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THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCA- line. Locke's theories of psychology are TIONAL METHOD
not in accord with his theories of educaOne of the most significant events of tion. In this respect he is typical of many the Atlantic City meeting of the Depart- educators of the present generation whose ment of Superintendents was the found- philosophical and psychological views are ing of a "permanent society for the study very different from their tenets in educaand promulgation of educational method.” tional practice. The founders of this organization were Herbart, the great technician, one of careful to avoid the assumption that "any
the most influential of educational thinkparticular concepts of method now cur- ers of the past, unfortunately put forth rent may suffice for a complete synthe- his most masterly effort in directing edsis"; but they maintained "that on the ucational practice into the channels of laws of learning and the principles of formalism; thus shifting the emphasis in democratic group life all educational pro- teaching from the child to class-room roucedure should be based, both in teaching tine. and in the supervision of teaching."
The great outstanding fact is that many The organization of this conference is teachers have mastered so thoroughly timely. There is great need just now for the psychological steps included in Heran adequate exchange of ideas and crit- bart's technique of teaching that they folicisms with reference to methods of teach
low them almost automatically while at ing. Educational method is exceedingly their work, forgetting both the child who complex. At the very center of the prob- receives the instruction, and the subjectlem of method is the human factor, mak
matter in its relation to practical needs. ing solutions difficult and perplexing. The problem of method today is that of Perfection of technique in teaching has focusing the attention of teachers upon been accomplished from time to time, but
the growing child. In the school the the human factor has never been prop
child is the supreme and dominating inerly utilized. Method has in the past
terest. He is the embodiment of humanbeen controlled largely by educational ity-past, present, and future. Neither dogma.
scholarship, nor technique of teaching, Numerous examples might be cited by nor skill is of consequence as an end in way of illustration. After two centuries itself, but only the child as a growing, of effort, pedagogues in the seventeenth developing personality. century finally succeeded in perfecting a It has been only during the past decmethod of instruction and of curriculum ade or two that developments in the organization designed for linguistic mas
social sciences and in psychology have tery and literary erudition. As a matter
made it possible to utilize in an educative of history no greater success
way the energy and interests of children. achieved in the perfection of class-room Many of the attempts that are being made technique and curriculum organization.
in an experimental way to develop new Yet because of the practical demands of procedures are exceedingly crude and unlife in the seventeenth century, this nar
satisfactory. Any organization which atrow, humanistic system of education did tempts therefore to work out the problem not meet the needs commonly felt.
of method in a sympathetic and discrimJohn Locke is another example in kind. inating way will undoubtedly be of great He holds the inconsistent position of having service. written the first educational treatise deal- The newly organized conference on ing directly with the child and yet of hav- educational method is preparing to issue ing exceeded all other authorities in per
a Journal of Educational Method edited petuating the doctrine of formal discip- by Dr. James F. Hosic, of the Chicago
C. C. C.
A LIBRARY PROJECT
4. Use your books carefully.
We named our library. Several names
suggested, and after a week's time we voted on Chandler School
"Happy Hour,” When I went into the B third work this semes
"Story Time,” ter, there were not many books available for our
“Golden Hours," use. I mean books that the children were not more
"Our Lady of Sorrows,” or less familiar with. In a casual way I remarked
"The Gold Library,” that I wished we might have a great many new The "Gold Library” was accepted with an overbooks for our reading. The children immediately whelming majority. took this suggestion and the following plans were Some interesting things have occurred. Our offered:
little librarian went to the Public Library to study 1. If we had a library near the school, we their methods. Her mother told me that this could use library, books.
child stayed there almost three hours. She came 2. We might send two or three children to the to school the next day and reported to us as library each week to get books for our room. follows: 3. Why not have a library in our room?
