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nor disposition to devote to vicious pleasures. Their kind and generous propensities are also called into vigorous exercise, by exchanges and presents; and they are thus prepared for an enlightened and liberal course of action, in whatever department of society they may be called to take a part.
Mineralogy and Geology. We are not, it is to be feared, yet prepared to carry these sciences into our common schools, though it is highly desirable that they should form a branch of study there. It is to be hoped, that some of the votaries of these sciences will, ere long, have sufficient patriotism to devote their talents towards so simplifying them, as to bring their elements, at least, within the reach of early youth. What immense advantages might not be derived for our country, nay, for the world, from a million of schoolboys, spread all over the land, each with hammer in hand. *
Agriculture. In the country schools, it is highly important, that the boys should acquire correct ideas of the nature of soils, the effects of manures, the best kinds of tools and stock, and the most profitable methods of cultivation ; on all which subjects the majority of our farmers are deplorably ignorant. The American Common School Union have published, in New York, an excellent little work on this subject, entitled the · Farmer's School Book.'
Vocal Music. The introduction of vocal music into our schools is an object of great importance. Regarded merely as a refined pleasure, it has a favorable bearing on public morals. Let taste and skill in this beautiful art be spread among us, and every family will have a new resource ; home, a new attraction. Social intercourse will be more cheerful, and an innocent public amusement will be furnished to the community. Public amusements, bringing multitudes together, to kindle with one emotion, to share the same innocent joy, have a humanizing influence ; and, among these bonds of society, perhaps no one produces so much unmixed good as music. What a fulness of enjoyment has our Creator placed within our reach, by surrounding us with an atmosphere which may be shaped into sweet sounds! And yet this goodness is almost lost upon us, through want of culture of the organ by which this provision is to be enjoyed.
* Since writing the above, I have met with Professor Mather's 'Geology for Schools,' an admirable little book, but the science is not sufficiently simplified for children from eight to ten years of age, the best season for enlisting youth in active pursuits of this nature. Perhaps a knowledge of mineralogy can only become general through the mediam of the Normal Schools. But the question recurs, can it not be still more simplified for early youth?
In addition to this consideration, it ought to be remembered, that vocal music forms a very interesting part of Divine worship; and that, in most Protestant churches, it is the only part of the service in which the congregation can join. How desirable, then, it is, that no one should be excluded from a share in this species of Divine homage!
The opinion is still entertained, in many parts of our country, that a musical voice and ear has been conferred by Providence only on a favored few. But, fortunately, this absurd prejudice
is fast dying away, under the laudable exertions of the Boston Academy of Music, and the accounts given by travellers of the universal cultivation of vocal music in Europe. No rational mind, who has fully examined the subject, can doubt, that the only reason why music is not equally common here, is, that the cultivation of the voice is delayed till it is too late. Like every other part of the body, it must be exercised in early youth, if we would have it attain strength and proficiency. What use should we have of our limbs, or of our power of speech, if both were left entirely without practice till the age of eighteen or twenty? And yet this is the course adopted with respect to music. During the years of infancy, while the vocal organs are delicate and pliable, it is totally neglected ; and, because we cannot attain a command over it at an adult age, after it has become inflexible from want of use, we blame Nature, for not giving us a voice !
If, then, we desire this beautiful accomplishment to be universal, let us use the proper means.
As soon as a body of permanent female teachers have been procured, in any town, for the primary schools, let a good teacher of vocal music be procured from the Academy, for one year; and let it be considered a duty for the primary teachers to attend, whether they have a musical voice or not, with a view of introducing it as a regular exercise in the schools. If the teacher be incapable of leading the singing in her school, she can teach the elements of the science, and let one of the pupils be the leader. When once vocal music is fairly introduced into the common schools, the object is accomplished for ever. For, where music is heard in every house, it will come as naturally to children as speech.
