« PreviousContinue »
lification of teachers, and we earnestly recom. the intellectual faculties of their pupils. In a mend that they be established in every county in large majority of our schools, the exercises are the state.
far too mechanical, confined principally to the Resolved, That with the view that their bene. bare recitation, without an effort on the part of fits may be general and permanent, we respect. the teacher to reach the intellect, and to make a fully suggest to the legislature to extend to them distinct impression of ideas upon the mind. the munificence of the state.
Should we attempt an elaborate enumeration of Mr. Fonda objected to that portion of the re. the defects at present existing, in the methods of port which invoked the munificence of the legis. teaching pursued in our common schools, we Jature, and also to that portion which proposed should be unable to do any thing like justice to the establishment of those institutions in every the subject, from the small space of time allotted county of the state. It would be asking too us; and we feel that we should trespass upon much.
the time and patience of the members of this Mr. Sprague spoke in favor of the resolutions. convention, in an attempt to present our views
A running fire for a considerable time, was in full, inasmuch as the subject involves so many kept up for and and against the report.
important items, and opens so wide a field for The resolutions were taken up separately. labor, that we should literally find ourselves The first resolution in favor of establishing nor writing a book instead of a report. In taking mal schools or teachers' institutes in all the coun. this view of the subject, the committee beg leave ties, was lost on a division, by ayes 22 noes 24. to close by saying, that, as far as their information
Upon another division, the words 66 tempora- extends, this state of things is slowly but surely Ty normal schools,” were stricken out, and the improving; and that, in their opinion, the interest resolution adopted as amended.
of the cause can be best subserved, and these The next resolution, invoking the aid of the numerous detects best remedied, by the adoption state, was laid on the table.
of normal schools and teachers drills. Mr. Randall offered a resolution fixing the .Resolved, That we regard it as the first and , hour of adjournment at 2 o'clock, P. M. It was indispensable duty of the teacher, to ascertain amended so as to read 5 o'clock, and adopted. the mental capacities, lastes and dispositions, as
Mr. Sprague presented a report in reference well as the habits of thought and action of his to the studies properto be pursued in common pupils, and make himself familiar with their schools, which were as follows, viz: orthogra- moral, mental and physical wants and condition. phy, reading, definitions, mental and written Resolved, That we regard the subsequent la. arithmetic, penmanship, geography, history, bors of the teacher as useless, or worse than use. grammar, analysis of the English language, sci- less, unless he succeed in arousing and fixing the ence of government, vocal music, composition, attention of the pupil upon the subject of instruc. elocution, mental and inoral philosophy, physi- tion, and exciting, and calling into healthful and ology, anatomy, book-keeping, political econo- vigorous action, all the requisite faculties of my, drawing, algebra, geometry, surveying, tri- mind, and awakening, to a laudable extent, that gonometry, chemistry, geology and botany. love for learning which is deemed so essential to
Mr. 'Temple of Madison, submitted the fol. their improvement. lowing report in favor of town and county asso. Resolved, That the subjects of instruction ciations, and of public examinations to be held should be arranged and presented with the most in all the schools at the close of each term : scrupulous regard to the wants, capacities and
The committee to whom was referred the sub. mental habits of the pupil, and accompanied ject of school celebrations and conventions, re. with such familiar explanations and illustrations, spectfully report:
and such a series of questions by the teacher, That, as the people are the source of power as shall fix and perfect, as far as practicable, without their cordial support and faithful co-ope, the permanent impression of ideas upon the mind; ration, the efforts made for the improvement of and also, that from first to last, his instructions, common schools, will fail of accomplishing the both intellectual and moral, should be communi. intended object.
cated in simple and artless language, adapted to That, to awaken among the people an interest the age and capacity of the scholar, in preference in the cause of popular education, it is absolutely to his own, or that contained in his text book. necessary that their attention should be fre. Mr. Dwight called up a series of resolutions quenty called to the subject.
on libraries, requesting returns to be made by The committee therefore present for your con. the superintendents to the state department, of sideration the following resolutions :
the condition of all the libraries; and that some Resolved, That we recommend the organiza alterations be made in some of the regulations. tion throughout the state, of town and county Also in favor of town libraries. associations for the improvement of schools. Mr. Randall spoke in favor of the resolution
Resolved, That public examinations of the in favor of town libraries. pupils of the district schools, should be held at Mr. Wright suggested that it would divert the or near the close of every term of the school. public money from the purchase of apparatus. Adopted.
