Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

We find them among trustees, Boards of Education, humanity." I say emphatically let these studies be and teachers. Their educational robes fit them about begun early. Early youth is the time for acquiring as well as the lion's skin aid asinus. Having little vocabularies. Seldom does a person reap any great or no education in themselves, they have little under advantage from his Latin and Greek, who defers the standing of the comparative benefits of the different commencement of them to the age of twenty. studies. But they fancy somehow that the “eat and A few years ago, the National Educational Associalive" and “live and eat” business of man can be tion held its convention in Elmira. One of the most better subserved by the common English branches ; marked features of that convention was the distress and hence they prescribe these in unmitigated doses. among our educational magnates, on the subject of For example, they keep a pupil in Arithmetic from higher education. A general fear seemed to prevail seven to iwenty, until he shall have mastered every among them that higher institutions of learning would defunct and obsolete rule in Robinson's entire series: cease to be patronized. I hope ere this they have in Grammar, until he is able to unravel every snarl in solved the problem satisfactorily. But I beg leave to English parsing; in Geography, until he can locate suggest, that if they will encourage higher education every village, brook and frog pond on the globe, and in our common schools, they will soon find their give its exact latitude and longitude to a minute, colleges overfull with lads from the country, who, thereby cramming his mind with a mass of soggy, de having been initiated at home in the humble degrees of caying rubbish, instead of material that will burn and science, will seek to be knighted in those higher halls. glow. And all this they fancy is thorough teaching. I hold that education in this country should be first,

They call it a preparatory course. They take too decidedly religious; secondly, decidedly classical. much time to prepare. They might be compared to a There is no danger of the mathematics or the ologies. farmer who plows from seed-time to harvest and never They have so absorbed the attention of students in commits the seed to the ground at all.

this country for many years that they will take care of Keeping pupils in this everlasting tread-mill is a themselves. The exact and scientific branches will fatal mistake, and it arises chiefly by the law's ex- | necessarily receive due attention, as persons choose onerating teachers from teaching anything but the and learn their various professions. common branches. Let us have more mental arithme- What we need is some impulse in our common tic and less written; defer algebraic and geometrical schools that will give the American people in the problems until the child takes up those studies; more country, as well as the town, an onward, upward look. map-drawing in geography, and save time for history; less parsing in English grammar, and more composition and rhetoric. Hamilton graduated at college at

OUR “GODLESS” SCHOOLS. the age of fifteen? Does the Federalist indicate a mistake in his early education. Webster passed his final examination in Virgil at twelve. Did his career as a

A. L. MANN, SAN FRANCISCO. statesman and orator indicate that he had neglected his common English? Sir Walter Scott passed his

A T the recent dedication of the new St. final examination in Latin grammar at eight. Does

A Ignatius College in San Francisco, the the Lady of the Lake show defects that might have bed

| Rev. Father Rooney, in the course of an able John Stuart Mill translated Greek and Latin readily and eloquent address, said: “In education, without a lexicon at nine. Cicero's course of study as in other things, the Church and the world consisted chiefly in translating Greek into Latin.

are at war ; but the Church will, in the end, Demosthenes translated Thucydides eight times. Luckily for us, McNally had not published his inter

| prove the conqueror, and will endure to see minable series of geographies; nor the arithmetician

the burial of the public school system, amid compiled his encyclopedia of every obsolete rule and the plaudits of the descendants of its ardent puzzle in figures when the boys of Hellas went to admirers." school in the Palæstra or listened to the philosophy of The Rev. Father bases this tremendous such teachers as Pythagoras, Socrates, and Plato in the academic shades.

