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this county, both as regards the judiciousness ly ventilated; and the seats are as inconvenient of the selections, generally, and the state of the and uncomfortably arranged as can well be ima. books. It will be seen by a reference to the sta gined. They are in most instances emphatically tistical table appended to this report, that most stools of torture," and even the dread of perof the libraries are in a good state and extensive. sonal chastisement is often insufficient to keep ly read. A little over one-ninth part of the whole the children still upon them for any length of are in constant circulation, showing that the time. In most cases a sufficient degree of exermunificence of the State in making provision for cise is allowed to the pupils. The schools are the accumulation of district libraries, is proper generally in operation from nine until four ly appreciated by the people.
o'clock, and during this period the average re.
| laxation is about one hour and twenty minutes. MORAL INFLUENCE OF SCHOOLS.
A considerable portion of this time is spent in In our official capacity we have taken unwea athletic exercises. Still such are the defects in ried pains to satisfy ourselves in relation to the the construction of most of our school houses, moral influences of these institutions. Previous and the inconvenience of the seats and other apto our late connexion with the schools, we en pendages, that we cannot doubt that many of tertained strong doubts in relation to their bene- the diseases that are prevalent among us, may ficial effects upon the morals of the community, be traced to the school room for their origin. and we are sorry to say that in our official capa. Most of our teachers seem to be aware of the city a few circumstances have come under our necessity of active exercise in the open air. observation which tended to confirm these But an unreasonable prejudice in the minds of doubts. But the results of our inquiries and some of the parents unhappily sometimes prepersonal observations have convinced us, as a vents them from allowing it. There is not the general rule, that their tendency cannot be oth slightest room for doubt, that in this way both erwise than good. It is true that" evil commu. the mental and physical powers are in some innications corrupt good manners," but we have stances debilitated. It is to be hoped, however, reason to believe that vicious propensities in the that such prejudices are rare; and the vast im scholars are generally restrained, frowned upon provement in the construction of such school and punished by the teachers. Very few instan. houses as have been recently erected, demon. ces indeed of improper deportment, either in strates that public attention is being turned to teacher or scholars, have come under our notice this subject, and iurnishes a well grounded hope during our intercourse with them; still it is to that the evils to which we have alluded will not be regretted, that in this respect our schools are be of long continuance. In conclusion we would far from being what they might be, or ought to say that we have found the schools, as a gene. be. We have reason to apprehend that the moral thing, in a better state than we anticipated, ral training of the school looks no farther than notwithstanding there are many evils which are to the prevention of vicious outbreaks. Too attributable to the teachers and patrons of the frequently this comprises the whole code of schools, and can only be remedied by their united school ethics. The inculcation of sound princi. exertions, ples and correct rules of action for the govern.
DAVID MCFARLAND, ment of future life, is seldom attempted. or even
ROB'T S. HUGHSTON, thought of. And it is to be deplored that many
Deputy Superintendents. teachers manisest by their practice that they do not realize their responsibility in this matter; DUTCHESS CO.-(Report by A. S. Clement.) or at the best that they consider moral culture a
[As this report has been published in Dutchdepartment of education better adapted to the nursery than the school room. It is gratifying,
ess county, we omit its republication.—Ed.] however, to know that we have some teachers who know that the cultivation of the moral
FRANKLIN COUNTY. sense is by far the most important branch of ed. ucation, who realize their responsibility, and Eighty-two school houses stand upon the line of who teach accordingly. But after all it is to the road, and consequently the scholars have no the discipline and government of the school that play ground, aside from the filthy highway, unwe are to look for its influence upon morals.- less they become trespassers upon the enclosures There is a more direct connexion between the of the inhabitants, a circumstance which almost discipline of the schools and the ethics of the invariably produces discord in a district, and in community than many are accustomed to recog. many instances dissatisfaction with the teacher. nize. The physical part of our nature is not School houses thus located are with much diffi. more surely developed and strengthened by ex. culty kept clean, from the circumstance that the ercise than the mental. And where the worst mud of ihe road is constantly carried into them passions of our nature are continually appealed upon the feet of the scholars. The remaining to and kept in exercise, how can we expect any nineteen houses stand a little back from the other than a deleterious influence ?
