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of their observation, and containing stories suited to their comprehension, and fitted to awaken their sympathy, should be published by the society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge. At least I am not aware that any successful attempt has yet been made, to supply this great want; he who does supply it, will be a national benefactor.
“ Hence, in order to awaken a reverent feeling in the pupils, it is above all things requisite, that reverence should be manifested by the teacher. For this and other reasons, it is important that, as the writer in the Educational Magazine recommends, when a class is under monitors, the Bible should never be used.'
“Having to quote the Educational Magazine, I cannot refrain from expressing my regret, in which many partake in America as well as in England, that that excellent journal should have been discontinued ; at a time when there is so much well meaning activity astir in the work of education, but when people are so at sea, from the want of first principles to guide them, and when there is so much plausible empiricism, and so much mechanical knicknackery to puzzle those who, after the common fashion of human nature, look mainly to the immediate effect, it was good for the Church and nation, that there should be a journal in which the highest principles were urged with life and power. In its minor details, it might certainly have been improved and rendered more useful; but if I may judge from myself, many must be thankful for the instruction they have derived from it; and it was a real comfort, amid the trivialities and flippancies, the ignorance and shallowness, which the first day of the month pours forth with ever increasing profusion, to be refreshed even by a few sentences from one, whose slightest words betoken a master in Christian philosophy.—Ibid. pp. 73, 74.
SCHOOLS WANTED FOR FARMERS AS WELL AS FOR LABOURERS. It has often occurred to the Committee that the thing most to be desired after the establishment of the Training schools, was to set on foot, if possible in some central position, a middle school for the sons of Farmers and Tradesmen. There is no one at all acquainted with the sort of education, which for instance the sons of Farmers commonly receive, but must feel, how desirable -nay how imperative it is—that prompt measures should be taken to supply our Agricultural districts with schools—more particularly for the education of the children of the Yeomanry—of a character very different from those which already exist. Unless some step of this nature is taken, it must happen that the labourer will, at no great distance of time, be a better educated person than the farmer. His acquaintance with many subjects of elementary instruction will be more accurate, and he will, while the other will not, escape the pernicious consequence on the mind generally, which must ensue from a host of things but half learnt. The labourer will moreover be in possession of a soundness of principle upon religious and church subjects, which, in the farmer, instructed where, and as, he is now, we shall look for in vain. The Committee need not say a word upon the mischief and danger of such a state of things as this.- Report of the Chichester Diocesan Board.
Scoff ye who will! but let me, gracious Heaven,
Preserve this boyish heart till life's last day!
Shall still direct and cheer me on my way,
Class Instruction, or Practical Methods of Teaching in Ladies' Schools,
according to the most improved systems of Modern Education. By Rachel Evans. (Simpkin & Co. London: Philip & Evans, Bristol.)
