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ribbons and flowers, and the coats of the little air, and in a few moments, the vast multitude masters tastefully decorated with the same. were wending their way back to the church. Throughout the whole line of the procession But order had now given place to disorder. The might be seen the various banners of the schools, multitude, anxious to secure a place in the church white, pink and blue, together with several neat and knowing that hundreds must be deprived of little flags, all floating in the breeze, and giving that privilege, broke from the line of procession, us a miniature representation at least, of "an and sought safety and comfort in "flight.” But army with banners," and adding much to the in. to the credit of the children be it said, that they terest and hilarity of the day.
preserved, amidst the otherwise general confu. Just before the van had reached the grove and sion, remarkable good order, so that their rebefore the line of procession had fully formed, treat” was attended with neither "loss nor a slight shower, which had for some time threat danger. ened us, came upon us. Tor a few moments The exercises in the house were peculiarly iafears were entertained that the line of procession teresting. The opening prayer by the Rev. Dr. would break up, and thereby interrupt the order Bullions, president of the day. Address by the of proceedings. Several schools, which had not | Rev. Dr. Potter, of Union College, and speak yet formed, together with a large number of citi ing upon important resolutions by the Rev. zens took refuge in the church. But so enthu. Messrs Parmeley and Fillmore of Cambridge, siastic were the great mass, and more especial. I and Doolittle of Granville. These exercises ly the children of many of the schools, that few were agreeably interspersed with the most deof these deserted the ranks, giving us a praeti. | lightful music from some seventy or eighty sweet cal illustration of the sentiment of one of their juvenile voices, under the care of Dr. Stewart, motto's viz: “ Our path is onward.” The great of this place, and also from the “North White body of the procession therefore kept on in the Creek Band." even tenor of their way," as though nothing had Of Dr. Potter's address, I hardly need remark befallen them.
I farther than to say, it was worthy of the day and On arriving at the grove, it soon became ap. of the distinguished friend of popular education parent, that, although the excitement of the oc. who uttered it. While listening to his well casion, and the fascinating strains of martial mu- timed remarks upon the importance of sustainsic, always sweet melody to a juvenile ear, had ing good common schools, rather than those poor done much to preserve order, and to lead the apologies which now usurp the place of the for children to press forward in spite of the threa. mer, the absolute necessity of a school organi. tening clenents, there was, at least, one other zation and of thorough' and systematic supervimotive which might have had its influence, and sion, to secure good schools, the perfect adaptawhich, if it did, no epicure, at least, could tion of our present system to accomplish this deblame them for yielding to.
sirable result, the touching appeals addressed to I had previously understood that the children parents, philanthropists and christians, to come had been requested to bring their dinners," and manfully up to this great work, of educating a expected of course that each child would be pro- | nation of freemen, and the lofty strains of im. vided with a "lunch" to stay his stomach” | passioned eloquence in which the whole were with. But judge of my surprise, when I en. enforced, I could not but feel, I say, that pre. tered the grove, at seeing a table, extending in a judice, if it exists, must melt away, that ignocircular form nearly half way around the large rance cannot abide the light of such facts and area, fitted up for seating the immense multi- such arguments, and that a new era is indeed tude during the public exercises, spread in the about to dawn upon the cause of popular edu. richest profusion with all that could delight the cation in “Old Cambridge," and that I already taste or regale the senses. In addition to the saw that impressions had been made, and imvarious pastries and confectionaries, the tables pulses given, that could not easily subside, or were loaded with apples, peaches, inelons, rai. ever be forgotten. sins, nuts, &c. &c. or, as the pedler's show-bill! After the adoption of the resolutions, and a has it. " with other articles too numerous to hearty vote of thanks to Dr. Potter, in which mention."
the audience manifested their feelings by rising As I extended my eye along the tables, and en masse, the assembly were dismissed and ler over this new " temptation," I almost wished the house, the band, the mean while, playing a myself again a little school boy, that I too, / solemn parting air. might be permitted to mingle with these happy, l | Too much credit lannot be awarded to the highsmiling children, not only in the parade of the ly capable and efficient county superintendent, day. but especially in that delightful exercise in who projected this celebration, nor to the faithwhich they were about to engage, for I must conful and active town superintendent, to whose aid fess that not even the frosts of threescore winters. the public are mainly indebted for the excellent had rendered me insensible to the pleasures of arrangements and general good order which the table, or the delights of childhood.
