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the results indicated above. There will be no reading, no investigating outside the text-book, so long as the passing of pupils depends upon percents in History. For years previous to the discarding of the old method of teaching History in the Intermediate (Grammar) Schools, Superintendent Hancock saw and deprecated the method pursued, and in 1872 called the attention of the Committee on Course of Study to it. Dr. Mayo was Chairman of the Committee, and had the good sense to call the principals of the Intermediate Schools, and, after thorough investigation, to decide, on true educational principles, that the method then in vogue was radically wrong. The committee, under Dr. Mayo's leadership, sustained by the opinion of the superintendent, and two or three of the principals, of whom I had the honor of being one, recommended in its report to the Board that written percented examinations in History be abolished, and that the subject be taught by the plan prepared by the committee, which was "to have the classes read the text-book in use. At each lesson the pupils shall be questioned in brief review of the previous lesson. Teachers are expected to make these lessons interesting, and the pupils are required to understand thoroughly what they read." The report was adopted by the Board, and the plan or method, with some modifications, has been pursued since that time. The principal modifications consist in making biography, which is the soul of history, a prominent feature of the
work, and in encouraging the children to read historical and biograph. ical works outside of school, and to give sketches of distinguished personages and noted events about which they have read, to their classmates.
What have been the results ? I answer that, except in a few cases where the teachers have been indifferent, or, from lack of ability, unable to handle it correctly, the results have been niost satisfactory. The pupils have been inspired with a love of History. The subject, , instead of a burden to them, has become a pleasant and delightful study. Numerous books of history, travel, and biography, have been
. read outside of school hours, and a spirit of historical research has been implanted in thousands of the pupils, that will remain with them through life, and that will influence their subsequent reading. What a contrast to the old verbatim method! Then (I speak from personal knowledge) no encyclopedias, gazetteers, or histories other than the text-book, were brought into the class-room. There was no time for consulting these, for the bug-bear of percents was continually staring both teachers and pupils in the face. The pupils, instead of being encouraged by their teachers, as they are now, to consult reference books, and to read good books bearing upon History at their homes,
were discouraged from it for fear they would not get as high percents in the examinations.
I appeal to teachers to do all in their power to instill a love of reading books of history and of kindred subjects, for it is much better for their pupils to go out from the school with a taste for historical reading than with their minds crammed with pages of memorized text-books.
LITERATURE IN SCHOOLS.
BY SARAH E. PEARSON, YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO. How shall we develop a taste for good literature in youth? This important subject has been agitating the minds of many teachers in Ohio for some time. I am glad that the subject has been brought up in our State Association. “In a multitude of counsellors there is safety.”
The problem may be solved in different ways. Two teachers in a thriving manufacturing place, some years ago attempted to further the. solution for the youth of their town. With the aid of their pupils they gave an entertainment by which some money was procured. This was spent for books which were placed on the shelves of the old school library (this had long been closed except at rare intervals), one of the teachers opening the library four days in the week to all who chose to come, after school, for books.
The work was continued year after year, until by the aid of a few teachers and other helpers, a library association was formed. In the course of time the library became of sufficient importance to warrant the board of education in paying the teacher who acted as librarian a small sum yearly for her services hitherto gratuitously given. Then the library was removed to the board rooms and opened every day. Each year additions were made to the number of books, the result of entertainments given by the association, the work being done, as is usual on such occasions, by four or five persons aided by the children.
The board of education once or twice made an appropriation for the purchase of books, and in other ways fostered the undertaking. When, three years ago, it was thought best to incorporate the association, several leading business men were included among the trustees, and it was understood that the ladies who had hitherto borne the burden of providing funds should be released, and the friends of the library are now anxiously awaiting the appearance upon the shelves of the first purchase of books by the new association.
If it will not take too much space I will also suggest some ways in which our youth could be stimulated to an interest in good literature. Literary societies may be organized in the grammar and high school grades. Such schools nearly all have rhetorical exercises at stated periods, which are a dread to the pupils, and a source of uneasiness to the teacher, who feels that her pupils ought to profit by them more than they do. I have seen these exercises made the most interesting ones connected with a school, where a literary society has been sustained for seven years.
Its history has always been interesting, but it is too long to relate here.
In the discussion of this subject last summer at Chautauqua, W. H. Cole suggested that the study of literature be made as obligatory as grammar and arithmetic. Something may be done in that way, but will not the result be that the few who love to read, or have already inherited a certain degree of culture, will pursue this subject with a love for it, while the many—and the very ones we wish to reach-will do what is required of them in a perfunctory manner and forget it, when they leave school, as they do their grammar and arithmetic ?
