power of action, no
128 Pedagogical Ideals.
less than the power of expression, is gained by this, alone.
The child learns to walk and talk by walking and talking.
The mechanic learns to use his tools by using them. He
never could have gained the power in any department of
skilled labor, to perform his work, by hearing lectures. In
each department he learns by reciting. The skilled musi-
cian has gained his wonderful ability to use the voice and
the instrument by years of patient recitation. The states-
man and orator whose eloquence moves the Senate and
attracts the attention of admiring nations, has gained his
power to influence by the practice of oratory. And so the
art of easy, graceful, and intelligent conversation and ele-
gant composition is acquired, by conversing and writing.
HOW TO SECURE ATTENTION,
by DR. EDWARD BROOKS gives some excellent hints.
He says: A teacher must learn to secure the attention
of his pupils, if he is to succeed in his work. There can
be no high success in the art of teaching, without this
ability. When every mind is intent upon what the
teacher is explaining, the pupils understand and remember
the subject presented. When the minds of the pupils are
inattentive and wandering, his instructions will make no
impression upon them; his words will, as it were, pass in
at one ear and out the other. And let it be remembered
that when the teacher fails to secure and hold the atten-
tion of his pupils, he fails in his avocation.
If so important then, how is this art to be attained?
With some it may be a natural gift. But it is an element
of success which all may acquire if they will understand
and practice the conditions.
These conditions may be embraced under two general
heads : a teacher's manner and his method. That is, he
can secure the attention of his pupils both by his manner
of teaching and his method of teaching.
The Recitation. 129
By his manner, we mean the personal peculiarities of
the teacher, as manifested in the act of instruction.
A teacher should have a clear view of his subject.
Clearness of conception leads to clearness of presentation.
A hesitating and obscure statement of a fact or principle
wearies the mind and dissipates the attention.
A teacher should not speak too fast. Rapidity of utter-
ance distracts the attention. The mind unable to fully
grasp the subject, loses the relation of facts, and thus
becomes confused, and wanders away from what is being
A teacher's voice should be properly modulated. A
sweetly-toned voice charms the ear and wins attention. A
teacher should speak with natural and artistic modulation.
He should not speak too low, for that will require too
much of an effort on the part of the listener ; nor too loud,
for that confuses the mind and distracts attention.
A teacher's position before his class should, as a rule,
be a standing one. In this position he manifests more
animation and interest in the subject. His attitude and
gestures will attract the eye and do much to secure atten-
tisn. Besides he has better command of his pupils, and
can check the tendency to a wandering mind. If a teacher
is seated when hearing a recitation, and his pupils are
inattentive, he will find, by rising before them, that he
will instantly recall their wandering thoughts, and fix
their minds upon the subject he is teaching.
A teacher should be interested in his instruction.
This is the sine qua -non of attention. Interest begets inter-
est. The flame of interest in the teacher's mind will
kindle a flame of interest in the pupil's mind. Attention
can not be compelled. It must be enticed. The warmth
and glow of the teacher's heart casts a glow of interest
130 Pedagogical Ideals.
around a subject that makes it attractive to the pupil,
and thus secures his attention.
Method next : By the teacher's method of teaching, we
mean those forms of instruction which he employs in com-
municating knowledge, or conducting a recitation.
He should, so far as possible, teach without the text-
book. A book in the teacher's hand often seems to build
a partition wall between the minds of the teacher and the
pupils. A constant reference to the book breaks the spirit
of interest that should flow between the minds of teacher
The teacher should assign topics miscellaneously. If
pupils know the order of the topics or questions, they nat-
urally allow the attention to wander so long as there is
no danger of a question coming to them. If they under-
stand that a question may fall anywhere, they keep wide-
awake so as to be ready for it when it comes.
A teacher should use the concrete method, as far as
possible, especially with young children. The mind fol-
lows the eye; and the attention is caught through the
senses. What is seen is much more attractive than what
is only heard or thought.
MAKE THE RECITATION CHEERY.
In the New England Journal of Education, the following
thought occurs : Every recitation should start off brightly.
Say nothing until you can say something cheery. It
makes the blood chill to hear a teacher introduce a class
exercise by reference to the stupidity exhibited at the last
OBJECTIONABLE PRACTICES IN THE RECITATION.
Again, from the same source, the following: One of
the most objectionable practices in recitation is the habit,
still tolerated in many schools, of the children thrusting
The Recitation. 131
up their hands, beating the air, and snapping the fingers
whenever a special question is put to one of their number.
The result is, confusion of the mind, and intimidation of
the spirit of all save the few whose power of rapid phras-
ing and ready-reckoning bring them to the front in this
cheap sort of competitive recitation. Every pupil in a class
has a right to a quiet and respectful attention, and ample
time and favorable conditions for putting his knowledge of
a subject into suitable language.
The great difficulty of our graded school work is that the
brilliant group at the head will do the work, and the rank
and file be left practically untaught, and this very habit of
which we speak is one of the most mischievous in produc-
ing such a result.
Length of recitation : The recitation of a primary
class should continue no longer than ten or twenty min-
utes. Short study and recitation periods, alternating with
recreation, will characterize the daily program of the wise
teacher. Plenty of hand work and seat work for small
The teacher must not talk too much in the recitation.
An unknown writer says : To attempt to hear a lesson by
doing all the talking ones' s self, is like trying to make a
web that shall be all warp. How flimsy such a fabric
would be ! No child has truly learned his lesson until he
can tell it. No, not until he has told it. There may be a
vague impression of it floating in his mind, but it needs to
be definitely drawn out and expressed to make it a fixture.
Here lies the great difficulty of those who attempt a course
of study by themselves. If they have some friend with
whom they can talk over the lessons every day, they will
double the benefit. Hence the reason for and the value of
the recitation. We fix anything in the mind by telling it
132 Pedagogical Ideals.
to another. We make it plain to ourselves by the very
effort of explaining to another, whether it is our teacher
Another illustration of the paradox that (jiving is getting
and that imparting is keeping.
Do not question a class in regular order so that the
questions can be picked out. Be sure to light down upon
the listless and inattentive one, and wake him up if no
more. Be sure every one has had a question, or more, in
every lesson or there will likely be complaints. A good
questioner knows how to make a lesson pass off with en-
thusiasm, and a wholesome exilaration for both parties,
that leaves no margin for mischief and disorder.
THE ART OF QUESTIONING.
The art of questioning is found in the New York
School Journal, as follows : Much bungling work is done in
the school room by those who do not question in a natural
way. Having no definit idea of what is to be accomplished
by questions they fire them off in a haphazard way.
By means of proper questions, the pupils are led to
comprehend and analyze truths, are shown their own errors
in reasoning or apprehension, and their minds are roused
to attention and activity. The teacher is able, by skillful
questions, to determine the mental habits of individual
pupils, to rebuke the indifferent, to check the too assured,
to encourage the despondent, and to improve the language
of the pupils.
There are two kinds of questions those that require
simple facts in answer, and those which require answers
in regard to the relations which facts bear to each other.
The former may be styled what questions and the latter
why questions. The question should depend upon the
mental development of the pupil. It should be rather
The Recitation. 133
above than below his attainments, in order to stimulate
him to greater exertion. For example, in the geography
lesson are two questions: ''What is the capital of New
York?" and "What was the necessity of digging the Wei-
land Canal?" If you ask the latter question of the dull
boy of your class and the former question of the bright
boy, the dull boy is discouraged and the bright one disap-
pointed. But by reversing the order of the questions, the
dull boy has a chance of showing that he knows some-
thing of the subject, and the bright boy has a chance to
display his brightness, and both are pleased.
All questions convey more or less information. Let
them convey all that the case demands, but no more.
Example: John is called to recite in history. You
wish to know how well he has prepared his lesson. If
you ask: "John, in what year did the Dutch settle New
York?" you tell him three facts and require him to tell
you but one. On the other hand, suppose you aim for the
question to convey as little information as possible. It
contains four facts; a settlement was made, at a certain
time, in a certain place, by a certain people. You might
ask, "What happened in 1613?" or "What did the Dutch
do?" either of which would be bewildering, because too
indefinite. The other question would be, "When and by
whom was the first settlement made in New York?"
Make your questions definite, but not too communicative,
and ask questions that will bring out the important facts.
Ask them in logical order. Keep the steps of the process
clear in your own mind, and by your questions lead the
pupil to take them in their natural order. Thus, you are
training him to logical thinking. The aid given by the
teacher is only temporary, while the investigation to be
carried on by the pupil should be permanent. The teacher
134 Pedagogical Ideals.
should seek, therefore, as fast as possible, to give him the
power to ask his own questions and to pursue his investi-
HOW TO SECURE ATTENTION.
Again, from an editorial in a recent issue of the New
York School Journal: There is a way of making the youcg
listen, with ears, eyes, mind, and soul. What is it?
Interest first. This secures attention which can not be
commanded or scolded into action. Natural tones of voice
must be used. A pleasant manner is essential. Good
elocution is requisite. Don't harp on the same string.
Above all, get responses. Draw out your audience.
Encourage your listeners to speak out in meeting on all
proper occasions and express their minds. A little contro-
versy will hurt nothing if properly controlled. A narra-
tion of experiences is excellent. Tell stories and draw
lessons from them. If a funny story, all the better, if the
fun is not low in character. Never contradict. It is death
to attention. If you have any very important personal
lesson to enforce, on a very unattractive subject, imitate
Socrates. He commenced a long way from kis application
and asked a simple question that was sure to bring an
answer, the answer he wanted, and then another, and
another, until his listener, in spite of himself, was com-
pelled to admit the truth of his argument.
The most cultivated minds can not give atten-
tion to one subject for any great length of time.
