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It is well known to every successful teacher that whatever has attracted the attention of the child through the eye is long remembered and is easily recalled by the aid of associations established at the time. It is also known that, next to objects submitted to examination, vivid conceptions aroused by picturesque language impress themselves deeply and recur frequently. The following illus tration of these facts is drawn from recent teaching :
In a class of about sixty teachers-in-training, the subject of memory was under discussion, and at the moment the difficulty of remembering in order any series of unrelated things and various devices that have been suggested for overcoming the difficulty were considered, ten members of the class were asked each in succession to name something in the room, and as each article was named, the teacher made some remark, pointedly calling attention to its number in the series.
The exercise ran thus: the remarks of the teacher and his action being indicated briefly as follows: Ink-bottle;
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
yes, this is number one, and, suiting the action to the word, we will put one pen to stand up in it. Book; taking it up and holding it by the covers, see the two red covers. Crayon; three, and it was broken into three pieces before the eyes of the pupils. Black-board; it is built up of four slate slabs. Chair; five, there are five rails in the back. As a matter of fact there were six rails in the back, but the contrast between reality and assertion strongly drew attention to the number in question, five. Desk; it has six drawers, three on each side. In this case there were not six drawers, but as the pupils could not see the drawers they accepted and mentally visualized the statement. A map; this cost seven dollars, which was twice as much as it should have cost, for very good maps may be bought at three dollars and a half each. Waste paper basket; it contains eight rejected exercises. Pointer ; measuring it, it is four feet six inches long, nine times six inches. Bible; this one was given as a birthday present to a boy ten years old. Here it was evident that the class had caught the idea, and had begun to form their own associations; for subsequent examination showed that some of them remembered the bible as the tenth article in the series, because it contained the ten commandments.
After a little further talk the matter was dismissed and was not referred to again for several weeks. But, unexpectedly, after an interval of some months, the class was furnished with paper at an examination and was asked to set down the series of articles in proper order, and to state by what associations the individual members of the series had been recalled. The answers showed that more than one-half of the class had remembered accurately the series, and that, with the exception mentioned above respecting the bible, the links of association were those that had been suggested in the class.
Teachers should most carefully study the way in which they present to their pupils the truths they teach. days ago a man speaking to me of his former teacher, the teacher of a small village school in the Eastern Townships, said "He so put things before us that we could not help understanding and remembering."
A GOOD UNDERSTANDING.
BY DR. S. P. ROBINS.
Very often precision of thought depends on the ability to hold steadily before the mind the several classes into which, by the use of language, an aggregate of individuals has been divided. The exercises that follow demand a clear and untroubled conception of an aggregate of beggars divided into groups by the adjectives "blind" and “lame,” with the necessary implication of their negatives "notblind" and "not-lame." As these two dichotomous divisions are made simultaneously in thought, the ultimate result is the formation of four classes; those beggars that are both blind and lame, those that are blind but not lame, those that are lame but not blind, and lastly, those that are neither lame nor blind. The reader who at once sees the truth of the several necessarily correct statements that follow, and detects the one untruth, and who answers with promptness and accuracy the questions proposed, may be congratulated on the possession of an understanding originally good and subsequently well-trained.
Of all the beggars who come to my door :
1. If those who are blind be omitted, the rest who are not lame are neither blind nor lame.
2. Omitting those that are lame but not blind, they are either blind, or neither lame nor blind.
3. If I record the numbers of the blind and of the lame, I shall count twice the blind that are lame and shall omit altogether those that are neither blind nor lame.
4. The number of those that are both blind and lame, if greater than that of those who are neither blind nor lame, exceeds it just as much as the number of the blind exceeds the number of those that are not lame.
5. The excess, if any, of the number of the blind above the number of the lame is as great as the excess of those who are not lame above those who can see, or of those who are not lame added to those who are both blind and lame above all who are lame with those who are neither blind nor lame.
6. Those who are not lame, together with those who are both blind and lame, are always equal in number to those who are blind, together with those who are neither lame nor blind.
7. The sums of the numbers of those that are neither blind nor lame, of those that are blind and of those that are lame, exceeds the whole number of beggars by the number of those that are both blind and lame.
8. The sums of the numbers of the blind, of the lame and of those who are not lame, is equal to twice the whole number of beggars.
9. What follows if the blind and the lame together equal the whole number of beggars?
10. What if the lame and those who can see together equal the whole number of beggars?
11. What if those who are both blind and lame, those who are neither blind nor lame, with all the blind and all the lame equal in number twice the beggars?
12. If those who are both blind and lame equal in number those who are neither blind nor lame, is it true that the blind equal the not-lame, or that the lame equal the not-blind?
HOW TO MAKE SCHOOL ATTRACTIVE.*
BY MISS M. L. KEEZAR, OF CANTLEY, QUE.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies, Gentlemen and Fellow-Teachers :When requested to contribute a paper to your Convention, the first question which arose in my mind was, what shall my subject be? for we always need something both new and interesting. In this I may have failed; but I hope the effort may not be entirely lost. Then I began thinking of what is needed in our schools, but often found wanting. Of course there are a great many things-for none of us have as yet reached perfection; but, seemingly, one of the principal wants is attractiveness. Thus I thought of the importance of this necessary function, and hoped that my little talk, though so very original, might in some way help a fellow-teacher.
However, let us consider the importance of the subject. It is readily seen that where there is no attraction there can be no interest, either for the teacher or the pupils.
When we consider ourselves, we find how difficult it is to fix our minds upon apparently uninteresting things, and I venture to say, if there was nothing attractive about them we could not do so.
A paper read at the fourth regular session of the Ottawa County Teachers' Association, which was held at Aylmer, June 2 and 3, 1899.