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In city offices under Bureau of Municipal Research (Akron).

In addition also a large number of miscellaneous investigative efforts in the departments of political science, economics and sociology.

It would be unjust to leave this subject without a brief mention of appreciation of the constructive suggestions along the lines of supervision of field work by the American Political Science Association as outlined in the Preliminary Report of its Committee on Practical Training for Public Service, p. 339–352. Equally enlightening are the remarks of Professor Jenks, of New York University, before the First National Conference on

Conference on Universities and Public Service, as reported in the proceedings of that meeting. The following statements quoted from this speech seem to define the essential points of cooperative field work:

“It is probable that there has been too great readiness heretofore for teachers in all universities to emphasize the plan of inspection too much, and actual work too little. Moreover, this looking things over does not give real training to students. Also, care must be taken to get always a scientific background for all the practical work done. Especially is this true, if we are giving training to our graduate students with the idea that they are to occupy later high places in the city administration. There is much danger of helter skelter practise and not enough thoro training and supervision."

The key-note of the paragraph just quoted is a warning against lower standards in field work than in laboratory, lecture or recitation. To my own mind the problem of increasing the efficiency of field work seems the most vital question with which this assemblage and its successors will have to deal.

PARKE R. KOLBE The MUNICIPAL UNIVERSITY,

AKRON, Ohio

VI

THE TEACHING OF MODERN LANGUAGES IN

EUROPEAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

A REPORT TO THE CITY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS

OF NEW YORK Having been granted leave of absence by the Board of Education of the City of New York for the purpose of studying modern language teaching in England, France and Germany, I spent eight weeks (from May 25 to July 18) in visiting English, French and German schools. In order to make the best possible use of this limited time, I familiarized myself, before sailing, with the organization and administration of the school systems of those countries by consulting books and men. I am indebted to Dr. J. Franklin Brown, Mr. J. L. Kandell (Carnegie Foundation), Professor F. E. Farrington and Professor Bagster-Collins for valuable information and good advice. I also made sure, beforehand, that there would be no delay in obtaining official permission to visit the schools in those three countries. Letters from Mr. Philander P. Claxton, the United States Commissioner of Education, Dr. John Finley, the New York State Commissioner of Education, from Dr. W. H. Maxwell, New York City Superintendent, and Dr. Stuart H. Rowe, principal of the Wadleigh High School, opened all the doors. As to France, I might have found the doors closed if it had not been for the good services of my colleague and friend, Mr. A. George, of the Wadleigh High School, who procured for me, before I started, a general permit from Monsieur Lucien Poincaré, the director of secondary education in France; for French schools are practically closed to visitors during June and July.

All in all, I visited thirty schools (18 for boys, 8 for girls, 4 coeducational) and attended 79 recitations (36 French,

26 German, 15 English, i Latin, i Spanish), besides interviewing a number of prominent educators.

I did not confine my visit to secondary schools, but informed myself also about the teaching of foreign languages in the higher elementary schools of England and France, and, in the special commercial schools in France and Germany. I limited myself, however, to schools which were administered, or at least supervised, by public authorities, the state or the municipality. I beg to submit to the Board of Education the following report and suggestions:

ENGLAND

Public schools, in our sense of the word, did not exist in England before 1870. Elementary as well as secondary instruction was supplied by private schools and religious organizations, many of which have been aided, since 1833, by special money grants from the state or the community. Since 1870, the public schools, known as Board Schools, have been furnishing elementary education for the financially poorer element of the people. In London there are at present 583 London County Council elementary schools with accommodations for 593,000 children, while 160,000 children attend schools of a semi-private character which receive financial aid from the municipality when they comply with certain requirements. The London County Council has recently (1911) organized a number of higher elementary schools, called Central Schools, with a four years' course of study, in order to provide generalized vocational preparation for children who are able to stay in school after they are 15 years old.

The pupils of these Central Schools are selected from the ordinary elementary schools by an examination. Education in the Central Schools, just as in the ordinary elementary schools, is free and financial assistance is given to promising pupils to enable them to remain in school after the age of fourteen. The Central Schools have either a commercial or an industrial tendency and their curriculum is designed to give the pupils the best possible equipment

for entering the industrial or commercial world. These schools combine, it seems to me, the best features of the French école élémentaire supérieure and the German continuation school.

Modern languages, that is to say French and German, are taught only in Central Schools with a commercial tendency, French being the favorite language. The object of this language teaching is entirely practical. The aim of instruction, therefore, is to impart to the pupils a certain amount of French and German which they may use in conversation and correspondence and which will enable them to read comparatively easy texts.

I can not speak too highly of the standard of modern language instruction in the two Central Schools I visited. In the Thomas Street Central School for girls (London) they have a four years' course in French in which the pupils. progress sufficiently to read L'Abbé Constantin, tho they have only two recitations of 50 minutes each during the week. German is taught, in this school, during the last two years of the course.

The first-year class which had studied German for just five weeks was preparing a new lesson. The teacher read the sentences (page 6, Dent's New First German Book), while the pupils pointed out in a picture (Der Fruehling) the objects and persons mentioned. Then the teacher questioned the pupils, in German, and after the text had been read again by the class and by individual pupils, the students were encouraged to ask questions of their fellow pupils.

The second-year German class had a reading lesson (Der Goldene Vogel) which was carried on almost entirely in German. Towards the end of the period, six girls performed, for my special benefit, a playlet: Der Besuch. Their pronunciation was perfect owing to a thoro training in sounds by the use of Vietor's Lauttafel and Rauch's. charts.

The teaching of French was equally excellent in the Ashburnham Central School (coeducational) where they lay

special stress on phonetics using not only sound charts but also, for some months, phonetic transcription. The prevailing method of instruction, for the first two years at least, closely resembles the direct method, but in the more advanced classes the teachers use English freely in explaining points of grammar. Translation from English into French (or German), and vice versa, is also practised.

Tho most of the language teachers in these Central Schools are not specialists—for they teach other subjects also—they all seem to have a good command of the spoken language. I am told that most of these teachers are in the habit of spending their vacations abroad, either in France or in Germany.

When in 1904 the London County Council became the local authority responsible for all grades of education, there were in London 88 secondary schools which were conducted not merely for private profit and which were recognized as efficient by the National Board of Education. Such schools, if their income from endowments or fees was not sufficient for their needs, were given money grants. To be recognized as a secondary school by the National Board, a school must offer a progressive course of general education of a kind and an amount suitable for pupils of ages ranging from 11 to 17, at least. To provide the means of secondary education for the children of the poorer classes, the London County Council had, in the past, granted scholarships to selected pupils of the elementary schools which entitled the holder to free education in the existing secondary schools.

Since 1904 the Council has organized 22 secondary schools under its own management. While the secondary schools are pay-schools, a number of selected elementary pupils of eleven years of age are admitted as scholarship pupils.

Most of the London secondary schools combine two or more courses (classical, modern, scientific, commercial) in their curriculum, and all of them pay considerable attention to the study of modern languages. French is the favorite language and is studied in most schools for six

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