It is very difficult for some people to give
attention at all
Intense attention produces absent-mindedness. It is
said that Sir Isaac Newton desired that his servant should
carry a hot stove out of the room to relieve him of the
oppressive heat. And that a wag stole his dinner before
The Recitation. 135
his eyes and he afterwards thought he had eaten it because
he noticed the empty dishes.
Benjamin Franklin punched the fire down in his pipe
with the fingers of the young lady who was sitting by his
Pupils sometimes look as though they were giving
attention when they are not.
What does all this prove? Only that the teacher dur-
ing a recitation or at any time he may demand the atten-
tion of a class must possess the power of the keenest
discernment must know whether he has the attention of
all his class. And he must know how to vary his exercise
and prevent that stupor from stealing over it, a thing
sure to follow, if attention flags.
TEACHER AND PARENT. PARENTS VISITING
SCHOOLS TEACHERS VISITING PARENTS.
But a few years back, the New England Journal of Edu-
cation presented its readers with an editorial upon the
subject "Parental Visitation: Its Uses and Abuses."
Some leading points will be here presented: Our
valued contemporary, the Boston Traveller, deplores the fact
that parents do not visit schools more generally, and com-
pares the primary and grammar schools of our city to large
orphan asylums, in which parentless children are taught
at the expense of the State.
If the editor of the Traveller is writing against space it
is all very well; but if he really intends to start a boom of
parental visitation in the schools, it is hoped he will not
It sounds very plausible and proper to say that parents
should visit the schools to show their interest, to establish
sympathy with the teachers, of which sympathy the dear
little children are the connecting links, etc., etc. But the
fact is, that parental visitation of schools on a considerable
scale is a very serious annoyance. This sentimental talk
about bonds of sympathy is about a quarter of a century
out of date. People are not fools. They know what is
going in the schools, altogether too well : They know it
by their children's manners, their language, their progress,
and that, too, without anybody being guilty, intentionally
or unintentionally, of telling tales out of school.
The hours of school are too short to have any consid-
erable portion of them occupied with "parental chattiny with
the teacher" as the Traveller suggests. The children are
doing well enough, and the teachers are doing well enough.
And if the public have confidence in the system, the way
in which it is administered, and the personnel of the corps,
it is just as well to let well enough alone.
The Traveller suggests that children never do so well as
when in the presence of their parents. True, the pres-
ence of the parent in the school-room is a temporary stim-
ulus; but, like all other stimulants, it is unhealthy.
Again, imagine all the parents present, or any consid-
erable portion of them, for any considerable portion of the
session of a school! The presence of parents in the
school-room is usually a source of embarrassment, to
teachers, pupils, and parents themselves. In a majority
of cases of parental visitation the parents feel foolish. The
teacher is glad when the visit is over, the children are
glad, and the parents gladest of all.
Most of this visiting is perfunctory and performed by
the less judicious parents, generally the mothers.
It is a bad sign of a woman; it puts the idea into one's
head, of calling her Mrs. Jelly by f to see her making aim-
less tours of the schools. It suggests a disorderly house-
It is a worse sign in a man, an indication that he is
out of business, or that he is a professional philanthropist.
The best plan is to give the schools good teachers, and
then let them alone.
If the teachers are not good, the children will soon find
it out and let the parents know.
Visiting schools by parents should be done with a pur-
pose, and not an excursion of idle curiosity and imperti-
nent meddling by the latter.
138 Pedagogical Ideals.
In essaying to govern without corporal punishment,
good use can be made of parental visits, by special request
of the teacher. The proper stand for the teacher to take
is that the school is all right. In case of discipline, with
corporal punishment out of the question, before the child
is suspended, the parent should be summoned to the
school to answer for the conduct of the child, and the
parent's responsibility for that conduct. This should not
be a pleasure trip for the parents, but rather a disagree-
able duty, a duty which in most cases proves so irksome
to the parents that they generally assume a degree of
responsibility for the child's conduct, and an interest in
his school deportment that almost invariably results in an
improvement which could never be brought about by a
capricious, or even judicious use of the rod.
Parental calls may be utilized in avoiding corporal
punishments, by inviting the mother to come and have
some understanding regarding the nature of the offense.
Invite her twice or three times, and if this does not prove
efficacious, call in the father as a last resort, before the
suspension of the pupil.
In such cases parental permission, or requests that the
pupil be punished by the, teacher should never be acted
upon. The people who most earnestly request you to
whip their children are the very ones to make the most
noise about it when it is done, especially, if, in the heat
of the chastisement and through the resistance of the
child, the punishment is carried a trifle too far.
We are not against parental visitation, but only sug-
gest that it is not wholly an unmixed good, and that the
absence of it is not so dreary and deplorable a state of
things as one would imagine.
A school may be as busy and happy as a group of ants,
till the advent of a visitor produces an effect of a spill of
water, or the dropping of a pebble.
"VISIT THE PUPILS"
says Miss M. V. GILLIN, of Newark, New Jersey. She
says: I have found nothing which has helped me so
much in discipline as visiting the parents of the children
in my class. It has proved beneficial to go and see the
good pupils, as well as the refractory ones . I have known
boys and girls who would work hard for weeks for the
sake of a promised call from their teacher.
I remember what induced me to try this plan. One
afternoon I made a friendly call upon a lady with whom I
am acquainted ; her little girl was in my class at school.
The next morning, in childish fashion, this child tried to
make an impression upon her young friends, because the
teacher had called to see her. She was proud of the fact
and did not fail to show it. This caused a jealous feeling
among her playmates, and several of them stayed after
school to invite me to their homes. Among them was a
girl who had given me considerable trouble by her love of
fun and corresponding dislike to work. "Why, Emily,*' I
said, "do you wish me to call upon your mother and give
the report which I must if she asks me?" Emily's face
showed that she had not thought of any report being
asked or given. Finally, I told her that I would wait
about a month ; if I knew then, that I could tell her mother
she was doing well, I would gladly call. From that day
there was a change in the girl ; she steadily improved. At
the end of a month, or a little later, I called upon her
mother, and was able to tell of very satisfactory work.
After that I found this was as good a reward as I could
give. There seemed to be an understanding between my
pupils and myself, that I would call occasionally and give
140 Pedagogical Ideals.
a good report if they deserved it. Of course it took time
to accomplish this. Often I have enjoyed the visit; and I
feel sure that I have gained a number of life-long friends
among the parents whom I have met.
I have also been compelled to call and give accounts
which were anything but pleasant for the parents or my-
self. But it has always proved beneficial. I never regret-
ted a visit. I have always made it a rule to take the good
reports to the mother and the reverse to the father. The
mother never fails to repeat the good account to the
father; yes, and to nearly everyone she knows. In nine-
teen cases out of twenty the mother believes her child, and
even if she does not she will shield him from the father.
In a long experience of teaching, I have learned that,
usually, where the' boy is most annoying in school, the
father is too severe with him, and the mother too lenient.
Very few boys go unspoiled through such training.
Sometimes I have managed a case of this kind by writ-
ing a letter to the father. Instead of sending it, I would
show it to the boy and give him another chance. Often I
have kept the letter for months without having any further
trouble. Then, again, I have had to send it, or see the
boy's father. I would never go to a man and tell him
his boy was the worst in the class, even if I thought he
was. I would try and find at least one good quality.
While I rehearsed his faults, I would tell, also, the good
side of that boy's character. No man believes his boy to
be the worst one in school ; and, after all, there are very
few totally depraved Children go
home, sometimes, and tell all they can of what they have
seen and heard at school. At times, the truth seems
entirely lost. Not that they mean to be untruthful, but
very few people can repeat a story exactly as it is ; even
grown people fail in this respect. Children, in telling
things, use language that no teacher would think of using.
I know this to be a fact. People often think their children
imposed upon, when, if they knew the truth, the teacher
would have their entire sympathy. But parents have no
time to call and do not even write to investigate. The
teacher seems to think it is not her place to go and see
them, and so the matter is left.
There once arose a misunderstanding between one of
my girl-pupils and myself. Her mother came around to
settle it. I confess that I dreaded meeting her. I had
heard of some things that she had said, and so, knew that
she had come to settle me instead of the difficulty. I never
saw a more complete change in anyone than I noticed in
her after I had talked with her a few minutes. I quietly
stated the facts and found that she had heard a very differ-
ent story. She took my part at once, and the girl has
been my firmest friend ever since.
Another instance, a boy, who had always been
studious, suddenly grew lazy and neglectful of his work.
I tried in several ways to arouse his interest, but failed.
Finally, as he began to be impudent, I wrote a note to his
father. The father's reply convinced me that the boy was
encouraged at home against his teacher for some imagin-
ary cause. Instead of writing again, I saw the father. I
never had trouble with that boy again.
I have sometimes found it necessary to call several
times, in case of a very troublesome pupil. The father,
with his manifold duties, often forgets that he has prom-
ised to keep an eya upon the work of the boy at school. I
would not advise calling to an extent that would make it
wearisome to the teacher; but take the time to go to the
father instead of detaining the boy after school. You will
142 Pedagogical Ideals.
be out in the fresh air the sooner by this plan. I have
sometimes surprised a boy who expected to remain, by
dismissing him as soon as the class had gone. Then he
would receive a second surprise when his father came
home at night, if I had succeeded in meeting that father
in the meantime.
A teacher who is fond of studying character, will have
plenty of opportunities by following this course .
Often, the interviews furnished a great deal of amuse-
ment. For instance, the German will promise to "leek
him," and the Irishman to give him "a good batin."
Either party is equally astonished when I assure him that
I do not want the boy whipped. They seem to think that is
first, second, and last thought of the teacher. Then they
will sometimes ask in a hopeless sort of way, "What shall
I do with him?" My reply is, usually, about this: "Insist
that he do his work."
