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In a conference that some of us had with President Wilson at that time, we happened to let drop the statement that this educational commission, headed by Mr. Arthur Balfour, was coming over to America, and the President said: “Why, is that so? Another commission!” He had not heard anything of their coming, and here was a great commission coming over with authority from the English Government to America, to officially visit with this country on educational matters, and the President of the United States was even ignorant of the existence of the plan. When they came, there was no provision for national reception; in fact, the traveling expenses of the commission in this country had to be guaranteed by two university professors.
So, in international matters, we lack a national voice. And what that means you can see most clearly in Japan, where the ideals of the United States and Anglo-Saxon civilization meet and come in conflict with the educational ideals of Germany. Germany's well-organized educational system was making great progress in Japan up to the time of the war and America had no way of urging its ideals and advancing its theories of education in a contest with Germany.
The argument for a national department of education, which I think should be urged, is that we have at the present time in the National Government no representation of the intellectual spiritual ideal interests of man. When we have gone outside of the limited field of Government, as we have done, we have created departments which have to do with man in economic relations-agriculture, labor and commerce. Now, it is quite as true of governments as it is of individuals, that man can not live by bread alone; and as warfare, as international strife, diminishes as one of the chief occupations of the governments of this world, the question is, what is to take its place.
It is no mere chance that room is made for a department of education and welfare in the Brown reorganization plan, through the consolidation of the War and Navy Departments. It is a logical and philosophical sequence. But unless you make room for representation of education in the National Government, it is going to be a government of business, by business, and for business. And that does not reflect the American ideal.
The only opportunity which we can see for bringing the ideal interests of man to formal recognition by our Government, inasmuch as we are estopped from having any State church, is through the representation of education in our national system of government.
These arguments have nothing to do, of course, with the detailed provisions of this particular bill. As I say, I have been speaking for à department of education for 25 years. I do not think it has been too long a time. I looked up the history and found it took 25 years to get the present Bureau of Education, which, by the way, was originally named "department of education,” and continued as such
a space of 12 months. But I think that 25 years is long enough; I think we ought to come to a decision pretty soon, and, speaking for the council, while we do not believe that the 50–50 principle is sound, either politically or economically, if that is to be the policy of the Federal Government, we would not draw the line at education and are prepared to take the department of education with the subsidies or
take it without the subsidies, whichever way we can get it. We are prepared to take it with welfare attached, if that is the only way we can make progress toward this recognition of the ideal interests of man in national education.
Miss Williams. The next speaker this evening is Dr. W. C. Bagley, professor of education, Teachers' College, Columbia University, who will speak on the provisions of the bill which have to do with teacher training.
STATEMENT OF DR. W. C. BAGLEY, PROFESSOR OF EDUCA
TION, TEACHERS' COLLEGE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
Doctor BAGLEY. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, the question was asked this morning, when the bill was being discussed, particularly with regard to its provisions for adult education in reducing illiteracy and the Americanization of foreigners. The question was asked what the bill proposed to do for the education of children in our country.
The aspect that I am to discuss, the phase of the bill that I have as my topic, I think will, in one way, answer that question. This bill proposes Federal aid to the States for the training of teachers for the public schools, and I think that the members of the committee will agree that there is no phase of public education that is more significant than that which is concerned with the professional education of the personnel of the public school service—the men and women who are to do the work in the schools.
In beginning this discussion, I think it is perhaps only fair to say that the provisions that we are making in this country for the professional education of public-school teachers are generally recognized as far below what they should be. Professor Judd, of the University of Chicago, and Professor Parker, in a monograph published under their joint authorship in 1916 and issued as a bulletin of the Federal Bureau of Education, stated that we pay less attention in this country to the training of teachers than does any other nation of comparable rank. That was in 1916.
