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Here, then, are four criteria by means of tunity to celebrate Lincoln's birthday, and which any teacher may measure her teach- that a speaking contest based upon Lining to determine to what degree it is right coln's Gettysburg speech would result in to call it project teaching: Is the basis of the situation she desired. organization a dominating purpose? Do The teacher's actual procedure was as the children determine what is done (set follows: At the time of a regular class their own lessons )? Do the children ap- meeting about the first of February, she praise the success of their efforts (mark read to the class Lincoln's Gettysburg their own work)? Does the teacher con- address. This, of course, was pure dominatrol through stimulation rather than through tion on her part.

The children had no say dictation? Are the rich and varied results as to whether they would or would not hear judged by the children to be worth while? the reading, and no knowledge of what was The reader is invited to apply these criteria to come out of it. In other words, at this to the account which follows.

point the “purposing” was wholly the teachThe project selected for description orig- er’s. inated with the teacher, not with the chil

The purpose of the reading was not indren. It is chosen purposely to show how

struction but stimulation—the creation of a the project method can be used by teachers

situation from which a purpose might come who are "covering" a course of study, and to the children. The reading was prefaced to illustrate guidance as opposed to dom- by a few remarks to the effect that English ination.

authorities in England have ranked the The class with which the teacher worked speech as the most perfect specimen of its was a group of eighth-grade boys studying kind in the English language. A few deEnglish literature. The course of study for tails of the setting were discussed, but no this grade contained the suggestion, among

explanation of the text attempted. At the others, that A Perfect Tribute, a story of

close of the reading the teacher merely reLincoln's Gettysburg address, should be

mindled the class that the 12th of February read in connection with the celebration of was approaching, and asked, "What can we Lincoln's birthday. Also the teacher, ac

do to celebrate Lincoln's birthday?" cording to the course of study, was under

With this question the project passed obligation to give the class some training in into a second stage, for the children rememorization and public recitation. These sponded as readily as the teacher expected facts furnished the immediate stimulus to they would, and made many suggestions. the teacher. The project which grew out

From “You read us a story,” to “Let's have of them occupied twelve days of class work. a Lincoln party," there was a gradual tran

However, instead of assigning A Perfect sition from teacher-directed activity to Tribute for class study and discussion, the pupil-direction. Soon the discussion became teacher began to plan, consciously, to de

real, back and forth from child to child. As velop a situation which would lead the the teacher had foreseen, among the suggeschildren to want to read the assignment. In

tions made was that of a speaking contest, other words, her problem as a teacher was

based upon the Gettysburg address. to create a demand on the part of the chil- The teacher's problem was now to guide dren for the reading of A Perfect Tribute. the individual purposing so that all might This involved a study of boy nature and in- accept a single worthy purpose. The conterests, and the selection of those interests to ventional teacher would have dominated be stimulated to produce the result desired. the situation, and by her approval or ex

The teacher's study of her problem led press order “put over” the contest plan. to the conclusion that the boys would in- This teacher, however, adopted a different stinctively and gladly respond to an oppor- method. She said to herself, “I do not think the reading of a story by me is a suit- oneself and to teach others to stand for able way for the boys to celebrate, because them. The idea of a prize thus died a natit is too ordinary, and because it involves ural death, and the teacher had the satisfacno learning on their part. If I can get the tion of knowing that the pupils would apboys to see these reasons they will also re- proach their self-imposed task of memorizject the idea of a story.” Therefore, she ation with the idea of making that drudgchose guidance instead of domination and ery serve a high and worthy purpose. merely asked the question, "Why is the The need for organization had become reading of a story not a worthy way to cel- increasingly evident. The teacher's quesebrate Lincoln's birthday?" The reasons tion, "How are you going to arrange for were forthcoming from the class at once, the contest?" led to the division of the and even the individual who suggested the class, by the children, into five teams of five story turned to another plan. In a similar boys each, and the appointment by the class fashion, the tendency toward a party was of two committees to arrange details. The blocked as "too selfish” under the teacher's class had had previous experience in this guidance.

