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TEACHERS IN UPPER CANADA.
foregoing Programme of Examination.
This is to Certify, that ................ of the ...... faith, having applied to the BOARD OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION for the County (School Circuit or United Counties) of ...- ---- for a Certificate of Qualification 10 teach a Common School, and having produced “ satisfactory proof of good moral character,” the Board has carefully examined him for her) in the several branches of study enumerated in the “ Qualifications of (third, second, or first, as the case may be) -----. class Teachers," contained in the " PROGRAMME OF THE EXAMINATION AND CLASSIFICATION OF TEACHERS Of Coximon SCHOOLS, PRESCRIBED BY THE COUNCIL OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION For Upper Canada," adopted the 3rd day of October, 1850 ; and having found the said ...... .----- well qualified to teach the several branches therein named, the Board, as authorized by the 29th section of the Act. 13th and 14th Victoria, chapter 48, hereby licenses him for her] to teach any Common School in the .----- [If a first class Certificate, here insert the name of the County, School Circuit, Union of Counties, or City; if a second class Certificate, the name of the Township; and if a third class Certificate, the name of the School Section in which the Candidate is authorised to teach,--to be determined, at the discretion of the Board.]
This Certificate of Qualification to remain in force (for one year from the date hereof, or until annulled according to lavo-to be determined by circumstance, and the class of the Certificate granted.]
· Dated this ..---- day of .---.., one thousand eight hundred and .....
N.B.-Each Certificate should be signed by the Chairman of the Board, and must also have the signature of a Local Superintendent of Schools. See 2nd clause of the 29th section of the Act.
(CIRCULAR.) To the Boards of School Trustees elected in the several Cities aad
Towns in Upper Canada, September the 3rd, 1850.
Toronto, 8th October, 1850. GENTLEMEN:
Your fellow-citizens and townsmen have elected you to a trust the most important and responsible; and the School Act invests you with ample powers to fulfil that trust, so as to extend the facilities of a sound education to each child in every city and town in Upper Canada. On you will rest the responsibility if any of the Schools under your charge is inefficient, whether from the employment of an improper teacher, or from the want of a proper School-house, or proper furniture or text-books, or if a single child be unprovided with the means of education ; and to you will appertain the satisfaction and honor and gratitude, which shall never die, if each school over which you are placed be a living fountain of knowledge and virtue, and if each child within your jurisdiction have unobstructed access to that fountain. Water and bread and clothing are not more needful for the health and growth and comfort of the body, than are the food and pulsations of knowledge to the vital energy and divine distinction of mind. The uneducated child grows up into a mere animal of bones and sinews, with tastes and sympathies, and habits as degraded and pernicious as they might be exalted and useful. The destiny of each child in each city and town --especially of the more laborious classes is, in a great measure, in your hands. You are its chosen educational guardians; and as such you have the power of training and sending him forth an intelligent and useful citizen, or of neglecting and turning him out both a victim and instrument of the worst propensities of our nature.
Our cities and towns are the centres and hearts of large sections of country, and radiate influences, for good or for evil, which are felt over the whole areas of the surrounding circles. This is especially the case in Upper Canada, where domestic relations and every variety of social and business intercourse between town and country are so numerous and intimate.
In your now and responsiblo position, the first subject which will naturally engage your attention is the nature of the work which lies before you. It is to provide primary instruction for children from five to eight years of age-intermediate instruction for those from eight to eleven years of age and higher instruction for youths from eleven to fourteen. The nature and classification of subjects contained in this course of instruction, need not be here enumerated or stated; but they will at once suggest the proper gradation of schools, and the several departments in the same school, when established upon a large scale and including several teachers.
