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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 47


  TrfAiNING OF ThnCHERA FOR THE COUNTRY SCHOOLB                   41
has reached a high grade of excellence and that it can be closely
supervised. It will be profitable for training class teachers inter-
ested in starting country practice, to acquaint themselves by per-
sonal visits, with what is done in the schools attempting it. While
we must proceed cautiously with this work let us not exaggerate
the difficulties. It is well to hold judgment in suspense until one
has an opportunity to see rural practice work which is really
yielding satisfactory results.
  t12) Obeervation in country schools. The objection made at times
that it is a mistake for students to even observe in country schools
on account of the poor teaching they are likely to see represents a
mistaken view. This contention is sometimes made even in coun-
ties where a training school has been in existence for some years.
If the statement made were true. there could be no greater admis-
sion of failure on the part of a training school. WLy should the
country teaching continue so poor when a large number of the grad-
uates of the training school are the teachers?
  Whatever may be true about rural practice, there Is no disputing the
I t that good country teachers in whose schools observation at least would
1w both richly worth while and easily feasible, can be discovered in every
-kiaty. and one of the greatest services of the county superintendent and
ito supervising teachers is to discover such teachers.
  (13) lUnatrations of work done in rural observation and practice.
As illustrations of what may be done there follows a summary of
what was attempted last year in two county training schools along
this line.
  One county training school enrolling 44 seniors divided them Into eleven
ei ups of four students each. Each group spent a week In the country ob-
* ving and practicing. The principal selected three of the best country
-hoots in. the county for this purpose. Two of them were visited by four
wo ups, the other one by three groups. On eleven successive Mondays (the
t!aining school was not in session that day, but was In session on Satur-
   ) a member of the training school faculty went out with the group
X hose work It was to live in the country that particular week.
  The students were given a blank which they were asked to fill
out in making a record of their observations. Each cooperating
cuntry-school teacher sent to the training teacher a definite out-
Ine of work which the group was to observe in her school, so each
group before reaching the school had had an opportunity to find
-it what the work of that week was to be.
   The country teacher was observed for three days. During these
t'lree days the usual plan was for the group to go home with the
l-acher in the evening and stay with her at her boarding place and
t lk all the details of the work over with her.
   The last two days of the week were spent by the four students
 i doing the teaching for the country teacher whom they had ob-
 - rved for the first three days. Each student thus taught for one-
 alf a day under the supervision of the country teacher and the
 ';'servation of the other three students who formed the group.


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