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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/136

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

be assumed. The past generation has done practically all that need be done to place within easy reach of every intelligent teacher whatever it is necessary to know concerning special methods. Within the same period the subjects of psychology and child-study have been thoroughly worked over, and the results have been fully and clearly presented. This part of the teacher's training, hereafter, will not become of lesser importance, but it will be more and more assumed as a preliminary to the newer training which the public is now demanding. The greatest need of the schools is teachers who have the power to reach the public mind. The power to teach the children will be taken for granted.

The new type of training will not be found in a further elaboration and intensification of book study and theoretical discussion; nor will it appear in a further development of specialization as that is now commonly understood. It will be based upon actual 'field work' carried on in the community at large. That is, the teachers in training must study the needs of a community as they manifest themselves in its daily life; they must, in fact, in some way become actual participants in that life. No other kind of training will ever equip prospective teachers to answer questions which the public is now asking. The school must go into the service of the community more directly, and the community must open itself up more freely to whatever service the school can render.

Up to the present time the training schools for teachers are all modeled upon the plan and after the ideals of the older educational institutions of an academic type, and these, in their turn, grew out of the cloister. The training schools for teachers, on the contrary, should be modeled rather upon the plan of the so-called social settlement, and the ideals of the teacher must become more nearly allied to those of the settlement worker. Every school should be so organized as to draw all the people together for the purposes of work, of study, and of recreation, as the public library now attracts people who wish to read. To this end, the studios, the workrooms, the laboratories, and the libraries of the schools should be open under the supervision of the teachers, as public libraries are under the librarians, to suit the convenience of the people. They should be open at least as many hours as the saloons. A training school for teachers that could place its prospective graduates for at least a year in such intimate relations with community life as the settlements afford would give them the best possible preparation for undertaking with the people the joint task of educating the children. This does not mean, of course, that such training can be acquired only in the reeking and congested districts of the cities. Every locality in city, village, and country, should offer some opportunity for the practical training of teachers in the science and art of working with people. The teacher should take a leader's