prophecy upon the statement that the public In the education of the young those studies and schools train the mind alone, to the exclusion disciplines should be employed best adapted to develop of the moral faculties, and thus, to use his the ideal man. They must not be too few, they must own words, are producing a race of “intelnot be too numerous. Keeping the humanity of the lectual demons." According to him, the soul pupils prominently in view, we recommend the exact sciences in reasonable measure and degree. A too

| must be cared for by the inculcation of religexclusive devotion is demonstrably harmful and de- ious dogmas, not only at church, in the Sungrading. The smart arithmetician, or skillful algebraist, day-school, and by the parental fireside, but may be coarse and vulgar in language and manners. also amid the daily lessons recited at school; The educated man should be refined and gentle. But the land in order that this may be done properly. former may be only expert in puzzles and conundrums. An early attention to classical studies is therefore

ve the Church must take charge of the school, recommended. We say early because youth is the and “ Christian Doctrine ” must be a princitime for such studies--at least for beginning in them pal topic in the course of study. The culture they afford is various. They tefine the To this, which is not the American, but taste, they train the imagination, they develop the rather

velop the rather the Spanish or Italian idea, what I practical judgment better than the exact sciences, and They afford an excellent kind of knowledge the have said before seems to me a sufficient reply. knowledge of humanity in all ages; hence the study | I will repeat, however, that it is a practical im. of Latin is well called by the Scotch “the study of | possibility to separate entirely mind-training

sevente

s dri

from soul-training. For purposes of scientific and will not shrink from any such comparison. training we may divide the faculties of the Yet these criticisms of religious teachers human mind into memory, reason, feeling, (by no means confined to those professing the and will; but no such exact separation occurs | Roman Catholic faith), have their use, and in the constitution of the mind itself. The should be thoughtfully heeded by the friends mind is one, and acts with its full powers in of free public education. As long as the its various manifestations, and every mental present divisions of opinion in religious matmovement partakes of the qualities of every ters continue, and they will unquestionably other; so that when we reason we also remem-outlast our time, Americans will tolerate no ber, and will to do, with attendant pain or sectarianism in their public schools. Morepleasure. So the cultivation of the intellect over, members of different sects, even of the necessarily affects the moral character. It is tenacious Roman Church, will be guided by a matter of the commonest observation that their own good sense, to send their children men of fine education are not prone to the to the common school, that they may take on grosser crimes and vices. A cultivated rob the speech and manner of a citizen of a great ber or even a refined drunkard is a subject of country, and not be cast in the narrow mould remark, and is looked upon as a curious ex- of some peculiar clan or sect. The present ception. A man learns, as he extends his and the immediate future is secure and ceracquaintance with the universe, that immor | tain. It becomes us, then, to take suggesality is a contradiction of its order, that crimetions from every source, and to weigh calmly is unnatural, and vice illogical and out of and with even temper every objection to the keeping with the inevitable march of events. common schools. “ The undevout astronomer is mad;" the ed I hope that this subject of moral training ucated defaulter is shamefully conscious that will receive more attention in our meetings he is a non sequitur," and the drunken phi- and educational journals, and that every losopher knows that he is playing the fool. teacher will try to raise the standard of his

But apart from this moral light reflected school in this respect, and from his earnest from mere intellectual knowledge, the public thought and careful experiment bring forth schools pour a luminous flood directly upon something for the good of his fellow-laborers the hearts of children. What can be more and our noble cause. How to strengthen elevating than honest, faithful labor? To and improve the moral character of our labor is to pray, and even “ faith without pupils is well worth our thoughtful care; for, works is dead."

as Matthew Arnold says, “Conduct is threeHear these organ tones of Carlyle : “All fourths of human life, while culture is the true work is sacred ; in all true work, were it other fourth.” School and Home Fournal. but true hand-labor, there is something of divineness. Labor, wide as the earth, has its summit in heaven. Sweat of the brow, and

FARMING FOR THE BOYS. up from that to sweat of the brain, sweat of the heart, which includes all Kepler calcula HOW TO KEEP THEM INTERESTED IN IT. tions, Newton meditations, all sciences, all | spoken epics, all acted heroism, martyrdoms

