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FUNDAMENTALS IN METHODS



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

NEW YORK BOSTON CHICAGO DALLAS
ATLANTA SAN FRANCISCO

MACMILLAN & CO., LIMITED

LONDON BOMBAY CALCUTTA
MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD.

TORONTO



FUNDAMENTALS IN
METHODS

IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS



BY



JOSEPH KENNEDY

DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION, THE UNIVERSITY

OF NORTH DAKOTA; AUTHOR OF "RURAL

LIFE AND THE RURAL SCHOOL"



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
1916

All rights reserved



COPYRIGHT, 1915,
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.



Set up and electrotyped. Published July, 1915. Reprinted
June, 1916.



Nortooot

J. S. Gushing Co. Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.



2>eDfcate& bg tbe Butbor

TO THE

ELEMENTARY TEACHERS,

BOTH RURAL AND URBAN, OF THE NATION THAT VAST ARMY

WHO ARE OUR SHIELD AND OUR DEFENSE, AND WHOSE

LIVES ARE A SACRIFICE UPON THE ALTAR OF CIVIC

RIGHTEOUSNESS AS THEY BATTLE VALIANTLY

AGAINST DISEASE, VICE, AND IGNORANCE

IN THE "SAVAGE WARS OF PEACE"



415333



PREFACE

THE author has long been impressed with the poor
methods and the lack of genuine efficiency in elemen-
tary schools everywhere, both rural and urban. Having
been a teacher and supervisor of both kinds of schools,
he feels that this observation and experience at first
hand enable him to speak with some knowledge of the
facts ; and he hopes that his message may be of some
value to the elementary teachers of the country. More-
over, he takes a deep and special interest in the rural
and elementary schools generally, and any adverse
criticisms of the work done there are given in a friendly
spirit and for a constructive purpose. The aim is to
help and not to find fault.

The elementary school, urban and rural, is the foun-
dation, the full basement, on which the superstructure
of all higher education must be raised. Whether pupils
are to live their lives in this basement or whether they
are to erect upon it a one-story cottage in the form of
secondary education or a two-story dwelling of college
education, the foundation and basement should be of the
best. It is in the interest of this foundation, " lest we
forget, lest we forget," in its best construction, that this
little volume is addressed to elementary teachers.

In accordance with the law of habit we become enam-
ored of our own thought and action. They commend
themselves to us more and more as we proceed. They



viii Preface

become a part of us and we fail to see them. We fall
into ruts and remain unconscious of our condition.
Rural buildings and premises and those in small towns
and villages become more and more dilapidated as time
goes on, and the owners, growing accustomed, from day
to day, to the slowly changing appearances, do not
realize the need of a fresh coat of paint and other im-
provements, till the conditions are really disgraceful.
The stranger is impressed at once with the crying need
of repair, while the owner, who has become adjusted to
things as they are, is oblivious to real conditions. The
same may be said of a man or often of his family, who
do not notice that his hair has grown so long that it is a
subject of gossip in the neighborhood. So it is fre-
quently with the ways, manners, and methods of teach-
ers. They do not realize that their teaching and their
methods are in need of paint or that they are so " wild
and woolly " that they are sorely in need of tonsorial
treatment.

It frequently happens that a man, in planning a house
which he contemplates building, is afraid of showing his
plans to others, and least of all to an architect, for fear
of hearing adverse criticisms on them and of having
what he considered strong features pointed out to him
as weaknesses. We are all prone to feel an evil security
in our own thinking and modes of conduct. The man
who is partly intoxicated thinks himself sober, and
imagines that no one else knows that he has been drink-
ing at all. Similar tendencies, conditions, and delusions
are all too prevalent among teachers. They can not see
themselves as others see them. But in the case of the
progressive owner, if perchance he should forget, the



Preface ix

dilapidated condition of his house and premises need
only be suggested to him or presented to him by a
striking contrast, to have it remedied at once ; and the
man whose hair has grown long, unnoticed by him, will
be brought to a realizing sense of neglect when his wife
returns home from an absence ! The man of any appre-
ciation of the fitness of things will admit at once the
faults in his house plan when an architect shows him
its errors and tells him why they are such. There are
many things which we have all been unconsciously or
thoughtlessly neglecting and which need only be pointed
out to us to receive our hearty indorsement ; and there
are other things which we have been practicing, which
need only be mentioned as errors in order to be seen as
such. And so it is in the methods of the teacher.