The resolution in reference to town libraries, Mr. 0. W. Randall from the committee upon was laid on the table and the rest adopted. the “ methods of teaching," begs leave respect. The following communication was received fully to submit the following report, viz : from Mr. Slade of Troy, offering to furnish the
That during our supervision of the several districts with geological specimens. schools under our charge, we have witnessed
Troy, May 9, 1844. with pain the lack of ability and aptness on the To the President of the Common School Convention of part of teachers, to impart instruction in the the State of New York: way best calculated to enlighten the understand.
Sir-Permit me through you to call the atten. ings, to strengthen the minds, and fully develop tion of all those of the intelligent body over
which you preside, who feel an interest in the ral and moral philosophy, physiology, anatomy, advancement of that most needful branch of in. book-keeping, political economy, drawing, algestruction, the study of natural science, to the bra, geometry, surveying, trigonometry, chemisfollowing notice:
try, geology, botany, and in short, all branches I am now making arrangements (having lately necessary to a complete English education. returned from the geological survey of the state
He also offered a resolution recommending the of Virginia,) to furnislı all those who may de
use of slates for small scholars.
The comunittee are aware that teachers at sire collections in geology and mineralogy with specimens arranged in suits, on the plan of the present are not generally qualified to teach the state collections at Albany. These will be se.
branches named, but that consideration proves it lected from the most extensive collection of geo- none the less important or necessary that all and logical specimens in the United States. It em.
even more should be taught in our braces more than 60,000 specimens, most of schools, as until then they cannot be what they which were obtained wth a careful view to this ought to be, such as to supersede the necessity object, and brought together at Albany with of private and select schools, and many of the
academies of the state. great expense, and by far the largest portion of them are from the strata of our own state, to Resolved, That we recommend and urge upor which the American geologist must ever refer, the attention of teachers of common schools, the and gathered during the late survey. I think it importance of becoming qualified to teach the can be safely said that the collection embraces a branches of study named, as soon as practicable, better and more extensive variety of fossils than preparatory to their introduction there. can now be made, as known localities of many On motion of D. R. Randall, species are exhausted. They will be carefully Resolved, That this convention regard the of. selected, labelled, and arranged in sets, in a man- fice of Town Superintendant as one of great imner to 'illustrate and distinguish the different portance, and believe that upon a faithful disformations, under the inspection and critical ex. charge of its duties essentially depend the benefits amination of James Hall, late State Geologist, resulting from our school system. and now reporting upon its Paleontology, of
By Mr. Hawley, whom it has been justly said that "he would be Resolved, That the thanks of this convention looked to as authority in this department of be presented to Dr. Potter of Union College, for American geology.” All the formations in the his most able and effective lecture delivered be United States will be amply illustrated, and the fore the convention and assembly of citizens last specimens will be put up in sets to suit purcha. evening, and that the officers of this convention sers, say from 100 to 1000 in each. A large por. are hereby directed to communicate this resolu; tion of my collection will be arranged expressly tion to Doct. Potter, and request a copy of said to supply the cabinets of school districts. Sec. lecture for publication. tions and drawings will be prepared to accom. pany each suit, illustrating the superposition and
Mr. Henry moved the following resolution : arrangement of the strata. In a few months I
Resolved, That the members of this conven. hope to have the collection arranged and in rea- tion tender to the citizens of Rochester their cor. diness for the inspection of purchasers, and all dial thanks for the hospitality which they have who may be pleased to honor me with a call at extended to them on this occasion, and that they Albany
earnestly hope that the prosperity of this city Most respectfully, I am
may be commensurate with the public spirit of Your obedient servant,
its inhabitants. ISRAEL SLADE,
Mr. Henry remarked that at the last convenMessrs. Dwight, Randall and Fonda were ap. vention at this place. He had heard much of
tion he had strongly advocated holding the conpointed a committee with reference to this com. Rochester and western New-York, but he could munication. The Chair presented a communication from had never been told him. He had been exceed
truly say, with the Queen of Sheba, that the half Col. Stone of New York, chairman of the com- ingly gratified and pleased with his visit here: mittee, last year, of text books.
