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cherished; and that our youth, from their most tender age, should be habituated to consult it on every occasion ; and not only to consult it, but to listen to its monitions ; for, if we summon conscience, and neglect her dictates, we only harden ourselves in guilt. The bane of education, in all its branches, is the absurd practice of neglecting the first steps, of allowing bad habits to spring up, and become a part of our nature, in the illusory hope of rooting them out, in after life. Alas, it is then, indeed, a labor dire and weary wo.
In some instances, doubtless, it may be effected; but, in all cases, the eradication is imperfect; and, in most, the attempt is a total failure. It is both shorter and easier, to proceed from ignorance to knowledge, than from error. "They, who are in the last, must unlearn, before they can learn to any good purpose ; and the first part of this double task is, by far, the most irksome and difficult, for which reason, it is seldom undertaken.
HITHERTO, gentle reader, our journey together has been almost wholly over rough acclivities, with but little to relieve the weariness of the ascent. Having now, however, reached the top, before we descend into the more pleasing and more flowery vale before us, it may, perhaps, be profitable, to take a retrospective view of our past labors, and inquire, what are their results. May we not conclude, then,
I. That the School is not the only place, where our youth receive instruction; but that, indirectly, they derive much of their education from
1. Observation and Experience.
parents and companions.
3. Public Opinion, or Tradition.
7. The Judicial Establishments. II. That our Direct Instruction, or School Education, is weak, trifling, and of small extent, compared with our Indirect Instruction.
III. That, in Physical Education, Nature is our great instructress, and that our duty is chiefly negative ; namely, to deviate as little as possible from the course she indicates.
IV. That the unnecessary confinement, to which the child is subjected in early life, is alike prejudicial to his physical powers, and to the developement of his intellectual faculties.
V. That the location and internal arrangement of most of our schoolhouses are highly objectionable, tending to enervate the mind, as well as to weaken the bodies of our youth.
VI. That the imperfect qualification of our teachers arises, in a great measure, from the fact, that, owing to the plan of alternating male and female teachers in the Winter and Summer schools, it is impossible for either to gain a support from the profession.
VII. That, in order to induce females properly to qualify themselves, permanent situations must be provided for them, in the primary schools.
VIII. That the waste of time, by the pupils, and other inconveniences, arising from the perpetual change of teachers, occasion a serious, loss to the community.
IX. That Seminaries for Teachers too often mistake the object of their institution, by endeavoring to extend the knowledge of their students to the higher branches of learning, instead of imparting to them the art of teaching.
X. That the Discipline of schools is defective, either by being too lax and wavering, or, when sufficiently strict, by not allowing frequent intermissions, at stated periods ; also, by the vulgar practices of the teacher, and by too frequent recurrence to scolding and brute force.
XI. That the initiatory branches of education are, by far, the most important; and yet, that they are those which are generally intrusted to the most incompetent instructers.
XII. That the pernicious habit of mental wandering, or reading one thing while thinking of another, naturally arises from the synthetic mode of teaching reading.
XIII. That, by the analytic method, this pernicious habit is avoided, while, at the same time, the progress of the pupil is much more rapid.
XIV. That experience shows, that the oral method of teaching orthography is deceptive, and generally fails to produce good spellers.
XV. That the mode of teaching reading, by means of spelling, is absurd, and highly pernicious.
XVI. That writing, as taught in our district schools, generally eventuates in a stiff, cramp hand.
XVII. That the fundamental processes of arithmetic are seldom properly taught, or sufficiently practised; that the general arrangement of the subject is defective; and that the different modes of abbreviation are not pointed out.
XVIII. That the important advantages, which might be derived from the practice of mental arithmetic, are generally lost, by the mode in which it is studied.
XIX. That the practice of committing words to memory, instead of acquiring ideas, is still too general in the study of the higher branches of learning.
XX. That the subject of MORAL EDUCATION is sadly neglected in schools, and the little, that is attempted, generally founded on false principles.
XXI. That it is through school-books and schools, only, that a genuine REFORMATION can be effected in the community.
THE TEACHER'S MANUAL.
“ Theoriarum vires, arcta et quasi se mutuo sustinente partium adaptione, quâ, quasi in orbem cohærent, firmantur.")* Bacon.
“ I shall not detain you longer in the demonstration of what we should not do ; but straight conduct you to a hill-side, where I will point ye out the right path of a virtuous and noble education, laborious, indeed, at the first ascent, but also so smooth, so green, so full of goodly prospect and melodious sounds, that the harp of Orpheus was not more charming.” — Milton.
Having now accomplished the unpleasant and invidious, but not less important and necessary, duty, of pointing out the principal errors and deficiencies of the present system of Popular Education, the more pleasing task remains, of constructing a new and more perfect system of instruction. In the performance of this duty, although we shall consider ourselves completely unrestricted in the choice of materials, yet shall we sedulously endeavor to guard against the error of seeking after mere novelties. Whatever, therefore, is truly valuable in the old system shall be retained ; but nothing, whether new or old, shall
The strength of a theory depends greatly on the mutual adaptation and adhesion of its parts ; like an arch, the several portions of which reciprocally strengthen and support each other.
be adopted, without a thorough examination into its soundness and fitness.
In this second part, we shall endeavor to preserve the same arrangement of subjects, so far as it shall be convenient and practicable, divided, as before, into the three heads of Physical, Intellectual, and Moral, Education.
Under the head of Physical Education, will be noticed the division of towns into school districts; the gradation of schools; the size, situation, and ornamenting, of school lots; the construction and internal arrangement of schoolhouses, with plans for warming and ventilating them ; school terms and school hours; and discipline; all of which will be found to have an important bearing on the health.
In treating of Intellectual Education, teachers' seminaries and the qualifications of teachers will form an important item ; and the best modes of conducting studies, especially in the primary schools, will receive a full discussion.
In the uncultivated region of Moral Education for schools, where
66 The world is all before us, where to choose,” while we shall use our best endeavors, so to direct our steps, as to execute all that our weak efforts are capable of accomplishing, we shall be equally watchful to avoid even the slightest appearance of evil. As adventurous pioneers in this great wilderness, we shall try to select a fertile spot, such as shall not only produce abundantly for present use, but which, at the same time, may form a not altogether useless corner, at a future period, when the whole region shall blossom as a garden.