Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/595

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591
TRAINING COLLEGE TEACHERS

tion. The doctorate has always stood for original work, discovery, scientific attainment. It has generally been assumed that these virtues are superior to those demanded of the man who at once imparts knowledge of a special sort and shows to growing minds its wider bearings for the building of character and the perfection of culture. This is, nevertheless, pure superstition; the sooner we smash it, the sooner will business and professional men cease to look down upon teaching, and the sooner have no ground for saying that the academic career attracts inferior men. Let us frankly rate teaching as a specialty on a par with those now pursued in graduate schools; it will prove not only just but, I think, excellent diplomacy.

2. The candidate for such a degree shall specialize in some general subject. His first year shall include the elements of teaching (if these have not been mastered in undergraduate courses), and also as much special drill in the pedagogy of his elected field as is feasible. If the university can not offer the latter, an arrangement might be made whereby the student could spend his first year at an institution where the work is provided. There is no reason, though, why, after the proposed system is inaugurated, one professor from each of the freshman and sophomore departments could not find time to offer such work.

3. When, in the second year, the student becomes a teacher in the department of his choice, be shall be assigned to full teaching work. Perhaps an ideal apportionment would be two freshman and two sophomore sections of fifteen students each in three-hour courses, making a total of twelve hours' classwork a week. Half this amount might be preferable in the first semester of teaching. At least one professor in the department shall devote part of his time to supervising the student-teachers. He shall visit the sections as often as he deems necessary. He shall question the student-teachers about the individual men in their classes and their difficulties. At the close of each semester, he shall examine the sections himself; and his marking shall be counted in upon the term marking both of students and their student-teacher on some equitable fractional basis. (For instance, the supervisor's markings might weigh equally with the term markings of the student-teacher against the student; and the supervisor's average marking of the class might weigh equally with the student-teacher's individual knowledge of his subject in the computation of the student-teacher's total efficiency. These proportions are, of course, merely illustrative.)

4. The student-teacher shall be required to attend no classes in his last two years of work; but, he may have the privilege of so doing; if, in the opinion of the department, he will profit thereby. In general, however, the policy of the department should be to encourage wide reading, not only in his specialty but in cognate branches, the aim always being to give him his bearings in the world and make him