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METHODS OF TEACHING IN
PAUL KLAPPER, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Education
NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER, LL.D.
Yonkers-on-Hudson, New York
WORLD BOOK COMPANY
THE HOUSE OF APPLIED KNOWLEDGE
YONKERS-ON-HUDSON, NEW YORK
A treasure of wisdom is stored in the col-
Copyright, 1920, by World Book Company
All rights reserved
HE student of general problems of education or of elementary education finds an extensive literature of varying worth. In the last decade our secondary schools have undergone radical reorganization and have assumed new functions. A rich literature on every phase of the high school is rapidly developing to keep pace with the needs and the progress of secondary education. The litera-T ture on college education in general and college pedagogy in particular is surprisingly undeveloped. This dearth is not caused by the absence of problem, for indeed there is room for much improvement in the organization, the administration, and the pedagogy of the college. Investigators of these problems have been considerably discouraged by the facts they have gathered. This volume is conceived in the hope of stimulating an interest in the quality of college teaching and initiating a scientific study of college pedagogy. The field is almost virgin, and the need for constructive programs is acute. We therefore ask for our effort the indulgence that is usually accorded a pioneer.
In this age of specialization of study it is evident that no college teacher, however wide his experience and extensive his education, can speak with authority on the teaching of all the subjects in the college curriculum, or even of all the major ones. For this reason this volume is the product of a coöperating authorship. The editor devotes himself to the study of general methods of teaching that apply to almost all subjects and to most teaching situations. In addition, he coördinates the work of the other contributors. He realizes that there exists among college professors an active hostility to the study of pedagogy. The professors feel that one who knows his subject can teach it. The contributors have been purposely selected in order to dispel this hostility. They are, one and all, men of undisputed scholarship who have realized the need of a mode of presentation that will make their knowledge alive.
Books of multiple authorship often possess too wide a diversity of viewpoints. The reader comes away with no underlying thought and no controlling principles. To overcome this defect, so common in books of this type, a tentative outline was formulated, setting forth a desirable mode of treating, in the confines of one chapter, the teaching of any subject in the college curriculum. This outline was submitted to all contributors for critical analysis and constructive criticism. The original plan was later modified in accordance with the suggestions of the contributors. This final outline, which follows, was then sent to the contributors with the full understanding that each writer was free to make such modifications as his specialty demanded and his judgment dictated. This outline is followed in most of the chapters and gives the book that unifying element necessary in any book and vital in a work of so large a coöperating authorship.
The editor begs to acknowledge his indebtedness to the many contributors who have given generously of their time and their labor with no hope of compensation beyond the ultimate appreciation of those college teachers who are eager to learn from the experience of others so that they may the better serve their students.
TENTATIVE OUTLINE FOR THE TEACHING
IN THE COLLEGE
I. Aim of Subject X in the College Curriculum:
Is it taught for disciplinary values?
Is it taught for cultural reasons?
What are they?
Is it taught to give necessary information?
Is it taught to prepare for professional studies?
Is the aim single or eclectic? Do the aims vary for different groups of students? Does this apply to all the courses in your specialty? How does the aim govern the methods of teaching?
II. Place of the Subject in the College Curriculum:
In what year or years should it be taught?
What part of the college course in terms of time or credits should be allotted to it?
What is the practice in other colleges?
What course or courses in this subject should be part of the general curriculum or be prescribed for students in art, in science, in modern languages, or in the preprofessional or professional groups?
III. Organization of the Subject in the College Course:
Desired sequence of courses in this subject.
What is the basis of this sequence? Gradation of successive difficulties or logical sequence of facts?
Should these courses be elective or prescribed? All prescribed? For all groups of students?
In what years should the elective work be offered?
IV. Discussion of Methods of Teaching this Subject:
Place and relative worth of lecture method, laboratory work,
Shall the first course in chemistry be a general and extensive
Should college mathematics be presented as a series of sub-
Should a student study his mathematics as it is developed
in his book, viz., as an intellectual product of a matured mind familiar with the subject, or should the subject grow gradually in a more or less unorganized form from a series of mechanical, engineering, building, nautical, surveying, and structural problems that can be found in the life and environment of the student?
V. Moot Questions in the Teaching of this Subject.
VI. How judge whether the subject has been of worth to the student?
How test whether the aims of this subject have been realized? How test how much the student has carried away? What means, methods, and indices exist aside from the traditional examination?