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can be desired, enough to insure a child, as good an education as he much higher style of instruction in could obtain in the first sixteen years our schools. The subject of popu- of his life, under any other means lar education may yet iake a deeper of instruction. They ought to be hold of the community, so as to de. made to rank with the best private mand teachers of higher qualifica. schools for children of the same age. tions, and furnish the necessary But if this is desirable, it is prac. means of educating them. But no ticable only by means of better considerable number of states are teachers and better Teachers will yet prepared to take this step. The not drop down from the skies. They wisest course now is, to provide for must be made. Suitable seminaries present necessities, and thus prepare for training teachers must be provi. the way for doing more when more ded; and certainly nothing of the is demanded. Already, in the opin- kind can be more economical, more ion of examining committees—if within the compass of possibility, their certificates mean any thing- more suited to present exigencies, our common school teachers under. than that to which we now call atstand the studies required by law; tention. Promising at a reasonable and yet they frequenily complain in expense, to make our public school their reports, that many teachers are system more efficient and success. lamentably deficient in “ skill” and ful, by providing teachers of higher "aptness to teach," and are "desti qualifications, what objection can tute of a tact at illustration, so as to there be to its general adoption? interest scholars ;" and they there. What state can refuse to make the fore express their decided opinion small appropriation necessary to carin favor of teachers' seminaries. ry out the plan? If i promises, at Many of these certificates are no a reasonable expense, to make the doubt given, not because the candi. schools more efficient by the better dates are fully qualified, but because qualification of teachers, no state teachers of better qualifications can should hesitate to adopt it. Public not be had. Who can doubt that appropriations for education, afford one term of instruction, such as we richer returns to the state iban any have specified, would remedy to a other expenditures. Donations to very great extent the evils of which
colleges have brought forward young these committees complain? men to serve their country in the
For these reasons, it seems to us, various professions, whose talents that the endowment of a teachers' would otherwise have remained unseminary on this economical plan, cultivated. Colleges deserve to be is the least that can be expected of liberally endowed by the stale, beany state of our union. The prin. cause every rightly educated man ciple of public free schools for all is a blessing io ihe community. the people, is engrafted into our in. None but the sons of the rich would stitutions. None can deny the right be able to obtain a collegiate educa. and the duty of the state to provide tion, if they were laxed for the for the education of every child. whole support of the professors, The only open question respects the with the interest upon the buildings, character of the schools-ihe kind apparatus and library of the instilu. of education which they shall be de. tion. We need allempt no compar. signed and fitted 10 impart. That ison between the usefulness to a our coinmon schools are all that can state of common schools and collebe desired, no one will pretend. ges. The good influence of both They are susceptible of great im. is beyond computation and perfectly provements. They ought to be coincident. No other class is so demade capable of imparting to every sirous of the elevation of common schools, or so strongly convinced of sults often remote but cheaply pur. the utility of teachers' seminaries, chased at much present expense as the graduates of our colleges. and self-denial. The right educa. The legislature of a state could in tion of a generation of children no way confer a greater benefit on repays for itself by the precious every town, district and family, than returns of adult years, and never by passing an act to encourage ceases to yield fruit in succeeding teachers to qualify themselves more ages. We admire the wise econ. thoroughly for their work. What a omy of a citizen of Kentucky, who delicate and responsible work it is! said to the collector of the school They have the mind of the nation tax: “ I would rather be taxed for committed to them, at the most plas. the education of the boy than for tic period of life. They do more the ignorance of the man ; and for than any others, the parents except. one or the other I am compelled to ed, 10 form the mental and moral pay." We beg our narrow.sighted habils of the rising generation. No econornists to consider the wisdom bungler should be allowed, far less of this preference; to observe how employed and paid, to work upon and why our New England conthe tender susceptibilities of child. trasts with Mexico and South Amer. hood, upon the disposition, mind, ica, with Asia and Europe ; how heart and soul, at ihe very time, every degree of right education di. above all others, when every impres. minishes the expenses of the state sion made is indelible. As Mr. and of individuals ; and increases Mann remarks, “ No unskillful hand the knowledge, health, peace, virtue should ever play upon a harp, where and intelligent piety of the people. the tones are left, forever, in the Some may think that such a strings."
seminary as we desire must neces. We cast no censure upon our sarily be temporary; for it would present teachers. Many of them soon supply the schools with teachare able, skillful and efficient; as a ers. This would be the case if body they do as well as can be ex. teaching were a permanent busipected with the facilities and advan.
