« AnteriorContinuar »
cramming of boys; which seems at present to be a rule without exception. These excessive hours of study are applied chiefly to classics. A sound elementary education in every-day knowledge is rendered altogether subordinate. Superficiality necessarily results ; first, from the undue tax upon, and spraining of the intellectual powers of the child ; and secondly, from the enormous quantity of matter he is required to swallow, and which he can nowise digest. Hence, cram systems and fictitious standards obtain. Formulæ, without adequate training in the principles of mathematical and arithmetical science, as the Moderators themselves complain, become the road to the tripos at Cambridge, whilst the knack of versification is studied as the best chance of a high place in the classes of Oxford. Classics are studied, less as a means of chastening style, facilitating grammar, and giving elegance to the expression of English, than as a means of obtaining prizes, scholarships, and honours. These mistakes in education—for such we regard them—are part and parcel of the vicious system of long schoolhours. It cannot be too often repeated, that the true aim and object of education is to form men fit for their social duties and relations. If this be true, parents should insist upon it, that mental studies be limited first of all to such subjects as will conduce to those ends; and secondly, that the demands on the intellect be held in subjection to the requirements of bodily strength and mental vigour. Four hours of real application to book learning is ample for any child under twelve.
If any sensible man would confer the immense boon on English society of opening a boarding-school, where a good English, and perfectly elementary Latin education were given, and limited to four hours daily, devoting the rest of the day to healthful games and gymnastic exercises, and such useful things as rowing, gardening, carpentering, &c., the master being with his boys, and constantly using these admirable facilities of moral training, we would insure him a handsome income. Let him confine his ambition to sending his pupils home healthy, hearty, manly, generous boys, with the feelings and manners of gentlemen ; with a fair amount of practically useful knowledge, and a sound elementary education in Scripture, arithmetic, geography, history, and English grammar. We would undertake to back such a boy, starting at twelve with such a substratum, against any number of the cramlings of the fashionable school system. He should beat them moreover on their own ground ; and would be a better classic, a better mathematician, and a better man in every sense of that broad word, at twenty, than they have any chance of becoming at any period of their future lives.
IMPORTANCE OF THE AVOCATION OF SCHOOLMASTER. The business of the schoolmaster is to fashion and mould a man for life ; oftentimes it is his lot to form and model almost an entire community,-numerically, at all events, the larger portion. There must be, then, if he aims at success, an earnest and constant endeavour to root out all that is evil, to eradicate the weeds, to plant and to foster nobler feelings in the breasts of his pupils, and at the same time to harmonize the members of the future family one with another. * * * * To the schoolmaster's care is committed an enormous trust; in his hands is placed machinery of a construction most exquisitely delicate, from which, if properly handled, results most important to the community are to emanate.- Rev. J. Freeman.
Notes of New Books.
History of Greece, based on that of Connop Thirlwall, D.D., Bishop of
St. David's. By Dr. Leonhard Schmitz. Fourth Edition. Pp. 566. London : Longman & Co., 1856.
The Bishop of St. David's wrote many years ago the History of Greece, amplified and adorned with the philosophy and generalizations with which elegant and erudite scholarship and a powerful mind naturally enlarges upon the facts of history, revives its power, develops its use, and portrays its beauty. Dr. Leonhard Schmitz has retained the skeleton, and discarded the symmetry of the work; he has stripped the tree of its summer foliage, fruit, and verdure, and given us its winter aspect, faithfully preserving its material substance ; nor are these by any means devoid of utility, and as a “ Manual containing within a reasonable compass an accurate and complete outline of the subject," we admit its merit; but we must altogether deny that this is the best mode of making “ the voluminous works” of Bishop Thirlwall and Mr. Grote "available for educational purposes." Youth should be enticed to history by flowery paths, not deterred from it by dates, incidents, and details, oppressive to the memory and distasteful to the intellectual appetite of the child. If any one would take the trouble, who had the power, of adopting the exact converse of Dr. Schmitz's plan ; and would give us all the poetry, philosophy, and pictorial narrative, discarding three-fourths of the drier details, chronology, and minor events in Bishop Thirlwall's masterly work, we should then indeed have an introduction to the master-pieces of classical historical literature as engaging, as we cannot but think the digests now in fashion are repellent; and even detrimental to the higher order of historical knowledge.
We are bound to add that the six chapters annexed to the former editions by Dr. Schmitz by no means indicate him as likely to succeed in such an enterprise. His facts are unexceptionably accurate ; his style is plain and simple ; but the facts are so numerous, the inferences and divergencies so few, and the narration so scanty, that he can hardly have written these chapters with any hope or expectation that they would inspire a thirst for further draughts, or that a tithe of the curt facts condensed in them would ever be remembered. In fact, the great bulk of it strongly resembles the digest of Lempriere's Classical Dictionary: it is chiefly an epitome of biography condensed to such an extent, that in some passages the proper names form the majority of the words in a sentence, and flow through each page in numbers which baffle human memory to retain them. Here is a specimen :
“ The public taste became more and more vitiated : and among those who accelerated its depravity by their obscene paintings, we must mention (?) Pausanias, Nicophanes, Chaerephanes, Arellius, and others. Amid this general corruption of taste, Mydon of Soli, Neocles, Leontiscus and Timarchus of Sicyon, and the Sicyonian school in general, alone retained some traces of former purity and freshness of style.”
