Bennington Banner Newspaper Archives Apr 3 1965, Page 5

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Bennington Banner (Newspaper) - April 3, 1965, Bennington, Vermont Bennington Banner saturday april 3, 1965-5 Lionel Nowak of Bennington College Speaks to a group of Bennington area teachers about an elementary school music program that May Start Here next autumn. Ferment in education text and photos by Warren Buckler sixth graders at Bennington elementary school Are doing a lot of looking these Days. Chr Barbara Pratt inspects mealworms in three stages of its development larva pupa. Bootle. The students Hope to Hatch More mealworms from eggs. Bennington area schools Are in an advanced stage of curricular ferment. The courses they offer like Apple cider to which sugar and raisins have been added will never be quite the same again. The fermenting agent has been the Ford foundation curriculum improvement project which for just about a year has been busily exposing teachers to new ideas and encouraging them to try out ideas of their own. The raisins have been contributed by the universities foundations and publishing houses that Are constantly seeking More effective ways to teach and whose experimentation has touched off what has become known As a nationwide a classroom and now the Federal government is tossing in the sugar to Speed up the process of fermentation even More. The concentrated efforts of school teachers and administrators in southwestern Vermont to improve with the help of these three catalysts their instructional methods and materials has already brought about Many changes. But Many others Are in the talking and planning stages. The pictures on this Page show some of these activities in Progress. Jon Emerson in his sixth Grade classes at Bennington elementary school is trying out a new approach to the teaching of elementary science. At a meeting last week Lionel Nowak of Bennington College explained to area teachers a new music program that May be introduced in elementary grades next year. And at Molly Stark school last saturday teachers met for the first in a series of meetings at which they will attempt to identify areas of their curriculum that need special attention. If All the changes and proposed changes have one thing in common it is probably this they All seem to be leading toward a new Type of school in which youngsters will learn by doing discovering and creating. The emphasis is gradually being changed from a getting the right answer Quot to an understanding of the Way in which the answer is arrived at. Nowak explained to the teachers that the elementary music program will teach composition and performance in grades 1-3. Its purpose he said a is to develop a society in which making music is a pleasant and natural thing to do Quot and is a pastime that inspires a wonder curiosity and Delight Quot rather than bewilderment or even fear. A proposal for such a course has been submitted to the . Office of education. If the proposal is accepted local schools May receive about $90,000 in government Aid. The remaining $20,000 of the Cost of developing the new curriculum would be contributed by the Ford foundation project. Since the Bennington area will be a Pioneer in the elementary music Field the results will probably be published and widely distributed according to Paul e. Kirsch co director of the Ford project. In any Case members of the Bennington College faculty will hold a workshop for teachers this summer to write a course. If the Federal Ald is granted a two year period of classroom trial will follow. Emerson is a sampling Quot two units of a science course developed by educational sciences inc. Of Waterbury mass. Since the program is still being tested in schools throughout the country a Microscope for each Pupil several boxes of meal Worms and other materials Are All provided free of charge. A the course requires less textbook learning than conventional courses Quot Emerson explains. A i Don t give the pupils the information but let them discover it for last week one group was observing the behaviour of meal Worms and drawing conclusions about their responses to Light heat shadows water and obstacles. The sixth graders also watched closely while the creatures went through the four stages of their life Cycle from egg to Beetle. The pupils in another group have each been Given a Basic Microscope which consists of nothing More than a Block of Wood with a Hole in it a Lens and knobs for focusing and adjusting the Mirror. They were studying the cell Structure of an onion skin and will soon examine the one celled animals that populate a single drop of water. Their studies will eventually Lead them to conclusions about the differences Between cells in a boy scout flashlight serves As a source of Light for Wynn Metcalfe a compound Microscope. Various parts of a Plant and Between Plant and animal cells. Meanwhile committees of teachers Are meeting regularly to identify curricular problems and to decide which need particular attention in southwestern Vermont. Their recommendations Wil it be submitted to the Ford project s executive committee which in turn will assign priorities. A similar committee which began work last summer has already developed a special modern math course for slow learners in the seventh Grade according to Kirsch. And so there seems to be Little doubt that educational change is Here to stay. Jim Kittle slips a piece of onion skin under the Lens of his Microscope so that he can study its cell Structure. A fancier Microscope than her own makes it possible for Colleen Burgess to see things More clearly. Science teacher Jon Emerson stands by to answer questions. A Shoebox Maze devised by Steve Eddington tests the mealworms ability to sense the presence of a Wall and follow it. Pictures on blackboard show the animals feet and antennae. A teachers committee discusses problems they feel need attention in the English curriculum. Clockwise around the table Are sister Thecla of St. Francis de sales miss Marion Tifft of North Bennington mrs. Mary Whiteway of Bennington elementary mrs. Frances Woodcock of North Bennington mrs. Dorothy read of Molly Stark mrs. Mary Delong of Cora b. Whitney sister Carl Joseph and miss Diane Gauthier of chs. Of Tutt

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