Page images
PDF
EPUB

and regulations which they deem necessary and in habit. The teacher will have occasion to proper for the said school.

| repeat the precept, and it will not be strange if 94. The Superintendent and Regents sha!! the face of some urchin furnish apparatus for a annually transmit to the Legislature a full ac practical illustration. count of their proceedings and expenditures of Benevolence is a moral quality that should be money under this act, together with a detailed carefully cultivated ; and with its simple mean. report by said executlve committee, of the pro. / ing before them-wishing good-opportunities gress, condition and prospects of the school. will occur frequently in the school room favora.

ble for the exercise of this virtue, and when the MORAL CULTURE. •

young mind may be led not only to desire the [Extract from a report made to the Troy Association of

happiness of those around them, but to yield to Teachers, by X: Herwood, chairman of the com- some personal inconvenience for the sake of Inittee)

promoting it, and when they have once" learned

the luxury of doing good” they will have a dou. We have seldom read a report with higher ble motive prompting to the exercise. gratification, and we regret that we cannot draw Honesty is a sterling moral quality; and more freely from its truthful and earnest argu.

there is no place where it may be promoted to

beiter advantnge than in the school room, faith. ments in behalf of thorough moral culture in fulness in little things is the germ of this virtue the school room. The teachers of the district in its practical sense, and however trifling the

matter of appeal, it will not be beneath the tea. schools of Troy, have long since distinguished |

cher's attention where honesty is concerned ; re. themselves by their devotion to duty; among tributive justice for the pillered pencil may pre. their number are some of our best educators, vent the heart breakings and the disgrace con. and while we accord to them the merit of nected with a prison life. Politeness too, which

is in reality the out-goings of a benevolent fidelity and ability in their sacred offices weli

| heart in the common intercourse and little civili. frankly warn them that New York, Hudson, ties of life, with patience and perseverance and Rochester, Buffalo and Utica, claim to have

industry and the whole train of moral virtues,

may, in this nursery of immortal plants, under made as great improvement as Troy, during the

the fostering care of the faithful teacher, be last few years, and that their neighbor, Albany, made to bud and blossom for a harvest of nich is determined to hold no second place among fruits in future life. the cities of the state, in the great and

Toiling in this interesting garden he will also

find much to prune and much to eradicate, pernigenerous struggle for pre-eminence in tho.

cious weeds spring up spontaneously in the soil rough and general education. We hope that of the human heart, twining dissimulation, other associations will favor us with communi. gnarled obstinacy, and indolence gathering tations; we should be gratified if the teachers

blight and mildew, will continually trouble him.

But amidst all his discouragements, he will be scattered through the state, would regularly fill sustained, if faithful, by a sense of ihe impor. a part of this journal with the results of their tance of his work, the witness of a good conexperience.

science, and the cordial co-operation of the wise

and good around him. As a teacher we must now proceed to the va. Exemplifying the moral virtues through all rious intellectual pursuits of our interesting the varieties of his daily duties, and seasoning charge. But important as the intellectual at the intellectual instruction with the salt of motainment is, it must be held in constant subserral precept, the moral teaching though it have viency to the moral training. Not a gem so taken bui little time, and though it will not pu. sparkling in the gift of science that would not rily the fountain of a corrupt heart, must exert be too costly an attainment for an immortal mind an influence to some extent permanent and salif its possession marred a single moral virtue. utary. And at the closing hour, if that inter. A school is a community in miniature, where esting part of an education (vocal music) has are constantly in exercise the principles and not been neglected, a closing song will better feelings that regulate our conduct in society prepare the elastic bow so long bent, to go off and the varied intercourse of social life. when the signal is given in a right direction,

The virtues and vices which exist in the mind And the pupil who is now like the lark“ up and heart of the individual are of course and away with a hymn in his heart," though in bronght into the school room, and are more or his sports he will find little use for his arithme. less called into exercise every hour of the day. tic or grammar, yet will his moral lessons be Over these the teacher must exercise a constant applicable in the scenes of every hour. And supervision. It will be obvious indeed that in they will have an influence too, It is not easy order successfully to reprove vice, or to exhibit to throw aside a command that comes with the the loveliness of virtue, his own garments must sanction of the high and lofty One that inhabi. be unspotted-he must avoid the very appear teth eternity; and when urged, as he will be, 10 ance of evil, and the teacher who is unwilling join in some transgression, he will hear a voice to give up any habit which he cannot recommend saying : “My son, if singers entice thee to sin for the adoption of his pupil under similar cir consent thou not." Ir tempted to bear his part cumstances, or who will cling to a principle with the profane ones, the command will stand that he cannot cordially recommend to others, in his way-" Thou shall not take the name of has need himsell yet to be a learner.