line of the highway, but no one of them has
any thing like an enclosed play ground, as every PHYSICAL EDUCATION NEGLECTED.
one should have, decorated with walks and The physical influences of the schools ought shrubbery, to which scholars would like to renot to be entirely overlooked. We deem the sort for amusements, and in which they would influence of schools upon the physical frame a be protected from evil influences and danger. subject of vital importance to community, and In a country like this, where land is of so little we do not doubt that in this respect ey are ge value, it is believed that parents are perfectly nerally defective, and often their effects are inexcusable for neglecting to furnish their highly pernicious. The school houses are in school houses with the necessary play grounds; very many instances entirely too small, and bad. I and the only apology that can be offered for
SCHOOL HOUSES AND APPENDAGES.
them is, they have not been convinced of the himself by a hair." Children are reasonable utility of such accompaniments.
beings, and just convince them of the disrespect No appendages are more necessary to a school they show their parents, their teacher and them. house, especially in densely populaied districts, selves, by disobeying the orders of school ; make than privies; and it is to be deeply regretted that them understand how much more advantage. the erection of these important, though unexpen. ous it will be for them to submit in every res. sive buildings is so much neglected. But nine arepect to the will of the teacher, and in nine-tenths to be found in this entire county, and those hardly of the cases, your object is accomplished. Exdeserve the name. Every district in this entire perience upon this subject compels to the fore. state should be induced to supply its -chool going conclusions. Both ways have been thohouse with privies forth with, and then institute roughly tried; and it is hoped that our teachers some means by which they may be kept fit for hereafter will institute every means possible use. We often hear the objection raised, which, before taking up the rod or the ferule, and let indred, is the only one that can be adduced, that that be a dernier resort. privies for school houses are of no consequence,
LIBRARIES. for the reason that they so soon become unfit for use. This difficulty, however, can be easily ob
The expectations of the friends of the district viated, if the teacher will divest himself of false school libraries have not been so fully realized modesty, and enforce neatness upon the scholars as could be wished. The books are, generally in their use of these buildings. There is, like speaking, in a good state of preservation, and wise, nearly as great a destitution of word will probably remain so, for the very good rea. houses as of privies; but twenty-two school son that they are not read enough to make them houses in the county have houses for the protec. otherwise. It is painful that the munificence of tion of wood, yet "fifty-two districts say they our State is met with so much ingratitude, and usually burn dry wood. The burning of dry so much intellectual apathy on the part of the wood is a desideratum to which the attention of inhabitants. There are many objections raised every district should be called, and no district, against the libraries, like the following: “The however indigent, should be 'excused for neg regulations are too severe," "the books are lecting this part of parental duty. Now, the good for nothing,” &c. &c.' The last objection majority of our districts attempt to warm their has always been replied to with much ferveney, school houses with green wood; and the con- and they have been defied to select a better as. sequence is, in short winter days the teach. sortment from the vast catalogue of books ex. er's efforts are so paralyzed, and the progress of
For further particulars respecting the the pupils so curtailed, that the school is com condition of our several schools, the synopsis, paratively good for nothing, however well qua.
it is thought, will give you all the necessary inlified the teacher may be for his task, or how.
formation, ever well inclined the children may be to im.
The law which provides for the appointment prove. The attention of our school districts has of deputy superintendents has many prejudices been called to the importance of having a year's against it in this county, especially in those supply of wood in advance, fitted for the stove, towns where the schools are the most miserable; through the medium of our county papers; and but it is believed that those prejudices are be? it is hoped that there will likewise be a refor: gioning to give way, and that ere long the office mation in this important particular.
will be considered as necessary as any other,
whose jurisdiction does not extend beyond the IMPROVED METHODS OF TEACHING. confines of a county.
D. H. STEVENS, The undersigned is enabled with much plea.
Dep. Supt. of Com. Schools. sure to inform the department, that the method Franklin Co., Sept. 28, 1842. of teaching is becoming much improved in this vicinity. That old, mechanical, and to the pu.
