Page images
PDF
EPUB

TEACHERS' INSTITUTE AT WOONSOCKET. A Teachers' Institute for Providence County will be held at Woonsocket, commencing on Friday evening, November 21st, on which occasion Mr. Barnard, Commissioner of Public Schools, will deliver the Introductory Address.

A general attendance of Parents, School Committees, and Teachers, on Friday evening, is solicited.

All Teachers who propose to avail themselves of the advantages of the Institute, are requested to communicate their names personally, or by letter, to the Rev. Mír. Boyden, chairman of the Committee of Arrangements, who will assign them boarding places free of expense.

TEACHERS' INSTITUTE AT NEWPORT. A Teachers' Institute for Bristol and Newport Counties, will be held at Newport, commencing on Monday evening, Decerober 1st,

The School Committee of Newport have voted io make all the necessary local arrangements for the meeting, and to provide for the board of all who

may

attend. The WASHINGTON County AssOCIATION FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF Public Schools will meet in Ilopkinton and Richmoud on the 13th, 12th, and 13th of November, as above announced.

The KENT COUNTY ASSOCIATION FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF PubLic Schools will ineet at the Town House in Coventry, on Friday, November 14th, at one o'clock in the afternoon, and continue in session through the evening.

The Ruode-ISLAND INSTITUTE OF INSTRUCTION will meet at the Town House in l'oster, 1Iomlock Village, on Friday evening, November 14th, at 6.4 o'clock.

66

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

PUBLIC MEETINGS FOR NOVEMBER. Public meetings, in continuation of the series commenced in September last, and which it is proposed to hold from time to time until every large neighborhood at least, and if possible, every school district in the State is reached, have been appointed as follows:

NEWPORT COUNTY. Monday, Nov. 3, in Tiverton, Fall River,

at 6 1-2 P. M. Tuesday, 4,

Stone Bridge, Wednesday, 5,

Four Corners, Thursday, 6, Little Compton, Commons, Friday, “ 7,

Adamsville,

WASHINGTON COUNTY.
Monday, Nov. 10, Hopkinton, Subbalarian meeting house,
Tuesday,

City,

at 1 P.M. & 6P. VI. Wednesday, “ 12,

New meeting house, Thursday, “ 13, Richmond, Branl's Iron Works,

KENT COUNTY. Friday, Nov. 14, Coventry,

Torn Hlouse,

PROVIDENCE COUNTY. Friday, Nov. 14, Foster,

Town House,

at 6, P. M. Monday, 4 17, Scituate,

North Scituate,

at 6 1-2, P. M. Friday, 421, Cumberland, Woonsocket,

at 6 1-2, P. M.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

66

[ocr errors]

JOURNAL

OF THE

RHODE ISLAND INSTITUTE OF INSTRUCTION.

PROSPECTUS. In pursuance of the object for which the Rhode Island Institute of Instruction was established, " the improvement of public schools and other means of popular education in this State," arrangements have been made to publish during the winter of 1845-6, a Paper to be called the JOURNAL OF THE RHODE-ISLAND INSTITUTE OF INSTRUCTION.

The Editorial Department will be under the care of Henry Barnard, Commissioner of Public Schools.

The Business Department will be under the superintendence of Thomas C. Hartshorn, to whom all orders for the paper, and subscriptions for the same, should be addressed.

The first number of the 'Journal will be issued in November, and its publication will be continued thereafter on the 1st and 15th of each month, until the volume is completed by the publication of twelve numbers.

Each number will contain at least sixteen pages in an octavo form, and in addition, from time to time, will be published an Extra, containing official circulars, notices of school meetings and other educational movements; and one of a series of " Educational Tracts,” prepared by the Commissioner of Public Schools.

The volume, including the Extras and Educational Tracts, will constitute at least three hundred

pages. The price will be fifty cents for a single copy; or three dollars for ten copies, sent in a single package, and at the same rate for any larger number sent in the same way. The subscription must be paid on

the reception of the first number.
JOHN KINGSBURY,
THOMAS C. HARTSHORN,
NATHAN BISHOP,

Committee.
AMOS PERRY,
Providence, November 6, 1845.

