Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

upper by the four edges, and by the flanges, marked, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Let there be two openings in the back part

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

of the plate ; the one at A, communicating with the outward air, by a pipe, which passes through the floor, and thence through the southi wall; the one at B, communicating with the schoolroom. From the above figure, it will be perceived, that the outward air, entering at A, will

pass six times, lengthwise, across the hearth of the stove, before it passes into the room, at B. It will thus be sufficiently warmed, and yet, being protected, by the ashes, from the great heat to which the sides of the stove are exposed, it will not be burned, i.e. deprived of its oxygen, and thus rendered unfit for respiration, as air heated in furnaces commonly is, in a greater or less degree. By coming out at the back part, it will not be liable to be drawn in at the door of the stove. There will thus be a continual interchange of fresh, warm air, for the fouler air passing into the stove to supply the draft. The heat of this air should not be greater than is pleasant to the hand, being regulated, reciprocally, by the quantity of ashes in the stove, and, directly, by the intensity of the fire. Such a stove-plate as has been described, might be procured at any furnace. Where it cannot be had, its place might be supplied, in some degree, by removing the legs of the stove, and placing it on a small chamber of brick, furnished with openings and tube, as described above. But this, although better than receiving cold air through every crack and crevice, as at present, would be vastly inferior to the double-bottomed stove. A room, supplied with either of these contrivances, however, would be so full of air, as to cause it to press outwards, besides furnishing a supply for the draft of the stove, instead of having cold air continually pressing in.

As a stove dries as well as heats the air, there should always be an iron basin of water standing on it, as a counteraction.

The floor of the room should be horizontal, there being some disadvantages, and no advantages, in the amphitheatrical form, if the teacher's seat be raised, so as to command a view of the whole room.

The arrangement of the seats, for pupils and teachers, should be as follows: Across each end of the schoolroom there should be an open space of eight or ten feet, and along the north and south walls, a space of three feet. Inside of these spaces, the desks and seats for the scholars should be placed, in parallel lines, lengthwise of the room, with aisles between, never having more than two children at a desk. One would be better. The aisles should be eighteen inches wide, if there be only one child for each desk ; three feet, if there be two. The allowance of desk-room, for each pupil, should not be less than eighteen inches; two feet would be better. The front of the desks may form the backs of the seats. These backs should slope a little backwards.

The seats should be a foot in width, not perfectly level, but a little lower behind. The edge of the desk should be at such a distance from the seat, as to allow those who write, to lean a little over their slate or paper, without bending the neck or body. The desks should not be less than eighteen inches wide. That part of the top, furthest from the scholar, should be level, for three or four inches; the residue, with a slight inclination, say an inch and a half in a foot. There should be a shelf under the desk, for books and slates ; or the desk may be a box, with a cover hung on hinges for a lid. Into the horizontal part of the desk, the inkstands may be let; so loosely, however, as to allow of their being taken out to be filled; and so deep, that their tops will be on a level with the desks. They may be covered with a metallic lid, resembling a butt-hinge, to rise or fall

l; or, which is better, with a common slide, or with a flat, circular piece of pewter, having a stem projecting on one side, like the stem of a watch, through which a

ail or screw may be driven, not tightly, but so that the cover may be made to slide over or off the orifice of the inkstand, on the nail or screw, as a hinge.

The height of the seats should be ascertained, by the builder calling in children of different ages, to try them, before they are finally fixed, placing the younger in front. But, as there is a continual change in the proportion of different ages attending any one school, there should be a number of planed pieces of plank and blocks put away in the corner of the woodhouse, in order that the teacher may always be able so to arrange the seats, that every child may sit at his ease, an object as important, in respect to his mental improvement, as to his bodily health.

