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Committee of Council on Education.
29 Daisy Hill Infant School, in the County of Lancaster.
Normal lufant School, in the County of Lancaster.
31 St. Luke's, in Heywood,
National School, in the County of Lancaster.
32 Clitheroe, St. Ja
Infant Schoo er. in the County of Lied;
REPORT, by John Gibson, Esq., on the Glasgow Normal
Edinburgh, July 3rd, 1841.. I have now the honour to transmit my Report on the Glasgow Normal Seminary.
In the special instructions with which I was furnished, I was directed to report on the Model Schools in the usual forms, but with a degree of minuteness proportional to their importance and prominence in the public view. These Reports, which I now transmit, contain a representation of the condition of these schools, without a minute specification and examination of the nature and efficiency of the methods practised, and of the correctness of the principles recognised and acted on.
My Report on the Normal Department of this extensive establishment naturally divides itself into three branches—the first having reference to the condition of the students, in respect of literary attainments and extent of professional experience or training previous to the commencement of their attendance at this seminary; the second including a view of the means taken to supplement their deficiencies in the strictly technical branches of instruction, and to give practical value to their previous acquirements, by enabling them to bring them to bear upon classes of children of various ages, and at various stages of advancement; and the third pointing out the amount and nature of the attainments which they may be expected to possess when the course of their attendance has been completed.
I.—The literary attainments of the students when they enter the seminary are very various. Some of these have enjoyed the advantages of a regular collegiate education, while others have attended only the burgh or parochial schools. The examination at entry, which is conducted by a Board composed of the rector and principal masters of the model schools, is therefore regulated by the circumstances of the applicants, embracing, in a few instances, classics and mathematics, but confined in the great majority of cases to the evidences of Christianity, the doctrines of Scripture, Bible history, such a knowledge of grammar as to enable them to parse with tolerable correctness and facility, a general acquaintance with geography, and a knowledge of arithmetic as far as vulgar and decimal fractions. A pretty accurate knowledge of the last-mentioned branches is the minimum of attainment, and the non-possession of it involves rejection. When a candidate for admission has
a been pronounced unqualified, “he is either advised to prosecute his studies with a view to his examination at a subsequent period, or dissuaded from thinking of teaching as an employment."
Of seventy-two individuals, who have during the past year presented themselves for examination, seventeen were rejected. Of the forty-one male students who have been enrolled during the preceding year, one is a preacher of the Church of Scotland,
twenty-one had been occupied as teachers of small adventure country schools, one had been a carpenter, one a teacher of dancing, one a portrait-painter, one a baker, three shopmen, and five students at college.
The previous occupation of the remaining seven, and of all the female students, amounting to fourteen, could not be ascertained.
The minimum period of attendance is six months; it has on an average extended to between eight and nine months.
11.-It will give both brevity and ciearness to this branch of my Report, in so far as it regards the means taken either to impart additional instruction or to give precision and practical value to that already acquired, to confine myself to the mention of the subjects taught, and to point out the time devoted, and the value attached, and prominence given, to each branch. With respect to the methods pursued, it is sufficient to say that the gentlemen by whom these instructions are given are in every respect admirably qualified for their duties.
The course of study superintended and conducted by the Rector embraces the following branches :-Physics; Natural History; Geography; Arithmetic and Algebra; English Grammar and Sacred History.
Lessons in Élocution are given by Mr. Hartley. Music is taught by Mr. Gibson, and Gymnastics by Mr. Jeffrey.
To each branch the following portions of time are allotted weekly:
To music, four hours; to geography, three hours; to natural history, an hour and a half; to physics, an hour and a half; to arithmetic and algebra, an hour and a half; to sacred history, an hour and a half; to drawing, an hour and a half; to elocution, an hour; to gymnastics, an hour.
It thus appears that sixteen hours and a hall, out of the forty hours during which, in the course of a week, they are in attendance at the seminary, are spent in receiving instruction. The remainder of the time is employed in training them to skill in the art of teaching, and in communicating to them enlarged and enlightened view3 on the general subject of education.
The expedients adopted for these purposes are four. 1.-Observation of the model schools. II.--Giving lessons in the hall to children, both in the gallery and in classes. II.—Giving a Bible lesson to each other. IV. -Public criticism.
Twenty-four hours weekly are spent in these four exercises ; eight hours are spent in the schools, eleven and a half in giving lessons in the hall, an hour in giving to each other a Bible lesson, and three and a half in public criticism.
I now proceed to explain the nature of these exercises.
1. In the first place, when it is stated that the students are in the schools, it is to be understood that they are dispersed in nearly equal detachments throughout the infant, juvenile, and industrial departments, and are there occupied some in observing the manner in which the machinery of the school is conducted, and the methods