Albert Salisbury.

Historical sketch of normal instruction in Wisconsin online

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Charlotte J. Caldwell, -< history, geography, rhetoric, grammar .................. 1890-92

I English language, general history ........................... 1892

Jennie E. Blakeslee, vocal music .................................................................... 1880-81

Nettie E. Burton, assistant supervisor of practice teaching ........................... 1880-81

Harriet A. Salisbury, preparatory grade ........................................................ 1880-81

Ellen C. Jones, history, geography ................................................................. 1881-87

ATflp V t?fhrpihpr -! vocal music .................................................................... 1881-87

Mae E. Schreiber, -j hlstory geography, music ............................................ 1887-90

Sarah H. Strong, teacher grammar grade ...................................................... 1881-8S

Jane L. Terry, teacher intermediate grade .................................................... 1H81-84

Edith I. Avery, teacher ............................................................................... 1882-84

Zilpha S. Hubbard, teacher grammar grade ................................................... 1883-84

C. H. Keyes, teacher history and mathematics .............................. ............... 1883-84

Mi.. IT Ai'anr Wato^n J tCaChCr ..................................................................... 1884-86

Mrs. E. A\erj Watson, - _



- mathematics .......................................................... 1886 _8 8

Sophie E. Davis, mathematics, history ............................ ....... . ..................... 1884-85

J. T. Lunn, language, mathematics ............................................................... 1884-85

Rosalia A. Hatherell, teacher grammar grade ............................... ................. 1884-91

Lizzie A. Darnell, teacher intermediate grade ............................................... 1H84-92

Sadie F. Burr, mathematics, vocalmusic ....................................................... 1885-86

Antoinette E. Brainard, supervisor of practice teaching ....... . ........................ 1885-86

Alice H. Shultes, supervisorof practice teaching ........................................... 1886

A. J. Andrews, director of physical training .................................................. 1886-87

H. T. Kirk, conductor of institutes .......... . .................................................... 1887-88

Cora Lee Summers, teacher primary grade ..................................................... 1887

A. L. Ewing, natural science ........................................................................... 1888

Annie W. Hurbank, English literature, reading ............................................. 1888-89

Miss A. E. Knapp, English literature, reading .............................................. 1889-90

G. G. Payne, mathematics ............................................................................. 1888

May D. Roberts, mathematics ........................................................................ 1889-92

J. Q. Emery, president, etc ............................................................................ 1889

W. J. Brier, conductor of institutes, literature, etc ...................................... 1889

Maud F Rpminfftnn -f preparatory branches ............................................... 1890-91

nngton, | L ln> Engljsh Com p 0si tion, German ....................... 1891-

Elizabeth F. Knox, drawing, vocal music ...................................................... 1890-91

Grace B. Marsh, physical training .............................................................. 1891-92

Carrie T. Pardee, drawing ............................................... . .............................. 1891

Mrs. F. M. Thatcher, vocal music .................................................................. 1891

Mattie A. Seiders, principal grammar grade ................................................. 1891-93

J. E. NeCollins. mathematics .......................................................................... 1892

Carrie M. Sheldon, preparatory grade .......................................................... 1892

T w r"iarb- f United States historv, geography, two lerms .......................... 1892

LrK> "[mathematics ........................................................................ 1893

Eva E. Holcombe, principal intermediate grade ............................................ 1898

Jane A. Sheridan, physical training .............................................................. 1892

Rose M. Cheney, preparatory grade ............................................................... 1892

Lovila M. Mosher, United States history, geography ................................... 1892

Lona Washburn, principal grammar grade ................................................... 1898

MILWAUKEE NOKMAL SCHOOL.