GENESEE COUNTY. pil, irksome method of giving instruction, is, it
CHARACTER OF TEACHERS. is hoped, sinking into an undisturbed and ever
The teachers employed in winter are for the lasting repose. Teachers are beginning to feel most part young men who resort to the business the importance of having apparatus, by which of teaching to acquire the means of pursuing to demonstrate the studies; and parents to think some profession, or some business of life less that improvements recommended are not mere arduous and perplexing to their minds and more innovations. Nearly every school house in the gratifying to their ambition. Consequently the county has now suspended upon its walls a black powers and energies of their minds are not board, the utility of which is appreciated by the brought into exercise with that ambition to teacher; and pupils now, instead of being drilled excel or desire to improve, that they otherwise in that old routine of mechanical nonsense, are would be if their means for a livelihood and interested and enlightened. Aside, however, their aspirations for distinction were made to from the black board, and that apparatus which depend upon their reputation as teachers. Let an inventive teacher may furnish for the time, sufficient encouragement be offered to the tal. there is nothing of any kind in the county for ented young men of the country to make the demonstrating the respective studies, and thus business of teaching alike lucrative and honora. facilitating the progress of the scholars.
ble as a profession, and a guaranty might safely DISCIPLINE.
be given that a supply of competent teachers Formerly a school teacher was good for no. would be found in the field, ready and willing to thing unless he governed with the rod and ferule, perform the arduous and responsible duties de. unless the "children could trace the day's dis volving upon them. The majority of teachers aters in the morning face;” but the characteris. are not so much wanting in talent or science as lics of a good disciplinarian are found in one defective in manner of teaching. One of the who, with “a gentle hand leads the elephant | most common faults of teachers is that of advan.
cing scholars too fast. Many of them are not
JEFFERSON COUNTY. sufficiently communicative and thorough in ex. School HOUSES.-1. LOCATION. plaining to their pupils the rules and principles of the studies they are pursuing. The schools in
In a few instances school houses are favoura. summer are generally taughi by females, many in a retired' though central part of the district,
bly located, being situated on dry, hard ground, of them young and inexperienced, but generally competent in å knowledge of the branches to in. with a natural grove on the south, and east or struct their pupils. Some of them have had west, (in one instance both,) with a pleasant several years experience, and plainly evince the prospect to the north. There are three school adaptation of the female character to the purpo. houses in ten towns, (about 1.60th the entire ses of juvenile instruction. The habit of speak. number,) thus situated. They occupy probably ing and pronouncing for scholars is one of the the most eligible situations in the several dis. most common faults of the summer teachers. Its tendency is to make the scholars depend
But our school houses are usually located with• upon the teacher, and make but little or no effort out reference either to taste or the health and himself
. Indistinct articulation both in spelling comfort of the teacher or children. They are and reading, is a very common fault, and not generally on one corner of public roads, and wholly confined to summer schools. Many of sometimes adjacent to a cooper's shop, or bethe most important branches of education very
tween a blacksmith's shop and a saw-mill. necessary to be understood hy the youth of our
They are not unfrequently placed upon the country, are not introduced into our common
acute angle where a road forks, and sometimes schools. Even the most common forms in the in turning that angle, the travel is chiefly bebusiness transactions of life are left to be atten. hind the school house. leaving it on a small trianded to at some future period, perhaps at a season gle bounded on all sides by public roads. in life when business requires a practical appli.
At other times the school house is situated on cation of those rules and principles with which a very low and worthless piece of ground, with our youth should be made acquainted in the a sluggish stream of water passing under one schools where they receive their early education. corner of it, which, at certain seasons, degene
The duties of life in our civil and social rela. rates into a mere puddle. Such a site is incom. tions, do not occupy sufficient attention to imparably more suitable for a wallowing place for press indelibly upon the mind those principles swine, or for a duck puddle, than for a school of moral rectitude that should be deeply instilled
house. at an early season in life. Few of the princi.