Now if half of these gentry were signal only for the obscenity of their works, and the remainder were depraved only in a lesser degree, of what possible service is it to store their names in one's memory, and perpetuate their depravities ? Are these among the legitimate ends of history? If nothing more useful can be said of them, why remember their vicious existence ? And why "must" educational historians “mention" names which it is so palpably desirable to forget ?
In page 515, in enumerating (for it is nothing more) the disciples of Plato, we have mention of eleven philosophers in five lines, of whom, with two exceptions, not a syllable more is said.
We are very anxious to aid in popularizing knowledge in each branch of learning. Much may be done, and if so, much ought to be done, in facilitating and insuring its acquisition by rendering it as interesting as possible. It is with this view (and from no desire to indulge in condemnatory criticism) that we have adopted the tone and the aim sufficiently observable in every notice we have written during the last two years in this Journal : nor is there any probability that we shall refrain from urging the same views for the time to come, whenever occasion calls for them.
LITTLE BOOKS. The Seven Kings of Rome. By Josiah Wright, M.A. Pp. 137. (Cambridge : Macmillan, 1856.) A book which, like its predecessors by the same author, we can speak of in terms of unqualified praise. We cordially approve of making boys construe at a far earlier period than has been usually done. This book affords admirable facility in doing so. The extracts from Livy are well chosen, and very fully and ably noted.- Series of Elementary Questions and Examination Papers on Latin Grammar. By the Rev. J. Ď. Collis, M.A. Part II. Pp. 146. (London: Longmans, 1856.) Admirably done. The plan is well conceived and most ably executed. Buy it, together with Part I., by all means, ye teachers of Latin Grammar. These books consist first of questions to be answered, and of examples on the same rules to be re-translated into Latin.- The Church of England Schoolmaster. By the Rev. John Freeman, M.A. Pp. 23. (London : Longman and Co., 1856.) Sound sense, good feeling, and thoroughly practical suggestions flow through these few pages, replete with wisdom for time and eternity. Aphorisms on Drawing. By the Rev. S. C. Malan. Pp. 58. (Longmans.) Decidedly the most sensible book we have ever read on this subject. We shall select passages for the pithy paragraphs with which we supplement short pages, and as we learn, much to the delight of our general as well as professional readers.- La Bagatelle, revised by Madame N. L. New Edition. Pp. 162. (London : Simpkin and Marshall, 1856.) A useful little book, and the lessons pleasantly and easily arranged, and the illustrations are nicely done. — Class Atlas of Physical Geography. By Walter Mc.Leod. Pp. 20. (London : Long. mans, 1856). Very nicely executed little maps, which give a good outline of places, physical features, and divisions of countries. — Introduction to Reading. Pp. 32. Reading Lessons. Pp. 32. Arithmetical Primer. Pp. 32. Grammatical Primer. Pp. 32. (London and Edinburgh : W. and R. Chambers, 1856.) These small books are the commencement of the Messrs. Chambers' Minor Educational Course, and very useful they are. We hope the series will be continued.
SERIALS RECEIVED. Frazer's Magazine ; Museum of Science and Art; Early Ballads (annotated edition); Penny Post; Canadian Journal of Education.
Intelligence. SCIENTIFIC APPARATUS FOR THE USE OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS.
SUMMARY OF CONDITIONS. THE Committee of Council on Education will grant to Elementary Schools in which pupil-teachers are apprenticed pecuniary assistance, to the extent of two-thirds of the cost, in purchasing the articles enumerated in the accompanying list, and of suitable cabinets to contain them.
Apparatus may be selected to the value of 101., 151., or 201.
The master must be examined in order to give proof of his qualifications to use the apparatus selected.
The text-books of examination are named under each of the divisions of the list.
The time and place of examination are the same as those prescribed for registration or for certificates of merit.
In the case of masters already holding certificates of merit, SPECIAL EXAMINATION IS WAIVED, if the selection be made from the division of mechanical and geometrical (A.), or from the first lists of physical (B.) science.
A certificated master in the third or lowest degree of merit qualifies a school in which pupil-teachers are apprenticed for a grant towards the cost of apparatus selected from the last-named divisions equal in value to 101. ; in the middle degree 151. ; in the upper degree 201.
In order to obtain grants under the second lists of the physical (B.) division, or under the division of natural history (C.), certificated masters must, equally with those who are uncertificated, pass a special examination.