THE question has often been discussed, up to that “agony of bloody sweat' which all T“ How to Keep the Boys on the Farm?" men have called divine ! Oh, brother, if this The Danbury News man had his joke as is not 'worship,' then I say the more pity for usual, and finished thus: “We hope our worship; for this is the noblest thing yet dis- farmers are just as anxious as they appear to covered under God's sky."

be, to keep their boys on the farm ; but they The constant, faithful, conscientious dis- don't seem to take any definite action." I am charge of every obligation to one's self, one's not much of a farmer, yet can speak to this companions and superiors--this is the ever- / point definitely. I am a clergyman, but and repeated lesson of the public school room; it adds to my comfort to cultivate an acre of and this, when continued through all the land, and two other lots besides. I have years covered by the public school course, three sons working with me, and they are the never did, and never will produce an “ intel-most enthusiastic workers I ever saw anylectual demon.” How many high school, or where. If they persevere, they cannot fail even grammar school, graduates are to be to be rich men. Their ages respectively are found among the outcasts of society? The i 15, 13 and 12 years. Now the “definite public school will place the products of its / action” I have taken, is this : training beside the disciples of the Church, ! I bought Peter Henderson's Gardening for Profit,” two years ago, and tried to put their sons like sons, and not like slaves; give its instructions into practice, working in our them a share in the proceeds, as well as in vegetable gardens with my boys. Then I the work and responsibility; and I believe took the American Agriculturist, which now that in nine cases out of ten, the boys could lies constantly on my table. Then I bought not be easily tempted away from the parental Henderson's “ Floriculture ;' then his “Gar- | homestead.

American Agriculturist. dening for Pleasure ;" then Roe's “Play and Profit in My Garden." Next I saw among the advertisements in the American Agricul.

PATSY, THE DOG.* turist, mention of the catalogues of books and pamphlets on rural affairs. With what a

WHAT SHALL BE DONE WITH HIS BOY? relish I read the contents of certain books, all THERE is another class of children not the while comparing the prices of the books yet referred to, that may be numbered with my empty pocket-book! Nevertheless, by the thousand, who are not idiots, or truI contrived to buy the above books, and also ants, or criminals. I refer to the neglected “ Four Acres Enough." I saw the “ Prize ones. They are not orphans; they have Essay on the Potato," sent for it; then something that answers to the name of home, " How to Raise Cabbages ;" also Bliss's though in a very minute degree, so far as “ Prizes for Potato Culture." which my boys home comforts are concerned. I wish to call and I read and referred to constantly, with a your attention to an occurrence which took great desire to grow potatoes like those who place in this building yesterday, showing one had received the prizes. But alas ! we did type of this neglected class. About four not. Besides, I had Bommer's “Method of o'clock I went down into the lock-up, at the Making Manure," which I have tried to put northeast corner of this edifice. It is a in practice and succeeded tolerably well. miserable place, illy ventilated and poorly

At last, I said to my boys: “See here, lighted. When the windows are closed in boys; I don't care for money, and will make winter, the air, I am told, becomes so foul a bargain with you. You may have half the from the drunk and disorderly inmates conmoney we make in the garden ; and of the gregated there, that animal life is sustained potatoes which we shall plant, the boy that with great difficulty. On entering, I found raises the most from twelve rows, shall have a two decently dressed men and a little boy, a silver watch costing $16." The youngest is boot-black, about seven or eight years old. under the impression that, if he is not far be- I asked the jailor, “What is this boy here hind the eldest in the quantity from his rows, for?' He replied, “ For pilfering fruit.". he may get a watch too.