the Lord thy God in vain." Cleanliness is a moral virtue, but it is not in- Nor will these precepts cease to exert an inmate ; nor is its origin so much in principle as fuence as he goes forth into the world. They may slumber in the mind years, and then many purified, the most liberal endowments, the best in the hour of deep distress, may come up in outward arrangements, will avail nothing. Let the memory to enlighten and to bless. One up. us then endeavor skilfully to fill up and perfect on whose sullen and distracted mind the truth the noble outline that has been provided, recol. broke in, like light upon thick darkness, gives lecting that as yet we have only made a begin. interesting testimony on this point.

ning-that we cannot stand still-that not to ad. In confirmation word on word

vance is to retrograde-and, above all, let us be Rose sweetly too from memory's store,

exceedingly careful to take no steps likely to en. Truths which in other days I heard,

danger a reaction in the public mind.
But never knew their worth before

If these views be correct, surely time cannot be
Lodg'd by a pious mother's care
In the young folds of thought and sense,

more profitably spent than in thoroughly sifting Like fire in flint, they slumber'd there,

this most important subject-in endeavoring to Till anguish struck them bright from thence.

point out the present deficiencies and defects of the The beacon lights of holy writ, They one by one upon me stole,

schools, and in inquiring how the one shall be Through winds and waves my pathway lit, supplied and the other removed. Will you, Mr. And chas'd the darkness from my soul.

Editor, accept of my humbe mite in aid of this

great cause? Can you spare me a corner of your COMMUNICATIONS.

useful paper for a series of articles, in which I

I shall endeavor, with a firm though gentle hand, DEFECTS OF THE SCHOOLS. to probe to the bottom the errors that exist in

the schools, and do my best to suggest their ap. We hope the patience of our correspondent has propriate remedies? I propose to arrange my not been exhausted. The communications from

subject in the usual manner, under the heads of

physical, intellectual and moral education. But the Department-the publication of the Laws I shall deviate from the customary order, by and their exposition--have hitherto excluded commencing with moral education. My reason this communication. If we are favored with for this course is, that I conceive it to be the

point on which the schools are most defective. second article on the subject proposed, it shall in fact it has become a serious doubt with many not so long claim admission in vain.

of our most intelligent thinkers, whether we are

not pushing purely intellectual education rather NO. I.

too far; whether it is either prudent or safe to It is truly exhilarating to see so many intel. devote the whole attention to the improvement ligent minds, at the present day, earnestly di. l of the understanding, while the moral senti. rected to the advancement and improvement of l ments--which were meant to be supreme-which education. And still more cheering is it to ob. were given by the Creator for the regulation of serve, that not a few merely, but the great mass the intellectual powers--are left wholly undeve. of the people, are fast becoming aware of the loped. importance, indeed I may say necessity, of a I trust, sir, that none of your readers will ima. sound and thorough education for the whole gine, from what has been said, that I am about community. In proof of this, it is only necessa. to run foul of the vexed question which has ry to refer to the laws of the State on the sub-caused so much excitement in the city of New. ject: sor, in a free government like ours, the le. York. No, sir. If we wish to have good schools, gislature generally follows, seldom leads, public we must keep them free from even the slightest opinion.

