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In order to meet the demands made upon them for different types of teacher training for urban schools, the normal schools with certain exceptions have established a variety of curricula: (1) The twoyear curricula (leading to life certificates), which prepare for kindergarten, primary, intermediate grades, and junior high-school teaching; (2) two-year curricula (leading to three-year certificates), which prepare special vocational teachers of agriculture, home economics, music, commercial subjects, and manual training for teaching either in elementary or high schools; (3) four-year curricula, leading to life certificates, for teaching in high schools; and (4) fouryear curricula, leading to certificates to teach in Smith-Hughes schools of home economics and trades and industries.
Degrees and certificates granted by the normal schools July 1, 1920, to July 1, 1922.
1921 1922 1921 1922 1921 1922 1921 1922 1921 1922 1921 1922 1921 1922
DISSIPATION OF THE TEACHER-TRAINING FUNCTION AT THE NORMAL
SCHOOLS. So long as the State law does not require more extended preparation of rural teachers, the commission is of the opinion that the chief function of the normal schools, during the regular academic year, lies in the preparation of grade teachers for the schools of towns and cities where the local school boards now require something like adequate training of their teachers. The two-year curriculum leading to the life certificate is by no means all that is to be desired in the way of training for teachers in the grades, but it is perhaps about all that is now attainable in Kansas until either the State legislature or local school boards raise the requirements for their teachers. In many instances local school boards require or encourage attendance at summer sessions even after teachers have been employed.
In 1905, as has already been mentioned, the Kansas State Normal School Board was given the right to grant degrees. Since they were branches of the Emporia school at the time of their establishment, the Pittsburgh and the Hays Normal Schools have also enjoyed the same rights. In view of the low requirements in the State regarding the preparation of elementary-school teachers, the power to grant degrees at the normal schools meant in effect the right to establish four-year curricula for the preparation of high-school teachers. The commission does not now feel itself called upon to discuss the wisdom of this action. It does believe, however, that it is incumbent on it to state that in establishing curricula for the preparation of highschool teachers the normal schools took the first of a series of steps which have sufficiently distracted their attention from their original purpose as to lead to a certain confusion concerning the legitimate function of the normal schools.
In this connection it may be pointed out that by establishing curricula for the preparation of high-school teachers, the normal schools entered a field where the university is the natural leader and where, to say the least, the normal schools only share equal opportunities with many other higher institutions in the State.
Whatever may have been the need of linking up the preparation of high-school teachers with that of elementary-school teachers, there can be little doubt that to a certain extent the attention of the administration and the faculty at the normal schools has been drawn away from the curriculum and the subjects necessary for the preparation of elementary-school teachers to curricula and subjects which minister primarily to the needs of high-school teachers. Along with this, it has been necessary to establish teacher-training high schools.
In these and many other ways the commission feels that the normal schools have entered a field of work some of which is not being performed on a high collegiate plane, and yet which to a considerable extent has claimed the attention of the normal schools sufficiently to reflect unfavorably on the superior quality of work otherwise possible in the preparation of elementary and rural school teachers. The preparation of high-school teachers has not for a number of years been a very serious matter in Kansas, but the State is in great need of every effort that can be put forward toward the better preparation of elementary-school teachers. In this field the normal schools have
higher institutions as competitors and they should be slow to take on other duties which draw them away from the main purpose for which they exist.
It was perhaps not an expensive matter to organize and conduct curricula for the preparation of the usual teachers of academic subjects in the high schools. On the other hand, the establishment of laboratories and shops sufficiently complete to prepare adequately high-school teachers of physics, chemistry, botany, general science, agriculture, home economics, and manual training, necessitates the expenditure of considerable sums of money to meet the needs of what is as yet a relatively small number of students, and, in view of the far greater laboratory facilities existing at the university and the agricultural college, this number is not likely to increase very fast.
However, the popular demand 20 to 25 years ago for manual training and other forms of so-called "practical" high-school work resulted in the establishment of the “State Manual Training Normal School" at Pittsburg. The demand for teachers in this field finally became so great that in 1915 the legislature threw open the gates and allowed all of the normal schools to establish two-year curricula for the training of vocational teachers in agriculture, home economics, manual training, music, physical education, commercial subjects, and drawing. Comment has already been made on this low standard for teacher preparation. At this point it is important to notice that by establishing a manual training normal school and by authorizing all the normal schools to enter the field of training vocational as well as academic high-school teachers, the State legislature deliberately invited the normal schools to take what may be called the second step in diverting their attention from their primary function, the training of elementary-school teachers.
The steps taken by the normal schools in the establishment of laboratories and shops for the training of vocational teachers, particularly the normal school at Pittsburg, have placed them in a position to respond to any local or sectional demand for training in trades and vocations quite apart from the preparation of teachers in this field. This is the third and most important step which has resulted in diverting the attention of at least two, and especially one, of the normal schools from the function of preparing teachers.
