THE SYSTEM OF TRAINING
TEACHERS INSTITUTED BY THE MINUTE OF THE SCOTCH EDUCATION DEPARTMENT OF 30TH
(By Dr MORGAN, Principal of
Edinburgh Provincial Training College.)
The system of training
teachers in Scotland underwent great modification and extension as the
result of a Minute issued by the Scotch Education Department on 30th
January, 1905. The method of training in operation prior to that date had
done valuable service to the country, but it had several obvious defects.
While the organisation of the elementary school system was on a national
basis the training of teachers was almost entirely in the hands of the
Churches; the Universities and the elementary and secondary school
authorities had no representation in the Managing Committees of the Church
Training Colleges ; the output of trained teachers was insufficient for the
wants of the country [The annual output of trained teachers from all the
Training Colleges and King's Student Centres in 1906 was about 700, leaving
a deficit of about 400 to be filled from the ranks of untrained
teachers-chiefly ex-Pupil Teachers and Acting Teachers.]; and there was no
provision made for the professional training of Secondary Teachers and
Teachers of Special Subjects such as Drawing, Manual Work, Domestic Science,
&c. To remedy these defects the Minute provided for the establishment of
four Provincial Committees for the Training of Teachers in connection with
the Universities of St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh. Each
Committee was to look after the training of teachers of all grades in its
own Province. Thus the `sphere of influence' of the St Andrews Provincial
Committee was to extend from the counties of Fife and Forfar in the east to
Perth and Stirling in the west ; of Glasgow Provincial Committee from
Inverness in the north to Dumfries in the south, and from Perth and Stirling
in the east to Argyle in the west ; of Aberdeen Committee from Shetland in
the north to Forfar in the south, and from Aberdeen in the east to Ross and
Inverness in the west ; of Edinburgh Committee from Fife in the north to
Dumfries in the south, and from Berwick in the east to Stirling in the west.
The Minute laid down precise rules regarding the constitution of each
Provincial Committee, a certain number of members being elected by the Court
of the University, by the Governors of each of the Technical Institutions in
the Province, and by the Secondary Education Committees and the Managers of
the Secondary Schools in the area. Each Provincial Committee was to be
completed by the addition of a certain number of co-opted members
representing the teachers in the Province, and any Church or Denomination
transferring its Training College to the Provincial Committee.
The functions and powers of
the Committees thus constituted were defined in a series of highly important
regulations entitled " Regulations for the Preliminary Education, Training,
and Certification of Teachers for Various Grades of Schools." The
Regulations after careful consideration in draft form by the Provincial
Committees themselves and other bodies interested in the training of
teachers, were laid on the table of the House of Commons on 7th June, 1906,
and came into operation a month later.
The details of the
Regulations are somewhat complicated but the following is a brief analysis
of their chief provisions:
Arrangements are made for the
training of Primary Teachers, Secondary Teachers, and Teachers of Special
I. PRIMARY TEACHERS.
The education and training of
Primary Teachers are to be given in two distinct stages-the Pupil Teacher or
junior Student Stage, and the Senior Student Stage. Nothing need be said
here regarding the Pupil Teacher System.
1. Junior Students.
(a) General Education.
Candidates for admission to
junior Studentship must have received instruction according to an approved
curriculum in a Higher Grade School, or a Higher Class School, or in a
School accepted by the Department as satisfactory for the purpose; and they
must have obtained the Intermediate Certificate. Junior Students must
therefore be 15 years of age, and the normal duration of their course is
three years. During this time they must receive instruction, according to a
curriculum approved by the Department, in English and one other language,
History, Geography, Mathematics, Experimental Science, Drawing, Physical
Exercises, Music. Instruction may also be given to certain students in
Woodwork or Needlework and the Domestic Arts, or School Gardening. At the
conclusion of their course all junior Students must be presented at the
Leaving Certificate Examination for examination in such subjects of the
approved curriculum as the Department may have previously determined.
(b) Practical Skill.
During their course each
junior Student must undergo systematic training in the art of teaching each
of the Primary School subjects.
Those who complete their
course to the satisfaction of the Department in respect of (a) and (b), and
who obtain from the principal teacher of the Centre a satisfactory report
regarding their character, conduct, bearing and manner of speech, are
awarded a certificate (The Junior Student Certificate) giving full details
regarding their attainments.