form of organization, and lost no time in Little by little the trend toward a contest getting to work. became unanimous. Note that the implied The first assignment made by the class opposition in the teacher's question, “Is a was logically the learning of the Gettysburg contest a worthy way to celebrate Lincoln's address. Each boy took his copy and went birthday ?" completed the "sale" of the to work. In twenty minutes the first indiproject. In their eagerness to convince the vidual announced himself as ready for the teacher, the class ended by convincing contest. Several others soon followed his itself. The desire to hold a contest grad- example and the speaking began. One boy ually increased in definiteness and strength. managed to say two complete sentences, At the proper time the teacher graciously several got through one, while two or three, yielded to the purpose now dominant in the judged by themselves' as adequately prechildren, and gave her consent.

pared, faced their classmates absolutely It is to be noted particularly that this wordless. The contest ended in dismal and purposing was entirely the children's. As complete failure, and the teacher, sitting on far as they were aware from this time on, the side lines, could not keep the smiles and it was “their” project they were carrying amusement from her face. on, not the teacher's. Her part was merely Immediately the class demanded an exto allow them to do what they wished, and planation of their failure. They were not to be of service to them in the achievement

afraid; they had studied the text until they of their desires.

thought they knew it. Why should they By this time, the end of the hour had ar- fail? Under the teacher's questions it soon rived, and the class dismissed itself with the developed that they had little real undersuggestion that all come to the next meet- standing of the meaning of the words they ing prepared to plan the contest.

were attempting to say, and no background At the class period the following day, for interpretation. The hour closed with a several good plans were offered by the chil- demand on the teacher by the class for readdren, but the dominant idea behind them ing material that would supply the backall was that of contesting for a prize. This ground, and for assistance in getting the was discussed at length until finally the meaning. teacher's guiding question, "What is the When the class assembled at the next purpose in giving this speech ?" brought out class period, the teacher's desk was piled the thought that the most fitting way to high with material. There were twentyhonor a man was to stand for his ideals five copies of A Perfect Tribute, several

was

histories, and a large dictionary. Some of Concomitant results of this character are the children took to the stories at once, sev- products which can be secured only by the eral tackled the histories, while two at a project method. time used the dictionary. Intensive study The next few days were given to eliminaof this material and the discussions that tion contests within the teams. Each boy grew out of it, occupied several days. Dur- of the five gave his speech and was ranked ing all this period, assignment and study by his team-mates. Then the member was wholly under the children's own direc- judged to be the best was chosen to repretion. The teacher merely placed her sent his team, and coached and services at the disposal of the class, and re- groomed by his team-mates in preparation sponded to individual calls for assistance. for the final contest. The team spirit made Note that at this point one of the teacher's it necessary for every boy to give at least purposes had been accomplished. The chil

a word-perfect speech. dren counted it a favor to be supplied with As a result of the elimination contests, a copy of A Perfect Tribute and to be

the project entered its final stage, a discus· allowed to study it. A more grateful and sion of standards of judgment. The class appreciative class would be hard to imagine. eventually decided upon a score-card with Finally the day came when, in the judg

percentage values totalling 100. Sincerity ment of the class, it was ready for another

was given 40 points, emphasis 20, bearing trial of the contest. This time, several suc

20, and enunciation 20. It was taken for ceeded in saying all the words, but found granted that every one of the contestants themselves short of breath, shaky, or un- would know the speech perfectly, and the certain of voice, expressionless, and pretty apportioning of values given by the chilgenerally criticized by the class for uncouth dren indicates how completely they had enposture or manner of address. The trial, tered into the spirit of the occasion when however, gave promise of eventual success, Lincoln himself had been the speaker. and was distinctly encouraging.

A second by-product of the judging acA second period of analysis of failure tivity was the selecting of the judges, the followed and resulted in further demands on writing of invitations, arrangements of the teacher for assistance. The teacher, seatings, and similar detail, all of which inhowever, gave it as her opinion that these volved a large amount of planning and fore. were matters for expert advice. Accord- sight by the children. ingly, after a short discussion and under the

The contest was held on the 11th of Febguidance of her questions, the class directed

ruary, and showed five very creditable perits committee on arrangements to ask the formances between which the judges found special teacher of music in the building to it very difficult to choose. At the suggesspeak to them on voice-placing and control,

tion of one of the judges, the winner offered the gymnasium teacher on proper breathing, his services to the senior room for their Linand the principal of the school on the be- coln Day program. Opportunity was found havior, posture, etc., proper for a man mak- throughout the school for the other contesting a speech.

