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TABLE II.—What experience and maturity have the teachers in the rural schools
of your state? 1
30 1 8 41
9 14 26. 5 23 20 42 43 34 18 16 5 6
66 67 55 50 73 71 75 83 75 55 61 66 55 65 50 61 70 65 73 71 75 52 65 63 60 65 84
48 35 37 40 35 16 34 37 40 29 22
39 13 45 31 46
3 26. 5 38 10 17
4 33 36 35 12 22 29
2 32 40 15
7 25 24 11 21 37 28
39 31 25 35 46
1 The figures in this table do not include Delaware.
Columns 2, 3, and 5 from Teachers' Salaries and Salary Trends, 1923, Report of the National Education Association Salary Committee, pp. 100 and 101. Column 6 is obtained by subtracting column 5 from 100 per cent.
This is an extremely conservative figure. It means that 54 per cent of our teachers at the present time do not hold certificates that require normal-school graduation.
Now, many of them at the present time have certificates that read to the effect that they have normal-school graduation, which they have managed to get hold of, and yet they are not really normalschool graduates. So look upon this as a minimum. If it were possible to get exact facts this figure would doubtless be increased, but there are certainly at least 354,000 teachers to be included in this category. That is made on the basis of study of State reports and a number of other scattered studies, that have been made.
In the table " Inadequately trained" means those teachers who are not graduates of à standard normal school or who have not had equivalent training. Beginners" are those who have not had more than one year's teaching experience. Each year practically one in three of rural teachers is teaching for the first time. In short their lack of training is not compensated for by any experience. “No training” refers to those teachers who have not had more than two years' schooling beyond elementary school. If teachers who have had no normal-school training were included, as they might weli be, the percentage of teachers with “no training ” would be greatly increased.
The CHAIRMAN. What is your definition of a teacher being adequately trained ?
Mr. Norton. Being a normal-school graduate or the equivalent, that is, two years beyond high school.
Mr. Rossion. The State of Kentucky passed a law immediately increasing the necessary qualifications of teachers, that they must be normal-school graduates and so on. In going over my district last fall I found this condition to obtain: That men and women who had been teachers for 20 years, fully experienced teachers, because of that requirement were crowded out and in their places were put young girls 18 and 19 years of age, without any experience in teaching, and I think that the district got the worst of the trade. The experience of an earnest teacher of 15 or 18 years is certainly not to be overlooked, and I think sometimes you go too far in making these changes too abruptly. I think we have done that in our own State, that we have crowded out teachers of 15 to 20 years' experience, earnest and sincere men and women, and put in their places young people who have had no experience, but who have gone through the high school.
Mr. HASTINGS. Well, they had to start some time, all of them must have started with no experience except in normal-school training, and how are you going to employ the beginner if the beginner does not take the place of some one?
Mr. NORTON. I do not happen to be familiar with the details of the Kentucky law. A good many of our States have passed laws with that very problem in mind, which provides for a gradual raising of qualifications; for example I believe Colorado and Wyoming passed laws at the last session something like this: That in 1926 to qualify for teaching there must be such and such a training, and in 1927 a little higher, and in 1928 a little higher yet, and so on, so that those older teachers of experience will have a reasonable opportunity to qualify. At the same time no new ones are admitted until they come up to the higher standards and qualifications set.
Mr. KEITH. Pennsylvania has such a law and has kept in those who will remain; but they must grow in knowledge and skill in order to remain in the profession. No one has been ruthlessly dismissed.
Mr. ROBSION. I do not think it ought to be too abrupt, that they ought to destroy that asset, experience, which is a tremendous asset.
Mr. NORTON. Of our teachers who are trained practically all of them, or a great majority of them, will be found in the city. Very few of our rural teachers have had normal training, and very few of them have had very much experience. These are the facts. Thirtysix per cent of all rural teachers, according to a recent study I made, in which I addressed a communication to every county superintendent in the country, has taught less than two years; that is, they are really in their first year of experience. Not only are they untrained but they are inexperienced. Twenty-five per cent of them are under 21 years of age, they are immature, and 23 per cent have had no training whatsoever. My definition of no training there is that they have had less than two years beyond elementary school, which we consider no training whatsoever for teaching. It is merely the ordinary training that you would expect all to have. A great many of them have had no training beyond elementary school, and you will find literally thousands who are not graduates of elementary schools.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you not think that there are a great many teachers under 21 that are pretty good teachers ?
Mr. NORTON. I think there are many who are good teachers, but other things being equal, an inexperienced girl too young to vote and with very little training will not make as good a teacher as one of maturity and training,
The CHAIRMAN. Well, it is a fact, is it not, that a great many of the women teachers get married ?
