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best preaching and teaching. On this point philosophy and experience agree, and but a few remarks will be needed.
Little children like to play. It is well if adults will join them from time to time in their harmless amusements. More care, however, should be taken not to strengthen or confirm erroneous ideas or creations of their imagination. The child must learn to distinguish between the playful prattle and the earnest talk of those around him, or between a little comedy, in which the members of the family are the actors, and the earnest drama of real life. To teach that difference practically, requires considerable attention and delicate taste. One child will bear more than another, and one adult can go further than another without doing any harm. All the words and deeds spoken and done by adults in the presence of children, should be carefully weighed, and always be founded on truth. If a boy grows up in such a pure atmosphere of truth, it will require a strong temptation from without to make him tell a lie. He is true to himself and others, first by imitation, then by habit, and last by principle and religion. The same is true in the opposite direction. Experienced teachers can judge pretty correctly from the appearance of children, how high the moral and intellectual barometer ranges in those families in which they were brought up.
Children under six years of age should never be taught to conceal any thing, even if the secret were of the most innocent character. An object which is to remain a secret should be known only by adults. The heart teaches to speak, and reason to hold one's tongue. Little children have no developed reason, but they abound in heart. If an adult can not keep & secret, how is a child to be expected to keep it? And will not the child, that is initiated in the secrets of (adults, learn thus to hide secrets of its own
Finally. Adults should keep their promises. No one is compelled to make such, but every one is bound by honor and truth to keep them. Ohildren seldom forget promises made to them, but oftener those which they make themselves. It will be for their benefit not to ask too much of them in promises, but so much the more in fullfilment. To speak what one thinks, and to keep what one has spoken, is natural to man in his normal condition. If only the weeds of lying are kept away, opportunities are given, the desire for truth will grow, and truth will make him free.-Massachusetts Teacher.
Good EXAMPLE.—The deposits in the Massachusetts Savings Bank exceed $33,000,000, belonging to 177,375 depositors. What an illustration of the industry and thrift of the State.
[The writer of the following states that it was not written for publication; but as an exhibit of the condition of sehools in the country generally, we believe that it will interest our readers, and we trust to be pardoned for the liberty we have taken in publishing it.-Ed.]
JANESVILLE, February 15th, 1858. MR. EDITOR: I have noticed in some of the late numbers of the Journal considerable complaint (and I think not without reason), that school officers, teachers, and others interested in the same good cause, do not contribute as generally as they ought, to the columns of their Educational Organ. Especially are our town superintendents charged with remissness in this respect; at least they appear to be about as chargeable as any other class, and as I happen to belong to the last mentioned class of official dignitaries (!) it may not be improper, even at this late day, to respond, if only to apologize for this apparent neglect, to which I freely plead guilty. Now, by way of apology, I will say that I am but a common farmer, like hundreds of my fellow town superintendents, and have little time and less ability to attend to the responsible duties of an office that should be filled by practical teachers. Besides this excuse (which I think, by the way, is reasonable), is the fact that nothing has transpired in the dull routine of our common school affairs, which I supposed would especially interest yourself or the readers of the Journal.
I own that the schools of this town and vicinity are subject to the usual sameness of country schools generally. About the same order of exercises is observed, and the same course pursued in each. The history of one is the history of all, with only an occasional episode to vary the general
One teacher is engaged who fullfils his or her allotted time and retires; another follows on in the same beaten path, with perhaps some slight deviations; and thus the wheel seems to revolve with a kind of mechanical uniformity.
Now these oft-repeated occurrences have but few charms for the majority of the people. This is an age of fast things. People are only satisfied with the marvelous. Hence their lack of interest in the dull, slow
progress of the child while treading the lonesome paths of juvenile education. Too many have learned to despise the “day of small things.” They can not bring their minds down to the contemplation of any thing so childlike as our common schools. Even parents and guardians are too apt to forget that their own zeal and ambition, as well as that of the teacher, is necessary to stimulate the scholar to vigorous exertion, and to inspire him with a love of school and study. Too many seem to think if they provide school-houses and books, hire teachers and send their children to school, nothing more is required of them. There are many who profess to feel deeply interested in the education of their children, and in the welfare of schools generally, who yet fail to appreciate the importance of entering
into the spirit of the cause, of showing by their practice, as well as by their precepts, that they are in earnest. It is not enough that parents send their children off to school, but they should see that they go regularly and punctually, that the teacher's classifications and plans may not be disarranged and frustrated by the tardiness or irregularity of the scholars; and they should visit those schools frequently, to cheer the scholars by their presence, and encourage them with their counsel and advice.
