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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 54, Number 10 (May 1953)

Richard, George
School for schoolmasters,   pp. 24-26


Page 25


Bureau of Visual Instruction Photos by Jackson Tiffany
date teaching. It is a program of "in-
service" study, or on-the-job training,
in which the UW School of Education
is playing a major role.
  The program is inclusive enough to
provide school board members with
more and more background information
on which they may make their impor-
tant decisions. These men and women,
of course, rarely get the opportunity
to bone up on their jobs in regular
academic fashion.
  The inservice training for Wiscon-.
sin's elementary and high school teach-
ers takes a variety of forms, as carried
on by the School of Education. Some
of the arrangements involved in parts
of the program are made through Ex-
tension. A coordinator holding a joint
Education-Extension appointment helps
determine educational needs by consult-
ing educators and community planners
at all levels. Then the strong faculty
of the School of Education joins with
workers in the field in studying how
teaching can be improved.
   An example of this type of activity
is the off-campus graduate class. There
were 23 communities served by these
classes in 1951. Often the courses are
presented in response to specific re-
quests by local school administrators and
teachers in local communities. Some-
times local boards partly    reimburse
teachers for their expenses in taking
the courses, which generally consist of
a series of weekly classes. Fees are
charged on a per credit basis.
   Other teachers on-the-job find corre-
spondence study an effective and inex-
pensive way of keeping up-whether
they are taking courses in education or
in their specialty fields. Altogether, more
than 400 mail courses are offered by
the University, and teachers are among
the best customers.
  More personal, again, are the profes-
sional conferences that bring together
school board officials, superintendents,
and other high level policy makers in
a community. They discuss with School
of Education staff members such prob-
lems as the legal aspects of education,
school and community relations, and
school financing. Often the officials of
two or three communities join forces for
these conferences, which ususally are
comprised  of several meetings, and
which are paid for by the boards.
  Discussions often take in quite a bit
of territory at these conferences, and
they offer opportunity for an inter-
change of ideas on various phases of
educational theory and practice. At one
1953 conference, for instance, a county
board member left little doubt of his
feelings on "educational frills."
   "You don't need to send a child 20
miles to town to learn physical edu-
cation," said he, declaring that educators
are already spreading their services too
thinly and that they should stick to
teaching children how to read and write.
Such comments cannot go unanswered
and frank discussion of curricula is help-
ful to all concerned.
MAY, 1953
By George Richard
  A somewhat similar program has been
followed in several larger communities.
Education School staff members conduct
regular seminars for the school staffs in
the communities-but on graduate level,
with University credits granted to those
taking the course.
  One of the newest approaches to
meeting the needs of educators at the
teaching level has been the workshop.
Such a program is now in effect in
Sheboygan. Teachers and the Board of
Education there set up a jointly financed
workshop that began in 1951-52. Dur-
ing two 15-week semesters, with one
two-hour session a week, the partici-
pating teachers covered broad subjects
such as child development, with the
aid of various visiting professors. The
courses, unlike the regular UW off-
campus classes, carry    no  university
credit. The Sheboygan workshop has
had UW assistance both in its planning
and execution. Along the same line, the
University has also cooperated in a proj -
ect with   the  Lakeshore   Elementary
School Principals group, which invited
the School of Education to join its ranks
and study important educational prob-
lems. Its first project, incidentally, was
to study inservice education.
  Yet, the public service role of the
School of Education is not only in evi-
dence off the campus. During last year's
summer session, for example, 2,600 in-
dividuals not enrolled as students at-
tended 24 institutes, special conferences
and seminars on education in Madison.
Both teachers and administrators were
present. The institutes covered both ad-
ministrative and subject-matter fields,
and presented some of the newest tech-
niques and theories in both.
   Often these institutes are tied in with
conventions of national associations of
educators. UW education staff members,
by the way, exert considerably influence
in various phases of educational think-
ing through their individual member-
ships in many of these national organi-
zations.
   In many cases, participants in the
institutes bring in their own problems
and get them discussed on the spot by
experts. In this way, all hands get a
feeling of direct participation in the pro-
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