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another root, as, just, thus unjust. What does unjust mean? not just. Proceed in like manner with other roots.
When the pupil has learned to attach a precise meaning to the prefix or first syllable of a word, and has become familiarized with such a process, he should next commit to memory one or two postfixes of the most obvious meaning, such as, less, ly ; and proceed in the same way as was done in the case of the prefix un. Take the postfix less, signifying without, as in the word artless, useless, fatherless, Ask what does artless, signify? without art. What does useless ? without any use. What does fatherless ? without a father. Ask the pupil to give other words having this postfix, such as, careless, fearless, lawless, powerless. To vary the mode, and impart interest to the lesson, the teacher may state the meaning, and request the pupil to give the word; thus, Give a word signifying without guilt? guiltless. Without friends? friendless. Without sense ? senseless. Adopt the same method on the board with the postfixes as was done in the case of the prefixes.
Two, or three at the very most, of the prefixes or postfixes are quite sufficient for one day's lesson. Give a new lesson on Monday, another on Tuesday, and none on Wednesday, but revise the two previous days' lessons; another new lesson on Thursday; and on Friday, revise the whole lessons of the week; also the lessons of the previous week, or even weeks. This should be the invariable practice, whether with the prefixes, the postfixes, or the roots. Frequent revisals are indispensable to ensure success.
The pupil having mastered the Prefixes and Postfixes, with some of the roots, the teacher should now proceed to classify the pupil's knowledge of ideas ; for in this, consists one of the chief excellencies of the system. To enable the teacher to do this with expertness, the author composed an “Etymological Dictionary,” in which copious lists of examples of the prefixes and postfixes, and all the derivative English words of each root are given ; and an “ Appendix” added to it, containing “ Words of Reference, and a Dictionary of Synonymes,” more copious than is to be found in any other book in the English language.
Suppose the word hold is selected for this purpose. Take the root or radical part, ten or tain, of teneo, to hold, page 118; write it on the board, and then write before it a prefix, such as abs, thus, abs-tain. Ask, what does abstain signify? to hold from. Erase abs, and write con, thus, con-tain. What does it signify? to hold together, or hold within. Erase con, and write de, thus de-tain. What does it denote? to hold from or back. So of the other prefixes joined to this root. Write now a postfix instead of a prefix, such as acious, thus, ten-acious. What does it mean? holding fast. Erase acious, and write able, thus, ten-able. What does it signify? that can be held. Erase able, and write ant, thus, ten-ant. What does it denote ? one who holds house or land of another. So of the other postfixes belonging to this root.
After this is fully understood, write both a prefix and a postfix, thus, abs-tin-ence. What does it mean? the act or state of holding from. What part denotes from ? abs. What the act or state of ? ence. So of others, as, per-tin-acious, holding fully by, or to; re-tent-ive, having the power to retain ; sus-ten-ance, a holding up, that which holds up; un-at-tain-able, that can not be attained or reached to; un-ten-able, that can not be held or maintained. Proceed in this way with the other roots.
The writing on the board may, however, be dispensed with as soon as the pupil readily comprehends the nature of the prefixes and postfixes.”
We are not sure that the black board can be well dispensed with quite so soon as Mr. Oswald intimates, though it need not be brought into so frequent use as at the outset. It is always, however, valuable in the hands of a lively teacher, as calling into exercise the powers of discrimination, in the manner not only most pleasant to the pupil, but calculated to make the most permanent impression upon his mind and memory. There are few even among the best teachers, who are not apt to forget that children have eyes as well as ears, and in most cases learn better with the former than with the latter.
Many persons imagine, that there must be considerable difficulty with the euphonic variations of our language, especially in the prefixes. It is not, however, found so in practice; we suspect that children have a better ear, as well as more imagination, than mere theorists in education are apt to give them credit for. Let us see, how Mr. Ross gets over the difficulty, if there be any.
“The pupils should be made to write down, or give viva voce, the meanings of the compound words, or at least as many of them as will shew that they fully understand the import of the prefix or affix, or both, as the case may be, which enter into their composition. At this stage of the pupils' progress, it will be well to bring before them, in as simple a manner as possible, some of the euphonic forms or changes which the prefixes assume when compounded.
The following example will shew what we mean :
“When we were drawing yesterday, the gentleman who, you remember, looked at the slates, said, G- had done something to his drawing. The gentleman meant that he had rubbed it out; what word did he use ?” (The question passes round the class till it comes to G- himself, who answers.) “He said I had effaced it, sir." “ Well, but ex means out, does it not ?” “Yes, sir.” “Why, then, did not the gentleman say that G- had exfaced his drawing ?” “It would not be so easy to say, sir.” “ It would not sound so well, sir," &c. In this way the learners may be made to understand why the final letter in some of the prefixes is either changed or dropped when used in composition; and if the principle upon which these euphonic changes depend be once clearly apprehended, it will be the means of removing many difficulties which might otherwise embarrass and impede them in their future progress.”