2. Senior Students.
The candidate next becomes a
Senior Student and undergoes a further course of education and professional
training which extends normally over not less than two years, except in the
case of Graduates, Untrained Certificated Teachers, and Provisionally
Certificated Teachers, who may be admitted to a one-year course of training.
(a) General Education.
A condition of admission is
that the candidate possess the junior Student Certificate, the Leaving
Certificate, or produce evidence satisfactory to the Department of having
undergone an equivalent course of instruction. The Senior Student may
continue to study the subjects of general education stated above for junior
Students, and the authorities of the Training Centre may allow students to
attend any University classes, or classes in a School of Art, a Technical
Agricultural College, or
College of Domestic Science, for which they are qualified and which may be
useful to them in their future work as teachers. Thus, while professional
training is the first and chief concern of the Training Centre, qualified
students are given every facility for making a higher and more concentrated
study of general subjects.
(b) Professional Education.
According to the Regulations
provision must be made at the Training Centre for instruction in School and
Personal Hygiene (including a course in Physical Exercises), Psychology,
Ethics, Logic, and the History and Principles of Education.
(c) Practical Skill.
The students have to undergo
a course of instruction in the methods of teaching each of the subjects of
the Primary School curriculum, and the instruction must be accompanied by
adequate practice in teaching under skilled supervision. A valuable feature
of the practice in teaching under the new system is that it is given in the
grant-earning schools in the district, thus ensuring that it is obtained in
surroundings approximating as nearly as possible to those under which the
student will afterwards have to teach.
II. TEACHERS OF HIGHER
SUBJECTS IN INTERMEDIATE AND
(a) General and Special
As a guarantee of sound
general culture candidates for training are required, as a rule, to have
graduated in Arts or Science. They must further produce evidence that they
possess a thorough knowledge of the particular subject they desire to teach.
The standard of knowledge required by the Regulations is, generally
speaking, the possession of a Degree with Honours in the subject, or
attainments in it equivalent to this.
(b) Professional Education.
Students during their
training must undergo a course of professional education approved by the
Department. The precise nature of the course is not prescribed in the
Regulations, but it should include a re-study of the student's particular
subject from the professional point of view. Each subject of the school
curriculum requires a method of treatment which unfolds its inherent logic,
and adapts it best to the growing mind of the pupil. The Secondary Teacher
while in training must, therefore, study the educational possibilities of
his subject for knowledge and for discipline, and how to use it most
advantageously for both. The professional education of the Secondary Teacher
should also include a number of subjects the same as for Primary Teachers,
such as School and Personal Hygiene, Psychology, Ethics, Logic, History and
Principles of Education, all treated more particularly from the point of
view of the requirements of the secondary school.
(c) Practical Skill.
The Regulations require the
students to receive instruction in the organisation and management of
Intermediate and Secondary Schools, and to make themselves acquainted with
the actual working of schools of this kind to which access is obtained
through the Training Centre.
The students have also to
receive instruction and practice in the methods of teaching the particular
subject or subjects for which recognition is desired.
The length of the course of
training is not prescribed, but it generally is a session of at least 30
weeks. This period may be reduced in the case of holders of the Primary
III. TEACHERS OF SPECIAL
The Regulations lay it down
that in order to obtain the recognition of the Department as qualified
teachers of special subjects such as Cookery, Laundry Work, Drawing,
Physical Drill, Manual Instruction, &c., three conditions must be
fulfilled:- (a) a general education equivalent, generally speaking, to the
standard of the Intermediate Certificate, (b) an expert knowledge of the
special subject to be taught testified to by the Diploma of an Institution
recognised by the Department for the purpose, (c) the successful completion
of an approved course of professional training, including instruction in the
aims and methods of education generally, and in the teaching of the
particular subject for which recognition is desired.
By the issue of the Minute of
1905 little less than a revolution has been effected in the system of
training Scottish teachers, and great changes are still ahead. Owing to the
sound general education given at the junior Student Centres, the Provincial
Training Colleges will in course of time be relieved of the necessity of
giving instruction in general subjects, the quality of the practical
training given in them will be raised, and they will probably become more
closely connected with the Universities as their Professional Schools for
the Training of Teachers.
The number of students at
present (May, 1909) undergoing training in the various Provincial Training
Colleges is as follows:-