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ticular point assigned. The lecture of each pupil was limited to six minutes, and when each had performed his duty, his matter, manner and style were criticised by the Principal. The improvement observable from week to week, showed this exercise to be one of no small importance.
Board of Instruction.-David P. Page, Principal. George R. Perkins, A. M., Professor of Mathematics. Darwin G. Eaton, Teacher of Mathematics, &c. Sumner C. Webb, Teacher of Arithmetic and Geography. Silas T. Bowen, Teacher of Grammar. W. W. Clark, Teacher of Natural Philosophy and Chemistry. Elizabeth C. Hance, Teacher of Reading and History. William F. Phelps, Permanent Teacher of the Model School. F. I. Ilsley, Teacher of Vocal Music. J. B. Howard, Teacher of Drawing.
The number of the pupils having increased so much, a modification of the duties of the Principal was imperatively required. A general supervision of the teachers is necessary, and this could not be exercised, so long as the Principal was confined during all the school hours, engaged in actual teaching. At the first, necessity required his services in the recitation room, but it was even then felt to be an evil, which ought to be corrected as soon as possible. Accordingly his duties as an actual teacher have been somewhat lightened, and a portion of every day is spent by him, in visiting the classes taught by the assistants.
Institute Exercise. In addition to the Wednesday “sub lectures,” some of the more advanced classes spend an hour each week, in what is denominated an “ Institute Exercise.” Three or four persons are designated, who having prepared themselves, take the place of Institute Teachers ; thus a facility is acquired in performing an important service which will be expected of them when they graduate.
Weekly Discussions.—There are also in the school, several associations which meet every Saturday, for the purpose of discussing the duties of the teacher, the best modes of discipline, and the means of elevating the profession of the teacher, so that it may become worthy of the public respect; it is believed that these associations are exerting a salutary influence.
Punctuality and System.—Punctuality is esteemed essential for the teacher, who wishes to preserve his own self-respect, or to be useful to his pupils; its observance has therefore been earnestly urged upon all, both by precept and example ; and the Normal School affords an example of the ease with which punctuality may be observed in a school, by teachers being punctual themselves. The Normal School teachers are never “behind the time."
Success also in a school depends much upon adherence to system in all its arrangements and exercises. The rule of the Normal School is, that there is “a time for every thing, and every thing must be in its time.”
Discipline.-It was thought best to have few laws. The wish of the Principal, kindly expressed, has been the law of the school, while the good intention and ever ready compliance on the part of the pupils, to that wish, has made the discipline of the school an honor to teachers and students, and a gratification to all who have witnessed it.
Library. In the report of last year, it was stated," that a donation for an educational library has been made to the Normal School, by the executors of the Hon. James Wadsworth, out of certain funds left by that distinguished friend of education, to be disbursed in such manner as would best promote the interests of the schools of the people.” This valuable donation has been received, and composes the principal part of the “ Miscellaneous Library,” which now numbers 001 volumes.
The expense of the school, in the purchase of text books, has also been much lessened by the liberality of publishers. The number of volumes in the “ Text Book Library,” is 5,005. The number of volumes in both libraries is 5,606.
Experimental School.—During the second term, an experimental school was opened, consisting of forty-five children between the ages of five and sixteen years. This school was taught during that term by the graduating class, who went in by turns for that purpose.
The design of this school is, to afford the Normal pupils an opportunity, under the eye of the Principal, to practice the methods of teaching inculcated in the instructions which they have received. They spend two weeks each in the school. The first week, they act as observers, and the second as teachers. As observers, it is their duty to notice closely the mode of discipline, teaching, &c.; also at every recitation to keep the “ class book," and to mark therein the manner in which every child recites his lesson. The second week, the observers become teachers, and new pupils come in from the Normal School, to take the place of observers.
Uniformity of instruction and government is secured by the appointment of one of the graduates of the Normal School, as a permanent teacher. It is bis duty to keep the school well classified and in good order; to give occasional specimens of teaching, and to make such suggestions to the teachers as he shall think proper.