Not very long ago I was discussing this problem with my colleague, Prof. Paul Monroe, who is now director of the International Institute of Education, which is attached to Teachers' College, and who had just returned from an extended visit to the Orient, where he was studying the educational systems of Japan and China. Professor Monroe made the statement that if we were to establish in this country the same standards of preparation for our public schools, for the teachers of our public school system, that Japan had established and put into effect, and if we were to do that overnight, so to speak, if we were to raise our standards of preparation of teachers to the level that Japan has reached, it would be necessary for us to close 40 per cent of the classrooms of our American public schools. That will give you an indication of what competent students of the problem-what conclusions they have come to with regard to the inadequacy of our present provisions for the professional education of public-school teachers.
Now, just to refer, very briefly, to a few of the outstanding facts. More than half of the teachers in our public elementary schools throughout the country are below standard in training. A great
many of them are very far below standard. It has been computed that there are approximately 30,000 teachers teaching in the public schools of this country, who are themselves no more than eighth grade graduates. Approximately one-half of all our teachers, nearly onehalf of all of our public-school teachers, have no more than å high school education.
The minimum standard of preparation, recognized in practically all civilized countries, is the equivalent of two years of training beyond high school graduation; or, in our country, it would be the equivalent of what we know as normal school graduation. The normal school is the typical professional school for teachers in this country. Now, for instance, take particularly the teachers of the elementary and secondary schools, the elementary and high-school teachers that have standard preparation: Just the proportion, it is very difficult to say; but, at the very most, it is not more than 46 per cent, according to the reports coming from State officers of education themselves and, very likely, it is below 40 per cent. So that we have 60 per cent of our teachers without standard training and, of those, a very large proportion, of course, are very far below the standard.
These untrained teachers are found in every State; they are not peculiar to any one part of the country; they are found, of course, most frequently in the schools of the small villages and the open country, in the rural schools. They are part and parcel of the great rural school problem and the provisions of this bill which aim to correct this defect would also be an attack on the great rural school problem which is, perhaps, the most important educational problem that our country faces. "If we can put into all of the schools of our country, into every class room, a trained teacher, representing the standard of training that is now recognized as the minimum, a very great part of our educational problem would be solved.
Mr. TUCKER. May I ask you just one question? I am very much interested in that point of view. I am afraid I am not very sound on it, if I understand that point of view. Do you mean, by the proper standard that is lacking in the teachers, that that is an educational standard ?
Doctor BAGLEY. An educational standard; that is one of the standards that is lacking. Our public-school teachers, about one-half of them, are immature and transient and they are relatively untrained.
Mr. TUCKER. I did not know whether you were referring to the standard of education of the teachers, or the standard of the teacher as a teacher.
Doctor Bagley. Well, if I may try to make the meaning clear, we should recognize, I think, all other things equal, the teacher will be a good teacher who has been well trained for his work. Of course, that does not always hold true; there may be trained teachers that are poor teachers; but, generally speaking and other things equal, if we can select our teachers and prepare them properly for their work, then the chances are very much greater they will do a good job. This is my opinion and I am using the standard I have suggested, that is employed almost universally in the civilized countries of the world, and am pointing out that a very large proportion of our teachers, much larger than in any other civilized country, lack this standard of preparation.
As I said, these teachers are found in every State. There are more than 9,000 of the substandard teachers in New York State, chiefly, of course, in the rural schools; there are 10,000 in Pennsylvania. Even in a State like Massachusetts, which has stood so high in connection with the work that has been done in public education, there are some 2,000 teachers below standard training at this time. And the numbers vary in other States, but in almost every State you will find a goodly proportion and the States that stand the best in this particular, the State I think that stands the highest, is Arizona, and then California and some of the far Western States are very much better, usually, than the Eastern and Middle and Southern States.
Mr. WELSH. You have spoken of the figures pertaining to Pennsylvania?
Doctor BAGLEY. Yes.
Mr. BLACK. They were a little higher than you stated--about 14,000.
Doctor BAGLEY. About 14,000. I took them as the lowest estimate that had been made.
