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in addition to this, that ample time can be set aside for specific drill in the three R's, the alphabet of scholarship, without excluding the subjects of actual human interest and the training of the mind and body for a ready response to the demands of a large, free, beautiful life. Another reason for suggesting a daily program is to show how conveniently the work of the general class teacher and that of special teachers for music and other forms of art, manual training, physical culture and foreign language can be arranged, so that, in the case of a fairly large and well-to-do school community that can afford to have these special branches taught by special teachers, all the work of the general class teacher could be done in the morning, leaving the children the afternoon for work with the special teachers. If, however, the school authorities should feel that they could not afford to pay teachers for but half a day's work, the program I have suggested is so far reversible that class-teacher X might carry out with class A the program as proposed herein for the morning session, and then in the afternoon repeat with Class B the program set forth for the morning, of course with the omission of the opening exercises ; class B having taken in the forenoon with the special teachers the work which class A will do, according to the program set forth, in the afternoon. Of course the order of the subjects in the session taught by special teachers would naturally be changed for the different classes—class A, for instance, taking the program as set forth, while the next class might give the first period to French, take the second period for physical culture, etc.—so as to enable the same teacher to take three or four classes in turn. But on the other hand the order of exercises for the session taught by the general class teacher (the "morning session,” as it appears below) should preferably be followed by all classes throughout the whole school, so that, in case any pupil should in some particular subject be very much behind or ahead of his classmates, he could take that subject with a class below or above that in which the rest of his work were done. The convenience of a uniform program throughout the school system for such a case as I have mentioned and for others which may occur to the reader, is obvious, but this program should not become a straight-jacket for the teacher, to be followed to the letter at any cost; it should merely be the usual thing. Freedom on the part of the teacher in the execution of the general purpose of the school should be encouraged, and she might not infrequently find it advantageous to give all or the greater part of the session to an excursion into the woods or fields, or to a visit to some industrial establishment, or to work in the school garden, or indeed she might find that with a certain class more time should be given to reading and less to arithmetic than the program provided for. In all such cases she should be free to use her own judgment, of course consulting her principal or other supervisor with regard to any considerable variation from the standard program and of course being responsible for the results of such changes as she might introduce. In general it may be said that the program, as well as the curriculum itself, should not be an iron-bound groove, or track, within which the teacher must travel without a hair's breadth turn to right or left, but it should rather be a cleared path along which she would generally be helped by moving. It should exist, not to cabin, crib, confine teachers and children, but to help them.
It will be observed that all the work of the school except the art work, manual training, physical culture, foreign language, and elective work, can be given in the morning session; but I think that an afternoon session having a maximum length of two hours and a half is not at all too much, especially when it is borne in mind that the plan contemplates no required home work. For boys and girls between eight or nine and thirteen, five hours and a half a day of interesting school work is not too much; and I am inclined to think that much less would be a serious loss to them. It
must be remembered that of this five hours and a half, only two hours and twenty minutes in the morning session and thirty-five minutes in the afternoon are given to mental, as distinct from physical training; the rest of the time is taken up by recess and intermissions, physical culture, manual training and art work. As to the nearly three hours a day given to mental training and instruction, the class teacher might not give much more than half the time to class or group recitation from the same group of children; the rest of the time being devoted to study, either by the class as a whole or by that part of it which spent the other moiety of the time in recitation. Of course I do not mean by thus distinguishing study and recitation that the class exercise or recitation should be a mere examination by the teacher of the boys and girls' acquisition; it should be primarily, I am inclined to think, the opportunity for the teacher to help the children to a proper appreciation of the matter in hand. If in a given subject the teacher had not divided the children into groups for recitation, she could spend that part of the time not used for a class exercise in individual work with different pupils, the others meanwhile studying. If the class were large she would probably have with her, part of the time at least, an assistant teacher, or training-school cadet, who would be doing individual work with members of those groups not at the time engaged in a class or group recitation.
