Page images


WITH AN INTRODUCTION HISTORICAL AND CRITICAL. The whole methodically arranged and amply illustrated, with forms of correcting and of parsing, improprieties for correction, examples for parsing, questions for examination, exercises for writing, observations for the advanced student, decisions and proofs for the settlement of disputed points, occasional strictures and defences, an exhibition of the several methods of Analysis, and a Key to the Oral Exercises ; to which are added four Appendixes pertaining separately to the four parts of Grammar, by Gould Brown, author of the Instis tutes of English Grammar, the First Lines of English Grammar, &c. This day published by S. S. & W. WOOD, 261 Pearl-st. New York.

Note.— The above was sent to us as an advertisement, to be ina serted and paid for. The work deserves a more formal notice. Mr. Brown's duodecimo Grammar has always had a high reputation. The present is a thick octavo volume, the work of the labor of many years, and contains a mass of information in relation to our language and its laws. As a digest of authorities and criticisms, it should be in our school libraries, where teachers might have access to it.

The Report of the Commissioner of Public Schools will probably be published in the February and March numbers of our Journal. We hope to be able to publish the proceedings of the Rhode Island Agricultural Society, as an Appendix to one of our numbers.

The Rhode Island Educational Magazine will be published monthly. All pamphlets, exchange papers, or communications, should be addressed to E. R. POTTER, Providence, R. I. Letters (post paid) may be directed to Providence, or Kingston.

[blocks in formation]


The subscriber herewith presents the abstracts of the returns of the Public Schools, for the year ending May, A. D. 1851.

By these returns it appears that the number of children attending school was Males

14,133 Females



26,654 The amount of money received and expended, was

Received from the State Treasury, $35,167 59
Raised by towns,

55,488 69
Raised by assessments on scholars, 10,075 39
Received from the registry tax which is

appropriated by law to schools,
Unexpended of last year's money, 3,235 17

$110,294 14

} 6,327 30


Expended for support of schools, $94,471 96 It further appears that there was expended for the erection and repairs of school houses during that year, $23,902 80.

Of the thirty-one townships into which the State is divided, four, viz: Providence, Newport, Bristol and Warren, are not divided into corporate districts, and in these the whole man. agement of the schools is under the care of the town's committees, or superintendents.

One town, viz: East Greenwich, is divided into districts, but the school houses were provided for all the districts at the expense of the town under the provision of law authorizing it.

The remainder of the towns are divided into districts which by the law are authorized to organize themselves as corporate bodies, and nearly all of the districts have availed themselves of this right, and regulate their own affairs, subject to such rules and regulations as may be made by the town's committees.

It will also appear from the returns, that nearly all these districts have school houses belonging to the district as their corporate property. Very few of the districts now depend upon the old proprietors' school houses. In many cases they have been purchased by the district and repaired. The work of building and repairing is still going on, and every year adds to the number of good comfortable school houses in our country districts.

The whole number of teachers employer in the public schools for the year ending May, 1851, wasMales,

256 Females,



569 It is gratifying to perceive from the returns, that the preju. dice which formerly existed against the employment of female teachers, seems to be dying away. The same result has been experienced in other States. In Massachusetts, the number of female teachers employed, increased from 3,591, in 1837, to 4,997 in 1845. If school officers and parents support the schools as they ought, female teachers would find no difficulty in governing them.*

*NOTE -The following excellent remarks of Bishop Potter, on the advantages of employing female teachers, are from the "School and School Master."

Frequent change of Teachers. This is a subject of almost universal complaint. The evil arose, at first, from the fact that schools were kept open but a part of each year; and more recently, it has resulted from the prevailing practice of hiring male ieachers in winter, and females in summer.

It is impossible to overrate the evils of such a course. The business of education is essentially progressive. It consists of a series of processes, the latter depending upon the earlier, and requiring, therefore, to be conducted, within certain limits, on the same principles, and by the same methods. But, in the present state of our schools hardly any two teachers have the same methods. No opportunity is afforded the one who succeeds to become acquainted with the state of the school, and with the methods of his predecessor, by actual observation. The one has gone, before the other arrives. He enters the school, a stranger to the children and to their parents,




The following are the names of the persons who have received the benefit of the appropriation from its commencement:

Age when

admitted. Fanny Lamphear, Hopkinton, 26, May, 1845, May, 1846, Abigail Slocum, Portsmouth, 25, May, 1845, May, 1847, Peleg Slocum, Portsmouth, 20, May, 1845, May, 1847. Mary E. Slocum, Portsmouth, 14, May, 1845, May, 1847. James Budlong, Warwick, 20, Aug. 1845. May, 1847. Charles H. Steere,


15, May, 1846, May, 1850. Phebe A. Winsor, Johnston,

8, May, 1846. John W. Davenport,

Tiverton, 13, May, 1847. Samuel W. Thompson, Glocester, 11, May, 1847. Mary E. Tanner, Coventry, 10, May, 1847. Minerva Mowry,

Smithfield, 13, May, 1848, May, 1851. Samuel G. Greene, Hopkinton, 11, July, 1849, Aug. 1851. George Gavit, Westerly, 10, May, 1850.