But new teachers must be tages afforded them. Many of them constantly in a course of preparaare unable, with the low wages tion to supply vacancies, for there which they receive, to be at the ex. is no hope of permanency in the pense of superior qualifications. Let office at present. While the avethe state come to their assistance. rage length of time spent in teach. Let them have an opportunity ating, except in a few large places, the public expense, so far as neces. is less than two years and a half, sary, to acquire a perfect knowl. the seminary would have enough edge of all that they are required to do; and at a future day, as soon to leach, and of the best methods of as there shall be a demand for it, instruction and discipline. Econ- the course of instruction may be omy is the order of ihe day; and extended. some may think that our plan pays But will not teachers' institutes, too much respect to this passion of or conventions a few weeks, anthe people. But others more nar- swer essentially the purposes of Tow minded, and representing the such an institution? To this it is penny-wise and pound-foolish prin- an obvious answer, that we can not ciple, may be prejudiced against have the model school in connec. the measure by their ruling passion. tion with them; and this we regard But we beg of them to consider as an indispensable means of comthat the truest economy looks be. municating a thorough practical yond the hour and the day to re- knowledge of the art of teaching. Vol. VI.
Is it said that teachers can not be pendent will they be upon him for qualified by a three months' course, help. He must throw life and into instruct in the higher branches ? terest into twenty different exercises The Report of the Normal School in a day. He must be perfectly faat Albany supplies an answer: miliar with all the “liitle things," “We have been coming down more (always the great things in early and more to the primary studies in training,) and know well how to drilling teachers; here lies the great communicate them in the happiest est deficiency." The principal of manner. Unlike a professor in one of the normal schools in Mas. college, he must teach mathematsachusetts has expressed to us the ics, grammar, elocution, rhetoric, same opinion. To put teachers or geography, penmanship, English scholars into algebra before they literature and ethics—a liule of ev. understand arithmetic, or into phi- ery thing—all at the same time. losophy before they know enough Not a day passes but he is called to of grammar to apply the principles instruct in the elements of all these of the science to the construction of sciences. His education, therefore, sentences, is subversive of all right can not be too extensive and thor. education. When the majority of ough. But the greatest deficiencies teachers have become so familiar at present respect the mere ele. with the elementary studies as to mentary studies, and particularly be able to illustrate and teach them the art of teaching. We, therefore, in a happy manner, it will be soon think the present aim of the friends enough to take another step. Then, of education in all our states should but not till then, the schools will be be to improve the elementary in. prepared to enter upon the higher struction of the common schools, by branches. Already where schools some feasible plan, such as we prohave been organized on the best pose—a seminary for teachers, hav. system, and philosophical methods ing accommodations for a hundred of instruction employed, the higher and fifty or two hundred pupils; branches have been introduced with supplied with apparatus and every success. A thorough training for facility for illustration ; under the the first eight or len years, will instruction of those who are in ev. prepare the pupil to enter upon ery way competent for the busithose studies. But this advance can Dess; connected with a model school not be made in the great majority taught upon the principles laid down of schools, till the preliminary work in ihe seminary; and giving, each is far better understood, and far term, one course of practical drills better accomplished.
and familiar lectures in all the studThere is another consideration of ies prescribed by the law of the some weight in this connection: staie for the public schools. when teachers are practically initi- The details of this plan it is un. ated into the art of teaching the com- necessary for us to suggest. Conmon branches, they will be good ditions of admission must of course teachers in every study which they be fixed. A certificate of characunderstand. A person skillful in
ter, and a declaration of intention illustrating the principles of inter- to teach for one or more terms, est, needs no normal instruction in would be required; and the gradu. order to teach geometry. The ates of the schools might be furteacher of a district school should nished with diplomas that would be be able to adapt his instructions to current through the state, and suall minds, to all the mental and persede the necessity of their exmoral peculiarities of his pupils.amination by school committees. The younger they are, the more de. Three terms a year might perhaps
be deemed sufficient ; leaving time own improvement. By attending for teachers' conventions, which are these', many would be induced to found to awaken interest in the enter the seminary and receive a community upon the subject of pop. thorough course of instruction in ular education, and stimulate the the art of teaching. zeal of teachers in the work of their
ROBERT MURRAY MCCHEYNE.*
The outward life of McCheyne commenced preparing for the min. can be written in a few lines. There istry, under Drs. Chalmers and were no great or striking events in Welch. In the summer of 1831, which he bore a prominent part.
an elder brother to whom he was Nothing links his name with the strongly attached, was taken away, history of the state, of the church, and this affliction made a deep imor with literature. He passed away pression on his heart. He had, at too early for that, as but a few of various times, alarming views of our race have made work for the his sinfulness, but the pleasures of historic muse, before completing gay and polite society dissipated their thirtieth year.
