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more rational than that this natural instinct should be gratified, and that it should be fed with the solid nutriment of information and knowledge ? Thus its curiosity is constantly rewarded and rendered still more ardent. What more stupid and absurd than to cram the child's mind with the lifeless husks of worthless and, to it, unmeaning knowledge? As with indigestible food, it can only produce distress and ultimate disgust. How many teachers could give an instructively painful experience, drawn from their own early training! I am happy to know that in all our best schools this monstrous incubus of past centuries has been abolished.

Yet some still say, “Although the child can not at present understand the subject, I shall have him memorize the words now, because when older he will remember and understand them." Yes, but you imperil, by the act, the child's interest in all learning. The burdens of the horse, laid too early upon the colt, can only produce a worthless animal.

Some will have their pupils forever in fairy land. Such readers are chosen, such subjects for composition assigned, such stories told, as merely stimulate the imagination without leaving a grain of truth behind. This is not instruction, it is mental dissipation. Let the noble faculty of imagination be used for the lofty purpose of wafting truth on silken wings to the mind, but let it not revel in aimless wantonness.

Others are constantly presenting knowledge to their pupils in the form which is most palatable to their own minds. The same metaphysical, mathematical and linguistic puzzles which engage their own thoughts, far from interesting, may only weary and disgust their pupils.

We too often forget that knowledge, like food, is relative: it must be adapted to the recipient in both quantity and quality, to be beneficial. Why should not every exercise of the school, even when amusing, be instructive and convey some useful knowledge ? Doubtless there might be some drill and discipline afforded in counting a million, but life is too short for such unprofitable exercises. There is absolutely no limit to the really interesting and profitable truth in science, morals, history and literature, that may be presented; and as truth is the natural aliment of the mind, no exercise can be more congenial to both teacher and pupil.

But the mind is more than a receptacle, and proper instruction will lead to

II. Education or development. The true teacher not only instructs, he educates. He is delighted to see the mental powers of his pupils expand, and is sometimes astonished at the advancement of some. Truly the mind is greater than its knowledge, and many emergencies in life arise, that demand a clear and decisive judgment which no mere instruction can give. I am happy that better ideas prevail as to mental discipline, than formerly. What a wretched hobby it has been made, to carry a huge mass of intellectual lumber, chiefly valuable for the time and labor it has cost. The idea is fast disappearing that all knowledge, however remote or unpractical, is equally beneficial to the child, and that any mental exercises, however little they enlist the interest or engage the reason, are profitable. And our best colleges, I think I say it with due respect-modifying their courses as they are, to adapt themselves more fully to the age, have some adjustments yet to make before they afford the best training for the world in which we now live. But not only will the true teacher seek to impart instruction and to secure a true education, but also to give

III. Inspiration and to develop character. This is the crowning grace, without which all else will fail. This was the chief excellence of the famous Dr. Arnold, of Rugby; this the magic chord which rivited the attention of Garfield's students upon him. Others, no doubt, have taught with more technical correctness, who did not effect one-half. the good. The beaming eye, the animated countenance, the mind fully alert in all the class,-these tell their own story. If, then, the teacher is possessed of a noble, lofty soul, of high moral, Christian purpose, the good accomplished is incalculable. Many receive such an intellectual and moral uplifting that from common drones and plod. ders, they are transformed and almost re-created. ·

How often, alas ! have we seen instruction enough, but no inspiration! A cold, cheerless manner, a metallic tone, a snappish disposition, have destroyed all the good that might else have been done. Indeed the poet's words might be changed so as to say of their unfortunate scholars :

"Chill petulance repressed their noble rage,

And froze the genial current of the soul.” Fellow-teachers, if we would discharge fully our responsible trust, if we would enshrine our memory in the love and gratitude of our pupils, let us instruct thoroughly and wisely; but more, preeminently more, let us seek to inspire them with a love of all that is true, beautiful and good.

A kind word has given courage to more than one despondent heart; and, struck by a cruel word, more than one gentle spirit has sobbed itself into the grave.—Dr. Mears.

CROSS-QUESTIONING.

BY H. L. PECK, BARNESVILLE, OHIO. Not "cross" questioning, but cross-questioning. In suits at law the cross-examination is considered, from one point of view, more important than the direct. It is in cross-examination that the truth or falsity of the witness's story is made more apparent. The direct examination is ordinarily a simple and easy affair for him. He tells his story: usually in his own way, in language previously well considered, under the guidance of an examiner who is desirous of making the situation the easiest possible for him. No difficulties are thrown in the way; but on the contrary, so far as the rules of evidence will permit, the way is smoothed, and the character of the desired answer indicated. On the other hand, the purpose of the cross-examiner is to test the quality of the witness's knowledge, to ascertain the grounds upon which it is based, and to determine the accuracy and truthfulness of his statements; to ascertain whether he is rehearsing a well-learned tale in support of a theory, or speaking truth for truth's sake-truth · which he knows to be truth. A fact is always consistent with every other fact. There are no quarrels, clashings or contradictions between facts. Hence it requires no art, no coaching, no guarding against surprises, to speak the truth. It is the lying witness, or the witness who states supposition, opinion, or hear-say for fact, who must needs be on guard against surprise at the hands of the cross-examiner, and whose fabric falls before the warm and well-directed fire of skillful cross-examination. No amount of cross-examination can demolish the story of a witness who knows what he attempts to tell, and who confines himself strictly to the line of facts. He knows whereof he speaks, and regardless of all attempts to trap him into making statements contradictory of his original ones, he adheres to them with the constancy and tenacity of truth itselt, and all attempts to break him down serve but to render the truth and harmony of his testimony more apparent. No lawyer can become a skillful trial-lawyer until he is an artist in this branch of his profession ; and I believe the statement is equally true of the teacher. To repeat the questions too often found in our textbooks, or to frame those which may be directly answered in the language of the text, is an extremely simple matter; any one can do that. To construct questions which, like the surgeon's lance, with one quick, incisive thrust, shall go straight through a wordy inflation and reveal its emptiness; to put questions which, like the pruning-knife, shall clip here a little and there a little from the tree of the pupil's supposed knowledge until nothing remains but