marked the day. May their reward equal their But the “ dews of Heaven" continued to fall merits, I am, dear sir, as ever, yours, in rather too rich profusion, and it soon became
A. B apparent that the contemplated exercises could not take place in the grove, but that it would be
WYOMING necessary to adjourn to the church. It was therefore early announced, that as soon as the re
Attica, Aug. 26. 1844. freshments were disposed of, the procession F. WIGHT,
F. DWIGHT, Esq.: would again form, and return to the church, DEAR $IR-I have not written you on the where the remaining exercises would take place subject of our schools during the summer, pre
Accordingly the band soon struck up a lively ferring to wait until I could make up my mind
and permanently. I am now most happy to say
EDUCATION. that such improvements are going on. There is The American Society for the Diffusion of Use. more energy, spirit and ability among the teach. ers. Parents and guardians are becoming more
ful Knowledge. awake to the importance of attention to their
TRUSTEES. sehools. Celebrations have been, and will be T. FRELINGHUYSEN, EDWARD ROBINSON, held in a large majority of the towns in this John A. Dix,
JOHN TORREY, county, and inost of the towns intend to close THOMAS Cocks, MARSHALLS. BIDWELL, their schools with a public review or examina. JOHN L. Mason, CHARLES BUTLER, tion.
MANCIUS S. HUTTON, GEORGE PECK, The celebrations in my mind, are the most ef. H. R. SCHOOLCRAFT, Thos. L. VERMILYE, feetual means of exhibiting the schools and John B. BECK, ALFRED C. Post, teachers at one view, to the inhabitants, in the WILLIAM ADAMS, WILLIAM L. STONE, most convincing manner of any thing that has GEORGE B. CHEEVER, WM. R. WILLIAMS, yet been brought to my notice. When all the SAML. F. B. MORSE, JOHN O. CHOULES, schools in succession are brought up in review GEORGE FOLSOM, CHARLES E. WEST, before the inhabitants for exercises, they will GORHAM D. ABBOTT, WILLIAM CUTTER. begin to be able and willing to judge impartially of the ability and qualifications of the several
Ata meeting of the board on the 14th of March, teachers, and the proficiency of the scholars, and
a majority being present, on motion of Henry
R. Schoolcraft, it was unanimously resolved, those whose teachers and scholars are deficient,
that the secretaries be requested to draw up a will begin to feel mortified, wonder why their
brief statement of the past and present labors school did not do as well as certain others, and
of the institution, and of its future designs, for wish they had such a teacher (one of the best,) in their school. Thy begin to think, and many
st) publication in the leading journals of the city. declare they will have the best teacher that is to
In pursuance of the above resolution, the fol.
lowing articles have been prepared, which edi. be had, next year. Besides, if these celebra
.: tors friendly to their objects are respectfully re. tions and examinations are held towards the
quested to publish. close of the schools, they have a very great ten
| This society was instituted in the city of dency, that nothing else yet has had, to keep up in
PUP New York, in 1836, and incorporated by the lethe ambition of the scholars. They are encour..
ügislature of the state in 1837. Its officers are a aged and delighted with something ahead, with 2 the idea of a ride, a celebration and an exami.
O president, thirty-eight vice presidents, one for
every state and territory of the Union, a board nation, and I declare it as my settled conviction
" of forty directors, and an executive committee from thorough personal experience and exami.!
Jor' twenty-four. nation, that the effect in all respects upon the
| The objects of the institution, as specified in schools is most beneficial. Children are easiera
the charter, are as follows; to wit: governed, because more cheerful, and will more! readily perform their exercises correctly, with.