As a school exercise, music cannot fail to produce admirable effects. Its power of soothing the passions into peace, and of allaying mental fatigue, is every where acknowledged. In this point of view, if a moderate share of time be devoted to it, it will be found to hasten, rather than retard, the progress of the other studies ; to cause a gain, rather than a loss, of time. As a mental discipline, also, it ranks as high as any part of the mathematics, of which, indeed, it forms, in some respects, a branch.
The Higher Branches of Education. So much space has been devoted to the studies of the primary school, that but little can be afforded to the higher branches of the central schools and colleges. This, however, becomes less a matter of regret, as the chief errors in education lie in the cultivation of the first branch
Let but the principles, laid down in treating of reading and arithmetic, be carried out, in the study of the languages, and the higher branches of the mathematics; let every thing be taught thoroughly and intellectually, avoiding, diligently, all mere mechanical routine ; let things, rather than words, be the object of pursuit, and, instead of cultivating the memory exclusively, let every intellectual faculty have its due share of attention, and all will be well.
Arrangement of Studies, and Order of Recitation. In the primary school, it should be distinctly recollected, that the main points, to which every thing else should bend, are the acquisition of reading WITH INTELLIGENCE, and the developement of the mental faculties, by a judicious system of questioning after the reading exercises, and by the practice of mental and written arithmetic, and of composition. If the hours of attendance vary with the respective ages of the scholars, probably the best order of recitation would be as follows :
1. At nine o'clock, when the eldest scholars assemble, let them mutually examine each other's compositions, prepared at home the evening before, and mark the errors. When these are disputed, let the teacher be the umpire.
2. Exercises in elocution ; a certain number being called on, by rotation, to narrate some little event, or describe some natural object. This always to be done standing
3. Exercises in mental arithmetic.
At ten o'clock, on the entrance of the second class, the first class to take their slates, and practise written arithmetic the rest of the forenoon. The second class to pursue a similar course to that of the first, taking up their written arithmetic on the entrance of the third class, at eleven.
Eleven o'clock. The third class go through their reading exercises, singly, or in classes, each to be followed by questioning, spelling a few words from the lesson, and a short exercise on the numeral frame, or mental arithmetic.
Afternoon. The whole school being assembled at one, a short story, or description in natural history to be read by the teacher to the whole school, followed by questioning, and a few easy sums in mental arithmetic. The rest of the hour to be occupied by reading, &c., of the third class, which is to be dismissed, at two. Two o'clock. The second class pursue a similar
Illustrations on the blackboard. Dismissed at three.
Three o'clock. First class, a similar course.
The Wednesdays (or any other convenient day) should be devoted to elocution, composition, reading by the teacher on botany, or some other easy science, and, in pleasant weather, the teacher should accompany the school in an afternoon ramble to the woods or fields, in quest of botanical specimens, or (by permission) in visits to mills, manufactories, furnaces, &c.
The exercises of the forenoon might be arranged as follows : nine o'clock, first class, elocution, and examination of compositions, by teacher. These should be longer and more studied than those of other days. Ten o'clock. First class at written arithmetic ; second class, elocution, and examination of composition, by teacher. Eleven o'clock. The whole school listen to reading on botany, or whatever interesting subject may then be on hand, followed by thorough questioning of the whole school A few minutes should be reserved for asking each class what progress they think they have made in each study, during the week.
When the afternoon is unfavorable to going abroad, it may be spent, alternately, in conversation and reading of some interesting subjects; or the usual exercises may be resumed, and the afternoon walk postponed to the next
The first hour, of every Thursday afternoon, may be devoted to the principles of vocal music, illustrated on the blackboard, from the Manual,' of the Boston Academy. For this purpose, the large board should have the five lines of the staff painted either twice or four times across it.
As soon as the children are able to sing, a song or hymn should be struck up at each signal for short relaxation from study.
Studies in the Central School. The arrangement of the mathematical studies should somewhat depend on the time each student will probably have to bestow on them. If he is of such an age, as to render it probable that he can go through the whole course, perhaps the best plan will be to go through the theoretical, and then the practical, part, as follows : 1. Algebra, geometry, conic sections, differential and inte