The orders on the General Treasurer for their support have been June 27, 1846,

$479 17 August 21, 1847,

600 00 June 30, 1848,

450 00 January 28, 1850,

933 33 January 21, 1851,

700 00 Decem. 21, 1851,

625 00

[blocks in formation]

unacquainted with the relative prosperity and aptitude of the different scholars, ig. norant of the course which was pursued by former teachers, and with the prospect, probably, of retiring himself, at the end of three or four months. Is it not evident that the progress of the school must be arrested, until he can learn his position } As each teacher is apt to be tenacious of his own system, is it not also evident that after having arrested the work which his predecessor began, he will in many cases, proceed to undo it ? Thus the children will often spend the whole period of his stay, in retracing their studies in a new book, or according to a new method. There will be movement, but no progress.

The effect, on the teacher, must be equally bad. This practice makes him, in truth, little better than a vagrant. He can have no fixed residence, since the period for which he engages is never over a year and rarely, over four months ; and even, in these cases, it is liable to be curtailed by the caprice of his employers or the arbitrary interference of the trustees. He of course cannot marry. He has little ambition to form a character ; his employment occupies without improving him; and, in most cases, he either hastens to leave it, or becomes a contented but useless drone. Can we wonder that there are few good teachers under such a system.

Is there any remedy for such an evil? We believe there is. The apology for this constant change is, that the district cannot support a good male teacher, throughout the year. They must either close the school during the summer or have it taught by a female. Then we say, let it be taught by a female throughout the year. The The beneficiaries of this State have been sent to the "American Asylum at Hartford, for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb." The time for admission of pupils is the third Wednesday of September, in every year. The charge is $100 per annum. In case of sickness, extra charges are made. Persons applying for admission, must be between the

ages of eight and twenty-five years; must be of good natural intellect, capable of forming and joining letters with a pen legibly and correctly; free from immoralities of conduct and from contagious disease. The charge for board includes washing, fuel, lights, stationery and tuition. No deductions are made for absence, except on account of sickness.

sum which is now divided between the two teachers would pay a female handsomely for the whole year, and thus supersede the essity of closing the school at all, except for a vacation of three or four weeks.

The advantages of the course would be various. Ist. It would give to the scholars the advantage of having the same instructress throughout one entire year at least ; and if she proved worthy of the charge, she conld hardly fail during that time so to enlist the affections of the children, the good will of the parents and the confi. dence of the trustees, as to be secure of a renewed engagement. Thus we should gradually return to the good old practice of permanent schools, under permanent instructors.

2d. It would be a cheap system. The best qualified female teachers in common schools, would be glad to accept what is now paid to men of the poorest capacity.

3d. It would secure teachers of higher intellectual capacity and qualification.Women have a native tact in the management of very young minds, which is rarely possessed by men. The prospect also of permanent employment at a fair rate of compensation, would induce many young women of narrow means to prepare them. selves for teaching; and it will hardly be disputed that with limited opportunities as to time and money, they would make greater proficiency in knowledge and the art of teaching, than young men having only the same opportunities. It should be considered also that the prospect of profitable employment would awaken competition, and in this way higher qualifications would be secured.

4th. It would furnish a desirable resource and a useful as well as respectable moda of life to many females, who are cast upon the world without property.

5th. It would conduce to the improvement of manners and morals in schools, since females attach more importance to these than men: and they have a peculiar power of awakening the sympathies of children, and inspiring them with a desire to excel.

6th. It would diminish the number of select schools, since many of these are taught by women, whose services would then be required in common schools; and these schools would also be less necessary, than at present for very young children.

But can you propose, seriously (some one will say,) that timid and delicate women should retain charge, through the winter, of country schools, in which large and rude boys are congregated ?

This forms the only objection, which can be plausibly urged against this plan, and it is one which deserves full and respectful consideration. I would remark in regard to it,

1st. That it is by no means so formidable as it might appear at first thought. It is now admitted that in the government of schools, moral influence should be substituted, as far as possible, in place of mere coercion, and that corporeal punishment should be reserved for young children, and be applied but very rarely even to them. It is admitted, too, that the teacher ought to aim, first of all, io cultivate the higher sentiments of our nature, to awaken self-respect, and to induce the child to become a law to himself. If this be true (and few will be disposed to question it,) then it must follow that women, are in most respects, pre-eminently qualified to administer such a discipline. Their very delicacy and helplessness give them a peculiar claim to deference and respectful consideration; and this claim large boys, who are as

« PreviousContinue »