J. J. Mapel, president, psychology, etc ........................................................... 1885-92

Alexander Bevan, natural science and mathematics .................................... 1885-89

S. Helen Romaine, English languageand literature ........................... ......... 1885-92-

Eleanor Worthington, geography and history ............................................. .. 1885-86

Mary S. Cate, methods, superintendent of practice teaching ........................ 18S5-8S

Emily W. Strong, critic teacher third and fourth grades ................................ 1885

Dora Hilliard, critic teacher fifth and sixth grades ...................................... 1885-88

Mary Campbell, critic teacher first and second grades ................................... 1885-87

Silas Y. Gillan, conductor of institutes, etc ................................................... 1886-92



68 SKETCH OF NORMAL SCHOOLS IN WISCONSIN.

A. J. Andrews, conductor of physical training 1886-87

Mary E. Sykes, methods, superintendent of practice teaching 1887-89

Margaret W. Morley, physical training and drawing .. 1887-90

Winifred E. Jones, critic teacher primary department 1887

Eliza A. Sargent, critic teacher seventh and eighth grades 1888-89

Mary L. Warner, critic teacher third and fourth grades -... 1888-89

Alice E. Sanborn, critic teacher fifth and sixth grades 1888

Chas. P. Sinnott, mathematics and natural sciences 1889

Margaret E. Oonklin, methods, superintendent of practice teaching 1889

L. H. Eaton, vocal music 1889-91

Mabel L. Anderson, critic teacher seventh and eighth grades 1889-92

Miriam 8. Faddis, physical training and drawing 1890

Robert McMynn, Latin 1891-92

Ada Rockwell, music 1891-92

Carl Lueders, physical training 1892

L. Dow Harvey, president, etc 1892

Charles P. Chapman, conductor of Institutes, etc 1892

I. N. Mitchell, Latin and mathematics 1892

Mae E. Schreiber, English language, music, literature 1892

M. Elizabeth Allen, critic teacher seventh and eighth grades 1892

Jennie Ericsson, sloyd 1892

ALBERT SALISBURY.



History of Teachers' Institutes in Wisconsin.



BY W. H. CHANDLER.

Among the forces which have contributed largely to
the progress and efficiency of the work of common schools
in the state of Wisconsin, is that of the teachers' institutes.
These institutes, as organized and managed in this state,
have attracted the attention and received the commendation
of prominent educators in other states, have been exceed-
ingly popular and largely attended by teachers of all grades
in the state, and have been fruitful in great benefits in three
lines of effort, viz.: (a) in imparting direct and excellent
instruction to persons having had meager advantages in the
ordinary common schools and no other, as scholastic prepa-
ration for teaching; (b) in cultivating and promoting knowl-
edge of the theory and art of teaching by instruction in.
and exemplification of the principles underlying methods
of teaching, organization, management and discipline ; and
(c) by creating an esprit de corps, professional pride, and the-
spirit of emulation.

The institute work in Wisconsin, like all institutions of
value, has been a matter of growth, development and adap-
tation. If there is any one feature ot this work which has
commended it to the favor of our own people, and to others
who have observed it from the outside, it is that of conform-
ity to existing needs, and complete and organic relation to-
other educational forces. This will be apparent by review-
ing briefly the origin and history of the institute work, and
what has been attempted to accomplish through this form
of effort.

From 1818 to 1836 Wisconsin formed a part of the ter-
ritory of Michigan, its population was small and scattered,
and educational interests were necessarily neglected. From
1836 to 1848 the territory, now constituting the state, was for
a short time connected with Iowa, and then organized as a
territory by itself. The school laws of Michigan, with other
laws of that territory, were adopted almost entire, and were
exceedingly crude and defective. They contained no pro-
vision for supervision of schools or support of them by pub-
lic and general taxation. But by immigration from Eastern



70 HISTORY OF TEACHERS' INSTITUTES IN WISCONSIN.

states the population increased, and schools became an im-
perative necessity. These were provided by private enter-
prise, and supported by voluntary contributions and rate
bill assessments.

Frequent applications by localities were made to the
territorial legislature for authority to raise money by taxa-
tion to build schoolhouses and support schools, which were
sometimes granted and sometimes refused, as the local rep-
resentative favored or opposed the measure. When granted,
the school affairs were administered by local commissioners,
who also examined and gave certificates to teachers, leased
the school lands, and made reports to the secretary of the
territory. The election or appointment of town superinten-
dents was agitated in and out of the legislature, but failed of
success. So that we can learn of no effort during the terri-
torial period to organize teachers for mutual improvement
and assistance. Wages were low, distances between settle-
ments were great, and no central supervisory agency existed
to lead and permeate such organization.

