Page images

made grants towards the erection of 14 Model Agricultural Schools, amount. chains instead of the usual four, and which weighs proportionable about ing to £4,600, and we awarded the usual grants of salary to 10 ordinary two-thirds of the weight of another suspension bridge, at no great distance Agricultural Schools. We have struck off the roll, during the year, 3 from it, made of common iron, after a model by Browne. This is an amus. Agricultural Schools. The total number of Agricultural Schools in con. ing instance of the effects of protec.ion to manufactures, which even beats nexion with us, on the 31st of December, 1848, was therefore 50. Of the ourselves, for there is a high export duty upon this steel in a raw state.Model Agricultural Schools only 8 are at present in operation.

[The Times. The result of our limited experience has convinced us, that the establishment of Model Agricultural Schools will be attended with far greater

Atmospheric Phenomena.-It may be noticed as a curious cirexpense than was at first anticipated, either by ourselves, or by the local

cumstance of unusual occurrence at this period of the year, that lightning applicants. We are at present making inquiries upon this important subject,

of intense brilliancy has ceen nightly visible in the environs of the metroand we have submitted plans for building this description of schools to per

polis during the past week. On Thursday night about 12 o'clock, and from sons of practical knowledge and experience. In our next Report, we shall

that time until three the following morning, these electrical displays were give the plans of such school-houses, farm buildings, and residences for

more than ordinarily vivid, the atmosphere at the time being sultry and teachers and agricultural pupils ; an estimate of the cost; the amount of

close. For the space of half an hour, flashes of light of a pale crimson color

succeeded each other with scarcely an instant's intermission, from the our grant, and of the required local contribution, together with a statement of the general regulations upon which such schools are to be conducted.

south and south-west. The appearance of this phenomenon was preceded The amount of the liabilities we have already incurred, towards the erec

generally by a faint gleam of white light, which, from the reflection of dense tion of 29 Model Agricultural School, is £8,458 148. 1d.

vapoury clouds, assumed a ruddy tinge, similar in effect to the aurora bore

alis, though dissimilar in the length of its duration About six o'clock a Agricultural Inspector.— In accordance with the intention announced in

breeze sprung up from the south-west, and the clouds began to break away, our last Report, we appointed an Agricultural Inspector in August, 1842

but the oppressive heat still continued. The lightning was accompanied We selected for this purpose from a great number of highly-qualified can

by thunder.-[London Paper. didates, Thomas Kirkpatrick, Esq., M. D., who had been one of the founders, and for many years one of the most active supporters of the Larne The Moon.—The moon when closely examined by powerful Model Agricultural School. Immediately after his appointment, he visited telescopes has the aspect of a dislocated and shattered world; and that part the principal institutions for agricultural instruction in England, and has of the terrestial globe, from which Darwen supposes it to have been prosince been employed in inspecting the various Agricultural Schools in Ire | jected, abounds more than any part with tremendous volcanoes, and has, land, in connexion with our Board.

even of comparatively late years, been subject to the action of earthquakes School Libraries.-Considerable progress has been made in the selection which have raised considerably above any former level its more extensive of suitable books for School Libraries; and our arrangements for establish line of coast. The condition of the moon has been completely laid open to ing them, in schools where the local Managers approve of their introduction, us by the telescope of Lord Rosse, which renders perfectly visible every will be completed in the course of the year. We shall commence with our object of the height of one hundred feet. Edifices, therefore, of the size of District Model Schools, which we shall also supply with a series of works York Minster, (says Dr. Scoresby), or even the ruins of Whitby Abbey, for the use of the teachers, assistants, and paid monitors.

might be easily perceived, if they existed, but there is no appearance of Inauguration of the Queen's College, Cork.—This institution

that nature. Neither is there any indication of the existence of water or an

atmosphere. There is a vast number of extinct volcanoes, several miles in was opened with full ceremonial on last Wednesday, in the presence of the elite of the county and city. After some preliminary and routine business,

breadth, through one of them there is a line, in continuance of about one

hundred and Afty miles in length, which runs in a straight direction, like a the staff of the College were sworn. The oath, which is most important,

railway. The general appearance, however, is like one vast ruin of nature; is in the following words :

and many pieces of rock driven out of the volcanoes, appear to be laid at “We do hereby promise to the President and Council of the Queen's

various distances. Rocks and masses of stone are almost innumerable. College, Cork, that we will faithfully, and to the best of our ability, dis