Mr. NORTON. Yes; they do.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, you can not hope to keep a lot of your teachers for a long time no matter how well you train them, they are apt to marry one of the school committee or somebody else
Mr. Norton. You can hope for that in the cities, because you find the average length of experience in cities where better provisions are made for teachers is 7, 8, and 9 years' experience.
Mr. HASTINGS. One more question. When you say no training you mean they have not had any training in a normal school?
Mr. NORTON. My definition of no training is that they have not had more than two years' schooling of any kind beyond the elementary school.
Mr. HASTINGS. So if they had had a normal-school training you would not put them in that class?
Mr. NORTON. By no means. If you take normal-school training as a basis probably 80 per cent could be classed as untrained, could they not?
Mr. KEITH, Beyond that.
Mr. NORTON. They have had much less than a high-school training—these teachers that I am referring to.
Mr. HASTINGS. You think about 40 per cent of the teachers of the country are adequately trained, according to this chart?
Mr. NORTON. When you put them all together, yes; because the city teachers are, a great majority of them, high-school and normalschool graduates.
Mr. ROBSION. How do you arrive at this fact, then; that the folks who have been taught by those 54 per cent, the not trained teachers, produce so many Presidents and Senators and Congressmen?
Mr. Norton. You can not keep a good man down in spite of poor education.
Mr. LOWREY. The fact that they are poorly trained perhaps leads them to go into politics.
Mr. NORTON. I see some of the gentlemen of the committee can answer the question better than I can.
Mr. LowREY. Pardon me for saying this, I don't know that it bears on the subject. I am heart and soul in favor of education, but I am afraid we are in danger of laying stress on that technical training of teachers. The best teacher I ever saw-and I was in school work for 40 years—the best teacher I ever employed had had nothing but a two years' normal course and could not have gotten in any college on his training. And yet the State superintendent told me he had three requests for that man to teach in the teachers' summer school, and that he was the best teacher he ever saw.
Miss WILLIAMS. May I ask how many he has seen?
Mr. LOWREY. The two best teachers' I ever employed were that kind. I am not underrating the training, but I think we are apt to put too much stress on technicalities.
Mr. NORTON. That would be a minimum, of course; other things are desirable, but all teachers should have some breadth of training.
Mr. LOWREY. I believe in that, but I believe we are in danger of making technical requirements that will shut out a lot of experienced and successful teachers and getting in those who, while they have the technical requirements, really have not the qualifications for teaching.
Mr. NORTON. Yes; but nevertheless the importance of training in a teacher, I think, is equal to that of training for any great service. We do not expect lawyers or physicians to do public work without training, and we ought to look forward to the time when none but trained people will instruct the youth of the Nation.
This table shows that there are 350,000 teachers not normal graduates, and taking it by States, it shows that in Illinois, in round numbers, there are 21,000 not normal school graduates; in Texas there are 19,000; Ohio, 18,000; Michigan, 17,000; Iowa, 17,000; and in Pennsylvania, 14,000; and so on down.
The CHAIRMAN. May I ask a question right there? What do you mean by normal graduates? How do you class a teacher that may never have gone to a State normal school, but who has gone to the high school and through Radcliffe College, for instance, in Massachusetts ?
Mr. Norton. I said normal graduate or the equivalent. That is a very liberal interpretation. I should have added “or the equiva
The CHAIRMAN. Or through college ?
Mr. NORTON. Yes; college graduation would be more than normal graduation.
Mr. LOWREY. Junior college graduation is equivalent to the ordinary normal school ?
Mr. NORTON. Yes, sir.
The next chart deals with the number of rural teachers that are untrained-and remember the definition here is not normal-school graduation, but that they have had the ordinary schooling that the second-year high-school student has had. And, furthermore, these are percentages. In the United States about one-fourth of all rural school teachers have had no training beyond elementary schools. Considering the States separately, we see that 62 per cent of the rural teachers in Arkansas have had a training of less than two years beyond elementary school. That would be most of the teachers in Arkansas, the majority of them falling in that group. We see that in South Carolina 61 per cent of its teachers have this training. These are teachers in the rural districts. In Georgia 54 per cent less than two years; Florida, 52 per cent; Mississippi, 47 per cent; and so on down.
Taking the northern States, Ohio, 34 per cent of its rural teachers have had less than two years' training; Indiana, 30 per cent; Washington, 29 per cent; Iowa, 25 per cent.
In other words the teacher-training problem is not confined to any particular section. There are thousands of rural teachers with practically no training, instructing children throughout the Nation. That is why teacher training is included in this bill
as one of the things that should have Federal encouragement and aid.