approach to sectarianism, taken in its most ex. Amid so much cause for rejoicing, however, tended sense. Religious doctrines must find no we must be careful not to relax our vigilance entrance there, because they cannot be touched for a moment: for we ought not to shut our without offence to some religious denomination. eyes to the fact, that our liberal system of pub. No, sir. The sort of culture which I advocate hic instruction, has still many powerful, influen. has no relation to this exciting question. It retial enemies. There are still too many who are ters to subjects on which all mankind are agreed. so blind to their own best interests, as to grudge It furnishes a common ground on which sects the every dollar expended by the public in this most most conflicting can harmonize. For where is profitable of all investments. And, to say the the parent who does not desire his child to be trath, our whole system, more especially the trained to truth and virtue? Who is it that would practical part, is still in an uncertain, unsettled | object to the exercise of the conscience of youth state. Even the most enlightened among us are on simple questions of right and wrong? Who far from correctness in our views. The whole would be offended by the inculcation of obedi. matter is still but an experiment. There is no ence and honor to parents, of affection to broprecedent that we can safely follow, no model thers and sisters, of kindness and generosity to that we can profitably copy. If we advance, playmates, of piety, reverence, and gratitude to and we are bound to do so, we shall fre: God? No one, surely; unless these topics were quently commit blunders, we shall often have blended (as they never ought to be in the public to retrace our steps. And every mistake we school) with others with which they have ao necommit will be greedily laid hold of by the enecessary connexion. No, sir. However low the mies of universal freedom and intelligence, as an parent may have sunk in vice, gladly would he argument against the whole system. Let us not see his child free from its vile thraldon. Let us be disheartened, however. These circumstan. then, carefully exclude every invidious reflection ces should only tend to increase our watchfulness on any religious persuasion whatever, both from and care, to lead more and more to the thorough our oral instruction and our reading school books, investigation. We have done well. Our legis. I and let those and those only be used wliose mołatures have made noble arrangements. But, I cality is founded on proper motives, and which unless our system of teaching is reformed and are otherwise wholly unexceptionable. Let the

teaching of religious tenets be left altogether to Well, said I,“ Should not you like to learn to parental instruction, to the Sunday schools and make pictures with a pencil?“O, I should to the pulpit. And let the moral teaching of the like that very much," answered three or four public school be wholly confined to the awaken at the same time. "Can we learn ?" earnestly ing and enkindling of the moral nature; to the inquired another. After a little explanation, I development of the sense of right and wrong; told them that the drawings and pictures in their to leading the child in the paths of virtue; to geographies and picture books were first drawn rectifying the false notion that happiness depends on plates or types by men, and then transferred on external circumstances, and convincing him to the paper. “I guess we can learn, then," that it rests almost exclusively on faithfulness to said another, in his ecstacy; for the song says, duty, on virtue, purity and love.

"What other folks have done, why with patience I have said enough, I believe, to show the may not you." course I mean to pursue on the subject of moral! On taking up a geography. a token card fell training. When I come to speak of physical from it, on which was a small plain tree. I deeducation, I shall point out the common mistakel termined instantly to make this my first lesson ; in the construction and management of school and you would have been astonished to have seen houses, particularly as to light, heat, and ventil the proficiency made by these little adventurers. lation. I shall treat, also, of injurious postures, After this, they were permitted to choose their improper confinement, and defective discipline. own pieces to copy, in order to remove from the With respect to intellectual education, it will be exercise every feature of a task. Except when my aim to show, that we dissipate our strength too hard pieces were chosen, when the more on acts of trilling importance, while essentials difficult parts were explained and they were are utterly neglected; and that, by mismanage. readily abandoned. I would sometimes say that ment in the very first steps, our children acquire I thought some piece named was a good one, al. habits beyond our power to remove, habits ways recommending at first pieces marked by which in a great degree nullify all our future ef- boldness of outline and simplicity, pointing out forts, and almost place a veto on self-culture. the particular beauties of each performance, and

I shall patiently wait your decision, Mr. Edi- keeping improvement constantly in view. itor, on the suitableness of this plan for your pe.

These lessons usually occupied from fifteen to riodical. If it is approved of, I may probably furnish a short paper monthly. I have only to

thirty minutes each half day, at the expiration add, that it shall be my aim to make these arti.

of which, on being asked if they were not near

ly rested, they again took to their books with a cles as definite, as perspicuous, and as practical

cheerfulness and zest which would do any one's as I can. Meanwhile,

soul good. Yet a time should be allotted to this I am yours respectfully, P.

exercise, as every successful teacher will have for DRAWING IN SCHOOLS.

every thing, and be attended to in its time.