THE KANSAS STATE NORMAL SCHOOL. Turning to the individual teacher-training institution for a fuller discussion of this matter, let us take first the Kansas State Normal School. At this institution there exists practically no present evidence of a tendency to encourage vocational studies for other than teacher-training purposes. Nevertheless, the commission is of the opinion that the offering of separate four-year curricula leading, respectively, to the degree of bachelor of science in commerce and bachelor of science in music may at any time be turned from their present single purpose of preparing teachers for these two fields to any vocational purpose the administration and faculty may later decide on. Even at the present time the Emporia catalogue (p. 71) states that:
Students may take work through one year or more leading to preparation for the civil service of Kansas or of the United States and for office work as stenographers, secretaries, and bookkeepers upon payment of a small fee in addition to the regular incidental fee.
The new courses in library management are open to the same possibility of vocational and professional as well as teacher-training purposes.
FORT HAYS NORMAL SCHOOL.
At the Hays Normal School the outstanding example of a vocational curriculum not intended to prepare teachers is the six months' course in telegraphy and station training. Two years ago the normal school accepted from the Union Pacific Railroad Co. telegraphic equipment valued at $5,000. This equipment was installed in one of the normal school buildings. A teacher was employed and instruction has since proceeded with a limited number of students. There is a contract that the Union Pacific Railroad Co. will take all students prepared at the school, and so far there has been no difficulty in placing all the graduates of the school in the service of that company.
Other vocational courses of somewhat similar nature are given in the department of commerce, where, it is stated (catalogue, p. 43), that the department is organized and equipped to train high-school teachers of commercial subjects and “to prepare others for business positions." For this latter purpose there have been established a six months' commercial course and four majors in the department of commerce, respectively: “Stenography and office training," "banking," "accountancy,” and “business administration.” The department advertises an imposing array of courses sufficiently numerous to fill the needs of a college of commerce located in a large city.
During the year just closed there were 23 students graduating from the commercial teachers' curriculum, and 13 students who were taking work leading to some kind of business career. The seven courses in journalism advertised in the catalogue are also evidently intended to satisfy the needs of students who do not expect to go into high school teaching,
The three and four year curricula in applied music-that is, pianoforte, pipe organ, string and wind instruments, and voice--are also intended to serve a sectional need in the State for professional work in music. The catalogue states (p. 73) that a conservatory for private lessons is maintained in addition to the work in public school music and that "it is the aim of the normal school that it shall become the great leader in music of the West. The instructors in the department are artists as well as teachers."
During the semester just closed, in addition to 62 students who were majoring in other lines of work while taking one or more courses in music for credit, there were 8 students in the Hays Normal School who were majoring in public school music, 11 students who were majoring in applied music, and 20 special students who were registered in the school for a small amount of music per week.
Under a new title of "engineering” there are also being offered for next year six new courses in (1) irrigation and drainage engineer
ing; (2) roads and pavements; (3) sewage; (4) water supply; (5) farm machinery and motors; and (6) farm engineering. It is evident that these courses are intended to appeal to others than teachers.
Reference is made in succeeding pages to the extent to which agriculture for other than teacher-training purposes is 'being encouraged at Hays.
STATE MANUAL TRAINING NORMAL SCHOOL. Of the three normal schools in Kansas, the response to sectional demands for vocational education in addition to teacher training has been greatest at the State Manual Training Normal School. Indeed, this work has developed to such a degree that it is now one of the avowed purposes of the administration at Pittsburg as is made clear from the following quotations taken from the catalogue for 1920–21:
Another feature of the catalogue is the opportunity offered for those who desire preparation for purely vocational, industrial, and technical fields of activity.
To serve this increasing demand, and especially as it has become so apparent and urgent in this particular part of our State, two-year courses of the most practical nature and content are now being offered in the following: Industrial, electrical engineering, mining engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, machine shop, drafting and design, pattern making, automobile, cafeteria management, home makers, sheet metal, commercial, and printing. Full two-year credit is given for the above courses by engineering colleges when the work has been completed by those who are graduates of accredited four-year high schools. For those who have not had the advantage of such high-school preparation, two-year vocational courses along the line of mining, steam and stationary engineering, electrical trades, and telegraphy and radio work are offered.
No apology is made for this seeming innovation in the curricula of a teachers' college. For too long have the public schools of our country failed to make any effective and practical application or any vital functioning of the subjects taught. School life has been distinctively one thing; the social life of our people another; and so thoroughly have the two been kept apart that, like the Jews and Samaritans of old, they have had, for the most part at least, no dealing with each other.
The teachers' college which does not possess within its faculty, its equipment, and its facilities the ability to carry out courses for the preparation of individuals for the most effective and practical citizenship in other fields of activity, or the teachers' college which places so little value upon this particular phase of education as a legitimate part of our educational responsibility, can not perform its greatest service to the public.
The same educational preparation that prepares an individual to be a real efficient teacher is the same sort of education that prepared him to be an efficient and good citizen, so far as the courses taken are concerned. There is not one kind of knowledge in science for the teacher and another for the man who does not expect to teach; there may be a difference in quantity, not in quality.
The commission is convinced that the very nature of the normal school at Pittsburg as a "manual training normal school" has contributed to a considerable degree to the conception of the function