Mr. WELSH. I wish you had them for 1923. I think they have changed.
Doctor BAGLEY. I think a good deal of progress has been made. Mr. WELSH. Yes; since Doctor Finegan took charge.
Doctor BAGLEY. Doctor Finegan is responsible for it, but it has taken a tremendous effort to make that progress and I think it is safe to say the surface has only been scratched in Pennsylvania. I will refer to one or two other States a little later. What I am trying to point out now is that it is really a problem of national scope; it is not a problem limited to any single State.
Speaking generally, we have in this country sadly neglected the professional education of teachers. The State normal schools and State technical training schools are typical schools for the training of these professions. They are schools of collegiate grade, in the sense that in almost every case now they take only graduates of the high schools. In some cases, they offer a year's program for those schools; in other cases, they offer a three or four year program,
Mr. BLACK. In all of the State normal schools and other schools providing for teacher training, there is sort of a standard system of pedagogical training provided for; in other words, are the schools of the various States using the same books, the same methods, the same systems?
Doctor BAGLEY. Very far from that. There is no uniformity. Mr. BLACK. There is no uniformity at all?
Doctor BAGLEY. There is no essential uniformity. There is essential uniformity in the method and spirit; the professional spirit is thorough going in most of these schools, but there are very great variations in the methods employed and in the systems employed.
Mr. REED. Even in New York State, for instance, take the subject of mathematics or geometry, they do not even use the same textbooks throughout the State in the schools of that State, do they?
Doctor BAGLEY. I do not think they do, although the course of study in the New York State normal schools is uniform with the course of several States.
Mr. REED. I notice this in the recent examination papers in geometry, that each child is expected to write down what textbooks they followed, so that the people who look over their papers can follow the methods of that particular textbook, indicating that the different schools use different textbooks-different standards.
Doctor BagLEY. They have no definite standards to the extent of having standard textbooks, and in a great many States the normal schools have different courses of study.
Mr. REED. It is not the purpose of this legislation, or of this proposed department, to standardize?
Doctor BAGLEY. Absolutely no; not in that sense.
Doctor BAGLEY. I do not think it would, no; I think there should be uniformity in spirit and purpose, but not in actual work.
Mr. Black. You can not escape that thought very well?
Doctor BAGLEY. I think each school should be reasonably free to work out the program of studies in a way that is best suited for its problems and I believe that for practically all educational institutions.
I was speaking of these normal schools and teachers' colleges and city training schools as being of collegiate grade and being comparable to other institutions of this grade that are supported by the public. We can compare them, then, with other public colleges. Now, when we do make that comparison, we get, I think, a very fair measure of the degree in which the public has neglected this very important type of public education and, if I may, I would like simply to draw a contrast between the two sets of figures.
Suppose we ask this question: What is the public investing each year in the education of the students in these public institutions of collegiate grade, who are preparing to enter the public school service? A recent study has been made which has obtained for us the average cost each year for instructional purposes of educating the student in the normal schools and teachers' colleges. This is over a period of 10 years and includes 137 institutions. Those are the strongest institutions of this type in the country--137 of them. The average investment, so to speak, of the public in its future teachers, per year of their training, is $214. Now, may I contrast that with the average investment by the public again in the students in other Statesupported colleges who are going into other lines of work. Of course, some of them may go into teaching, but these are agricultural colleges particularly and colleges of that type, also supported by the public. The figures there is $408. That is almost twice as much. If we put it in this way, the public seems to set twice as much stress upon the students going into other professions and other lines of work, as it does upon teachers.
How does that reflect itself; in the normal schools, how does that reflect itself—what I may fairly call the niggardly policy on the part of the public toward those institutions? In other words, the qualifications of the instructors of these schools are much lower than in schools of corresponding grade, supported by the public, of the other types; they are less well trained; they are less well paid.
Mr. BLACK. If there was a law providing for more adequate training, would that of itself drive out from some of the normal schools some of the present instructors ?