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Reynolds, Annie / The training of teachers for the country schools of Wisconsin
(1917)

Present courses of study,   pp. 4-11 PDF (2.0 MB)


Page 5


  TRAINING OF TEACHERE FOR THE COUNTRY SCHOOLB             5
preparation of a catalog is that the principal of every new school relies
in great measure upon the course adopted in some other school or
schools with which he is acquainted. If there is no up-to-date, de-
tailed account of the most recent course adopted, he Is likely to repeat
the mistakes made by another school.
Greater uniformity in the terms used in designating courses offered
is needed. The terms pedagogy, theory and art, methods, and manual,
are all used for the same study. More definite Information as to the
equipment and extension work of the school would prove helpful; it
might help to get the good work done by one school started elsewhere.
  b. Defects in courses of stduy as revealed by cataklgs. The
framers of the first training school courses were helped chiefly by
their knowledge of normal school courses and of country conditions.
However, as time goe on, there should be many modifications in the
courses offered. Training teachers who keep themselves informed as
to the trend of modern educational thought, and who are at the same
time doing the field work the circumstances demand, are likely to
make these changes.
The industrial subjects have acquired a new importance in the last
few years. Not all catalogs bear witness to this. Other subjects,
such as algebra and grammar, have become relatively unimportant for
elementary teachers. The year of algebra (there is seldom less)
is probably not a wise choice in a two year training school course,
in view of the omission of other more useful studies which it en-
tails. But If one judges by catalogs the study of grammar re-
ceives in some schools undue emphasis, to the neglect of very neces-
sary work in oral and written English.
  Subjects which are occasionally omitted but which should be included
are courses in either English or European history, nature study, and
penmanship. Students should learn both by observation and practice
to direct the play of children. These are only a few illustrations to
show that training teachers need to measure and test, and, as a result,
sift, emphasize, or reject topics, and even entire subjects.
  c. Courses of varying lengths. (1) The two-year courae. The
most common course in county training schools at present is a two-
yelar course demanding a common school diploma for entrance. This
Two years of training beyond the elementary school Is in itself a great
gain. The average level of country school teaching throughout the
state is raised to a far higher level than that at which it stood during
all the years when immature pupils, just out- of an elementary school,
might hope to teach at once upon passing the superintendent's examina-
tion.
  Young people who cannot afford a high school education can often
manage to get two years of training beyond the eighth grade, especi-
ally if these two years give them vocational training. In this way
many young people get ten years of sehooling who would otherwise
get only eight. This helps to raise the general intelligence of many.
communities


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