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DISTRICT SCHOOL JOURNAL. important and so prominent a feature of the sys.
tem, that it has given its name to all this class ALBANY, AUGUST, 18441.
of institutions. The term normal school, as
now used, comprehends indeed, this "model NORMAL SCHOOLS.
appendage,” but more especially, it indicates a
seminary where pupils are taught, theoretical. Extracts from the Report of the committee of the ly and practically, the art of communicating
Assembly of this state, on colleges, academies knowledge, and of governing a school ; where, and common schools, of which the Hon. Mr. in short, are acquired the rules of practice and HULBURD was chairman, in regard to the dis. the principles of guidance and direction in the vatribution of the Literature Fund, and the esta. rious departments of common school education. blishment of a Normal School.
After an interesting notice of the Prussian sysWe commence these extracts, with regret that tem, which we hope in some future number to we are compelled to omit a single paragraph, of publish, the report continues : this searching and satisfactory examination of It was after a critical examination of this systhe claims of these institutions upon the public tem and its results, that Gen. Dix officially said : confidence.
"The Prussian system is generally acknowledged
to be unrivalled in the extent of the provision which Passing over, however, for the present, Mr. it makes for the education of the people; the effiHulburd's faithful history of the origin and in- ciency with which it is administered, and the crease of the literature fund, and the legisla- perfection which it has carried into the various
departments of instruction. The Prussian systion which controlled its distribution ; his vindi. tem is said to have been extremely defective cation of the Academies from the charge of down to the commencement of the present cen. being aristocratic institutions, exclusive in their tury, though it had been long in existence. No character and inaccessible to the poor ; his clear seminaries had been established, and a new class of
material advances were attained until teachers' exposition of the principles on which the com. instructors had been trained up.". Prof. Stowe, mon school and literature fund have been dis who several years ago, was commissioned by the buted ; his interesting and convincing examina
state of Ohio to examine the Prussian Schools,
expresses some of his conclusions in the follow: tion of the rise, progress and influence of the ing propositions : teachers' departments, and of the admissions of 1. The interest of popular education in each successive State Superintendents, “that” in the School, that is, a Teachers' Seminary and Mo.
state demands the establishment of a Normal language of Gov. Marcy, some further provi- del school, for the instruction and practice of sion ought to be made by the legislature, to sa teachers in the science of education and the art tisfy the public wants in this respect;” or ac.
“2. Pupils should not be received into the cording to Gen. Dix, " that it would perhaps teachers' seminary, under sixteen years of age, be advisable to create separate seminaries for nor until they are well versed in all the branches the preparation of teachers”—passing over all usually taught in common schools. of this admirable preliminary examination of various classes of children usually admitted to
“3. The model school should comprise the past legislation, we present our readers with a the common schools, and should be subject to part of the discussion of the nature and impor. the same general discipline and course of study.
"4. The course of instruction in the teacher's tance of Normal Schools, intending to continue seminary should include three years, and the its publication in the following numbers of the pupils should be divided into three classes, acJournal.
“5. The senior class, in the teachers' seminaThe term “Normal School," though now com. ry should be employed, under the immediate in. monly used to denote a training place for teach. struction of their professors, as instructors in ers, primarily signifies, a model school ;" that the model school. is, a school conducted on a plan deserving ini.
" The necessity of specific provision for the tation by other schools. A model school, in education of teachers is proved by the analogy this sense, is an essential part of any well ar- of all other professions and pursuits. ranged institution for educating teachers. It is
"Such an institution would serve as a stan: the experimental room where the future teacher dard and model of education throughout the learns by observation, the best methods of con.
community. ducting an elementary school, and under the eye
“ All experience (experience which we gene. of his teacher, is taught to practise and perfect rally appeal to as the salest guide in all practi. himself in those best methodst. Although the cal matters,) has decided in favor of institutions model school is, by some, regarded merely as sustained by government for the education of an incidental appendage to the principal school ;
teachers." yet in Prussia, where seminaries to qualify
To the friends of education it is a deeply inteachers have been longest and most successfully teresting inquiry, whether the principles of that in operation, the model or normal school is so system are so indigenous to Prussia, as not to
admit transplantation and growth, with equal * The French adjective normal, is derived from the success, in any land desirous of having an edu. Latin noun norma, which signifiés a rule, a pattern, a cated people ?