Mr. Randall claimed that he originated the Mr. Randall suggested that as the convention resolution to hold the convention here—to which did not intend to recommend any particular set of Mr. Henry assented. text books, the communication be laid upon the table, and that the committee on text books be that the citizens were equally gratified with the
The Chair, before putting the question, said disbanded. Mr. Henry hoped on account of the great ser. would ever remember the occasion which had
visit of so highly intelligent a body of men, and vices of Col. Stone, the paper would be read. brought them, with pleasure.
Mr. Dwight moved its reference to the conamii. Mr. Arnold called up the report of the comtee on publication.
Laid on the table for further mittee in favor of the purchase of text books by consideration. Mr. Sprague made the following report:
the public moneys, and spoke at length in favor
of it. The committee to whom was referred the sub.
Mr. Hawley suggested many difficulties in the ject to recommend a list of studies proper to be purchase of books, on account of the great dipursued in our common schools, ask leave to versity of sentiment. submit the following :-Orthography, including
Mr. Fonda was opposed to any further legisthe sounds of the letters, reading, definitions, lation. He believed these minor appropriations mental and written arithmetic, penmanship, were disrespectful to the people. Such proposi: geography, history of English grannar, analy' tions ought to emanate from them. The spirit sis of the English language, science of govern and enterprise of the people would in a short ment, vocal music, composition, elocution, natu.' time do more than any amount of legislation.
He considered the proposition insulting to the pon it, to devise the best means for accomplishgood sense of the people.
ing the object. Much can be done by the introMr. Dwight stated that the most ardent friends duction of books on agriculture into the district of education in the Legislature generally con. school libraries. This object has received con. sidered the measure injudicious and unsafe. Laid siderable attention from the New York State on the table.
| Agricultural Society, and premiums are now of. Mr. Johnson, of Kings, offered the following fered for the best essays for the purpose. There resolution :
is still wanting a suitable tert book agricul. Resolved. That the thanks of this convention ture, for the use of schools. be presented to Mr. Mack, city superintendent In view of this whole subject, therefore, the of Rochester,. for the interesting exhibition of committee, beg leave to recommend this subject the schools under his charge. Carried unani. ' to the earnest consideration of this convention, mously.
and to submit the following resolutions : The convention then took up the order of the
Resolved, That this convention recommend to day, which was to hear the suggestions of county teachers, as far as is in their power, to impart superintendents in reference to the examination instruction on agriculture, by occasional dia. of teachers and the management of schools.
logues or conversations, and the reading of agri. The following gentlemen were heard : cultural books and periodicals, so as to explain Messrs. Dwight, of Albany ; Spencer, of Alle. the principles of this art, and show its respecta. gany ; Storkes, of Cayugu ; Tidld, of Chemung; bility and importance to themselves and society. Woodin, of Columbia; Arnold, of Duchess; Ely, Resolved, That the convention deem it of the of Erie; Shun way, of Essex; Sprague, of lul. highest importance that our school libraries con. ton; Nay, of Genesee; Olney, of Greene; Henry, tain more works on the principles and practice of Herkimer; Brown, of Jeilerson; Sylvester, of of agriculture, suitable for the perusal of the Lewis; Patchin, of Livingston; Hawley, of Buf. young; and therefore we take pleasure in refalo; Rochester, Brown and Mack, of Monroe; commending to the trustees of school districts Mills, of Niagara; Wetmore, of Oneida; Barnes, under our charge to purchase works of that chaof Onondaga; and Hopkins, of Ontario.
racter. Mr. Dwight, of Albany, moved a vote of Resolved, That we will, as county superinthanks to the editors of the Daily Democrat and tendents, take the subject into consideration, Daily Advertiser for their courtesy in reporting and be prepared, at our next annual convention, the proceedings of the convention. Also to the to express our opinions respecting it, and to act trustees of the Washington.street church, for the decisively upon it, if deemed advisable. use of their commodious building.
