ERIC Number: ED540290
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1922
Reference Count: N/A
Supervision of Rural Schools. Bulletin, 1922, No. 10
Cook, Katherine M.
Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior
Supervision as understood in well-organized city systems has little resemblance to the annual visitation of schools as practiced by many county or other rural superintendents. The majority of these officers are fully conscious of the limitations imposed upon them by the conditions under which they work and they are active in their efforts to improve them. Popular election is still the prevailing method of selection (See p. 26). Short or uncertain tenure, long distances to travel in reaching isolated schools, the excessive number of teachers per supervisor, and executing administrative duties, all combine to make the officer more of a visitor, and less of a superintendent. The statutory provision that the "county superintendent shall visit each school at least once a year," very common among states, seems to indicate that the conditions mentioned are or have been in harmony with the popular conception of the duties of the office. Increasingly, each year, the convictions in rural communities is that the immediate hope for improvement of the schools in the open country is through professional supervision. The teaching force is made up in large part of unprepared, inexperienced, and immature teachers. There is little indication at present that this will change materially within the next five years. Even if adequate provisions for completely changing the situation were immediately initiated and steadily pursued, its accomplishment would require at least that time. Justice to the children now in school demands a more immediate remedy. Professional supervision is the best way employed to give teachers with little experience and preparation a professional outlook and some training in the principles and use of modern methods of classroom organization and teaching. It is generally conceded that no adequate provision for supervision has been made in the past nor is now being made in those States in which the administration and supervision of a large number of rural schools, widely separated, are entrusted to one officer. This officer is usually a county superintendent, or one whose duties correspond to those of such an officer. The administrative organization in vogue in the majority of the States, particularly in those organized on the small district unit basis neither provides for supervision definitely nor lends itself readily to such provision on the part of the school officers. It is also true that the difficulty does not end when supervisors are provided. The whole subject of methods of supervision in rural school systems, organization of small schools, courses of study adapted to rural life, as well as difficulties inherent in open-country conditions which supervisors must overcome, present new and unsolved problems. Successful methods of procedure, while established in many communities, are not generally understood or widely practiced. There are not enough supervisors with the preparation and experience necessary for success, to fill positions which are now becoming available. Information concerning effective methods followed by rural supervisors is therefore of equal interest to that concerning their appointment. Because of these facts it is believed that a description of plans followed in certain sections of the country where supervision is established will be suggestive and helpful. That children on the farms and in the open country have advantages of a school education in some measure at least equivalent to those now enjoyed by children in cities is a matter of justice which should not be overlooked. Since professional supervision is an effective means to that end; it is a matter of supreme concern to all those who are interested in improving rural schools. The table of contents divides this bulletin into two parts: Part 1, General Provisions Concerning Supervision, Superintendents, and Supervisors; and Part 2, Methods of Supervising Rural Schools as Practiced in Five States. Appended are: (1) County departments of education of the various States' staff and salary; and (2) Forms used in the supervision of rural schools in certain counties in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Illinois. (Contains 18 tables; individual chapters contain footnotes.) [Best copy available has been provided.]
Descriptors: Administrative Organization, Educational Administration, Superintendents, Counties, Rural Schools, Supervision, Supervisors, Educational Practices, Local Government, Salaries, State Departments of Education
Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior.
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Community; Administrators; Practitioners; Researchers; Policymakers
Authoring Institution: Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education (ED)
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut; Illinois; New Jersey; Ohio; Wisconsin