Excepting in one village, the scholars univerples of our institutions, and the relations that sally step from the school' house directly into we sustain to the peace of society and the pros: the highway: Indeed, school houses are fre. perity of the people, receive the attention of our quently one-half into the highway and the other youth until called to the discharge of those high half in the adjacent field, as though they were and important duties that are soon to devolve unfit for either. This is the case even in some upon them as citizens of this great republic.
of our villages. In an enterprising village, one
of the district school houses, situated on a pub. PRIVATE SCHOOLS.
lic corner, is on the margin of one street, and An evil of no inconsiderable magnitude is the projects several feet into the other, which is the establishment of private and select schools principal street in the village., Carriages, in Wherever such schools are found in operation, turning the corner, have considerably marred the district schools, with few exceptions, are in the house, and displaced the corner stone. a languishing condition. Neglected by the
School houses are sometimes situated in the wealthy, they are left to be supported by those middle of the highway, a portion of the travel be. who are less able, and take little interest in their ing on each side of them. When the scholars prosperity. Nor is this all. Aristocratical dis. are engaged in their recreations, they are expostinctions, prejudicial to the best interests of our
ed to bleak winds and the inclemency of the country, are making an inroad upon the princi. weather one portion of the year, and to the ples of equality, that should be sedulously and scorching rays of the meridian sun during aneffectually
guarded against. Is it the contami. other portion. Moreover, their recreations must nating influence of children of limited advanta. be conducted in the street, or they trespass upon ges that is to be avoided? Then let the support; hardly be expected to exert the most favorable
their neighbors' premises. Such situations can the influence and association of those in high influence in the formation of the habits and life extend the blessings of a general education, intellectual and moral, alike to all, whether rich character of the rising generation. or poor. Is it the incompetency of teachers and cating the school house on a piece of firm ground
I would respectfully suggest the propriety of lo. the ill adaptation of the districi school house to of liberal dimensions, at a suitable distance the purposes of education, that induce a with from the road, in a retired though central part drawal from the district school? Then let there of the district, in the midst of a natural or artibe a co-operation in the efforts of all to erect suitable buildings, and employ competent teach. ficial grove, inclosed by a suit-ble fence. The ers; then by a united effort, with a careful and scholars could then enjoy their pastime in a thorough supervision, the common school may pleasant and healthful yard, where they had a be elevated to a standing and importance afford right to be, protected alike from the scorching ing the facilities for an education equal, if not sun and the wintry blast. They need then no superior, to the advantages now enjoyed in our bors' premises, as they now frequently are.
longer be hunted as trespassets upon their neigh. higher seminaries of learning. DAVID NAY,
2.-SIZE AND RESPIRATION. Deputy Superintendent, Genesee county. Although there is a great variety in the di. October 5th, 1842.
mensions of school houses, yet there are few
greater than I have estimated. Moreover, in If it were not so, an unswerable argument might many instances, a great proportion of the lar: be framed against the existence of schools, and ger scholars will respire the estimated quantity it might clearly be shown that it was policy, of air. Again, all the air in the room is not re: nay, duty to close at once and forever the eleven spired once, before a portion of it is breathed the thousand school houses of New York, and the second, or even the third or fourth time. The 80,000 of the nation, and leave the rising genera. atmosphere is not suddenly changed from puri. tion to perish for the lack of knowledge." But ty to impurity, from a healthful to an infectious our condition in this respect is not hopeless. The state. Were it so, the change being more per evil in question may be effectually remedied by ceptible, would be seen and felt too, and a reme. one or both of the following methods : 1. By dy would be sought and applied. But because enlarging the house. 2. Which is easier, cheaper the change is gradual it is not the less fearful in and more effectual, by frequent and thorough its consequences. In a room occupied by 45 per- ventilation. It would be well, however, to unite sons, the first minute, 32,400 cubic inches of air the two methods. impart their entire vitality to sustain animal Before dismissing this subject, I will refer to life, and mingling with the atmosphere of the a school which I visited during the past winter, room proportionably deteriorate the whole mass. in which the magnitude of the evil under conThus are abundantly sown in early life the fruit sideration was clearly developed. Five of the ful seeds of disease and premature death. citizens of the district attended me in my visit