We shall conclude with a caution or two to a master who is only now introducing this study into his school. Let him take care not to allow his pupils to put him off with the derivation, when he wants the meaning of a word. Etymology, he will always impress upon their minds, is only a means to an end; and, if it does not help them to the signification of a difficult word, and that in such a manner as to make it a part of their mother tongue, their knowledge of prefixes and affixes is by no means a thing to be proud of.
“A good method of testing the pupils, whether they understand the meanings of the words they give in answer to the teacher's interrogations, is to require them to form sentences, into which they introduce, in their usual acceptations, derivatives from the roots that have been chiefly illustrated in the course of the lesson.
The following is an example of this kind, copied verbatim from one of the slates in a National School. In this case the roots given were pell-o, port-o, and pon-o.
“The enemy were compelled to retreat, but they instantly repelled the attack. Steam vessels are propelled by steam. I reported yesterday to the committee, that the poor man needed support. In his deportment he was mild. I suppose he has a good disposition. I shall not report you, as I have been compelled to expose your conduct. Tea is exported from China, and imported to Great Britain. I propose that the business of the class be postponed till another day.” • This exercise, together with the oral instruction which the teacher will necessarily communicate in connection with it, will be found to assist the pupils materially in embodying their ideas in language, and in leading them to think-objects confessedly very difficult to be attained.”
Another point that calls for a word of caution is, that children ought in every way to be trained to appreciate as the best style of all “the pure well of English undefiled;" that hard words are only of value as a sort of supplement to our native vocabulary.
“In teaching derivation, the Latin or Greek derivative should always be associated in the minds of the pupils with the simple Saxon or English term of similar import. To a pupil taught on this method the simple vocable "see” would form a nucleus (if it may be so expressed) for such classes of words as inspection, vision, intuition, optics, telescope, scepticism, amphitheatre, panorama, theory, &c. &c. It is with the desigu of affording assistance in this grouping of roots, and consequently families of words, that the small Index has been appended.”
It is only fair to add, that, though we have been speaking throughout of
children of the middle and lower orders, we are fully of opinion, that this subject is worthy of the attention of all parents and teachers, and more especially of those who have the charge of young ladies; that in all cases the most valuable and most indispensable part of a child's instruction, and that too which has the most direct bearing upon his future religious knowledge, is a thorough acquaintance with the language of his country.
Notices of Wooks.
The readers of " The Englishman's Magazine" will be glad to see the valuable series of papers entitled “The Schoolmaster at Home,” now republished with additions, under the title of Church Clavering, or The Schoolmaster, by the Rev. W. Gresley, Prebendary of Lich field. (Burns.) To those who are not acquainted with the excellent little periodical named above, the pleasure and the profit will be still greater to read, how Joseph Primer became a Church schoolmaster, and not a dissenting preacher; and how in entering upon his new employment, he explained to his neighbours the true object of education, and who have a right to teach, and what ought to be taught; and how a new boy was introduced, and the question ably discussed whether he should learn Latin ; and how Mr. Primer taught Geography, history, composition, &c.; and how he talked with the archdeacon about different systems of education; and what happened to him in the end, and how his boys turned out. It is a great disappointment to us, that we are unable this month to enrich our pages with the passages we had marked for that purpose. We hope, however, that our readers will procure this capital and well timed volume forthwith.
There is no greater want in our schools, especially those for the lower orders, in this business-like, L. S. D., age, than a little good poetry, which “has a tendency to give to the mind that healthful tone which pure air and open sunshine give to the body.” “We are not proposing to train up poets or sentimentalists; but to replenish the mind with bright and available materials, such as shall impart to it an abundance of intellectual wealth, and give it breadth and elevation; and by these natural means exclude whatever is frivolous, vulgar, selfish and sensual.” These quotations are from the preface to a small volume of Select Poetry for Children, by Joseph Payne, (Relfe and Fletcher,) who has displayed sound judgment and considerable research in the compilation of a good--we will venture to say, Englishbook for boys and girls from six to twelve years of age.
A like meed of praise may be bestowed upon a well-printed and most happily illustrated volume of original Fables, Classical Sketches, &c., by a Clergyman, just put forth under the direction of the General Literature and Education Committee of the S. P. C. K. A small book like this is worth a whole shelf of science made easy, which we should treat with more respect if it kept its proper place.
Many a parochial or other schoolmaster might profit by Useful Hints to Teachers, published under the direction of the committee of the Home and Colonial Infant School Society, and containing, to a considerable extent, the result of actual experience in the working of their institution since its establishment in 1836.
If any of our clerical friends is in want of a small book to put into the hands of his Sunday School Teachers, in order to give them a notion how to interest little ignorant children in their religious instructions by variety of questions and illustrations, and so to develope the understanding as well as the memory, we beg to recommend Glenrock Sunday School (Seeley).