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the bare and barren trunk, the words of a text not understood ; to
frame questions which shall be as the fire beneath the crucible to sep-
arate the gold from the dross in the student's gathered treasure—this
is the work of a master.
All teachers ask questions. Probably most of us ask too many.
.

It
is easy so to "educate” a class that its members can not recite outside
the bars of an interrogative go-cart on text-bookish wheels.
tion should not be a staff upon which the hobbling pupil may

lean. The Socratic method (not the Socratic idea) may be made the weakest of methods. Let questions be so put as to give pupils a many-sided view of the thought, fact, or idea under discussion. He who has viewed but one side cannot know. The only time I ever got lost” was when, as a boy, I came home from uncle's, “cross-lots,” and had a rear view of several farm-houses that I had seen from the front a thousand times. I then saw them from a new stand-point and did not recognize them. Rigid, uncompromising questioning should make our pupils familiar with the back-doors and side-entrances of their mental possessions. It is not enough that the pupil may be able to reproduce, orally or upon paper, the language of a text-book, though such ability may yield the highest percents. The best products of good teaching cannot be measured in percents. The best products of poor teaching-of mere routine drill-may be so measured. Skillful cross-examination will reveal the real wealth or poverty of the pupil's possessions. Too many teachers, with malice prepense, employ tricks and devices in questioning which reduce to a minimum the possibility of a failure on the part of the pupil. It is so flattering to both pupils and teacher to have all questions correctly answered. Flattering, indeed, but by no means always indicative of good teaching. The thought-inducing teacher will ask many questions which his pupils can not answer “off-hand,” many that will show them that they have not pushed their investigations far enough ; questions that will determine whether the student has thought, or has merely been "rattling the shells of thought.” Often it is better to accept for the moment a pupil's ill-considered and inaccurate statement, and use it as the basis of a few incisive questions which will compel him to see the absurdity of his position, than simply to say, “You are wrong ; so-and-so is the fact.”. The former course possesses two advantages : a flat, unrelieved contradiction is irritating to the contradicted party; and the chagrin of defeat upon his own chosen ground will tend to arouse in the pupil a determination not to permit himself to be again so defeated.

A few illustrations may not be without value to the young teachers, for whom I am trying to write.

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A boy is reciting a lesson in grammar, and says, “It is a declarative sentence.” It was a declarative sentence, and the direct-examiner (his teacher) was proceeding to the next point, when a visitor asked, “What is a declarative sentence ?" "A declarative sentence is one that declares something." "What do you mean when you say 'it declares something?'” “I don't know.” (This answer was correct.) “Make a declarative sentence.” "Shut the door." He had the shell but not the kernel. Class in Geography: T.

T. “What is an island ?" P. An island is a body of land surrounded by water.” Then the visitor inquires : “How large do you suppose an island to be?". P. I dont know." v. “As large as the school-yard ?” P. “Larger.” V.

“As large as our village?" P. “May be so." V.

"As large as

County ?" P. “Oh, no; not so large as that.”

Again : T. "What are meridians ?" P. “Meridians, etc.” (Correctly answered.) V. “How many meridians are there?” P. "I have never counted them." V. “Could you count them ?”. P. "Yes, sir.” V. “Where?" P. “Upou the map. V. "Are there any meridians passing through this village ?" P.

"I think not; I have never seen any.” V.

V. Are there any passing through this room?" P.

P. "No, sir," etc., till it was perfectly plain that the pupil possessed the words of the text, and nothing else.

Class in Geography, Eclectic No. 2, studying South America. The subject of latitude, etc., came up. In answer to questions put by the visitor, latitude, longitude, meridians, parallels, etc., were correctly defined, but Venezuela was located in north latitude and Mexico (on another map) in south latitude. A little patient questioning revealed the fact that they-or some of them—thought that places at the top of the map were in north latitude, and places at the bottom of the map in south latitude. Further questioning brought out the fact that they supposed meridians and parallels to be straight lines and that there is a definite number of them—the number represented on the maps. When asked if a straight line can be drawn on the surface of a sphere, or ball, the majority replied, "yes." The minority were silent. A little time spent in observation and reflection served to set the majority right. A few still thought a very short straight line might be drawn on a sphere. Some still insisted that there was something wrong, as the lines on the wall-map (Mercator's) were straight. This was not a dull class. Its pupils were intelligent, diligent, and obedient. They had not been thoroughly cross-examined.

Such illustrations might be multiplied from actual experience till the iteration would become tedious. My experience may be exceptional,

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