1 Essay on Education, vol.2, p. 302.
A glance at some of those countries where the whatever has been done has been effected solely experiment has been tried, will, perhaps, fur. by individual enterprise. Whenever in Parlia. nish the most satisfactory answer to this inquiry. ment or elsewhere, a government plan has been
The primary Normal School of Haarlem, in proposed, lo diffuse the blessings of a common the centre of Holland, was founded by govern school education among the masses, normal ment, as early as 1816. It was in reference to schools have of late, almost invariably, formed this school, and one other established the same a constituent part of all such plans. year, at Lierre, near Antwerp, that the cele. In 1835, Lord Brougham said in the British 'brated M. Cousin, in his work on the state of House of Lords, “ the seminaries for training education in Holland, in 1836, said: “I attach masters are an invaluable git to mankind, and the greatest importance to normal primary lead to the indefinite improvement of education schools, and consider that all future success in It is this which above every thing we ought to the education of the people depends upon them. labor to introduce into our system.” “These In perfecting her sysicm of primary instruction, training seminaries would not only teach the normal schools were introduced for the better masters the branch of learning and science they training of masters." In travelling through are now deficient in, but would teach them what Holland, he was informed by all the school offi. they know far less--the didactic art—the mode cers he met with, that these schools “had of imparting the knowledge which they have, or brought about an entire change in the condition may acquire-the best method of training and of the schoolmaster, and that they had given dealing wilh children, in all that regards both young teachers a feeling of dignity in their pro- temper, capacity, and habits, and the means of fession.” The universal effect of the primary stirring them to exertion and controlling their schools of Holland upon her population, may aberrations." be read in an extract from the Third Report of In 1839, the Queen directed Lord JohaR us. George Nicholls, Esq., on the condition of the sell, to form a Board of Education. His Lord. laboring classes, &c., in Holland and Belgium ship's circular on the subject says : "that among -"In Haarlem, with a population of 21,000, the chief defects yet subsisting, may be reckoned we were informed there was not a child of ten the insufficient number of qualified teachers, the years of age, and of sound intellect, who could imperfect mode of teaching, which prevails in, not both read and write, and throughout Hol- perhaps, the greater number of the schools. Land it is the same."
Among the first objects to which any grant (of The first normal school of France, owes its money) may be applied, will be the establish. origin to a decree of Napoleon, issued on the ment of a Normal School. I beg leave, at the 17th of March, 1808, directing the organization outset, to state my opinion, that the establish. of the university and the establishment of a cen. ment of a normal school for training mas. tral normal school at Paris. In 1829, there were ters in the most perfect methods of commu. but thirteen of these schools throughout the em- nicating literary and industrial, as well as moral pire ; in 1832, there were forty-seven; in July and religious instruction, is the most pressing 1833, a law passed requiring the establishment and important of these objects,” &c. of one of those teachers' seminaries, in each of
Parliament refused to vote any grant of money the eighty-six departments. In 1837, there were to carry out the views of the Board of Educa eighty-three of these seminaries in full opera. tion, and England was left with two semina. tion," forming," as M. Guizot the Minister of ries for the education of teachers ; for these, she Public Instruction said, “in each department a was indebted to the exertion of individual be. grand focus of light, scattering its rays in all di. nevolence. rections among the people." In concluding an
When we read such views and such recomable speech in the Chamber of Deputies, he mendations, and read the result of them, we used these decided words: “All of you are are prepared further to read such items as the aware that primary instruction depends alto following, in English papers: "In three years, gether on the corresponding normal schools. in England, there have been 361,894 marriages; The prosperity of these establishments is the of these, 723,788 married persons, 304,836 measure of its progress.”