Document. PROTEST OF THE IRISH CHURCH AGAINST THE NATIONAL BOARD
OF EDUCATION. In our number for January was inserted an Address from the Primate of Ireland and eight other Irish Bishops on the above subject. This has been followed up by an appeal from the Committee of the Church Education Society, which they commence by expressing their anxious wish, not only from deference to the venerated prelates, whose names are attached to the communication referred to, but also from sincere conviction of the soundness of the advice they have tendered, to abstain from every exciting and irritating topic. They do not conceive, however, that they are acting inconsistently with this recommendation, when they repeat as distinctly as brevity will permit, the chief reasons which from the beginning have influenced them, and which now, after the experience of ten years, continue to influence them, more decidedly than ever, in withholding their concurrence from the National system of Education. In extracting some of these reasons we shall not run the risk of weakening them by any comments of our own, but simply remind any of our readers (if such a one there be) who may be disposed to regard with indifference what is taking place in the sister island and united Church,
“ Tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet.” "The Committee cannot co-operate with the National Board, because of the constitution of the Board itself. Not only are the Clergy of the Established Church deprived of the trust committed to their hands by the legislature, of superintending National Education, but this superintendence is taken from them, for the purpose of being vested in a Board composed of persons, whose qualification for the office essentially consists in their being representatives of the most conflicting religious opinions. The principle thus practically acted on, that professors of all religions are equally fitted to guard and conduct the Education of the country, has a manifest tendency, by overlooking the distinctions of truth and error in a matter of such vital importance, to make them be overlooked in all, and thereby lead to that indifference respecting any particular form of religion, which, at least in the vulgar mind, is almost identical with attachment to none.
“ The Committee cannot co-operate with the National Board, because, as a necessary consequence of the foregoing, it is impossible that any books for use in the Schools, bearing however indirectly on religious questions-and there are few that have not some connexion with that important subject-can receive their sanction, unless by the suppression of various points of Divine truth, essential perhaps in the estimation of some, but set aside because displeasing to others.
• The Committee cannot co-operate with the National Board, because the sacred Scriptures are not permitted to be used in the Schools during the hours of united or general instruction. They are far from wishing the Holy Bible to be employed as a mere school book, for the purpose of teaching spelling and reading, -the rules of the Church Education Society expressly forbid it,—but believing as they do, that the inspired volume was given to be the rule of faith and practice to every one, to whom its existence as a revelation from God becomes known, they conceive that no system of Education can be sound in principle, or prove beneficial in its results, which exempts any portion of the pupils it admits into its Schools, from instruction therein. Whatever such a system may be, as regards those whom it permits to receive
such instruction, it is essentially defective as regards those whom it permits to refuse it.
The Committee are well aware that the Scriptures may, according to the present regulations of the Board, be read in the National Schools at specified times; but this cannot be done during school hours, or whilst the School is assembled as such. It is only allowed where the condition is observed, of giving notice to those children to withdraw whose parents objecta condition which the Committee cannot reconcile with their convictions of their duty, inasmuch as the principle on which such objections rest involves a practical indignity to the word of God. And they cannot feel themselves justified in sanctioning such an indignity, where the nature of the case forbids them to rebuke it. Nor can they consent, in their capacity of Patrons and Managers of Schools, to enforce and carry into effect the discipline of the Church of Rome in restricting the use of the inspired writings.
“ The Committee are also aware that some volumes of Scripture lessons have been compiled and published by the Board for use in its Schools ; but the Committee cannot better convey ther opinion respecting the character of these volumes, than in the language which in anticipating such a publication, the Bishops of the Church employed in 1832.— They state, that they cannot too strongly express their conviction, that no selection of Scripture will be agreed to by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy which will exhibit to the youthful mind a correct standard of faith and practice and set forth the right of every man to possess, and inculcate the duty of every man devoutly to read and examine the Scriptures—not indeed to the superseding of pastoral instruction, but in despite of the usurped authority of ecclesiastical rulers.' The Committee fully believe that this anticipation has been more than realized—the Scripture extracts being in truth not merely defective as a standard of faith and practice, but evincing throughout a manifest leaning on the part of the compilers, to the peculiar errors of the Romish Church. Such as they are, however, it is not incumbent on the patrons of the Schools supported by the Board, to use them. Nor are the patrons permitted to require all the children to read them; the use of the Scripture Lessons being now placed [See sixth Report of the Commissioner's, section 25.] under the same restrictions as the use of the sacred volume itself.
“The Committee cannot co-operate with the National Board, because they believe that, even if they could lay aside their other objections to it, it is, in its practical working, calculated to widen the breach already existing between the several orders of religion in the country. The system of Education adopted by the Board, does not even profess to effect an union of the children of different religious denominations in its Schools, in the sense in which such an union would be chiefly desirable, namely, in receiving religious instruction. The principle on which the system is founded, is to combine them in receiving secular instruction, separating them where religion is concerned-thus making more apparent than ever, the diversity of religious belief, and impressing the minds of the children with the idea, that however they may look upon each other as fellow citizens, they cannot regard each other as fellow Christians, who hold in common any principles of revealed truth.
“Even such an union as the Board does profess to aim at, it has failed in attaining. It has not succeeded in procuring the attendance of the children of the Church (as is exemplified in the Diocese of Cork, where, in all the Schools connected with the Board, there are not more than eight Church children), and though considerable numbers of Roman Catholic and Presbyterian children are in its Schools, yet, these different denominations are not to be found to any extent in the same Schools. Separate Schools are established for each, in many cases in the same parishes, throughout the