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fore they reach maturity. It is the growing soul in a growing body that calls for nutrition. We must come to a quickened sense of this need if we are to touch the whole life of the child and of the race with the influences that are holy and enduring. My conviction is that at the heart of this reform is the teacher. We teach vastly more by what we are than by what we know. The hope of our children is the life of the teacher, and, of course, the life of the parent. Life molds life. Let us center our thought upon the problem of producing in the teacher all the qualities of life that God would have in the soul of his children. Then we shall easily, speedily, surely, gain all the lesser conditions that make for success in this supreme responsibility-the responsibility of fitting life to achieve its full development here and its triumphant glories hereafter.
QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
For testing one's grasp of the subject, and
Name the parts of the problem of teacher-training and discuss their relative importance.
Point out clearly the difference between a teacher and a scholar.
Do you know of persons whose scholarship is much better than is their teaching power?
Is a graded course of more moment than teachertraining?
Which should come first, better teachers or better materials? Why?
Suppose you had improved lesson-material and the same teacher, would you surely improve the teaching? If you had the task of reorganizing our whole Sundayschool work, what would you do first?
What could a commission of trained and consecrated leaders do for the Sunday-school?
Do you favor such a commission? Why? What will you do to secure it?
What, in your judgment, are the difficulties to be overcome in the matter of securing thoroughly-equipped teachers for our Sunday-schools?
CONCERNING THE RECITATION
AN OBJECT of study is a lesson assigned to
be recited by the pupil. A subject of study is a group of objects of study that are related one to another, and, when taken together and organized, constitute a special line of investigation, as the subject of history, the subject of arithmetic, the subject of Bible geography, etc. A course of study is a group of subjects of study so organized as to comprehend the entire range of knowledge to be presented to the child in school; thus a course of study is made up of subjects of study, and each subject of study is made up of objects of study, and these objects of study are the lessons which the pupil must prepare from time to time.
The lesson assigned becomes the basis of the recitation at the next stated period when the class meets. Here is an important matter for the Sunday-school teacher. You cannot have a good recitation without proper preparation. Work must be assigned in advance of the time when it is to be recited, and some study should
be given to the lesson before the class meets to recite, this is fundamental in all good teaching. Nobody thinks, who thinks wisely, of calling pupils to a recitation without previously
assigning definite work to be prepared by them; except, of course, when the age of the pupils is such that it is impossible for them to do any outside study. But the child that can read intelligently is prepared to study in advance of the recitation, and should do so.
I notice generally that Sunday-school pupils come to class without the least idea of what the lesson is. The result is poor recitation, wasted time, unprepared minds, futile effort and altogether an unfortunate exercise. I see no reason why a teacher of a Sunday-school class should not assign the work a week in advance. It is not enough to say that the lesson next Sunday will be found in such and such a place in the Bible. That is not assigning a lesson, nor is it a proper preparation for a recitation. Suppose we have thirty minutes in which to teach a lesson. A wise teacher will consider eight minutes of that time well spent if spent in assigning the work of the week to come. I believe that in this one matter a great reform could be carried out in our Sunday-school teaching. We have a right to expect pupils to prepare their work, and it is
our duty as their teachers to have that work properly prepared.
What should be the nature of this assignment of work? In general, the teacher should point out the leading things in the lesson that are to be considered at the next recitation. It would be well to have the pupils jot these down on a sheet of paper. All points in a lesson are not equally important. The pupils do not know what are the important things. They need to be guided in their study, and the purpose of this assignment is to show where the emphasis should be placed, what should be wrought out with care, and what should be carried as merely incidental to these dominant and vital things. In particular, the assignment should also lay upon each pupil the obligation of reporting upon some special thing. This special thing may be common to all the class, or each may have a definite special task.
But I hear an objection to this. Teachers consider only the lesson that is next to be taught, and the truth is the teacher himself is usually ignorant of what the second lesson is to be until the first one is taught, all of which proves that our present method of conducting training classes, so-called, is bad. There is no pedagogical justification whatever for such narrow preparation. It is bound to result in the inade