I have suggested
noon recess of two hours, and I think that this would normally be best for both pupils and teachers; especially when it is remembered that the school is not to be (as in the past it has too largely been) a place in which the child is to receive drill in the three R's and acquire a limited amount of information as to geography and a few other facts; but that it is the child's opportunity, his most favorable opportunity, for preparing himself to play an intelligent, a useful and happy part in the natural and social environment in which his life exists. He should do this in a somewhat leisurely way, without undue haste, and should “live by the way.” “Keeping in” should be strictly prohibited at noon, and should only be allowed in the afternoon, if it should play any part at all in school life, in such exceptional cases as deliberate refusal on the part of the pupil to make any attempt to do his work at the proper time, or as a punishment for malicious interference with the work of the school. In such cases, the teachers of the different classes could take turns in staying after school with pupils, so that no teacher would have to remain often. Of course the length of the noon recess would have to be determined by local conditions, but the initial prejudice of teachers and pupils in favor of a short recess, so as to make the free part of the afternoon longer, should not be given too much weight. A long, quiet noon recess, making a real break in the day, would be of more value than forty-five minutes gained in the afternoon by rushing through the day.
Attention should perhaps be called to the fact that, although the system proposed has so far assumed that there would be special teachers for all of the subjects assigned to the afternoon session, yet all of the work but the foreign language could be given by the class teacher if properly trained in a good, modern normal school. In case there were no special teachers (as would probably be the case in most of our smaller communities) the modern language would doubtless be omitted from the school curriculum and the time set apart for it might be devoted to study by the class and individual assistance by the teacher.
In practice it would probably be well to dismiss most of the children at the end of the third afternoon period; for any additional work that might be elected—whether in music, a second foreign language, dancing, drawing or painting, manual training or whatever else it might be would be more likely in most communities to be taken privately than in school. Provision for such outside work seems to me to be a matter of great importance; one of the most serious defects of our school system today being that it so fills up the time of the child as to leave no opportunity for the cultivation of a special talent. As a result of this the musically or otherwise artistically gifted child is too often driven to forfeit a general education for the sake of properly cultivating his talent. To return to the use to be made in school of the fourth afternoon period, I would suggest that it would be well to divide the class into several groups, each one of which would remain in school the fourth afternoon period at least once a week, to receive individual help from the teacher or to study under her supervision.
Turning now to the program itself, I would explain that where the subject is not repeated five times a week the figure in parenthesis after the name of the subject indicates the number of times a week it appears in the daily order of exercises. Where two or more subjects are grouped together, a + sign indicates the desirability of devoting to the subject at least the number of hours stated and perhaps more, while a — sign indicates that the number of hours stated is a maximum, which might be lessened.
DAILY PROGRAM FOR ELEMENTARY DEPARTMENT
Morning Session, 9—12 A. M. A. M.
Minutes 9.00 Opening Exercises and Singing,
15 9.15 Reckoning and Mathematics
35 9.50 Intermission (brief),
5 9.55 Writing (3) and Spelling (2),
35 10.30 Intermission (longer)
15 10.45 Development of Civilization, or History (3—
and Geography and Nature Study (2+), 35 11.20 Intermission (brief)
5 11.25 Reading (4 at first, 2 later), Composition (1+) and Grammar (last two years, 2),
Afternoon Session, 2-4.30 P. M. 2.00 Manual Training (2), Drawing (2), & Music (1), 35 2.35 Intermission (brief),
5 2.40 Manual Training, contd (2), A Modern language
or period for study and individual help from
35 3.15 Intermission (brief),
5 3.20 Physical Culture,
35 3.55 Intermission (brief),
5 4.00 Optional Elective (4) and Period for individual help from teacher (1+)
30 Note.--It may seem unnecessary, if not absurd, to have the usual five-minute intermission before and after the period for physical culture but, aside from every other consideration, it is to be remembered that where there are special teachers the program as above set forth can only be that of one of the classes ; the second class must take the afternoon subjects in a different order; the third in a still different order; hence the necessity for arranging the program so that a brief intermission shall follow every class period. Of course in case the subjects scheduled for the morning session are given in the afternoon, the necessity for the five-minute intermission at the end of every period but the last becomes still more evident.