I confess that the people of this town are negligent in this respect; they do not visit their schools. A majority do not take that active interest in the matter that would secure the greatest good of the common school system; and I believe this lack of interest to be the greatest obstacle in the way of our educational prosperity; for where such a state of things exists, the children catch the spirit of indifference, and consider going to school a matter of mere form, and the school-room a dull, gloomy place. When they see their parents more intent upon storing up wealth, providing something to glut the appetite, or to please the eye of fashion, than in promoting the good of the school, they are apt to look at education as a thing of secondary importance.
I would not be understood that this lack of interest among parents prevails to an unusual extent in this town, but on the contrary, we have a sufficient number of live, active friends of education to keep the machinery in successful operation; and I think our schools, as a whole, would not suffer by comparison with those of a majority of towns in the State.
I have visited the schools under my charge twice during the present winter term. I find them doing remarkably well, as a general thing. In one or two cases, however, all things do not seem to be entirely satisfactory; but I think, taking all circumstances into the account, that our schools are decidedly flourishing; that the most of them are, in fact, an honor to our town. They are, with a single exception, under the charge of male teachers, all of whom are teachers of considerable experience. Our school-houses are all good, substantial buildings, pleasantly situated and conveniently arranged, but not one of them is furnished with a map, chart, painting, or any thing of the kind. One school has lately been provided with a small globe, which is the only piece of school apparatus in town appropriated to the use of pupils. A reform is certainly necessary in this respect. Some of our people are inclined to think any thing in the line of school-room furniture one of the superfluities of the age, and any improvement in the method of instruction or discipline of schools, a modern humbug, because it does not harmonize with the golden rule under which they received instruction. But I have wearied your patience already. Yours truly,
A, O. W.
[For the Journal of Education.]
METHODS OF TEACHING.
Aside from thorough teaching from text books, no teacher should neglect a thorough system of real instruction. For instance; let him draw a representation of the solar system on the black-board, or perhaps better still, on a large card, to be hung in the school-room, and then, at stated times of general exercise, enter upon its explanation, and advance step by step, in a familiar style, till he bas given his pupils a general outline of astronomy. Then proceed, by short and familiar lectures, to explain the causes of eclipses, always illustrating upon the board, and in succession take up the subjects of seasons, tides, etc. At each exercise let the teacher question his pupils on the preceding lesson. In a similar manner a knowledge of the outlines of astronomy, philosophy, botany, history, etc., may be imi parted, which many of his pupils would never otherwise acquire, and in a manner, too, almost making it a recreation, and divested of all tedious poring over books, at the same time awakening an interest in the mind of the pupil which may eventually lead to a desire for a more thorough acquaintance with the various branches.
Let recitations also be enlivened by the statement of facts illustrating the subject, a knowledge of which the teacher may have gained by his own reading; the recital, also, from time to time, of anecdotes having any connection with the text, will give additional interest to recitations. No one who has read the travels of Bayard Taylor, or other tourists, could fail to have acquired a fand of information which might be made available in teaching geography, and no one who has been an extensive, or even a moderate reader, car fail to have acquired a fund of miscellaneous information which may with profit and interest be given orally to his pupils.
There is a certain class of teachers who seem to think their duty satisfactorily discharged when they have heard the lessons of their pupils by rote, which they have learned from their text-books, and contemplate their labor with a good degree of self-complacency, while the idea scarcely enters their mind that any thing further is requisite.
The Free Masons of New York propose to erect a monument in honor of Dr. Kane—a snow peak of immense height-in the park of the Cooper Institute, to be of white marble, of irregular shape, with four tablets in the base, appropriately inscribed.
Platteville Academy was incorporated during the winter of 1841–2. A frame building, 30 by 40, was erected during the summer following, the lower part of which was used as a house of worship by the Presbyterian Church until the winter of 1846–7. The first Principal was Rev. A. M. Dixon, now of Blake's Prairie, in this State. He was succeeded by several, who taught in the midst of much trial, and with greater or less success. The present Principal, J. L. Pickard, entered upon his work in November, 1846. The “Old Academy" was occupied for six years, and was then sold to aid in the erection of the present edifice. The present Academy was erected during the summer of 1852, and was finished in 1863-4. Its size is 70 feet by 40. The basement story is 4 feet above the ground. The first story is 16 feet high, affording a hall of excellent height. The lower story is divided into the school hall, 50 feet by 40, an entrance hall, and two recitation rooms, one on either side of entrance hall. The school hall is seated with Boston furniture (double desks and chairs.) The second and third stories are each 11 feet in height, and are divided into 16 rooms and suits of rooms, for recitation rooms and dormitories. The structure is of blue limestone, laid up in range work, but undressed. The win