« ForrigeFortsett »
elements of physical geography in order to understand the history of nations and the relation between man and his surroundings. In this I am in accord with the Committee of Fifteen, which considers the study of physical features as very important.
The movements of the earth which have produced mountains, valleys, plateaus, etc. and the value of each to us should find a place in the grammar school text-book and should be told in as interesting a manner as possible. Man, his stages of development, subdivisions, forms of government, religions, should be briefly described.
Closely allied on one side to physical geography and on the other to political and historical is commercial geography. In this age of railroads, cables, telegraphs, and steamships this division of this study is of importance and should be recognized by compilers of text-books. All pupils should know, when they graduate from our grammar schools, the location of the prominent cities of the world. They should know reasonably well why cotton, corn, wheat, and rice grow in different belts of the United States. Why cotton is not manufactured where grown. They will then be able to account for the location of such cities as Galveston and Lowell. In this connection a brief study should be given to the conditions which favor the growth of such cities as New York, Chicago, Seattle, and New Orleans.
The amount of astronomical and mathematical geography should be small and deal with such general topics as day and night, seasons, zones, directions, and measurements.
Historical geography, by which in this instance I mean a brief summary of the life of the great nations of the earth, should receive somo attention together with the physical reasons for the existence of such nations, their greatness, their fall. Such study, tho necessarily brief, would be of value in connection with later study in history.
Mr. Frye in his book has two topics which he styles "Vital” and “Humanistic" geography. The former deals entirely with food, clothing, etc., the latter is about the relation of the United States to all other nations. Both are good topics enriching the scholar's mind, broadening his patriotism, and extending his sympathies.
. Remember the Dates of The National Summer School.
The San Francisco session will be held in Miss West's school on Van Ness Avenue June 30-July 12.
Especial attention is called to the fact that great pains will be taken with the grade teacher who has had no previous training in music or drawing. At the same time the latest methods will be presented, interesting supervisor and special teachers who have previously had the basal work. The names of the faculty assure the success of the school.
Drawing-Mr. D. R. Augsburg, Oakland. Music-Mr. F. E. Chapman, Boston; Miss A. M. Fleming, Chicago; Miss K. E. Stone, Los Angeles; Miss M. H. Mills, San Francisco; Miss M. Gordon, Los Angeles; Mrs. L. V. Sweesy, Berkeley.
Write to S. C. Smith, 325 Sansome street, San Francisco, Cal., for a catalog.
SCHOOL SUPERVISION BY THE SCHOOL BOARD.
MILO AZEM TUCKER, WILMINGTON, CAL. The public school system in America consists of a joint partnership. Those interested are the state, parents, directors, teachers, and pupils. Each contributes something to its success, and each participates to some extent in the profits. Each has rights to be respected, and duties to be performed. The most perfect system, producing the greatest net profits, exists when each partner knows his rights, insists upon them, and at the same time performs willingly his part, thus aiding the other in the performance of his duties.
In brief, the state and parent, educating for citizenship and higher humanity, supply the running expenses of the business and the capital stock which is invested. The child is the undeveloped material upon which the education is to be placed by those who manage the capital stock of the investors. The teacher is entrusted with the actual work of the instruction, while the board is the business manager for the stock company. The director is more than the business factor, for he practically controls the professional progress. But the legislative and business side of education should be his main part of the work.
Commercialism is exerting a wide influen :e over education today. The professional side of education is becoming differentiated from the commercial side. The two are beginning to be separated, and are assuming distinct fields in which the duties of each are but partially defined. In some parts of the educational world the relations between professionalism and commercialism is varied and often ill defined, owing to past nebulous conditions in which school affairs have existed. In California they overlap in many places. It is often the case that what is the business side of the duties of the board is not clearly separated from the professional side. Again, the professional relations of the board often conflict with the duties of the teacher. While the laws in many states differ, yet a glance at the law will show how the two sides exist in California. Separating the two phases we have the following classification, to which the director must be held to account by those whose business he manages.