Resolved. That a committee of three be now Mr. Patchin presented the following report on appointed to take this matter under their special the subject of introducing the study of agricul. consideration, and report thereon at our next an. ture in common schools, recommending that it nual convention; and that the State Agricultural be frequently made the subject of school exerci. Society be requested also to appoint a committee ses, and that more agricultural works be placed to conter with them. in the librarics.
A committee of three was appointed, to take REPORT ON AGRICULTURE. the subject into consideration, and report at the
next convention. The coinmittee to whom was referred the con. sideration of the subject of introducing the study to Theo. F. King, president of the last conven.
A vote of thanks was presented unanimously of agriculture as a branch of education in our tion, now a resident of the state of New-Jersey, schools, respectfully report,
and also to the ex.county superintendents, for That, as agriculiure is the art on which all
their attendance. other arts depend, and the profession in which
Mr. King presented a report from the commit. the greater part of our population are engaged, tee on text books, declaring it inexpedient for its improvement and prosperity is a subject of the convention to recommend any particular set the highest importance ; and the committee are of text books, leaving the subject entirely to the of the opinion that the time has arrived when discretion of county and town superintendents. the elements and scientific wciples of agricul.
The committee, at their own request, was disture should be taught in all our schools, espe- charged from further consideration of the sub. cially to the older class of pupils.
ject. The rapid progress which has of late years been made in those parts where the discoveries
Vocal Music. of science have been brought to bear on the im. Mr. Shumway submitted the following report provement of agriculture, affords the strongest in favor of the introduction of vocal music in evidence of the importance of diffusing a know. schools : ledge of the principles upon which these im. The committee to which was referred the subprovements are based, among those who are ject of vocal music, conscious of the peculiar soon to become the owners and cultivators of barrenness of the spirit and instruction which our naturally tertile, though much abused soil. characterizes a great proportion of our public There can be no doubt but that such knowledge, schools, respectfully repori, that in our opinion if properly imparted, would have a direct ten the time has come when the united efforts of all dency to improve the practice of agriculture, the friends of popular education should be direct. and elevate the prolession to that high rank in ed to the institution and establishment of all such public estimation which it so justly deserves. best means as will tertu to raise “the living spirit
Your committee have perceived, however, of education” in all its appropriate power ; that there are numerous difficulties connected and that from some observation and experience with the subject, and that it requires more deli- we are led to believe that the general introducberate consideration than they have bestowed 'tion of the study and practice of vocal music in
our schools would constitute one of these best lectual, moral and social beings, and especially means. That it would, in a great degreee, con to qualify them for all their high duties as citi. tribute to the realization of a more just, whole. zens of a republic, in view of their being law some and mild, but efficient system of discipline makers, and at the same time the subjects of law in the school-room proper, and throughout the and order ; and if (as is proved) nineteen out of larger school of society, by lifting into ascend every twenty of our citizens, receive all their ancy the moral and intellectual over the animal rudiments of knowledge in our common schools, nature-by substituting the elements of harmo- and with such knowledge they go forth to mould ny and order in place of discord and contrariety. the institutions of their country : Then that sysThat it would so secure the love of children for tem of school instruction must be deemed singu the exercises of the school as to make it a larly defective which does not furnish its scho: pleasant instead of a repulsive place of resort, lars the means to become intimately acquainted and thus have a strong tendency to prevent with the form and constitution of the governthe prevalent evil of “ absenteeism.” That it ment under which they live, and whose destiny would (in skilful hands) so temper the pursuits is committed to their guidance. Especially of learning as to kindle the heart as well as should every child be early taught the great esquicken the intellect, and instead of presenting sential features of the constitution and laws of the “ Tree of knowledge" as a dry stump- his own state. In the early days of the republic lifeless, leafless and forbidding, it would be to it was ordained in the New England colonies, the scholars a living tree; beneath whose ex. that all should " teach their children and aptended branches and rich foliage they could find prentices so much learning as may enable them rest, whose blossoms would yield their exquisite perfect to read the English tongue, and know odors, and whose abundant fruits would heal ledge of the capital laws." In a more advanced and nourish.
