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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 208 pages of information about The Vitalized School.

19.  Can one instill high ideals in others without frequently absorbing inspiration himself?  What are suitable sources?

CHAPTER XV

THE SOCIALIZED RECITATION

=The term defined.=—­The socialized recitation, as its name implies, is a recitation in which teacher and pupils form themselves into a committee of the whole for the purpose of investigating some phase of a school study.  In this committee the line of cleavage between teacher and pupils is obliterated as nearly as possible, the teacher exercising only so much of authority as will preserve the integrity of the group and forestall its disintegration.  The teacher thus becomes a cooerdinate and cooeperating member of the group, and her superior knowledge of the subject is held in abeyance to be called into requisition only in an emergency and as a last resort.  It will readily be seen, however, that the teacher’s knowledge of the subject must be far more comprehensive in such a procedure than in the question-and-answer type of recitation, for the very cogent reason that the discussion is both liable and likely to diverge widely from the limits of the book; and the teacher must be conversant, therefore, with all the auxiliary facts.  She must be able to cite authorities in case of need, and make specific data readily accessible to all members of the group.  This presupposes wide reading on her part, and a consequent familiarity with all the sources of knowledge that have a bearing upon the subject under consideration.

=The pupil-teacher.=—­In order to make the cooeperative principle of the recitation active in practice a pupil acts as chairman of the meeting, serving in rotation, and gives direction to the discussion.  He is clothed with authority, also, to restrict the discussion to time limits that there may be no semblance of monopoly and that the same rights and privileges may be accorded to each member of the class.  The chairman, in short, acts both as captain and as umpire, with the teacher in the background as the court of final appeal.  Knowing the order of rotation, each pupil knows in advance upon what day he is to assume the functions of chairman and makes preparation accordingly, that he may acquit himself with credit in measuring up to the added responsibilities which the position imposes.  In taking the chair he does not affect an air of superiority for the reason that he knows the position to have come to him by rotation and that upon his conduct of the duties depend his chances for honor; and acting for his peers he is careful not to do anything that will lead to a forfeiture of their respect and good will.

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