"If you keep a book too long you have to pay This was accepted with enthusiasm and the
a fine. books began to come in. The children brought “If you tear or lose a book, you have to pay several from home; some were given to us by the cost. friends; some taken from our school library. At "If you talk in the library, you are asked to go
home. present we have seventy-five of the best books, The boys brought boards from home, built shelves “The librarian always reads the new books in one corner of the room, and our library was
first." started. Then we elected a librarian. This elec
From this time, she read every book before she tion was by ballot, the children carrying it allowed any child to draw it out. I have heard through with success and enthusiasm. A little
her comment on different books and suggest girl, eight years old, was elected. She appointed stories for each child to read. a library committee of three. During the first
And now for the work itself. I believe a new recess after the election,'our librarian and com
interest in reading has developed in my room. mittee retired to a corner in the recess yard, and
The children select their own books for class
work. the following rules were drawn up:
Three or four will have a copy of the 1. Do not take books without saying anything
same book. They get together in a little group, about it.
select a story, help each other with the unfa2. Do not come to the desk without cards. miliar words, and come to me only as a last re3. Do not steele books.
sort. Some of these little folks brought diction4. Do not leave books in the rane.
aries from home, and have grown quite proficient 5. Please read books quite.
in using them. Some days we have ten or fifteen 6. Do not tare books.
little groups working at one time. These rules were too good and too much a part At another period we have the oral work. Each of the children to be spoiled through correction, individual or group chooses the method by which so we accepted them as they were. I taught the the story is to be presented to us, that is, whether mis-spelled words as supplementary words, and by each one telling a certain part. or through after fourteen weeks of work the same committee dramatization, the only requirement being that revised the rules, and now we have the following:
each child must do a definite amount of actual 1. Do not take a book without leaving your
work each day. name, address, and the date.
I had some trouble at first in selecting the 2. Always bring your card when you come to members for each group. The leaders naturally the library.
chose the best for their own groups.
This left 3. Never steal books.
the slow and timid ones in a group without a
leader. After using a great deal of tact and careful planning, I finally succeeded in having these slow ones chosen into the very group from which the most help might be secured. To me the result has been marvelous. I have seen comprehension, enunciation, expression, force, interest, and enthusiasm developed by these little groups in a greater degree than I could ever have secured under the old-time method of teaching reading.
Other things have been accomplished. Last September only one child in the room had a Public Library card. Now thirty-one out of thirty-nine have cards. Not a day passes but some new book is brought in from the Public Library. If the child wishes to do so, he uses this book for his reading in class. We have had an abundance of material for our geography work—the children finding, selecting, and presenting their contributions to the class. About threefourths of the room have become quite adept in using the index of a book.
THE ALGER SENIOR CIVICS
EFFIE M. BARTLETT
The work of the League is apportioned among five committees. These are:
The Sanitary Committee, 2. The Humane Committee, 3. The Public Health Committee, 4. The Safety First Committee, 5. The Committee on the Rights of Property.
The activities of these committees are manifold. They include:
1. The supervision of the personal cleanliness of the pupils;
2. The inspection of the streets, alleys, and garbage cans of the neighborhood;
3. The removal of waste paper and other rubbish from the school grounds and from adjoining vacant property;
4. The protective care of birds, homeless cats and dogs, and ill-treated horses;
5. The safe-guarding of little children in coming to and going from school;
6. The preservation of school buildings and everything belonging to them from defacement and injury;
7. The maintenance of order in the corridors of the school and on the school playgrounds.
At the regular weekly meeting of the League, the chairmen of the several committees present reports of the work accomplished, and recommend such measures as they deem necessary for the furtherance of that work. Reports are also received from the presidents of the Junior Civics Leagues of the school, who attend the meetings, take part in the discussion, and report the proceedings of their respective Leagues.
The hearty co-operation of parents and city officials in the work of the League has been most gratifying to its members. This co-operation has been secured by personal, interviews, personal letters, and circulars, one of which is herewith submitted :
A. S. C. L.
Slogan "Always Ready" To Our Neighbors:
The Alger Senior Civics League is composed of members of the graduating class of the Alger School. Its aim is to make this neighborhood and our city a better, cleaner, safer, and more beautiful place.
In order to have these results accomplished, we need your help and you need ours. Your part is to keep your premises free from papers, broken glass, tin cans, and rubbish of every kind; to throw your garbage into the garbage pail-not at it; to be kind to dumb animals; to keep the children off the roadways; in short, to obey the laws of the city. Our Club consists of five committees :
The Sanitary Committee,
The Alger Senior Civics League was organized in 1918 by Miss Alice McAdam, principal of the Alger School, and Miss Sarah Whitley, teacher of civics in that school.