Renewal grants, equal in amount to one half of the original grant, may be claimed at the expiration of three years from the date of the original grant." : Additional grants (e. e. for articles in another division of the list) may be claimed at the like interval, on the same conditions as the original grant.
Managers, at the time of claiming grants, may extend their selection (at the expense of the school) beyond the amount on which grants are allowed.
THE BISHOP OF ST. ASAPH, A VERY gratifying scene occurred last month in Montgomeryshire. The worthy prelate was proceeding to consecrate a church among the lead-works on the side of Plynlimon, to which he had himself contributed the large sum of 2501., when a large body of miners went to meet his lordship the distance of a mile, wishing to take the horses out of the carriage and pull him in,” his lordship having on a previous occasion visited several of the cottages, and gained their affections by this as well as by his large contribution to the church. His lordship declined the honour, and is reported to have remarked, “I am not a Crimean hero, but a Christian bishop.” This shows that the Church in Wales is not so disaffected even towards English bishops as some disappointed and busy intermeddlers within and without her pale would make us believe. We venture to say that, in proportion to the available resources, no diocese in the kingdom is making such strides in the right direction as that of St. Asaph. The worthy prelate stayed the (Welsh) afternoon service, and laid the foundation-stone of a national school, near the church, observing that he hoped the grown-up people would make use of it, as he wished to learn something every day of his life.
MEETINGS OF THE UNITED ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLMASTERS.
St. Martin's Hall, Long Acre, London.
SESSION 1856-57. Saturday, 27th September, 1856.--Lecture by Mr. R. MIMPRISS, on his System of Graduated Simultaneous Instruction.
Saturday, 25th October,-Lecture by Mr. G. REINICKE, on an Improved Method of Teaching Gymnastics.
Saturday, 29th November. - Discussion on Teaching Physiology in Schools.' opened by Mr. M'LEOD.
29th and 30th December.-ANNUAL MEETING.
The chair is taken at FIVE o'clock in the evening precisely. The Acting Com. mittee meets immediately after the general meeting.
JAMES TILLEARD, Corresponding Secretary: ; Notice to Members.—The Acting Committee beg leave to call attention to the foregoing list of general meetings, and to express a hope that the time of meeting will be found more convenient than that adopted during the first part of the year. Each member will be allowed to introduce other teachers or promoters of education to the meetings.
The Committee are happy to be able to announce that they have obtained the free use of a room in a central part of London for depositing and exhibiting the collection of books and apparatus which they are endeavouring to form. It is intended that the collection shall be open to the inspection of members at stated times. Particulars will be announced so soon as the arrangements have sufficiently progressed.
The efficient working of this, as of every other association, necessarily depends in a large measure on the certainty and regularity of its income. Members are therefore respectfully reminded that the subscription of five shillings for the current year became due in January last ; and they are requested to forward the same (if they have not already done so) to the Corresponding Secretary, without further delay, by a money-order made payable at the Charing Cross Post-office, London.
ST. MARTIN'S HALL, September, 1856.
THE SURREY CHURCH OF ENGLAND SCHOOLMASTERS' ASSOCIATION held their annual meeting lately. A great number of clergy and others attended. The chair was taken by the Bishop of Winchester, who spoke well, and, after mentioning the good effected by the Hon. and Rev. Mr. Bestin, Wilts and Hants, by the establishment of similar associations, he announced his intentions of offering the female teachers a prize for the best essay on some subject that should hereafter be agreed upon. As the subject he had chosen last year did not appear to suit them, he should not propose the same again, but with the assistance of his reverend friend Mr. Wynter, who was well qualified to suggest some subject, he should make the offer again for the next year, and thus take the matter out of the hands of Mr. Chandler ; and he concluded by offering a second prize to be competed for by the schoolmasters. After the meeting separated there was a dinner, at which the bishop presided, and, after an able speech from his lordship and other members, the meeting broke up.
EARLY CLOSING MOVEMENT.-It is essential to the education of the young men employed in shops that some legislative stop should be put to the hours during which they are now confined. It arises from the growing rapacity of trade. Here is a lamentable instance of the excess to which this abuse is carried :
“I (M. G.) have been about eleven years in the chemist's business. My father was an independent man, but dying when I was young, and there being a largish family of us, I was put to the business early. I was apprenticed to a country druggist for six years, with a premium of 1001. During that period I had no opportunity of improving my mind, and therefore remained just as I left school-or, rather, I retrograded. I then took a situation in the town of
at a salary of 601. per year, having to board and lodge myself. I remained there two years. I then came to London, and after a search of six weeks, obtained a situation on the borders of the city at a salary of 301., with bed and board. In the fashionable West-end chemists' shops, they consider it quite a favour to take a young man from the country without any salary at all for the first year or two. In this, my first London situation, the hours were, all the year round, from seven till ten, and occasionally it was later; on Saturday night the hour of closing was always twelve o'clock. (In the town trade one can scarcely ever get a comfortable meal, being subject to constant interruptions