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a few lodging-rooms for those female pupils, whose health might be too delicate to go, daily, to their distant homes. Here, with trifling inconvenience, and without any additional expense, save the transport of their provision and a little necessary furniture from home, they might board themselves. But the boys should, in all cases, return home; as it is more important, that they should be under the eye of their parents, and as they, generally, have more or less morning and evening duties to perform.
The distance from the furthest corner of the town would probably, in no case, exceed four or five miles. Should there be any pupils to whom it might be inconvenient to furnish means of conveyance, daily, it might easily be arranged, that they should have longer tasks, and attend the school for recitation, only two or three times a week. And, if their leisure time was properly spent at home, it is highly probable, that improvement would be more rapid, under such an arrangement, than where the school was attended constantly. For it would certainly have the tendency, in most cases, to induce habits of patient perseverance, and confidence in one's own exertions,-habits of much more importance than the mere attainment of science. In all schools, there is too much leaning on the teacher, too little patient research and self-dependence.
As the languages and higher branches of mathematics should be taught in the central schools, it would be necessary to have a gentleman of liberal education at its head; but, probably, so great has been the improvement of female education within a few years, there would be little difficulty of procuring a sufficiency of well-qualified assistants of that sex.
The advantages arising from this plan of graduating the schools are fourfold : 1. Its tendency to produce a body of capable, experienced, female teachers. 2. Its efficiency. 3. Its economy. 4. Its equality.
1. Its tendency to produce a body of capable, experienced, female teachers. In the fourth chapter of the preceding part of this work, it was shown, that, in the country parts of New England, owing to the prevailing system of alternating male and female schools, there was,
literally, no such profession as that of teacher. The central school system, if generally adopted, would soon remove this evil, so far as female teachers are concerned. In every district, we should have a permanent female school ; and, when it is considered what immense numbers of young women flock to the manufacturing establishments, there cannot be a reasonable doubt, that these much more eligible and independent situations would soon be filled by well-qualified incumbents. Only create a demand for teachers, and a steady supply will soon be obtained. As to the central schools, these situations may be conveniently filled from the senior classes of the colleges, whose vacations are generally arranged with a view to Winter teaching.
2. Its efficiency. Surely, no argument can be necessary to demonstrate the superior efficiency of this plan. It is apparent, at the first glance, that the younger classes will be highly benefited by a permanent school, conducted by a teacher educated with a view to that employment, and who will, consequently, devote to it her whole attention ; a teacher, who will have an opportunity of becoming acquainted with the various dispositions and characters of her pupils,-a knowledge so necessary to successful tuition, and time to apply that knowledge to their benefit ; advantages, which temporary teachers can never possess. The younger
The younger classes will also be relieved from the intrusion of the elder classes in Winter, a circumstance which will, at least, double the efficiency of the school for that season of the year. But its main efficiency will arise from its permanency. During the first weeks of a school, children cannot study with the same facility, nor are they able to make the same progress, as afterwards. Even men cannot rally and apply their whole mental forces, on the first day of commencing an unaccustomed work. Hence, a change of teachers is, of itself, a great misfortune. Teacher and pupils must become acquainted with one another ; they must understand one another's
before the school can adBesides, females are by far the best teachers of young children. They have more quick apprehension of character, more enduring patience, more expansive benevolence, higher purity, more delicate taste, and more elevated moral feelings, than men; and, above all, the young more willingly and readily receive instruction from them, because the severity of discipline is relieved by their tenderness and affection. In the central school, the older children will find well-qualified teachers, whose attention will not be distracted by such a multiplicity of studies, as now occupy their attention in the Winter schools, and will, therefore, be able to devote their undivided attention to the higher branches. The pupils, too, can pursue their studies with much greater ease and effect, when uninterrupted by the constantly-recurring recitations of beginners.
3. Its economy. On this head, it is only necessary to remark, that, by the employment, in Winter, of only one or two men, with a sufficient number of female teachers, instead of fifteen or twenty men, as at present, such a saving will be effected, as will enable the districts to keep their primary sehools ten months in the year, and pay two teachers in the central school, without any increase of the expense of tuition.