From these circumstances, and especially from the want of an atmosphere, charge the duties of Professors in said College, and we further promise and engage that in Lectures and Examinations, and in the performance of all

it seems impossible that any form of life, analogous to those on earth could other duties connected with our chairs, we will carefully abstain from

subsist there. But on the supposition that the moon has inhabitants, the teaching or advancing any doctrine, or making any statement derogatory

earth must present to them the appearance of an immense moon, but almost to the truth of revealed religion, or injurious or lisrespectful to the religious

immovably fixed in their sky, while the stars must seem to pass slowly beconvictions of any portion of our classes or audience. And we promise to

side and behind it. Our earth to them will appear clouded with variable the said President and Council of the College, Cork, that we will not intro

spots, and belted with equatorial and tropic zones, corresponding with our duce or discuss in our place or capacity of Professors any subject of politics

trade winds; and it may be doubted whether, in the perpetual change of or polemics tending to produce contention or excitement, nor will we en

these, the outlines of our continents and seas could ever be closely discerngage in any avocations which the President and Council shall judge incon ed.--[Wonders of Astronomy. sistent with our offices, but will, as far as in uslies promote on all occa Rotation of the Sun.—We thought the time of the sun's revolusions the interests of education and the welfare of the College.”

tion upon its axis was by this time pretty accurately known, but it appears Sir Robert Kane having delivered his inauguaration address as President,

that we are still uncertain two hours. By 22 series of observations of M. speeches were made in approbation of the institution by W. Fagan, Esq.,

Laugier, on 29 different solar spots, he finds the time to be 25.34 days; the M. P., by the High Sheriff, T.R. Sarsfield, Esq., and by the Mayor of

inclination of its equator to the plane of the ecliptic 7 degrees 9 midutes; Cork, Sir W. Lyons. The advantages of a practical agricultural School

and the longitude of the ascending node of the solar equator, 75 degrees 8 and Botanic Garden were insisted upon and Sir Robert Kane on behalf of

minutes, reckoning from the equinox of 1840. This time of revolution difthe College pledged himself to give every facility for carrying out the

fers about two hours from Lalandis, now received as correct. But the most project.

curious part of this is that M. Laugier's observations of different spots give Head Mastership of Rugby School.- At a meeting of the hon. | the length of the solar day differing from 24.28 days to 26.23 days, or nearly trustees on Monday, the Rev. Edward Meyrick Goulburn, M. A., exam two days difference. The astronomer has increased the space in which the ining chaplain to the Bishop of Oxford, and fomerly Fellow and Tutor of spots are observed from 40 degrees to 41 degrees on each side of the sun's Merton College, was elected head master of Rugby School.

equator. A curious observation has been made by him, and thrown out merely as a guide for future observers to verify or not, namely that all the

spots on either side of the sun's equator appear to approach the pole, or reLiterary and Scientific Intelligence.

cede from it, altogether.-Researches in Astronomy.

Cinderella or the Glass Slipper.—Two centuries ago furs were Steel Railways.-A Vienna paper contains a curious account of 80 rare, and therefore so highly valued, that the wearing of them was rethe efforts making to advance the internal manufacture of rails. One foun stricted, by several sumptuary laws, to kings and princes. Sable, in those dry at Prevali in Carintha, is said last year to have fiurnished 1500 tons of laws called vair, was the subject of countless regulations, the exact quanrails with three furnaces. The fact is, that these rails are of such beautiful tity permitted to be worn by persons oi different grades, and the articles of steel, for the most part, that they might be cut up into razors and sword. dress to which it might be applied, were defined most strictly. Perrault's blades, as they are formed of the classical steel, which is as unique in our

tale of Cinderella originally marked the dignity conferred on her by the fairy days as it was in the days of Horace, and for which, if there were but a by her wearing a slipper of vair, a privilege then confined to the highest decent road to Trieste, our cutlers would, probably, be glad to give more rank of princesses. An error of the press, now became inveterate, changthan double the weight of ordinary iron. Or this material the beautiful ed vair into terre, and the slipper of sable was suddenly converted into a hanging bridge at Vienna is made, which is suspended upon two main glass slipper.-Dublin University Magazine,

Editorial Notices, &c.

Journal of Education for Upper Canada.

OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. Noble SUPPORT OF COMMON SCHOOLS IN BELLEVILLE.-At a public meeting lately held in Belleville the following resolution was

(We are grateful for the many commendatory notices of the passed :-" That a direct tax be imposed upon the Town for the Journal of Education which have been given by the Upper Canada Newspurpose of defraying the salaries of the Common School Teachers,

paper Press. We take the liberty of inserting the following notices from and that the present Board of Trustees are empowered under the

highly respectable publications issued beyond the limits of Upper Canada:] Act to levy a tax sufficient for that purpose."