I have called to see some of my pupils who were rich,
and in many cases have been touched by the way in which
I have been received. One shy little boy in my class was
ill, at one time, with diptheria. I wrote to his mother,
saying that I was sorry of his illness, and that I hoped it
would not prove serious. As soon as I dared, I called.
His mother told me that he was so pleased because I sent
the note, that he asked her several times the next day after
she received it, to read it to him ; and each time he would
say when she had finished, "My teacher does care because
I am sick, doesn't she, mamma? "
Among the poorer classes, especially, a visit to the
sick child is considered a great favor. During my short
calls, in this manner, I have learned that "the teacher"
occupies a place in their esteem far beyond what we
This chapter shall be closed with a few extracts from
an editorial in the New York School Journal of April
The author has added a few hints, at different points
in the quotations.
"Follow a child from a certain class in society, through
the various scenes and duties of a single day, and judge
what sort of moral education he is receiving outside of the
school-room. His ears are first greeted in the morning as
follows: 'Get up!' 4 You good for nothing, lazy thing,
haven't I called you a dozen times? ' If this human being
happens to be a small boy, soap is smeared in his eyes, or
his skin is left half wet, or he is rasped with a hard towel,
his hair is roughly combed, and he is sent to his breakfast
with a sense of discomfort, that is a good preparation for
irritableness during the whole day."
Dear teacher, have you pupils to which this seems to
apply? Is there something in their general appearance
which suggests to you this very treatment? Some lime
boys and girls have never in their lives been called out of
bed in the morning by a gentle voice. Never have re-
ceived the necessary morning's ministrations from a gentle
and loving hand. Know nothing of that kindness, so
sunny and winning, so soothing and impressively instruc-
tive, so effectual as to good results, which flows from the
hearts, souls, lips and hands of many Christian parents,
and which should pervade every home of little boys and
girls. Then, if some little waifs, unacquainted with any-
thing which tends to make home attractive, fall into your
hands, your mission is kindness, forbearance, pity, tender-
ness, love, sympathy. You need to do something more
than drive into their blunded little brains the abstractions
144 Pedagogical Ideals.
of text- books. If they know not kindness at home, Oh,
be kind to them yourself! Be not uncertain as to who
they are, either. Single them out and endeavor to pour
a little sunshine into their souls. You can find them in
every school. Their countenances are a sure index to the
kind of homes they left in the morning. You have only
to study this index from day to day to see the hearth-stone
at night, or the breakfast-room in the morning.
Again, says the Journal : " At the table he is permitted
to remonstrate passionately, with hasty answers and
sharp, quick blows in return. ' Oh, I don't like this.'
1 Give me some better, I say.' 'Ma, Jim's kicking me.'
Thus he swallows his breakfast. With no loving good-bye
from mother or sister, he rushes out into the street or
road in a proper mood to knock down the first boy he
meets upon the slightest provocation."
" Probably, just as he is leaving, he hears the shrill
voice of his mother, calling, ' Here, come back and do
your work. This is the way you sneak off, is it?' The
boy answers, Oh, must I do the work. I haven't time.
Let Jim do it. He hasn't done a thing this morning,'
etc., etc. Bo he goes on."
Now, again, dear teacher, do you wonder that some
boys are hard to control ? Can you get any hold upon his
nature, his mind, his feelings? Psychological, theoreti-
cal, practical pedagogy comes in right here. It is for you
to apply it properly.
But to go on with the Journal: "Now in what condi-
tion is this boy for school work? Half- washed, unfitting
clothes, uncut hair, dirty finger-nails, altogether in about
as uncomfortable a condition as a boy can be, especially if
it rains. No doubt he fights his battles and encounters his
difficulties all along the way to school. There, he may
not be greeted with pleasant faces ; he finds his teacher
cross, work begins with a command, and he is scolded for
not having done his home tasks. .... He
doesn't like school, never has, and probably never will."
Again, dear teacher, if this be a true picture, can you
wonder at his indifference to school? Are you that
teacher? Are you guilty of making the school-room more
unpleasant to such a boy than the home described?
But let us follow this boy a little further. The Journal
says: "When he reaches home he hears the command
'Go and do your chores' ; or 'Hurry up and do your work,
you can't have supper till you do.' Thus scolded, accused,
half-clotbed, half-fed, out of sympathy with his surround-
ings, is it any wonder that he early learns to find his
pleasure among boon companions like himself, where the
parents are called the 'old man' and 'old woman,' and
where such amusements as are known to average young
men are popular? What else can he become? Parents of
such children are not consistent Christians, however much
they profess. There is no uplifting power to instill early,
high ideals of good living. The influences are downward,
and, under like circumstances, must always be so. Our
criminals come from this class, and in spite of all that can
be done they must for many years continue to be the
breeding places of crime and ruin."
Then, all the more, should the teacher seek to establish
closer bonds of sympathy between himself and the parent,
as well as between himself and pupil. The relations already
exist. Strengthen them by learning more of each other.
Visit the parents and get them to visit the school.
MANY POINTED REMARKS.
COLONEL FRANCIS W. PARKER said, recently, of exami-
nations in the public schools :
The great question for the superintendent or prin-
cipal of any school to decide is: Has the teacher the
ability to instruct children in the proper manner and by
the best methods?
It is possible for a principal to find out in one hour
by a series of set questions, more about the standing of
the pupils of a certain department, than the teacher who
watches carefully the development of these same pupils for
one or two years?
Those who understand children will readily appreciate
the excitement and strain under which they labor when
their fate depends upon the correct answering of ten dis-
connected questions. Some of the best pupils usually do
the poorest work in the confusion that attends such highly
wrought nervous states.
How much better, then, is it to take the entire work of
the pupil for the whole year than the results of one hour
under such adverse conditions. Is the common standard
of examinations a test of real teaching?
The examinations usually given simply test the pupil's
power of memorizing disconnected facts. Take for ex-
ample, the innumerable facts in history. Of these, that
which a child can learn in four or five years of vigorous
study would be as a drop of water to the ocean. It would
be a simple matter to set an examination of ten seemingly
easy questions in history for eminent historians like Ban-
croft, Curtius, Dreysen and others to pass and yet they
would fail, utterly. How, then, can we judge of a child's
knowledge by asking ten questions?
The only just way to examine pupils is to find out what
the teacher has taught, and her manner and method of
teaching. Examinations should find out what a child does
know and not what he does not know.
The test of such work, then, (history) is to request the
pupils to tell orally, or on paper all they know about
Columbus, Walter Raleigh, Bunker Hill or other interest-
ing subjects they have studied.
It is very easy for an expert to judge, in examina-
tions, of the true teaching power of the teacher in such
work, by the written papers. If meaningless words have
been memorized, if there is a lack of research, investiga-
tion and original thought, the results will be painfully
apparent. Whatever the teacher has done or failed to do,
can be readily comprehended by a Superintendent who
examines the development of thought power, rather than
the learning of mere words. In the same way Geography
and the Sciences may be examined. The test of spelling,
penmanship, composition, punctuation, and the power to
use correct language, can be made in no better way than
by the writing of such compositions as these.
By far a greater part of all school work
consists in a useless pilgrimage through a barren desert of
empty words a fruitless Sahara. The cause of this is
not far to seek. The examinations demand more than the
children can perform. What teacher ever received a class
from a lower grade fully prepared for the work fixed by
the examination for her grade? Suppose children have
148 Pedagogical Ideals.
been in school three or four years under poor teaching
and know not anything thoroughly, can not read, write,
reckon, or think. Now the teacher who takes such poorly
prepared pupils must choose one of two courses. She
must do these children the greatest possible good by teach-
ing them thoroughly what they have failed to learn, and
then fail entirely of passing the uniform examinations, or
by sheer force of verbal memory teach them the pargraphs,
pages, and propositions necessary for the coming test.
"Having," says Spencer, "by our method induced help-
lessness, we straightway make helplessness the reason for
our method." ....
The teacher who teaches for promotions and examina-
tions can never really teach. The only true motive must
spring from the truth found in the nature of the child's
mind and the subject taught.
Superintendents should examine to ascertain whether
the principals under their charge have the requisite ability
and knowledge to organize, teach and supervise a large
school. The examinations of the principals should test
the teaching power of the teachers. And lastly, the
teachers should test by examinations the mental growth of
their pupils. This is the true, economical system of
First, ascertain whether superintendent, principal and
teacher, can be trusted, then trust them. The answer to
this proposition, I have heard a thousand times. "Your
plan would be good enough if we had good teachers. The
fault is, sir, the teachers are so poor we can not trust
them. If we did not examine in this way, they would do
absolutely nothing." The fallacy of this answer may be
exposed in two ways. First, a uniform examination of
disconnected questions presents the good teacher from
exercising her art. Second, the poor teacher will never
be able to see the wide margin between good work and the
work she does until the true test of real teaching is placed
before her. There has been legislation enough for poor
teachers. Give good teachers a chance. The testimony
of countless good teachers has been uniform in this respect
when asked, why don't you do better work? Why don't
you use the methods learned in Normal schools and educa-
tional periodicals and books? "We can't do it. Look at
our course of study. In three weeks or months these
children will be examined. We have not one moment of
time to spend in a real teaching."
No wonder that teaching is a trade and not an art.
No wonder there is little or no demand for books upon the
science and art of teaching such as Payne's lectures and
the like I
THE SYSTEM IS BAD.
A recent issue of the Neiv York School Journal contained
the following editorial comment:
Much has been written against examinations that
ought to have been said against the methods used in
them. Examinations are good. They have always been
good ever since Adam began to examine and name the
animals as he was commanded.
Technical examinations are good when it becomes nec-
essary for the public good to ascertain how much a certain
individual knows. Ministers, doctors and lawyers have
always submitted to them on entrance into the professions
to which they respectively belong, and if we had a profession
of teaching ', it would be necessary on entering it to require a
thorough and searching examination.