The purpose of this book is not to serve as a con-
secutive and detailed methodology, but as a discussion,
as concretely illustrated as possible, which will, it is
hoped, awaken or arouse elementary teachers to a real-
ization of many common-sense injunctions or warnings
which need only be mentioned, to be obeyed or avoided.
The teacher must, in the last resort, be depended upon,
with the aid of texts and courses of study, to work out,
consecutively and minutely, the subject-matter and the
procedure from hour to hour and from day to day.
There are many good books on detailed methodology
which would be of such specific help in the various sub-
jects. This volume, however, is intended to discuss
many of the chief points or turns of procedure and of
methods, in the large ; to point out fields and directions
to be sought and followed or to be shunned and avoided.
Its aim is to arouse and awaken teachers from a kind of



x Preface

habitual lethargy; to cause teachers, whether in the
rural districts or the schools of the city, whether young
and inexperienced or old and full of experience, to make
a professional self-examination, to set up for themselves
standards of teaching and a true perspective of values.

We all need to revivify ourselves in regard to our
methods of teaching. The author feels that he has
been helped by his own discussion of the subject in the
present volume and he hopes that his readers will be
benefited, if only to a lesser extent, by the reading of it.
We all need to consider and reconsider our habitual
modes of conduct, especially in such a complex art as
teaching. To re-awaken ourselves in this way brings
upon us a reflex wave of thought and feeling that can
not be other than beneficial. We need, everywhere,
thoughtful and rational methods of adapting means to
ends in education and in teaching.

The aim in the 'writing of every chapter has been to
give aid in a concrete and definite way to teachers of
the common school subjects and to arouse impulses and
resolutions for better things in the minds of elementary
teachers, supervisors, and superintendents everywhere.
It is hoped that every elementary teacher may find in
her individual reading of it much that will be practical
and uplifting ; that it may be of service in method courses
in normal schools and reading circles and that super-
visors and superintendents may find in it the keynote
for more initiative on the part of teachers and more
self-activity on the part of pupils.

Definiteness of aim is one of the most desirable things
in the method and life of a teacher. If the aim is
always clearly in mind, a teacher will usually find a way



Preface xi

or make one. The author attempts to show that clear
definite pictures both in the aim and in the means are a
wonderful help and inducement to progress by both
teacher and pupils.

The author has avoided in his discussions. the philo-
sophical and highly speculative on the one hand, and
the details of the hour and the day, which must in any
event be left to the teacher, on the other. He has
avoided ultimate analyses of methods and of subjects
and has confined himself to the elementary point of view.

Upon request of the author that some concession be
made to his advocacy (in Chapter IX) of some revision
of English spelling, The Macmillan Company very kindly
allowed a deviation from their usual orthography in
the case of those words whose revised spelling is well
established.

The author wishes to extend his thanks and to ac-
knowledge his indebtedness to Mr. Rudyard Kipling
and to Mr. Hamlin Garland for their kindness and
courtesy in allowing the use of their selections for illus-
trative purposes in the text.

JOSEPH KENNEDY.

THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA,
May, 1915.



