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For all purposes of evil, he continues in the midst of the very children from among whom he was cast out; and when he associates with them out of school, there is no one present to abate or neutralize his pernicious influences. If the expelled pupil be driven from the district where he belongs, into another, in order to prevent his contaminations at home, what better can be expected from the place to which he is sent, than a reciprocation of the deed, by their sending one of their outcasts to supply his place; and thus opening a commerce of evil, upon free trade principles. Nothing is gained while the evil purpose remains in the heart. Reformation is the great desideratum; and can any' lover of his country hesitate between the alternaiives of forcible subjugation and victorious contumacy?
In cases, however, where the dangerousness of the symptoms will no longer permit delay, there is an immense difference in the modes of treating a malady. We know that a mere pretender to medical or surgical knowledge, will aggravate the puncture of a pin into a mortification, fatal to life; while, by anodyne and restoraiive, the skilful practitioner will cure the gangrene itself. So, in the case of a distempered will, it may be influmed and exasperated, by fiery and passionate appliances, into incorrigibleness and misanthropy; or, on the other hand, it may be restored to soundness and docility, by reproofs or chastisements administered in wisdom and love.
PO PILS MUST BE TRAINED TO SELF-GOVERNMENT.
One of the highest and most valuable objects, to which the influences of a school can be made conducive, consists in training our children to self-government. The doctrine of No-government, even if all forms of violence did not meet, the first day, to celebrate its introduction by a jubilee, would forfeit all the power that originales in concert and union. So tremendous, too, are the evils of anarchy and lawlessness, that a government by mere force, however arbitrary and cruel, has been held preferable to no-government. But self-government, self-control, a voluntary compliance with the laws of reason and duly, have been justly considered as the highest point of excellence attainable by a human being. No one, however, can conscious y obey the laws of reason and duty, until he understands them. Hence the preliminary necessity of their being clearly explained, of their being made to stand out, broad, lofiy, and as conspicuous as a mountain against a clear sky. There may be blind obedience withoui a knowledge of the law, but only of the will of the lawgiver; but the first step towards rational obedience is a knowledge of the rule to be obeyed, and of the reasons on which it is founded.
The above doctrine acquires extraordinary force, in view of our political institucions,-founded, as they are, upon the great idea of the capacity of man for selfgovernment,-an idea so long denounced by the state as ireasonable, and by the church as heretical. In order that men may be prepared for self-government, their apprenticeship must commence in childhood. The great moral attribute of self-government cannot be born and matured in a day; and if school children are not traind to it, we only prepare ourselves for disappointment, if we expect it from grown men.
IMPERFECT RECITATIONS SHOULD BE PREVENTED OR EXPOSED.
Lessons should be such that they can be competently mastered by all the scholars in the class, unless in cases of remarkable dulness. Some of the less forward or less bright, may require a little extra assistance,- which should be freely rendered to them,-but if there be any members of the class who cannot make themselves tolerably well acquainted with the lessons, they should be removed to another class, Habitually to break down at a recitation has a most disastrous influence on the character of a child. It depresses the spirits, takes away all the animation and strength derived from hope, and ut!erly destroys the ideal of intellectual accuracy, which is next in importance to moral accuracy ;-on which, indeed, moral accuracy so often depends. It is still worse when the whole class fails. Shame never belongs to multitudes. It is a feeling which arises when we contrast onr own deficiency or misconduct with the opposite qualities in hers; but where all are equally deficient, or equally wrong, there is no opportunity for such a contrast. Cominon deficiency at the recitation, begets a mingled feeling of contempt for the study, and recklessness of reputation, which is fatal to all advancement." It may begin by merely disheartening the pupil, but it will soon become disgust towards the study. Few things are of more baneful tendency than to have a scholar or a class leave the recitation-stand, after a half hour of blundering and darkness, with
no sense of shame or regret at the dishonor. Few things are of more evil augury, than for children to become so inured, by frequency, to having marks of discredit entered against their names, that they grow indifferent and callous to a recorde i
Such children lose all that delicacy of feeling, that fine sensitiveness to honor, which are strong outposts of virtuous principle. Day after day, to have a dishonorable mark set upon the body, or the hand, or on the name, without any feeling of regret or effort at amendmient, is as deplorable for a boy or a girl, as it would be for a man or a woman to receive, without shame and without compunetion, a tenth or a twentieth sentence to the house of correction or jail. The former, indeed, foretokens the latter.