Technical examinations in our graded schools are
necessary. Without them the whole system would fall to
150 Pedagogical Ideals. .
the ground. The system is bad, aud therefore the exami-
nations are bad. But as tests of promotions, according to
constituted authority, they are unavoidable.
A school examination should be, primarily, a test of
mental power. The question, " How much does this child
know? " is far too low an estimate. It should be, " How
much mental power has this scholar? " An examination
that tests mind strength is excellent. ....
Pupils should never dread an examination a Fear is
evidence of weakness.
There should be no cheating during an examination.
It ought to be so conducted that there would be no
temptation to cheat. When an examination is so con-
ducted that deception is suggested as a means of getting
through with it, there is nothing of value connected with it.
Their frequency, special ways of conducting them,
their method, as written or oral, public or private, must be
left to the teacher, and the circumstances surrounding
him. An examination that tests mental growth and pro-
motes it, is good. One that does not is bad. They should
be conducted according to normal laws of human nature.
EXAMINATIONS BY ESSAYS.
WILLAKD BROWN said, Education should be a training
to promote insight, power of thought, and facility in
Perception, not memory, should be cultivated, and as
the student can advance, only by his own endeavors, he
should be led through such a course of labor and original
thought, that he may come out an independent thinker,
as well as a thorough scholar, in such branches of educa-
tion as he has inclination for.
To obtain such a training, examinations should be
means, not ends.
For example, instead of the student in political econ-
omy, history, philosophy, or mathematics being obliged to
work, as now, with an examination of catch questions,
perhaps, it would be better to let it consist of original
essays in the first three subjects, and the performance^ a
paper of great severity in the last, all being done at the
student's leisure and with such assistance as he can get
RANKING BY EXACT PER CENT.
In the School Journal (New York) of May 23rd, 1885,
may be found the following editorial comment: School
examinations should be conducted by the teacher. They
should never be made the basis of a marking or standing.
The pupils during the time should feel that they have the
opportunity of doing their best, because by so doing they
can improve themselves.
At the close of a term, grading marks should never be
published. Those who are to be promoted should be
informed of the fact, and the rest permitted to remain
where they are, or placed in a lower class.
The evil of ranking pupils by exact figures, differing
often by a fraction of one per cent., only, is sure to create
unnecessary pain, to appeal to low incentives, and to
awaken feelings that ought to be banished from the school-
No class was ever ranked correctly by a column of
figures. It is impossible to estimate all the elements of
success in school work by any mathematical exhibit.
Ifc is manifestly improper to leave out many important
elements in solving the problem of the exact precedence
and place of pupils in a class. Why omit promptness,
cheerfulness, application, honesty, common sense, quick-
ness, helpfulness, all these, and rely entirely on the stock
questions in the three B's?
152 Pedagogical Ideals.
No set of examination questions can tell a faithful
teacher nearly as much, after it has been given, as she
knew before the examination commenced.
Good work, hard work, persistent honest work, the
best work, can not be encouraged by empirical examina-
tions. An examination, like anything else, may be good,
bad, or entirely worthless. Its value depends upon its
RESULTS ARE THE TESTS.
GEORGE A. LITTLEFIELD, of Newport, R. I., says:
Examinations, wisely conducted, are a process of teaching
as well as of testing. They are reviews pure and simple,
with the extraordinary power added to compel attention as
nothing else can. They must be made the natural out-
growth of the methods of teaching. Results, and not
methods alone, must be the test in schools, as in other
affairs. Wholesome examinations are the readiest meas-
ures of results. Good teachers must be left free to work
out the required ends in their own way.
CAN'T DISCARD EXAMINATIONS YET.
The opinion of the author of this little volume is, that
examinations yet deserve a place in our public school sys-
tem, for several reasons.
First, whether conducted by a subordinate teacher
alone, or partly by the teacher and partly by the principal,
if conducted honestly, they reflect that teacher's work as
faithfully as a mirror does the expression of the face.
There is no better way of pointing out defects in teaching,
to a teacher, than to require that teacher to give his classes
a searching examination. The teacher, if honest and intel-
ligent (and all should be) will quickly perceive, during the
examination, all his weak points, and will do better work
during the next interval. Even if, as is claimed, teachers
be under the lash somewhat, still, it will do them a great
Second, the standing of each pupil is relatively estab-
lished. To be sure, it is by a column of figures. But,
they all, as a class had an equal chance at the same
subject matter. Hence the figures can not be far from the
proper thing as to relative class standing. And that is
one of the objects sought. The decriers of the system say
"ten disconnected facts" show no results. This is a false
assumption. "Ten proper questions in any study judi-
ciously given will establish this relative standing beyond ques-
tion. Still, while the ranks in a class ought not manifest
very wide gaps as to different degrees of attainment, say
by figures, no wider that 70 to 90 per cent., yet, a pupil
should not be put in a lower class because his average
scholarship is 68 or 69, while another is permitted to
remain in his class with an average of, say 71, or 72.
Any sensible person can see that all things being equal,
these two pupils rank together. But the line must be
drawn somewhere. Stragglers must be cut off, and the
ranks closed up. The extremes can not be from 40 to 90
per cent. This is too wide a gap. And figures will show
the true state of affairs, as to the class.
Third, as to frequency, there is no necessity of exam-
ining at the end of every month as some do. Let the
interval be five or six weeks at the discretion of the chief
Fourth, as to objection, that there is undue excitement
or mental strain upon children. Again, this is all assump-
tion. Children talk eagerly about the "examinations,"
some saying they dread them, and all that. This is
natural. Children, like some "grown-up people," enjoy
gossip, discussion, and excitement. But they are not
154 ' Pedagogical Ideals.
seriously harmed thereby. In fact, their wits are sharp-
ened all the more by talking to each other of their exam-
inations. Really they rather enjoy the whole thintj,
As to the good accomplished on their part: They
learn correct habits as to expression, as to producing neat
written forms as business men do, as to concentrating
thought upon a given subject, as to exercising the judg-
ment and reasoning powers of the mind, and as to exact-
ness of detail, one of the most essential things in life.
Their views are expanded at each successive examination.
Besides, it furnishes occasional variety from the regu-
lar routine of school life.
Let those who decry the system, first prove that they,
upon the whole, can substitute something better, before we
discard examinations in public schools.
The following clipping is to the point, but, unfortun-
ately, it is impossible now to give proper credit:
Just now, steam heating of school-rooms is the rage.
Pipes extend around two sides of the room. From six to
eight children sit with their backs to these pipes, and as
many more with one side close to them, while one poor un-
fortunate in the corner seat has both back and side ex-
posed. There is no screen, and the sickening heat-rays
almost cook their tender brains. The air is terribly dry,
yet they must breathe it. Headache and faintness follow.
Eyes suddenly become hollow, the cheek pale, yet the
steam goes on chasing through these pipes. With the
room crowded, it is impossible to alternate pupils in these
seats rapidly enough to prevent the evil results. Woe to
that teacher who dares to express an opinion against this
process of brain-cooking, when fashion, the architect
and the superintendent have decided in its favor.
The only defense is to open the transoms, which allow
the hot air to escape and a cold current to rush in,
so that all in the room can feel the wind, can shiver,
A school-room or any other, is best ventilated by pro-
viding for the escape of the impure air near the ceiling, and
for the entrance of fresh, out-door air not too far from the
floor, but in such a manner that persons sitting shall not
feel it as wind.
156 Pedagogical Ideals.
A simple, yet effectual contrivance for turning the
draft from the lower part of a window when raised, so as
to keep it from falling upon the pupils, is a board so
placed as to change the direction of the current.
For some cause, not clearly understood, when depend-
ing upon steam heat, if the wind blows, and heat is most
needed, it is least sure. And many times a class must
be dismissed, or kept shivering through the day, with
shawls about the shoulders, but feet and limbs stiff with
In Canada, the Provincial Board of Health officially
issued the following questions, with many others to the
teachers of the Ontario schools:
How many cubic feet of air space for each pupil? Is
light admitted in front of the pupils, at their left side, or
the right, or from behind them? Is light well distributed?
How near to the ceiling and to the floor do the windows
extend? Have the windows blinds? Is a uniform and
equable temperature of from 63 to 70 F. constantly
maintained during school hours? Is the air dry? What
means are adopted for supplying moisture? Is there any
means of testing the temperature? Explain fully how
each room is ventilated in all kinds of weather, whether
by windows open at the top or bottom, by ventilating flues,
or in what other way. To what expedients do you resort
to prevent draughts from open windows striking pupils?
Is the air in the room completely changed by opening
doors and windows at stated intervals during school hours
and at recess? How often is the school-room swept? Do
pupils frequently complain of head- ache, cold feet, or any
symptoms indicating the existence of defects in ventilation
What is the duration of school hours and recesses ?
How are pupils and teachers occupied during recess? At
what periods are the greatest numbers absent? Is the
water pure, cold and abundant? If from a well, what
means have been adopted to prevent its receiving the
soakage from surrounding grounds ?
Is drinking water kept in the school-house? If so,
where is it kept, and how is it protected from dust and
other impurities ? Are there cellars or other excavations
beneath the school-house? Are there water-closets for
the different sexes, in different or separate buildings ? Are
they properly protected from observation and from inclem-
encies of the weather? State where they are located in
relation to school-house, wells, etc. Give distances. What
means are adopted to keep them clean? Are they well
ventilated? Is any disinfectant used, and what? If
water-closets are used are the traps and appliances effi-
cient ? Have you any observations to make respecting
the clothing of pupils? Protection against sitting with
wet feet, etc? Is there any instruction given in Hygiene?
