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tion that Dr. Tappan advocated the teaching of the elements of algebra in the grammar grades. I want to endorse all that Dr. Findley has said.
We have algebra in the eighth grade, of the Columbus schools, and we have no bad results. We find that pupils after having studied arithmetic for eight years take the study of algebra with delight. It strikes me that the reason for the failure of so many pupils in the first year of ligh schocl is not always due to the work in schools below. It is sometimes because the weakest teachers are put in :he high school to receive these pupils. We are putting teachers into the primary work who are specially fitted for it, and we are not always as careful in putting teachers into the higher grades.
W. S. STRICKLAND: It may sound like heresy in me to oppose the ideas advanced here, but there are several phases which have not been considered. It seems to me that as yet this must be regarded as an experiment. I have made a close observation during the past year and my own idea, supported by the testimony of two competent teachers, is not in its favor.
Here are some points to remember, and we must remember that only a small percentage of the pupils in the A grade ever reach the high school. I think the true theory of the public school system is the greatest good to the greatest number. Personally, I would rather have a child of mine leave the common school better grounded in mental arithmetic, and with some practical ideas of mensuration than to have a mere smattering of algebra. That seems to me to be a strong point in this discussion.
In the schools of Cincinnati the subject of mensuration is almost wholly neglected. The work we have to do can be done just as well without the help of the algebra.
The present course of study is already
overloaded. The time that is given to algebra is taken away from mental and practical arithmetic. It takes the time away from these subjects; it makes the work heavier in arithmetic and the examinations show that the result is not good. I think the idea of nature work, advanced by one of the speakers, is not a good point. We have changed in that respect. I think this experiment is very doubtful to say the least.
I would rather have the student have a better foundation in arithmetic and especially mental arithmetic, than to have a smattering of algebra. If he goes on in school he gets it from the high school, and that is the proper place for it.
J. P. CUMMINS: This seems to be an experience meeting this afternoon. I want to say that we have had some experience in this matter in our schools. I have the testimony of two teachers, who say nothing is so good as this change. We have done just as much work in every department as we have ever done.
We have done as good work in every respect as we have ever done. I do not wish to exaggerate it in the least, but it is true we have been doing just as much mental arithmetic as we have ever done. It is true that the algebra we teach in the lower grades is not the algebra that we take in the first year of the high school. I want to say another thing and that is that one of the gentlemen who objects to the introduction of algebra wants to introduce geometry under another name, when he talks of mensuration in arithmetic. For my part, I would like to see Latin introduced into the lower grades. Not Cæsar's Commentaries, of course, but certain words that every boy and girl should know better than they do. I would like, especially, to see Latin introduced with reference to the study of prefixes and suffixes. I want to say still further that we have been pursuing nature studies which belong just as much to the higher grades. We can introduce and teach these studies just as well as we can those studies.
You who have studied Lation will agree with me, that one year's Latin has done more for your English Grammar than anything else. I believe the introduction of Latin will very greatly aid our work in English Grammar, and would favor the study of Latin instead of the technical part of English Grammar.
O. P. Voorhees: I have been watching this subject for the past two years. I ha been teaching it for the past two years and I was greatly in favor of it. I thought it was a good thing. I have been watching the results in the first year of the high school. That is the true test as to whether the work has been properly done in the lower grade. It has been a question with me whether if we had spent the same time in the other branches, the pupils would not have done better in their work in the first year of the high school. It seems to me if we had put this extra time on the branches, instead of the study of Algebra it would have been better. Perhaps some of those who failed in the first year's work, would not have done so, if they had not taken up this work. I have watched the progress of these pupils, for two years in order to satisfy myself on this subject.
J. P. CUMMINS: Let me ask you whether it is not true that your pupils sustained themselves better than they did, before they took up this study?
O. P. VOORHEES: No, sir; it is not true, I think.
E. W. WILKINSON: I like the idea suggested by Dr. Findley.
There are many instances in our school work that we aim to satisfy instead of stimulate. I might go to school until I was as old as Methuselah and I would not consider that I had finished the mathematics; I am no particular fool on mathe
matics either, at least the state board thought so when they passed me on it.
H. C. MINNICH: I changed my course of study and I have had no difficulty. It occurred to me that when you change your plan of instruction, this might be the cause of some of the complaint. My idea of an examination is that it' need not be based so much upon the technique of a study, as it should be a test of the power of the boy.
I understand that the feature of the new Arithmetic will be the study of surfaces, and lengths and distances. I think that is all right and that it will take care of itself.