could not sign their names." The estimation in which the French nation Although from this hasty view of the estab. hold these seminaries, may be learned from a lishment and operation of normal schools in Eq. provision contained in one of their recent laws, rope, they would seem to be so indispensable in
that no schoolmaster shall be appointed who a well.matured educational system, as to be has not himself been a pupil of the school which founded and sustained by any intelligent govern. instructs in the art of teaching."'*
ment, desirous of a thorough education of its It only remains to be added here, that the people; yet with two exceptions their introducFrench system is confessedly modelled after that tion to this continent has been the anaided of the Prussian ; that those who resort to them achievement of individual enterprise and bene. are not only educated but maintained gratui- volence. tously. t.
Their establishment has been repeatedly re. England, with all her wealth and literature ;
commended by the educational officer in Pennsyl. her muniticent endowments of universities ; ber vania. In the sixth annual report of the Hoa. numerous and costly charitable institutions, as a Francis R. Shunk, superintendent of common government, has done very little for the educa. tion of her common people. She has never es
• It ought, perhaps, to be stiled, that the govern.
ment bili for ibe normal and common school, uncondi. tablished any general system of education ; tionally required that all the papils should be educated
in the tenets of the Church of England. Against a Connecticut Common School Journal, vol. 1, p. bill containing such a sectarian provision, the entire f Hon. H. Maca's 7th Appual Report, p. 143.
body of dissenters 80 strongly protostod, what minir ters abaadoood the whole plan.
schools, made to the Pennsylvania legislature, tion, the sum of ten thousand dollars, to be exMarch 30, 1840, he says: "a more effectual pended in the qualification of teachers of com. method to increase the number of teachers, and mon schools, on condition that the legislature to furnish facilities for extending the knowledge would appropriate an equal sum to the same of the art of teaching, and improving this de. purpose. This proposition was communicated partment of public instruction, is by the estab. to the legislature on the 12th of March, 1838; lishment of teachers' seminaries, commonly ten days after, a joint committee of the two called normal schools." In his next annual re. houses reported in favor of accepting the propoport of 1841, the same officer says, “the most sition ; resolutions, making the appropriation to obvious and direct means of providing competent that effect, passed the legislature "almost unani. teachers, is by the establishment of seminaries mously,” and on the 19th of April, 1838, refor their instruction. A community, in order to ceived the signature of the governor. appreciate and compensate good teachers ade- The Board of Education having the sum of quately, should be enlightened by the happy ef twenty thousand dollars thus placed at their disforts of their labors ; a result which can never be posal,“ to be expended in qualifying teachers produced by those who are inefficient and incom. for the common schools in Massachusetts," with petent." In his report of January 1842, he re- the single condition of rendering an annual acnewed his suggestions of the importance of count of the manner in which they had expended these seminaries for instructing teachers. The the money, felt themselves somewhat embargovernment has, however, never made an appro. rassed in selecting the best method of carrying priation to aid even a normal school, but private out the intention of the private and legislative manificence and enterprise have established sevedonors of the benefaction. The propriety of on. ral in the state.
tablishing and liberally endowing a single school, In the annual reports of the trustees of the was considered and decided against mainly on school fund of the state of New Jersey, 1839 the ground that if but one was founded, its sucand 1840, the following views are expressed on cess or failure could be known but to the citizens the subject of normal schools: “There seems of a small part of the state ; and it was de to be but one way in which a supply of good sirable that an experiment, in which the whole teachers can be secured. They must be trained people had a direct interest, should, as far as to the business of teaching. They must be practicable, be tried in presence of the whole taught the art of teac ng. Those who are to people. The economy and expediency of eninstruct others, must themselves be instructed. grafting a department for the qualification of In short there must be schools for the education teachers, upon academies in different parts of the of teachers. To require that teachers should be state, was also examined. Against this plan it examined and licensed, will not answer the pur was objected that such a department would be pose. When nearly all are unqualified, there is , but a secondary interest in the school-that "the little room for selection. Their deficiencies in principal and assistant teachers would not be se. this way may be exposed, but how are they to lected, so much with reference to the incident, be corrected ?"