The class, after a little practice, will be able We have to-day received from Public School

to master more difficult pieces, and should, as No. 12, New York, some admirable specimens of soon as practicable, be directed to sketch and de

lineate from nature. How the eye of a little bold, life-like drawing, which we shall take

girl will light up with the eloquent glow of real pleasure in exhibiting to all who may be interest

pleasure and satisfaction, as she presents you ed in this fascinating and useful study.

with the likeness of a favorite shrub, or rose, or Could we send them out with this interesting

pink, of her own workmanship. I would say

to the impatient and fretful teacher, that one such communication, there would be little farther need

scene is enough to pay you for a thousand little of argument to recommend drawing to the teach.

troubles. Try it, my brother or sister teacher, ers of our district schools.

and if you never felt a sympathizing emotion in

the happiness of another, you will then have DEAR SIR-Having frequently seen drawing the portal of one of the ingredients of your bets. recommended as an amusement for small scho. | ter nature opened to your real enjoyment. This lars during recesses from study, I determined to exercise, if resorted to as an amusement, should make the experiment, and am now prepared never be mentioned as a task ; but let diversion from experience to vouch for its utility, if judi. be the theme, and in a great majority of instances. ciously conducted. Not being an adept in it is not always, it will be embraced with plea: myself, I labored under the same embarrassment sure. To prevent it from appearing like a task, that many of my fellow-teachers would be oblig. I never urge it upon any, which I think will not ed to, were they to adopt the plan ; yet I found it very often be necessary; for who does not de. an obstacle not sufficient to prevent its successful light to imitate the great Creator, in imitating adoption, much less an excuse for not making an his handiwork, especially a child, before its effort. Having the charge of a select school, mind becomes vitiated. The utility of the prac (which I am happy to say is soon to give place tice has been ably developed by your more expe. to a district school,) I determined, as I said be- rienced and talented correspondents; therefore I fore, to make the trial. Accordingly, one day, need not descant largely upon that. No intelli. after a class of little girls and boys from eight to gent parent can object to it since it occupies time thirteen years old had been engaged some time that is in many instances consumed in play, sery. in study, and began to show symptoms of weari-ing only to confuse the school and perplex the. ness, accompanied of course by mischief, I teacher. It will also place the children of all called their attention, and asked them if they classes in possession of an accomplishment at." would not like to understand drawing. One lit. | tained heretofore by the children of the more tle girl said, after a moment's hesitation, " I don't able, at an extra charge in some higher institu." know what you mean."

Ition, or at a private school: hence will strike a

n

deadly blow. at one of the aristocratic notions of They then counted up to a hundred on the blocks. the age. Common unruled writing paper will Towards the close of the lesson, such questions do very well to commence upon, where proper as these were put, and readily answered : of drawing paper is not readily obtained. Each scho. what is thirty-eight composed ? A. Thirty. lar should be provided with a soft and hard wood. eight is composed of thirty and eight ones ; of covered pencil, which may be got at a triflling seven fives and three ones ;-or sometimes expense by the parent, or should be furnished thus ;-of thirty-seven and one ; of thirty-six by the liberally endowed teacher, gratis. and two ones; of thirty-five and three ones, &c. Yours truly,

Q. Of what is ninety composed ? A. Ninety is A Town SUP. AND TEACHER. composed of nine tens,-of fifty and forty, &c., Westchester, Oct. 16, 1843.

&c.

Thus, with a frequent reference to the blocks

to keep up attention by presenting an object to EUROPEAN EDUCATION.

the eye, the simple numbers were handled and

transposed in a great variety of ways. In this (Extract from the last report of Hon. Horace Manx.)

lesson, it is obvious that counting, numeration,

addition, subtraction, multiplication and division ARITHMETIC AND MATHEMATICS.

were all included, yet there was no abstract CHILDREN are taught to cipher, or, if need be, rule, or unintelligible form of words given out to count, soon after entering school. I will at. to be committed to memory. Nay, these little tempt to describe a lesson which I saw given to children took the first steps in the mensuration a very young class. Blocks of one cube, two of superficies and solids, by comparing the length cubes, three cubes, &c., up to a block of ten and contents of one block with those of others. cubes, lay upon the teacher's desk. The cubes When the pupils were a little further ad. on each block were distinctly marked off, andvanced, I usually heard lessons recited in this differently colored,—that is, if the first inch or w

chorway: Suppose 4,321 are to be multiplied by cube was white, the next would be black. The 25€. The pupil says, five times one are five teacher stood by his desk, and in front of the five ones, and he sets down 5 in the units place;