CONTENTS

PAGB

CHAPTER I. THE TEACHER AND METHODS .... 1

Methods, our masters 1

The environment 1

The workman or his tool 3

Fundamentals 4

Personal moral attributes 5

Other attributes 7

The school atmosphere 9

Illustrations 10

Extremes . f . . 11

Friends . . ... 12

The teacher after all 12

CHAPTER II. CLEAR PICTURING 13

What does this mean ? ... . . . .13

Clear mental pictures . . ... . . .13

Idols of the market 14

Lack of true pictures 15

Why some writers are obscure . . . . . .16

The dictionary habit 16

Different fields 17

Failure to picture correctly 17

In writing . . . . . ,- . . . .19

In spelling . . . , 19

In arithmetic 20

In geography . . .21

In history 22

" English as she is taught " 22

CHAPTER III. THE MOST PREVALENT MISTAKE ... 24

Telling vs. teaching 24

Activity vs. passivity 25



xiv Contents

PAGE

Illustrations .26

Freedom and self-activity .28

Quality vs. quantity 30

CHAPTER IV. THE RECITATION PERIOD 31

Minds meet and level up 31

A testing time . . . .31

Wrestling with the problem 32

A guide to the teacher . .34

The review " Apperception mass " 34

Introduction to the next lesson 36

Expression . . . . 37

The teacher's part . . . 38

Necessary formality . . . . , . . 39

Arousing interest . .39

Summary. . ... . . . . . .41

CHAPTER V. READING: FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES . . 42
Most important subject . . . . . .42