I think a better way would be to make it honorary instead of oblig. atory. Many pupils will work harder for honors than for the mastery of something in the regular course, The interest in a subject is more contagious when it is pursued in that way than when it is obligatory, spreading from those who first take it up from a natural inclination towards it, to the pupils whom we most desire to reach.
Another point in favor of my view is, that any teacher, in city or country, no matter what her grade or how circumscribed her position, may adopt it at once, without waiting for the board of education or school directors to take action upon the subject. Has she a primary school ? Let her write upon the blackboard the name of Hans Christian Andersen, Louisa Alcott, or any other writer of children's stories with which she is familiar, and tell the children to find out at home something about that person, as, where he lived, what he did, etc.; and when the answers have been returned, let her read to the school a story by that author, teach them to pronounce the name correctly, tell them some anecdote about him to make him seem real to the children -of course, if she can show them his picture, so much the better. Let the pupils try to tell one of the stories in their own words (a language lesson is thus secured), and let the superintendent or some visitor know what is going on, and that certain pupils whose names are on the blackboard have been attentive to, or have learned something from, this exercise.
An extensive library is not essential in order to begin this work o
interesting our youth in good literature while they are yet in the first or second reader. "The Youth's Companion” will furnish abundant material for her, or even for those who teach older pupils.
In the higher grades much the same course might be pursued at the start, then ask every one to read something written by a certain author, and the next week assign another author, inducing them to give in writing some account of what they read and of the author. In connection with language work this could be done without adding much to the labor of the teacher, and if account of it is taken in making out monthly reports to the parents or in the examination records, and credit given as so much extra work, an interest will be aroused in the subject that will be more satisfactory than if it were made obligatory,
These suggestions are not mere theory alone, they have been put in successful practice.
A SUPPLEMENT TO “SUPPLEMENTARY
BY THE AUTHOR OF “PRESTON PAPERS."
I should like to shake hands with the author of the article on “Supplementary Reading” which appeared in the December issue of the MONTHLY, for I am sure she (he) is an enthusiast in her (his) business; one who does not suppose the chief end of all teaching is to hear the lessons and draw the pay for it. She (he) is willing to take some trouble to advance the interests of her (his) pupils, and having found the advantage of a little ingenuity, is generous enough to give the rest of us the benefit. A practical chapter of that sort is worth half a dozen high flown disquisitions on some pet theory that has never been reduced to practice and cannot be, because of its lack of adaptation to the real needs of the common, every-day school teacher. I have used some such method myself, with this difference; the slips so soon get worn out, that I have for several years pasted them on light cardboard, and have found it a great improvement.
One other thing has been a help to me in finding sufficient supplementary reading matter. When I have found anything particularly choice, that I wanted my class to read and keep, I have copied it on the blackboard—in sections if too long for one lesson—and then the pupils have copied from that into books made for the purpose, of a few sheets of foolscap, thus giving them at once lessons in writing, punctuation, capitals, spelling, and arrangement; and at the same
time it has resulted in a selection from our best authors, at a merely nominal cost to each one.
At one or two places where I have taught, I have helped my pupils to make scrap-books, using for this purpose the selected cuttings from current numbers of some paper that was taken by a sufficient number of families to furnish one copy for each member of the class. And again, I have encouraged them to club together and subscribe for some juvenile publication, current numbers being given to each in turn when done with for readers; and in one or two instances I have found boards of education who were more than glad to furnish something of the kind. By careful using they did not get much soiled or worn, and were sent to the binder's when we had done using them, coming back to us in substantial form for some other class, or to constitute a part of the regular library. At one place where I taught for several years, the pupils saved and sold all their waste papers, and with the money subscribed for the “Young Folks”-and when the year was out sold the set to one of the older pupils for half price, and with the proceeds bought a picture for the study room.
"Where there's a will there's a way.”
A REVIEW OF “A FABLE FOR CRITICS."
[By Miss MINNIE WALKER, Delaware, 0. Read before the Delaware County
Reading Circle. ] Taken in homeopathic doses, the "Fable for Critics" is charming. But administered by the table-spoonful, its hitherto potent charm is lost, and the “Fable for Critics” comes dangerously near being tiresome.
Read for an hour, the poem delights us with its witty “hitty" points, its occasional good-humored raillery; and perplexes us, per haps, with its numberless allusions to characters, real, fictitious, mythological; past, present, and future,
The piece abounds in rhyme. The title-page and preface, even, have not escaped this contagion; for, “Of rhymes he had store, and 'twas in his vocation, for our recreation, that so he should sing."
The continuous reading of the poem, however, is apt to become wearisome, from these incessant, never failing rhymes, and the relentless regularity with which they recur. Soon the lines begin to jingle, jingle, jingle, keeping time, time, time, with such exasperating