12mo. pp. 39. We hear sad complaints on all sides respecting the difficulty of finding good schools for young ladies ; schools, that is, in which they become, not merely accomplished, but really educated; in which their mind is developed rather than their memory loaded, and the formation of character is thought of more importance than the adornment of the exterior. The want of good instruction, however, is the more frequent complaint. It is said we know not with what truth-that the seminaries are few in which the old rote system is not still in full operation ; that it is still the custom to set the pupil long lessons out of a dull book-without explanation or interrogation—to commit to me. mory, and that when the lesson is once said, it is done with ; that oral instruction, properly so called, is rare indeed. It appears that the most valuable books containing improved methods of tuition, having been written by persons who had chiefly the lower orders in view, are almost unknown, or seldom read, by the ladies to whom the education of the daughters of the middle classes is entrusted. This we can as easily understand as we greatly regret it. The little book, however, named at the head of this article, is a proof that there are ladies so engaged, who have not only read the works of Bell, Wood, &c., but turned them to the best account. We are almost afraid of saying as much in its favour as we should otherwise be disposed to do, in consequence of a certain vagueness about religion, which we fancy we can detect. We do not by any means intend to say, that there is not an evident anxiety to form a religious character in the pupil, but what we miss is a precise definite creed; there may be something captious in our objection, but the goodness of the book in every other respect, made us the more jealous of the omission. There is so much good sense, and pains-taking thought, and professional whole-heartedness, and systematic study of children about it, that to confess the truth, we rather looked for a fault, and could find no other of any consequence, but the one we have ventured to hint. The specimens however, which we are about to give, will shew that this small brochure is cheap enough at one shilling. To begin at the beginning
“Learning to read by words is a more natural method than by taking the letters separately. A child can understand that a word is a sign of a thing; but the letters of the alphabet are sounds without meaning. However, as custom is arbitrary in its rules for spelling, we may teach our pupils to name the letters, after she has learnt the words of which they are the component parts. The first sentence must be known thoroughly, and be read forwards and backwards until each word is recognized easily. It is then to be repeated, and analyzed, as were our spoken sentences, before we proceed to another. The child may read, ‘God is good to all :' in spelling the words, she is taught to perceive the difference between God and good ; that the latter has two round figures called o's, while the former has only one. She is then asked, “Who is
good to all ? To whom is He good? What is it to be good to another? Do you know any people who are very kind to you? What do they do for you? Who takes care of them? These questions may be multiplied at pleasure, to induce a perfect comprehension of the meaning of the phrase; for nothing should be learnt which is not fully understood. After the mechanical part has been acquired, the Teacher must be careful in the selection of works which may gradually develope the intellectual powers, and awaken an interest in the young student.”
The following remarks upon the importance of language, and the method of teaching the first rudiments of it, are quite in our way; happy indeed are the children who are thus instructed.
“A wise instructress will endeavour, as soon as possible, to give a command of language, in order to enable the child to express with fluency, whatever subjects accumulate in her mind. How much is lost to the world from a want of this power of expression! In connexion, therefore, with a just perception of natural and familiar objects, the child must be furnished with a knowledge of her own tongue. And this should not be done by commencing at once with grammatical rules, and instruction in the art of reading; but by leading children to converse on every subject brought within their sphere of observation.
“There are some, it may be said, who are naturally backward and difficult to be drawn out into conversation. The words come slowly from their mouth,—their articulation is imperfect,--they are scarcely understood. These are obstacles in the pursuit of our intention, which time and patience can alone overcome.”
“If a right chord can be touched, and it is seldom something to interest may not be found; the little eyes sparkle with animation; there is that within which must be expressed; you encourage the young essayist, and forth it comes :-'I found a nest myself once, may be the valuable piece of information; or, 'I have a canary at home, and it sings so loudly we are obliged to cover it up to stop it,' may be another observation ; some run into a long account of having hens, which lay eggs in nests, &c. Each little prattler must have due attention, however puerile their beginnings : they are the elements of conversation; they are the feeble means of producing that which years of mere didactic labour have failed to accomplish. The above plan, however, simple it may appear, will be found useful to pupils of all ages, in teaching them to converse. A subject must be given and repeated. The attention of the pupils is excited, and each one endeavours to bring her own store of observation to bear upon the point. Supposing their attention is not sufficiently aroused, the teacher returns to the commencement of the lesson, and by apt questions induces answers serving the purpose desired. So far success is generally certain. The children begin to talk fluently. But another object is now in view. Their language is incorrect; and an analysis of the sentences proposed should be entered into. The pupil is led to consider the value of each word used. We remove the name, or noun, and she finds something wanting; we take away the verb, and the sentence is incomplete. She is led to perceive the relation one word has to another, and to class them according to this relation. The article, adjective, and preposition are found to belong more particularly to the noun; the pronoun and adverb are assistants to the verb; conjunctions act their part in joining the other words together; interjections stand alone in expressing some sudden feeling of the speaker. There is little difficulty in making young people perceive the distinction of the parts of speech by oral tuition. When they comprehend these distinctions clearly, they must begin to form sentences for themselves. A noun is required,--and they look around them for the names of things. An adjective is added, and they are made to perceive its use in determining the quality of the noun. An article, pointing out the noun, is then placed before it; a verb is next required, -and the action of the noun is shown; a pronoun may be then demanded, taking the place of the noun; a conjunction is inserted, to join it to the other portion of the sentence; another verb succeeds the pronoun; an adverb characterizes the verb; a preposition comes next, placed before another noun. The sentence formed by the children themselves may stand thus:-'A diligent girl learns slowly, but she does much in time.'