From La Minerve (Lower Canada) December 17th, 1849. No other business being brought forward, the meeting closed.

“Nous y trouvons un foule d'articles du plus grande intérêt, depuis la

* (Signed)

première page jusqu'a la dernière.

. Billa FLINT, Jr., Chairman.

"Rien comme l'exemple pour faire agir les individus, et il en est de ROBERT M. Ror, Secretary.

même pour les peuples; le Journal d'Education du Haut-Canada cite continuellement l'exemple des nations les plus avancée, il montre l'état

de l'éducation dans les divers pays, il touche du doigt ce qu'il y a de KentucKY.-It appears from the Governor's annual message to mieux et il fait un bien inappréciable dans la Province supérieure." the Legislature, that the sum annually applicable to Common From the N-York Commercial Advertiser, January 19th, 1850. Schools is $150,000---one fourth less than in Canada. The Gov

“The Journal of Education for Upper Canada. Edited by the Rev. E. ernor urges increased regard to general education, and gives a good Ryerson, D. D. Toronto : Thos. H. Bentley. account of what has been done.

The second volume of this excellent educational periodical was concluded

e December number. The enlightened, liberal views which dig. MASSACHUSETTS.-In the Governor's annual message to the Le tinguish this monthly, and the editor's ardent devotion to the cause of gislature it is stated that the educational institutions supported by

education, have given to the " Journal of Education" a wide and benefithe State are working successfully and with excellent results.

cial influence. Dr. Ryerson is the Chief Superintendent of Schools for Upper Canada, and has already achieved much in that sphere. We often

find evidence in his pages that he has closely studied the American system Free SCHOOLS IN THE STATE OF WISCONSIN.—A correspondent of education, and that his active mind is alive to every improvement that of the New York School Journal, writing from the capitol of this

can be introduced into the schools under his charge. We hope that this Siate says :-" Time will not permit me to give you a true idea of

new volume will be even more successful than its predecessors."

From the N. Y. Methodist Quarterly Review for January, 1850. the state and progress of education in the west. In the State from

We have been greatly gratified with monthly visits, for the last quarter, the capitol of which I am now writing, the best feeling prevails. from the “ Journal of Education for Upper Canada," published at By constitutional provision and legislative enactment the Schools

Toronto and edited by the Rev. Dr. Ryerson. It is conducted with great are free! Yes, sir FREE Schools in this new State !!!

spirit and ability; and its pages abound in indications that the Common

School System is taking deep root in Upper Canada. We wish God CONVENTION OF German TEACHERS.—The Berlin correspondent

speed to the cause, and to this able " Journalas its organ and exponent. of the N. Y. Commercial Advertiser says :- A convention of 240 Teachers from all parts of Germany has been held at Nusemberg.

Politics were strictly excluded from their discussions."

Å HEAD MASTER for the COMMON SCHOOL of the Town of
A London. Salary £150 per annum.

Personal address to be made to HENRY Daltur, Esq., of London, ChairOPINIONS OF THE CANADIAN PRESS ON FABE SCHOOLS.-We

man of the Trustees of the said School, on the 15th of February next.

N. B.-In accordance with the provision contained in the 12 Vict. Cap. should be glad to learn, and give insertion in the Journal of Education to 83, Sect. 49, applicants will be required to produce a certificate of qualifi. the opinions of the entire Canadian Press on the all important subject of

cation signed by the Principal or Head Master of the Normal FREE Schools. In view of legislation on the subject during the approach.

Upper Canada, or shall have graduated at some University. ing Session of the Legislature, it is an appropriate time for the Press to


Secretary-Trustee. express its sentiments on the principle of Free Schools. The following London, C. W., 23rd Janury, 1850. are the only recent expressions of opinion on this subject which have come under our notice :

From the Brantford Herald, December 12th, 1819.