I do not believe that a boy should be ten years old, before he knows the difference between a one foot pole, and a ten foot pole. If you send a boy to the blackboard to draw a foot line, he will likely draw a three foot line, instead of a foot line.
I want to say another thing, and that is, that the study of Algebra in the eighth grade is no more a preparation for high school work than arithmetic is a preparation for high school. It is not a preparation for specific high school work.
F. J. ROLLER: If I ever, entertained the idea that this was a one-sided question I have abandoned it since this discussion commenced. I am sure it is not question of only one side.
It is a question whether it is advisable to carry the studies into the grammar grades. I raise no question whatever as to the advantages that may be found in it. I do not say that they will not derive good from it, but I hold that we are dealing with the average student and with the average school. I doubt whether it is best that the average school or student should be asked to approach the high school studies in the lower grades.
I think we are fast becoming a nation of pencil pushers. You go to a grocery and the man will take his pencil and fig
ure out your purchases. Give the boy ulary in which he expresses himself. a problem and he will take his pencil There is but little opportunity for the and figure it out. He ought to study it pupil to enlarge his vocabulary by reout in his mind. Algebra seems to be a maining in the same studies for many popular study. A teacher goes to an years. I, at one time, thought that examination. Instead of solving the every person could learn the subject of problem by arithmetic as he should do arithmetic. But I have abandoned that he solves it by algebra. The boy in notion. I am sure that but few people school very frequently solves the prob- can become good arithmeticians. Why lem by algebra when he should solve whole classes should be kept in a rouit by arithmetic. I do not mean to say tine work in the same subject year after there should be no principles of algebra year, using the same words, not being or geometry taught in the lower grades, permitted to learn anything new, is but I maintain this is not the teaching more than I can understand. I think of that branch as a subject. I believe it highly important that the child should we have enough work to do without have access to all avenues of informathis. Of course we can teach these tion and to subjects which lead up to principles where necessary, but one's complete education. I care not teach them in an elementary way and whether you call it nature study or high I think the high school work is only a school study, but the fact remains that continuation of the primary work, the more the child has to do with these or the work of the ordinary school. subjects, the earlier he has to do with Again, I would have no objection what- them the more familiar will he become ever to the study of Latin, especially with them. It is not necessary for the with regard to prefixes and suffixes, but child to defer on the enlargement of his I would call it the study of English. vocabulary until he enters college. The When you come to the formal study of child of to-day, properly instructed in Latin and algebra and geometry it is all of the fields of information, can have carrying it too far.
a greater variety of words, in which to E. W. WILKINSON: I spent some express thoughts, also
more time here a few years ago studying the thoughts, than many of us had when we geological formation of this island and entered college and at least in some init took me two hours to come up to this stances possibly when we completed our point.
college course. But this can not be If I were coming up here now, I done by working the same field over would take the street car, and come up year after year. New work must be in a few minutes and spend the rest of given the child to do where thought is the time in study.
expressed in new words, new language. I believe in studying in the lower We have found it absolutely necessary grades principles leading directly to the in the education of deaf children in our high school work.