as to the principal object; and as the course of In his annual report, January, 1841, the sq. instruction proper to qualify teachers, must be perintendent of common schools of the state of essentially different from a common academical Ohio, says "the establishment of normal schools course, it would be impossible for any preceptor is the only effectual means for extending the duly to superintend both." * knowledge of the art of teaching, and placing this As the money seemed not intended to be in. department of public instruction on that elevated vested as a permanent endowment, and as it was ground that its vast importance demands. sufficient, with what it was reasonably expected
The committee might continue to give these the friends of education would contribute to es. favorable opinions and sanguine recommenda. tablish more than one normal school, for a peri. tions of high official personages, but they content od of time sufficiently long to bring the useful. themselyes with the general expression, that in ness of such institutions to the test of experi. nearly all the states where the subject of popular ence, it was finally determined to pursue this education has in any respect received an atten. course. The Board finding their present means tion from public mea, at all commensurate with and encouragements for the future would justify the magnitude of interests involved, the establish the establishment of three schools with a fair ex. ment of normal schools has been the invariable pectation of sustaining them three years at least; neans recommended to invigorate and improve decided to establish that number, and to locate common schools. But while state legislatures them in different parts of the state. The latter have generally neglected to test, by experiment, course was taken not only to bring within the the expediency or practical utility of these in: reach of the people the means of partaking their stitutions, the Canadian parliament, at its very advantages, but of observing their usefulness ; last session, passed an act providing for their im with a view too of enabling the people under. mediate establishment in both the Upper and standingly to decide on the final adoption or reLower provinces.
jection of these seminaries as a constituent part While other states were deliberating, Massa- of the system of common school education.t chusetts acted, and now justly claims the honor In accordance with these views, a school for of first establishing institutions exclusively for the reception of females only, was opened at teachers, as part of a state system of common Lexington on the 3d day of July, 1839; another school education. But even her action was for the admission of pupils of both sexes, was stimulated by individual liberality.
opened at Barre, in September of the same year? In 1838, a citizen of Boston, placed at the the third was established at Bridgewater on the disposal of the Massachusetts Board of Educa.
* Mass. Com. Scbool Journal, Vol. 1, page 35. • Edmond Dwigbe, Esg.
1 Second Ann. Rep. of Board of Educution.
same principles as the Barre school, in the during the year 1842 was about 45: that was the month of September, 1840.
number in attendance at the close of the year The Lexington school received no pupils for 1843; at the preceding term 72 were admitted. less than one year ; each of the other institu- On the day when this school was recently visited tions admitted scholars for a less period. The by one of your committee, there were 42 pupils un. terms of admission were, that applicants, if der instruction, of which number 31 or 32 were females, must have attained seventeen years of males. On examining the register of the school, age, and sixteen, if females --- must on examina. 233 persons were found to have been enrolled as tion appear well versed in orthography, reading, members since its organization in September, 1840. writing, English grammar, geography and arith- This number includes several who did not remain metic - must be in the enjoyment of good health, through even one term. Of the whole number, 131 and must furnish satisfactory evidence of good were known to have taught, after leaving school; intellectual capacity, and of high moral charac. | 42 were attending school; 8 only (which includes ter and principles. The pupils were in addition iwo or three who were dead,) are known not to required to declare it to be their intention to have taught; 5 others had never taught by reason become school teachers after having finished a of ill-health; 3 had married; 1 came from and course of study at the normal school." * returned to New York; of the history of the re
The following course of study was arranged ainder the principal knew nothing. and recommended for each institution ; fully to The day spent by the chairman of your comcomplete it required three years :
mittee at this seminary, was occupied in attend. 1. Orthography, reading, grammar, composi. ing upon the regular exercises and examinations tion and logic.
of the classes, and in a brief visit to the model 2. Writing, drawing.
school-room. The normal school was opened 3. Arithmetic, mental and written, algebra, in the morning by reading a portion of Scripture,
geometry, book-keeping, navigation, sur singing and prayer. The recitations, the ex: veying.
planations, the comments, &c., were all analyti: 4. Geography, ancient and modern, with curo. cal and practical—and as far as practicable
nology, statistics and general history. subjected to the test of black-board demonstra. 5. Physiology
tion. All seemed arranged and designed to make 6. Mental Philosophy.
every scholar thoroughly acquainted with the 7. Music.
subject and with the best method of elucidating 8. Constitution and history of Massachusetts, and communicating it. and of the United States.