But suppose the character of the lesson to be rightly adjusted to the capacity of the learner ;-still a brood of temptations lurk around. In the first place, there is the device of getting one part of the lesson better than the rest, under the expectation of being questioned on that part. How ofien has this been done! In some ofthe studies, it is to be forestalled and excluded by the method, before described, of purtting each question to the whole class, waiting a suflicient time for each pupil to think out the answer in his own mind, and then calling upon some one by name, to answer it. The naming of the scholar to give the answer should be in no set order, but promiscuous. This method especially applies to grammar, to oral spelling, to oral recitations in geography, and io mental arithmetic. In writteu arithmetic, a question for solution may be propounded, and one pupil required to state the first step in the process, and then another pupil in anothier part of the class, the second, and so on, until the explanation is completed. Where there is, as there should be in every school-room, a sufñcient extent of black-board to allow the whole class 10 stand before it at once, a separate question may be given to each member of the class, to be wrought upon it
. Occasionally, when the solution is half completed, the pupils may be transposed, and each one required to examine and complete his neighbor's work.
li sometimes happens that scholars experiment upon the numbers, or terms, of an arithmetical question. In proportion, for instance, if they have no knowledge of the principle which should guide them, they may try the effect of multiplying two of the numbers
gether, and dividing the product by the third ; but ifihat does not yield the right answer, they may transpose the order, and try again; and, in the end, having exhausted all the errors, they will obtuin the truth. But they will know that they have arrived at the truth, only by a comparison of their result with the answer in the book. They will not know on what principle the true answer was obtained; and, on attempting a solution of the next question, they will be as ignorant as ever, and be again obliged to go through with the same experimental process. In order to prevent this appeal to chance, instead of an appeal to principle, the class may be occasionally required to lay aside their slates, and to work out all the questions contained in a lesson, on paper. Here they will not be able to obliterate what they have done, as they can do on the slate; and therefore, the teacher, by a single glance of the eye, can see the track which the mind has made, whether straight or circuitous, in its search after the answer. He will also see the mechanical correctness with which each step may have been performed.
Frequent reviews, by carrying the pupils a second time over the ground they have traversed, will be another means of determining whether they have left any part of it unexplored.
Devices or excuses to escape the lesson altogether, when the pupil is conscious of not having faithfully learned it, are an aggravated form of the evil above mentioned; and it should be guarded against by an examination of the absentee upon the omitted lesson, at another time.
The knowledge that is lost is an insignificant matter, compared with the trickish habit that is gained. The avoidance of the lesson has deprived the intellect of 90 much exercise, and therefore has prevented whatever of strength that exercise wou d have given; but the means by which the lesson was avoided, have given exercise and strength to molives of deception and fraud. Herein lies the lamentable character of the deed. It is only a misfortune to be ignorant, but it is an unspeakable calamity to be dishonest. However vigilantly the teacher may look after the intelligence of his charge, he should use a thousand times more vigilance in preserving their integrity. Limited attainments are not incompatible with a high degree of happiness; but every immoral act diminishes the capacity for happiness forever and ever.