Then, turning to the boy, I said, “Sonny, I may mention another thing which works what is your name ?! - Jim Sweeny." very well. It is this: I am “boss,” and they “ Have you a father ?" "Yes.” “Does he know it; but I am never arbitrary. They al- | know you are here?" I don't know whether ways see my reason for doing anything, and he does or not.” “What does he do for a at once acquiesce in my judgment. A part living” “Don't do anything." "Do you. of my method is that we frequently consult ever go to Sunday-school ?” “No, I haven't. together. I listen to their suggestions, and got any clothes." often they will suggest the very plan in my Turning to the jailer I said, “What do own mind. But, if we happen to differ, I you know about this boy?" He replied : show them my reasons, after which they agree “He is a bad boy, and is connected with a to my plan with proniptitude and cheerful- 1 gang of young vagabonds who have been ness. Then they are always at liberty to rest stealing fruit all the summer.” “What do when they please. I often say, “Now, boys, you know about his father ?” “His father is. take a rest," and they have frequently replied, known as · Patsy, the dog,' because he is a “We are not tired, but if you are, go and miserable, drunken scamp, who goes walking rest." What do you think I do? Why, I round the streets, and if he sees a stray dog grin, and go and rest awhile! Now, these anywhere, he picks him up, keeps him a day things have I done, besides the moral train- or two, and then sells hin for whisky upon ing they receive as my sons. And I believe which he and his wife get drunk. They visit that all farmers may well do something sim this police court very often. I am afraid this ilar by way of encouragement, and not wait boy is steering in the same way.” until they are about to die, and then leave their farms to their children, when they can

* Remarks of Sinclair Tousey before the Social Sci

ence Association, in the discussion regarding Delinretain thern no longer. Let our farmers treat!

quent and Abandoned Children.

Now, this thing will go on for a while. By I peared among the exhibits at Philadelphia ; and that and by, when some of this conference are spelling is taught from mere lists of words! Two visiting the State prisons, they will find that

years have made a considerable change, however. It

is used in many places now, and has been found to give boy a confirmed, habitual criminal. Just as such early and powerful help to the mastery of not sure as society does not interfere, will that only practical spelling, but to language lessons and to boy become so familiar with iron bars and all that enters into composition, as to attract the attenjail life, that the State prison will have no

tion of educators generally; and it will come into gen

eral use when our Normal Schools have arranged for terror for him; and when at length he ar-lits doctrination rives at maturity, he will, like Margaret, the A later improvement - also of French devicemother of criminals, leave children to follow | more than doubles the usefulness of the dictée. This in his downward career in crime, and burden brings the powers of the eye more fully into service; the State.

induces clear, full utterance; exercises the hand in a

great variety of lines, curves and combinations; pro. All our county jails are annually contrib.

motes quiet and order; and, while it relieves the uting to this dreadful result. What is to be teacher from the most unpleasant and unprofitable of done under these circumstances? The gen his routine duties, that of oral dictation, it gives time tleman from Michigan told us that the State

| and freedom for other and more effective lessons.

These very great advantages result from the simple assumed a superiority over the parent, in its

substitution of visual dictation for oral. Signs are used control and care of the child. This is the

to show to the eye the sounds—the pronunciation-of only correct principle. Parental rights are the words of the lesson, without showing the spelling, all very well, but the State has a right over or any misspelling; and these signs are so simple that the parent, and it should come in, by its little ones in the first grade learn to make them, to iden

tify them, and to transcribe from them into “print" superior power, and take hold of the child of

letters, with perfect readiness and ease. Of course these “Patsy, the dog' and remove him from the

signs are “all Greek” to one who has not learned influences that surround him. We have no them ; but they are only 42 in number, and they never institution for such children. The nearest to change their meanings. This makes their acquisition it is that known as “ The Society for the Pre- and use very easy, and so great a convenience to the

teacher that after a little practice with them they seem vention of Cruelty to Children." Its powers

indispensable. Our teachers have devised many ways and duties, however, are not of a class to of employing them with advantage. The experiment embrace the boy I have described, and we of their use was introduced into the second grade of still need a provision for such children as the the Tyrone schools a few months ago (Miss Minary, son of “ Patsy, the dog," of oo Patsy the dog Society must res, teacher; pupils seven to eight years). Society must res

They were

learned so readily, and proved so convenient, as ex-cue these neglected ones from their surround- |

ponents of the sounds, ihat their use was gradually ings, or its burdens of crime and misery will extended into other grades, viz., to the third (Miss become greater than can be borne.

