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of democracy in supervision?" were
indeed interesting. If there is any
one point in our educational Tower
of Babel where there seems to be a
confusion of tongues, it centers around
the attempt to define the meaning of
democracy. Thomas Mann has called
attention "to the fact that it is indeed
strange that the two basic ideas of
democracy — freedom and equality —
form a certain contrast, a logical
contradiction. Many of the teachers
answering this question laid stress
upon freedom as being the first es-
sential in democratic procedures in
supervision. It was not clear in all
cases what the implication of free-
dom might be, but apparently it was
an attempt to point out that freedom
from supervision was the first step
in the installation, or the establish-
ment, of democratic practices in
school management. Equality was
merely indicated by a few who called
attention to the fact that from the
standpoint of professional training,
years of experience, and the ability
to handle classroom situations, they
were equal, and even superior, to
those persons employed as special
supei-visors. Incidentally, it rnay be
mentioned that a part of this dis-

cussion of equality centered around
the fact that the most unjustified
inequality was to be found in the
fact that persons employed as super-
visors received higher salaries than
those who taught in the classroom.

Because of the fact that democracy
has been frequently defined in the
various aspects of the work offered
in the school system as a form of
cooperative living based upon intel-
ligent compromise, a majority of the
teachers emphasized the point_ that
cooperation was the most desirable
and the most essential feature of de-
mocracy in supervision. With this
thought in mind, it was frequently
mentioned that teachers and super-
visors should have the opportunity
of a free exchange of views in the
determination of supervisory policies,
methods of teaching, and other prob-
lems that related to the improvement
of instruction upon a cooperative

The third question dealt with the
Council System in its relation to
democratic procedures in supervision
and administi-ation. The division in
the replies to this question centered
around the fact that while the Coun-
cil System was highly desirable, it
did not function because of the fact
that classroom teachers themselves
neglected to take advantage of the
system by calling Council meetings.

How we use our spare time
today will determine our success
during the times following the
War. Editor.

and by attending Council meetings
when called. By many it was looked
upon as a superfluous form of ma-
chinery which interfered with their
own convenience. Certain teachers
saw great possibilities in the Council
System if it could be made to work,
but did not recognize the fact that
it could only be made to work thru
the interest and the initiative of the
teachers themselves. The conclusion
to be reached in evaluating the an-
swer to this third question points to
the fact that the reaction of the
teacher toward the attempts to place
supervision upon a democratic and
cooperative basis is of vital import-
ance. It was interesting to note that
the teachers themselves recognized
how essential a cooperative attitude
is in the development of a program
of efficient supervision, in both the
general and special fields.

In reply to the fourth question
relative to cooperating curriculum
committees, it was interesting to note
that the teachers of this group looked
upon cooperating curriculum com-
mittees in planning and developing
courses of study as an extra task
imposed upon them, a task which
should be carried by classroom teach-
ers placed on leave, or by special
directors of curriculum. The value

of teacher planning in curriculum
building was recognized in a few
cases, but not as generally as might
be expected. It appeared that in spite
of the opposition to autocratic ad-
ministrative practices, many teachers
were willing to accept planned courses
of study and textbooks to be placed
in their hands with the instructions
to follow the courses and the text-
books with the pupils under their
charge. The significance of the move-
ment toward curriculum construction
thru cooperating curriculum commit-
tees under the direction of special
supervisors, has been recently com-
mented upon in the January (1942)
issue of the Elementary School Jour-
nal and reads as follows:

Until about a decade and a half
ago efforts to improve the curriculum
were, for the most part, centralized
in influential committees, often or-
ganized on a national basis, or were
carried on by experts in the various
subject fields, whose work resulted
most commonly in the form of text-
books of one kind or another. For a
number of reasons, this centralization
of curriculum-making gave way to a
strikingly different practice, namely,
that of remaking the curriculum
through the work of local curriculum
committees. This movement to im-
prove the work of the schools through
local curriculum committees spread
with great rapidity, and by the year
1940 it was a conservative system
indeed that did not have one or more
committees attempting to improve the
course of study. The results of this
local activity have been both bad and
good. Some of the curriculum com-
mittees had no special competence in
their field, and their product com-
pared poorly with that of committees
chosen on a wider basis or with that
of experts whose product was the
result of years of careful study and
experimentation. In some sections of
the country the results of local action
have produced almost chaotic condi-
tions as far as any coherent curricu-
lum is concerned. On the other hand,
the work of these local committees
has often challenged traditional prac-
tices, and, through the very urge to
do something new and particularly
to break down formality, the curricu-
lum has often been enriched, and cer-
tainly has been made more functional.
The weakness of many of these
cui-riculum revisions has consisted in
a lack of coherence and sequence from
grade to grade. Sponsored by groups
who placed great emphasis on child
development and growth, these re-
vision programs have shown a nota-
ble gap between their theoretical em-
phasis on genetic development and
their product of curriculum materials
which failed to reflect the needs of
growth in the sequential organiza-
tion of content. Many excellent units,
projects, and activities were oi-gan-
ized, but these existed as dotted
islands in a sea of less consequential
miscellaneous materials. This unre-
latedness of curriculum units was not