ATURE; to which is prefixed an Introductory Treatise on the Art of “ To remove this plague-spot of ignorance this disgrace from Canada,

Reading and the Principles of Elocution. By Professor SULLIVAN, (of tbe will be a noble work for all true and enlightened reformers, who, in such

Irish National Educational Board). a noble undertaking, will have for their example the truly magnanimous Dublin, Curry & Co. ; 'Toronto, A. GREEN. people of the State of New York, who, on the 6th ultimo, by a ballot *** Professor Sullivan's School Books were among the first that were vote of a great majority, declared their Common Schools to be open to coery child in the State, to be taught therein FREE.

placed on the List of Educational Works recommended by the English

The Americans perceive the necessity for making education general ; and Canadians must see that

Committee of Council on Education ; and the sale of these Books to the that education is the foundation of progress, and the great bulwark of

Committee to supply the demand for them in their Schools, has been duriog civil and religious liberty; and seeing this they must emulate, and, if

the year just ended, as follows: possible, surpass their neighbours in the States, by distributing knowledge

Name of Book.

No. of Copics. to all, “ without money and without price.” The poor man's child must

Introduction to Geography and History, . . . : 5,451 not be excluded from the fountains of learning on account of the poverty

Geography Generalized . .

. . . 4,787 of his parents, but must have every facility afforded him for the cultivation

English Grammar, .

. . . 4,630 of his immortal part, that would be granted to the child of the wealthiest

Spelling-Book Superseded,

3,387 in the land ; and for the instruction of all, teachers of the highest order of

English Dictionary, (a new Work). intellect should be employed and fully compensated for their labours. Large and comfortable schoolhouses with suitable buildings attached,

Total . . . 18,747 should be erected in every school section, and such schoolhouses should

The sale of these Books ir Canada is very extensive, and is constantly be amply furnished with maps, black boards, globes, and all the appara increasing. They are recommended by the Board of Education for Upper tus necessary. There are some who say, that it is impossible to accom Canada. plish so much in a poor country like Canada, but so much we would say, that Canada is not a poor country, and that it is quite possible for Canadians ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS—To the 26th of January, inclusive. to educate their children as well as the inhabitants of the neighbouring State can educate their's.

For Vols. I. and II. A Schoolmaster-for Vol. II. J. Whitelaw, jr.,

Esq., Jas. Wilson--for Vols II. and III. A. Lester-for Vol. M. J. Mor[Remarks by the Journal of Education.-If our schools have been sup row, Rev. G. B. Bucher, A. Nash, J. Taylor, A. McClelland, Rev. T. ported when only a part of the inhabitants have contributed, how much Cosford. N

rs, D. Y. Hoit, H. Howry, Esq., W. H. Wells. more efficiently and easily can they be supported under a system which

Esq., A. M., (Newbury Port, Mass., ) T. Webb, Rev. J. Gemles (3),

Win. Devlin, s. Clarke, Esq., Rev. Wm. McGill (1), W. Tyrrell, B. unites all according to their property?]

Woods, G. Brown, Esq., F. McCallum.
From the Niagara Mail, January 23rd, 1850.

** The 1st and 2nd Vols. may be obtained upon application. Price "The mode of assessment in this Town in general worked well, and met with the approval of the great body of the people. If it bore hard on

5s. per Volume. All Communications to be addressed to Mr. Hodgik3, some who had no children to send to school, it is contended that it is much

Education Office, Toronto. better to have to support the system, in this way, than to be obliged to contribute to the maintenance of prisons with all their concomitant expen Toronto : Printed and Published by 'THOMAS H. BENTLEY, and may be ses. Let all the children receive an education, and they will be more obtained from A. GREEN, and ScoBIE & BALFOUR, Toronto ; the princi* likely to grow up good members of the community than if they were nege 1 pal Booksellers throughout the Province, and D. M. DEWEY, Arcade lected. This is self-evident, and requires no elaborate train of reasoning." Hall, Rochester, N. Y.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Taylor, A. McClelland:

Winters, D. Y.


Upper Canada.




No. 2.



Toronto, February 13th, 1850. To the Editor of the Journal of Education.

SIR, -I beg to enclose for insertion in the Journal of Education, a few remarks on the supervision of schools, and the expediency of adopting measures to confer certificates or diplomas on deserving Common School teachers with the view of elevating their occupation to the rank of a profession.

My observations are parposely of the most general character, being intended chiefly to direct attention to subjects which appear to me to be of considerable importance. The details of a thorough system of inspection I can easily supply as a basis for suitable modifications, should plans of the nature I have alluded to, be hereafter introduced.

