« PreviousContinue »
State and country. We have wealth and every natural advantage that can be desired. It now only remains for us to properly employ the means within our reach to secure the very highest degree of success in our schools. For this we have met; for this let us labor.
Mr. Broadhead took the floor, and said: “I arise to continue my remarks upon the subject of town superintendents.
“If a system is objectionable in theory; if it bears within itself the seeds of ill-success-has been thoroughly tested and found wanting, why need we hesitate.
“To show that this is true of our system of superintendency, we submit the following:
“We cannot suppose it possible to find in every township in our sparse settlements, and among our foreign population, men qualified for the office. And what are the facts upon this point?
“It is speaking within bounds to estimate that not one half of the town superintendents in the State are qualified to examine teachers, and decide whether they are fitted to teach a school upon the present iinproved plans. Many are elected yearly that are not able to write a certificate, and some who are not able to read or write a word of the English language. Many are elected of a common education, but who know nothing of teaching, and were themselves taught in the days of chimneys and pokers and hickory government, and regard classification in school injurious, and mental Arithmetic as useless, if not dangerous.
“ 20. Town superintendents are often business men, who cannot afford to leave their ordinary duties to visit schools at a dollar and a half a day; at least they will not, and do not, which is equal to cannot; consequently schools are neglected.
“3d. They are elected yearly, and usually on account of political preferences, so that there are frequent changes, and what one can build up one year another can pull down the next.
" 4th. They have no connection one with another, so that every one acts for hin elf and by himself. There can be no concert of action, neither any uniform system of operation. This is enough of itself to preclude all hope of success. We might as well expect fifty men to raise a heavy building without any order or regulation, one lifting one day and another the next.
“5th. Superintendents are often connected in business, by acquaintance, or by some nearer relationship with their townsmen, so that they are not left free to act. Again, they sometimes wish to teach, and are thus led to act with partiality. These things seem small, but they often breed difficulties in communities, and like moths eat out the vitality and usefulness of schools.
“This system has been tried in many of our States, and has, in whole or in part, been rejected.
“The State superintendent of Pennsylvania says in substance as follows:
" The office of county superintendent in New York had done more to advance the cause of education by common schools, during the period it was permitted to exist, than all other causes combined. It was regarded by the most active and accomplished of the superintendents of that State, as 'the vitality of their system, and the only efficient means of enforcing a healthy and uniform administration of the law, and of obtaining, with any degree of accuracy, those statistical details in reference to the practical operation of the system, of so great value to the department, the legislature and the public.' 'And when borne down by public clamor,' resulting from an unclean alliance with politics, and other interests, the office was abolished, in opposition to the opinions and wishes of the most enlightened friends of education throughout the State,' the act was regarded as most disastrous to the prosperity of the common school system. Up to that period its progress had been uninterruptedly onward, and the 'abolition of county superintendents was the first retrograde step in its history.'
“It will be remembered that the change spoken of here was from county to town superintendent; and that since that time they have introduced the county superintendent with the town, and lastly rejected the town superintendent entirely.
"We shall look anxiously for such a change in our State." Mr. Stone said: "I do not wish to oppose any improvement, but as yet I
Doubtless there are faults in any and every system; but if we begin to abolish for faults, where shall we end ? Certainly we shall be obliged to abolish all mankind with all their works. Suppose we introduce the county instead of town superintendent, should we have a system without fault? Who would insure us against men too lazy to teach, third rate lawyers, silenced ministers, 'half-year captains,' 'hungry politicians,' and all that when anything like a paying salary is attached to the office."
Mr. Broadhead said: “We are glad to know that the gentleman will not oppose an improvement, and that the ground we have taken in regard to our present system is virtually acknowledged. It now remains only for us to show that a system may be introduced by which we may avoid the principal faults to which we have referred. This we will endeavor to do at a future meeting, but will not trespass further upon the time of the meeting at present.”
Several others spoke, generally agreeing as to the inefficiency of our present system, but seemed to offer no satisfactory substitute. On motion, meeting adjourned to December 1st.
PROCEEDINGS OF SECOND INSTITUTE HELD AT DARTFORD, OCTOBER 5th TO 9th, 1857.
MONDAY, P. M. The President being absent, the meeting was called to order by the VicePresident, Mr. E. P. Locke.
After a few remarks, he called on the Rev. Mr. Richards, of Berlin, to open the meeting by prayer.
After a few remarks, Mr. A. H. Lewis, of Berlin; Mr. R. Baker, Oxford; and Miss T. Ellen Abbott, Berlin, were appointed as committee to draft a programme.
While committee were preparing report, Minutes of the last session were read by the Secretary. The committee on programme reported the following for the week, which was accepted : 9 o'clock, called to order. Roll called,
P. M. and Devotional exercises, 20 mi- 1 80 Singing.
1 40 Grammar, by Mr. E. P. Locke. 9 20 Arithmetic, by J. J. M. Angear. 2 25 Physiology, by Messrs. Lewis and 10 00 Reading and Spelling, by Rev.
3 00 Recess. 10 30 Recess.
8 IO Mental Arithmetio, by J. J. M. 10 40 Phonetics, by Mr. A. M. May.
Angear. 11 10 Geography, by Mr. R. Baker. 3 40 Composition, Elocution and Critio's 11 30 Miscellaneous Business.
[&a 12 00 Intermission.
7 00 Discussion, Declamation, Lectures, M. John Austin and George Patten, Ripon ; Mr. R. Baker, Oxford ; Miss Sarah W. Abbot, Berlin; and Miss Cynthia E. Hake, Princeton, were appointed committee on Resolutions. The Rev. Mr. Richards made a few remarks on Elocution.