os He set up a block of one cube, and the five times two tens-or twenty ones, -are & class simultaneously said one. A block of two hundred, and sets down a cipher in the ten's cubes was then placed by the side of the brst, place ; five times three hundred are one thou. and the class said two. This was done until the sand and five hundred, and one hundred to be ten blocks stood by the side of each other in a

carried make one thousand six hundred, and sets Tow. They were then counted backwards, the down a 6 in the hundred's place; five times four teacher placing his finger upon them, as a signal thousand are twenty thousand, and one thousand that their respective numbers were to be called. to be carried make twenty-one thousand, The The next exercise was, “ two comes after one, ,

next figure in the multiplier is then taken, three comes after two," and so on to ten; and twenty times ore are twenty, and a 2 is set then backwards, " nine comes before ten, eight down in the ten's place ; twenty times two tens comes before nine," and so of the rest. The are four hundred, and a 4 is set down in the tencher then asked, 'What is three composed hundred's place, twenty times three hundred of 7" A. "Three is composed of one and two.' are six thousand, and a 6 is set down in the Q. or what else is three composed ?

4. thousand's place; twenty times four thousand

A. l the Three is composed of three ones.' Q. What are eighty thousand, and an 8 is set down in the is four composed of?' A. Four is composed ten thousand's place. Then come the additions of four ones, of two and two, of three and

nd to get the product. Five ones are five, two tens one.' Q. What is five composed of?' H. are twenty, and these figures are respectively Five is composed of five ones, of two and three, I set down

ree, set down ; four hundred and six hundred make of two twos and one, of four and one.' Q.la thousand, and a cipher is set down in the hun. • What numbers compose six ? seven ? eight? dred's place; one thousand to be carried to six nine? To the latter the pupil would answer, I thousand makes seven thousand, and one thou. "Three threes make nine ; two, three and four sand more makes eight thousand, and an 8 is set make pine : two, two and five make nine ; three, down in the thousand's place ; eighty thousand

ur and two make nine; three, n ve and one and twenty thousand make one hundred thoumake nine,' &c., &c. The teacher then placed

sand, and a cipher is set down in the ten thou. similar blocks side by side, while the children

en sanil's place, and a 1 in the hundred thousand's added their respective numbers together, ' two place. It is easy to see that where the multitwos make four ;' 'three twos make six, &c. (plier and multiplicand are large, this process The blocks were then turned down horizontally

soon passes beyond mere child's play. to show that three blocks of two cubes each

| So in division. If 32,756 are to be divided by were equal to one of six cubes. Such questions. were then asked as, how many are six less than 13, the pupil says, how many hun tred times ar eight? five less than seven ? &c. Then, how seventy-ive, -or seventy-five oncs, contained

in thirty-two thousand aai seven bun tred,- or many are seven and eight? The answer was given thus ; eight is one more than even, Feven in thirty-two thousand and seven hundred ones : and seven make fourteen, and one added 'makes four hundred umes,-and he sets down a 4 in fifteen ; therefore eight and seven make fifteen.

the hundred's place in the quotient ; then the Q. How many are six and eight? A. Eight are two more than six, six and six make twelve,

Thus, 4,321 and two added make fourleen. Or it might be thus; six are two less than eight, cight and

21,605 eight are sixteen, two taken from sixteen leave

8,612 fourteen, therefore eight and six are fourteen,

105,426

ta

[ocr errors]

ma

divisor seventy-five is multiplied (as before,) by /ty, should the place be lost, of being obliged to the four hundred, and the product is set down recommence the solution. under the first three figures of the dividend, and there are two thousand and seven hundred re.

GRAMMAR AND COMPOSITION. maining. This remainder is set down in the next line, because seventy-five is not contained

Great attention is paid to grammar, or, as it in two thousand seven hundred any number of

is usually called in the ' Plan of Studies, the hundred times. And so of the residue of the

German language. But I heard very little of process.

the ding.dong and recitative of gender, number When there is danger that an advanced class

and case, -of government and agreement, which will forget the value of the denominations they make up so great a portion of the grammatical are handling, they are required to express the

exercises in our schools, and which the pupils value of each figure in full, throughout the

are often required to repeat until they really whole process, in the manner above described.

