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and domestic art. The fact indicates that we are living the doctrine that expression is as important in education as impression. It accords with the public demand for better industrial training in school. The same trend may be observed in the changed treatment of subjects, as that of the English language, in which the art of composition is largely practised in place of the study of technical grammar. It may be safe to predict that further changes in courses of study will increase the practice of school arts at the expense of the study of formal subjects.
School arts, as drawing, writing and manual training, easily meet the test of utility, interest and capacity. Knowledge is of the experience of others, art is a real experience of the child. While subjects and arts cannot be wholly differentiated, yet to do things under guidance is the best and happiest way for a child to learn.
THE MEASURE OF A TEACHER'S
EDWIN P. SEAVER, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS,
BOSTON, MASS. A teacher's efficiency or teaching power, like any other natural power, physical or spiritual, can be known and measured only by its effects.
The efficiency of a machine is measured by the amount of work it will do in a given time against a given amount of resistance.
The efficiency of a source of heat is measured by observing the rise in temperature of a given quantity of water to which the heat is applied. The efficiency of a source of light is measured by counting the number of candles required to produce the same illumination.
These are physical powers, and it has been a leading task of physical science to devise methods and instruments of precision for the accurate measurement of their effects.
Teaching power, on the other hand, is a spiritual power, mind operating on mind; and mental science has not yet devised precise methods of measuring the effects of such operations. Quantitative expressions applied to teaching power must needs be metaphorical and vague not precise and literal.
We do indeed know that the resistance against which teaching power works is often very great; but we also know that it is variable, not constant and measurable like the force of gravitation. An idea may perhaps be conveyed by describing a man as "a thirtythree boy-power teacher;" but only vaguely to the minds of persons not acquainted with the boys.
Nor has intellectual brilliancy yet been measured by anything analagous to candle-power. It can only be estimated relatively in terms of more and less.
The rank lists of school and college purport to do this with a fineness of discrimination really unattainable and therefore unjustifiable. All that can be said safely is that the brighter intellects are registered in the upper and the duller ones in the lower part of the lists.
Notwithstanding the inexactness with which our estimates of teaching power or efficiency must be expressed, it is necessary that we make such estimates both in our own case and in that of others, for this thing called efficiency is the very commodity which we are all buying or selling in the educational market.
Commercially speaking, we can easily feel the difference between a degree of efficiency worth $1000 a year and a degree worth $3000; but the difference between five hundred and five hundred and fifty dollars' worth of the same commodity is not so palpable.
So, in a rough approximate way, we do estimate, for purposes of employment, the value of teachers' services; and the chief factor in such estimates is or ought to be efficiency. It is therefore worth while to note some leading elements of personal character and attainment which indicate efficiency.
First in importance is the power of control. It is the power of holding the attention of numbers of persons through given periods of time for the purpose of instruction. It secures obedience, good order, and industry through interest in the business of the school. It is the attribute of a commanding personality in the teacher-easily recognizable when present and when absent leaving the would be teacher in a sad plight.
This power of control is a native inborn faculty bestowed on men in different degrees, and on some not at all.
Doubtless this natural faculty, when present, can be strengthened and improved by exercise; it can be guided by better and better judgment, with more and more experience; but the utter lack of it cannot be made good by any array of other estimable traits of character. Lack of control is fatal to efficiency. There are many most excellent men and women who cannot keep school. They were not born for it. Some have tried it and discovered their lack. It is fortunate when this discovery is made early in life.
The unfortunate and troublesome cases arise, not from an utter lack of the power of control, but from the possession of only just enough of it to escape decisive failure.
There are assistant teachers whose feeble power of control must needs be reinforced by the authority of the principal or by the help of the other teachers. They are in continual need of such support and are apt to complain if they do not get it. Such assistant teachers, who do not assist but require to be assisted, are a drawback on the efficiency of the school as a whole, and they ought not to be retained long in service.
Unhappily, however, in cities or towns where permanency of tenure is established by law or custom, such teachers are apt to be carried along from year to year to the slow but sure detriment of the schools. Their places ought to be taken by more efficient teachers; but the difficulties in the way of making the necessary changes, as experienced superintendents too well know, are often quite insurmountable.
It may here be asked whether these remarks apply to the case of beginners. For certainly the beginner is not infrequently deficient in the power of control, and for a time may justly expect the support of the principal and other teachers. If such support can save the young teacher from lasting failure, it should unquestionably be given. Especially effective can such support be made where the difficulty arises not so much from a deficiency in the native power of control as from bad judgment in the use of what power
there is. In such cases the support of more experienced teachers will best take the form of kindly criticism, advice, and suggestion.
Apparently every large city school system must be worked under the ever present necessity of training an adequate number of beginners each year to keep the teaching force fully recruited. Hence it is a wise policy to provide that young teachers shall not be discarded immediately upon the failure of their first attempts at teaching, but shall be permitted to repeat their trials under changed conditions and expert advice until it becomes clear whether or not they possess power of control enough to reach ultimate success.
But it is surely not a wise policy to continue such trials too long. No duties of the principal and of the superintendent are more important than these: (1) to support and advise young teachers in their early efforts to govern their classes so long as there is a fair prospect of success, but (2) to procure their discharge when a reasonable probation has resulted in failure.
The mere fact that a teacher has control of his pupils, taken by itself alone, is not enough to decide the whole question of efficiency. Control argues efficiency, it is true, but it throws no light on the kind of efficiency that may be at work in particular cases. For such light we must examine and estimate the motives which have led the pupils to submit to such control as exists.
It may be a control due to fear of punishment or to hope of material rewards. Better this than no control at all; but the motives thus brought into play have not a high moral value.
The best kind of efficiency is displayed by the teach