L. R. (Louis Richard) Klemm.

Educational topics of the day. Chips from a teacher's workshop online

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I K67



Southern Branch
of the

University of California

Los Angeles

Form L 1



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This book is DUE on the last date stamped belo^



nil L-9-15m-8,"24



I



EDUCATIONAL TOPICS OF
THE DAY



CHIPS



FROM A TEACHER'S WORKSHOP

BV

L. R. KLEMM, PH.D.

FORMERLY SrPERVISOR OF GERMAN DEPARTMENT Hl'IiLIC SCHOOLS,

CLEVELAND, O. ; PRINCIPAL OF A NORMAL DEPARTMENT,

CINCINNATI, O. : AND SUPERINTENDENT OK PL-RLIC

SCHOOLS, HAMILTON, O.; INSTITUTE CONDUCTOR,

AND AUTHOK OF NUMEROUS SCHOOLBOOKS



ROSTO>J
LEE AND SIIEPARD PUBLISHERS

NEW VORK
CHARLES T. DILLINGHAM

iSSS



c'



PREFACE.



Many of the articles in this book appeared in the lead-
ing educational journals. They are here collected because
they are thought of sufficient practical value to be thus
preserved. In offering this book to the public, the author
desires to have it understood that he does not undertake
to present a complete system of education, but, beside sonie
essays and historical dissertations, chips from his own
educational workshop. Chips are useful for kindling
fires. If these chips should help a little to kindle tlie
fire of enthusiasm in the hearts of some teachers, they
will be doing what they were intended for. Should the
patient reader find a harsh word now and then in these

\ii articles, he may consider that they were written for Uie
' ^ educational press; that is, for a purpose. To tone them

j,.^ down, would seriously change their character. Character
is what a man is; his reputation, what people say of him.

^ It is so with books. Whatever reputation this liook may
get, the author does not propose to let that interfere with
its character. lie gives himself in the pagi's of this book,
his mode of thinking and discussing, his manner of
teaching; and he sincerely Ii()|H's, that, though his manner
may be found faulty, his sincerity of puriv>se, his g(x>d

5



6 J' II K FACE.

intention to benefit his young colleagues, will not be
doubted.

At present, the author is engaged in studying the schools
in England, France, Holland, Germany, and Switzerland.

After his return from t^urope, he will offer a second
volume, under the title, " Chips from Educational Work-
shops in Europe."



Hamilton, O., September, 1887.

L. R. K.



COjSrTEjSTTS.



CHAPTER I.

PAGE.

OPEy^ LETTEnS TO A YGCyG TEACHER.

First Lettei:. Method and Manner 13

SpxoNi) Letter. "Similia Similibus Curantur" ... 17
TniRD Letter. Cause and Effect; or, IIow to Keep

Young 24

Fourth Letter. The Old, Old Question 30

Fifth Letter. Sketch of a Good School 35

Sixth Letter. Stimulants in Teaching 40

Sevextii Letter. Teachers' Examinations .... 45

Ekjhtii Letter. Rapidity in Recitation 49

Ninth Letter. Continuity of Instruction 54

Tenth Letter. Why Take the Trouble '? ...... 59

CHAPTER IL
FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF A SUPER VISOR.

A Pertinent Question Answered 67

The Medical Practice of a Teacher 75

I. A Weak Speller 75

II. The Rescue of a Dunce 78

III. A " Bad " Boy in Arithmetic •. . 81

IV. A Boy " like Kaspar Hauser " S3

Discipline. — A Reformatory Class 80

Scenes from School-Life 91

Professional Sui'ERVIsion 95

Mkc HANK al Vii:ti'es !)U

A Case of Uninte.ntional Crlei.tv 102

7



8 CONTENTS.

CHAPTER Iir.

PAGE

FUNDAMENTAL E/i/iOIiS IN TEACIJINO.

PF.n-CENT Systkm of Gradino 107

Competition in School Ill

Memorizing the Printed Page 114

Examination Questions 117

From the Frying-Pan into the Fire 121

The Outlook 126

Catch-Words 128

CHAPTER IV.
SOME PRINCIPLES AND METHODS OF TEACHING.