It is proposed to open shortly another experimental school, the city of Albany having agreed to pay $200 for fitting up and furnishing the room. Both the schools will be under the supervision of the “ Permanent Teacher," while more ample opportunity for practice in teaching will be afforded to the Normal pupils.
Hitherto the instruction in the experimental school has been gratuitous, but it is the purpose of the committee, hereafter to charge those who are ahle to pay a tuition fee ; thus it is intended, that the schools shall defray their own expenses. An idea of the organization and management of this school, may be obtained from the “ suggestions in aid of the experimental school.”
“The care of this school has been placed under a permanent teacher, whose duty it shall be to govern, classify and arrange the school according to his best judgment.
He is to be aided, in the work of instruction and carrying out of his plans, by two " teachers" and two “visitors" each week; it being understood that the “ visitors" of one week shall become the teachers” for the next.
In order to make this school as useful as possible both to the teachers and the taught, the following suggestions are submitted to those who may be called upon to take part in its instruction, in the hope that they will be rigidly observed.
“1. That you be in the school-room promptly at twenty minutes before 9 4. M., every day during your stay in the school, in readiness to attend to any duties that may be assigned you.
2. That you thoroughly prepare yourselves for your work while here, examine every lesson before you meet your classes, and thus be enabled to conduct the exercises with animation and interest.
3. That you take special pains to interest yourselves in behalf of the school; that you study to promote its welfare, as if its prosperity and usefulness depended entirely upon your own exertions.
4. That you be prepared, during your week of service, to present at least one “ topic exercise" of not less than five minutes in length.
5. That you be rigidly thorough in every thing you teach, bearing in mind our motto: “not how much, but how well."
6. That your intercourse with the pupils be characterized by kindness and calmness, and at the same time by firmness and decision.
7. That you punctually attend every meeting appointed for the purpose of conferring on matters relating to the school,
8. That while the general direction and government of the school is left with the permanent teacher, you consider yourselves responsible for the deportment of pupils during class exercises, as well as for their scholarship and progress while under your charge.
9. That all cases of disobedience or misconduct of any kind, be promptly reported to the permanent teacher.
10. That you keep in mind constantly the object for which this school was established, and that your own fitness, for the duties of the teacher's responsible office, may, in a great measure, be determined by your course of proceeding while here."
The visitors are expected to keep a faithful record of the recitations and deportment of each pupil in the classes they attend, and thus endeavor during the week to learn the name and attainments of each scholar. They should strive to make themselves quite familiar with all the operations of the school, that they may be the better prepared for the duties of the second week.
It is also the duty of the " visitors,” to regard the deportment of the pupils at recess. To this end, it is desirable they should be among the scholars, most of the time at recess, in order to direct their sports or to restrain any noise or disorder, that would be improper or inconvenient to the Normal School.
Those who enter upon their duties as “ visitors,” are requested carefully to read these suggestions during the first morning, and to conform to them as faithfully as possible during their whole stay in the school.”
Prospects of the Normal School.—But is there a reasonable prospect that the Normal School, as an educational scheme, will be more successful than the plans which have preceded it? To this it is answered, that if the school continues under the charge of teachers, every way so competent as the present instructors, and if fostered by the Legislature, it cannot fail. And the committee feel justified in speaking strongly, from the success that has already crowned the effort. The minds of the pupils have been aroused, and they have labored with most commendable zeal' in the acquisition of knowledge and of the best modes of imparting instruction. No one can enter the recitation rooms of the Normal School without feeling, that teachers and taught are in earnest, that here there is no child's play
Of nearly all the thirty-four graduates who have gone forth from the school, it may be affirmed, that their educational fabric is granite from the base to the top stone. And those who occupy the seats during the present term, are busily engaged in quarrying, polishing and laying the same solid material.
