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AFTER an interval of nearly four months, the WISCONSIN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION again makes its appearance. The delay in commencing the second volume of the JOURNAL was occasioned by a number of circumstances, the most prominent of which was, the difficulty in effecting an arrangement with any one to take charge of the editorial department. It was expected, at the close of the last volume, to issue the first number of the second volume on the 15th of March last. Unforeseen events prevented the plan then contemplated from being carried into effect as soon as expected. The resident editor did not enter upon his duties with the understanding, nor with the expectation, to continue connected with the JOURNAL as chief editor, longer than until such time as other arrangements could be effected, relieving him from such responsibility. On this point, we take the liberty to repeat what was said in the closing number of the first volume:
"At a meeting of the State Teachers' Association, in August last, the resident editor of this JOURNAL distinctly stated his disinclination to assume the responsibilities of the editorial department, and only consented to accept the position with the understanding that he was to be relieved as soon as other arrangements could be perfected. No provision was subsequently made for supplying the place, and he has been compelled, contrary to his wishes, to discharge the duties of the office.”
The pressure of other duties, demanding a very large share of the time of the resident editor, rendered it impossible for him to attend to the editorial department and supervision of the JOURNAL, without taxing himself with too large an amount of labor. By the present arrangement, he will be relieved, to a great extent, from the duties which he has hitherto been obliged to discharge. This arrangement will last until the next annual meeting of the State Teachers' Association, when that body will review what has been done, and give such directions as may be deemed most conducive to the interests of the JOURNAL, and the cause of education generally.
The fourth annual meeting of the WISCONSIN STATE TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION will be held at Waukesha, on Wednesday, August 12th. Every teacher should begin early to make such arrangements as to attend the meeting. School officers, and friends of education generally, should also endeavor to be there. Business of much importance to our educational interests will doubtless come before the Association. The Waukesha Republican says: “ The citizens are expected to open their houses, and extend hospitality to the large number of teachers who will be present."
OUR SUBSCRIPTION LIST.
We commence the second volume of the JOURNAL with but few subscribers, aside from the State subscription. Our terms contemplate advance payments, consequently those whose names appear on our books as 'subscribers to the first volume, will not be considered as subscribers to the second volume, unless their subscriptions be promptly renewed, and the money remitted to us in compliance with our terms. We have no traveling agents, and must therefore depend on the efforts of the friends of education to send us subscribers. We must have a good subscription list, to make the paper a paying one. The number of subscribers to the first volume was not as large as it should have been, but we hope soon to be able to report fiv
thousand. If each school officer and teacher would take a little pains, the JOURNAL might easily be placed on a desirable footing. It is true the circulation of the JOURNAL in the State is large - larger, perhaps, than that of most Educational Journals in other States. The State sub. scription is 3,400 copies. But it must be borne in mind that the price paid per copy by the State scarcely covers the cost of paper, printing, and binding. The chief pecuniary advantage which the Journal derives from the State subscription is, it affords an inviting medium for advertisers; advertisements in the JOURNAL find their way into every town and organized school district in the State. But the patronage derived from this source alone is altogether inadequate to the support of the JOURNAL.
HOW SHALL INDIFFERENCE BE REMEDIED ?
One of the most prominent complaints of teachers from every quarter; is the lack of interest on the part of parents. With only an occasional exception, every letter we receive, speaks of the indifference of the people as one of the great hindrances to the teacher's success. This prevailing apathy on the part of parents and guardians, is not because public attention has not been often called to the subject; teachers, and friends of education have repeatedly and earnestly sought to impress the public through the press, by lectures, and in every other possible way, of the necessity of exhibiting a lively interest in the affairs of the school-room. The best talent of the country has been directed to the enforcement of the truth, that it is a paramount duty of every patriot and christian to manifest a personal and active interest in our common schools. But all appeals thus far, however earnest, eloquent or convincing, have failed to bring the inhabitants of school districts. to a proper sense of obligation and duty. It would seem, therefore, that no amount of writing or talking on the duty of
parents and others to make frequent visitations to the school-room, will alone be likely to bring about such a condition of things as is desirable. Some other incentives to action besides appeals to duty, will probably yet be found. By what methods public sentiment on this subject is to be revolutionized and indifference overcome, is an inquiry worthy of the earnest attention of every teacher. Whoever shall originate a practical expedient for removing the apathy and negligence of school districts, and for turning the channels of thought to the places where children and youth are daily receiving those impressions of character, which are to shape their future destiny ;-Whoever shall devise a plan for rendering the school-room a place of attractive resort, where the people shall delight to congregate to spend a leisure hour, will deserve the gratitude of his country, as much as the contriver of the application of steam as a propelling power, or the inventor of machinery for the transmission of thought by electricity.