Another means of avoiding study,-and I am sorry to say I have found no little evidence of its existence,-is, after procuring some fellow-pupil, or other person, to perform the work which the teacher has assigned, to present the work thus per; formed by another, as the product of one's own labor.' The intellectual loss and injury of such a course are great. It leaves the mind unexercised, when it was one of the principal objects of the lesson to exercise it. It also disqualifies the pupil more and more for mastering subsequent lessons. A scholar who did not get his lessons last week, through indolence, may be unable to get them this week, through incapacity, and next week he may give them up in despair. But the most deplorable quality of such conduct is, that it is an acled falsehood; and, as subsequent lessons are mastered with so much more difficulty, after the omission of preceding ones, the power of the temptation increases, in a geometrical ratio, at each succeeding step.
The cases above referred to are generally those where assistance is obtained out of school; but the prompting of a fellow-pupil in school, and during the recitation, comes under the same general head, and incurs the like mischievous consequences. To guard against the latter species of misconduct, the teacher should be all eye and all ear.
He should be so familiar with the lesson, that he can devote his whole attention to the class, instead of occupying the time in preparing himself, by looking at his book, to hear the successive answers. Ilis eye should be on them, on their account; and not on his book, on his own account.
TEACHERS' MEETINGS AND ASSOCIATIONS. Independent of the addresses and discussions on topics connected with the classification, discipline, and instruction of schools, introduced in connection with the general subject of school improvement, at the public meetings held in different towns, special meetings of teachers have been held during the winter, for their own individual and professional improvement.
THE WASHINGTON County Teachers' INSTITUTE, which was organized in October, 1844, has held a session at Kingston, Exeter, Hopkinton and Wakefield.
Several teachers in Portsmouth and Middletown, at the suggestion of Thomas G. Potter, formed the PortSMOUTH TEACHERS' AssociaTION, on the 30th of December last, with the following Constitution.
ARTICLE 1st. This Association shall be called the Portsmouth Teachers' Asso. ciation.
ARTICLE 2d. The object of this Society shall be the dissemination of useful knowledge among its members, and through them to the children committed to their care, by meeting as often as may be expedient, for familiar conversation and an examination of the various branches of education, on which we may be called to impart instruction.
ARTICLE 3d. The officers of this Society shall be a secretary, (who shall be chosen for one school term, and whose duty shall be to keep minutes of the Association, and conduct such correspondence as the Society may order him by vote,) and a chairman pro tem. who shall preside over the meeting for which he is chosen, and may select some subject for the consideration of the next meeting.
ARTICLE 4th. Any teacher may become a member of this Association, by subscribing his name to this Constitution, and any member may cease to be such by making known his wish to that effect, either verbally or in writing, at any meeting of the Society.
ARTICLE 5th. This Constitution may be changed at any meeting of the Association, and any minor regulations may be established in a similar manner.
The Association has met every week since the date of its formation. One of the members in a communication respecting their proceedings, concludes with saying, “I wish I could make this communication as interesting to you as the meetings have been to its members.”
The teachers of Warren have held meetings for familiar discussion, on methods of instruction and discipline, every two weeks, as have also the teachers of Newport.
The teachers of Scituate and Foster, to the number of fifteen or twenty, have attended the meetings of the Association for their towns, and taken part in the discussions of topics relating to the improvement of their schools this winter. Several teachers from Glocester have also been present.
The teachers, both male and female, of Pawtucket, Central Falls, Valley Falls, Bernon, Globe, Manville, Cumberland Hill, and of a few other schools in Cumberland, Smithfield, and North Providence, have attended the meetings in these towns, and taken an active part in the discussions.
The following are among the subjects which have received attention in these meetings of teachers. The classification of schools, particularly in rural districts. The policy of promulgating a code of rules for the government of a school. Modes of interesting and bringing forward backward scholars. The dismissal of refractory scholars from school. The daily order of recitations. The use of the Bible in school. Devotional exercises at the opening and close of the school. How to train scholars to habits of neatness. How to preserve the school-house from injury and defacement. Frequency and length of recess. How to secure the proper ventilation, and uniform temperature of a school-room.