The purpose of the organization has been to prepare boys and girls for loyal and effective service ir city, state, and nation, by means of practical lessons in the elements of good citizenship. These lessons have stressed the relation of the pupil to his family, his school, and his community, and have thus made him realize that what affects him, as an individual, affects the whole social fabric.
Practical problems relating to the home, the school, and the community have been presented to the League for solution. These have afforded something tangible upon which to base constructive social work. The discussion of these problems has not only stimulated thought and feeling regarding the welfare of the community, but has also given to the members of the League a worldwide vision of true patriotic service and the glory of it.
Membership in the League is restricted to the A eighth class. The officers-a president, a vicepresident, a secretary, and a treasurer are elected by ballot, a majority of votes being necessary to a choice.
If our services are needed in the neigborhood, we trust that you will call on us.
Secretary. NORMAN DUNHAM,
President. One of the most delightful features of this cooperative work has been a number of addresses delivered at the meetings of the League by public-spirited citizens. The following is a partial list of the names of these speakers and of the subjects upon which they have spoken:
Mr. James F. Wright, of the Pathfinders' Club -"Crime: Its Cause and Cure."
Dr. Mary Stevens, Commissioner of the House of Correction-"Humane Treatment of Prisoners."
Mr. Arthur Curtis, State Officer of the Animal Welfare Association—"Our Dumb Animals.”
Lieutenant William Rutledge and Sergeant Frank McCormack, police officers—"Safety First."
Captain Gypsy Pat Smith—"Armistice Day on the Firing Line.”
No account of the work of the Alger Senior Civics League would be complete without honorable mention of its most powerful auxiliary:
THE ALGER JUVENILE COURT This court, organized and officered by the pupils of the eighth grade, takes cognizance of all misdemeanors arising under the rules of the school, the rules of the Board of Education, and the ordinances of the city, and imposes suitable penalties for the violation of these rules and ordinances.
The Alger Senior Civics League and the Alger Juvenile Court, acting in co-operation, are solving many perplexing problems of the home, the school, and the community, and are helping boys and girls to live in accordance with the principles embodied in the mottoes of the League :
“We will strive unceasingly to quicken the public's sense of civil duty.”
"I believe that a man should be proud of the city in which he lives, and so live that the city will be proud that he lives in it."
A NOTABLE ELECTION
VINA G. KNOWLES Vordstrum High School
Careful study of election issues and businesslike methods of voting characterized the political activities at Nordstrum in early November, Record periods were devoted to discussions of party platforms and candidates for office. The pupils developed a high regard for accuracy
a by-product of training that one profoundly hopes may be transferred in some degree, however slight, to their post-election undertakings. They questioned statements that seemed to them unsound, or not properly supported; they investigated the facts over night, and corrected errors in their assembly rooms next day. One of the election chairmen declared that most pupils voted a straight ticket, because they felt that a oneparty power would serve the best interests of the country by working harmoniously. The pupils were eager to vote, and they voted quickly. In Precinct Five only one pupil came to the polls undecided as to his choice.
Pupil officers are justly proud of the business-like precision that marked the day's work. A boy informed us that the 8:20 bell was a signal for voters to besiege the polls. But they were taken care of expeditiously and quietly, and each voted at his appointed hour. The voter was first put into the hands of an inspector, who investigated his registration. Then he proceeded to the next officer, who provided him with the "official" ballot. The ballot was turned over to a third official, whose duty it was to sort and count the votes. The returns were in at noon, and checking proved the pupils' work accurate.
The seriousness that was so evident during the days of registration continued unabated until the last vote was cast. A house-president announced that his house had held four conventions. Upon inquiry, he elucidated, “Oh, conventions like the ones at Chicago and San Francisco!” He added that it had been “so wonderful” to vote. “But," he said, "the only trouble is that most of us will get just this one chance, for we'll be out of high school when it is time to vote again." A boy who had been absent on registration day made frantic efforts to do something so that he need not lose his vote. As several seniors put it: “If these Nordstrum pupils exhibit the same earnestness of spirit when they become of age, West Detroit will have some citizens of whom they may be proud."
