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ers by their prudential committees, who are authorized and required to "adopt measures for the inspection, examination and regulation of the schools, and the improvement of the scholars in learning.” But experience has shown, abundantly, that all this is unavailing to the purpose of securing a proper examination, or indeed, any examination, of teachers, or a supervision of the schools, or to awaken that interest in their improvement, among parents throughout the community, which is as indispensible to their vigorous health and prosperity as a pure and bracing atmosphere is to the support of human life.
We want a system of supervision which shall make the power of beneficent legislation felt through competent and discreet agencies, in every district and by every child in the State. Shall we have it? That is the question ; and it presses upon us more urgently than any other question within the range of our legislative duties. We cannot avoid its consideration. The States around us are moving onward in the work of improvement; and so urgent have been considered the claims of common school patronage, --so manifest the defects of old systems of supervision and instruction, and so common and universal the benefits to be derived from improvements in both, that party spirit has stood silent in presence of this great question, and all parties have made common cause in the noble work of educational improvement.
The expense of carrying into eflect a system of adequate supervision need not be great, while its benefits will be inappreciable. Dollars and cents canno: measure their value. We readily make investments in railroads, and other improvements, which promise a return of pecuniary profit; but what are such investments in comparison with those which, in the process of educating a community in virtue and intelligence, infuse into it the great and indispensable elements of solid and enduring prosperity.
I commend this whole subject to your earnest consideration, under a full persuasion that an awakened and greatly advanced public sentiment will respond a hearty approval to your favorable action on it.
This clear and unanswerable exposition of the defects of the laws relating to common schools was followed up promptly by the Legislature in the passage of an act of sixteen sections, in which the appointment of Town, County and State Superintendents is provided for, with a prescribed course of duty for each class of officers in reference to the examination of teachers and visitation of schools, and with provision for a small compensation for the discharge of these duties.
Simultancously with the passage of the new act, a State society was formed, called the “ Vermont Society for the improvement of the common schools,” with the following officers, viz: Hon. Silas H. Jenison, President; Daniel P. Thompson, of Montpelier, Recording Secretary, and Thomas II. Palmer, of Pittsford, Corresponding Secretary.
MASSACHUSETTS. At a meeting of “ Practical Teachers,” held at Worcester, November 24th and 25th, on the call of the Essex County Teachers Association, a Society was organized, under the title of the “ Massachusetts Association of Teachers," with the following officers :
PRESIDENT-0. CARLTON, SALEM. Vice Presidents—Thos. Sherwin, Boston; D. P. Galloup, Salem; A. C. Hathaway, Medford; Levi Reed, Roxbury; Warren Lazell, Worcester; G. F. Thayer, Boston; Emerson Davis, Westfield ; Lucius Lyon, Shelborne Falls; James Ritchie, Duxbury; George A. Walton, Martha's Vineyard ; Joshua Bates, Jr., Boston ; Calvin S. Pennell, Cabotville ; Nelson Wheeler, Worcegter; Wm. Russell, Andover.
Corresponding Secretary-Charles Northend, Salem. Recording SecretarySamuel Swan, Boston. Treasurer-Josiah A. Stearns, Boston.
Counsellors-Ariel Parish, Springfield; Samuel S. Greene, Boston; E. S. Stearns, Newburyport; Thomas Cushing, Jr., Boston ; Rufus Putnam, Salem; John Batchelder, Lynn; William H. Wells, Andover; William D. Swan, Bogton ; Elbridge Smith, Worcester; James Batchelder, Marblehead ; P. H. Sweetser, Charlestown; J. P. Cowles, Ipswich.
PROCEEDINGS OF EDUCATIONAL MEETINGS.