The Educator


entirely accidental. In fact, some of
the more enthusiastic proponents of
a new curriculum have decried all
attempts at organization and sequence
on the ground that these smack of
the older curriculums and, therefore,
of formality. Now, after fifteen years
of experience and a considerable
amount of sober thinking, some of
the better school systems are attack-
ing the problem of consolidating the
gains of local experimentation and
are attempting to remake a coherent
curriculum on something other than
the old subject-matter classifications.'
Special supervision is closely re-
lated to curriculum revision and ad-
ministration in the modern school.

In answer to the fifth question
which called for a statement of the
strongest feature in the plan of su-
pervision and educational leadership,
there was a wide range of observa-
tions. The comment most frequently
made indicated that the strongest
feature in special supervision was
the accessibility of the special super-
visors and their willingness to de-
vote time and attention in classroom
visitation and the solution of prob-
lems by working with the teacher in
the classroom. The majority of the
replies favored supervision as in-
service education, and many teachers
commented upon the very great value
that was to be gained from methods
classes, conferences, and group meet-
ings conducted by the special super-
visors in the interpretation of the
woi'k to be presented in the several
grades of the school system. There
seemed to be a consensus pointing to
the fact that supervision in the spe-
cial fields pointed directly toward a
type of in-service training which was
in fact the continuation of the work
offered in the laboratory schools of
the teachers colleges. Another point
that was considered strong- was the
practice established by supervisors in
special fields when in group meetings
they called upon individual teachers
to report upon experimental studies
made in the improvement of methods
of teaching handwriting, spelling, and
the several learning skills. This
recognition of the contributions of
classroom teachers was a strong
point definitely appreciated.

In answer to the sixth question as
to the weakest feature in the program
of supervision there was a scatter-
ing of replies, many of them indicat-
ing personal idiosyncracies on the
part of teachers. In the system for a
number of years call cards have been
used, indicating that if the services
of the supervisor were desired, the
teacher should send in a notice on a
specially designed card calling for
the supervisor to visit. It was
pointed out that the call card system
was not a success. The first weak-
ness pointed out was that the teachers
who most needed the assistance of a
supervisor would be the last to send

in a call card. Another objection was
the fact that after a call card had
been sent in, very frequently a long
interval of time would elapse before
the supervisor found it convenient to
call. In the meantime the emergency
had passed. The feeling that super-
visors are not always sympathetic
toward the problem which confronted
the teacher was frequently mentioned.
By sympathy is meant the ability of
the supervisor to anticipate the diffi-
culties to be met in a teaching situa-
tion, and to see the problem from the
other person's viewpoint. It was im-
portant to note that the supervisor
was not expected so much to pass
judgment in the situation as to ren-
der assistance in the solution of the
problem. It was also suggested that
supervision should be impersonal;
however, it may be observed here
that it is impossible to make super-
vision impersonal with certain types
of teacher personalities, especially the
sensitive type which is quite unable
to interpret comments by the super-
visor in a professional and impersonal
manner. The impasse which appears

We are fighting to save de-
mocracy, and democracy is best
served through the education of
the younger generation. Let us
not fail in our duty to democ-
racy and our country!

^ Editorial Comment — Elementary School
Journal Chicago; University of Chicago Press.
1942 — January p. 321-3.72.

to exist between the classroom teach-
er and the supervisor was apparent
in some of the answers relative to
the weakest feature in the educational
leadership. In analyzing this im-
passe, it is interesting to note that
it may be due to one or more of
three things. The first phase is the
cultivated cleavage between the class-
room teacher and the supervisor, —
cleavage in educational administra-
tion which is not unlike that to be
found in industry where we have
capital, management, and labor strug-
gling for the opportunity of deter-
mining policies. In education we have
the school system designed to serve
multitudes of pupils, the administra-
tive group and supervisory staff de-
signed to manage and direct the ac-
tivities of the school system, and the
classroom teachers, the most numer-
ous group, corresponding to the labor
group in industry. It is unfortunate
that there are instructors in our
teachers colleges, and many in the
ranks of the teaching profession, who
are doing a great deal to widen the
gap, and to increase the cleavage be-
tween the classroom teacher and the
administrative and supervisory g-roup.
If democracy is cooperative living
based upon intelligent compromise,
this is the first point at which this
fact should be implemented. The
second cause for the impasse may be
again mentioned as a financial cleav-
age. It is difficult for some classroom
teachers to understand why a super-
vising principal, a supervisor of hand-
writing, art, music, or health educa-

