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

The academic and vocational studies,   pp. 15-51 PDF (9.5 MB)


Page 16


16  TRAINNG OF TEACHERS FOR TEll TOUNTRY SCHOOIB
  ditions and at the same time Implant in the hearts of all the stu-
  dents a conviction of the vital worth of country experience.
    c. Adapting the work in English. (1) Selections should be chosen
  carefully. Certain selections in literature for Instance, may be chosen
  which will give as much culture as the selections studied in order to
  satisfy college entrance requirements, and at the same time contribute
  toward the preparation of country teachers for their future work.
  Training teachers must be very careful to choose standard authors and
  books, but there are many authors better adapted for study by those
  who have in mind the needs of elementary children than the books
  generally accepted as best suited to the needs of adolescent youth. It
  is true that teachers who know something of such authors as Chaucer,
  Shakespeare, Milton and Spenser have indirect preparation for
  teaching reading and language to elementary children. However,
  these authors prepare teachers far more directly for high school
  work than for teaching in the grades. Undoubtedly, the literary
  qualifications which will most directly contribute to the efficiency
  of elementary teachers are more easily obtained If during their
  preparation for teaching they studied the great poets mentioned
  above, or Montaigne, Lamb, Pater, and Newman and other great
  essayists than If they did not study any of the masters. But they
  might have received far more direct preparation for their work.
  (2) Illustrations of suitable selections. They might have read, in-
  stead, and found them mighty good reading, too, such books as
  itrabian Nights, Gulliver's Travels, Water Babies, Fanciful Tales, Alice
  in Wonderland, The Jungle Book, and others of the long list of verita-
  ble masterpieces which all children fortunate enough to be Intro-
duced to them, will so easily learn to love and to reread many
times. Teachers of elementary children cannot afford to neglect
the writings of Hans Andersen, the Grimm brothers, Perrault, Ste-
venson, the best children's versions of the Iliad, the Odyssey, the
Arthurian legends and the old British ballads-to mention only a
few of the undisputed classics which made a strong appeal to chil-
dren.
  '.a) Needs of elementary teachers. So long as our schools which
train elementary teachers continue to give them only, or even
chiefly, (as is now frequently the case) the poetry and prose suited
to high school students or adults, these teachers will either be obliged
to get ready unaided to teach elementary pupils the selecpons fitted
for them, or else very many children who leave school without the
advantage of a secondary education, will never have the delight
which comes to those In whom the great masters "create the taste
by which they are enjoyed."
  This lack of definite preparation for teaching children the class-
ics which should rightly form a part of their literary inheritance.
is perhaps the greatest single obstacle in the way of better teach-
Ing of intermediate and upper grade classes in reading and lan-
guage today. Of what avail is it if readers are selected which are
r-


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