I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your very obedient Servant,

Thos. J. ROBERTSON, Head Master, Provincial Normul School, U. C. Various circumstances connected with the Common School system 28 regulated by the new Act, would appear to render this a peculiarly suitable period for endeavouring to direct public attention through the medium of the Journal of Education to a few points connected with popular education, which appear to me to be of paramount importance, and deserving of more careful attention than they have hitherto received. Impressed with the idea that the whole subject will, in all probability, shortly experience a careful revision, and well aware of the advantage of long experience in the consideration of such matters, I venture to hope, that my remarks may lead to a more thorough examination than hitherto of the points in question, and may possibly serve to bring them more vividly under the notice of those whose public position will render the consideration of the subject an imperative duty.

The first, and perhaps the most important point to which I am anxious to direct public attention, is the inspection and supervision of schools.

It is an acknowledged maxim, that every public arrangement guaranteed by the state, and supported by the public funds, should be carefully carried out; its administration placed in suitable hands; its internal working properly regulated ; and its most minute details duly adjusted to the furtherance of the end to be attained. This principle is of so general application that it is found in operation as well in the minutiæ of domestic economy, as in the vast machinery of a mighty government ; and to carry it into careful execution is invariably the boast of all skilful managers, whether of a family, a great commercial establishment, or a vast and extended governmental department pervading every corner of an empire.

In addition to the appointment of suitable agents and the other means usually adopted to further this object, it is everywhere acknowledged that a strict and frequent examination of the working of all parts of the machine is absolutely necessary. In domestic or more extended private establishments, the means

ate establishments, the means of effecting this object are sufficiently obvious, and we find them stringently applied in all well regulated institutions ; but in great

national concerns the methods to be adopted necessarily assume a far more complex aspect. Here, of course, the eye of the principal cannot effect the object, and in all instances subordinate agents are employed. Then follow all the usual considerations of expense, nature of the duty, mode of discharging it, selection and trustworthiness of the agents, &c., &c., all varying more or less with the machinery employed.

In a great system of national education-speaking in the most general terms, and without special reference to Canada or any other country, -one or two great principles may be alluded to as constituting a reasonable basis whereon to found the details of duty to be discharged, and the modes of operation. We may perhaps regard as the first consideration under this head the adoption of a system least likely to interfere with the power reasonably vested in all local authorities ; and into this consideration several important points will necessarily enter. The most important of these I shall proceed briefly to indicate. The opinion has long been generally entertained, that he, who possesses the requisite literary acquirements, is necessarily capable of giving instruction therein. Though this opinion has been daily and hourly proved to be false, and has for some time past been rejected by the most enlightened communities, it is still by no means extinct; the inference from it is easy and simple, namely, that all persons possessed of a certain amount of intellectual cultivation are capable of forming a correct judgment of a teacher's qualifications. In another part of this letter I shall allude to this subject as exercising a most important, and, in many instances, a most unfair influence on the public teacher. I mention it now because it necessarily operates with regard to every Common School, influencing by the selection of the teacher, the nature of the system therein adopted, and the value of the instruction therein afforded, and thus affecting in a most important degree the due disbursement of public money allocated to the support of such school. It is clear that wherever less value is given for the sum expended, the purchaser is a loser ; if inferior services are employed in a school, where superior might be obtained without increased expenditure, either from incapacity on the part of the judges or unwillingness to offer sufficient remuneration, then more or less of the public money is wasted ; and a glance will show that this con. sideration bears directly upon the nature of the supervision required, the degree of authority with which it is to be executed, and the qualifications for its proper discharge. So long as inspection is of a nature to elicit merely statistical detaile, no information or preparation of a very peculiar character is required for the execution of the task. Such is, however, in my opinion, but a very small part of the duty of a School Inspector. In addition to the collection of a requisite statistic, the inspection of a school should include the sufficient examination of every class in all the branches wherein they receive instruction, and this examination should be conducted according to the system of teaching recommended for adoption and by no means with the view of forcing upon any one a particular modo of giving instruction, but for the purpose of imparting information to a deficient teacher, correcting the errors under which he may labour, and exemplifying some improved mode of school organization. Without some such plan no general system, however valuable, can be effectively introduced, and any school, no matter what amount of public money it may receive, may be left without the slightest opportunity of obtaining a reasonable knowledge of the improvements daily made in the art of teaching--an art now confessedly difficult

of attainment and occupying a far greater share than ever of the vision of schools, to which I shall now allude, I can make no comattention of civilized communities.

