« ElőzőTovább »
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.
II.-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 views 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 adopted in the teaching and training of the children: some in practising the art of teaching, under the immediate superintendence and guidance of the principal master of the department; and some in assisting in the general management.
Every student, during the first two months of his attendance, is chietly employed, while in the schools, in observing carefully all that goes on. In order to prevent inattention and carelessness in the discharge of this very important part of their duty, and at the same time to furnish to the rector and the heads of the various departments evidence of its being anxiously and critically performed, each student, in addition to his being enjoined to keep a journal in which to record his observations, and which must be submitted weekly to the rector for his perusal and criticism, is expected, at the very commencement, and throughout the whole course of his attendance, to take part in the public criticism, the nature of which shall be afterwards described.
During the third and fourth months of his attendance, the time which he spends in the schools is occupied partly in observing the methods adopted in the organization of the school, the modes of discipline pursued in it, and the various plans adopted by the masters in the communication of knowledge; and partly in practising the art of teaching, under the direction of the head of the department in which he may happen to be placed.
Care is of course taken to supply to each student sufficient opportunities of being tolerably well acquainted with the system pursued in the various departments.
During the fifth and sixth months of their attendance they are almost wholly employed, while in the schools, in the practice of teach ing, and in assisting in the general superintendence and management. The rector and the various masters have thus more frequent opportunities of judging with what success they have availed themselves of their opportunities of observation, and of their trials of skill in the art of teaching; and of testing the efficacy of the revision and re-arrangement of their previously acquired knowledge, in rendering it available for the purposes of instruction (and in thus giving to it a practical value), and of witnessing with what effect the general views of education to which in the previous months their attention had been directed are brought to bear upon the ordinary processes of instruction.
2. In the second place, when it is stated that the students are in the hall with draughts of children, their occupation is of the following nature:
The junior division of the juvenile school are removed to the hall. One section of them is arranged in the gallery, the others are drawn up in small classes on the floor of the adjoining miniature school-room.
One-half of the students are assembled in the hall, and while one of them is employed in giving to the children in the gallery a lesson, with the subject of which he had been previously made acquainted, and for the examination and elucidation of which he is expected sedulously to prepare himself, the others sit as spectators and auditors, critically observing and jotting down, for future use, in their note-books, any peculiarities or defects of manner, (such as awkwardness of movement, monotony of tone, want of animation, want of success in securing and riveting the attention) and at the same time watching any inaccuracy, or deficiency, or superfluity of statement ; any infelicity of illustration and analogy; any inaptitude in eliciting information of which the children had been previously in possession; in short, any want of skill in communicating and vividly presenting to the mind that of which they had been ignorant.
The lesson having been given, the student reads out slowly, and with a full, distinct articulation, a verse or two of a psalm or hymn, which the children sing; after which another student takes his place before the gallery, and having, by means of simple physical exercises, refreshed the children and prepared them for renewed intellectual exertion, he proceeds to give, in the same manner as above, a lesson on the subject which had been previously prescribed to him.
Four such lessons are given, each occupying fifteen minutes.
These lessons serve the double purpose of training the students to skill in the art of teaching, and of furnishing the minds of the children with interesting and useful information.
While the students in the hall are thus occupied, the others are employed in the miniature school-rooms, in giving lessons to children who are arranged in small classes on the floor.
In order to avoid the languor which intellectual exertion and monotony of exercise engender, the sections are made to change, at proper intervals, their position and occupation. Those who had been in draughts are removed to the gallery, and those who had been receiving the gallery-lessons are arranged in classes on the floor of the miniature school-room. The students who had been occupied in the hall, either in giving or hearing the gallery lessons, are now employed in teaching the children in draughts, while those who had been so occupied are engaged in giving or hearing gallery lessons.
The rector concludes the business with critical remarks on the manner of the students who have been employed, and on the matter and language of the lessons, taking care to point out any incorrectness of statement, any want of fulness of illustration or explanation, and, in short, any deficiency by which the giving of the lesson was characterised.
3. Giving a Bible lesson to each other.
This exercise is conducted in the following manner: The whole of the students, with the exception of him whose turn it is to give the lesson (which he is expected to prepare previously), being arranged in the gallery, they are told to what class of children, as respects age and capacity, the lesson is considered suitable,