ants to give their speeches before the variThe class period the following day was ous English classes. Thus the final product devoted to lectures by these "experts," and of the project was put to immediate use, to answering questions put by the boys. and the children's ideas directed to "service" Again, the close attention paid by the boys, as the ultimate goal. But from the the discriminating and intelligent apprecia- point of vie

point of view of the class, the project was tion of the advice given, and their gratitude completed by the final contest, and the defor assistance rendered were a source of

of interest and satisfaction in this conjoy and encouragement to their teacher. test and the real appreciation of the ideas

gree

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D.

Second trial, partial To show impor- Question: "Cause To give speech | Imperfect giving Several versions of
success
tance of voice, of weakness?" intelligently of speech.

same words Analysis of breath, poise

Requests for Lack of breath con. weakness

assistance trol. Stage fright.

Suggests help of ex

perts

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To show unre- Who really gave To give speech Each boy giving Elimination contest liability of mere the speech best? perfectly speech. Selecting 1 from each team opinion

Judging one from each chosen. Standards

team for final judgments

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for February 12

*Means lead was blocked.

and ideals involved in Lincolu's historic ad- efficient citizenship, so the skill of one who dress proved that the teacher's work had can originate projects, and control through not been in vain.

guidance instead of dictation, must excel As an aid to summarizing the discussion that of the conventional teacher. above, and to show the essential features in This does not mean, however, that their proper relationship, the plan of activ- project teaching is only for the exceptionity has been condensed to the diagram ally able. On the contrary, every teacher, given on the preceding page. The left-hand whatever her ability, can adopt the spirit column, marked "Happening," reviews in a of service instead of domination, and, so series of word-pictures what took place in far as her ability goes, alter her procedure class each day; the next two columns show to conform in some degree to the criteria the teacher's purposes and activities; the set up at the beginning of this article. next two, the purposes and activities of the Furthermore, from time to time and in inchildren; while in the right-hand column creasing volume, projects worked out by will be found a number of important ele- able teachers will be available for others ments in the situation.

to follow. It is thus perfectly feasible for This long description may well be closed any teacher, who really so desires, greatly with two warnings. The first is that to one to improve her teaching skill. who does not understand how completely The second warning is a corollary of the the success of the method is dependent on first. Do not expect to achieve at once the the skill and thoughtful care of the teacher, degree of success described above. Both it may seem that the teacher is doing no teacher and class had had a long previous work. To all appearances she is most of training which alone made this extended the time an idle though interested spectator. project possible. With most classes a first The process moves forward smoothly, and attempt to set children free to work out the children do all the work. Occasionally their own purposes results in disciplinary the teacher breaks in with a question, more problems which greatly dishearten the for her own enlightenment, apparently, than teacher. Fortunately, the reason and the for the good of the children, and occasion- solution are both simple. Children who ally she is kept busy supplying material or have grown up under teacher domination information in response to the children's have small powers of either self-direction demands. It is always thus with a skilled or self-control. Their lack of resourcefulness performance in any field. One can never and their riotous behavior when once started estimate accurately, until he has tried and on the achievement of a purpose of their failed himself, just how great is the skill own, are both the strongest kind of evidence which knows just when to intervene, and in favor of project teaching. Children need just when to let the process run through to to be trained in methods of self-direction, failure. One can never know, until his self-appraisal, and self-control, and need to own plans have failed entirely, how much learn to work co-operatively and harmonicareful thought, resourcefulness, and knowl- ously with their classmates no less than edge of child-nature have gone into the they need to acquire the three R's, and teacher's planning of a successful project. other forms of the world's store of wisdom. The project method will never be used ex- Teachers are warned against attempting tensively by the unskilled teacher, except in too much at first. Professor Kilpatrick's following bunglingly along the path already advice given at the close of his first article marked out by the exceptional teacher. is sane and sensible. If only all Detroit Just as the products of project teaching far teachers could be led to follow it, the future excel those of conventional teaching in all happiness and prosperity of our city would that makes for character, intelligence, and be assured.

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