“For the purpose of advancing the cause of
general education, by obtaining and publishing these prospects before them. I have known, 1
statistics and facts relative to the history, the and often learned the same from teachers during |
| progress and the improvements of the school the present summer, that more improvement has
systems of our own and other countries; of probeen made in reading, by the inducement that's
moting associations among professional teachers scholars must read correctly at celebration or examination, during one fortnight, than in three
for purposes of mutual improvement and co-op. whole months before, with all the drilling and
eration; and for the establishment inore gene
rally throughout our country of libraries and effort the teacher could make. Celebrations, far surpassing the hopes or ex
reading rooms for popular use; of establishing pectations of the friends of schools, have already
correspondence with similar institutions in Eu. been held in Gainesville, China, Warsaw. Wethrope, with a view to promote, by all laudable ersfield, Attica and Castile, and appointments
* means, the general interests of education, lite. are made for Perry and Covington. The number
rature, science and the arts."
| The first and immediate object for which the of scholars attending these celebrations, has not been less than 2800 to 3000; besides, on each oc.
institution was organized was the establishment casion, a large number of people, old and young.
of a national school library. It aimed to plant The arrangements, and decorations of carriages
a pure and elevated library, adapted in its cha. and teams, the simplicity and beauty of the flags
racter to the youth of our country, in each of our and banners, with the short and touching mot.
fifty thousand school.rooms. The introduction
of a world of literature, * pure and undefiled," toes a pon them, create a sensation which strikes deeper to the hearts of the people, than any that
into a new and hitherto unoccupied field, the have preceded these days, and they forcibly im.
school-houses of a nation, to mould the minds press all virtuous citizens with the folly of the
and hearts of the coming and future generations, unmeaning mockery of late great political ga.
was deemed an object worthy of all the combin. therings.
ed influence and energies of a national institu. I cannot pursue this subject further now, but
tion. To this great object the labors of the I will endeavor to give you some account of
friends of the institution had been directed long them in detail, hereafter.
before its organization, and were subsequently In haste truly yours,
devoted for several years. A. STEVENS.
In October, 1837, the committee published, in
a pamphlet form, their plan of an "American ERIE—The interesting Report of the Conven. School Library," which was extensively circu. tion at Williamsville, came too late for this lated in various ways. The annual report of nezaber. It shall appear in the next.
definitely, whether we were improving radically
the society for that year stated that more than addresses had been secured from some twenty of sixty thousand copies of it had been circulated our most distinguished public men; asd fifteen throughout the country, in the columns of differ. smaller and more private meetings. makiag ia ont papers and periodicals, and half the number all more than one hundred meetings. had been accompanied by a cordial recommen. The executive committee had published sevan dation of the library system, as worthy the at letter-sheet circulars, and two 890. pampaleis tention nol support of every patriot and every of 54 and 12 pages, of which many thousand legislature of the land.
copies had been circulated in this country and in In March, 1938, the committee opened a cor | Europe. respondence with the then secretary of state Eight individuals, oñcers and agents, had and superintendent of common schools, Hon, been employed by the committee; five of then, John A. Dix, who accorded to them the kiadest at the expense of the treasury, officers, agents encouragement, and during the period of his fill. and delegates of the society, journeying in be ing the oflice extended most valuable counsel half of its objects, had travelled more than fifand co-operation.
| teen thousand miles. In April, 1834, the law was passed appropria. In April 1839, the successor of Gen. Dix, in ting $65,000 a year for three years, from the in the office of secretary of state and superintendcome of the United States deposit fund, to the ent of common schools, introduced a law extend district of the state for the purchase of libra- ing the appropriation of $110,000 & year for ries, on condition of their raising annually an three years, to five years, making $550,000 to equal amount, muling $330.000. The meinbers be expended for the purchase of school libra. of the society, in common with others, had me- ries. And a delegation of the committee, on Vį. morinlized the legislature to this effect, but had siting Albany during that month, for the same not anticipated so soon the attainment of this purpose for which they had visited Washington,
were informed by the secretary that it was his In May the committee, having selected with intention to take the entire direction and mano small Inbor and care a library of fifty vol. nagement of the libraries for the state into his umes to recommend to the schools of the coun. own hands, which he did, making subservient to try, called a public meeting at the Stuyvesant his purposes all the results of the labors of this Institute, at which Governor Marcy presided, institution. and which was addressed on the subject of the The committee, discouraged by such an issue, new library then introduced, by Ilon. Wm. H. yielded to a necessity it would have been vain Seward.