TEACHERS' INSTITUTE.

This name was first applied to a meeting of teachers similar to those now in session in this State, which was held in Tompkins county, New York, in the spring of 1843, at the call of Mr. Denman, the Superintendent of Common Schools for that county, and which was principally under the instruction of Mr. Salem Town, of Aurora. Previous to this date, viz., in October, 1839, a meeting of teachers under the name of a “Teachers, or Normal Class,” but almost identical in its organization and management with what is now known as a “Teachers' Institute," was held in Hartford, Connecticut, under the auspices of the Secretary of the Board of Commissioners of Common Schools. He was induced to make the experiment at his own expense in order " to show the practicability of making some provision for the better qualification of common school teachers, by giving them an opportunity to revise and extend their knowledge of the studies usually pursued in district schools, and of the best methods of school arrangements, instruction and government under the recitations and lectures of experienced and well known teachers and educators.” At the session of the Legislature in May, of the same year, the House of Representatives made an appropriation to be expended for this purpose in the several counties of the State, under the direction of the Board, which was lost in the Senate, on the alleged ground that these classes could not be sustained without a greater expense; and if they could, that the classes would be under instruction for too short a period. What the Legislature refused to do, the Secretary undertook to do himself. A class was formed from such teachers of Hartford County as were disposed to come together on public notice, and placed under the general charge of Mr. Wright, the Principal of the Grammar School. Mr. Wright gave instruction in Grammar and in methods of school keeping. Mr. Post, a teacher in the Grammar School, reviewed the whole subject of Mental and Practical Arithmetic, with full explanations of the difficult points in Fractions, Roots, &c. Prof. Davis explained the different parts of the higher Mathematics, so far as they were ever taught in district schools, or would help to explain elementary Arithmetic. Rev. Mr. Barton, formerly connected with the Teachers' Seminary at Andover, gave lessons in Reading. Rev. T. H. Gallaudet explained how Composition could be taught even to the younger classes in school, and gave several familiar lectures on school government, and the instruction of very young children by means of the slate. Mr. Brace, Principal of the Hartford Female Seminary, explained the first principles of Mathematical and Astronomical Geography, the use of Globes, &c. Mr. Snow, Principal of the Centre District School, gave several practical lessons in methods of teaching, with classes in his own school. Here was a Board of Instruction seldom equalled in any of the Teachers' Institutes of our day. A portion of each day was also devoted to oral discussions and written essays on subjects connected with teaching, and to visiting the best schools in Hartford. Before separating, the members of the Teachers' Class published a “Card,” expressing “their most cordial thanks, for the very excellent course of instruction which they have been permitted to enjoy during a few weeks past.

They also beg leave to present their sincere thanks to those gentlemen who have so kindly instructed them, for the very familiar, lucid and interesting manner in which the different subjects have been presented.”

On the success of this experiment the Secretary of the Board, in the Connecticut Common School Journal, for November, 1839, says,