“To give a further illustration of the plan proposed, with reference to a class, we add another sentence. The first pupil gives a noun-"boy ;" the next adds the ar
ticle—"a boy;" the next, an adjective "a clever boy;" the next, a verb—"a clever boy reads ;" the next an adverb-"a clever boy reads well ;” the next, a conjunction-"a clever boy reads well, and;" the next, a pronoun--a clever boy reads well, and he ;” the next, an auxiliary—"a clever boy reads well, and he is;" the next, a participle-"a clever boy reads well, and he is praised;" the next, a preposition—"a clever boy reads well, and is praised by ;" a noun or pronoun is required, after the preposition; and the pupil may give —"a clever boy reads well, and he is praised by all.”
“ To illustrate the variations in the parts of speech, model sentences are given, by which the children form their own examples. For instance, in conjugating a verb, we may tell them to add a noun and an article, and to change the verb for each person in the tense. Lessons in etymology, or the relation of words, may thus be easily acquired by oral tuition alone. As further knowledge is added, the pupils are led to discover how one word agrees with or governs another,-in this manner inducing an acquaintance with the rules of syntax. Children, thus instructed, have little difficulty in proceeding to the higher branches of composition, and attaining the rules of prosody, or pronunciation, and accent."
The remarks upon etymology, though by no means new to many of our readers, will interest many private governesses and schoolmistresses.
“We now begin the practice of dictation, which is by far the easiest method of obtaining correctness in orthography. Model sentences are given, which the chil. dren imitate on their slates; we go over again the rules of grammar, making them give written examples as we proceed. Deeper impression is made by pursuing this method, than by learning by rote pages of matter which must prove uninteresting to children, even in the best books on the subject. We should never lose sight of the grand aim of education,-namely, to make children work for themselves. In the meanwhile our pupils are enabled to express their thoughts, both in speech and writing, with accuracy. A new stage of development is gained. They must now return to an analysis of a sentence given by the teacher, and be taught to perceive the derivation of the various words of which it is composed. The word form, for instance, is shown to be the root of a number of other words:-conform, deform, inform, &c., are called derivatives, from their root. There are Latin, Greek, and Saxon roots. As an example of the Latin, we may give the word scribo, I write; from this come subscribe, describe, proscribe, manuscript, &c. Hepta, seven, from the Greek, suggest heptarchy, heptagon, heptagonal, &c. Heaven, from the Anglo-Saxon, gives heavenly, heavenborn, &c. “Black's Etymological Dictionaries” may prove of great service to the teacher in commencing this exercise. The prefixes and affixes should be firmly imprinted on the memory, in order to assist their combination with the roots. Thus may the pupils be taught to find the meaning of hundreds of words, formerly learnt with tears in a dry spelling book. A key to our language is placed within their reach, by which they may unlock its abundant stores. They will seldom be at a loss for words in composing a sentence; each root suggests its numerous derivatives ; a correct association is formed, which cannot easily be broken.
“But, with a view to still greater precision of language, innumerable synonymous terms may be found and explained. For example :-The teacher may require spoken or written definitions of the synonyms discover, and invent. The children are led to perceive, that, however much words assimilate in meaning, there is yet occasionally a difference in application. “Watt invented the steam-engine;" “ Columbus discovered America,” Here the difference is apparent. Apt illustrations will best promote the attainment of the above exercise. For her own assistance, the teacher may refer to “ Taylor's Synonyms,” which are numerous enough for the purpose, and calcu. lated to interest every young reasoner.
