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EXERCISES AND PROBLEMS

I

GOOD ORDER

1. What can be said for and against the proposition that the chief problem in the school-room is to preserve good order ? First say what "good order” means, specifying concrete details.

2. Discuss the advantages and the disadvantages of requiring pupils once or twice each day for five or ten minutes at a time to sit erect in their seats, fold their arms, and keep the body as quiet as possible, not moving the head, the eyes, or the feet. Does it make a difference whether the pupils are in the elementary, in the grammar, or in the high school? Does it make a difference whether the school is in the city or in the country?

3. What changes have occurred in the methods of securing good order in the schools in which you had your training? What are the results of these changes on the behavior of pupils ?

4. Describe in concrete detail five actual instances in which a teacher caught and held the wandering attention of pupils. Point out in each case the educational principle involved.

5. Should good order in the school-room be maintained primarily for the benefit of (a) the individual, (b) the class as a whole, or (c) the teacher? Discuss in detail.

6. Describe, as in 4, several actual instances in which a teacher failed to hold the attention of pupils. Point out the precise reason in each case.

7. Make a concrete report upon an actual recitation you have attended, showing why the class as a whole, or individual members thereof, were inattentive during the entire period, or some part of it. Get at the reason in each case.

8. Describe a typical school-room in which irrelevant trains of thought are frequently suggested. How would you remedy the situation ?

9. What are the chief sources of irrelevant trains of thought in country schools? In city schools? Is there a difference between younger and older children in this respect ?

10. Mention possible objections to the plan of having an interval of three or five minutes after every recitation or study period of twenty minutes in the primary grades, thirty minutes in the grammar grades, and forty-five minutes in the high school? Are these objections fundamental and vital?

11. Suggest practicable methods of relieving the tensions of pupils without giving them frequent intermissions or relaxing periods.

12. How can a teacher discriminate between fatigue and lack of interest in the school-room?

13. Suggest how a teacher may discriminate between disorder which is intentional and malicious, and that which is due to an overflow of “animal spirits".

14. Should a teacher stand while engaged in teaching? Say why, whatever your answer may be.

15. Would you seat pupils alphabetically? Would you adopt such a plan of seating the first day of school? Give reasons.

16, List different methods of regulating communication during study hours. Discuss the adaptability of each to different grades.

17. Some of our largest and best high schools have abolished recesses. Some have instituted a single session daily from 8:30 A. M. to 1:00 or 1:15 P. M. without intermissions. Discuss the advisability of such an arrangement.

18. Recently a superintendent was asked to forecast the weather. He replied, “A storm is certainly coming, for the children act as if possessed.” Should disciplinary standards be adjusted to barometric variations? Do you ever feel “mean" before a storm?

19. Do pupils in city schools require as frequent intermissions or relaxing periods as pupils in rural schools? Do they need more of such periods? Why?

20. What arguments may be offered in favor of and against abolishing all recesses in schools of all grades, in the city and in the country?

21. Discuss the plan proposed in some places of keeping schools in session throughout the year, with one-week intermissions at quarterly divisions of the year.

22. Discuss the plan of lengthening the school-day by adding one or two hours, pointing out the advantages and the disadvantages of such a scheme.

23. Point out characteristics in a teacher which tend to incite disorder in a school. In the same way point out characteristics which have the effect of encouraging good order. Can these characteristics be modified by training, or by voluntary effort on the part of the teacher? Have you known teachers who have corrected traits of personality which were a handicap to them in the school-room?

24. Suggest feasible and effective ways in which a teacher may get rid of his own tensions which follow upon arduous work in the school-room, to the end that he may not incite disorder in his pupils by overstimulating or irritating them.

25. Does a long vacation, extending over two or three months, help a pupil to give prolonged and concentrated attention to the work of the school in the autumn? Discuss the principle or principles involved, and make practical applications to the every-day work of the school.

26. Describe concrete cases of pupils who are disorderly because of physical defects or deficiencies. How would you remedy the defects ?

27. Comment on the part that skilful questioning by the teacher plays in determining attention and good order on the part of the class. Indicate what is meant by “skilful questioning", and give a few concrete examples in illustration of it.

28. May most children above the fourth grade be allowed, without asking permission, to move quietly about the schoolroom when necessary, or even to leave the room for a brief time?

29. When pupils are passing from their regular recitationroom into another part of the building for manual or gymnastic work, for example, should they be given freedom to move in irregular groups, and engage in conversation, if not boisterous or unduly noisy? Or should they be compelled to march in a definite order, and with military precision, without any communication whatever?

30. Is it probable that the utilizing of the school-house as the civic and social center of the community will simplify the problems of good order in the school? Why?

II

DISCIPLINE

1. Describe the behavior in school of a boy who has been "spoiled”, as you regard the matter. Describe the behavior of a girl who has been "spoiled”. Do they get more out of life than their associates do? Give concrete evidence in support of your view. How should they be treated by the teacher? By their associates? Why?

2. Give an account of the early training of a boy or a girl who seems to be in conflict much of the time with his parents, his teacher, and his associates. In your opinion, could the individual have been trained so that he would now adjust himself easily to people about him? How?

3. Discuss the advisability of children appearing in public at an early age under circumstances marked by great popular approbation, as on Children's Day, etc.

4. Are country children more frequently "spoiled” than are city children? Or is it the other way around? What is the evidence upon which your answer is based ?

5. Have you ever seen a dog or a horse or a kitten which has been "spoiled”? Have you seen one “cured” of its faults ? How?

6. Are problems of discipline more serious and difficult in American homes and schools now than they were twenty-five years ago, say? Or is the reverse true? If any changes in this respect are taking place, show what forces are producing them? How is it in the community in which you spent your childhood?

7. Describe the intellectual, social, ethical, and physical traits of a boy or girl who is a favorite with his parents or his teacher. Is he to be congratulated upon being a favorite? Why?

8. Are influential parents as a rule more eager to have their children shown special favors than teachers are eager to favor them?

9. Is the proportion of men teachers in rural schools increasing, or is it becoming less? Why? With what results in respect to the training of boys especially? 10. Most of the teachers in city schools are women.

In the vast majority of elementary schools, there are no men at all. Has it been or can it be shown that definite evils in such schools are due to the absence of masculine influence? Do not be satisfied with a mere conventional answer to this question; in some way, get at the actual facts in the case.

11. Have you known women teachers who could discipline boys better than the typical male teacher could do? If so, describe these women, and show what methods they employed. Do men teachers get along with girl students as well as women teachers do?

12. According to your experience, are athletic teachers bet

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