The rules of the institution require the pupils 9. Natural philosophy and astronomy.
to teach in the model school-room in rotation, 10. Natural history.
under the supervision of the principal. This 11. The principles of piety and morality com. part of the school exhibited the effects of the mon to all sects of Christians.
too constant confinement of the principal in the 12. The science and art of teaching, with refer. general recitation room. ence to all the above named studies.
The usefulness of this seminary is greatly im. The first term, the Barre school, with one paired by the want of more teachers, and by the teacher and one assistant, received thirty-nine short and uncertain periods for which students pupils; the fourth term it numbered forty are received. A term of 14 weeks is hardly suf. sever - twenty-six males and twenty.one fe. ficent for one man and his assistant to eradicate males ; in December, 1841, the number of both bad habits of thinking and feeling, and implant sexes had reached seventy. In the year 1842
new ones in fifty or sixty minds, reducing the this school was suspended by the death of its whole to demonstration and to practice, in the principal, Prof. Newman.
model school. After this school had been in operation about
The normal school at Lexington, designed ex. eighteen months, it was officially said by the clusively for ladies, closed its first year in August, Board of Education: "The scholars who have 1840, with 25 pupils; the second year numbered left this school have sustained a high reputation 40; the third year about the same number. Dur. in their professions as teachers. They appear ing the last year there were the first term 31; to be decidedly better qualified for their task, I the second term 39; the third 42; the fourth 55; both by their thorough acquainlance with the at the close of the year the applications for the elementary branches of learning, and their fu
next term were 60; this was the number in at miliarity with the principles and practice of the tendance the day the school was visited. art of teaching, than the majority of those
The model school connected with this institu.
gen. erally employed in the care of schools." It was tion,consists generally of from 40 to 50 young chil. of this seminary that President Humphrey of dren, from the several school districts in the town. Amherst College, on visiting it, in December, This school, under the general superintend. 1841, said, “I was exceedingly pleased with ence of the principal of the institution, is taught the elementary and analytical processes in all mainly by the pupils of the normal school. The the branches taught in the school. Every thing principal visits this school daily as a listener and had a direct bearing upon the great business of observer, sometimes as teacher. Here, under teaching, for which the pupils were preparing." the eye of a master, is a real apprenticeship served
The Bridgewater school opened in September, in the noble art of teaching-here theory is com1840, with 28 pupils, of whom 21 were females; bined with practice-here principles are illusthe second term was attended by 35, of whom 26 trated by veritable examples. The model school were females; the last term of the year 1841 closed sustained in the vicinity a reputation so high, with 62 pupils. The average number of pupils that for the two or three first years a much
larger number of children could be obtained for Mass. Common School Journal, Vol. 1, pages 96, 309. it, if it had been desirable to increase the num.
ber, and this too when the sending a child to
COMMUNICATIONS, that school was attended with a very considerable extra expense to the parent.
EXCHANGES. As pupils from the normal schools have gone out into the town to teach, parents have ot' late Mr. HOLBROOK has devoted a life of labor to been enabled to supply their children in their the cause of education. His leading object has own district schools with the same kind of su. perior education taught in the model school; and been to establish a system of exchanges, by in consequence, the number of pupils in the lat. which the minerals, fossils, shells, plants, &c., ler school has been reduced to some 25 or 30. A of different counties, states and countries could fact which shows the practical effect of the education and training of teachers at the normal be obtained with but little more expense than the school, that they acquire and that they can com- cost of transportation, each region supplying municate.
what is interesting and useful to that which exThe day spent at the Lexington seminary, changes with it. The following letter was not there were in the modelschool about 30 children, of ages and capacities as various as the same intended for publication, but its facts are intenumber exhibit in a common district school. An resting, and its suggestions sensible, and Mr. H. experienced and highly qualified teacher spends will therefore excuse us for thus making his all her school hours in this school; the more ad. Panced pupils in the normal school in rotation, plans partially known. are required to assist in classifying and arrang: ing the children, hearing and explaining lessons, Francis Dwigat, Esq., Seaching orally on the black-board, &c.