to resist, and suspended for a time their meet In May, 1838, a member of the committee ings and their labors. They have since, howabout to visit England was charged with autho-ever, resumed their efforts in another department; rity to represent the interests and objects of the these labors, they believe, have not been the committee in England, and receivel letters of less useful, because they have been silent and introduction to gentlemen connected with similar unseen. Some account of them will be given societies and engaged in similar objects there. in the next article. On his return in Autumn, he presented a report in detail of his action a broad in behalf of the committee, confirming the assurances of co-ope- AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR THE DIFFU. ration from these sources, which had previously SION OF USEFUL KNOWLEGE.-No. II. been received
in the autumn of this year, the secretary of stale in his annual circular to the 11,000 districts
[Abstract of the Annual Report, November, 1843.) . introduced the entire catalogue of the first vol. In compliance with the requisition of the conumes of the library selected by the committee, Istitution, the executive committee submit the together with an honorable mention of the insti. following report of their operations during the tution and its labors.
past year. In Feb. 1839, the committee appointed a de. The attention of the committee has been dilegation of four to visit Washington, to intro- rected exclusively, during the year, to the subduce their library plan and library, at a public ject of text-books for the use of schools. Some meeting in the Capitol, and to present a memo- lorogress has been made in their investigations of rial to congress, asking their attention to an ob. the school books of our country, and some inject of such truly national importance. A meet. portant steps have been taken toward their ining of deep interest was held, Mr. Justice Story provement. Progress may indeed appear too prosiding, Addresses from eminent public men feeble and slow, but when the magnitude of the awakened an almost enthusiastic interest. The object, and the difficulties which encompass it, next day, by order of the senate, the memorial are taken into view, together with the necessity of the society, its published documents and plans, of proceeding with such caption that no steps anl also the proceelings of the meeting in the taken may have to be retraced, the committee are Capitul, were published; and notices of the lat. satisfied that all that could have reasonably been ter, at much length, were given in the national expected has been accomplished. papers, inviting the attention of the whole coun. The labors of the committee have been chiefly try to the school library system.
employed on the following subjects :In the proseoution of these labors there had 1. Spelling books ; II. Reading books; III. been belil, according to the records, seven meet Dictionaries; IV. Grammars; V. Arithmetics; 104 of the mocimivi ten meetings of the board / VI. Writing books; VII. Works on moral phiof director tlaky mimetings of the executive losophy. committee, "Turin had been called by direction! The examinations which have been made of of the «oinin tee, in torent cities and largel some of these classes of books have brought uptowus, seven publia inuutinga, at which valuable 'der review a large number of volumes. As
was stated in the first number of these articles, months of extended consultation, labor and care; there have been examined under the direction of books which, perhaps more than any others, (if the executive committee, about five hundred we except the Bible,) exert a controlling influAmerican and two hundred and fifty foreign ence over the thoughts and feelings, the manners school books. Among them one hundred and and the naorals, of a nation. They are the twenty different spelling books; three hundred spelling book, the grammar and the dictionary. different English grammars; nearly two hun. These are the great guides and censors of the dred different 'arithmetics; and considerable language; and the language of a people is not numbers of other kinds of books. It is designed only the vehicle of their thoughts, but is almost to continue this work until a complete collection an unerring index and exponent of their hearts is made of the valuable school books of our own and lives. How important, then, to have these country, of England, of France and of Ger- great fountains, from which a whole nation many.
draws, kept as " wells of English, pure and unREPORTS.
