THE idea of an institution designed especially for the training of high-school teachers was in the minds of leaders in education at the University and throughout the state for nearly two decades before the opening of the University High School. In 1907 the Regents granted Professor Allen S. Whitney's petition to visit other universities in order to study their teacher-training work. His findings were presented to the faculty of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, which at that time included the Department of Education.
The following year the Regents stated:
If, in the judgment of the President and Board of Regents, the necessary funds for organization and maintenance can be obtained from some source other than the present income of the University, there [shall] be established a Model School providing observation and practice work for both graduates and undergraduates.
(R.P., 1906-10, p. 407.)
Between 1908 and 1917 the project gained in favor. Schoolmen in the state supported the movement. The faculty of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, in January, 1917, resolved "that it is the sense of this Faculty that a properly conducted observation and practice school for the training of teachers would be a valuable adjunct to the Department of Education, and would serve a useful purpose in the community and the state" ("Minutes, … L.S.A.").
Even before this resolution was adopted the Regents had resolved to ask the legislature for funds for a site, building, and equipment, and their request was presented in March, 1917. President Harry B. Hutchins in 1919 again raised the question of an appropriation. Professor Whitney continued to be the inspiration behind many of the efforts in behalf of the school. In 1919 the bill providing for the initial funds became law. In June, 1922, the legislature appropriated $525,000 for a high-school building, which was ready for occupancy in the fall of 1924.
The objectives of the school were stated as follows: to give student teachers teaching experience, to correlate the work in observation and special methods through directed teaching, to demonstrate the best educational theory and practice, to provide an education laboratory for scientific experimentation, and to offer the pupils of the high school an enriched program of studies and school experiences.
Professor Raleigh Schorling, who came from the Lincoln School of Teachers College, Columbia University, to be the first principal of the school, emphasized to the staff the challenge of their task. Most of the year 1923-24 was devoted to careful planning. Two main purposes were kept in view, to set up the best procedure for the training of teachers and to provide the best experience for the boys and girls in the school. It was agreed that two college seniors should be appointed as assistants to the regular teacher of each high-school class and that they should remain with that teacher at least a full semester, engaging in activities and gradually assuming more responsibility.
Each year an elected student council has participated in the actual management of school activities. Students have also served with teachers on various committees.
Those who have served the school as principals are Raleigh Schorling ('11, Page 1089Ph.D. Columbia '24), Heber Hinds Ryan (Whitman '06, A.M. Columbia '11), Edgar Grant Johnston (Wooster '12, Ph.D. Columbia '29), and John M. Trytten (Luther '11, Ph.D. Michigan '43). In addition, among those who have served in the school may be mentioned Charles C. Fries, Clarence D. Thorpe, Marshall L. Bryn, Margaret H. Chapin, Meldon Everett, Marion McKinney, Helen L. Ryder, Fred G. Walcott, Cordelia Hayes, Ruth S. Craig, Fred S. Dunham, Odina Olson, C. Irene Hayner, Hope H. Chipman, Selma Lindell, Katharine S. Hill, David Mattern, Francis D. Curtis, Wesley Darling, Nina H. Sherman, O. W. Stephenson, Edith Hoyle, Lucile Copass, Mabel Rugen, Wilbur L. Carr, Gerald W. Fox, and Elizabeth Robinson.
In 1930, in connection with the training for supervisory positions, Dean Edmonson inaugurated a practice by which many well-trained teachers have been engaged for part-time work in the high school, the remainder of their time being devoted to advanced study and further training.
The heads of different departments teach special methods courses in the School of Education, and at the same time demonstrate in high-school classes the methods studied. Some of the departmental chairmen illustrate a three-way correlation in that they teach subject-matter courses both in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and in the University High School. The chairman of a department serves as critic teacher and supervisor of other critic teachers as well as of student teachers in his own department. Thus, emphasis is put on subject matter, on theory and practice, and on classroom technique.
While the primary purpose of the school is teacher-training, its program and its policy of service to the state and to the cause of education include other important activities. Among these are investigations of educational programs. Almost every department of the high school is engaged in research. Most investigations are projects which have challenged the interest of an individual teacher; others are carried on by an entire department.
The University High School has had an opportunity to influence the practices of other schools. The school has many visitors during the vacations and at the time of the meetings of the Michigan Education Association and Schoolmasters' Club. Visitors are interested in methods, curricular materials, the organization of courses, disciplinary problems, book selection, school library administration, the home room plan, assemblies, and extracurricular activities.