Nothing in the school makes so strong an impression upon the minds of visitors, as the display of a determined purpose on the part of the students, to get at the truth upon every subject of study. "Implicit faith in the dicta of a teacher is not an article in the educational creed of the Normal School, and the instructors are doing their utmost that it may never become so. At recitation the pupil has the privilege of stating his difficulties and doubts, and even his objections, and the subject under consideration is not passed until it is thoroughly sifted. The committee watched with deep interest, and not without apprehension, this feature in the system of instruction of Messrs Page and Perkins. At first they seared, lest the teachers might, sooner or later, be placed in an awkward dilemma, and be found wanting on some point; for nothing is truer, thar that a person of ordinary capacity may ask a question, which a wiser man ought, and yet may not be able to answer. But the committee did not then know the teachers of the Normal School as well as they now do; and indeed all apprehension on this point was dispelled before the close of the first term. Before leaving this topic, it may, however, be well to remark, that the daily ordeal of questioning through which the instructors and their assistants pass, is one, to say the least, to which the executive committee would not like to be exposed. A distinguished officer in one of our colleges, upon his visit to the school, remarked that it would not be safe to expose our college professors to such a trial,” and he suggested that the privilege of questioning ought to be much curtailed, for there was danger of placing the teachers in an unpleasant position. But confidence has so completely supplanted fear in the minds of the committee, that the suggestion of the professor is not likely to be soon adopted.
The committee would therefore state their strong conviction that this gratifying state of interest and effort, as witnessed in the school, has been caused by the excellence of the Normal system, efficiently carried out.
And if such has been the result of the first year, why may not each succeeding one witness the same or even greater results? In the first year of any enter. prise, much time is necessarily spent in planning and arranging, but when the arrangements have been completed, and the whole time is devoted to the purpose proposed in the institution, greater results may be confidently expected, than could be in its incipient stages.
As to the influence which the school shall exert upon the standing of teachers, and the cause of education, the community must judge. The committee believe, however, that those who are thoroughly trained with reference to teaching, who have the methods of teaching and the means of exciting an interest in the young, must be more successful than those, who enter the schools without thought, and who, having nothing to guide them but a sort of extemporaneous impulse, are nearly as likely to go wrong as right.
It is believed, too, that the indirect influence of the school will be salutary. Wherever a Normal pupil is employed to teach, there will be a large circle of other teachers incited to effort to be his equals, who otherwise might never have been roused to any extraordinary exertion. A few poor teachers, indeed, conscious of their own inferiority, will be moved to oppose the school and denounce the system of instruction, which they cannot hope to emulate; but the majority will desire improvement, and be glad to take the hints which they can gather from any good example around them. On this point the institutes, which were held during the last autumn, may be cited as proof. In several of the counties, the graduates of the school officiated by request as teachers. So far as heard from, their reception was most gratifying. They not only did not excite any untoward jealousies, but gained largely upon the confidence and good will of the teachers assembled. Copy of the Diploma of the State Normal School.
Albany, N. Y. 184 . This certifies that A. B. has been a member of the State Normal School months, and that he is judged by the Faculty of the institution to be well qualified to engage in the duties of a teacher. ( Signed, )
Prof. Math. To whom it may concern:
In consideration of the above certificate, the undersigned, the executive com mittee, hereby recommend the said A. B. as a worthy graduate of the State Normal School. (Signed, )
Committee. State of New York, Done at Albany,
ELEVENTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF COMMON SCHOOLS, FOR THE YEAR ENDING JUNE 3, 1844, p. 57.
DO. FOR 1845, p. 12. The report last cited does not throw much light on the practical working of the school system of Pennsylvania, beyond its financial statistics. We will however make some extracts from this, and the report for 1844, by Mr. M'Clure, which goes more into detail.
GENERAL VIEW OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM. Every township, ward or borough in the commonwealth, not within the city and incorporated districts of the county of Philadelphia, forms a separate school distric!, except in a few instances where, by special aci of the Legislature, a township is divided into two districts. Each district has a board of school directors, consisting of six members, two of whom are elected annually. The directors are authorized, if they deem it expedient, to divide the district into sub-districts, with power to elect a primary committee of three in each, who act as a committee of the board, to attend io the local affairs of their respective sub-districts, subject to the orders of the board. In wards and boroughs the directors may appoint an inspector, who devotes his attention to the “visitation, inspection, and care of the schools.". Neither the directors, their treasurer, nor the primary committees, receive any pay or emolument whatever for their services as such. It will thus be seen, that each district forms a distinct and independent organization, represented by the board of directors, having no connection with the township or county officers; the only other officer being the Secretary of the Commonwealth, who is ex-officio Superintendent of Common Schools.