On the business side of education he is to prescribe and enforce rules consistent with the law and the rules of the state board of education; to transact business at meetings of which each member of the school board has had notice; to manage and control the district property; to deposit all school money with the county treasurer; to purchase authorized text-books for indigent pupils; to purchase school furniture, apparatus, and other necessary things for school purposes; to rent and repair school property; to insure school property; to purchase or sell school lots and build schoolhouses when so ordered by a vote of the district; to sign and execute deeds and conveyances in the name of the district for property sold by them; to employ teachers; to employ janitors; to notify, in writing, the superintendent of schools of the election of employes; to fix the compensation of employes when not given by law; to appoint a school census marshal and notify the superintendent; to make an annual prescribed report to the superintendent; to report text-books used when requested by the superintendent of schools; to call a meeting of the qualified electors of the district to consider district affairs when properly petitioned; to call a special public meeting as prescribed by law; to follow instructions of all legal public meetings so instructing them; to purchase the necessary supplies; to maintain all schools with equal rights and privileges; to use school moneys from the state and county funds exclusively for schools in districts having eight months school; to use state money exclusively for the payment of teachers; to apply library money exclusively for library purposes. To the above the following may be added by implication: the preparing and caring for the school yard; protecting and preserving the school buildings; caring for furniture, apparatus, supplies, library, and flag; sanitary considerations in securing school sites and constructing sanitary buildings; furnishing water; drawing warrants; providing against the necessity for employes discounting warrants for cash payments, and finally, to dismiss teachers and employes.
Now, coming to the professional side, the director is to prescribe and enforce rules consistent with law and the rules of the state board of education; to suspend and expel pupils for misconduct; to exclude from schools certain children to comply with the law; to enforce in the schools the course of study; to enforce in each school the prescribed text-books; to appoint district librarian; to enforce rules governing district libraries; to exclude from schools and school libraries all sectarian, partisan, and denominational books, publications, and propaganda; to distribute free the necessary books for indigent children; to maintain a register for public inspection of those children who are legal applicants for admission; to notify parents and guardians of such children when their turn in vacancies occur; to permit non-resident children to attend the district school only upon the consent of the non-resident trustees; to visit the schools in the district once each term; to "examine carefully into the management, condition, and wants of the schools." The law does not say, however, that they do more than to examine, though it may be implied; and he must cause all books to be legally stamped.
If one will compare the duties of the teacher with those of the professional side of the director, as just given, he will find that many of the points are co-ordinate. He will also see that those things which may be called more properly the business side of the teachers' work covers much that the law defines as the professional field of the school board. In fact, in many places, much, if not all of the board's part, is given over to the teacher to do, and many trustees never ask to see if it is done or not.
It may not be out of place now to discuss briefly some of the points regarding school supervision by the school board Under this selection may be considered how far should the board go in this supervision. As to this there are two well defined views.
The one holds that the school board should abdicate all its power on the professional side to the head teacher in charge, whether he be privcipal or superintendent. The other advocates that the school board should do all but instruct, and that the superintendent, or principal teacher, should look after the method of imparting the knowledge. The first challenges any. one not a specially trained teacher of the highest attainments to plan or criticise a course of study for the public schools; or to judge of the work done by the teacher; or to be competent to hire or dismiss teachers. The second presents and maintains the belief that men and women in active business and professional life-those who are found in the various phases of business, social, and political existence are especially fitted to judge and to determine what should be taught in our schools to meet the modern requirements of citizenship. They hold that the school board should name the subject and the employes, while the teacher should tell how to teach. In the one, the schoolman arrogates to himself the sole right to select, appoint and dismiss teachers, and gives the school board no choice. With the other, it is argued that if the board cannot judge of the qualifications of teachers, how are they to judge whether the supervising teacher appoints, promotes, and dismisses on merit alone, and whether he is himself a capable and inspiring leader of teachers? If the board knows nothing of text-books and courses of study, how are they to judge whether the superintendent and principal chooses wisely? The board must know something of these things, or it fails of its duty. Otherwise, those in charge of the school may work to please pupils and parents and thereby succeed in drawing a salary year after year with no one to oppose.