As a medium . . . . . . 42

As a mirror . . . .; .- , . . . . 43

As a master key . . . ; . . ... 44

An easy but neglected art . , ..... . . 44

Silent and oral . . . .. ' , . . . .44

Falling down .45

Clear understanding . . . . . . . .46

Understanding, liking, and expression 47

The reading . . . 48

Choosing selections . .- 48

Pictures on memory's wall . 49

CHAPTER VI. READING: A CRITICISM OF METHODS . . 51

A common method . . .51

" Read the first paragraph " 51

Edwin Booth . . . .52

What repetition will do 53

No enrichment 54

Fruitless criticisms 54

"Elocution" 55

Variations 55

Sources 57



Contents xv



Promotions 58

Reading from a history 59

The notebook 59

CHAPTER VII. READING : THE BEGINNINGS . . . .61

At six years of age .61

From the auditory to the visual 62

The word, the basis . .63

Methods and methods 63

Teaching foreign children to read 64

The alphabet method 65

The phonic key 67

A case in beginnings 68

The first three months 68

First readers .69

The test of the pudding 69

Expression in writing . 70

The pupil dependent in reading . . "-'. . .71

Form and content in the tool stage 71

Words total, known, and used ...... 72

CHAPTER VIII. READING: SAMPLE LESSONS . . 74

Aims and methods similar ....... 74

The presentation 74

Preparatory information . . . . . . .76

Work for the pupils .77

Preliminary questions .77

The old way and the poor way 79

Proximate analysis 79

The reading 80

The return wave 81

A study of details 81

Different versions . . . 82

Punctuation and pauses 82

Biography of the author 83

Avoid too much thoroness 83

Gems in brief 84

Another example 85

The preparation and questions . . . . .85

The emphasis of time . . . . . . . .86



xvi Contents



PAGE

The reading period, a holy time ...... 87

One selection may suggest another ..... 88

Freedom in details 88

CHAPTER IX. WORD WORK : THE FORM . ... . 89

Spelling, or orthography . .89

Mere spelling, not sufficient .89

Syllabication, important . 90

Methods of syllabication . . . . . . ... .90

In oral spelling . .91

Pronunciation and enunciation ...... 92

Words often mispronounced . . . . . . .93

Difficult sounds for foreigners . ... . . 94

Oral or written word work . . . . . .95

Rules for spelling ... . . . . . .96

Writing misspelled words . 97

Words often misspelled .98

Diacritical marks . . 99

Spelling reform . 100

CHAPTER X. WORD WORK: THE INWARDNESS OF WORDS . 102

What is most important ? . ,. . . . . . 102

Slang words . . . . . .... . . 103

Abused words . . . . .... . . 104

How meanings are learned . . . . . ' ." . 105

Word revelations . . ... . . . . 106

Words differ in interest . . 107

One sample of an interesting phase . . . . 107

Meaning of proper names . . . * . . 108

Word structure . . 109

Some important prefixes and suffixes . ... . . 109

Another interesting sample . ... . . . Ill

Samples of interesting etymology 112

Technical terms in word work 113

Lesson assignment 114

Sources 115

CHAPTER XI. WRITING ........ 116

With reading at first . 116

The present status . .116



Contents xvii

PAGE

Copy-book work 117

Copy books made to sell 118

Careful beginnings 120

Motive 120

An artistic writer 121

The teacher's part . . . .-... . ' . .122

Aims . / . . . . . . . . 122

Writing, a means, not an end 124

Systems of writing . . . . . . " . . . 125

Analysis of letters . . . . . . . . . 125

Slants . . . 126

The children suffer ..... . . . 127

Much note taking and haste 127

In adolescence 128

Can a poor writer teach writing ? 128

CHAPTER XII. LANGUAGE WORK : ELEMENTARY . . . 130
The home ... . . . . . . .130

The school . .... f . 130

United with other subjects . 131

No separate period . . . - 1 " . . . . . . 131

Oral and written speech . . . . .... 132

A written recitation . . 133

Growth of compositional power .... . . . 134

The silent pupil . . 135

Not too much interference 135

The best only, acceptable . . . . . . . 136

The inductive procedure ... . . . . 136

The criterion of good language . . . . . . 137

Capitalization and punctuation . . . . . . 137

Backbone words . . .... . . . 138

The tabooed list . . . 138

Occasions for language teaching . . . . . . 140

The recitation, oral and written 140

Reproduction of a story ........ 141

The interpretation of a picture . . . . . . 142

Letter writing . . . 142

Blackboard work . . . 143

Compositions 143

Paragraphing 144



xviii Contents

PAGE

Correction by marginal signs 145

Dictation 146

The hearing needs training 147

The typewriter 148

Idea of quantity, too prevalent 148

A textbook in language . . . . - . . . . 149

CHAPTER XIII. LANGUAGE WORK : ADVANCED . . . 150

Language lessons and grammar 150

Grammar somewhat abstract 150

Grammar, psychology, and logic 151