Staid conservatism' may be disturbed at the mention of contrivances, expedients, or plans, to increase school attractions in order to the furtherance of the cause of education. Solid sense, invincible truth, say some, are the only legitimate appliances for arousing the people to a proper appreciation of their educational interests. These, it is true, are essential elements in all properly directed movements, but the fact must not be forgotten that mankind have passions, desires and tastes, and that for these there are a proper treatment and training-instead of attempts to lop off, or expurgate parts of man's nature. There may be pleasures, amusements, and recreations, congenial with cultivated taste, and which, instead of being hindrancés, may add vigor in the pursuit of science. No inventions or discoveries, it is true, will ever enable the student to dispense with earnest thought and laborious application to study, in the acquirement of a thorough education, but the facilities for gaining knowledge are continually being improved and multiplied. The progress which has been made is not more ascribable to an increased sense of duty among the people to educate, than to new plans, methods, and expedients. Every improved text-book; every method which makes the attainment of any science less laborious; all improvements in the construction and furnishment of school-houses; all plans which render the exercises of the school-room more pleasing and attractive, are but so many inventions and contrivances to aid teachers and learners. Every branch of study has been rendered 'less tedious and monotonous by modern improvement. There has been much labor-saving in the various departments of learning, during the past quarter of a century, and this progress will not stop here, it will continue to go on. So too, plans for
uniting rational recreations and amusements with intellectual and physical development, have been successfully devised, and such expedients will yet be greatly varied and profitably multiplied. The introduction of gymDastic exercises has not only contributed to the healthful vigor of students, but added to the attractions of school-life. The comparatively modern plan of interspersing school exercises with vocal music, has inspired an increased love of school among children, and has been influential in awakening an interest on the part of parents. Many other means to diversify school exercises and make them more inviting, have been put in operation with good results. But there is yet a great point to be reached ; an overwhelming indifference to be overcome; an absorbing interest to be created, And have we no right to expect that means and instrumentalities may yet be devised and employed, which shall urn the currents of mind to the school-room, and invest it with influences such as will make it the centre of interest and attraction in every district ?
NOTES ON EDUOATIONAL MATTERS.
DURING a recent hasty business tour through the central and northern portions of our State, we were enabled to gather a few educational facts and statistics; these, imperfect as they are, we give the readers of the Journal:
BEAVER DAM.—This is a thriving young city on the Milwaukee and LaCrosse railroad. Among its public buildings are two school houses of respectable size and appearance one on the east side and one on the west side of the river. The school edifice on the east side of the river is about 40 by 60 feet; two stories high. The superintendent, Rev. R. Smith, in forms us that the average attendance of scholars is about four hundred. Mr. Harvey is the principal of this school. The school house on the west side of the river is a smaller building, and accommodates only about half as many scholars. The Beaver Dam schools are organized under the general, laws of the State. Some of the citizens of Beaver Dam entertain the idea that a female seminary, or some literary institution of a higher order, distinct from the district schools, is absolutely necessary to render the educational, facilities of the town complete. To our mind, a little more expenditure in enlarging the common school facilities, and elevating the standard of studies pursued, would better promote the true interests of the people.
Ripon.—A very pretty village, and present terminus of the Milwaukee and Horicon railroad, has one small district school house. The inadequacy of common school accommodations here, is apparent. There are three select schools in the place, in which are taught such branches as are usually pursued in district schools. Ripon must awake to immediate action in the matter of providing common 'school buildings, if it would keep up with
some towns in the State, of less population and wealth. Brockway College is located here, and bids fair to become a prominent institution of learning. Ceresco, adjoining Ripon, and within the limits of the same town, has a very respectable school house in progress, to cost about $2000.
WAUTOMA. --The county seat of Waushara county is a new and apparently thriving village; population, five or six hundred. The whole village is very properly organized into one school district, and a respectable school house has been completed, about 30 by 60 feet in size. Mr. Fry has charge of the advanced department, and is regarded an excellent teacher.
Plover.—The county seat of Portage county, a village of some three or four hundred inhabitants, has one small district school and one select school. The village is pleasantly located, and its future appears encouraging.
STEVENS Point.-Situate on the Wisconsin river, Portage county, has a population from twelve to fifteen hundred, and only one small district school house. The importance of the common school interest is apparently overlooked ; at least no suitable provision has yet been made for the education of the rising generation. The magnitude and greatness of some of our western villages, swells to such an importance in the prospective, that the common school seems quite too common and old fashioned; something more elevated and imposing, corresponding with the magnificence of the great future on the threshhold of which the people imagine they are—is demanded. Hence the subject of erecting academies and seminaries is discussed, before any suitable provision is made for the common school. During a stay of a few days at Stevens Point, we heard citizens of the place on more than one occasion lamenting the want of an academy. This sounds rather strange, especially when it is considered that the only district school house in the place cannot comfortably accommodate more than forty scholars. To a stranger at least, there seems to be a great lack of school room in the village.
A fine building has recently been completed for a female seminary. The first term of this institution commenced in April last, under the control of Mrs. NORTHUP, late of Rochester, N. Y. Mrs. N., we believe, is also the owner of the building and lot. Present number of students, forty-five. There is also in the village, a small select school, taught in the vestry of the Episcopal church. The village of Stevens Point has an advantageous location, and is doubtless destined to increase largely in wealth and population.
WAUPACCA.-A pleasantly situated village on a branch of the Waupacca river, claiming a population of seven hundred. There are in the village, one small district school, taught by Miss Brown, and one select school, taught by Miss STEELE. The school accommodations in the place are insufficient to meet the wants of the population.
WEYAUWEGA.—This is a pretty village in Waupaçca county, claiming a population of one thousand. It has but one district school house, a small dingy looking affair, and altogether out of keeping with the appearance of