Ayres), the fourth (Miss Harpham), then to the first (Dr. Haberacker), and lately (with a book of litho

graphed dictée furnished by the school board,) to the DICTÉE IN THE TYRONE SCHOOLS.

fifth (Mr. J. B. Cox), and the sixth (Miss Confer). At this stage its operation seems likely to be com

pleted, and the seventh and eighth can give all their IN reply to inquiry I send the following account of time to the higher useful branches, I the working of the French method of dictée (dik. The teachers say of the dictée: first, that they tay) in the Tyrone schools, showing its claims to ex-“like” to teach it; second, that it effects a marked amination not only by teachers of primary schools improvement in the tone, the euphony, the clearness, and superintendents, but (and especially) by the Nor- of all reading and utterance. It stops the chief causes mal Schools, on which we depend for improvement of the screamy, unnatural, menagerie-like falsetto that in the capabilities of the ever-advancing wave of newly- prevails so much, and so fatally in school-rooms; prepared teachers. This French method is funda- thirdly, it exercises all the muscles of the hand, bemental : it leavens the whole course of instruction; cause of the great variety of line, curve and direction, and that, and its great simplicity and pleasant ease of thus giving more command of the pencil and greater working, render it of first-class importance; of more discrimination to the eye. All blackboard and slate importance to the teacher's usefulness in making good practice is manifestly improved. The eye, becoming and pleasing readers, legible and graceful writers, and somewhat critical, exacts efforts from the hand to satready composers, both as to style and orthography, isfy its growing taste; fourthly, a great deal of time than all the “finishing” accomplishments put to. is saved for instruction in useful and interesting gether.

branches of science which otherwise could not be Dictée is a convenient word, more specific in its reached at all; fifthly, it greatly favors order, and meaning than the English word dictamen. It is ap- | busy quiet, and renders the school-room more attracplied to the dictation, to a spelling class, of words in tive to visitors. actual use, in phrases, sentences, or paragraphs. In Any of the teachers referred to, or the teacher of the full report lately rendered to the French Minister the Grammar School (Mr. Ike), or of the High School of Public Instruction by the commission sent to this (Principal A. W. Greene), will cheerfully give further country in 1876, they say, with marks of surprise, that information as to their experience and practice, as dictée seems not to be in use in the States; only two will the writer in regard to the theory and from obor three brief and imperfect specimens having ap. servation as a director.

W. G, WARING.

.......

Deci.....
Centi.......
Milli.......

GRADE OF CERTIFICATES.

opinion, has done more to hinder the success of our schools than any thing we have to contend with-in

competent teachers not excepted. IN December No. of School Journal A Director,"

Let parents and guardians take the matter in hand I in a communication under the heading “Incompe

-elect live, energetic directors, sustain and encourage tent Teachers,” gives it as his opinion that it would be them by visiting the schools ; Co-operate with them in well to dispense with No. 4 and No. 5 on provis

building better school houses, procuring better surniional certificates, and perhaps with No. 3, thus leay ture with necessary school apparatus, and paying ing only two grades.

better wages to teachers--and in the course of a few I agree with the gentleman that too many incom

1 that too many incom- years, the nuisance, complained of by “A Director," petent teachers are employed, for the welfare of our will be greatly abated if not entirely removed. schools, yet I think prudence requires that we proceed

ANOTHER DIRECTOR. cautiously and gradually in the matter. In some counties it would be difficult and perhaps impossible to procure teachers holding certificates with no fig. ures higher than 2, for all the schools, I am ac

METRIC SYSTEM. quainted with teachers who hold certificates with some of the branches marked as low as 3, and yet

Mr. Editor: Many of the difficulties of the metric those teachers succeed as well in the school-roomas system of weights and measures would seem to be some who hold professional certificates. While, the

rather of an imaginary than of a real character. I certificate is a reasonably good criterion for the selec

will present two tables which will explain themselves. tion of teachers, I have learned by experience that it

No. 1.

