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classes. In Michigan “elementary agriculture” is in the fourth quarter of the year's course in the “ County normal training classes. In Nebraska a very full two-semester course in agriculture, with laboratory work, is provided for “Normal training in high schools.” This normal training in Nebraska is given in the eleventh and twelfth grades.“ Credit for such training shall be given upon the completion of the prescribed course in normal training and the regular high school course of study."
A canvass of an apparently representative high school training class in one State showed four members to be high school graduates and nine to have had considerable high school work. Six of them were from farms and considered themselves to be fairly well qualified to teach some of the subjects relating to farming. The ages ranged from 17 to 22,
All were women. A further inquiry in the same State showed that 345 out of 470 training class students had spent most of their lives on the farm. Of this number, 322 considered themselves capable of teaching agriculture, but it should be said that agriculture teaching has not yet been introduced practically in that State. The ages of these students, nearly all women, range from 17 to 34 years, the average being 21 years.
No general opinion can be expressed on the efficiency of training class work in the fitting of persons to teach agriculture, for everything depends on the organization of the enterprise, the safeguards thrown about it, the age, experience, and qualifications of the students, the extent of the agricultural work, and the way in which it is taught. These classes, of one kind and another, are now sending out very many teachers to the rural schools. Their great handicap is that they themselves can not secure teachers properly qualified to give instruction in agriculture. No real preparation of training class students to teach the agriculture of a syllabus can be expected unless the teacher of the class has himself had good preparation in the subject.
(D).—SEPARATE AGRICULTURAL SCHOOLS. The county and other schools of agriculture and domestic science that have lately been organized have thus far confined their energies to regular agricultural or industrial work; but many persons expect that they will also become important centers for the training of teachers for elementary and secondary schools. If they enter this field, it is a question whether they will not be in danger of alienating their regular farming support, unless they can command more resources than are now in sight. These schools are organized chiefly to supply a direct agricultural need. It will require considerable increase in funds if they hold this field and also enter another. It is expected that these schools, of all others, will send youth directly back to the farms. In Wisconsin, where there has been experience in both agricultural and normal work, the two functions are separated; and this would seem to be the logical result for all States.
Various institutions on private or semiprivate foundations, and not a regular part of public school enterprises, offer facilities for teachers to prepare in agriculture and kindred subjects. A marked example of this group is the Macdonald Institute at the Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph, Canada. " Its equipment and accommodation is ample to furnish long and short courses in home economics, nature study, and manual training—the last two for teachers, male and female, and the home economics for farmers' daughters and other young women who desire to learn the theory and practice of cooking, ventilation, general housekeeping, laundry work, sewing, dressmaking, millinery, home decoration, etc.” Summer courses are provided at Guelph ; also a one-year normal course“ to provide instructors fitted to carry on the work of nature study and school gardens in a group of rural schools, in a large consolidated school, or in an agricultural high school.” The new Macdonald College, near Montreal, will have a profound influence on the teaching of country life subjects.
· The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Virginia (a parental type of others in the South), provides normal training for negroes and Indians. The year for agricultural students is twelve months, with a vacation of a few days or weeks only. At the close of the academic year class-room work stops, but each student is given work in the different divisions of the department, where he can get experience in planning and directing labor and field operations and in assuming responsibility. At the same time he is given instruction in the best methods of managing labor. Actual class-room work under normal methods, and practical field work, seem to fill a great need in fitting the students for teaching what they have acquired in the class room.
Students of Hampton who design to teach receive, before being graduated, four months' instruction in psychology and the principles of teaching, four hours per week, and also engage for four months in actual teaching in the class room. The student teaches all of the common school subjects of the State of Virginia. A large school garden affords opportunity for the teacher students to work with children in the open during April, May, October, and part of November. For the winter season, an indoor course in nature study and agriculture supplements the outdoor work. Post-graduate students receive two months' training in teaching classes in the training school. These students teach agriculture and elementary science. They plan their lessons, teach children to work in the garden, and conduct field trips.
(F).—EDUCATION DEPARTMENTS AND TEACHERS' COLLEGES.