There remains a compromise position which brings into play one of the principles which the American people love so well. This is the veto power. In this case the usual order is, however, reversed, and the board exercises this privilege, instead of one man. There can be no doubt but that some such arrangement will come nearest to meeting all conditions and still allow freedom. The head teacher should be selected with qualifications, if possible, to make a good school man, with his whole thought on education. Then he should be given freedom commensurate to his responsibility and held to account for results. While some boards prefer to limit the liberty of teachers, yet the feeling is rapidly growing that freedom of work, choice of text-books, courses of study, and similar duties, should devolve entirely upon teachers and principals. In California much of this is assumed by each county board of education, the members of which are supposed to be school men. It makes tbe course of study, names the books and apparatus to be bought by the district board, and consequently the trustees are relieved of much that in other states devolves upon them, unless they shift the duty to the teacher. The board may have the legal right to transfer the professional side of its duties, but will its relations to the state and taxpayers warrant its doing it? The conditions may be so varied in some places as not to allow it, and yet to permit it in others. No doubt, with a thoroughly competent teacher, principal, or superintendent, this can be done. It is not wise, however, for a board to fully abdicate its power to one who is found deficient in certain qualifications, and await bad results or faillure before intervening. The policy of the board based on local needs and conditions, and often with limited funds at its disposal, must at times put a negative upon the well-meaning of teachers. The veto power should remain with the board. No matter how superior or inferior the qualifications of a superintendent, principal, teacher, or school board, it is undoubtedly best in every phase of school board duty, and it is certainly more American, for tbe veto power to remain with the school board. This removes the sting from “one-man power," and prevents embarrassment. It also avoids placing the board in the position of simply a committee to register the will of an educational dictator.” It allows the board, if it chooses to give unreserved power into the hands of the teachers in experting the details of school work, or it permits them to step in should occasion demand and curtail or modify the authority formerly delegated. It allows the board to reserve and share with the teacher a part of the responsibilities. *
City and County Superintendents
(Editorial Review.) At 9:30 A. M., Tuesday morning, May 6, 1902, Thomas J. Kirk, Superintendent of Public Instruction of California, called the City and County Superintendents to order. The meeting was held at Fresno, in Einstein Hall. Mrs. S. E. Peart was elected vicepresident, and George L. Sackett was elected secretary. Mr. F. F. Atkinson of Sacramento was elected assistant secretary. The suggestive program prepared by Supt. Thomas J. Kirk was adopted by a unanimous vote.
Superintendent Kirk then made some appropriate remarks, and called for Supt. G. N. Freman of Fresno who made a cordial address of welcome.
Supt. C. L. McLane spoke in behalf of the city of Fresno, and extended to the visiting superintendents the freedom and hospitality of the city.
Supt. Robert Furlong made the response on behalf of the County Superintendents. He paid a glowing tribute to each feature of the state, its industries, its scenery, its school system, and closing with a beautiful word picture of the city and county of Fresno.
James A. Foshay of Los Angeles, who has attained a national reputation as an occasional speaker, responded in a few eloquent words on behalf of the City Superintendents. His pointed reference to his southern city was loudly applauded.
The roll was then called and the following responded: Thomas J. Kirk, Superintendent of Public Instruction; Mrs. Julia B. Kirk, Deputy Superintendent; Amador, George A. Gordon, Jackson; Butte, R. H. Dunn, Oroville; Calaveras, John Waters, San Andreas; Fresno, G. N. Freman, Fresno; Glenn, F. S. Reager, Willows; Humboldt, James B. Brown, Eureka; Kern, W. C. Doub, Bakersfield; Kings, J. W. Graham, Hanford; Los Angeles, J. H. Strine, Los Angeles; Madera, Estelle Bagnelle, Madera; Marin, Robert Furlong, San Rafael; Mendocino, J. F. Barbee, Ukiah; Merced, 0. W. Grove, Merced; Modoc, Anna L. Williams, Alturas; Monterey, Mrs. J. E. Chope, Salinas City; Napa, J. A. Imrie, Napa; Orange, J. P. Greeley, Santa Ana; Placer, P. W. Smith, Auburn; Plumas, M. P. Donnelly, Crescent Mills; Riverside, Edward Hyatt, Riverside ; Sacramento, B. F. Howard, Sacramento; San Benito, J. H. Garner, Hollister; San Bernardino, A. S. McPherron, San Bernardino; San Francisco, Reginald H. Webster, City Hall, San Francisco; San Joaquin, E. B. Wright, Stockton; San Mateo, Etta M. Tilton, Redwood City; Santa Barbara, W. S. Edwards, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, L. J. Chipman, San Jose; Santa Cruz, J. W. Linscott, Santa Cruz; Shasta, Margaret I. Poore, Redding; Sierra, Josie Finane, Forest City; Siskiyou, Effie Persons, Yreka; Solano, D. H. White, Fairfield; Sonoma, Minnie Coulter, Santa Rosa ; Stanislaus, J. A. Wagener, Modesto; Sutter, C. G. Kline, Yuba City; Tehama, Lena K. Nangle (by deputy), Red Bluff; Tulare, S. A. Crookshanks, Visalia ; Ventura, George L. Sackett, Ventura ; Yolo, Mrs. S. E. Peart, Woodland; Yuba, James A. Scott, Marysville. Supt. Hugh J. Baldwin reported later.