THE DETROIT ENGLISH CLUB
1. THE DISCUSSION CONTEST IN INTER
Interest in the Discussion Contest in intermediate grades (7), (8), and (9), has already made itself manifest by the organization in several schools of English clubs, to give practice in informal speaking. This socializing of class groups
will prove of great advantage in the development fifteen subjects for discussion and formulated of poise and personality in the young informal a set of regulations for the preliminary and final speakers.
contests. These rules and the names of the comThat the children will find oral composition in mittee were roted in the last issue of this magaother fields than narration difficult and that their zine. early efforts will be crude, we know; but if we In most of the high schools entering the conbelieve with Dr. John Dewey that language is not
test, the work was commenced early in October, merely a medium for the expression of thought,
when the list of fifteen subjects was presented to but fundamentally “a condition and tool for the
all the English sections. Each pupil was encourthinking process itself,” we shall have faith that
aged to offer in class, before his fellows, an inthe child's endeavor will result in clearer think
formal discussion of some one or more of the ing, accompanied by precise and accurate expres
topics. Then elimination contests took place until sion,
one pupil was selected from each course of EngTo aid classes in their discussion work, a list
lish from (3) to (8) inclusive. When this was of subjects was published in the December num
done these six contestants entered into a local ber of this Journal. With one exception the
school or semi-final contest, by which one member topics listed under the several subjects have no
was elected to go to the final contest at Northern logical sequence. They are merely suggestions
High School on the afternoon of January 10th. of different phases which may be discussed in one to three-minute talks. Teachers and pupils
In several of the schools these finals were fesactually at work in class will undoubted!y be able
tive occasions, at which the patrons of the school to formulate more interesting topics than those
and members of the Board of Education were listed.
present. The final contest at Northern High The subjects to be used in the final contest be
School, January 10th, before the Detroit English fore the English Club the first Monday in May
Club, while being the culmination of all the work 1. Recreation and Play-grounds, 2. De
in discussion, was really of secondary importance. troit as an Ocean Port, 3. How Detroit Can be The real value of the plan lay in the interest Improved. The inter-class contests may now be
aroused in, and the practice secured by, the sixarranged for determining the class representa
teen thousand or so who did not go to the finals. tives, who in turn will contest in semi-finals for At those schools where the complete plan of elimithe honor of representing the school before the nation was carried out, there was a genuine inEnglish Club.
terest in oral expression engendered that surprised even the most enthusiastic supporters of the idea.
In some of the schools, where circumstances II. SENIOR DISCUSSION CONTEST
forbade the following of the plans in detail, vol
unteers were called out for a single contest, to JULIA E. GETTEMY
select a contestant for the finals. In still other Northwestern High School
schools pupils were selected, who contested for
the privilege of going to Northern on JanuA discussion contest for senior high schools was inaugurated in Detroit, January 10, 19:21. A discussion contest is exactly what the name
At the final event at Northern there were seven implies—a contest in which various subjects of entrants : common and general interest are informally dis- Howard Clayson (Northern)-Lessons of fair cussed by the contestants, whose work is then play learned in school life prepare for the seriousjudged and ranked by a board of judges.
ness of the greater game of life itself. The idea of such a contest was conceived by . Gilbert Thorne (Northwestern)-Why should the executive committee of the Detroit English public playgrounds be supervised ? Club, during the summer of 1920, and it was Frank Jones (Central)-Fair play between emmade a part of the work of the Club for the fol
plover and employee is one solution of the labor lowing winter, and a feature of Better Speech question. Week
Willard Pryor (Western)–Fair play is of as The contest was very broad and out-reaching, much value in work as in sport. for it touched in its effects about sixteen thousand Donald Parker (Cass)-Athletics are a means members of the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth of education in fair play. grades of the city. Early in September a com- Margaret Stiffler (School of Commerce)-Do mittee was appointed which consisted of the public schools pay sufficient attention to teachmember from each senior high school in the city. ing children how to care for their health? This committee met and selected a group of Herbert Path (Nordstrum) — Thrift should br