This study follows up on an article published in number five of the first volume of „Pedagogika” . The basic approach to the complex of problems involved consists in an attempt to trace the mutual correlation between the teaching method, the process of mastering the subject learned (pupils’ activity), and the results achieved in teaching.
In the first part of the study the author analyses in detail the state of knowledge with which pupils enter the 6th grade. Using the method of written tests (225 pupUs from 6 classes analysed altogether 2475 sentences) and the method of individual discussions with 34 selected pupils (graded „excellent", „medium” , and „inferior” respectively) the author shows what is the general standard of knowledge as retained by pupils from the previous school-year, according to what features the pupils recognize the grammatical subject, and what mistakes they make in sentence analyses. The data thus established make it possible to determine with greater accuracy the state of knowledge that the teachers may count on when further enlarging upon the knowledge about grammatical subject in the 6th grade.
The core of this study is an inquiry into the presentation and mastering of the new definition of the grammatical subject. Observations made in classes, analyses of written tests, and individual discussions with pupils made it possible to determine the quality of knowledge acquired by pupils and to draw certain conclusions for the teacher’s work.
As a result of the above-mentioned material, very great differences were disclosed in the quality of knowledge among pupils to whom the subject had been presented by the teacher in the same manner. On the whole it can be said that the preliminary research confirms the belief, pronounced also in the methodological literature, that the material in question is too difficult for the pupils. Our research has enabled us to determine in detail some of the causes of the difficulties involved as well as the character of these difficulties. A definition based on abstract notions (such as „originator” , „bearer” , „action” , „quality” ) is at variance with the children’s concrete way of thinking. E. g. pupils confuse logical grammatical solution with psychological motivating, find it difficult to distinguish such notions as „originator of action” and „bearer of action” , pupils graded „inferior” do not even grasp the very substance of the definition, namely that it is a matter of a certain relationship between the subject and the predicate.
Attached is a conclusion, summing up the results of both studies. The author sees the fruitfulness of the adopted approach to the problems involved in the fact that this work enables us to draw a number of hypothetical conclusions as to the teacher’s activy, based on the knowledge of children’s process of thinking in acquiring the given subject-matter, and that it contributes to checking up on the methods applied, that it enables us to set forth a number of further problems, thus showing the perspectives for future work.