MEANS OF PKOMOT1NG HEALTH.
At the meeting of the Wisconsin State Teachers' Asso-
ciation, July 24, 1886, DK. J. H. KELLOGG-, of Battle Creek,
Mich., said: One important means of promoting health is
systematic physical exercise. Many kinds of labor and
some games furnish the requisite exercise, but most trades
lead to some forms of bodily deformities. The teacher
should inform himself respecting dietetics, and faithfully
instruct his pupils therein. Among the best foods are
milk, plainly cooked grains, and fresh fruits. It is a mis-
take to suppose that large quantities of meats are needed.
Proper clothing and the prevention of the spread of
contagious diseases, are topics with which the teacher
158 Pedagogical Ideals.
should be thoroughly informed, and in which he should
give thorough instruction.
DEPRIVING PUPILS OF EECESS.
The author will here take the privilege of adding a
thought as a measure of health. No pupil should be
denied the privilege of leaving the room during a session
of school, always provided, of course, that the teacher is
sure the pupil is not practicing deception. Of course, here
is where the trouble lies. All pupils are not strictly hon-
est and much trouble and confusion may arise from pupils
passing out. But that is within the scope of discipline
and has nothing to do with the privilege. If permission is
refused and the pupil is made to remain in his seat when
he is not deceiving, then a great physical injury may be
wrought upon him. Or the teacher may be humiliated by
the refusal. Of course this must be regulated in some
way. But it is a right of the pupil, and should not be
abolished or abridged too much.
Depriving pupils of recess by way of punishment for
some offense, comes under the same category. The recesses
are measures of health. Comment is unnecessary. If pun-
ishment is necessary, resort to some other kind.
The chapter of questions here presented may not ap-
pear, to the casual observer, as " ideal" yet the answer to
them may imply an ideal in each instance.
The answer may generally be inferred nearly accu-
rately, and a single question will sometimes open the eyes
of a " truth seeker " to some defect in his own labors, that
may prove a lasting benefit.
ON LITTLE THINGS.
Some one recently writing over the initials E. 0. H. in
the New York School Journal, propounds the following :
Fellow teacher, is your desk in order? Are the
books, paper, pens, ink and pencils in order? Is every-
thing in the drawer arranged on a plan? Or is the drawer
full of things pitched in? The eyes of children see many
things. Are your cuffs and collar clean? If you wear
ribbons do they harmonize with the surroundings? Are
your finger-nails clean? Is one who is careless in personal
appearance fitted to teach habits of neatness? Which
should go first, example or precept? Are not the little
things of life as important to us as the great things?
QUESTIONS BY A COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT.
The following list was made out a few years ago for
the teachers of Marion County, Iowa, by their superin-
tendent, Mr. Sacket:
Have you a carefully arranged program posted up in
your school-room? Have you as good order as can be
secured under existing circumstances? Are you training
your pupils in habits of neatness ? Are you doing any-
160 Pedagogical Ideals.
thing to prevent tardiness and irregularity of attendance?
Do you give your pupils frequent and thorough reviews?
Do you teach sounds of letters and diacritical marks in
connection with reading exercises? Do you permit your
pupils to read in drawling, unnatural tones? Do you
teach local geography? Are you giving attention to map-
drawing in connection with historical and geographical
Are your pupils well supplied with writing materials,
and do you give due attention to penmanship ? Are the
youngest pupils taught to write as well as to read?
Are all of your pupils fully employed during study hours?
Do you keep yourself well informed in regard to current
events, and furnish your pupils with important news items?
Do you give close and faithful attention to all school
property? Do you keep your school register neatly and
correctly, using pen and ink instead of pencil? Do you
take any educational paper?
Will you have any questions to ask of the County
Superintendent when he visits your township for the pur-
pose of holding a local institute?
Are you personally acquainted with the parents of all
your pupils, and do you secure their co-operation in mat-
ters of interest to ypur school?
Do you encourage pupils to think for themselves and
talk about the subjects learned from books? Do you have
the older pupils write their spelling lessons?
Is more time devoted to any one study in your school
than ought to be as related to others?
"QUESTIONS i SHOULD ASK MYSELF"
by GEO. H. COOK, of Iowa :
Have I done all I could do, to-day, for the good of my
school? Would I do my work again the same as I did, if
Pedagogical Questions. 161
I could ? Have I used proper language in the presence of
my pupils? Did my clothes look as neat as they should
as an example for my pupils? Did I prepare my lessons
as thoroughly as I should have done? Could I have added
any new thoughts to the minds of my pupils on any lesson?
Have I read any journal or school-work to aid me in my
teaching? Did my pupils speak respectfully of me, and to
me? If not, why not? And what reproof did I make?
Have I permitted my pupils to be boisterous in the room
at recess? Have I asked the patrons to visit my school?
Would it encourage the work for them to do so?
Did I call and dismiss all my recitations at the proper
time? Have I permitted some point in school discipline
to pass unobserved? Has my day's work been fully satis-
factory? Did 1 call and dismiss my school promptly and
on time? Have I examined the property of the district to
see whether it has been defaced or injured in any way?
Have I paid attention to the ventilation of my room? Are
there as few classes on my programme as can be? Have I
given each class something to do? Do I know that it was
done? Have I endeavored to get out of any old ruts to-
day? Have I arranged my programme in proper order,
and with neatness? Did I fail to make recitations inter-
esting? If so, why?
Was my school so orderly that I was not interrupted
during recitations? How many questions did I ask to-day
that could be answered by yes or no? Should I have
asked any of that kind? If not, why not? Were my
general exercises instructive and interesting? Did I pro-
ceed with a recitation while there was disorder in the
class? Did I have my school-room in condition for open-
ing school? Did my pupils all give due attention to the
recitations ? Have I allowed any pupil in a class to inter-
162 Pedagogical Ideals.
rupt another? Were my pupils prompt in their recita-
tions? Have I kept a record report of tardiness and
absence? Have I exchanged ideas with any other teacher ?
Which topic has been most difficult for me to explain
to-day? Have I assisted any pupil who could have helped
himself? If school has gone wrong, to-day, who is to
blame? Have I been angry?
ANOTHER GOOD LIST.
It is impossible to give the name of the author of the
following list: Do your pupils pass to and from recita-
tions in a quick, prompt, orderly manner? Do they
scramble out at recess like a flock of sheep? Do they
keep their books and desks in good order? Are there
pieces of paper lying around the desks and on the floor?
Do the pupils spit upon the floor? Has each one who
uses ink a good pen-wiper? Or do they wipe pens on their
hair? Do they throw ink upon the floor? Do you insist
upon clean hands and tidy appearance, generally? Is
there a mat at the door for pupils to wipe their feet upon ?
If not, can't you get one of some kind? Would they use
it if you did? Is there a scraper? Can you get one, if
there is none? Do your pupils speak to you respectfully?
If one should not, what would you do? Do they call
each other names? Are you sure there is no vulgarity or
profanity on the playgrounds? If there should be, what
would you do ? Do your pupils constantly use provincial-
isms in their conversation without any sign of improve-
ment, such as "I seen him," "John done that," "Me an
her is a goin to town," etc.? How are you trying to over-
come such crudities? Do you require them to speak cor-
rectly when reciting? Do you permit them to scrawl rude
scrawls upon the black- board? Do they mark on the walls
with pencils? Do they steal crayons and mark on the
Pedagogical Questions. 163
fences as they go home? Do you teach them the proper
way to behave in the streets? Do you allow bullying
on the playground? Do you set them an example of
refined courtesy? Do you think more of manliness than
. AS TO STUDIES,
from the Neiv York School Journal :
Which should be taught first, long or short division?
Why? Which first, common or decimal fractions, and
why? Should we ever teach a rule? If so, when?
Would the study of physiology be worth more to our
pupils than the study of grammar? How often should
school entertainments be given, if at all? With children
thirteen years old should we teach the how only, and let
them learn later in life the why, or should we teach both
together? What should be done with a pupil who comes
almost every day with imperfect lessons?"
QUESTIONS BY THE AUTHOR.
In written recitations and examinations do you require
your pupils to produce neat manuscripts, as to even mar-
gins, proper headings, correct punctuation, capitalization,
indentation, etc.? Are you content with mere answers to
the questions, regardless of order? Or do you have written
recitations ? If so, how often? Can you teach some other
lesson, incidentally, in the lesson at hand on whatever
If a pupil produces a written lesson, slovenly in ap-
pearance, what can you do? Which do you think more
important, an oral or a written recitation? Do you let
written papers accumulate on your hands without exam-
ining them ? Did you ever have a history class read from
the book upon a subject, a full recitation one day, talk
upon it next day, and write upon it the third day? Can
164 Pedagogical Ideals.
you quote Lord Beacon's celebrated sentence upon the
If your classes are all busy to a pupil are you
troubled with disorder? Can you distinguish between the
noise of work and the noise of disorder? Between inten-
tional wrong and unintentional wrong? Do you ever
become so excited during a recitation as to say some indis-
creet thing and wound some pupil's feelings? If you
should wrong a pupil unintentionally, and afterward learn
of it, would you seek that pupil and confess it? How do
you preserve your equanimity when assailed by angry and
fault-finding patrons? Do you get angry, too? Does that
amend the matter? Are you of a sociable turn when not
in school, and when thrown in company with the people
of the community in which you teach? Or are you glum
and cynical? Are you dogmatic? Pedantic?
Do you work as many hours at your private study, to
make a success of your school, as the hours of actual
school work during the day? Do you burn midnight oil
in your plans of a successful campaign ? Are you teach-
ing just for a present emergency? Do you attempt any
other branch of busiress, meanwhile? If you do, is it
justice to your patrons? Do you get time for professional
reading? Do I/OH make me of the time in that way ? How
many educational papers are you taking? How many
professional books have you read? Could you name ten
leading authors upon the subject of school- teaching? Do
you keep on hand plenty of reference books?