“ We have no hesitation in saying that a judicious application of one-fifth of the sum appropriated unanimously by the House of Representatives to promote the education of teachers for common schools, in different sections of the State, would have accomplished more for the usefulness of the coming winter schools and the ultimate prosperity of the school system, than the expenditure of half the avails of the School Fund in the present way. One thousand at least of the eighteen hundred teachers, would have enjoyed an opportunity of critically revising the studies which they will be called upon to teach, with a full explanation of all the principles involved, and with reference to the connection which one branch of knowledge bears to another, and also to the best methods of communicating each, and the adaptation of different methods to different minds.They would have become familiar with the views and methods of experienced teachers, as they are carried out in better conducted schools than those with which they had been familiar. They would have entered upon their schools with a rich fund of practical knowledge, gathered from observation, conversation and lectures; and with many of their own defective, erroneous, and perhaps mische vous views, corrected and improved. Who can tell how many minds will be perverted, how many tempers ruined, how much injury done to the heart, the morals, and the manners of children, in consequence of the injudi. cious methods of inexperienced and incompetent teachers, the coming winter ? The heart, the manners, the morals, the minds of the children are, or should be, in the eye of the State, too precious materials for a teacher to experiment upon, with a view to qualify himself for his profession; and yet the teacher is compelled to do so under the present order of things. He has no opportunity afforded him, as every mechanic has, to learn his trade ; and if he had, there is but little inducement held out for him to do this. No man is so insane as to employ a workman to construct any valuable or delicate piece of mechanism, who is to learn how to do it for the first time on that very article. No one employs any other than an experienced artist to repair a watch. No parent entrusts the management of a lawsuit, involving his property or his reputation, to an attorney who has not studied his profession and given evidence of his ability. No one sends for a physician to administer to his health, who has not studied the. human constitution and the nature and uses of me dicine. No one sends a shoe to be mended, or a horse to be shod, or a plough to be repaired, except to an experienced workman; and yet parents will employ teachers, who are to educate their children for two worlds- who are to mould and fashion and develope that most delicate, complicated, and wonderful piece of mechanism, the human being, the most delicate and wonderful of all God's creations—to fit them for usefulness in life, to become upright and intelligent witnesses, jurors, electors, legislators and rulers, safe in their power to resist the manifold temptations to vice and crime which will beset their future path, strong and happy in the “godlike union of right feelings with correct principles,"

During the present year the Institute has been introduced into Ohio under the auspices of Chief Justice Lane, of Sandusky City, and the personal superintendence of Mr. Town; and into Massachusetts by Mr. Mann, who has held four Institutes in different parts of the State, numbering in all over five hundred teachers.

TEACHERS' INSTITUTE AT SCITUATE. The following imperfect notice of the proceedings of the Institute at Scituate is compiled from a communication which appeared in the Providence Journal, and from the minutes kept by the Secretary, which have been placed in our hands for this purpose.

By appointment of the Commissioner of Public Schools, a number of the teachers of Kent and Providence counties and the friends of education in the vicinity, assembled at the Academy in Scituate on Monday evening, November 17th. The meeting was called to order by Mr. Barnard, who, after a prayer by Rev. Mr. Grosvenor, occupied the attention of the audience for nearly two hours in an address appropriate to the occasion. After touching briefly on the elements which must exist together to constitute a successful system of public schools-such as an efficient legal organization, good school houses, punctual and regular attendance of children at school, sification of schools and of scholars, a liberal course of instruction, appropriate and uniform books and means of illustration, teachers, supervision, support, and the co-operation of parents and the public, the speaker proceeded to set forth more particularly,

1. The relations of the teacher to a system of public schools. 2. The qualifications of a good teacher.

3. The modes and means by which these qualifications can be improved.

Under the last division he gave a sketch of the origin and progress of the Teachers' Institute, which is now recognised by all practical educators as among the most important agencies which can be worked for the immediate improvement of schools, by inspiring the right spirit and increasing the practical knowledge of the teachers already engaged in the business of instruction. The first Institute of which he had any knowledge was opened in Hartford, Connecticut, in the Autumn of 1839, under the direction of the person then in the superintendence of the common schools of that State, and continued in session four weeks. A similar Institute, or teacher's class, was organized in the spring and autumn following. In 1842 or '43 the first Institute was organized in New York, and to the educators and teachers of that State belongs the credit of perfecting and applying on a broad scale this new element of school improvement. Among the teachers who would take part in the instruction of this Institute were several who had large experience in the Institutes of New York, and one especially, (Salem Town,) who had been connected with twenty, numbering in all over two thousand teachers.

Among the subjects which would receive attention during the sittings of the Institute were the English language, including spelling, pronunciation, practice in the elementary sounds, reading, composition, the analysis of words; Arithmetic, and especially mental arithmetic, with familiar illustrations of the elementary principles of written arithmetic, of fractions, proportions, and the roots; Penmanship, in reference to teaching it from the blackboard, and on Winchester's system ; Geography, with special reference to drawing maps, the use of outline

« PreviousContinue »