This detail shows conclusively, sufficient cause to the school. We arrived at the school house for that uneasy, listless state of feeling which about the middle of the afternoon. It was a is so prevalent in crowded school rooms. It ex. close, new house, 18 by 24 feet on the ground, plains why children who are docile at home are two feet less in one direction, than the house mischievous in school; and why those who are concerning which this calculation is made. troublesome at home are unmanageable at There were present 43 scholars, the teacher, school. It discloses the true cause why so ma- 5 patrons and myself, making 50 in all. Imme. ny teachers who are pleasant and amiable in diately after entering the school house, one of the ordinary domestic and social relations, are the trustees remarked to me, “I believe our sour and fretful in the school room. The ever school house is too tight to be healthy." I made active children who cannot study successfully, no reply, but secretly resolved, that I would engage in mischief as their only alternative. ) sacrifice my comfort for the remainder of the The irritable teacher, who can hardly look with 1 afternoon, and hazard my health, and my life complaisance upon good behaviour, is disposed even, to test the accuracy of the opinions I had to magnify the most trifling departures from the entertained on this important subject. I marked rules of propriety. The scholars are continually the uneasiness and dulness of all present, espe. becoming more ungovernable, and the teacher cially of the patrons, who had been accustomed more unfit to govern them. Thus broils are to breathe a purer atmosphere. School contingenerated which foment till an unhappy explo: ued an hour and a half, at the close of which I sion ensues. Week after week the scholars be. was invited to make some remarks. I arose to come less and less attached to their teacher, and do so, but was unable to proceed, till I opened he, in turn, becomes less interested in them. the outer door, and snuffed, a few times, the The trustees and patrons become dissatisfied, purer air without. When I had partially reand what is the result? Very few teachers, es. covered my wonted vigor, I observed with depecially male teachers, have the charge of the light the renovating influence of the current of same school more than one season, and not un. air that entered the door, mingling with and frequently they leave before their time of ser gradually displacing the fluid poison that filled vice expires.
the room and was about to do the work of death. This detail explains also why so many chil. It seemed as though I were standing at the dren are unable to attend school at all, or be mouth of a huge sepulchre in which the dead come unwell so soon after commencing to at. were being restored to life. After a short pause, tend, when their health is sufficient to engage I proceeded with a few remarks, chiefly, howin other pursuits. The number of scholars an. ever, on the subject of respiration and ventilaswering the description is greater than most tion. The trustees, who had just tested their persons are aware of. In one district in this accuracy and bearing upon their comfort and county, it is acknowledged to be emphatically health, resolved immediately to provide for true in the case of not less than twenty-five schol. ventilation according to the suggestions about to ars. Indeed, in that same district, more than be given. When I next heard from the neigh. one hundred scholars annually suffer sensible in borhood, their arrangements were effected. Be. convenience from occupying an old and partially fore leaving the house on that occasion, I was decayed house, of too narrow dimensions, with informed an evening meeting had been attended very limited facilities for ventilation. The evil, there the preceding week, which they were nealthough known, is suffered to exist, notwith cessitated to dismiss before the ordinary exer. standing the district is worth more than $300,000. cises were concluded, because, as they said, And what is true of this school is, with a sew "we all got sick, and the candles went almost variations, true in the case of several others. It out." Little did they realize, probably, that also explains why the business of teaching has the light of life became just as nearly ex. acquired, and justly too, the reputation of being linct as did the candles. Had they remained unhealthy.
there a little longer, both would have gone out There is, however, no reason why the health together, and there would have been reacted the of either teacher or pupils should sooner fail in memorable tragedy of the black hole in Calcutta, a well regulated school, taught in a house into which were thrust a garrison consisting of properly constructed and suitably warmed and 146 persons, 123 of whom perished miserably in ventilated, than in almost any other business. a few hours, being suffocated by the confined air.