and highly favored age, it is quite too apparent It will not be necessary to speak of the suc that we have fallen far behind the spirit of our eess which has every where attended the ex-venerated progenitors in both these essential periment of practising vocal music in schools. specifications. And believing that the useful. It has long constituted one of the prominent ness of our schools would be greatly promoted, pursuits in the schools of Prussia ; and is thus and that they would more nearly fulfil the ob. noticed by the Hon. Horace Mann, in his sev. ject of their institution by.furnishing the facilities enth annual report : “All Prussian teachers for learning the nature of the government of our are masters, not only of vocal but of instrumental own country, the committee submit the fol. music. One is as certain to see a violin as a lowing resolutions : black-board in every school-room.
Resolved, That in the opinion of the converGenerally speaking, the teachers whom I saw tion, the introduction of the study of the science played upon the organ also, and some of them of government into our common schools would upon the piano and other instruments. Music greatly increase their value ; and that we most was not only taught as an accomplishment, but cordially recommend to parents, school officers, used as a recreation. It is a moral means of and teachers, the introduction of some suitable great efficacy-its practice promotes health ; it text book on this subject, and that it be taught disarms anger, softens rough and turbulent na particularly to the older classes of scholars. tures, socializes, and brings the whole mind, as Resolved, That a knowledge of the general it were, into a state of fusion, from which con. principles of our own government should constdition the teacher can mould it into what forms tute an indispensable qualification of a teacher, he will as it cools and hardens.” These senti and that we invite their serious and prompt at: ments your committee believe to be in accordance tention to the subject. with the expressed views and instructions of all Mr. Sprague called up the resolution in regard the best educators of the age, without a single to the reading of the Bible in schools. exception ; and without dwelling upon the many The previous question being ordered, the vote advantages which might be mentioned as con. was taken by ayes and noes, with the following nected with the practice of vocal music in result : Ayes 23, noes 4. schools, we submit the following resolutions : The convention continued to hear the views
Resolved, That experience has proved that of superintendents in reference to the examinathe good effects of the practice of vocal music tion of teachers and management of schools. in our schools have equalled the anticipations of
The following gentlemen were heard : its early friends thus far, and that we earnestly Messrs. Putnam, of Chautauque ; Wilsea, of recommend its general introduction and practice Orleans ; Randall, of Oswego; Palmer, of Ot in all our schools throughout the state as far as
sego ;. Cropsey, of Richmond ; Robertson, of possible.
Tompkins ; Thompson, of Warren ; Wright, of To this end, Resolved, That all the teachers Washington, and Stevens, of Wyoming. of our common schools should aim to qualify
The convention proceeded to hear Mr. Lind. themselves to instruct and lead a school in this sley explain his system of teaching vocal musie. exercise.
A vote of thanks was presented to the authors POLITICAL SCIENCE.
and publishers who had increased the interest
of the convention by their attendance. Mr. Shumway, from the committee on the
The following resolution was read and adopt. introduction of political science into common ed : schools, made the following report :
Resolved, That we view in our present state The committee on the subject of political sci- superintendent, the indefatigable, firm and devoence report, that if (as is universally assumed) ted friend to the cause of popular education;
and it was the object of the founders of common that his previous counsels have contributed much schools to educate the whole people, so as to fit to the advancement and prosperity of our comthem for the discharge of their duties as intel. I mon schools. We have only to regret that a
pressure of business has prevented his attend. Rochester, to believe that the Journal can be susance at this convention.