The providing proper School-houses, furnished with maps, apparatus, and the needful text-books for the pupils, the employment of efficient Teachers, the appointment of an able and active Superintendent, and the selection of an intelligent and faithful local Committee for each School or ward, together with the estimate and provision for the support of Schools, will next engage your earnest attention, and constitute the principal subjects of your future solicitude and labours. A division of labour will be one of the most convenient, if not essential, means of accomplishing these purposes with any degree of facility and success: such as the appointment of a Committee on School-houses; a Committee on the qualifications, employment and salaries of Teachers; a Committee on textbooks and apparatus; a Committee on examinations and discipline; a Committee of Ways and Means, and another on Accounts. In smaller towns and incorporated villages, so minute a division of labour among the Members of the Board of Trustees will not be necessary. Most of these Committees should report once a month at the monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees; the Committee on School Examinations should attend the Quarterly Examinations of the Schools, and should report the result of examination in each School. The local Superintendent (who should be a practical Teacher, a man of virtue, a lover of youth, and an ardent friend and promoter of knowledge) should visit each of the Schools and report on their state and progress at least once a month; and his report should specially include, am ong other things, a statement of the manner in which the School Registers are kept, and the character of attendance of pupils, as well as the character of organization, olassification, teaching and discipline in each school. He should have Quarterly Meetings of the Teachers, to interchange views on various points of instruction and discipline, in order to promote bar
mony of action, and cause the whole system of schools in each city and town to tend towards a high and uniform standard of excellence.
To enter into a minute detail of all the regulations and proceedings which must be adopted in order to establish and maintain a proper system of schools in each city and town, would entirely exceed the limits of this circular. The importance, objects and peculiar features of this system of schools, I explained, at some length, in a circular addressed to the Heads of City and Town Corporations in January, 1848, on the introduction of the City and Town School Act, 10th and 11th Vic, chap. 19, and which will be found in the first volume of the Journal of Education, pages 16-24. And the economy and great practical advantages of this system of schools in cities and towns where it exists in the neighbouring States, are shewn in the same volume of the same Journal, pages 121-123, and 150-153.
Under these circumstances, it would be superfluous for me to dwell at length upon the subject anew ; but to aid you as far as in my power in the great work on which you are now entering, I have purchased, and I hope soon to be able to place into the hands of the Board of School Trustees foreach city and town in Upper Canada, Mr. Barnard's unrivalled work on “ School Architecture-an octavo volume of nearly 400 pages, containing upwards of 300 illustrations, and embracing all the important improvements which have been made in the last few years in the construction of school-houses for schools of every grado, from the infant school to a Normal School, with suitable plans for the construction and arrangement of seats, desks, and for warming and ventilation, for appendages, grounds, &c.” I will also endeavour to procure for each Board of School Trustees, whom I am now addressing, a copy of the “ Rules and Regulations for Public Schools” which have been adopted by the Boards of Education or Trustees in the cities of Boston and Providince (Rhode Island), and under the operation of which the most complete and efficient system of Schools has been matured which, I think, exists in any city or town, either in Europe or America. Our School Law confers upon you all the powers of establishing and maintaining your schools (Classical as well as Common,-see 12th section, 4th clause) which are conferred upon the School Corporations of the cities referred to; and my earnest desire and prayer is, that you may be disposed and enabled to exercise these powers with like wisdom, patriotism and success.
It is in the character and facilities of public school education in their cities and towns that our American neighbours far excel us. I think our rural schools, as a whole, are advancing more rapidly than theirs; but in each of their cities and towns they have in efficient operation an uniform and magnificient system of schools, the advancement of which is the highest ambition of their highest citizens, and which offers Free education to the poor as well as the rich-to all classes upon equal terms according to property. In all our cities and towns we now have substantially their school law; and I fervently hope we shall soon have as good, and even better schools. It is with the elective Board of School Trustees in each city and town in Upper Canada to say whether this shall be so or not.
I have the honor to be, Gentlemen,
E. RYERSON, P. S.-It may be proper for me to make an explanatory remark on the nineteenth section of the School Act, authorizing, under certain circumstances, the establishment of Protestant and Roman Catholic Separate Schools. In my late Circular to Township Councils, I have remarked upon this provision of the Act, and shown that it is no new provision, but one which has existed upwards of seven years-since the commencement of our present Common School system. It has clearly been intended from the beginning as a protection of the minority against any oppressive or invidious proceedings on the part of the majority in any School division, in addition to the ordinary provision of the Act, prohibiting the compulsory attendance of any child upon a religious exercise, or reading a religious book, to which his parents or guardians shall object. The existence of so few separate schools (only about fifty in all Upper Canada, and nearly one-half of them Protestant), shows that the provision for their establishment is rarely acted upon,-as the local school authorities seldom find occasion for it. And as there can be no Separate School in a school division, unless the Teacher of the mixed school is of a different religious persuasion from the applicants for such Separate School, the local Board of Trustees can always, if they think proper to do so, make such a selection of Teachers as will prevent the establishment or continuance of separate schools.