defiled.” The results of these examinations have been
The standard of orthography, orthoepy and
grammar, in our own country and in the father embodied in written reports, which have been
land, ought to be the same. The republic of let. duly considered and adopted by the executive
ters, at least of the Anglo-Saxon race, should committee. Reports on the following subjects
be one and indivisible. When the two great naare on file. I. On the general principles to be applied in the adoption and recommendation of
llions, speaking in the same language, are such
near neighbors, and transatlantic intercourse is school books. II. On school books, in general,
's so greatly increased, and the intercommunication but with special reference to spelling books; a of Piterainre and scie
ng books of literature and science is so rapidly extending, paper of thirty pages 8vo., which was printed it is a matter of no small moment that good for the use of the society. III. A particular
usage of our “ mother tongue" should be, not and extended report on two spelling books, I only in both lands, but every where, the same. deemed by the committee worthy of a minute and this cana con
And this can only be secured by elementary and critical examination ; a paper of seventy
ty books conformed to that usage in either country, closely written letter sheet pages. IV. On Por. I which may be regarded as authority. A com. ter's Rhetorical Reader, V. On Colburn's First
| mon standard, in view of the high destiny of the Lessons in Intellectual Arithmetic. VI. On mo
English tongue, is an object which the commitral science. VII. On writing books for schools.
tee are disposed to take some pains to effect, VIII. On English grammars, which has also
and there is some reason to believe that the efbeen published in a pamphlet of 24 pages Svo.
fort will be appreciated and seconded by scholars, for the use of the society. Considerable pro
statesmen and patriots, throughout the realms, gress has been made in the preparation of re.
as Carlyle happily says of " Saxondom.” ports on other subjects. A catalogue of nearly two hundred different arithmetics has been pre
CORRESPONDENCE, &c. pared, most of which have been or are now found The labors of the committee have given rise in the schools of our country.
to very considerable correspondence with the
friends of education in different parts of the BOOKS ADOPTED. The following books have been adopted after
country, and with some important boards of edu.
cation. More than two hundred letters are on much careful deliberation, and announced as the
the files of the society. The committee has commencendent of the society's series of text. books for schools, viz: Porter's Rhetorical
been represented at several public meetings and Reader; Colburn's First Lessons in Intellectual
conventions, where the great interests of our na
tional educatinn have been discussed, and they Arithmetic.
are happy to say that not only a high estimate BOOKS IN PROGRESS.
Fof the objects and labors of the institution geneThe subjects which have been attended with rally prevails, but that an active and hearty cothe most difficulty and embarrassment, are spell operation in its efforts has been repeatedly prof. ing books and English grammars. No book in fered. Institutions of education and important either of these classes was found, that fully met bodies are awaiting the decisions of the comthe views and wishes of the committee. Much mittee, before deciding on books to be recomdelicate and perplexing service has been per. mended to the schools under their care. formed to secure the preparation of a book in Conventions of superintendents and teachers each of these departments, which should embody in the interior of this and other states, have the principles and carry out the views exhibited passed and published resolutions commending in the reports of the committee on these sub these labors, and not a few of the most influ. jects, which are known to be in accordance with ential and valuable presses of the country have : the opinions of many of the most intelligent ac spoken of the aims and labors of the committee tive friends of popular education in various parts in a manner affording gratification and encour. of the country. The arrangements already agement. Numerous applications have also made, or contemplated by the committee, are, to been made by authors and publishers to have some extent, made known to the public, and will their works adopted and recommended by the ; from time to time be communicated in the pub- society. lished reports.
In conclusion, the committee would only add, The work undertaken is one of time and care, that the prosecution of their labors has greatly and can never be performed to the satisfaction strengthened their conviction of the importance of those who appreciate it but by a degree of of the work they have 'undertaken, and every labor commensurate with its importance. successive month brings increasing evidence that
There are three books, which of themselves the community will appreciate it, and that beneare, in the opinion of the committee, worthy of factors will be foun'l to aid and support it.
New Testament, and then two or three pages in the National preceptor, the Village Reader or
the Child's Guide ; and all this amount of readUnder this title, we shall publish such sugges.
ing was deemed indespensable.-How easy a tions in relation to methods of instruction, as matter would it be to shorten these reading les. will be useful to the teachers of our schools. sons one third or even one half! This would The following judicious remarks are from the give time for a recess of reasonable length ;
and what is of nearly equal importance would pen of Dr. Alcott, the author of “Confessions give time for reading more thoroughly. of a Schoolmaster," "Slate and Blackboard Ex. It would be much nearer the truth to measure ercises," and other valuable and interesting con. the real progress of the pupils of our schools by
the shortness of their lessons than by their length;
on. though, in point of fact, it has little to do with The schools referred to are in Connecticut, but either. A class may learn more by reading a Albany County has schools in which the same
single paragraph of half a dozen lines, in a pro
per manner-perhaps by a single scholar-than evils existed, and the same remedies have been
by reading, in the common way, three, or four, most successfully tried.