institution to give them more variety of J. W. Jones: The position which one language in order that they can be edutakes on this question depends largely cated in other branches. The English upon what he has been doing. I take it language is to them what the German that the gentleman who has just spoken or the French language is to the Engis either a school examiner or an in- lisb.child and I am quite sure that if we structor of teachers. E'u at'on is l'rge- should confine our educational work ly a matter of development, and the wholly to the words found in the commeasure of one's education is the vocab- mon branches, so-called, we would fall
far short of equipping the children with wish to go on record as heartily in favor the knowledge of the English language of bringing into our lower grades all that they should have. For this reason the material which is necessary and we open up new fields, acquaint him helpful in educating our children, even with new terms, and
should they enter the high school. I interest and is better educated by hav- have no doubt that in a few years the ing access to them. What is true of children who have been educated in this defective children in the very simplest way will enter high school and complete manner is also true and will apply to a course with as much practical inforchildren with normal conditions. I am mation as the ordinary graduate of coltherefore heartily in favor of expanding lege has, when his primary work has our school work and to begin with the been conducted wholly in the so-called first year and to continue that work un- common branches. til the child has left the public schools. A. B. JOHNSON: I am ready to exIt is a fact that the ordinary boy or girl, claim, "Oh, educational reform, what and even the boy who has graduated crimes have been committed in thy from the high school after having spent name!"—Why is it that we hear, so some eight or ten years in the study of often, the complaint made against the arithmetic is not able to solve the sim- schools that they do not give the pupils plest problem in percentage, after being a reasonable mastery of the subjects out of school three or four years. What studied? has such a child to show for the time This is a serious charge and we shall spent in the public schools? Would it do well to give heed to it. If it be true, not be better for such graduates to have we shall not mend matters by still in their minds a true knowledge of the more overcrowding the course of study. English language and in various de- “Too much arithmetic," we hear conpartments of science, mathematics, lit- tinually from the reformers; and their erature, even in an elementary form? pupils do not know arithmetic. A satOne reason why so many children learn isfactory degree of accuracy and rapidity arithmetic slowly is because they can in this branch is not reached by their not read intelligently and understand the pupils. directions of the problems with which "Algebra and less arithmetic.” And they have to deal. They do not under- what is algebra? A mere link to constand the meaning of the words, nor nect the higher mathematics with ariththe terms, and consequently that which metic. A generalizer, useful, and only is intended to be conveyed by the useful, here and there, in the higher regwriter is obscure. This can only be ister of mathematics: the most mechanremedied by a wider knowledge of lan- ical of all. Teach the pupil a little algeguage, which will enable him to under- bra and you have shown him the lazy stand what he reads, and apply the di-. way to arithmetical analysis. rections to securing the results. This We talk much of teaching pupils to of itself seems to me to be sufficient think, and when they have reached the argument why the child's field of inves
upper grammar grades, and an
age tigation should be enlarged, and how when the higher faculties of the mi can it be enlarged except by giving it begin to develop—the best exercise ever new subjects to think about and talk yet used in any school to cultivate clear, about, where new words appear and new logical, consecutive thought must, in sentences
used in expressing the opinion of these uneasy reformers, thought? Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I give place to a mathematical make-shift.
ure out your purchases. Give the boy a problem and he will take his pencil and figure it out. He ought to study it out in his mind. Algebra seems to be a popular study. A teacher goes to an examination. Instead of solving the problem by arithmetic as he should do he solves it by algebra. The boy in school very frequently solves the problem by algebra when he should solve it by arithmetic. I do not mean to say there should be no principles of algebra or geometry taught in the lower grades, but I maintain this is not the teaching of that branch as a subject. I believe we have enough work to do without this. Of course we can teach these principles where necessary, but teach them in an elementary way and I think the high school work is only a continuation of the primary work, or the work of the ordinary school. Again, I would have no objection whatever to the study of Latin, especially with regard to prefixes and suffixes, but I would call it the study of English. When you come to the formal study of Latin and algebra and geometry it is carrying it too far.
E. W. WILKINSON: I spent some time here a few years ago studying the geological formation of this island and it took me two hours to come up to this point.
If I were coming up here now, I would take the street car, and come up in a few minutes and spend the rest of the time in study.
I believe in studying in the lower grades principles leading directly to the high school work.
J. W. JONES: The position which one takes on this question depends largely upon what he has been doing. I take it that the gentleman who has just spoken is either a school examiner or an instructor of teachers. E'u at'on is l'rgely a matter of development, and the measure of one's education is the vocab
ulary in which he expresses himself. There is but little opportunity for the pupil to enlarge his vocabulary by remaining in the same studies for many years. I, at one time, thought that every person could learn the subject of arithmetic. But I have abandoned that notion. I am sure that but few people can become good arithmeticians. Why whole classes should be kept in a routine work in the same subject year after year, using the same words, not being permitted to learn anything new, is more than I can understand. I think it highly important that the child should have access to all avenues of information and to subjects which lead up to one's complete education. I care not whether you call it nature study or high school study, but the fact remains that the more the child has to do with these subjects, the earlier he has to do with them the more familiar will he become with them. It is not necessary for the child to defer on the enlargement of his vocabulary until he enters college. The child of to-day, properly instructed in all of the fields of information, can have a greater variety of words, in which to express his thoughts, also more thoughts, than many of us had when we entered college and at least in some instances possibly when we completed our college course. But this can not be done by working the same field over year after year. New work must be given the child to do where thought is expressed in new words, new language. We have found it absolutely necessary in the education of deaf children in our institution to give them more variety of language in order that they can be educated in other branches. The English language is to them what the German or the French language is to the Englisb.child and I am quite sure that if we should confine our educational work wholly to the words found in the common branches, so-called, we would fall