ments of a nature to enhance or diminish its interest, and indeed I

only mention it to mark my sense of its extreme importance. No There are, of course, many very unskilful teachers here as well as elsewhere, and the more so, that the profession is too commonly

regularly organized, or in my opinion effective, system of inspection

can be put in operation without considerable expense ; let the seradopted without the requisite previous preparation, and the schools of such persons are in consequence very defective. Such is the fact

vices be purchased at a fair rate, efficiently performed and closely often with those possessed of sufficient literary attainment. Is not

watched ; and the last object will easily be effected if the organizathe correction of these defects among the first duties of an inspector,

tion be complete. and if so, must be not give a careful examination of a practical I need scarcely add that the above remarks are of the most genecharacter, must he not be familiar with the subject, and able to ex ral character, all minute details being omitted,-my object being to emplify in his management of the several classes, some system or

bring specially under notice the consideration of some system of other sufficiently general in its application, practical in its nature, supervision, embracing a careful examination of the schools, conand embodying the most valuable improvements of the day? This

ducted with something like uniformity of action as regards method much at all events seems clear, that the literary progress of the of teaching and school organization, that thus the improvements schools should be tested by the careful examination of a qualified

going on around us may be generally introduced, the deserving inspector, and that to conduct such examinations on different prin teacher brought prominently forward and the standard of popular ciples in every different county or district, would be just as absurd,

education gradually elevated. as for successive inspectors to give different and occasionally con

The only other circumstance to which I am anxious at present to tradictory instructions to the same teacher.

direct attention, is one of far more importance to the school teacher This is acknowledged in most countries where any system of

than may at first be thought ; so important indeed does it seem to popular education prevails; and in a short tour, which I lately made

me, that I must necessarily consider even an initiatory step towards through some of the New England States, I had an opportunity of

it, as a great boon;— I mean the adoption of some measure to mark ascertaining, that the necessity of adopting some such improvement the school teacher's entrance into the profession, some sort of in the supervision of schools is there openly acknowledged.

diploma or certificate, the possession of which will authorize him To enable the duty, as I have described it, to be properly to exercise his profession wherever he can procure employment, discharged, would require considerable care in the selection of offi

even as the physician or lawyer does, without, on every change of cers. In fact they should be more or less practical teacbers; and

residence, having to undergo a new examination. This will at I see no reason why the office should not be held out as a reward, a

once make him a member of a body, give him a certain standing, step in the profession, to intelligent and deserving teachers. This

and relieve him from the painful and vexatious necessity of subat least would tend to the establishment of a fact I would gladly

mitting to the verdict of persons often completely unqualified to see more universally acknowledged, than it is at present, namely,

pronounce on his merits as a teacher, however they may be able to that the profession of teaching is deserving of some consideration,

judge of his literary attainments. In what other profession are the requiring careful previous preparation, not dependent exclusively members subjected to an examination by those unacquainted with its on a certain amount of literary attainments, nor to be judged of secrets ? I have heard many intelligent and superior Common by unqualified persons, and that it involves a certain degree of profici School teachers complain bitterly of their position in this respect. ency in the art of teaching and science of education-two subjects Fancy such a person subjected to the scrutiny of individuals having in some places so generally neglected, that while the latter is almost

the requisite authority, good intentions, and reasonable information, universally unthought of, the Common School teacher has to attempt but utterly unacquainted with school organization, discipline, modes the acquisition of the former by years of the most painful experience of teaching, possibly even with the meaning of the word Education; in his school, frequently without a chance of ultimate success, and -at one examination perhaps told that he is ignorant of some suboften under the most disadvantageous circumstances.

ject, because he chances to be unable to quote the words and page of Without attempting to enter on a full account of the details con an antiquated text book, at another found fault with because he sequent on the measures I have hinted at, it may not be deemed proposes to introduce some improvement of which his examiners unsuitable to mention here one of the most prominent, namely, the

never heard. How galling must this be to any man of common expediency of forwarding to some duly constituted authority, a full feeling, and what chance is there for a reasonable amount of ability report of each inspection, contained in answer to a series of printed and information being given to Common School teaching, without queries having reference to the most important points affecting the

some steps are taken to elevate it to the rank of a profession, and well being of the schools, such as the nature of the instruction prevent the intrusion of unqualified persons. afforded, the improvement of the classes since a previous inspection,

It by no means follows that such a course is always pursued, but qualifications of the teachers, the books made use of, &c., &c., 80

every teacher is liable to it. I am not now going to discuss or that thus there might always be satisfactory evidence, on the one

allude to the authority from which such a certificate should emanate; side of reasonable improvement, and on the other of careful super

let that be settled as it may; at least place the Common School vision. All this might be in addition to a suitable general report,

teacher in a position of more independence; give some sort of bond at the end of each year or half year, similar to those, of which I

of unity to the body, so that each man can point to his diploma and have seen some admirable specimens from the Superintendents in

say, “ This stamps my profession, that authorizes me to teach bere, office during the past year.