MY DEAR SIR: I send you a circular, touch passes under the eye of the teacher, aided by the ing a subject which I know you appreciate frequent watchful suggestions of the principal.
School Apparatus. It is especially designed for Interesting as it would be to detail minutely common country schools, and with that view, the exercises in this room—the natural and suc durability, with simplicity and clearness of il. cessful means used to make the stay in the school. lustration, has been aimed at. The globe is room pleasant, instead of irksome-learning a solid, fitted for being suspended, also for a stand, delighi, instead of a drudgery—even to children as different illustrations may require. The first of four and five years of age-the committee elementary ideas about our earth are certainly feel they must kasten to the normal school.room. given in no way so correctly or clearly, to a young Here the morning exercises were quite similar mind, as by a globe suspended by a cord. Not to those of the Bridgewater institution, except only the shape, motions, and general divisions that all, or nearly all of the pupils engaged in of ihe earth, but the elliptical form of its orbit singing; as it was review day" at the semi- can thus be 'shown by actual experiment, also nary, a very good opportunity was presented of the forces keeping the earth in its orbit, and how learning the exercise and manner of study pur. they give it an elliptical shape, may be shown. sued at the school. Great pains are taken in
The universality of the subjects illustrated by teaching reading, accent, emphasis, grammar, the apparatus fit'it alike for all countries, the colloquial and written. Spelling and punctua. manual of explanations excepted : and these, in tion are taught at the black-board.. A half hour missionary stations, where similar articles have spent by all the school in mental arithmetic, vul. heretofore been used to great effect, will be used gar fractions, rule of three, practice, interest, l in their own translations. For Spanish America &c., showed great quickness in mental compu. a translation is about to be made, indeed has tation. Several scholars described and demon. been made in part, in the city of Mexico, where strated problems in the various books of Euclid, the articles have already been ordered. stated and worked complex propositions in Alge.
The exchanges already put forward by its bra on the black board with a readiness and have brought interesting specimens from differ: clearness that evinced a perfect familiarity with
ent countries, and will certainly, when carried those branches of mathematics.
out, bring them in such quantities, as to be disAs there had been some change of principals tributed, not only to the interior of this state, since the organization of the school, no statisti: but to all the states. The following experiment cal information, to any extent, could he obtained is a specimen of the extent to which it may be as to the number of pupils who had taught or carried. Several months since, crowds of bare. were now engaged in common schools. The in: footed girls and boys were collected from the stitution is now under the care of a principal and streets of New York, by and for scientific lectvio assistant teachers. Its usefulness, like that at Bridgewater, is somewhat circumscribed by entertaining them for an hour, outline prints of
tures, given weekly, especially for them. After the want of more spacious buildings; each being animals, plants, or other objects of nature, geoat some seasons of the year crowded to its utmost metrical figures, geologicals, &c. &c., were discapacity--a most creditable fact, when it is retributed to employ their hands and minds at their membered that hitherto individual liberality, aid, homes. Among the fruits of these, were draw. ed by the bounty of the state, has only furnished ings, greatly varied, literally covering the sidetuition and rooms free of charge to the students. walks in the region of "Five Points," near
We shall continue our extracts from this able which the lectures were given; also, cabinets of document in ou next number, commencing with minerals, shells, &c., made by many newspaper an examination into the effects produced upon boys, and others, in that and in various parts of
the city. the cause of education in the state of Massachu. Among the specimens thus produced, many setts, by the establishment of normal schools. were of so much interest as to be sent, at the re.