With the agitation of the question of organization as a
state, which preceded the constitutional convention of 1845,
the leading friends of a liberal public school system began
the discussion of needed features in that system. Public
meetings were held and a sentiment created which decidedly
affected the action of the convention. But this attempt to
organize the state by adopting a constitution failed. The
discussion continued, and in 1848 a constitution was adopted.
In this provision was made for the establishment of
academies and normal schools. In the discussion in rela-
tion to this feature, the idea was persistently insisted upon
that teachers' institutes were inseparably connected with
normal school instruction. In less than a year after the
state organization was perfected by the election of state
officers and members of the legislature, the regents of the
university, which had been provided for in the constitution
adopted in 1848, by an ordinance established a normal de-
partment in that institution. Honorable Eleazer Root, then
state superintendent, in his annual report made at the close
of 1849, in transmitting the ordinance above mentioned to
the legislature for ratification, remarked that such a normal
department, with a system of teachers' institutes, may
answer present needs. In this remark we find crystallized in
official expression the prevailing idea of the leading edu-
cators of that time, of a system of teachers' institutes, having



HISTORY OF TEACHERS' INSTITUTES IN WISCONSIN. 71

organic and vital relation to normal instruction. Here is
the germ of the system since wrought out and put in practice
by the thoughtful and self-sacrificing men and women who
have devoted their lives to the work of public and general edu-
cation in the state. It is important to bear this in mind and
hold in grateful remembrance the sagacious men who con-
ceived and put forth this germinal idea of institute work.
Although not immediately or practically realized, this scheme
was thoroughly embedded in the minds of the friends and
champions of the public school system. Over this ideal they
brooded, until the time came when it was practicable to
realize it in actual and successful experience.

The constitution of the state provided for the supervi-
sion of schools through a " state superintendent and such
other officers as the legislature may direct." By law the
office of town superintendent was created. Each town super-
intendent examined and qualified teachers within his own
jurisdiction. Great diversity in the qualifications of teachers
necessarily prevailed, and the schools, of course, reflected in
exaggerated form the weakness or strength and fitness of
the teachers employed. By the reports of the early superin-
tendents, it is evident that no one fact strongly impressed
them as the need of professional instruction and inspiration,
and they did what they could to meet this need. They
labored assiduously with the legislature to secure the estab-
lishment of normal instruction in some form. They were
ably seconded in their efforts by the faculty of the university,
and by a few leading and able men who had charge of the
public schools in the few cities and principal villages that
were organized. Unsuccessful in their application for aid
to the legislature they " bated not one jot of heart or hope,"
but turned to their own individual exertions, and in their
zeal and public spirit went from point to point, held meet-
ings for mutual help and inspiration, and for the comparison
of methods and discussion of theories.

January 1, 1852, Hon. Azel P. Ladd, the second state
superintendent, assumed official position. Failing to secure
an appropriation from the legislature to defray the expenses,
he organized and held in various localities in the state what
were termed " temporary normal schools." In his report
for 1853, he said: "To mitigate the disadvantages arising
from the engagement of a number of persons so diversified
in qualifications and character, I have adopted the system
of holding temporary normal schools for their instruction



72 HISTORY OF TEACHERS' INSTITUTES IN WISCONSIN.

in the branches of science and the art of teaching. These
schools have been thus far conducted under manifold em-
barrassments, without legal provision for their organization
or means for their support. * * * I am satisfied that
they have been of practical utility, and that great good
would result from their incorporation into one general plan
of public instruction."

Here we have the beginning of normal schools and
teachers' institutes vitally connected, an attempt to realize
and exemplify the ideal of a predecessor.