TEACHERS' INSTITUTES. The Teachers' Institutes which have been in session for three weeks past, closed on Friday, December, 5th, having been the means of bringing together upwards of two hundred teachers, most of whom are at this time engaged in the public schools of the State. The results of these Institutes have more than realized our anticipations, not only in reference to the amount of practical knowledge of methods imparted, but to the spirit, the zeal for self-improvement, and the advancement of their profession, with which the members were inspired; and to the interest which the various exercises created in the community where the meetings were held. On these points, the resolutions we shall publish hereafter, at the request of the sereral bodies that passed them, speak in stronger terms than we should feel authorized to use. For the kind expressions used in speaking of our official services, we are grateful; but to the following gentlemen, in particular, are the teachers and the community indebted for the pleasure and instruction derived from the exercises of the Institutes, viz :
Salem Town, of Aurora, N. Y.; Henry Gillam, do. ; J. G. M. Truair, Gilbertsville, N. Y.; Albert D. Wright, Verona, N. Y.; Josiah Holbrook, New York City; J. H. Mather, Hartford, Conn.; G. W. Winchester, do.; William H.Wells, Andover, Mass.; William Russell, Boston, Mass.
In this connection we would make this public acknowledgement of of our obligations to the Rev. Mr. Grosvenor, Col. Burk, and Rev. Mr. Quimby, of Scituate; to Rev. Mr. Boyden of Woonsocket; to the School Committee of Newport; and to Rev. Mr. Vernon and others of Kingston, for the great assistance they promptly rendered in making all the necessary local arrangements, and in providing such excellent accommodations for the meetings of the institute, free of expense. To the several families, who not only opened their houses for the entertainment of the members of the Institute, and the gentlemen from abroad in attendance, but did this with the same Rhode
Island cordiality of manner which we have experienced on so many occasions, in the course of the last two years, we wish to join with the several Institutes in their expressions of gratitude. If those who are engaged in this field of educational labor, as teachers, or in any other capacity, needed stimulus to urge them to work out to the full circumference of their duty, they would find it in the hearty good will and co-operation with which so many of the citizens of Rhode Island are helping on this enterprise. If teachers who have been connected with the different Institutes will carry into their schools the same genial spirit, which they manifested when together--the same thirst for knowledge-the same zeal for self-improvement, and the elevation of their profession ; if they will but visit cach others schools, meet together in town and county associations, and read the best books and periodicals devoted to education, then will they labor with fidelity and success on their several allotments of this great field of usefulness, and find their reward in the contemplation of the ever extending results of their labors.
TEACIIERS' INSTITUTE AT WOONSOCKIT. The following notice of the proceedings of the Institute at Woonsocket, is compiled from an article in the Providence Transcript, and from the minutes of the Secretary, which have been forwarded to us for publication. We shall publish the resolutions referred to below, in the next Extra, together with a notice of the Institutes at Newport and Kingston.
The Institute was opened on Friday evening, November 21st in the vestry of the Methodist Church, after a prayer by Rey. Nr. Coggeshall, by an Introductory Address from the Commissioner of Public Schools, on some of the modes in which the public schools could be improved this winter.
1. By Towns and School Districts.
Under the last division Mr. Barnard aimed to show how the teachers could qualify themselves to improve their several schools in respect to
1. Physical Education.
4. Esthetical do, or the culture vi taste, and the manners of children.
As among the most important modes in which they could improve their own views and methods of education, the plan of associaticn embraced in what is now known as the Teachers' Institute, such as was this evening opened in this place for such teachers, male and female, as were disposed to spend a week together, was particularly
During the session of the Institute the following exercises were conducted by the gentlemen named, with the teachers as scholars, having special reference to the best methods of presenting the same and similar exercises in schools as ordinarily constituted in the country viz: 4 in reading, by Mr. Russell ; 4 in the elementary sounds of our language by Mr. Town and Mr. Truair; 3 in the analysis of derivative words by Mr. Town; 1 in spelling on the slate by Mr. Town; 2 in Pronunciation by Mr. Russell and Mr. Town; 2 in writing composition by Mr. Town and Mr. Barnard ; 3 in grammar by Mr. Gillam; 9 in written and mental arithmetic by Messrs. Truair, Gillam and Farnum ; 2 in mensuration, by Mr. Town; 3 on the use of globes by Mr. Town; 2 on the use of outline maps by Mr. Mather; 4 in penmanship by Mr. Winchester ; 1 in drawing by Mr. Holbrook.
In the course of the session a portion of each evening was devoted to a lecture, or addresses of a popular character.
