Eurhythmies is a system of physical and mental training, akin on the one hand to physical drill, on the other to dancing, in which rhythmic movements and bodily control are practised, and rhythmic impressions received through music. It is, in fact, a marriage of movement and music. It was developed by M. Jacques-Dalcroze, a Swiss, and was introduced into England by him in 1912. Its popularity in girls schools has steadily increased, but it is osed very little in boys schools.
Dalcrozo eurhythmies undoubtedly in-creases bodily grace and harmony of movement remarkably; it trains in control and poiso: The ear becomes very receptive to the time and rhythm of music.
Most modern work in infant schools, and much in schools for children up to 10 or 11, is based on the doctrines of Friedrich Froebel, a great German educationist of the first half of the nineteenth century. The original name was Kindergarten, and this is much used still, but modern Froebel-trained teachers have developed the system far beyond the original Kindergarten practices.
The Froobel teacher, like the Montes-sorian, lays great stress on the training of the senses, and uses apparatus, models and toys, to teach children through doing. But the Froebel teacher teaches, as opposed to the Montessori teacher, who guides only. The Froebel teaching is done along very definite lines, each lesson being divided into five parts, called Preparation, Presentation, Association, Generalisation and Application.
In Preparation the teacher finds out by questions what the children know that can be related to the subject of the lesson which is then presented, e.g. What do you know about a thunderstorm? (Preparation); I am going to tell you about thunderstorms (Presentation). In the presentation the childs previous knowledge of thunderstorms is added to and corrected. Association gathers up the knowledge imparted into some general idea, e.g. Thunderstorms occur during a spell of hot weather, and contrasts that idea with others, e.g. Rainstorms may come at any time.
The fourth and fifth steps, which are omitted in the case of younger children, classify the knowledge gained, e.g. All storms are due to changes in temperature (Generalization), and show how to make use of the knowledge either in practical life or to gain further knowledge (Application).
Infants Schools, Modern. The infanta department of the public elementary school has very much changed of recent years. Methods of teaching reading, writing, and number work – the foundation of arithmetic – have been revolutionized, much time is given to educational games, story telling and simple songs, and free drawing with chalks, attention is paid to the social training, including simple hygiene habits, and in many infant schools a daily rest lying down is part of the routine. Broadly speaking, the modern infant school seeks to reproduce the atmosphere and training of a large, happy home.
Various methods of teaching reading, writing and numbers are in use, many devised by the teachers themselves, but all include the use of much apparatus – letter cards, a word and sentence cards, number cards, cubes and balls, pictures, etc., by means of which children learn by making sentences, numbers, etc. All is done in large type. The style of handwriting taught is almost invariably plain, unlinked script.
This is used so as to simplify matters IS for children in two ways; they do not have to learn two kinds of alphabet, and the children have to make in writing only the boldest and simplest strokes. The whole script alphabet is constructed from the straight line and the circle.
The change over to cursive script hand-writing) is usually made between S and 11, though many girls schools are now pre-ferring the plain script throughout.