EVENING SESSION. The report of Mr. J. Austin, chairman of committee on resolutions, was accepted. Several resolutions were discussed with interest, and finally adopted.
Elocutionary exercises by Rev. Mr. Richards, occupied time until time for abjournment.
TUESDAY. Exercises as per programme.
EVENING. Business of Association attended to, and the following officers elected for the ensuing year :
President: J. J. M. Angear; Vice-President: M. B. True; Treasurer : A. M. May; Secretary: E. P. Locke.
Executive committee: Dr. G. R. Shaw, E. Filbrook, George Terry.
Mr. E. P. Locke having resigned his position as Secretary, Miss T. Ellen Abbott was elected to fill the place.
While balloting for officers, remarks were made by several members, and an exercise in gymnastics and elementary sounds, led by J. J. M. Angear.
WEDNESDAY, A. M. Exercises as per programme.
WEDNESDAY, P. M. Met at the time appointed. Called to order, and adjourned for the purpose of taking a ride upon Green Lake, which was very much enjoyed by all. The fifty teachers and friends there present will long remember Dartford and its kind and generous inhabitants.
WEDNESDAY Eve. Several resolutions were discussed by members, after which Rev. Mr. Richards delivered a lecture. Subject, Astronomy. Adjourned.
TAURSDAY. Exercises as per programme, excepting the reading of a poem from Burns, by E. B. Gray, of Racine, and the reading and criticising of compositions, by Rev. Mr. Richards, Berlin.
TAURSDAY Eve. Report of committee on resolutions, and the discussion of the same occupied the time.
Friday, A. M. Called to order. Devotional exercises. Programme suspended for the day, with the exception of the critics report.
Mr. A. M. May and A. H. Lewis, Miss S. W. Abbott, M. Wedge, and J. Mosely, were appointed as committee to instruct the executive committee with regard to the next Institute.
An essay was read by J. Austin, of Ripon. Also, one of Burn's poems was read by George Patten. Recess. Critics report. Adjourned.
FRIDAY, P. M. Called to order. Report of committee on resolutions accepted and adopted.
Report of committee to instruct executive committee accepted and approved.
Remarks made by several members. After which a few appropriate re marks and a closing prayer by Rev. S. Bristol.
Adjourned to Berlin, second Monday in April, 1858.
Rev. Wm. Richards, Berlin ; Rev. Wm. Stephens and S. Bristol, Dartford; Mr. O. Armstrong, O. M. Ruggles, U. B. Baker, J. Austin, O. H. La Grange, Geo. Carter, H. C. Carter, and others, were elected Honorary Members during the week.
The committee on resolutions reported the following for publication : 18t. Resolved. That the office of Town Superintendent ought to be abolished.
2d. Resolved, That like labor should receive like compensation, whether performed by man or woman.
8d. Resolved, That no child should be permitted to attend school under six years
4th. Resolved, That the educational interests of our State demand that the office of State Superintendent should be filled by a practical teacher.
sth. Resolved, That this Association rooommend Town Superintendents to publicly oxamine applicants for schools.
Bth. Resolved, That no Teacher should lay down a "code of rules " upon opening sohool.
7th. Resolved, That no Teacher should be employed who is in the habit of using ardent spirits or tobacco, without the advice of a physician.
8th. Resolved, That the first principles of political economy, as applied to our Goverament, should be taught in our Common Schools.
9th. Resolved, That we recommend to the friends of education, and especially to Teachers, the adoption of the Phonetics system of teaching reading, as the best nethod of acquiring a knowledge of the art of reading our common type.
Rev. Mr. Richards afterwards offered the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted :
10th. Resolved, That the heart-felt thanks of the Teachers Institute be hereby presented to the Methodist Church and Congregation of Dartford, for the use of their commodious house of worship during our present session; and also to the owners of a fleet of pleasure boats, that wafted us on our memorable pleasure excursion, and especially to the many friends who have so generously opened their houses, and spread their tables for us without reward, save the consciousness of doing good.
Mr. R, Baker offered the following which was adopted :
11th. Resolved, That we tender our thanks to the Rev. Wm. Richards for his assistance, and the warm interest he has manifested in our welfare and prosperity during the session of the Institute. Furthermore, that we defray his expenses.
A member offered the following, which was adopted :
11th. Resolved, That a copy of the proceedings of this meeting be furnished the Marquette county papers, and the Wisconsin Journal of Education, for publication.
J. J. M. ANGEAR, President. Miss T. ELLEN Abbott, Secretary.
NATIONAL TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION.
PHILADELPHIA, August 26, 1857. In accordance with a call issued to the “Teachers of the United States," many from various parts of the Union assembled in convention, at the Atheneum Building at ten o'clock, A. M. The meeting was called to order by T. W. Valentine, of New York, who read the call, and stated the design contemplated by the proposed organization of a National Teachers' Association.
Wm. Roberts, of Pennsylvania, moved that James L. Enos, of Iowa, be appointed temporary chairman. Agreed to.
On motion of J.P. Wickersham, of Pennsylvania, William E. Sheldon, of Massachusetts, was appointed Secretary.
Rev. Dr. Challen, of Philadelphia, read a portion of Scripture and offered prayer.
D. B. Hagar, of Massachusetts, offered the following resolutions :
Resolved, That in the opinion of the teachers now prescut, as representatives of va rious parts of the United States, it is expedient to organize a “National Teachers' Association."
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed by the Chair to prepare a Constitution adapted to such an association.