Let us suppose, for instance, that a town was divided into sixteen districts, in each of which, a female school was kept for four months in Summer, and a man's school three months in Winter ; and that the wages paid, were six dollars for the female, and fifteen dollars for the male, school. This, for the sixteen districts, would be,
64 months, female school, at $6 $384
$1104 This amount, applied to the central school system, would give, in every district, say ten months school : 160 months, at $6 ..
$1104 Thus, the younger children would have ten months' in
place of seven months' schooling, and the elder pupils a first rate school, by themselves, for four months, in place of a wretched, crowded one, for three months.
4. Its equality. At present, the advantages of education are distributed in a manner exceedingly unequal. By the proposed plan, with the exception of college graduates, we should approach, as nearly as possible, to a state of equality ; and, what is still better, all would be well educated, and at a rate so low, as could hardly be felt by the poorest member of the community.*
Such are a few of the advantages of the Central School System. When they are compared with the only disadvantage, which, it is believed, can attend it, namely, the increased distance of some of the older scholars, how completely does the latter sink into insignificance !
Ye genuine philanthropists and true patriots ! your assistance is invoked, towards carrying into operation this most important measure, which only waits for a commencement, to spread, rapidly, through our country. If, by your advice, influence, and example, you can hasten the formation of a body of capable and experienced female teachers, you will do more for your country, than if you were to be the means of discovering the richest mines of gold and silver within her territory; you will confer greater benefits on your countrymen, than by pointing out new sources of trade, more easy and rapid means of intercommunication, or new principles of practical science. Such a body, weak as it may appear, will operate as an impregnable wall of defence, alike against external and internal foes. It will be the surest stay for our invaluable political institutions ; the radical cure for intemperance and vice; an effectual remedy for political and religious fanaticism ; and a certain means of putting a final stop to all sorts of quackery and imposture. May not your countenance and aid be relied on, in this holy cause? Do not suffer the coldness, with which your first efforts will be met by the community, to discourage you. There is a natural propensity in man, to cling to established institutions, and reverence hereditary usages, which was wisely ordained by the Creator, to give stability to the forms of society. But this disposition, although, perhaps, it thus contributes more to the good than to the evil of the race, should not be blindly yielded to, by the more intelligent. For it also serves to perpetuate every species of error, and to retard the progress of society towards the highest and best condition of which the nature of man is capable. It has been well remarked, “ that it is an encouraging observation, that no good measure was ever proposed, which, if duly pursued, failed to prevail in the end." We have a strong proof of this, in the efforts made to suppress the slave-trade and extirpate slavery, in the British Parliament. Mr. Wilberforce agitated this subject for twenty or thirty years, before he was able to carry his point. But he had the exquisite happiness, before his death, to see slavery completely abolished, and that dark stain wiped away from the isles of the West. May this striking example of the effects of perseverance not be lost upon us ; may
* The above plan of a graduation of the public schools, was first publicly proposed by me, in the Spring of 1830, and endeavors made to obtain the legislative sanction, in the Autumn of that year. The novelty of its provisions, however, by exciting the fears of some, and the prejudices of others, caused its failure in that, and in two other, sessions. It has steadily continued to gain friends, however, and will probably soon be authorized by law. Meanwhile, the Legislature of Massachusetts have taken up the subject, and deprived us of the honor of its first introduction, by sanctioning it in that intelligent and powerful State, where, it is to be hoped, its provisions will soon have a fair trial.
encourage us to obedience to the Bible precept,
66 Let us not be weary in well-doing."*
In our endeavors to do good, however, let us be particularly careful not to injure the cause, by the hasty adoption of half-way measures. The grand object should be, to engage the town, not a few individual districts, in the measure.
If the community, in which we reside, will not, at once, accede to the plan, it would be well, carefully to consider, whether it would not be preferable to postpone operations, until public sentiment can be rectified on the subject, rather than precipitately engage in
* Gal. vi. 9.