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that came under my own observation may illustrate this point. Two years ago at an examination of teachers in Boston, we made this request: Give a list of the educational books which you have read at any time within the past five years, with a brief statement of the character and aim of each work. The object was to ascertain what educational works teachers were generally in the habit of reading. I personally examined the answers to the question. I have not now the exact figures at hand, but I can say this: The entire list given by the majority of these candidates consisted of but one title, — the request asked for books, – the title given was, The New England Journal of Education. No doubt such reading is good, but it is not a pedagogical work in the meaning desired.
Princ. J. MacDONALD, Stoneham, Mass.: I have also had some personal experience in this line. A year or two ago, after selecting the special study in which each of my teachers excelled, I submitted this question to them: State what object you have in view in giving this instruction. Not one could tell what definite object they had in view. I am afraid that the mere reading of professional books, however, will not accomplish the desired end. We must think about the subject more. Better one book with much thought than many books with no thought.
Teachers should also, I believe, have some object in view when teaching their pupils; the worst motive is to be preferred to no motive.
Returning, however, to the question of professional reading, it is not true that a large majority of teachers do not read text books as doctors read medical books. The trouble is not that they do not read text-books as doctors read books of similar import, but that they do not read books on the theories and principles of their profession.
DR. PALMER: Professional books have the same application, hoth for doctor and teacher; and each should read those pertaining to his profession.
Mr. MacDonald: With doctors it is simply the practice of medicine, but with teachers, they not only have to know their subject, but have to know how to teach it, hence they have need of a wider range of reading.
Supt. T. D. ADAMS, Plymouth, Mass.: I heartily endorse all that has been said as to the need of a teacher reading professional literature; but as the lawyer and doctor need to be men as well as lawyers and doctors, so does the teacher need to be something besides a school.master. To the question, what are you reading? teachers sometimes tell me something besides The Journal of Education, but to my question, what are you studying? I seldom get an answer. I believe, however, that some special pursuit or study is as necessary to the teacher as professional reading, whether it be language, mathematics, or other subject, so that it be followed faithfully. Often the best student is the best teacher.
D. N. CAMP, New Britain, Conn.: It may be interesting in this relation to know that a committee has been appointed by our Council of Education to collect from educators of this country and Europe the best list of books for a teachers' professional library. Up to this date, a list of some forty or fifty valuable books have been catalogued; but in looking over the list I have been struck with the fact that very many of these books cannot be obtained in this country. Publishers, in reply to my request to print such books, always answer that teachers' professional books are published at a loss, and hence their scarcity and high price. I hope, however, the time is not far distant when a list of the best pedagogical works in English, French, and German will be at the command of all, so that those teachers who choose to read will see what has been commended by those engaged in the work in various parts of the world. Such a list will do much towards making the science and art of teaching a certainty. To-day, each new teacher has to be a pioneer in his work.
SUPT. KELSEY, Ohio : As the lecturer asked us to name what books, not mentioned by him, we had found useful, I would say that “Kirby's Art of Teaching and the Teaching of Music,” published by Bigelow & Main of New York, has been to me a more helpful work on teaching than any other that I have been able to obtain. It brings together in the compass of one book much upon the theory of all teaching, though its title would seem to confine its scope to the teaching of music. The author, evidently a voluminous reader, gives, also, the views of many of the best European educators.
Prof. F. A. FORDSON, N. C.: In the South we have unfortunately very little of pedagogical reading matter, and what is worse the lack does not seem to be very generally felt. In the late meetings of the State Teachers Associations of Georgia and North Carolina, the subject was not even alluded to. We are hoping, however, and many of us I know will try, to introduce more of this professional reading.
Prof. G. E. CHURCH, Prov., R. I.: I was very glad that Mr. Huling, in his paper recommended the class of books he did: books treating upon psychology and the history of teaching. Too many teachers to-day take up a special work on methods, such as “ Calkins' Object Teaching,”and straightway go into their school. rooms with a determination to make a great effort with “ object teaching,” but how many have soon to acknowledge their utter failure?