Do you study human -nature? Children? Methods?
Only books? All?
Do you spend money for professional books and
papers and in attending educational gatherings? Grudg-
Pedagogical Questions. 165
Do you have your classes review often? Do you vary
the exercises? Do you keep on doing things the same old
way? Have you an ideal in your work? Are you work-
ing just as willingly and as energetically as you would if
your salary were twice what it now is?
Are you a success at organizing classes? At gaining
and holding attention? At gaining and holding the
respect of your pupils? If not, have you tried to ascertain
the cause? Do you give unnecessary directions? Make
unnecessary explanations ? Talk when pupils are not
giving attention? Give orders and immediately counter-
Do you permit useless discussions, criticisms and ques-
tions? Indolent habits of work? Slovenly prepared writ-
Do you take up time explaining what pupils already
know? Explaining what they should find out for them-
selves? Eepeating questions? Repeating answers?
Picking at a certain pupil till the rest of the class lose
interest and become disgusted?
Do you make muddy explanations to conceal ignorance?
Do you expect to accomplish a week's work in one day?
Do you forget that you were once a child?
Do you magnify small offenses? Scold and threaten
and get excited? Threaten a punishment which you can
Do you assume powers that do not belong to you?
Assume to be infallible? Do you build up your. own rep-
utation by pulling down others?
THE TEACHER S OFFICE.
WM. F. Fox, of Virginia, says :
Let us give some attention, fellow teachers, in the
midst of our other duties, to the enlargement and elevation
of our own conceptions of the teacher's office; to making
our fellow citizens more thoroughly acquainted with the
teacher's work, and the qualifications needed for the suc-
cessful discharge of its duties ; to the establishment of a
more definite, professional standard; to manifesting in our
own characters illustration of those quantities that make up
the true teacher; to securing a well-defined scheme of
education that shall combine all the elements of a thor-
ough education with the shortest period necessary for its
DO YOU DO ALL THE TALKING?
From the New England Journal of Education the fol-
If you are a poor teacher you will do most of the
talking yourself; if a good teacher you will have the pupils
to do most of it. And if you are a good teacher you will
not scold a pupil for stumbling and tumbling before he has
learned to talk, nor demolish the bashful boy or girl with
a stern " sit down," because he is neither a dictionary nor
a grammar unto himself. The good teacher takes his
pupils as they are, not as he would have them a priori ;
that is, as he thinks they ought to be, and builds from the
foundation as he finds it.
How many teachers fret and fume, and make uncom-
fortable both the children and themselves, because they
find them ignorant where they should be wise, and that
their previous training has not obliterated all indications of
their descent from old Adam.
PROF. HUXLEY, on one occasion said: Make haste
slowly. The educational abomination of desolation of the
present day is the stimulation of young people to work at
high pressure by incessant competitive examinations.
Some wise man (who perhaps was not an early riser)
has said of early risers in general, that they are conceited
all the forenoon and stupid all the afternoon. Now,
whether this be true of early risers in the common accepta-
tion of the word or not, I will not pretend to say, but it is
too often true of the unhappy children who are forced to
rise too early in their classes. They are conceited all the
forenoon of life and stupid all the afternoon. The vigor
and freshness which should have been stored up for the
purpose of the hard struggle for existence in practical life,
have been wasted out of them by precocious mental de-
bauchery, by book-gluttony and lesson-imbibing.
SOME THINGS THAT OUR SCHOOLS NEED.
The following thoughts are extracts from a lecture de-
livered at the Industrial Educational Association, the
summer of 1887, by W. N. BARRINGER, superintendent of
schools, Newark, N.J.
First. Our schools need a more intelligent and culti-
vated public sentiment. . . It must come from
the educational profession.
Second. And schools need more liberty. I know of
nothing that is so powerful a hindrance to good teaching
as restriction of liberty. It is impossible to estimate to
168 Pedagogical Ideals.
what extent the teacher's efforts are paralyzed or hindered
by restriction. There must be more liberty. Let us
throw off the bands of restriction, and let the soul of the
teacher feel, "I am free to teach." Freedom only can
beget freedom. Let us have liberty all along the line.
Third. We need less uniformity and more unity of pur-
pose. . . ' Oh! " some say, "but this will lead
to confusion." One of my teachers came to me and wanted
to know what I thought constituted a fair recitation. I
told him to use his judgment. " But how can there be
any uniformity of judgment unless there is some stand-
ard? " he replied. " Never mind the uniformity," I said.
" It is not necessary that to be an acceptable answer, just
so many words must be put together in a certain order.
Measure the child according to what he can do.
Next. Our schools need more life and less organiza-
tion. . . I have no fault to find with organizing,
if, only, life is left, if the whole school is not reduced to
a mere machine. Too often this is the case, and then it
takes all the teacher's time to look after the machine. It
takes all the pupils to oil it and keep it going. The
teacher is there to see that the marching is done right,
that the going in is done right, and the sitting, and the
standing, and the turning in the seat, and the looking at
the nail-head in the wall ! ! !
MAKK THE SAME MISTAKE BUT ONCE.
In the New England Journal of Education, November
4, 1886, is a quotation from the Educational Weekly, as
The best teachers are not those who never make mis-
takes, but those who never make the same mistake twice.
Many things can be learned only by experience. No one
can understand all the peculiarities of the human mind.
Some new phase of character is seen every day. It is
natural to err under such circumstances, but we should
each day rise above our faults. No one need ever hope to
attain perfection. He must be strong indeed, who never
repeats a mistake. Each day weak places in our methods
must be strengthened.
LETTING THINGS SLIDE ALONG
MRS. EVA D. KELLOGG says : Looking at the best and
ignoring the worst in our children is an easy way of get-
ting through a school year. It is the very high road to
popularity. Parents enjoy the pleasant reports from the
school-room. Children glide along easily in the smoothly-
flowing current. Principals are delighted with teachers who
can manage their own rooms without calling upon them.
But can a thoughtful teacher, a conscientious one, who
remembers that she is building up character in her
children, and who realizes how easily human souls are
marred, be willing to thus shirk responsibility for temp-
orary ease? All wise teachers know that there is an in-
judicious " stirriny-up " of the worst qualities of the child
that is to be avoided as much as possible. We assume
that, to be understood. Still, we question most seriously
the systematic, cowardly refusal of a class of teachers to
face issues involving loss and gain in character for fear of
Can one follow a straight-forward course, a conscien-
tious course, in or out of the school-room and not en-
SYSTEM IN SCHOOL-WORK,
by S. B. HOOD, is the title of an article, in which are
found some excellent thoughts.
He says : If order is heaven's first law, it should cer-
tainly be first on earth. System has been found essential
170 Pedagogical Ideals.
to success on the farm and in the factory, and will be
found equally helpful in the school- room. There is no
place where it will lighten labor, save time, and facilitate
work more. Without system, a school-room presents a
complete picture of hurry and worry, and consequent
friction with its resulting waste of power. No wonder
sensitive teachers wear out and break down in such
schools. To have system we must thoroughly plan out
our work and then patiently and perseveringly work out
our plans. A definite time and place for everything, and
everything in its time and place, should be our rule and
We should be at our school-houses punctually every
morning in time to see that fires, floors and desks are in
proper condition for the comfort -of the school, and the
favorable commencement of the day's work.
In beginning school in the morning and afternoon, the
bell should be rung twice. The first bell as a signal that
school is to be called in so many minutes, so that all may
be ready. The second, a call to the school-room, to be
obeyed by every pupil instantly. In country schools when
children remain at dinner, the time between bells should
be about five minutes. This gives time enough to close
plays, get coats, drinks, and make all necessary prepara-
tions for responding to the second bell.
When signals are once established, they should give
out no uncertain sound, but mean the same thing to all
pupils every time.
If a school is large, time will be saved and order se-
cured by having the pupils form in lines in the yard before
coming in, girls in one line and boys in another, or all to-
gether at the discretion of the teacher. If hat and cloak
hooks are properly arranged, pupils can hang up their
wraps and hats as they pass in, each one having a hook
numbered. Another way of disposing of wraps is to let
them pass to their seats and have monitors to remove
them. Monitors can be appointed by the week or during
good behavior. Pupils like to serve. They should not be
imposed on by making them serve too long, however.
As far as possible pupils should be seated so that mem-
bers of the same class do not sit at the same desk. In
schools where classes pass out to a recitation seat to recite
the plan works admirably. In graded schools, also, for
it is almost equivalent to single desks in promoting inde-
pendent study and good order. In many schools, nowa-
days, no passing is done during recitations, except when
necessary to use black-boards. But where it is necessary
to move classes, signals may be used to advantage. First,
call attention of the class in some way. Then count, as
"one" for them to face the aisle, "two" for them to
stand' " three " for them to pass, etc., etc. Dismissing a
class can be done in the same way.
Another great care for the teacher at first is the pro-
gram. It should not only provide for a time to recite
each lesson, but for a time to study as well. If this is not
done, pupils will pursue their studies in a desultory man-
ner and accomplish little. Regularity is a gain of time.
Program should be on the black-board or on a card
written or printed and hung up.
Follow it closely, so that no class shall be robbed of its
allotted time, or miss a recitation, for it is discouraging to
a class to have a lesson pass by without being recited after,
it has been prepared.
LESSONS ON PATRIOTISM.
PROF. A. B. SABIN says: Patriotism should be taught
in our schools. Lessons in the history and political geog-
172 Pedagogical Ideals.
raphy of our country have done much to inculcate this
love in the past, as the late civil war abundantly proved.
But more may be done when better methods of teaching
these subjects universally prevail.