“An elliptical mode of writing has been very generally used of late, in teaching composition. It cannot be too highly recommended, both in exercising the judgment and memory. A narrative is read by the teacher, of which the pupils make skeleton notes, to be filled up at their leisure. I have found it expedient to require an immediate perusal of the passage, desiring the pupils, in turn, to supply, without hesitation, the words omitted. This practice is excellent for affording a command of words, and elegance of diction.“ Walker's Themes" present good subjects for ellipses ; but any book may serve for the purpose. The elliptical method is particularly applicable in teaching letter-writing,-a generally irksome task to the young correspondent. But supply her with a subject; assist her by the skeleton of a simple epistle, and it forms a model, on which she will proceed with pleasure and confidence. For ease, playfulness, and simple elegance, nothing can surpass “ Cowper's Letters,” a cheap edition of which is now published. On the advantage to be derived from a facility in epistolary correspondence, we are not here to expatiate. It is sufficient to point out how it may be most easily obtained. At the end of the week, letters, giving an abridged account of the lessons of the preceding days, may be required. This effort of abstraction, or of recalling and arranging anew the knowledge imparted, is most useful in impressing on the memory what has been learnt, as well as for giving practice in letter-writing. Many other means of acquiring ease of composition* might be mentioned; but, in the mean time, our reader may exclaim,“ You are neglecting what we have always considered the greatest essential of education,-namely, a knowledge of books. Not so, however; in our progress through the course of grammar above mentioned, we have referred to many works of merit, which the children are directed to study for themselves.”
Our fair authoress will not, we hope, be angry with us for transferring to our pages, her admirable method of teaching the elements of geography.
“In intimate connection with our historical courses, Geography is required. For imparting this necessary science, I have adopted the following plan with the greatest success :--The terrestrial globe is first presented to our pupils ; we explain its use in representing the figure and the grand divisions of our earth. The pupil is led to perceive the relative proportions of land and water on the globe, and its various inequalities, described as continents, islands, oceans, seas, &c. Chains of mountains are traced in various parts; the rivers which flow from them are also pointed out; their wandering more or less is shown to determine the mountainous character of the region through which they pass; the comparative height of the mountains and the length of the rivers are made known by a useful map for this purpose. The five zones are pointed out, and the productions of each made known. Thus our first lessons treat only of the natural features of the earth. We next give the geographical names of the various portions of the globe, classing them according to their relative positions. Commencing with the ocean, we mention its being known by five different names in different parts of the globe, and induce the children to compare the size of the various portions. The continents are named, and compared in the same manner. Seas come next; then countries, and so on, until an extended and correct view of the whole earth is acquired. During this first course we enter into detail as far as is necessary to distinguish the various features named from each other. In beginning a second course of geography, the black board is had in requisition. The teacher draws the figure of the terrestrial globe, and explains the various lines and circles which cross it. The pupils copy from the board, and in a succeeding lesson repeat the same description. After this, the principal boundaries, countries, rivers, capes, bays, mountains, and islands, are learnt from their various maps, in the atlas, or from the black board, as before. The pupil copies an outline of the quarter, Europe for example; she then writes the boundaries, marks in the countries, and in fact every thing required to be learnt, thus impressing every portion on her mind. This is repeated until the map can be drawn without reference to the black board or the assistance of an atlas. It is this power of accurate conception, proceeding from constant practice, which enables a painter to depict scenes long faded from the memories of all but himself. Should we not apply any hint thus given us? After the quarters have been learnt, we return to Europe, and draw its most northerly country (Sweden and Norway), marking the boundaries, &c., as before : the pupils continue to copy and learn until the map be perfected. The pro
* I have found it a pleasing and instructive exercise, to induce children to write a collection of themes; which, neatly copied, are formed into a little periodical, and read aloud, at appointed times, for the amusement of the community.