lose all sense of the original meaning of the I shall never forget the impression which a

terms they use. Or what service is it for chil. recitation by a higher class of girls produced

dren to reiteråle and reassert, fifty times in a upon my mind. It lasted an hour. Neither single recitation, the gender and number of teacher nor pupil had book or slate Questions nouns, about which they never made a mistake and answers were extemporaneous. They con.

even before a grammar book was put into their sisted of problems in Vulgar Tractions. Simple hands? 11 the object of grammar is to teach and compound; in the Rule of Three, Practice,

children to speak and write their native language Interest; Discount, &c., &c. A few of the first

with propriety, then they should be practised were simple, but they soon increased in compli. |

upon expressing their own ideas with elegance, ention and difficulty and in the amount of the distinctness and force. For this purpose. their sums managed, until I could hardly credit the

common every-day phraseology is first to be at. report of my own senses,--so difficult were the

tended to. As their speech becomes more coquestions, and so prompt and accurate the re

pious, they should be led to recognize those · plies.

slight shades of distinction which exist between A great many of the exercises in arithmetic

in words almost synonymous; to discriminate beconsisted in reducing the coins of one state to

tween the literal and the figurative ; and to those of another. In Germany there are almost

frame sentences in which the main idea shall as many different currencies as there are states ; ]

be brought out conspicuously and prominently, and the expression of the value of one coin in

while all subordinate ones,-mere matters of other denominations is a very common exercise.

circumstance or qualification, --shall occupy It struck me that the main differences between

humbler or more retired positions. The sen. their mode of teaching arithmetic and ours, con.

tences of some public speakers are so arranged, sist in their beginning earlier, continuing the

that what is collateral or incidental, stands ont practice in the elements much longer, requiring

| boldly in the foreground, while the principal a more thorough analysis of all questions, and

thought is almost lost in the shade ;-an ar. in not separating the processes, or rules, so

rangement as preposterous as if, in the Senate much as we do from each other. The pupils

chamber, the forum or the parade-ground, the proceed less by rule, more by an understanding Pr

president, the judge, or the commanding officer, of the subject. It often happens to our children

were thrust into the rear, while a nameless that while engaged in one rule, they forget a

throng of non-officials and incognitos should ocpreceding. Hence many of our best teachers

cupy the places of dignity and authority. Gramhave frequent reviews. But there, as I stated

mar should be taught in such a way as to lead above, the youngest classes of children were

1 out into rhetoric as it regards the form of the taught addition, subtraction, multiplication and

expression, and into logic as it regards the sedivision promiscuously. And so it was in the

quence and coherency of the thoughts. If this Jater stages. The mind was constantly carried |

is so, then no person is competent to teach along, and the practice enlarged in more than

grammar who is not familiar, at least, with all one direction. It is a difference which results

the leading principles of rhetoric and logic.. from teachiug, in the one case, from a book ;| The Prussian teachers, by their constant habit and in the other, from the head. In the latter of conversing with the pupils ; by requiring a case the teacher sees what each pupil most complete answer to be given to every question ; needs, and if he finds any one halting or failing by never allowing a mistake in termination, or on a particular class of questions, plies him with in the collocation of words or clauses to pass questions of that kind until his deficiencies are uncorrected, nor the sentence as corrected to supplied.

pass unrepeated ; by requiring the poetry of the In algebra, trigonometry, surveying, geome. reading lessons to be changed into oral, or writ. try, &c., I invariably saw the teacher standing ten prose, and the prose to be paraphrased, or before the 'black board, drawing the diagrams expressed in different words; and by exacting and explaining all the relations between their a general account or summary of the reading several parts, while the pupils, in their seats, lessons, are,-as we may almost literally say, having a pen and a small manuscript book, co- constantly teaching grammar ;-or, as they more pied the figures, and took down brief heads of comprehensively call it,--the German language. the solution; and at the next recitation they It is easy to see that Composition is included were required to go to the blackboard, draw the under this head,—the writing of regular "es. figures and solve the problems themselves. says” or “themes" being only a later exercise. How different this mode of hearing a lessson Professor Stowe gives the following account from that of holding the text-book in the left of the manner of teaching and explaining the hand, while the fore finger of the right carefully different parts of speech, follows the printed demonstration, under penalul “ Grammar is taught directly and scientifi.

« PreviousContinue »