Superintendent Ladd was succeeded in 3854 by Hon.
H. A. Wright. He lived to discharge the duties of his
office but a little more than a year, and was succeeded by
Hon. A. C. Barry. During his administration, town super-
intendents, to some extent, and the more progressive teachers
began holding teachers' institutes in country places, local-
ities not reached by the temporary normal schools. These
were largely held for a single day, on Saturdays, were en-
tirely voluntary, and devoted to exemplification of methods
of teaching, especially of mental and written arithmetic,
grammar, or parsing, and geography, the latter largely con-
sisting of practice of systems of map drawing. Persons were
secured to lecture, if possible, and discussions of the exercises
presented resulted in much mental quickening, and the dif-
fusion of knowledge of tlie best methods of awakening and
maintaining the interest of pupils. Often a teacher would
take to the place of meeting a class of bright and apt pupils,
a model class and exemplify methods. Classes would be
formed of teachers present, and these put through a course
of practice in recitation on the simplest parts of elementary
subjects. The "model" class would frequently excel in
quickness and accuracy, and thus vindicate the method of
their teacher, humiliate for the time being the selected class
of teachers, and provoke to study and emulation. The
teachers of some towns would sometimes send word they
would hold a session of their institute in a neighboring town,
perhaps in a benighted one, where no such efforts for improve-
ment existed. These were often the occasion of considerable
attendance of citizens, and the exhibitions of the model
class, in contrast with the inertness of their own teachers,
would create quite a sensation, and set the town to talking,
and result in improved school sentiment and practices.

This type of institutes continued for many years, and
although not true to the original ideal, except remotely,



HISTORY OF TEACHERS' INSTITUTES IN WISCONSIN. 73

had its place in moulding public sentiment and preparing
for the better way that followed.

During Superintendent Barry's adminstration of three
years he secured the passage of an act authorizing the state
superintendent to hold teachers' institutes, and appro-
priating annually not to exceed one thousand dollars to de-
fray the expense.

Hon. Lyman C. Draper succeeded Superintendent
Barry, and the institute work was systematized to the
extent which the limited means warranted. The prominent
teachers of the state engaged in the work with intelligence
and ability. Lectures on educational topics, discussion of
theories, organization and management, were characteristic
of the exercises. J. G. McMynn, Racine ; J. G. McKindley,
Kenosha ; Dr. J. H. Magoffin and A. A. Griffith, Waukesha ;
J. L. Pickard, Platteville; W. C. Dustin, Beloit; H. W. Col-
lins, Janesville ; A. C. Spicer, Milton ; W. Van Ness, Fond
du Lac ; W. P. Bartlett, Watertown ; J. E. Munger, Waupun;
A. Pickett, Oshkosh ; D. Y. Kilgore, Madison, are the names
of gentlemen who did valiant service in these pioneer in-
stitutes, and wrought a work of untold value in creating
and maintaining worthy and high standards in the art of
teaching and the qualifications of teachers for their high
calling.

In January, 1860, Hon. J. L. Pickard succeeded to the
superjntendeucy. During the preceding year the interest
in teachers' institutes was largely increased through the
labors of Dr. Henry Barnard, of Connecticut, an educator of
national reputation, who was acting as chancellor of the
university, and agent of the board of regents of normal
schools in conducting teachers' institutes. This board was
created in 1857, and provision was made for a fund to be
used " for the encouragement of academies and normal
schools." This fund was to be distributed among the col-
leges, academies and normal schools of the state which or-
ganized, maintained and instructed classes for normal
training. A part of this fund was used in maintaining
teachers' institutes. It is not clear by what interpretation
this was deemed authorized, but Dr. Barnard was appointed
agent of the board to examine the classes of institutions
making application to share in the fund, and distribute the
money pro rata according to the number successfully
passing the examination. He was also to conduct teachers'
institutes in various parts of the state. He organized a nota-



74 HISTORY OF TEACHERS' INSTITUTES IN WISCONSIN.

ble corps of conductors for a series of fourteen institutes at
prominent points in as many different counties, besides
short sessions of two days or more in rive other counties.
At most of these Dr. Bartiard's presence and addresses were
strong attractions, and the membership numbered over
fourteen hundred in the aggregate.