Instead of memorizing a skeleton outline of facts in
history, scores of books should be read in our schools, the
reading to be legitimate school-work.
Books of history, of biography, of travels, of explora-
tion and discovery, of tale and romance, of adventure and
incident, of myth and legend, of fiction, poetry and song.
Such a course of reading would be a historical recreation,
would amuse, delight, instruct, widen, deepen, brighten,
develop and discipline our children as no dry-and-dust
outline ever can.
THE DULL PUPIL.
The dull pupil is written up here by an unknown hand :
The teacher's exertions must necessarily be chiefly in be-
half of the dull pupil. The bright one will get alone with
limited assistance. The dull pupil, thus at once the
teacher's care, is worth the most patient treatment. Let
it be borne in mind that constant scolding will make the
best of us callous, and the dull boy is not brightened by
any amount of reproval.
What is the reason that he seems to have no ambition
to compete with other boys in his class? Why do lectures
avail nothing? This is why: Constant failing has de-
stroyed his self-respect, and he regards himself, in a cer-
tain sense, as outside the pale of the general school.
With such a one it is best to try to replace his self-
respect by ascertaining what he can do well. Then en-
courage him in that. Praise him. Make him your friend.
Make him know that you are his friend. If he is good in
any one study, encourage him in it. If he likes to work
at arithmetic, let him solve examples on the board for
explanation to his classmates. If he sings well let him
lead in singing. If he draws well let the other pupils ex-
amine his work. He will be pleased with all this, and it
can be managed so adroitly that neither he nor his class-
mates need know why it is done.
A recent number of the North Carolina Teacher con-
tained some excellent ideas under this title:
It is a little thing to put a question to a class the
second time, but the teacher who does this to a great ex-
tent will soon find himself broken down, unnecssarily. It
is not necessary to put questions a second time if they are
put plainly at first. Attention in the class avoids this
trouble. Ask for attention. If necessary, command it.
It is a little thing to permit one class to consume in
recitation a small portion of time allotted to another; but
if allowed it brings confusion.
It is a little thing to have a boy ask a question while
you are busy ; but if tolerated in a single instance you may
expect the same trouble to arise throughout the school.
You can not afford to lose the time, aside from the con-
fusion it entails.
It is a little thing to permit a boy to leave the room
soon after the school is called to order; but let one go un-
less he has been detained and you would better give a new
It is a little thing to let a boy get a drink of water
during study hours; but let one drink and the whole
school will almost die of thirst before time for dismissal.
It is a little thing to permit a pupil to borrow a pen-
cil, book or slate; but tolerate it once in one pupil and
where can you draw the line ?
174 Pedagogical Ideals.
It is a little thing to permit two to study from the
same book or assist each other in their lessons. They
seem so kind, don't they? Well, you can not tolerate it.
Their kindness works mischief to your school.
It is a little thing to allow a boy an excuse for not
being prepared in "his recitation. Do it once or twice and
see what will come of it. You do the boy an injustice to
pass a poor recitation unnoticed. It is a step towards un-
It is a little thing to pass a boy's example on the
black-board, and tell him it is right, except a slight mis-
take he had made, it may be in bringing down or chang-
ing some sign in a problem in algebra. This will spoil
any boy. It cultivates in him a habit of carelessness, that
grows as he grows, and it may be the ruin of him.
It is a little thing to hurry over the last part of the
recitation, just once, because the time is running short.
This grants pupils the privilege of slighting just about that
much of each lesson. Better be thorough as far as you
go, or as far as you can, and retain what is left over for
the next lesson.
As no whole can exist without the sum of its parts, so
nothing great can be accomplished without taking in the
THE BEGINNING OP THE SCHOOL YEAR.
The opening of school at the beginning of the school
year is a subject brought before the readers of the New
York School Journal, in issue of September 3, 1887. Sev-
eral eminent educators gave their views. It is hoped that
they will not consider it an offense if some of their ideas
are here set forth and preserved.
PROF. JARED BARHITE, of Irvington- on -Hudson, N. Y.,
says : To a large extent, the opening day will be a day of
reciprocal study of character, disposition and attainments
by teacher and pupil.
The first day as teacher in the presence of the child,
can not be well over-estimated, and should be used to the
greatest possible advantage. Here the tide in the
affairs " may be securely taken in hand and directed
towards a successful end.
To be at ease, perfectly natural and frank with a child
from the moment he comes into the teacher's presence, has
more power for good than a score of punishments for
offences which are the results of indifference, coldness and
reserve on the part of the teacher. An intense interest in
the children and their work can not be concealed from
them, and they feel and know whether the teacher is
working for their interest or merely the salary.
Upon opening school, work should be assigned as
quickly as possible. If convenient, a programme of work
made out the day before should immediately be displayed.
It can be modified afterwards to suit the requirements of
the school. An hour of delay wherein pupils are per-
mitted to manage affairs in their own way, may be a fatal
hour to the success of the school.
A natural desire on the part of the teacher to make a
favorable impression upon the pupils, and a corresponding
desire upon the part of the pupils to win the favor of the
teacher, may tend to indulgeness and acts which are not
fraught with good results. The work should begin as it is
the purpose to carry it out.
There are usually some pupils who desire to test the
teacher, and ascertain what mettle there is in his com-
position. With such, the teacher should be frank and aid
them in their investigation. Usually these will prove the
most earnest and successful workers in the class if turned
in the right direction.
176 Pedagogical Ideals.
There is nothing more potent for good than to thor-
oughly convince a pupil that you know the trials he has to
bear; that you are a friend to direct him in a way that
shall make these trials seem less, although they can not be
removed ; and that you are in earnest concerning his suc-
cess in the efforts he is exerting to prepare himself for the
duties of life.
WM. M. GIFFIN, A. M., said: Opening day should be
as much like the days that are to follow as it is possible to
make it. One should not feel that he must make an ad-
dress if it be a new school. If it be an old school, then a
good hearty greeting should be given in as few words as
There should be no excitement or fussiness on the part
of either principal or class teacher. Make all changes so
quickly and quietly as to cause the children to forget that
they are there for the first time in weeks. Have every-
thing in working order by ten o'clock. Do not allow any-
thing on this day that you will not allow on any other day
of the term. Begin and close the school on time, and
hear every recitation.
Should it be raining when the children come, see at
once that the wrappings of the children, as overcoats,
overshoes, shawls, etc., are removed immediately. Inat-
tention to this matter may endanger the health of the
children. Some of them are not old enough to have good
judgment, and if they err it will be your fault, as you
ought to know better. If it is a bright, sun-shiny day do
not cause pupils to sit with the sun pouring in upon their
heads, or if a cold day allow draft of cold air to blow upon
them. Either is pernicious .
From the very beginning, see that the room is properly
ventilated. A feeling of dislike for school may be caused
by a foul room. Do not begin by trying to startle the
class into being orderly or attentive. Children soon learn
to wait for the " thunder clap " if once begun.
Begin and continue with a low, steady, firm tone of
voice. It will accomplish the most in the long run. The
desk was not made to pound upon, nor the floor to stamp
upon. And neither pounding nor stamping is of th3 least
use in obtaining order.
Do not be changeable in your discipline. Be every
day alike. Steady, uniform, even, regular discipline must
be maintained. " Never a tyrant, always a governor,"
should be your rule
Good teachers are always ready in case of an emer-
gency. A little positiveness is all that is required to
subdue a class if it becomes disorderly. Select some pupil
and make an example of him. The first one you see out
of order very far, is the guilty one for you.
Questions should not be put to the class in such a man-
ner as to call forth answers like "No, ma'am," "Yes,
ma'am," etc., all over the room. Avoid this trouble by
saying, " How many think so, and so? " or/" Hands up,
all who can answer this question." Then put the ques-
tion. Do not call one pupil's name before asking the
question. If you do, the other members of the class will
C. E. MELENEY, of Patterson, N. J., said in the same
issue: The opening day of school is, to many, one of
momentous importance. Here comes the youth, who
hopes now, after many futile attempts to acquire an edu-
cation, to begin a course which he had been looking for-
ward N to with so much earnestness.
Here comes the little tot scarcely five years old, who
has learned at his mother's knee all his little stock of in-
178 Pedagogical Ideals.
formation, and now enters a new world, where everything
is different, perhaps, from his former experience.
Many come who have been impatiently waiting for the
teacher to come back, and many who are sorry that life is
not one continuous vacation.
All this to the thoughtful teacher makes an instant
impression, and he realizes that this is, indeed, to all his
pupils an important occasion. And how important to the
teacher himself, who, possibly, stands for the first time in
the presence of those whom he is about to guide, to in-
struct and to assist on the way to manhood and womanhood.
The teacher, then, should meet his pupils with an
acknowledgement of the importance the opening day is to
them, and regulate all his dealings with them accordingly.
Do we, as teachers, realize how we should receive these
little ones who come for the first time to this new and
strange experience ? Can we remember our first day in
school ? Here should be a warm welcome and a cheerful
greeting, never to be forgotten. I have seen teachers take
in little children and say, simply, "Go to that seat," or,
" Sit down here," with no more consideration than a
market-man has for chickens, which he assorts and places
in different coops.
What a chance there is to make an impression to win
the love and confidence of a little child, and to settle once
for all the question of attendance at school.
Everything should be made inviting beforehand. The
dress of the teacher should be neat and tidy, and the man-
ner, voice and expression kind and attractive as she bids
each one welcome. The room should be made cheerful
The teacher should arrive first on opening day, that
everything may receive due attention before pupils arrive.
Pupils once admitted become an immediate study for
the teacher. What are they here for? How are they to
acquire what they needs? How can it best be given?
What is their condition of mind? Their present condi-
tion of body and heart, in fact? What work is best
adapted to their development ? What methods should be
applied in teaching and management? All these are
questions that should be uppermost in the teacher's mind.