if you give me employment." Nor will such a step preclude the Of course, the authority and qualifications of such officers, and possibility of any local authority examining a teacher if desired, the mode of selecting them in accordance with the habits and feel

because while the teacher has the option of refusing to submit to ings of all parties, and without interfering unduly with the rights the examination, the other party may decline making the appointment and privileges of local authorities, must be a subject of grave con without satisfying himself on that score. It should not be in the sideration. As, however, we don't send lawyers to inspect schools power of any party to annul such certificate, except for immorality, of medicine, or clergymen to report on artillery practice, I conceive and though I could not recommend such a step, even this precaution that the profession of teaching is deserving of similar courtesy, and might be omitted, because, as in other professions, neglect of duty, that its inspectors also should be from its working members, or at failure of powers, or the infinitely graver defect of a want least practically acquainted with its details ; a measure of justice of sound moral integrity, will prevent the individual being peculiarly due to Common School teachers,-a class who, here and

employed. elsewhere, have been too long treated with contumely and neglect. I shall intrude no further on your space than to observe, that

The above remarks have reference to two prominent points regarding | the above general remarks have been made by no means with the inspection of schools, namely, the nature of the duties of inspec the intention of imposing my own opinions on the judgment of tors and of their relation to the local and other authorities, -alluding others, but rather with the view of directing attention to two generally to the former and merely introducing the latter as worthy points connected with Common Schools, which I deem of primary of serious attention.

importance, and in one of which, at least, former circumstances Touching the expense, the last point connected with the super have enabled me to acquire a very extended experience.


ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF THE NORMAL SCHOOL recommendation of the head of the Common School Department, IN THE STATE OF NEW-YORK.

immediate measures should be forthwith adopted for the establish

ment of a STATE NORMAL SCHOOL. The men who thus gave the From an Address by S. S. RANDALL, Esquire, Deputy Superin

first decided impetus to the great enterprize, whose gratifying retendent of Common Schools, to the Students of the Normal School, sults are now before us, were SAMUEL YOUNG, CALVIN T. HULBURD, at the close of the Summer Session, ending the 27th September, FRANCIS Dwight, and ALONZO POTTER. 1849.

Mr. Hulburd, the able and enlightened Chairman of the Commit

tee on Colleges, Academies and Common Schools of the Assembly, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Normal School,—The expiration

visited the Normal Schools of Massachusetts, and after a thorough of the term of five years for which this Institution was originally

examination of their merits and practical operations, submitted an chartered, and the auspicious circumstances under which we have

elaborate and eloquent report to the House, in favour of the immedinow assembled, in this new and beautiful structure, erected by the

ate adoption of this principle in our system of public instruction. enlightened liberality of the State, for the education and preparation

The bill introduced by him, and sustained in all its stages by his of Teachers, affords a proper opportunity for a brief review of the

powerful influence and indefatigable exertions, and the co-operation past history and a glance at the future prospects of the Institution.

of the most zealous friends of education throughout the State, beHaving participated to some extent in the movement which origi came a law, and appropriated the sum of $10,000 annually for five nated this policy; and having been familiar with the early history successive years, for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a of the school, the reminiscences thus called up, though not unmin

State Normal School in this city. The general control of the Ingled with painful ingredients are full of interest, and the labor im

stitution was committed to the Regents of the University, by whom posed upon me, on the present occasion, is emphatically a “labor an Executive Committee, consisting of five persons, one of whom of love."

was to be the Superintendent of Common Schools, was to be apFor several years prior to 1844, the attention of the friends of pointed, upon whom the direct management, discipline and course Common School education in this State had been strongly directed of instruction should devolve. to the inadequacy of the existing agencies for the preparation of In pursuance of this provision, the Board of Regents, in June, duly qualified teachers for our elementary institutions of learning. I 1844, appointed a Committee comprising the Hon. Samuel YOUNG, Liberal endowments had, from time to time, during a long series of then Superintendent of Common Schools, the Rev. Alonzo POTTER, years, been bestowed upon the Academies in different sections of Rev. WM. H. CAMPBELL, Hon. GIDEON HAWLEY, and FRANCIS the State with a view to the attainment of this object ; but the | Dwight, Esq. This committee forth with entered upon the execu. practical inability of these instutions to supply the demand thus tion of their responsible duties ; procured on very liberal and favormade upon them with all the resources at their command, soon be able terms from the City of Albany the lease for five years of the came obvious and undeniable. The establishment of Normal Schools spacious building in State-street recently occupied by the Institufor this special and exclusive purpose in various portions of Europe, tion ; prescribed the necessary rules and regulations for the instrucwhere popular education was most flourishing, and in the adjoining tion, government and discipline of the school, the course of study to State of Massachusetts, long and honourably distinguished for her be pursued, the appointment and selection of the pupils, &c., and superior public and private schools--and the manifest tendency of procured the services of the late lamented and distinguished Princithese institutions to elevate and improve the qualifications and pal, then of Newport, Massachusetts, together with his colleague, character of teachers, had begun to attract the regard of many of the present Principal, as teachers. On the 18th day of December, our most distinguished statesmen.