Across that end of the room furthest from the door, there should be a platform four feet wide, about sixteen inches above the floor, in the middle of which should be placed the teacher's desk, with a moveable chair. Along the whole wall behind the teacher, should be cases for the library and apparatus, and also for the proper arrangement of the botanical and mineralogical specimens, to be collected by the whole school. Behind the teacher's chair, the work of the cases,

for about six feet, should be plain, to serve as a large blackboard ; the rest may be of pannelled work. The stove should stand in the middle of the space, at the opposite end of the room. The backs of the seats next the stove, should be high enough to protect the heads of their occupants from the heat. The stove-pipe should pass, horizontally, into the chimney built in the woodhouse, without the use of perpendicular pipe to roast the children's brains. If the room be properly finished, it will be sufficiently warmed by the stove itself, and the supply of heated air. Near the stove, should be a pail and tin cup; and, if there be no house or spring near, a pump should be placed near the door. As the children, while at play, frequently soil their face and hands, economy, as it regards their books, and a decent regard for cleanly habits, point out the propriety of a basin and towel. At this end of the room, there should be a moveable blackboard, about three feet square.

A clock would be a desirable article, in a conspicuous part of the schoolroom, within view of the teacher's desk. If it struck the quarters, so much the better.

It will have been observed, that, one end of the building being occupied by cases, and the other covered by the woodhouse, the room can be lighted only from the two sides. This arrangement was intentional, being considered superior to that of lighting the room from all sides. Cross-lights are extremely prejudicial to the eye ; and a window behind the teacher would only prevent the pupils from seeing his countenance distinctly, without being of material use to him. If the house has been placed in the best position, namely, with one of its sides facing the south, the light will only be from the north and south, the former being the steadiest possible, and the latter can be made nearly so, by white cotton curtains, or Venetian blinds. Should curtains be preferred, care should be taken completely to exclude the sunshine, as a narrow streak of light is more prejudicial than a broad beam. The teacher should always have an eye to this difficulty. If the sunshine be permanently excluded from the room, it is believed, that it will never be found necessary to raise the south windows for air, at all; but, should this not be the case,some plan of fixing the curtains may easily be adopted, that will prevent their being blown aside, and to keep the glare from the scholars' desks. Pegs should be fixed to the two sides and to the stove-end of the room, for hanging the hats and cloaks. These should be numbered, and every scholar should know his number, which should be fixed at the opening of the school.

As a blank wall at the end of the building would be rather unsightly, it will be proper to have false windows outside, unless the district be sufficiently liberal to allow a Doric portico, which would render them unnecessary. At all events, there should be a small cupola, and a bell, which should be rung by a monitor, appointed weekly, by the teacher. There should be a mat inside, and a scraper outside, of the inner door, that is, the door from the woodhouse. Should the number of pupils be fifty or more, an assistant teacher would be found useful ; and a recitation room might be fitted up in the corner of the woodhouse next the schoolroom. Should the number amount to eighty, or more, two assistants would be found more profitable than dividing the district ; and, as two recitation rooms would be required, they might easily be fitted up in the upper part of the woodhouse.

If the highway should pass the school in a northerly direction, the gable or portico would form the front of the schoolhouse. If it ran westwardly, the north or south side of the building would be the front. But the road might pass in neither direction, but between the two. In this case, the advantages of the most favorable mode of lighting the schoolroom, and the most pleasant exposure, both for Summer and Winter, must be sacrificed to appearance, or the building put far enough back in the lot, to obviate the awkward appearance it would present, standing neither perpendicular nor parallel to the road. In such a case, the advantages and disadvantages should be maturely considered, and care taken not to sacrifice too much to mere appearance.

School-terms and School-hours. Enough has been said to show the importance of a permanent teacher for primary schools. But a month's vacation in the Spring, and another in the Autumn, would probably have no injurious effect on the scholar, and would be acceptable to the teacher, as a relaxation from her toil. The school should not be kept longer than six hours a day, divided into two equal portions, with an hour or two's intermission, between. The practice, getting into use, in some of the cities, of throwing the two periods into one, cannot be too severely reprobated. Six hours a day, then, would be sufficient for the older scholars : longer periods would not be profitable. For children between seven and ten, four "hours a day would be quite enough ; and children under seven should never be

« AnteriorContinuar »