Much is to be expected of schools and departments of education in universities in the preparing of teachers for the higher ranges of public school teaching in agriculture. This is particularly true when a college or department of agriculture is comprised in the same university. In such case a four-year course can be assembled, involving two years of sound general scientific study, followed by two years in which the study of agriculture and related subjects is combined with training in education, all having special reference to high school and normal school problems. This would involve the modification of some of the regular instruction in the agricultural departments, or, preferably, new courses in them to meet the special needs of teachers. Professional schools of education that do not have regular agricultural connection may well cooperate with a neighboring college of agriculture by incorporating a year, more or less, of the work of such college as a part of its own course of study for those who desire to prepare specially for agriculture teaching. Teachers College of Columbia University in this way catalogues certain courses of the College of Agriculture at Cornell University.
Following is the statement of Teachers College in respect to the cooperation mentioned above (1908):
Agriculture in high schools. The rapid development of agricultural instruction in many public schools is creating a demand for specially trained teachers. It is the consensus of opinion of school officers that for such instruction there is need of teachers who have been thoroughly trained in general sciences, biology, in particular, with its application to agriculture, and also in the principles of education. Many agricultural colleges give the subject-matter which is needed, but they do not deal with the educational applications. In order to combine the advantages of an agricultural college with those of a strictly educational institution a plan of cooperation has been arranged between Teachers College and the College of Agriculture at Cornell University, whereby students preparing for special work as teachers of agriculture may take the appropriate courses in the science of agriculture at Cornell University (especially principles of agronomy, horticulture, and animal husbandry) and then study the educational problems at Teachers College.
As already stated, it is desirable that agriculture should be combined with nature study and biology, or with nature study and physical science. Such combinations may be made by candidates for the bachelor's and master's degrees at Teachers College. The intimate relation of elementary agriculture to biology and nature study makes it desirable that their educational aspects should be involved in the same courses. Hence the student giving especial attention to agriculture will arrange a course at Teachers College as suggested above for biology and nature study; but having had previous special work in the subject-matter of agriculture at Cornell University, or elsewhere, the individual work, such as preparation of papers and theses, will in the educational course be centered around problems of agricultural teaching.
Approved courses in the science of agriculture taken in agricultural colleges other than Cornell will be credited at Teachers College.
In the University of Missouri the Teachers' College utilizes courses in the College of Agriculture for teachers who desire to fit themselves for teaching agriculture in the public schools. These courses in the College of Agriculture are in the main distinct from the regular agriculture courses, and are designed primarily for teachers. Credits are given for the work only to students in the Teachers' College who are expecting to be teachers. In addition, for the university students who have taken sufficient of this elementary work for teachers and who have also the requisite preparation in the natural sciences, provision is made for electing and receiving credit for some of the technical courses in agriculture and horticulture which are given in the College of Agriculture. A good many teachers in the Teachers' College are enrolling regularly in these courses in agriculture and horticulture, and some of them later elect the more technical courses in the College of Agriculture, in order still further to increase their training in agricultural subjects for the distinct purpose of enabling them to teach agriculture in the public schools.
Speaking of their various experiences in aiding teachers to handle agricultural work, an officer of the University of Missouri writes as follows:
In my judgment the most effective results in proportion to the energy expended have been secured through the courses offered to teachers in the university. Perhaps the majority of teachers who take agriculture regularly in the university courses do not themselves teach directly in the country schools, but in the better high schools of the State, in smaller towns surrounded by good farming communities. These teachers in the high schools have the training of a large number of young people who teach in the country schools later, so that it is safe to say that every teacher who takes our regular university courses in agriculture reaches with this teaching hundreds of young men and women who will go out into the country schools as teachers. A good many schools of this State are teaching agriculture and kindred subjects in one way or another. Many of them are correlating the work with geography, with language, and even sometimes with other subjects in the schools, through the aid of school gardens or school plantings, and by a study of the material with which the pupils come in contact at their homes. In addition to correlating the work with other subjects, some of the schools give regular courses in agriculture and horticulture.
(G).—COLLEGES OF AGRICULTURE. The agricultural colleges are now beginning to devise means of extending their efforts to the training of teachers in agriculture. This movement is of such vast importance in the field of practical pedagogy that it may now be separately discussed in a final chapter,