No. 2. is not entirely reliable. Many teachers are of an

Names of the excitable, nervous and timid disposition, so far as For what used. Tu

Units of Measure. their literary qualifications are concerned, and the "examination” has such terrors for this class, and for Measure of Length.

Metre.

“ Surface. Are. young students, that many applicants fail to answer

« Volume. Stere. and define properly questions and problems with

“ Capacity. Litre. which they are familiar, and which they are able to

“ Weight. Gramme.
“ Value.

SẼẻ &33 explain correctly in the school-room.

Franc.

In some primary schools only orthography, reading, writing The dots in No. 2 indicate the omission of the and arithmetic are required to be taught, and in such name of the measuring unit. It will be readily seen schools, teachers understanding these branches cor that if we place the name of either of the measuring rectly, and possessing a fair knowledge of the ele units in table No. 1 in the places indicated by the ments of geography and grammar, may succeed leaders (dots) in No. 2, we readily have the tables as reasonably well, although they may not be familiar given in our text-books very much simplified. The with advanced geography and technical grammar, tables above given contain all that is necessary to a and by commencing to teach in such schools, they are knowledge of the Metric System of Notation and encouraged and incited to study and to improve | Numeration. themselves in the higher branches. Although I do | But why should the mind be burdened with even not consider it the best policy to employ such teachers, this much? In reading numbers in our currency we if better ones can be sccured, yet it sometimes hap- would not read $546.75, fifty-four eagles, six dollars, pe ns that directors are compelled to make a virtue of seven dimes, and five cents; and yet I cannot but necessity, by selecting the best teachers that can be think that it would be as reasonable as to read obtained, although they may not be first-class.

(M. 546.75) five hundred and forty-six and seventyIn the main, I agree with "A Director” that much live hundredths metres, five hectometres, four deca. harm may emanate from the employment of incompe meters, six metres, seven decimetres, and five centitent teachers in our schools, -perhaps he puts it a metres. By the former reading we do away with little strong in regard to the “tramp” nuisance—but many of the objections to the system; as the only facts the evil is not wholly attributable to the present then needed, besides that of a knowledge of decimal grade of provisional certificates. In many instances, fractions, would be the names of the different measurparticularly in the smaller towns and rural districts, ing units in table No. 1; besides we would start the directors are to blame for the large number of in. | matter where we will have to come to when, if ever, competent teachers in our schools. Salaries are so this system is adopted.

R. L. WILLIAMS. ruinously low, school houses so badly constructed, so poorly furnished, and almost destitute of school apparatus, that competent teachers will not compromise 1 FREE LIBRARY AND READING-Room, GERMANthe dignity of the profession by accepting such wages TOWN, PHILADELPHIA.-The more the public mind and accommodations. It sometimes happens through is impressed with the necessity of education, the more prejudice, bigotry and nepotism, that competent and will we be awakened to the need of adding libraries efficient teachers are rejected in order to accommo- to our common schools. Our cities are doing this date relatives and acquaintances. This is strong nobly, and many of our rural communities are work. language, but “I speak what I know, and testify to ing in the same direction. This is well, but free liwhat I have seen."

braries have become a want which must be more or If directors would pay more attention to matters less felt to be pressing on our subscription instituconnected with the schools under their control, read tions, good work as they are doing, Those who are educational works, attend institutes, etc., we would unable to pay for their literary advancement feel the soon have a different state of affairs in our public need of intellectual culture, and ought to have it. schools. The conduct of parents in opposing every | Feeling this, the small library belonging to Friends thing connected with the free school system, and fail. in Germantown, Philadelphia, was, a few years ago, ing to co-operate with directors and teachers, in my opened to all the residents of the place as a Free

« ElőzőTovább »