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will develop optimum degrees of the mechanical skills with the least expenditure of time and effort." These are to be desired “because of the large amount of time that would be set free for work of greater value." The standards arrived at leave the teacher free to choose his own methods of securing an output of the quality desired.

“The whole effort toward standardization has for its purpose not the increase of mechanical drill work, but its reduction to a safe minimum.” The clear recognition which the Detroit department of educational research gives to the fact that in the three R's it is a waste of time to drill for the attainment of standards of work that are beyond the reach of a majority of the children constitutes a service in a field in which an authoritative statement of this kind was much needed. It may yet be possible to retain the best features of our enriched curriculum by utilizing time saved from needless and fruitless drill. We need not fear that standardization of the three R's, the tools of education, will affect adversely the work as a whole. On the contrary, it will set free a vast amount of misdirected energy that may be applied to really educative work.

Newton, Mass., and Orange, N. J., furnish instances of university and city cooperation in establishing standards. The Harvard-Newton experiment was in the direction of developing a scale of measurement in composition; that of Teachers' College and Orange arrived at a uniform method of marking examination papers.

In numerous instances surveys are being systematically made by the regular teaching and supervisory force. Some of these are limited in scope; others cover the entire field. As instances of the limited survey, East Saginaw, Seattle, and Lawrence may be mentioned as typical-East Saginaw in primary reading, arithmetic, and eighthgrade composition; Seattle and Lawrence in arithmetic. A very suggestive inside survey, conducted under expert outside advice, has been reported by Supt. R. G. Jones, of Rockford, Ill. Of inside surveys covering the entire field, that of Chicago, undertaken and completed within the year under review, is the most complete example appearing in available reports. The Chicago survey was made by 320 superintendents, supervisors, principals, and teachers employed in the schools of the city. The printed report of the survey, occupying 256 pages, appears in the form of reports of 25 committees, each charged with the duty of examining a single feature of the Chicago school system.

The survey included the following features: School plant, administration, child study, physical education, humane and moral education, social efficiency, music, training of teachers, kindergartens,


1 The report is given as pp. 31 to 287 of the annual report of the superintendent for the year ending June 30, 1911. For further details with regard to this survey, especially in the vocational phase, see p.250 of this report.

reading, spelling, penmanship, arithmetic and mathematics, geography and nature study, history, German, art construction, industrial and prevocational education, commercial education in high schools, vocational work in technical high schools, vocational guidance, a bureau of vocational guidance, special schools, penny lunches, corrective institutions.

Every school liad a representative on the survey committees. Each committee had for its chairman a member of the superintendent's staff. No specialist teaching the subject assigned to a committee could be a member of that committee. For instance, the chairman of the committee on training of teachers was the director of the department of child study. The chairman of the committee on reading in elementary schools was the supervisor of household art. Associated with her were seven elementary school principals, two men and five women, and seven teachers of household arts.

In the reports both defects and excellencies of the schools are set forth together with suggestions for improvement. Each report represents the opinions of the members of the committee whose signatures it bears, and is, of course, authoritative to just that extent. No reference is made to practice in other school systems, and it does not appear that any tests in the fundamentals as tried out elsewhere were used. This survey is certainly unique in that it would inevitably result in a fresh point of view upon each topic, care having been taken that no single surveyor should be an expert in the field that he surveyed.

Doubtless the survey gives a reliable picture of the Chicago school system. There can be no question that the 320 committee members engaged in the survey were personally and professionally benefited by their excursion into fields with which they had previously only a general acquaintance, and this alone is an asset to the system. The

desire for efficiency which furnishes the motive for these inside sur· veys leads naturally to experimentation, and thus we find reported,

together with present conditions, the means that are being tried out looking toward improvement. The annual report thus becomes an educational document suggestive to teachers within and without the system, as well as informing to the local public.

The East Saginaw experiment in fourth-grade reading may serve as an illustration. After detailing the methods used in testing reading in various grades and the status of the work as shown by the tests applied, the report continues:

Another experiment tried in the reading classes of the fourth-grade Germania School during several months of the year was designed to furnish a better motive for oral reading than that found in the ordinary reading class. In the usual reading class, all members of the class have the same book, and all look on the book while one of their number reads aloud. The pupil who reads thus has no incentive to give an idea to his listeners, for they are reading themselves and getting the ideas for

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themselves. The listeners have no incentive to give attention to the reader, for they know what he will say beforehand. The only motive in such a class is the negative one of criticism. The reader desires to pronounce his words correctly so as to avoid criticism, and to emphasize the passage read in such a way as to show that he understands its meaning. The listening pupils are trying to trip the reader, to discover in his reading a faulty pronunciation or a wrong emphasiz. Such states of mind can not produce the best results on either side. The oral reading class should properly be an exercise in which the reader is giving to his hearers ideas new to them. Then the reader's motive is to speak his words clearly and to emphasize his sentences properly, to the end that his listeners may understand what he is reading. The listeners' motive is to understand what is being read, to determine whether it is of interest to them. An attempt was made in the fourth grade, Germania, to conduct the reading class in this way. Each pupil was given a different book from every other, and as each pupil's turn to read came he stood in front of the school and read to his classmates. If they did not understand what was being read, they asked the reader to repeat. Each pupil kept the same book and read from it day aiter day, stating each day at the beginning of his recitation the point of the selection at which he had arrived in the previous reading. The listening pupils were able to carry in mind the different pieces read, so that there was little loss on this account. The spirit of this reading class was excellent, and the success of the experiment was such as to warrant a continuation of this sort of reading in certain classes next year.