Methods of teaching Spelling, Pronunciation, Definitions, Composition, Reading, Geography, Grammar, Mental and written Arithmetic, and other studies. Motives by which children shall be incited to study. The extent to, and modes by which whispering can be prevented. The evils of truantship.
The cultivation of a right state of feeling towards the school among pupils and parents.
Boarding round. Plans of School Registers. Length of the school-week and month. How to prevent or detect imperfect recitations. The use of monitors in large schools. The management of young children in winter schools. Uses of the slate and blackboard in the instruction of small children. Modes which the teacher can adopt to secure the punctual and regular attendance of scholars at school.
Plans for interesting parents and especially mothers in the schools where their children attend, and for securing visits from them.
Errors committed by school committees and superintendents in the examination of teachers and of schools.
The rights of the teacher.
DISTRICT SCHOOL JOURNAL OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK.
FEBRUARY, 1846. This number of the Journal opens with the following announcement from its new editor, S. S. Randall, Esq., the Deputy Superintendent of Common Schools.
While he cannot hope to equal, much less to surpass, the zeal, ability, and devotion which characterized this distinguished champion of our common school system, in this his favorite field of labor, he ventures the assurance that no pains shall be spared, and no industry be wanting in the endeavor to sustain the high reputation which the Journal has already attained—to make it the faithful exponent of the enlightened spirit of the age in reference to the great interests of elementary public instruction—to render it a welcome and instructive guest at the family fireside, and on the teachers' table; and to enhance its utility as the direct organ of communication between the department and the various officers connected with the local administration of our common school system. It will be the representative and advocate of no partial views or favorite hypotheses—the organ of no sect--the instrument of no narrow and distorted theory of education, but its columns will at all times be open to the full and free, but temperate discussion of all subjects having a direct and practical bearing upon the education of the people and their children. And the editor will endeavor to avail himself, in the discharge of this portion of his duties, of the assistance of the ablest teachers and most experienced educators of the state. Much of the merely local information heretofore communicated through the Journal, must necessarily be dispensed with, in order to afford room for the discussion of topics of more general and comprehensive interest; and a portion of each number will be exclusively devoted to scientific information, and miscellaneous selections from the purest and most attractive sources, designed to improve the intellectual and moral faculties of the youth of our land. In short, it is the intention and design of the editor, aided as he hopes to be by individuals in whom the friends of education have been in the habit of reposing the highest confidence, to render the Journal the true friend and instructive companion of youth-the teacher's safe manual of reference—and the school officer's best guide in the discharge of his burdensome and responsible duties. Above all will it be his ambition and endeavor to infuse into our entire system of popular education, that comprehensive and enlightened spirit of Christian morality—that appreciation and practical application of the great elements of Truth, GOODNESS, ORDER, HARMONY, PURITY, and Duty, which, alone, can permanently elevate and improve humanity.
PROGRESS OF EDUCATION IN OTHER STATES. Under this head we intended to have noticed the following school documents, received since January 1, 1846.
Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for Michigan. 1846. p. 150).
Circulars of the Superintendent of Common Schools for Vermont, p. 24. Annual Report of the Superintendent of Common Schools, for New York, submitted January 20, 1846. District School Journal, February, 1846.
Twelfth Annual Report of the Superintendent of Common Schools of Pennsylvania, for the school year ending June 3, 1845. p. 12.
Annual Report of the Secretary of State on the condition of Common Schools of Ohio for the year 1815
Second Report of the Board of Visitors of the Natchez Institute, Mississippi. p. 12.
We propose to devote one or more numbers of the Extra Journal to an abstract of the statistical information, and suggestions of improvement, contained in these documents.
RECEIPTS FOR THE JOURNAL.
$300 Rev. Charles T. Brooks, Newport,
50 William C. Chapin, Fall River,
C. S. Hazard, Warren, 50
1 50 Dr. Dinsmore, Providence, 50 William Sherman, Fall River,
3 00 Providence, Feb. 16, 1846.
THOMAS C. HẢRTSHORN.