such convictions from his vivacious He was born, May 21, 1813, in mind. Christ drew him to himself Edinburgh, and was named Robert through his afflictions, and his piety Murray, after some of his kindred. ever afier bore traces of the process We are not informed where he ob. by which he became a disciple. tained his primary education, but it Before the close of the year he had appears that his mind was bright undoubtedly passed from sin to holi. and active, rapid in learning and ness; his love for this world had retentive. In October, 1821, when been supplanted by a new power a little more than eight years old, and nobler affection; and by de. be entered the Edinburgh High grees all his powers, and susceptiSchool, where he continued his lit. 'bilities, and purposes, were brought erary studies during the usual pe. into captivity to Christ. riod of six years. The High School He finished his studies on the naturally led him to the doors of the 29th of March, 1835, and was licen. University of Edinburgh, which re- sed to preach the Gospel, the first of ceived him in the autumn of 1827, July of the same year, by the pres. being in his fifteenth year. Here bytery of Annan. From this time he enjoyed the instructions of Prof. to November, he preached in vari. Wilson, (editor of Blackwood,) and ous places ; when he became the attracted his attention on several oc. colleague of the Rev. John Bonar, casions, by the excellence of his in the two fields of labor at Larbert poetical and other compositions. A and Dunipace near Stirling. In Au. ihorough course in this institution gust, 1836, he preached for the first prepared him for the Divinity Hall, time, at St. Peier's church, Dundee, where in the winter of 1831, he where he was ordained, November
His ministry was laborious * The works of the late Rev. Robert and successful. Near the close of Murray McCheyne, Minister of St. Peter's 1838, sickness, to which he seems Church, Dundee. Complete in two vol. to have been very liable, compelled umes. Vol. 1, containing his Life and Remains, Leiters, Lectures, Songs of him to leave his parish and seek re. Zion, &c. New York: Robert Carter pose and health among his friends in Edinburgh. About this time, his associates speak of him as one the leading men of the now free who had “ peculiarities that drew church of Scotland, were contem- attention,-of a light, tall form, full plating an exploratory visit to the of elasticity and vigor, ambitious, Jews in Palestine and other parts, yet noble in his dispositions, disdain. and it was suggested to McCheyne ing every thing like meanness or that he should become a member of deceit.” Being of a vivacious and the deputation. His heart was in gay temper, he early became fond the object, and it was thought that of the party of pleasure and the the journey would be conducive to dance. He was thus ofien seduced his recovery.
Accordingly, with from grave occupations, and his three co-travelers, he started in the mind was diverted from more seri. spring of 1839, passed through ous and profitable exercises. This France, crossed the Mediterranean early fondness for gaiety often prov. 10 Alexandria, and from thence went ed a thorn to him in after years, and over the desert and explored the was the occasion of repeated transHoly Land. On his return he was gressions. We have no positive taken sick off Cyprus, but did not evidence that he was favored with land till he arrived at Smyrna. He strict religious training at home, was brought to the borders of the yet he was remarkably free from grave. After recovering, he returned vice and vicious associations. Aside to Scotland through Turkey, Aus- from his love of gay society, his tria, Poland, and the north of Ger- deportment was correct. “ Some many-countries where the Jews would have regarded him as exhibare found in great numbers-and iting many traiis of a Christian chararrived at Dundee in November, acter. I have heard him say," says In the meantime, a wonderful work his biographer, “ihat there was a of grace had been wrought in his correctness and propriety in his deparish in connection with the preachmeanor at times of devotion, and ing of the Rev. Wm. C. Burns. in public worship, which some who From this time, his ministry was an knew not his heart, were ready to almost uninterrupted triumph until put to the account of real feeling. his death, which took place on the Yet after all, "his susceptible mind 25th of March, 1843.
had nol, at that time, a relish for The interior life of McCheyne- any higher joy than the refined gaithe life of his mind—is worthy of eties of society, and for such pleasstudy. In treating of this, what we ures as the song and the dance have to say, will for the sake of con- could yieid.” venience, be placed under the fol- His love of natural scenery may lowing titles, viz., natural disposi- be mentioned here as it displays his tion, scholarship and literary char. disposition. The beautiful rather acter, piety, and ministerial qualifi. than the sublime, was congenial 10 cations.
his spirit. A short extract from his The disposition of McCheyne biography will illustrate this trait. was uncommonly good. “From his “ He had great delight in rural infancy,” says his friend, “ his sweet scenery. Most of his summer va. and affectionate temper was remark. cations used to be spent in Duinfries. ed by all who knew him.” This shire, and his friends in the parish was a prominent characteristic dur- of Ruthwell and its vicinity, reing his life. It was this among tain a vivid remembrance of his other things, which made him a youthful days. His poetic lemper. favorite among his youthful play- ament led him to visit whatever mates, and his more mature com. scenes were fitted to stir the soul. panions. While in the high school, At all periods of his life also he had