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A HAND-BOOK OF
FOR COMMON-SCHOOL TEACHERS
JOHN SWETT -
“Special preparation is a prerequisite for teaching."-HORACE MANN
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1880, by
HARPER & BROTHERS,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
All rights reserved.
This book is intended
(1.) For use in normal schools and normal classes as a basis for instruction in methods of teaching.
(2.) For the use of those who intend to become teachers without taking a course of professional training.
(3.) For experienced teachers who believe there is something to be learned from the suggestions of others.
The characteristic features claimed for this manual are:
(1.) Its strict limitation to the essentials of commonschool instruction.
(2.) Its condensed and specific directions.
The attempt to reduce teaching methods to condensed statements and bird's-eye views is beset with many difficulties readily appreciated by practical educators. But what the young teacher most needs is a definite direction or method : he will learn to make for himself all necessary qualifications and exceptions in schoolroom practice. My chief purpose has been, therefore, to make, not an exhaustive treatise on education in general, but a volume of
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principles, directions, and working models for the practical guidance of the rank and file in the great army
of common-school teachers.
In the statement of general principles in education, I have quoted from the thinkers and writers of the present rather than the past, in order fairly to present advanced ideas, and to give the young teacher occasional glimpses of a modern educational literature outside of mere handbooks and text - books. The practical directions, drawn largely from the common stock of school methods, are substantiated by opinions quoted from eminent living American teachers and superintendents. The working models are made up of exercises that were prepared for use, and were actually used for several years, in a large public school. The whole book, indeed, owes its existence to the practical needs of a normal class-room.
Personal experience in teaching is a good school, but a slow and costly one. Looking back over a varied experience of thirty years, I deeply realize how great would have been my vantage-ground had I begun with a more thorough professional training and a wider acquaintance with educational literature. If I have failed to seize upon essentials, the failure is not from lack of opportunity to observe the need of them. In a new state, I have
Ι taken a part in the organization of a school system almost from the beginning. My personal experience includes actual teaching in conntry, city, ungraded, half-graded,