On Saturday evening, Mr. Russell illustrated the importance of expression in reading and speaking, and the elements of gesture, with exercises by a class of the teachers.
On Sunday evening, addresses were made in the Congregational Church, by Messrs. Town, Russell and Barnard, principally on the necessity of a higher moral education in our schools, and on the importance of Sunday Schools.
On Monday evening, Mr. Mather and Mr. Town occupied an hour in addresses on the general subject of education.
On Tuesday evening, Mr. Farnum read an essay on the cultivation of the right state of feeling in the school and district.
On Wednesday evening, Mr Town lectured on the uses of history, and the best methods of studying history.
On Thursday evening, Mr. Holbrook presented his views of education, with special reference to introducing into all of our schools, more exercises of a practical nature, and teaching children how to educate themselves.
On Friday evening, Mr. Town continued his remarks on history.
Two evenings were devoted to discussions, in which the members generally took part, viz :
On Tuesday evening, the subjects of school dicipline, the cultivation of the right state of feeling in the schools, and in the district and the use of corporal punishment, were presented by Messrs. Farnum, Weeks, Wilson, Barnard, Town and others.
On Friday evening, vocal music in schools, by Messrs. Barnard, Giddings, Sisson and Tolman.
TVhispering, how far, if at all, to be allowed in school, by Messrs. Steere, Willard, Sisson, Truair, Wilson, Wilkinson, Giddings and Town.
The right and policy of detaining children after school hours, by Messrs. Willard, Steere, Giddings, Patterson and Sisson.
The duties of teacher and scholar to the school-room, by Messrs. Wilson, Willard, Sisson and Barnard.
On Friday evening, the citizens of Woonsocket, having organized by the appointment of Dr. Ballou, Chairman, passed several resolutions, presented by Rev. Mr. Coggsehall, and advocated by him, Rev. Mr. Boyden, Mr. Wardwell, and others, expressing the gratification and instruction they had received from the exercises and lectures of the Institute, and inviting the Commissioner to convene another in this part of the State, as early as convenient.
Before the adjournment on Saturday, a committee consisting of Messrs. Wilcox of Manville, Giddings of Providence, and Sisson of Central Falls, reported several resolutions, warmly commending the usefulness of Teachers’ Institutes, and rendering the thanks of the members to the citizens of Woonsocket and vicinity, for their hospitalities, and to the several gentlemen who had taken part in the course of instruction for the value of their services, which were most cordially adopted. The resolutions were responded to in an appropriate manner, and the members separated with the best feelings towards each other, and the great object which had brought them together.
For the Journal.
Mr. Editor,-On Saturday, December, 6th, a meeting of teachers and friends of education generally, was held at Clayville, in Scituate, which resulted in the formation of the “ Scituate and Foster Associa-, tion for the improvement of Public Schools." The afternoon and evening were very pleasantly and profitably occupied with addresses, by Mr. Baker, Mr. Winchester, and others. The association is to meet monthly. The next meeting will be held at the Rockland School House, in Scituate, on Saturday, January 10th, commencing at 10 o'clock, A. M., and to continue through the day and evening. May we expect your aid on this occasion ? Before adjournment the enclosed resolutions were unanimously adopted, with a vote requesting that they might be published in the Journal of the Rhode Island Institute of Instruction, to which we have obtained twenty subscribers.
Clayville, December 8th, 1845. [To the question in the above communication, we answer-Yes.] At a meeting of the Scituate and Foster Association for the Improvement of Public Schools, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted.
Resolved, That we consider the thorough education of the rising generation a subject of vital importance to the best interests of our State and our country.
Resolved, That we hail with pleasure the establishment of the Journal of the Rhode Island Institute of Instruction, and from the well known ability and untiring zeal and devotedness of its editor to the cause of education, we doubt not that it will prove a most effectual means of arousing the public mind to the present condition of public schools and to the best methods of improving the same; and we hereby pledge ourselves to use our individual and untiring exertions to establish that paper upon a permanent basis.
Resolved, That the thanks of this association be presented to Mr. Baker and Mr. Winchester, for their interesting remarks on this occasion, and for the zeal they have manifested in the cause of education, in this, and in other sections of the State.