Such standard tests as have been developed have been widely used during the year. Seattle, in the extreme West, and Lawrence, in the extreme East, report at length upon the Courtis tests in arithmetic as given in their schools. In Lawrence the tests were given early in the year and again near its close. After a description of the tests and the record of results, the superintendent gives the following keen estimate of their value:

The chief value of the test, however, does not lie in the average of the results, nor is the efficiency of the school system as a whole measured chiefly by average scores of the grades. The average results in one school system do not differ greatly from those of other school systems. Different systems do, however, show on the face of the average scores certain weaknesses in general methods of teaching, or mistaken emphasis, poor grading, and so on. But the most significant thing is not the average ability discovered by means of the test, but the wide variability of arithmetical power revealed. Averages are of little account, since there are found more children who differ from the average than there are children of average ability. From the standpoint of efficient teaching, the significance of the results is not so much that the average of a sixth-grade class get a certain number of attempted examples right, but that in this sixth grade are found children of every level of ability, from those who can do none of the examples to those that can do them all. This was really the one great value of the test: That it demonstrated to teachers, in a tremendously effective manner, that the factor of individual differences is the basic factor in all school work, that the methods that do not recognize it are wasteful in the extreme, and that the only way of increasing our efficiency is to base our school work on the measured need of the individual and by so modifying our present system of class teaching as to provide for supplementary individual instruction.

It has, too, been an eye opener to teachers in that it has proven that drill in abstract work beyond a certain point is not only futile, but may actually reduce accuracy in problem work. Most critics of the schools, particularly the business man in whose memory of his school days the “drills” in arithinetic hold such a prominent place, have attributed the weakness of children in arithmetic to neglect "to learn their tables''

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in the lower grades. The tests showed plainly that much drill in the tables and combinations, while it may give a class higher speel, affects its accuracy but slightly, and is pretty sure to be fatal to a proper growth of reasoning.

The outside survey discloses only present conditions. Under certain circumstances this service is valuable to the community in which the survey takes place, but it has a wider value, as has already been suggested, in contributing to common knowledge of methods of procedure, in helping to perfect measuring units or standards already worked out, and in adding perhaps to the list of units of measurement available. . Workers in any school system now find at hand wellattested means of determining the efficiency of their work in at least a few fields, and the reports of the current year furnish evidence that they are availing themselves of these means.

A decade ago the self-complacency of the average schoolman stirred the unsympathetic among lay spokesmen to make sweeping statements condemnatory of public school procedure in general. Then it became the fashion upon many an educational platform for the schoolman, especially when far from home, to outdo the layman in criticism of public-school work. Both layman and schoolman, however, dealt in generalities, and one was as little helpful as the other. A more self-respecting attitude now characterizes the utterances of the average schoolman. He feels obliged neither to declare his work perfect nor to condemn it in toto. He has means of comparison at his disposal by which he is able to show definitely in what respects his schools are up to accepted standards in efficiency and in what respects they are lacking. In other words, the progress made in his field through research and survey have enabled him to assume a scientific attitude toward his work.


In reports from nearly 10 cities of the group under consideration mention is made either of actual or proposed reorganization of the upper grammar grades to provide for differentiation of work for pupils in accordance with tastes and aptitudes and probablo career and to facilitate departmental teaching. The six-year course of study for the elementary grades, followed by a six-year period divided between the intermediate school and the high school, is finding favor in the cities covered by this chapter. This division is sometimes 3-3 and sometimes 2-4, but the feature that stands out in most cases reported is the grouping of upper-grade pupils in central buildings for greater convenience in construction. In some cities, as Rochester, N. Y., Ogden, Utah, and Salt Lake City, Utah, the grades thus brought together are called the junior high school; in some, as Oakland, Cal., they are called the intermediate school; in some the term used is departmental grammar school; and there are others where the grades in which departmental teaching occurs are not given any separate designation.

Many superintendents who would not approve that extreme form of departmental teaching in the grammar grades in which the pupil has a different teacher for each subject find advantages in a conservative plan by which two or three teachers divide the work of as many classes in accordance with their tastes and abilities. The arguments against departmental teaching in the elementary school that were frequently heard a few years ago applied with considerable force to the extreme form of the plan. It was held that it tended to make teachers narrow, to overburden the pupil, to impair discipline, to overemphasize the function of knowledge in education, and to destroy the unity of school life for the pupil.

The extreme form of the departmental plan in general use in colleges and large high schools, however, has not found place to any large extent, if at all, in elementary school procedure. As a rule, under the compromise plan now generally followed, every class in a grammar-grade departmental organization has its teacher to whom each member of the class is directly responsible in matters of attendance, conduct, study, and recitation. The class may report to another teacher in another room for one or more exercises, but the regular or home-room teacher feels a definite responsibility for the class wherever it may be, and there is a very close cooperation between the teachers of a departmental group. The great expansion of the grammar-grade course of study through the enrichment that has been brought about in recent years has made the burden of subject matter weigh so heavily upon the teachers of these grades that they have been unable to do creditable work in all the subjects. Time and strength were not equal to the task of adequate preparation for the daily work. It was therefore inevitable that some favorite subjects would be well taught while others, for which a given teacher had less aptitude, would be handled in mediocro fashion.

The welfare of the pupil, too, calls for some readjustment of plans in view of the demands of modern life and the presence in the course of study of vastly more subject matter than any pupil can master. Consequently, the problem of differentiating courses in the upper grammar grades has become a vital and pressing one.

Among the cities of 25,000 or more inhabitants whose reports are available the following emphasize either departmental teaching or differentiated courses in upper grammar grades, or some form of the six-and-six plan, or all three in combination. Doubtless in some cities this modification has become so well established that it is no longer a matter calling for especial comment in reports; consequently

1 For a detailed consideration of the junior high-school movement, see p. 135.

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