Give Me That Old-Time Education

Let’s see, how did I get to where I’m about to take you? Well, it started with The Scout Report, which I heard about from Jena. The latest Scout Report listed American Social History Online, which led me to the Digitized Books from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign collection, which led me to the fascinating book Course of study for the common schools of Illinois, Third General Revision, August 1903.

Here is an excerpt from the book’s Introduction:

In preparing the outline, great care has been taken not to encroach
upon the individuality of the teacher, for that is invaluable. Except in
the most primary work, the course states what should be taught; to
the individuality of the teacher is left the how to teach the subject. He
should remember that he is at liberty to use any or all methods at his
command. The only requirement is that he do the work well.

I agree that the individuality of the teacher is invaluable. Now, here are some questions I have for you:

  1. If you are a teacher, or if your child attends a school, do you think that schools now feel this way?
  2. Or, do you feel that schools prescribe the methods by which teachers must communicate the material to be learned?
  3. If you are a homeschooling parent, how much do you think your individual style of teaching has affected your child’s learning?
  4. If you are an unschooling parent, were you surprised to see that schools of yore allowed the use of “any or all methods”?
  5. Or, did you think that was something John Holt came up with?

In my brief perusal, I found many points of interest in this book. What struck me most was how much of it sounded contemporary. How much has the formal education system changed since 1903?

Amazingly (not really), I found some thoughts about that topic while searching for a picture to go with this post. Take a look at this. Melissa Wiley is so right about connections . . .

Here’s hoping you’ll connect with me about all of this by leaving a comment.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    lala puri said,

    i agree with you

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