or half a dozen paragraphs each. It is of some In our own judgment no branch is more uni. consequence, I grant, to read long lessons, in the
usual manner ; but of far more to read but little, formly badly taught than reading, and in none
and to read that little, well. And so, in fact, of is reform more essential.*
spelling, geography, grammar, arithmetic aud READING-HOW TAUGHT-HOW IT SHOULD BE every thing else.
The consideration that children do not learn TAUGHT.
by much reading in the usual way, is not the In Reading, the fundamental error among us sole objection to it. A great waste of time consists in endeavoring to do too much at once. is involved. At least one sixth, often about No sooner is a child set to reading the simplest one fourth of the time spent in our schools sentences than he is required not only to pro- is devoted to reading. Now the pupils nounce each letter, word and syllable correctly, would not only learn faster by reading half but he is also expected to attend to proper loud as long, in a more thorough manner, but ness of voice, distinctness, emphasis and cadence ; there would be saved half an hour daily for and to observe the pauses and inflections. other purposes.
Now this is about as unreasonable as that of This half hour daily is an item of importance. requiring the beginner in writing to attend, at To a child, who from four to twelve years of age the very outset, to position of the body, the pa. attends school eight months of the year, it is a per and the hand , to the cut, slope and size of saving of 3, 520 hours-equal to 264 months. letters, and to all' those minutiæ of art which To the 80, 000 children of the State, it would be belong to a more advanced progress. And the a saving of 2, 120, 000 months, or 176, 666 years. reason is the same in both cases-it is found in If these children, politically speaking, are State the violation of a well known and highly impor. property, and their time is worth on an average tant principle, especially in early instraction, $25 a year, the public gain by saving and ma"Do one thing at a time.”
king a wise use of this time would be to a sinBut although this is the fundamental error, in gle generation of the youth of the State $4,444, teaching reading, other errors are frequent. The 444. lessons, almost every where, are too long. He therefore, I repeat it, who shall be the inTeachers seem to think that if their pupils read strument of so far effecting a reform in the me. over a certain number of pages daily, and make thods of teaching reading, as to save halt the no glaring errors, they will at some time or other, time now devoted to it, and make the remaining and some how or other, become good readers; half worth more than the whole now is, will be and that the greater the number of pages read a great public benefactor. He will save to the over, as a general rule, the greater or more rap. State, in less than half a century nearly four id will be their progress. Like the carder of and a half millions of dollars—which, of itself wool or cotton, who puts his raw material into especially, to a dollar and cent community, is a one end of the machine, expecting that after a matter of much importance. certain number of revolutions, a proportional The reading, in our schools is defective in quantity of rolls--he hardly knows how or why many particulars. In general, the selections are will make their appearance at the other.
in advance of the pupils' years; and when not so, I was in a school of 30 pupils one day, when are of such a character as seldom to interest their observing that the forenoon recess was very short, I feelings. When we see a class of readers, duI enquired what was the usual length? to which ring the exercise, standing at sizes and sevensI received for reply—“five minutes.” On being holding their books awkwardly, looking around shown that fifteen minutes would be better than the room, or playing tricks on their next neighfive, the teacher observed that he could not get bors, and in their turns mumbling over the senthrough his usual course of instruction if he had tences, verses, or paragraphs assigned them in so long a recess. And yet these same pupils a monotonous manner, and yet at a rate so rapid every day, read their one or two chapters of the as to make scores of mistakes, most of which
pass wholly uncorrected-professedly, too, for • NOTE. We hope that teachers will commu. want of time to make corrections are we not nicate the results of their own experience, and warranted in saying that the exercises are of make this department of the Journal, widely
ke this department of the Journel widely very little service to them, and that for the puruseful, Ed.
pose of improvement they might about as well read over en eqnal number of pages in Latin or