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I

R

EAD this book with pencil in hand. If you find

anything which strikes you as wrong, or in which you think the author is mistaken, read the paragraph or page the second time more carefully than the first, and give the subject most earnest thought. Debate the matter with yourself, and draw your conclusions from your own experience. Above all things cultivate the power of independent thought.

II

PAY

THI

AY attention to the questions at the end of each

chapter. Some of them will enable you to examine yourself as to the way in which you have read the text. Others are intended as suggestions and it will require some thought, and perhaps some research, to answer them in a manner satisfactory to yourself.

III
HE quotations at the close of each subject will be

found very helpful if rightly read. They have been carefully selected from the highest educational authorities. From them the reader who has not ready access to a pedagogical library may learn something of the thought and style of men and women who have made themselves illustrious as writers and thinkers in their chosen fields.

IV
HE reader will notice that occasionally reference

is made in the text to a preceding page. By turning back it will be found that the same subject is there treated from a somewhat different standpoint.

THE

COMMON SENSE DIDACTICS

CHAPTER 1

THE NATURE AND CHARACTER OF

TEACHING

The Open Door None but true ladies and gentlemen should be employed as teachers.

- John A. Vincent. What a man purposes to do, that he should learn before the doing is attempted.

-Socrates. Of the two I prefer activity of mind and interest in the work rather than high scholarship.

-Thomas Arnold. Teaching is telling; and he who can so tell the common things of life as to excite the child's curiosity and interest, and arouse him to self-activity of mind is an expert teacher.

-Selected. F WE inquire what is the secret of success in teach

spirit of the teacher. Knowledge of subject matter, skill in the use of methods, an acquaint

Teaching ance with the latest phases of educational thought, although very desirable, are not the only essential things. It is true that they are sometimes so regarded and are so emphasized by those who aspire to be teachers of teachers. But “teaching is telling." One man will tell a story, or preach a sermon, and nobody who hears will grasp his points or understand his conclusions; another will tell the same story, or preach a sermon from the same text, so that his listeners will eagerly take in every word and carry lasting impressions away with them. The reason is that the one tells his story as though he had no part in it; the other as though he himself were the hero: the one preaches his sermon as a matter of duty and not of heart; the other as though he himself were responsible for the salvation of every soul in the congregation.

Between those who teach with the heart and the spirit, and those who teach as a matter of duty only, there is all the difference that there is between the quick and the dead. “It is the letter which killeth; it is the spirit which maketh alive.” A certain teacher was once criticized as being “educated to death.” He knew enough, and more than enough, but failed as a teacher in the deadness of his instructions, in his inability to put himself in close contact with his class, and in his failure to arouse interest or awaken enthusiasm.

It is very desirable that they who aspire to be teachers in our schools should be well grounded in those

definitions and principles which are at the Distinction of

foundation of successful work in the schoolterms.

room. The blind should not be allowed to lead the blind in matters of such great consequence as the education of the child.

Observe, in the first place, the clear distinction between teaching and learning. I may be able to Teaching

teach another something which he desires to vs. learn. know, but the act of learning is his own ing

individual action which no other person can appropriate Here is involved the true relation of the teacher to the pupil The teacher cannot create, but he can awaken and stimulate the self-activities of the child's mind. What the child does for himself to-day

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