Each board of directors is required, hy one or more of their number, to visit every school within their district at least once in every month, and to cause the result of said visit to be entered on the minutes of the board. And on the first Monday of June, annually, they are required to make a report to the Superintendent, setting forth the progress and condition of the schools, ihe expenses incurred in maintaining them, together with such other information as may be of use in forming a just estimate of the value of common schools.
The district reports, which at present constitute the principal, and almost the only means of ascertaining the condition of the schools throughout the state, have been pretty generally received.
CONDITION OF THE SCHOOLS IN 1844-5. Number of accepting districts, 1,189. Number of schools, 6,690. Average length of school term, four months. Number of teachers, 8,031. Average salaries of male teachers per month, $16 47. Average salaries of female teachers per month, $9 46. Number of scholars, 327,418. Average number in each school, forty-four. State appropriation to accepting districts $191,177 10. Amount raised by tax in accepling districts $370,774 15. These statistics do not include Philadelphia, which were as follows in 1844.
Schools in Philadelphia.—The city and county of Philadelphia compose one district, known as the first school district. The provisions for general education in this district vary considerably from those in the other districts of the state. As in the latter, however, the funds for their support are derived from a tax levied in the district, and from the state appropriation—and the general regulation of the schools is entrusted to persons elected by the people for that purpose. The schools at present are in a most flourishing condition.
The Central High School is an adınirable feature in the system, no less for the influence it cxerts over the primary and secondary schools, ihan for its superior methods of instruction. The hope of admission to this school, which it is known depends entirely on his personal merits, affords to every boy, rich or poor, in the district, a powerful stimulus to unwearied exertion. And at the same time a wholesome emulation is kept up among the teachers of these schools as to which shall furnish the greatest number of successful candidates.
The buildings and public property are all insured ; and the real estate held in trust by the county of Philadelphia, for public school purposes, including lots, buildings, furniture, &c. which in many instances has become worth much more than the original cost, may be fairly estimated at over $600,000.
The number of the schools in the district is 217, of which one is the High School; forty-two are grammar schools; nineteen secondary; seventy-eight primary, and seventy-seven unclassified. The whole number of teachers, including the professors of the High School, is 526, of whom eighty-four are males, and four hundred and forty-two females, and the average compensation of each, is $263 27. The whole number of scholars is 33,299; of whom 16,964 are males, and 16,335 females. The aggregate amount paid for tuition is $138,481; the aggregate amount for contingent expenses, not including those for real estate and school furniture, is $62,738 96. These two sums divided by 33,299, (the whole number of scholars,) give the average cost of tuition, $1 15; average cost of contingent ex.
penses, $1 89.
HISTORY OF THE STATE APPROPRIATIONS FOR SUPPORT OF SCHOOLS. A common school fund was first established in this state by the act of April 2d, 1831. By that act, certain moneys arising from the sale of lands, and other sources, were set apart for a common school fund, to be held by the Commonwealth, for the use of said fund, at an interest of five per cent. The interest was directed to be added to the principal, until the proceeds thereof should amount to one hundred thousand dollars annually, when the whole was to be applied to the support of common schools.
By the act of April 1st, 1834, seventy-five thousand dollars were ordered to be paid out of the school fund for the year 1835, and annually thereafter, to be distribinted among the several counties that should entitle themselves to it under the provisions of ihat act. The portion due each county was deposited in the respective county treasuries, to be paid out to the accepting districts in each county. The appropriation of 1835 was paid to whatever districts in the county adopted the system; those that refused to adopt thereby forfeiting their share. But under the act of June 13th, 1836, the appropriation for that year, due to the non-accepting districts, was to be retained in the county treasury, for their use, for any term not exceeding one year, from the 1st of November, 1837.
By the act of June 13th, 1836, one hundred thousard dollars, in addition to the one hundred thousand dollars payable by the United States Bank, were appropria.