City Superintendents of Schools-Alameda, Alameda, C. C. Hughes; Berkeley, Alameda, S. D. Waterman: Eureka, Humboldt, A. C. Barker; Fresno, Fresno, C. L. McLane; Los Angeles, Los Angeles, James A. Foshay; Pasadena, Los Angeles, James D. Graham; Sacramento, Sacramento, 0. W. Erlewine; Salinas City, Monterey, C. C. Hill; San Bernardino, San Bernardino, Lulu Claire Bahr; San Diego, San Diego, F. P. Davidson; San Jose, Santa Clara, F. P. Russell; Santa Rosa, Sonoma, E. M. Cox; Stockton, San Joaquin, James A. Barr; Oakland, J. W. McClymonds.
Honorary members -L. B. Avery, principal of Redlands High School; Prof. T. L. Heaton of the University of California; L. A. Jordan of San Francisco; J. C. Templeton, Santa Ana; President M. E. Dailey of San Jose, and President Frederic Burk of San Francisco.
Visitors--W. W. Seamen, American Book Co.; C. C. Adams, Stockton; H. J. Miller, Whitaker & Ray Co.; S. C. Smith, Ginn & Co.; G. H. Chilcoate, D. C. Heath & Co.; E. C. Lobbet, Educational Publishing Co.; J. Van Ostran, Bradley & Co.; H. H. Johnson, singer and musical author, Ohio; D. R. Augsburg; Victor H. Woods, San Luis Obispo; S. P. Boynton, Los Angeles.
Supt. G. L. Sackett moved that: We, the City and County Superintendents of California assembled, send cordial greetings to the Biennial Federation of Womans' Clubs, and extend to them our hearty coöperation and sympathy." Carried.
The first regular paper was presented by Edward Hyatt of Riverside, on the subject of “How may School Premises and Schoolrooms in the Country be Improved and Made More Inviting?" Mr. Hyatt was in good voice and was eloquently in earnest. Every word spoken was listened to attentively, and immediately at the close the paper was, by unanimous vote, ordered printed in the official JOURNAL OF EDUCATION. This paper will appear in the June issue. The next subject was on interesting the press in educational topics. Superintendent Doub treated the matter briefly, but cogently. The point of his remarks was in having news of vital interest, and the paper would be willing to devote a generous amount of space to its treatment.
Superintendent Sackett spoke upon the subject, also Mrs. S. E. Peart of Yolo gave some interesting suggestions about the appointment of institute and school reporters for journals, and the encouragement of contributions by teachers and pupils to the columns of the local paper. John Garner spoke of the great help the newspapers were in keeping the public interested in vital educational problems, and raised a good natured laugh by suggesting that Superintendent Doub should be able to tell considerable about the secrets of controlling the press if he gave the convention his personal experience. The meeting, after some informal discussion, then adjourned until 1:30 P. M.
Supt. Kirk called the meeting to order in the afternoon at promptly 1:30. Supt. Robert Furlong presented an able paper on school visitation. The points brought out were that the superintendent should look for things that would enable him to offer either honest praise or blame on school grounds, light, ventilation, use of text-books, discipline, apparatus, etc. More time should be given the superintendent for school visitation.
Supt. J. B. Brown of Humboldt was the next speaker. His topic was, “Special Purposes to be Subserved by the County Superintendent's Visit.” Mr. Brown related some of his experiences in visiting schools during his many years service as county superintendent and gave a number of instances where the school and pupils could be benefited by special attention on the part of the superintendent.
Supt. R. H. Webster spoke on “Special Purposes to be Subserved by City Superintendents’ Visits.” Superintendent Webster gave a very carefully written paper. He censured the attitude of the boards of education and the public in the readiness to take for granted that the schools are filled with incompetent teachers. The statement was made that 19,000 children between the ages of six and ten do not attend school in San Francisco on account of lack of room. Superintendent Webster stated that the principal should always be consulted before censuring a teacher, and gave many valuable points as to what should be observed in visiting city schools.
These papers were ably discussed by Tilton, McPherron, Templeton, Avery, Erlewine, Peart and Linscott.
Teachers institutes were then discussed by Supt. J. W. Graham of Kings County. This was a thoughtful address. Superintendent Graham advocated a change in the law so that the teachers would be paid twelve months in the year, and be required during several weeks each year to attend a practical summer school. He maintained that so long as teachers are compelled to seek other employment during enforced vacations, so long would there be a failure to make teaching a real profession.
Superintendent Chope of Monterey County spoke on “Should the work of an Institute be Done by Lecturers or Teachers, or by both?” This was one of the most eloquent talks of the convention. Mrs. Chope spoke without notes, but showed by the able presentation of the topic that she had carefully studied the subject. She criticised severely institute lecturers who talked on subjects that were of no vital interest to the teachers, and made a strong plea for sincerity in all school work.
Superintendent C. C. Hill of Salinas gave an excellent paper on local institutes and