First learn the pupils.
Devotional exercises claim a share of attention. The
mind should be well settled upon a plan, already. There
is a wonderful power in music. That teacher is fortunate
who can conduct singing exercises. If a teacher lacks
this power, there are frequently in these modern days
several pupils who can lead out and sing something, and
will feel proud of the acquirement if asked to display it. A
teacher of tact may always turn this to advantage. En-
courage them. The names of pupils may be obtained by
distributing slips of paper among those who can write and
permitting them to write their names, ages and residence.
Learn their names as soon as possible. Call them by their
In a pleasant conversational way ascertain something
of their qualifications, -the books they need, etc. Organize
your classes. If it is ungraded, great care need be exer-
cised. If graded they can be divided into groups in a
short time according to ability. Don't lose sight of the
individual in the mass.
Having found what they can do, give them occupation
adapted to their ability. If they have books, assign them
lessons to study. Not a moment should be wasted. Take
the earliest opportunity to impress the school that it is a
place for work.
180 Pedagogical Ideals.
Accept the situation and be guided by all the conditions
This being a new experience for some children, make
it as much like their former surroundings as possible. Do
not put them under too much restraint. Give them an
opportunity to move their bodies and limbs. Let them
stand and sit and exercise gently. By conversation, learn
something of their knowledge and in what they are in-
terested. This is to be the starting point for instruction.
Take advantage of the methods by which they acquired
this knowledge. Learn nature's way.
It is important to teach children orderly ways in
everything rising, standing, walking, sitting, taking
books, cleaning slates, taking care of clothing, cleaning
shoes at the door, etc. Each one should have a sponge
and slate rag. Have water-bottles and monitors to pass
and sprinkle slates.
As all this management will depend much upon the
character of the school, make a careful study of all the
conditions and adjust yourself to them. Kemember that
the school is for the children, and that everything must
conduce to their success and progress. The development
of character is the end at which all zealous and conscien-
tious teachers aim.
FOR SCHOOLS AND FAMILIES
tVITH HOME-MADE APPARATUS, WHICH ANY BOY OR
GIRL CAN MAKE.
By Rev. A. R.. HORNK, HI.
Directions are given for making beautiful and interesting experiments, illustrat-
ing the principles of chemistry, natural philosophy, physical geography, physiology,
and natural sciences in general, at little or no expense. Full instructions are given
how to make the experiments, how to construct the articles of apparatus required
how to explain the phenomena of the natural world. Some of the results would have
been considered miracles in ages past, but the march of knowledge of modern days
has placed in the hands of amateur scientists far greater resources than had the
magicians and alchemists in days gone by. There are also many valuable receipts for
making things that almost every one needs, and would be glad to know how to make
Among the many interesting and instructive experiments are :
HOW to make alcohol lamps, siphons, retorts, etc.
Water made to boil with a snow ball, freeze a cup to th floor to a heated room
Light. To make an artificial rainbow, prisms, etc.
Electricity. How to make several electrical machines; a number of experi-
ments without apparatus are also given. How to make artificial lightning.
Various Experiments. To tell the distance of a thunder-storm, to make a
Will-o'-the-wisp, balloon, ice gun, thunder powder, lead tree, etc.
Blackboards. To make a good one for 20 cents. Do not be without a good sup-
ply of board any longer.
Inks and Colors. How to make several different kinds. A valuable chapter.
IFIres for TstTslea-o.s and. ExHi'bltioaas, ^ixe TTzia.er "Water, nxe-
proof IFaper and scores of others. All useful.
Tests of I=-u.rIty of "Water, Adulteration of food, etc.
To See IE*lan.ts <3-ro-w. Very interesting.
E^rex3rtlil33.g- described can be made with little or no expense. The above is
only a small part of what it contains. Such experiments will set pupils to thinking
will give them much pleasant information. No book ol its size will give as much
material for valuable work as this.
Enlarged Edition, Paper Cover, 80 pp., 25 ct:., do. 35 cts,
PRIEP MANUAL* QF GYMNASTICS**
This little Manual contains plain simple and practical exercise for gymnastic
training in common schools many of them being set to familiar tunes with easy
lessons as to their application. There are forty lessons, beginning with very simple
ones and growing more difficult or lengthy. They can be practiced either with or
without music. Directions for teaching gymnastics are given. Paper cover, 32 pages,
price 15 cents.
DO NOT FORGET THAT I CAN FURNISH ANY B08K AS CHEAPLY AS ANY HOUSE,
Ifabor leaving 'STes t Problems
By M. H. LOWELL, Superintendent of Schools, Rogers Park, 111.
On-hundred Cards, each with from Fiv to Ten Practical Problems !
For reviewing, for 'general exercises, for enabling the teacher at a minute's
notice to test any or all pupils' actual knowledge of a principle, these cards are un-
A few new and carefully arranged problems given to each pupil, by way of
testing his knowledge of the practical uses of given principles will be of great value
to both teacher and pupil.
The need of such problems and the want of time to properly arrange suitable
matter when most needed, led to the preparation of these cards.
These problems are of the most practical character, embracing all the princi-
ples of a complete arithmetic. They may be used as individual tests, busy work,
home work, and in a variety of ways of much profit to the pupil and of great conveni-
ence to the teacher.
There are 100 cards in box, with a set of answers for the teacher. Price 40
cents. Two boxes, 60 cents. Three or more, 28 cents each.
or Outlines of Work and Experiments in the Four Sciences,
Physiology, Botany, Chemistry, and Zoology.
By M. L. SEYMOUR, Prof, of Natural Sciences, 111. Normal University.
These outlines, principles, and experiments have been in constant use for
eight years in the Illinois Normal University. They are first, a complete exhaustive
outline of each of the studies named. This outline will save much time and labor for
the teacher. Besides the outlines on Physiology there are " Experi-
ments Suggested," " Structural Differences " and " Sug-
gestions " all of which are exceedingly interesting and profitable. In Botany,
full outlines, " Structural Differences," " Grafting," " Nutri-
tion Of Plants," and other suggestive matter. In ^oology, full outlines,
" Experiments," " Structural Differences," u A Hen's
Egg," " Worlt on a Feather," " Dissection of a Cat" and
much work on the classification of different animal kingdoms . In Chemistry,
outlines full and complete, many interesting ** Experiments," a key for ex-
pressing compounds, etc.
On the whole the book is the best issued on the sciences treated. Price, 79
large pages (5j^ x 8j) prepaid, 30 cents. Two or more at 25 cents a copy.
How to Teaoh United States History and How to Study It.
Dnited States History by the Brace Systei,
BY JOHN TRAINER, A. M.,
County Superintendent of Schools, Macon County, III-
This is a new and excellent book by a prominent teacher of fourteen years' experi-
ence in practical school work. It contains a complete exposition of original and suc-
cessful methods of teaching United States History. Proceeding upon the assumption
that the student should remember important facts, rather than minor de-
tails- the Author presents by means of admirable Brace Outlines for the Blackboard
A SERIES OE OBJECT I*ESS01S IK HISXOHY-Lessons which
appeal both to the Eye and to the Understanding.
This work also contains a Blackboard Analysis of each Topic in United States
History, Directions for Teaching and Studying each Topic, Methods of Outlining,
Written and Oral Rnviews, 1,000 Questions and Answers on U. S. History (which of
themselves form a Complete History of the United States in a " Nutshell "), Questions
on Individual States, Individual Territories, Names and Mottoes of States, etc.
It teaches a pupil hov to study his lesson, how to find the prominent fact!
needed, how to find parallel authorities, how to remember dates, etc. The Brace Out.
lines, which are a prominent feature of tJie work, fix Periods, Dates, and Principles on
t ie Mind with ease anl photographic accuracy. They give a clear and intelligible out-
line of all important topics; confusing, non-essential details being avoided.
The Blackboard Forms are instructive pictures for study : all can understand
them ; anyone can easily copy them on the Blackboard.
The Directions for Study are pointed, concise and helpful. Just what teachen
and pupils need.
The Queer Queries, of which there are about one thousand, are filled with pith
and point. Nothing better to stimulate an interest in History.
The Review Questions constantly " bring out " what is likely to be forgotten.
They cover all important points.
Answer? to Queer Queries. This department contains a complete History of the
United States in a "Nutshell." The answers are based upon reliable authorities.
Individual States. This chapter contains a clear and concise history of the time
of settlement, date of admission, and all the prominent points connected with their
history to date.
Mottoes of States is an interesting and instructive chapter. It may -well be
"This new book accomplishes in one term what old methods do not in years.*
Every Teacher should have it either for daily use or for reference. Pupils find it to be
almost a "Royal Road " to History.
I can show hundreds of the most flattering testimonials, but have space for only
the following :
# V'The Blackboard forms are admirably arranged and the directions for the study
of the several periods of history are plain and exceedingly useful. The book is adapted
to save time, and give a thorough knowledge of United States History." Nationa I Jour-
nal of Education.
"We have examined the copy sent us andean truly say it is the best method of
teaching history that we have ever seen. Enclosed is M. O. for J8 for which send me
12 copies as offered. I wish each of my teachers to have a copy." AMY M. BBADLBT,
Prin. Normal School, Wilmington, N. C.
The book contains 225 pages, well printed on calendered paper neatly and sub-
stantially bound in cloth.
Agents wanted everywhere, irho can easily sell a copy to every teacher, whether
f ae teaches history or not.
PRICE POSTPAID, $1.00.
T\ro copies $1.30, three copies $2.00. Money refunded if book is not satisfa<rtwy.
It is to Sf our Interest to Stead
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can Cose n^bing by T pa< Jing nwitb me, but will
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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
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Due two weeks after date,
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