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will not need all the things that he has picked up on his travels. He is to study the objects and materials just about him and as they actually exist, and he is to study them himself, and then impart his interest and his enthusiasm to his pupils. He will need tools of various kinds, as implements, books, notebooks, and apparatus, but they are only tools.
Again, he must teach first-hand fact, not mere theory or mere textbook. The recitation is only incidental; perhaps he will not utilize it in a good part of the work. All agricultural subjects must be taught by the nature-study mode, which is accurately to see the real object or the real phenomenon; to reason correctly from what is seen; to establish a bond of sympathy with the object or phenomenon that is studied. One can not see accurately unless one has the object itself. If the pupil studies corn, he should have corn in his hands, and he should make his own observations and draw his own conclusions; if he studies cows, he should make his own observations on cows and not merely repeat what some one has said about them. So far as possible, all nature-study work should be conducted in the open, where the objects are. If specimens are needed, let the pupils collect them. See that observations are made on the crops in the field as well as on the specimens. Nature study is primarily án outdoor process; the schoolroom should be merely an adjunct to the out of doors, rather than the ont of doors an adjunct to the schoolroom, as it is at present. It can not be too often repeated that the teacher and the pupil must get out of doors.
Again, the mere details of " method ” are of very secondary importance. When the teacher knows a thing of his own experience and is consumed with enthusiasm for it, he will teach in spite of himself. The teacher must be taught to teach the significant things. Many a pupil is wearied of a subject by the endless attention to mere details, and to exceptions, and to overcareful explanations of this and that. Teach the detail only when the detail is relevant. Do not teach mere processes so far in advance of the need of them. It is the finest thing in teaching to have a nice sense of proportion.
Still again, the intending teacher of agriculture should not neglect the home side of farm life. What we call “home economics" is not necessarily a woman's subject alone. It is central to all effective agriculture. The country girl has just as much need of being put into touch with realities as the country boy has, and no teacher of agriculture, whether man or woman, should neglect or overlook the home any more than he should neglect or overlook the barns.
We may now consider the institutions that may train teachers. In the effort to elucidate this perplexing subject, correspondence has been asked of all State superintendents of public instruction in the United States and of all agricultural colleges, and appeal has been made to many persons who have given this matter much thought. The correspondence culminating in this publication has covered several years, although not all undertaken for the particular purpose of this report. The kindest and freest responses have been given, for which the uthor now makes due acknowledgment. This correspondence discloses the most diverse opinions in respect to the means to be evolved for the training of persons to teach agriculture. All the respondents indicate a desire to see some means developed whereby teachers can be fitted for this work, evidencing their feeling that a question of great public moment is before us.
The subject may be clarified at once by dividing the efforts to train teachers for agriculture into two groups: (1) Those agencies that aim to aid teachers already in the schools to get up” agricultural work; (2) those agencies that aim consciously to prepare new teachers for this field.
(1).--AIDS TO TEACHERS.
With the exception of the newly organized special agricultural schools, the present work in the teaching of agriculture will fall mostly to teachers who are now engaged in the schools. They have had no regular school training in the subject, as a rule, and they must now prepare themselves as best they can. They are often forced to pass an examination in what is called agriculture, even though there may be no means whereby they can compass the subject. For the present teachers various aids and short cuts are provided, and some of these agencies are also invoked to spread the propaganda of the new education among the people.
These agencies may be ranged under seven heads: (a) Summer schools and institutes; (6) introduction of agricultural work into brief teachers' institutes and convocations; (c) lectures before teachers, farmers, and various organizations, emanating from an educational center; (d) correspondence, reading club, and leaflet work; (e) short courses in agricultural colleges and other institutions; (f) supervising or advisory teachers who inspect the nature study or agriculture in a group of schools; (g) work of the United States Department of Agriculture.
These diverse agencies have exerted a powerful influence on public sentiment touching education that shall prepare men and women to live. In fact, the present momentum of the movement is very largely due to the extensional and propagandic work that these agencies represent. These enterprises can not be expected, however, to give persons the real initial foundation and point of view that will be needed in the coming teaching of agriculture; this real preparation in any teacher must come gradually as the result of work extending over a sufficient period to develop the time element in education. One or more of these various enterprises is often sufficient, however, to put a good and experienced teacher into real touch with the problem and to enable him greatly to extend his usefulness. For many years to come they will be an important means of providing the agriculture teachers in elementary grades. Even if they should eventually cease to be important means of preparing teachers, such temporary agencies—much improved and intensified—will always be needed to reestablish teachers in the faith and to aid them in keeping alive to the progress of their time.