Among his co-workers were Prof. John Ogden, of Ohio;
Fordyce H. Allen and Charles H. Allen, of Pennsylvania ;
C. E. Hovey, of Illinois ; Francis T. Russell and William S.
Baker, of Connecticut ; John G. McMynn, A. J. Craig and
others, of Wisconsin.

During the years of Mr. Pickard's incumbency, who
was twice re-elected, the same general system of institute
work was pursued. Distinguished teachers of our own and
other states were employed as conductors, and the general
purpose was to inspire a professional spirit, incite teachers
to make better preparations, and arouse public sentiment to
demand better schools.

During this administration the town superintendent sys-
tem was abolished, for which the county system was sub-
stituted, and by law each county superintendent was re-
quired to hold at least one institute each year for the instruc-
tion of teachers. Until 1867 these institutes were held by
the county superintendents independently, each arranging
his own scheme, and depending upon the leading teachers of
his own district for assistance. Naturally they partook
largely in character of their predecessors under the town-
ship system, although attendance was largely increased,
being county and not township affairs. Little progress was
made, however, in institute work toward the ideal from 1860
to 1866. The coining on of the war interfered. Prof.
Charles H. Allen succeeded Dr. Barnard as agent of the
board of regents, and he was succeeded by J. G. McMynii.
These gentlemen both enlisted in the service of the country,
and the county superintendents were inexperienced, and
often were persons who had never been identified with
schools or school work.

In September, 1864, Col. John G. McMynn became state
superintendent, upon the resignation of Hon. J. L. Pickard
to take the superintendency of Chicago city schools. He had
been closely allied with all educational thought and move-
ment in the state from the organization, and he immediately
began a vigorous effort to secure the separate organization of
state normal schools. This was accomplished in 1866. The



HISTORY OF TEACHERS' INSTITUTES IN WISCONSIN. 75

law then enacted provided for the separate establishment of
normal schools not only, but enlarged the powers and means
of the board for the purpose of holding teachers' institutes.
In 1867 the board adopted a plan of co-operation with
county superintendents in holding institutes, by offering to
pay necessary expenses of institutes, under certain super-
visory regulations, which was cordially and generally coin-
cided in by the county superintendents.

In the fall of 1868, Captain Robert Graham was appointed
agent of the board to organize, systematize and supervise
teachers' institutes in the state. He entered vigorously upon
that work, which he continued in that and other capacities
until he was elected state superintendent in the fall of 1881.
No other man in the state has rendered more efficient ser-
vice, or left a deeper or more beneficient impression upon
the teaching force of the state than Mr. Graham. His close
observation, keen analysis, untiring energy, and genius in
suggestiveness were unreservedly given to the institute work,
and state superintendents and committees of the board of
regents availed themselves without reservation of his valu-
able services and co-operation.

In 1871 the legislature authorized still further expan-
sion of the institute work by making provisions for normal
institutes, to be held in such localities as were least bene-
fited by existing normal schools, three of which had at this
time been established and opened to the public. The board
of regents of normal schools was authorized to use five thou-
sand dollars annually for institute purposes from the normal
school income, and two thousand dollars annually was ap-
propriated from the general fund for the same purpose.

The time had now come to put into practical operation
the system of institutes contemplated, as we have have seen,
from the beginning. These normal institutes were to be
held for a period not less than four weeks. Colonel Samuel
Fallows had succeeded to the state superintendency. The
entire management and control of institutes was by law and
by act of the board of regents committed to the state super-
intendent and a committee of the board, acting conjointly.
They immediately took measures to organize the work.
Co-operation of county and city superintendents was con-
tinued. These arranged the time and places for holding
the institutes in their respective localities, made all neces-
sary incidental arrangements for their accommodation and



76 HISTORY OF TEACHERS' INSTITUTES IN WISCONSIN.

that of teachers, and made application in writing to the state


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Online LibraryAlbert SalisburyHistorical sketch of normal instruction in Wisconsin → online text (page 7 of 8)