I. Teach in Accordance with Nature's Laws . 133
II. Teach in Accordance with Psychological

Laws 135

III. Teach Ob.jectively; Appeal TO the Senses . 137

IV. Teach Intelligibly 1.39

Methods of Teaching 142

Definitions 142

Didactic, Heuristic, and Systematic Methods .... 144

The Essence of Method 145

Analysis and Synthesis 147

Summary of Methods of Teaching 151

CHAPTER V.
the art of questioning, and practice of teaching.

Hints to Beginners 1.55

The Socratic Method 1.59

Two Examples of Socratic Questioning .... 162

How the Mind Grows • 165

A Review Lesson in Psychology 169

See, Do, and then Tell 172

A Proof Positive 177



CONTENTS. 9
CHArTER VI.

PAGE

AniTllMETIC.

ITow TO Teacit Fraction?? 183

IIo'iV TO Teach PKUCEXTAfiE 189

A Device, not a Method 10:5

PiJicE-LiST ok Commodities in the Schoolroom . . l'.)7

Primauy Arithmetic l!>i>

Miss Celeste's Pennies 200



CHAPTER VII.

literature and language.

The Poet Schiller

A Pertinent Qtestion

(rekman in the schools

The Value of Grammai: . . . ,

Polyglot English

Misused Words ,

A Practical CoMrosiTioN Lesson
Spelling Taught Rationally .
A Suggestion in Spelling . . . ,
Garment and Substance of Thought
Miss Lottie's Three Boys ...
In Black ox White



20.5
215
22;i
228
220
2:W

•im

2;5«

n\)

243
245
246



CHAPTER VII L
GEOGRAPrfY.
A New Departure in Teaching Geography. .
History and Geography, the Siamese Twins .
L The Boundarios of Ohio ami Indiana, etc. . .
II. Tlu' Bomidarit's of Pennsylvania and Delaware
in. The XoUh in the Xorthein IJonndary ....
IV. The Boundary between Kentucky and Tennessee
Parallels and Meridians



251

268
208
272
274

277

2S2



10



CONTENTS.



A Poser



Life CoNTUADUTixf; the Sciioolmasteu
One Way of Getting at the Idea
Odd QiESTioNs Oddly Axswehed . .
Elementauy Wokk. — The Zones . .



PAOE

285



287
290
292
293



CHAPTER IX.

HISTORY OF EDUCATION.

Educatiox IX Pome 297

The Ancient Gekmans 307

An Intekview between Pestalozzi and Dk. Bell . 815

PRUSSIAN Schools Seventy Yeahs Ago 320

PeEOKMEKS and PltOMOTEIIS OF EDUCATION DURING

tue Christian Eua 323



CHAPTER X.
HISTORY.

Why, When, and How to teach History .... 341

Cause and Effect in History 356

A Glance into the Middle Ages 380

Inventions during the Middle Ages 387

Natural Calling, or Not? 391

A Bird's-eye View of Modern History .... 394

What is Nihilism ? 402

A Talk with my Boys 405

Our Country 406

What I Heard from the Stump 407



CHAPTER I.

OPEN LETTEES TO A YOUNG TEACHER.



>.



EDUCATIONAL TOPICS OF THE DAY.



CHAFfER I.

OPEN LETTEES TO A YOUNG TEACHER.
FIRST LETTER.

METHOD AND MANNER.

My dear Young Lady, — Yon seek information
upon a commonplace snbject, which, I will admit in
the beginning, is not commonplace at all. You ask,
" How would you impart knowledge to normally
endowed pupils? What method would you prefer for
young children? "

Did you consider that I might say, my young friend,
there is no such thing as imparting knowledge?
Reserve your incredulous smile until you have heard
ray explanation. 1 mean to say that any one who
uses the term impartinij knowledge speaks erroneously,
as it is wrong to say the sun rises or sets : he does no
such thing. To impart knowledge, evidently means, to
convey, to make knowledge part of the learner. Now,
this is the very thing which, I cltiiin, is impossible.

Compare the psychological process of learning, with
the physiological process of digestion, 'i'riie, this is



14 KDUCAriONAL TOPICS OF THE DAY.

a liomc'ly illnstrntion, and not the most aesthetic ; but
it is the most available. Can you impart a beefsteak
to another person? You cannot. You can cook it
well, serve it daintily, offer it with one of your sweet
smiles ; but make that beefsteak a part of his body j'ou
cannot. The person will have to do the biting, chew-
ing, swallowing, digesting, and assimilating, himself.
You may season the beefsteak admirably, you may
make it palatable, you may do any thing and every
thing to entice him to eat it ; but you cannot per-
form the process of digestion and assimilation for
him.