As to Payne's “ Lectures on Teaching,” which have been mentioned, I may say that my first reading of that work gave me one very valuable idea. Up to that time I had been endeavoring to do a “great quantity” of teaching, illustrating all that was possible on the blackboard, methodically and carefully. Yet with all my laborious efforts I seemed to get very inadequate returns from my pupils. The helpful idea I got from that book was, Don't do too much for the children; make them think for themselves-teach themselves — under your direction. Consequently, I have long stopped doing all the talking. To-day, I do as little as possible, and so far as my experience goes, the corresponding mental growth and power on the part of the children is seemingly remarkable. They are, now, not only able to answer questions on a topic, but to ask questions. The recognition of that one principle in child growth will, I believe, improve any teacher who has been working upon the old plan. .
MR. G. T. FLETCHER: An important matter in this connection is, How to accomplish the desired end; How to obtain the neces. sary books. As a Superintendent, when talking to my teachers of the desirability of such reading, I suggested the following plan, Let each teacher invest one dollar in a teacher's library fund, which library shall be made up of professional books. We can thus purchase collectively what we cannot afford singly, and so obtain the necessary reading. We have done so, and have met with great success. In the present town with which I am connected, the school committee are also members of the public library committee, and we have enlisted them so much in this cause that they are putting, in the public library, books on methods of teaching; thus all may read who will.
NOT “A COLLEGE FETISH."
By D. H. CHAMBERLAIN.
My present task is wholly self-suggested and self-imposed. It is simply an attempt to meet and controvert the arguments and opinions of the address of Mr. Charles Francis Adams, Jr., delivered in June last, before the Harvard Chapter of the Fraternity of the Phi Beta Kappa. I cannot say that I am called or moved by any sense of personal fitness or duty. The lines of my life lie, as they have lain, quite aside from the walks and ways of scholars. I can only say that the studies, reflections and experiences of my life have greatly interested me in this subject, and that I have some hope that what I may say will tend a little to more correct views and more intelligent opinions upon the matters which I shall try to discuss.
The address of Mr. Adams has naturally and deservedly attracted much attention. His public services and character, his position as one of the representatives of an illustrious family, the vigor and courage of his address, the confidence of his tone, the personal and family illustrations which enliven his arguments, have united to give freshness and force to this latest discussion of an old and well-worn theme.
I assume and believe that Mr. Adams was very much in earnest in this expression of his opinions and experiences. I shall certainly treat his discourse as a serious discussion and honest statement of conclusions. Whatever criticisms may be made upon it, we ought, I think, to welcome it as a specimen of outspoken, vigorous opinions upon a theme of the very highest importance. If, as Mr. Adams thinks, nearly the whole cultivated world is still indulging in a most important feature of its higher education, in “ fetish-worship”; in an absurd and unreasoning attachment to studies which are not suited to present wants, nor conducive to present success — which are not only a waste of time, but by their compulsory requirement are excluding better studies, it is the right and duty of any earnest man to challenge the claims of such studies ; and the more securely they have become entrenched by custom and prescription, the greater is the duty of those who see or think they see their real hollowness and comparative worthlessness, to expose and denounce the pretensions and false claims by which they have been supported. It is not sacrilege, surely, to destroy a “ fetish”! None of us, I presume, wish to continue to worship a “fetish.” If, unhappily, we have been worshipping one, I am quite sure we should all welcome, as we ought to do, the voice that should expose, and the hand that should destroy even our “fetish.” But old delusions retire slowly; “fetishes” even, long worshipped, will struggle for a little longer recognition, and so, inevitably and finally, Mr. Adams must expect that men will still ask, what is a “fetish”? and is that which in his address, at Cambridge, he describes and denounces as a “ fetish,” a real “ fetish,” after all? That is the serious question — a question which I think is always one of deep interest, worthy of the best consideration, the most unfettered discussion which any man can bring. If the study of Greek can be shown to be “fetish-worship,” if it can be shown to