The vacation school probably affords the best means of aiding the teacher who can not take a year or more for preparation. These schools are of two orders: (1) those connected with an institution; (2) those held by State departments of education, being in the nature of prolonged and specialized institutes. If a person devotes himself to mathematics, language, literature, or science in a good summer school of six weeks' duration connected with an institution, he is able to receive a year's college credit for it; there is no reason why he should not cover similar ground in agriculture, if the subject is well taught. The summer schools are becoming more and more explicit and concrete. When they are held at an established institution, they have the advantage of the facilities that have been collected through years of effort. They are also dominated by the teaching spirit, as most of the students are themselves teachers. For agriculture teaching these schools may be very effective, because they come at a season when crops are growing. Many institutions now provide summer schools or sessions in which agricultural and kindred subjects are offered. It will not be long before all agricultural colleges will offer such work. This summer-school work in agriculture is coming to be very direct and practical. The University of Maine, for example, offers a five weeks' course in which one week is given to soils, one to plants, one to animals, one to birds and insects, and one to agricultural economics.
In many of the States the departments of public instruction hold one or more summer schools or institutes of one to four weeks, called also“ summer normals” and “ junior normals," for the benefit of teachers, at which definite agricultural subjects are taught. The college of agriculture often cooperates. In Minnesota, for example, about thirty-five summer training schools are held, that are in session from four to six weeks. These schools are supported by legislative appropriations. One or more lecturers are employed at these schools“ to arouse the interest of teachers in the subject of agriculture and to outline simple courses of work that can be carried out by rural teachers.” Other States follow similar plans. One difficulty often reported is that speakers do not really give instruction in agriculture, but expand on the beauties of country life and on the means of keeping the boys on the farm.
(B).—THE REGULAR TEACHERS' INSTITUTES.
It is noticeable that even the regular brief institutes and teachers' meetings, held throughout the year, now are giving much attention to agricultural subjects, most often, perhaps, in their nature-study phases. These meetings may render the greatest help in putting teachers in touch with the most recent progress, new books, and new methods, although it should be distinctly understood that they can never of themselves give teachers sufficient training for any really effective teaching of agriculture. In their agricultural work, they are yet too prone to emphasize the extraordinary, the semisensational, and the wonderful, evidencing the fact that we are now in the exploitational stage of our agricultural education evolution. The teacher who is not well grounded may be led astray.
(c).—LECTURES. One of the most useful recent movements is the interchange of speakers between teachers' institutes and farmers' institutes. The agricultural colleges are also called on for much lecture work on educational topics; this is good both for the people and the college. Farmers are being called on more and more to recite their experiences. The farmers' institute organization in Illinois has been able to create a strong sentiment in favor of teaching agriculture in the rural schools, being regarded by the Superintendent of Public Instruction as the most powerful agency in this work. In other States the institutes have exerted a similar effect by means of traveling speakers. Such work not only establishes a point of view in the people, but discovers the promising teachers here and there and gives them courage and support.
(D).—CORRESPONDENCE AND LEAFLET WORK. This class of work has now assumed large proportions in some quarters, and has fairly passed the epoch of hostile criticism, although it has not yet passed its experimental stage. When it has fully passed this stage, much of its spontaneity and usefulness will have ceased. The correspondence and leaflet method does not make as strong impression on the teacher as good summer school work or other means of direct personal contact with a good teacher; but it is most effective in arousing a sentiment for better things, and it may be very useful to the individual teacher who wants to work
at his problem quietly and resourcefully. It produces the maximum result at the minimum expense. Various clubs are organized, and crop-growing and exhibition contests are arranged. Combined with an organized lecture system and visitation system, it is probably the most powerful single engine to aid the teacher of agriculture and related subjects in the rural schools. Its greatest danger is its tendency to hold too many names on the lists, thereby limiting its usefulness to each one. One of its greatest faults has been the issuing of publications that are too technical and too dryly agricultural. On the whole, no other agency has placed so many real helps before the teacher.
(E).–SHORT COURSES IN AGRICULTURAL COLLEGES. Many of the agricultural colleges have long been giving brief courses for farm youth. They are now beginning to adapt some of this instruction to the needs of teachers, and it is probable that the demand for such adaptation will increase. Some of the colleges are offering courses of one and two years' duration, but these partake of the nature of real normal departments and may be considered in a subsequent part of this paper.
In two or three States spring schools are held at the agricultural college. The schedule of such a school given by the North Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical College is as follows:
5 Animal studies Insect studies Common branches: Arithmetic, grammar, geography, reading, and history-- 20 Methods of teaching---
16 School sanitation
(F).—PERIPATETIC TEACHERS. Following the city school plan of having a visiting teacher of music or manual training, some places have adopted a similar plan for rural schools. One teacher can visit several schools, either giving the instruction himself, or, what is better, supervising and directing the work of a teacher in each school. The former phase (the peripatetic