1844, the school was opened in the presence of a large concourse On a winter's afternoon, early in the year 1844, in a retired of citizens and strangers, by an eloquent address from Col. YOUNG, apartment of one of the public buildings in this city, might have and by other appropriate and suitable exercises. Twenty-nine been seen, in earnest and prolonged consultation, several eminent pupils, 13 maies and 16 females, representing fourteen counties individuals whose names and services in the cause of education are only, of both sexes were in attendance, who after listening to a now universally acknowledged. The elder of them was a man of brief but clear and explicit declaration from Mr. Page, of his obstriking and venerable appearance-of commanding intellect and jects, views and wishes in the management and direction of the high benignant mien. By his side sat one in the prime and vigor of duties devolved upon him, entered at once upon the course of studies manhood, whose mental faculties had long been disciplined in the prescribed for the school. Before the close of the first term on the school of virtuous activity, and in every lineament of whose coun- ilth of March, 1845, the number of pupils had increased to 98, tenance appeared that resolute determination and moral power, comprising about an equal number of each sex, and representing which seldom fails to exert a wide influence upon the opinions and forty of the fifty-nine counties of the State. During this term the actions of men. The third in the group was a young man of slight musical department of the school was placed under the charge of frame and pale thoughtful visage; upon whose delicate and slender Prof. Ilsley, of this city, and instruction in drawing was imparted form premature debility had palpably set its seal : yet whose opin by Prof. J. B. HOWARD, of Rensselaer. ions seemed !o be listened to by his associates, with the utmost de-. On the commencement of the second term, on the 9th of April, ference and regard. The remaining figure was that of a well 1845, 170 pupils were in attendance, comprising a nearly equal known scholar and divine, whose potent and beneficial influence had proportion of males and females, and representing every county in long been felt in every department of the cause of popular educa the State, with a single exception. Of these pupils about ninetion and whose energy, activity and zeal had already accomplished | tenths had been previously engaged in teaching during a longer or many salutary and much needed reforms in our system of public in shorter period. The term closed on the 28th of August, with a struction.

public examination and other suitable exercises, and thirty-four of The subject of their consultation was the expediency and practic the students received the certificate of the Executive Committee ability of incorporating upon the Common School system of this and Board of Instruction, as in their judgment well qualified in all State an efficient instrumentality for the education of teachers. The essential respects, to teach any of the Common Schools of the utility of such a measure, and its importance to the present and State. prospective interests of education, admitted, in the minds of these On the 15th of October succeeding, the school re-opened with distinguished men, of no doubt. The sole question was whether 180 pupils, which was increased during the progress of the term the public mind was sufficiently prepared for its reception and adop to 198 from every county, in the State but one. The death of Mr. tion : whether an innovation so great and striking, and involving DWIGHT, which took place on the 15th of December, and the transas it necessarily must, a heavy and continued expenditure of the fer of the Rev. Dr. POTTER to the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylpublic money, might not be strenuously and successfully resisted ; vania, created vacancies in the Executive Committee, which were and whether a premature and unsuccessful attempt then to carry supplied by the appointment of the Hon. HARMANUS BLEECKER, and into execution a measure of such.vital importance, might not be at the Hon. SAMUEL Young, the latter gentleman having been suctended with a disastrous influence upon the future prospects of the ceeded in the office of Superintendent of Common Schools by the cause of education. These considerations after being duly weigh | Hon. N. S. Benton of Herkimer. The sudden death of Mr. ed, were unanimously set aside by the intrepid spirits then in coun- | Dwight who had taken a deep interest in the prosperity and success cil; and it was determined that, backed by the strong and decided of the Institution, and had given to its minutest details the benefits

« PreviousContinue »