The 40's

The President,
Memorial University College.

I have the honour to present the following report on the Teacher-Training Department for the academic year 1944-1945.

The registration for this year was one hundred and eight, an increase of forty-two over the number for the previous year. This increase is due to the fact that the Teachers in Training under the United Church Board of Examiners are this year receiving their training in this Department of the College. Of the one hundred and eight, forty-nine are women students. Five students were obliged through illness to leave before the end of the first semester.

I am glad that the Boards of Examiners have selected so many experienced teachers for training this year. The Teacher-Training course has more meaning for the experienced teacher than for one who has never taught. I feel that the Teacher-Training class should be selected from the second and third grade teachers who have shown ability through experience. I am glad also to see such a large number of men students. This, I think, shows foresight on the part of the Boards of Examiners. The scale of salaries for teachers should attract capable young people to the profession and help to retain those who have experience.

The Teachers in Training have been encouraged to take part in all extra-curricular activities of the College. We have tried to make them feel that such participation is a very valuable part of their training. It has been encouraging to note the keen interest which the student teachers have taken in the International Relations Club. They have been encouraged to use all the facilities of the College and not to confine themselves to that part where most of their lectures are held and to the North Library which is strictly professional.

The Library has made available to the student teachers about a dozen professional magazines. These are placed in the Main Library and afterwards filed for future reference in the Teacher Training Department.

At the beginning of the year, Dr. LeGrow and his colleagues of the Department of Public Health and Welfare, carried out their usual thorough physical examination of the students and followed it up with treatments for those requiring them. In addition, Dr. Miller conducted during the year a series of lectures which should aid the teachers in the future work in their respective communities. An examination was held the results of which were good. We are deeply grateful to the Department of Public Health and Welfare and to Dr. Miller, in particular, for carrying on this very important work.

The course as outlined in the calendar was followed, except that General Science instead of Manual Training was taught. It it felt that the children in the schools should be instructed in Elementary Science. The course given was arranged to meet the needs of the men who have had no training in science, and such that it can be taught in the schools with improvised apparatus. In addition to the course outlined in the calendar, courses in subject-matter and methods in High School English and Mathematics were given. This is necessary if the teachers are to do well the work above Grade VIII. Some of the men who will perhaps not return to the College and who will probably become principals of two or three-room schools were encouraged to take the High School Methods course given to first year students.

Students who had not completed Grade IX Latin were encouraged to take the Latin course for beginners. A large number of students enrolled for the course and a group for teachers was formed. An Educational Seminar at which were discussed many of the problems relating to education in Newfoundland was held fortnightly throughout the year. In order to secure the College certificate students are now required to pass in all parts of each course instead of gaining an average of forty percent as formerly.

The teachers made excursions to the Rope Walk and to the Butter Factory where they studied the industries about which they will teach the pupils of their schools. These excursions formed part of the work of Social Studies taught by Miss Fitzpatrick.

The Student Teachers Society has been very active. Meetings were held fortnightly. Many interesting talks were given, and the facilities of the Newfoundland Film Board were availed of. To the Newfoundland Film Board and to those who addressed the Society we are very grateful.

The Visiting Lecturer in Music has now a set of percussion band instruments. It is hoped that this will enable the teachers to improve the course which they will give in their schools.

Girl Guiding which had been discontinued for two years was revived again this year. Student teachers who had experience in Guiding managed the Company under the supervision of Miss Ethel Brinton. In January twelve girls were tested and prepared for enrollment in the "First St. John's Cadet Company" by Miss Caroline Furlong, Divisional Commissioner for St. John's, and later were enrolled by Lady Walwyn, Dominion Commissioner.

During two weeks in April our Teachers in Training again had the privilege of visiting the city for observation and practice teaching. This experience was interesting and profitable. Members of the staff saw all the student teachers at work.

Two weeks is too short a time for this very important part of the teacher's training. It is difficult to see how teachers can be adequately trained without the use of a practice school where they can integrate theory and subject matter with classroom practice. The training of the teachers will never be adequate until the Teacher Training Department has its own practice school. Student teachers should have two years of training, during the second of which a large part of their time would be devoted to practice teaching. The passing of written examinations on which a certificate is granted is not sufficient indication of the future success of a prospective teacher.

The thanks of the Department go to you, Sir, for your help and co-operation at all times; to Miss Mansfield for her many acts of kindness to the student-teachers.

I personally desire to thank Miss Lodge and Miss Fitzpatrick for their loyalty and co-operation; also Miss Baird, Miss Wilson, Miss Jennings, Miss Brinton, and Mr. Lear for their work with the teachers throughout the year.

Respectfully submitted
Professor of Education.
May 25th, 1945.

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