tained in its present form and at its low price, Also a resolution to Mr. S. S. Randall, state deputy superintendent, for his distinguished ser- without loss. Its friends should however undervices in the cause of education.
stand that it depends entirely upon its increased Mr. King offered a resolution of thanks to circulation for its support; the state appropriaHenry E. Rochester, for the able and dignified manner in which he had presided over the con.
tion not paying the expenses of supplying the vention. Carried unanimously.
schools with the Journal. Mr. Rochester thanked the convention for its courteous consideration of his services. That
[For the Journal.] they had been imperfectly rendered, no one felt
THE CONVENTION AT ROCHESTER. so deeply as himself, but his associates had, by their forbearance and kindness, rendered all the The transactions of this body are better eviduties of the chair' comparatively light and dence of the character and spirit of the third conagreeable. If, however, said Mr. Rochester, in the hurry
vention of county superintendents, than any opiof business I have unintentionally wronged any nion of the press. To these we confidently member, or invaded any rights, in my anxiety refer all who take any interest in that system of to maintain the order and to sustain the dignity school supervision, now in full and successful of our body, I beg my associates to believe that by none will it be more regretted than myself. operation, and if there is a want of interest in the
We are now to part, each to his own county, reported proceedings, there will not be discoverto diffuse the principles of thorough and univer: ed any want of discretion or of zeal in the memsal education. Let us remember how honorable, bow sacred is our office, and permit no other in bers of this convention, or any evidence of indifterest than that of education to withdraw our fernce to, or perverson of the functions of their hearts or hands from our high vocation. If we most important office. Indeed, the disinterested are faithful, the cause is safe.
Mr. Brodt, of Broomne, moved a vote of thanks devotion of many, who, with limited means and to the other officers, for their attention and assi. receiving but a scanty salary, hesitated not to duity in the duties of the convention. Carried. travel hundreds of miles, to share in the delibe
Adjourned to meet at Syracuse, on the 24th erations of this body, is one of the most honoraof April, 1845.
ble indications of a spirit worthy of the cause to DISTRICT SCHOOL JOURNAL.
which it is pledged, and one of the surest grounds
of anticipating the triumph of these efforts to difALBANY, JUNE. 1844.
fuse the inestimable blessings of sound education. To SUBSCRIBERS.-Many subscriptions to the It may be thought that we say too much, but Journal close with the present number, and if any those who know the self-sacrificing labors of a one of our readers is disappointed in not receiv. large proportion of these officers, will feel that ing his July number, we hope he will remember we have said by far too little. However, they that the renewal of his subscription will be wel. need not our eulogy, their eulogy will be found come. At 50 cents all subscriptions must be paid in the hearts of those children to whose happiness promptly in advance, for the price charged will their best powers have been consercated. not pay the expense of subsequent collection.
We wish to acknowledge the obligations we THE JOURNAL.
are under to the editors of the Rochester Demo
crat, for the full and interesting report of the proWe have made arrangements with S. S. Ran. ceedings of the Convention. Our own report is dall, Esq., author of “Mental and Moral Gul- mainly taken from the columns of that paper. ture,” who, as general Deputy Superintendent, is widely known as an able and devoted advocate
To the citizens of Rochester, we would say, of education, to aid in editing the Journal.
in behalf of the members of the Convention, that With his assistance, and by the introduction of the resolution which refers to the hospitality and a greater variety into its columns, we hope to courtesy of that beautiful and flourishing city, increase its useïulness and extend its circulation. but feebly expresses the feelings with which we
By enlarging the Journal, and thus supply. parted from those who made our brief stay among ing the eleven thousand schools with nearly dou them so delightful. ble the amount of reading formerly found in its
THE CHALLENGE. pages, we have incurred some pecuniary hazard; but we are encouraged by the strenuous efforts Mr. Patchin of Livingston county, exhibited to to extend its circulation, already made in a few the Convention some beautiful specimens of mapcounties, and by the strong assurance of similar ping done in the district schools under his superefforts, cordi given by the superintendents at vision, and CHALLENGED the other county officers