tion, should receive a higher salary
than that paid to the teacher "who
does all the work." This fact has
been played upon so frequently that
it has become almost an obsession on
the part of some teachers who dis-
cuss it on any and all occasions. A
third point is the lack of knowledge
on the part of supervisors themselves
in dealing with specific situations,
and it must be admitted that we still
have people in supervision who have
almost no vision, let alone super-
vision. Gradually these persons are
being eliminated because of the higher
technical training of the younger
graduates from our teachers colleges.
It is indeed unfortunate when condi-
tions obtain in school systems thru-
out the nation in which superintend-
ents, principals, and supervisors stand
in the way of progress and are un-
able to keep out of their teachers'

In answer to the request for con-
structive suggestions for the improve-
ment of the supervisory service, it
was interesting to note that there
were few suggestions that were in
fact constructive. Most of the sug-
gestions dealt with problems which
were more or less personal. Others
were merely an approval, or a sug-
gestion that more work be offered
along the line of the procedure of
previous years. Among the more
constructive suggestions for improve-
ment might be listed the following:

1. The selection of people with good
educational and cultural back-
grounds as teachers and super-

2. The development of ways and
means to help children to grow in
all-around ability, but don't allow
tender-hearted parents to inter-
fere with the educational process.

3. Give more attention to the edu-
cation of parents in order that
they may keep abreast of the
changes in education.

4. Provide more books, more equip-
ment for curriculum enrichment.

5. Fewer extra-curricular activities
and more opportunity for pupil

6. Make it a mandatory rule that
special supervisors shall conduct a
class at least once a semester.

7. 'The establishment of more ad-
justment classes where misfits,
particularly in the higher grades,
may find joy and satisfaction in
work that they are able to do,
and thus allow the classroom
teacher to give more time to
others who have been neglected.
Fit the curriculum to the child.

8. More frequent conferences in
group situations with special su-

The foregoing statements, dealing
as they do with problems as seen
from the viewpoint of classroom
teachers, may account for the fail-
ure of some supervisors to grasp the
importance of the service they are
in a position to render. There is an
advantage to be gained from the


consideration of supervisory problems
as these are presented from the
viewpoint of the teacher. Frequent
conferences with free discussion be-
tween supervisors and teachers will
be of great benefit to all concerned
and are much more valuable than the
issuance of bulletins from the admin-
istrative and supervisory officers.

Upon the basis of the comments
and the apparent attitudes of these
classroom teachers toward super-
vision, it may be possible for us to
point out the role of special super-
vision in the schools of today. The
first thing that we will need to real-
ize is that there is a constant change
in emphasis in programming and in
supervising instruction. As recently
as ten years ago much of the em-
phasis in special supervision was upon
subject matter, centering around the
textbook learning, upon teaching de-
vices rather than the underlying
psychological principles, and in the
secondary schools much thought and
attention was given to college en-
trance requirements and standards es-
tablished by legal and extra-legal
educational agencies.

Today the emphasis is more fre-
quently upon pupil interest, and the
attitudes which pupils develop from
their own subjective viewpoints. More
consideration is given to individual
maturation, and ability, upon psycho-
logical principles established thru
scientific research, and upon the form
of concepts which are the basis for
generalizations resulting in attitudes
and ideals. In other words, special
supervision is more than just the
teaching of writing as a specific skill,
the emphasis being upon the func-
tional aspects of the learning skills.
We are all familiar with the fact that
there are many children who can spell
accurately the required number of
words given to them in a column, and
at the same time these children when
called upon to write a letter or an
essay will misspell many of the same
words which they accurately spelled
in their formal spelling lesson. The
same thing is equally true of writing.
We carry our children thru with a
great deal of interest and success un-
til they reach the end of the sixth
year of the elementary school. Many
of these children write well enough
at this time to secure recognition
thru the issuance of a writing cer-

