The Training of Secondary-School Teachers

C. B. Robertson
1913 The School Review  
Colleges and universities are beginning to assume their responsibilities in the matter of training teachers for secondary schools. That the nature, quality, quantity, and general efficiency of the work done in the different institutions would have a wide variation is to be expected, but in the departments of education the range of variation is even greater than in other collegiate departments; this is not all due to differences inherent in these institutions, or to their varying points of view,
more » ... ing points of view, but much of it is due to the various requirements laid down in the laws of the several states. It seems as if the requirements should touch more closely the work that these teachers are preparing to do; for instance, the required psychology should be that of the adolescent; the school management and methods should be in terms of the needs of the secondary schools; practice should be required, and provision should be made for such practice by legislative enactment. The recommendation of the Committee of Seventeen, "that opportunity for observation and practice teaching with secondary pupils be given," is farther from being satisfactorily administered by the colleges and universities than any other suggestion that this committee made. There are no "short cuts," but the way may be made smoother and more pleasant than is usually the case. The difficulty is that 225 THE SCHOOL REVIEW too many teachers do not continue to try new ways but follow the paths of first experiences because it is easier for the teacher, but this lands them in a monotonous, uninteresting routine. The Committee of Seventeen named three plans for practice teaching that have been tried with varying degrees of success in different places: (i) the maintenance of a school of secondary grade to be used for observation and practice; (2) the use of public or private high schools so situated that they are accessible; (3) the use of schools more remotely situated, for cadet teaching, when competent supervision can be had. In such cases the diploma of the teacher is given after a year of successful service as a cadet. As shown by Farrington, the training work in most schools of collegiate grade is nil, or at least not very effective. It is interesting to note the movement in many quarters looking toward experimentation and solution of this problem. Several state legislatures have recently made more or less liberal appropriations for the establishment of schools of secondary grade for experimental and practice purposes of teachers in training for secondary schools. The professional training of teachers for secondary schools as planned and administered by the School of Education of the University of Pittsburgh is as follows: The University requires for its Bachelor's degree one hundred and ninety-two credits, including six credits for physical training. There must be taken in the course at least twenty-seven units in one subject, and eighteen units in another. A credit is one hour of work per week for one term, three terms to the year; a fourth term may be had during the summer. In the course for prospective secondary teachers the academic work comprises at least three-fourths of the credits, the professional work one-fourth. During the Freshman and Sophomore years practically all of the required work is the same as that taken by the students in the College, and this work is taken in the College in the regular college classes. During the Junior and Senior years the amount of work taken in the college diminishes and the amount in the School of Education increases. In credits this work is equal for 226
doi:10.1086/436081 fatcat:ttnvrkgp6rcprn7c3lgqwigpmy