For Rally Day in our Sunday school we have varnished the chairs in the primary department, and the Ladies’ Aid has sewed new drapes for the basement windows. This renovation falls somewhat short of the rebuilding program of the local school district. Two new elementary schools have been added to the system. I hear rumors of new teaching methods, too. Ungraded primary classes are scheduled so that individual children can learn at their own rate, and Russian is at the present time included in the high school curriculum.
Of course our church primary department has been upgraded from the beginning, but I’m not sure that this accelerated individual learning. Perhaps that was because no one knew how progressive it was. Our equipment has never seemed very dramatic, either. Breakthroughs in education are always made with teaching machines, or visual aids, or tactile alphabets made of sandpaper, or perhaps by three-year-olds on electric typewriters.
Our biggest innovation came ten years ago when Miss Brownstone discovered the flannel board. Even that didn’t seem as exciting as it did when I read about it last month in an audio-visual magazine. Perhaps it was because Miss Brownstone didn’t have enough figures, and the children remembered Jonah and insisted that he wasn’t Peter and hadn’t walked on the sea but had sunk down to the big fish. In any event, after most of the sets were scrambled and lost we stopped having a flannel story every Sunday.
Group dramatics has lasted a little longer. We always bring down the walls of Jericho with a shout. But it takes three or four years to get back to Jericho and action lags in the interval.
With new equipment and teaching materials we could accomplish much more—at least for a while. ...1
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