Too often within a year, having
completed the work of the sixth
grade, the legibility of the writing of
these certificate winners becomes so
low that even they themselves are
unable to read their own writing. The
teaching procedures which should be
emphasized thru our supervision in
these situations should be such as to
create subjective attitudes on the part
of the learner that will make it his
own desire to spell accurately under
all conditions, and to write legibly in
all situations demanding writing. In
order to establish this subjective at-
titude on the part of pupils, it is

necessary for all teachers to check
on the learning skills and assume the
responsibility for demanding the best
the pupil is able to give in the use
of these skills. The special super-
visor cannot be held alone responsible
for the ability of children in reading,
writing, spelling, and the use of
mathematics in functional situations.
The role of the special supervisor at
the present time extends beyond the
teaching of a special subject. It en-
ters into the entire learning expe-
rience of the child. Another point
to be given consideration is in the
recognition of the fact that the more
adequate training of teachers pro-
vided by colleges of education, will
demand better trained supervisors. A
well known expert in the training of
dogs has frequently said that the
first requisite for a successful dog
trainer is that he shall know more
than the dog. While the illustration
may not be the most fortunate,
nevertheless we all lecognize that
the role of the special supervisor in
the modern school demands that he
or she be the best informed person
in the entire school system in his
special field. In addition, the newer
school demands that supervisors shall
see the work of the entire school sys-
tem in the large, and in this manner
function as a coordinator.

In the interpretation of the work
of the supervisor in the field of spe-
cial supervision we have tried to point
out that special supervision can no
longer be confined to a special field.
In modern curriculum building the
special supervisor is concerned with
the entire field of instruction. There
are no water tight compartments in
the modern school. Art, handwriting,
music, health education, and the learn-
ing skills are all correlated and a
part of the work in the language arts,
the social studies, and the study of
science and mathematics. All con-
tribute to the well rounded life ex-
perience of the pupils in our schools.
There is no longer a place for juris-
dictional supervision.

In the immediate future and during
the time in which the schools are
required to operate under a war
economy, there will be demands from
pressure groups calling for retrench-
ment in school costs. In order to
meet these demands, it is probable
that supervision will be curtailed and
in many cases discontinued at a time
when it is of greatest value and most
needed. By interpreting the import-
ance of supervision the wise school
administrator wil^ direct the thinking
of the public toward the services ren-
dered by supervisors in maintaining
the educational standards of the na-
tion and the constant improvement
of pupil-teacher relationships in the

In summarizing we should like to
mention ten observances that we con-
sider pertinent to the consideration
of the role of special supervision in
the modern school.

(1) Supervision arose from a felt
need at a time when teachers were

not as well trained for their work as
they are today, but even with the im-
provement in the professional train-
ing of teachers, supervisors must in-
terpret the trends and the new em-
phasis in the presentation of the work
in special fields of teaching.

(2) In the modern school the su-
pervisor must be a coordinator and
assume the responsibility for the in-
tegration of the subject matter of-
fered in the courses offered in the

(3) Competitive relationships and
professional jealousies are the char-
acteristics of democratic methodology
which are most destructive. Super-
vision should seek to prevent these
handicaps from interfering with the
work of the schools.

(4) The supervisor is in a position
to see the work of the schools in the
large, and because of this should di-
rect the work of curriculum commit-
tees in the definition of objectives and
the organization of subject matter.

(5) Supervision should aim to pro-
vide for a continuous program of in-
service professional education.

(6) Supervision should keep a con-
stant check upon the attitudes of the
teachers toward the supervisory pro-
cedures in the school system.

(7) Supervision should provide a
continuous survey of work of the

(8) Those who may be responsible
for the administrative policies of the
school system should use all means
available to prevent the curtailment
of supervision and the reduction of
the supervisory staff under the pres-
sure of war time economy.

(9) Changing the terminology will
not improve supervision. The role of
the supervisor in the modern school
must be redefined and closely co-
ordinated with the instructional ser-
vices of the classroom teacher. The
supervisor must be a master teacher.

(10) The role of sane, scientific
supervision is being extended to the
point where it has become the most
vital contribution to the improvement
of insti'uction in the schools of the

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The Educator



1 -i-i-





More words for your class to use in sentences. Pick
important parts.

In Manuscript writing it is advisable to pause defi
deliberately. As the student acquires skill he may in
the primary grades. In the letter M show the pupil th
tions. Point out the similarity of the spaces in the let

Notice that the circular letters are all the same wid
and the spaces between letters.

Send some of your boys and girls to the blackboard
encouragement to all.

Show the pupils the order in which the different .st
be made.

In making circles students and teachers often slant
upright. Test the letter by drawing a line through the
if a line drawn through the center of the circle is parall

out the letters that the class has not had and stress the

nitely at the base line. The down stroke should be made
crease the speed. However, speed is not so essential in
at both capital and small letters contain two equal sec-
ters N and M.
th. Compare them in the copy to the width of M and N

to print the different words. Give individual help and

rokes are made and the direction in which they should

the form forward or backward. A circle should stand
center. In making two-section letters like b and d, see

el to the straight stroke.


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Online LibraryAuguste LutaudThe Educator (Volume 47) → online text (page 26 of 35)