Where to begin . . 152

Why disliked . , . . . . . . . .152

The sentence, a cosmos . . . , . . . . . 153

Thought material . . . . . . . . 154

Ideas, not words, related . . . . ' . " . . 155

Subject and predicate ...... 155

The identical sentence : . . . 156

Grammar, a part of language work . , ... . . 157

Sentence analysis . ........ 157

How ideas work . . . . . ... . 158

Parsing . . ;' . . . "... . . .159

A too common situation 159

Grammar, a science ; not an art . . . . . 160

Does grammar aid in good language ? .-.. . -.' . 160

The diagram . . . .161

Grammatical terminology . . . . ... 162

Difficult to teach . . . . . * . , . .164

CHAPTER XIV. ARITHMETIC: ELEMENTARY . . . . 165

In primary grades . . . . . . . . 165

The Grube method . . . . . . . . t . . . 166

Abstract from the concrete . . . . . . . 167

Avoid slavery to the concrete . . . . . 167

Too much time on arithmetic 169

A revival of mental arithmetic 170

A tool to fight our environment . . . . . . 170

Translation of Arabic signs into English .... 170

Neat figures 171

, Teaching the decimal conception . . ... . . 172



Contents xix

PAGE

Notation and numeration . , . . . 172

Rapidity 173

Some points in addition 173

The multiplication table 174

Imagination in arithmetic . 175

The sign of multiplication 177

The precedence of signs 178

Basis of cancellation 179

Figures should tell the truth 179

The proper form in multiplication 179

The form of division 180

CHAPTER XV. ARITHMETIC : ADVANCED 182

Acquired incidentally . . 182

" Fractions," not new 182

Clear conception of fractions important 183

Only like units can be united 184

Greatest common divisor and least common multiple . . 186

Employed in fractions . 186

Terms should be explained 187

Invert the divisor 188

The unit of the fraction , 189

A problem and its solution . . . . . . . 189

The question, " Of what ?" . . . . . .190

Some algebra, or general arithmetic 191

Old friends in new masks ^ 191

The decimal plan . . . 192

The use of the decimal point . 194

Origin of the decimal system 196

Beware of the " and " 196

Imagination in arithmetic 197

(1) The area of the circle. 197

(2) The Pythagorean theorem 198

(3) A lumber problem 199

(4) The bushel 200

(5) The gallon 201

(6) Ambiguous terms in weights . . . . . 201

The metric system 202

The commercial part of arithmetic 203

Ratio and proportion . 205



xx Contents

PAGE

Square and cube root . . . . . ... 206

Wake up mind . . . . , . . . .207

CHAPTER XVI. GEOGRAPHY . . . . . . 209

Purpose of the study 209

At first correlated and incidental ...... 209

The systematic teaching of geography ..... 210

The proper procedure 212

Clear picturing . . . . . . . . . 213

The idea of location 214

The idea of direction . . . 215

The globe as a whole . . . . . . ._ . 216

Analysis as well as synthesis . . '. . . . . 216

Topics and questions on the globe . . . ..-''. -x . 217

Relative magnitudes of facts . . . . . . 219

Isolated and barren facts L " 220

Some dependence on memory ...... 221

Reason in geography . ... . . . 221

Map drawing . . . . 223

Relative sizes and distances . . . '. . . . 225

Other helps . . . . . . . ... 226

An outline . . . ' . . . . . . .226

Practical applications ... . . . . .227

CHAPTER XVII. HISTORY . . . . . . . . 228

At first wrapped up with reading . . . . . . 228

The beginning and sequence . . .. ... . 229

Use a good text . . . . . . . . .230

Correlation by side excursions . . . ' . . . 230

Geography the handmaid of history ..... 231

Kings and wars too prominent . . . . . . 232

History not a " narrative of events " . , . . . . . 233

Should not be too philosophical . . . . . . 233

The golden mean 234

Facts and principles of first magnitude . . . . 234

Memorizing history . . . ... . . 235

History and patriotism . . . . . . . . 236

Ideals and history . . . . 237

Is history " true " ? 238

Method and results 238

Grasp of movements in the large samples .... 238



Contents xxi

PAGE

CHAPTER XVIII. HYGIENE . . . . . . .241

Importance 241

Hygiene taught topically 241

Not anatomy 242

Nor physiology 242

Knowing and doing . . 242

Hygiene 243

Clear presentation . 243

The chief topics branch out : samples 244

1. Respect for the body 244

(a) Bathing 245

(b) Sex hygiene 246

2. The germ theory of disease 247

(a) Consumption 248

(b) Typhoid fever (call-back instruction) . . 249

(c) Lockjaw 250

(d) Trichinosis . . . . . . . 250

(e) Flies 251

3. Fresh air . .251

(a) Unventilated public buildings . . . 252

(b) An illustration 252

(c) The Black Hole of Calcutta . . . .252

(d) Breathing exercises 253

4. Care of the eyes and ears 253

(a) The lighting 254

(b) Restful colors 254

(c) Defects of vision and hearing . . . 254

5. Care of the teeth 255

