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up and electrotyped. Published May, 1909. Reprinted
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.
THE problems of the American high school are specific. They differ much from those of the elementary school below and those of the college, university, or technical school above. The experience of the last half century has revealed them; it has also developed a considerable body of knowledge concerning them, which every highschool teacher should possess before entering upon his work. This knowledge will not solve all his individual problems, but it should at least make him aware of their existence and suggest the solution which he must himself work out.
This volume is an attempt to present such information about the high school. It is not an exhaustive treatment of the subject, but merely an introduction to it. Unfortunately we still continue the general practice of sending into the high schools from the colleges and universities young men and women whose best preparation for their work consists in academic scholarship ranging from poor to excellent, and an enthusiastic desire to teach the subjects in which they have become most interested during the college course. In the great majority of cases these young people have not received an hour's instruction regarding the special character, requirements, and limitations of the field of labor into which they are going. The fact that so many of them have succeeded as well as they have is a tribute to youthful enthusiasm and adaptability. But the day is approaching when no one will be permitted to enter the ranks of the high-school teacher without at least a minimum acquaintance with the field. If this book helps to hasten that day and serves to make clear to prospective and actual teachers who read it the problems of secondary education, and at the same time to inspire them with more intelligent ideals of service, the purpose of the author will have been attained.
While the facts and principles presented apply to high schools generally, the circumstances and needs of the smaller schools have been kept particularly in mind. In proportion to the degree in which the teaching in these schools is improved, the instruction of all high-school pupils will be improved; first, because a considerable majority of all the high-school pupils in the country is found in schools of this class; and second, because successful teachers in them are rapidly promoted to the larger schools.
Consideration of the private secondary school has been omitted, not because it is regarded as unimportant or because its problems are entirely different from those of the public high school, but because the latter affords a definite and sufficiently large field for discussion; and as a
matter of fact, the great majority of secondary-school pupils of the United States is found in the public school.
The author is under obligations to school officials of several states for their courtesy in naming typical schools of high grade; to the superintendents and principals of these schools for furnishing information concerning their work; to many friends who have rendered valuable assistance in various ways; and especially to Dr. Julius Sachs, Professor of Secondary Education in Teachers College, Columbia University, for his helpful criticism of the work in manuscript.
NEW YORK, April, 1909.