It is exactly so in teaching. You cannot impart
knowledge. All that 3'ou can do, and that, I insist
upon it, you must do, is to make knowledge palatable,
to serve it well, to select it with reference to the child's
mental stomach, to prepare it so that the child will be
enticed to partake of it ; Ijut impart it you cannot.
The child's intellect grows as a plant does, from inside
outwardly, not from without inwardl}-. Therefore, if
3"Ou should hear of any one of whom it is said that he
understands the art of imparting knowledge, j'ou may
take it for granted that something else is meant ;
namely, that he understands the art of cooking and
serving facts well. Really, m}^ friend, the teacher is
to be a good cook of mental food ; and it depends
upon his professional training and his experience,
whether he becomes a chef, and can make chefs-cVoeuvre,
and deserves a salary such as is paid to a chef de
cuisine at Delmouico's or the Hoffman House, or a



OPEN LETTERS TO A YOUNG TEACHER. 15

Bridget who tortures the family witli execrable ex[)eri-
raents, and is finally degraded to scullery work.

Do not feel dowu-hearled or insulted because I com-
pare the teacher with a cook, for all similes are more
or less lame. Remember that we may compare the
teacher's profession with that of the pln'sician, and
j-ou will feel consoled. Diseased digestive organs
need specially prescribed diet, and so you will be
obliged to diet pupils whose mental faculties are either
in an acute or a chronic state of disease. Here, you
see, we are approaching the domain of the physician.
But, forsooth, there is more similarit}' between the
cook and the teacher than we are willing to admit.
I am very sorry to say that few cJiefs in teaching
have ever reached the salary which chefs de cuisine
in some large hotels in New York receive ; but it only
proves the truth of what a lady of ni}' acquaintance
sometimes 'says, with a reproachful look across the
table, when I find some dishes not suited to my palate :
" Men are all stomach." As a rule, we prize our
stomachs higher than our brains. Remember that
when a man is obliged to economize, he begins by
stopping his journals ; he thinks he can afford to
dispense with mental food.

AVhen I say the teacher is like unto the cook, I do
not mean to exclude the other, a more vital, part of
his duty, which consists in training the child. He is
to be at all times both a teacher and a trainer. I
merely mention this to avoid a misunderstanding
which might arise in your mind, as to the importance



K; KDVCATIONAL TOPIC fi OF THE DAY.

of the tcHclu'i-'s profession ; but I answered your
(liii'sUon, " How do you impart knowledge? "

And now your second question : " What method do
yon prefer for young children?" I seriously think
tliat you are not quite aware of what the word method
signilies. When Shakspeare said, "Though this be
madness, yet there is method in it," did he use the
word "method" correctly? Or, when a corn-doctor
advertises his method of cutting corns to be far
superior to that of any other doctor, does he use the
word " method " correctly ? Reflect upon these two
cases, and then listen to this definition : Method is
a loaij of reaching a given end by a series of acts which
tend to secure it. There can be no question as to
Shakspeare's correct use of the word. In our days, the
word "method" has fallen into disrespect by abuse.
The educational journals are full of small, insignificant
devices, all termed methods, which are nothing else
thau variations of one and the same thing. People
confound mere mannerism with method. Let me
quote an authority on this subject, — Dr. Soldan of
8t. Louis : —

"Perhaps this difference between method and man-
ner will appear better, if we use an illustration which
is supported by the etymology of the word 'method.'
Suppose it is proposed to establish a connection
between two cities. For this purpose, a road is
made. Tliis road will be used by all that go from
one city to the other, and by all kinds of individuals :
it is the same road for all, and not liable to be



OPKX LETTERS TO A TOUXG TEACHER. 17

cliauged 1)\' iiuUvidiiiil whims or notions. But the
manner in which the road is used varies very much :
some will walk, others will run, and others still will
ride. The road, in onv illustration, ro[)resents the
method in pedagogias. It may he used by the most
widely dirferent individuals : the way in which people
make use of it is the manner. Manner cann



Online LibraryL. R. (Louis Richard) KlemmEducational topics of the day. Chips from a teacher's workshop → online text (page 1 of 24)