6. Exercise and play 256

(a) Outside games 256

(b) Indoor gymnastics ...... 257

(c) What to emphasize and avoid . . . 257

7. Alcohol and narcotics ....... 258

8. Miscellaneous 259

9. References 259

CHAPTER XIX. THE TEACHING OF MORALS .... 261

Indirect teaching best ........ 261

The moralizing power of the teacher ..... 262

The moralizing power of schoolmates . . . 263



xxii Contents

PAGB

Habits of preparation and presentation 264

The subjects themselves moralize ...... 265

(a) Arithmetic 265

(b) Language 265

(c) Geography . 266

(d) Science 267

(e) History 268

(/) Reading 269

Subject-matters ethicized 269

Good pictures 270

Influence of music 271

The school organization . . 272

Watch for defacements . . . \ . . . . . .273

By reading and telling stories . . . , . . . 274

A collection of literary gems . ...... . . . 275

First prepare the soil . . . . . . . . 278

Favorite maxims . . .... . . . 278

Short biographies . . . ... . . . 279

The school spirit 279

Self-assumed law i .280

Morals in the public schools . . . . ' , . 280

CHAPTER XX. THE SPECIAL SUBJECTS 282

The school a sample of real life 282

The newer subjects 282

I. Music - . .283

Importance 283

An advantage in school government . . 283

Not merely formal . . . . . . 284

Not a merely feminine subject . . . 284
Should not be discredited ... .284

The proper procedure 285

What to avoid and emphasize .... 285

Materials and equipment ... . . 285

The aim . . . . . . . .286

II. Drawing and Art . . f . . . 286

Danger of formalism ..... 286

Content needed 287

The aim 287

The equipment 288



Contents xxiii

PAGE

Care of materials 288

Topics . 289

Sources of information and supplies . . 289

III. Nature Study . . . . . . . . .289

Importance 289

Not microscopic 290

The aim . . ; . . . . . 290

First-hand knowledge . , . . . 291

Some source references . , . . . 291

IV. Agriculture 292

The nation awakens to its importance . . 292

Competent teachers needed .... 292

What to avoid .293

Rural life in proper light .... 293

Some specific topics ..... 294

Farmstead conveniences 294

Reference books 294

V. Domestic Science, or Home Economics . . . 295
Its value . . ... . . . .295

The aim . .... . . . 295

What can be done 296

Equipment and material ..... 297

References and sources 297

VI. Manual Training 298

Value of expression 298

Correlates with life 298

Scope 299

Equipment and room ..... 299

References and sources 300

VII. Wake up Mind " 301

An important period 301

A few sample topics ..... 301

Contagious interest ...... 302

CHAPTER XXI. METHODS IN SCHOOL MANAGEMENT . . 304

Importance ........... 304

A good letter of application . . . . . . . 304

Contract 305

Go in time 305

" Get into the game " , 306



xx iv Contents

PAGE

The first day . < .306

Masterfulness . . 307

Proper seating of pupils . . . . . . . . 308

Don't boast or " knock " . .;.';. , . . 308
Few rules ' . ... . . . ... . .308

A test case . . / . . . ... . 309

Visit the homes . . . . . . . . 310

Don't teach the home school . . . .... 310

Signals in the schoolroom . ..,.,. . . 311

Keep the machinery in the background . . . . . 312

The proper atmosphere and spirit . . . 312

A clock and program ........ 313

Regular and punctual 314

Teach how to study . .- . . . . . . 314

Mental habits 315

A slave to text or course of study ...... 315

Repeating answers . ... . . . . . 317

Stand or sit ? . . . 317

Reviews 318

Call back instruction . ... . . . . 318

Nagging, an abominable vice . . . . . . . 319

Supervise the playground 319

Cleanliness . ... . . . . .319

School entertainments .... . 4 . . . 320

The teacher should grow . . . ... . . 320



FUNDAMENTALS IN METHODS



FUNDAMENTALS IN METHODS

CHAPTER I

THE TEACHER AND METHODS

Methods, Our Masters. Talleyrand said that
methods are the masters of teachers " Les methodes
sont maitres des maitres." This is probably true in the
sense that a person becomes a bundle of habits. Habit-
ual methods may be either a servant or a master, either
good or bad. If we use them with discretion and effi-
ciency they are our servants, our means ; but if we fall into
ruts in bad methods, then they become our hard and
evil taskmaster. Many school boards, in inquiring
about applicants for vacancies, lay much stress upon
mere experience ; but experience may be an evil rather
than a good, if the teacher has fallen into bad methods
of teaching. One who has had no experience but who
has made a study of the problems of education and
the schoolroom and who has an open mind always
growing and always ready and willing to learn gives
much more promise of success than one who has had



Online LibraryJoseph P. (Joseph Patrick) KennedyFundamentals in methods in elementary schools → online text (page 1 of 24)