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for the use of his private grammar school, but which passed through several editions on the recommendation of Dr. Sanderson and others, of being “the shortest, orderliest, and plainest, for ease both of master and scholars, that has been then extant."
Hoole was one of the pioneer educators of his century; with others, he labored to improve the elementary school by composing and publishing a “ Plain and Easy Primer for Children wherein the Pictures of Beasts and Birds for each Letter in the Alphabet are set down, &c.," and by translating and publishing in 1659 the “Orbis Sensualium Pictus" of Comenius, under the title of “The Visible World; or a Picture or Nomenclature of all the Chief Things that are in the World, and of Men's Employments therein "" adorned with pictures, to make children understand it the better." The preface anticipates many of the arguments advanced two hundred years later in favor of Object Teaching, as will be seen by these extracts.
The Cultivation of Perception and Conception.—"The ground of this business is, that sensual objects may be rightly presented to the senses, for fear they may not be received. I say, and say it again aloud, that this last is the foundation of all the rest. Now there is nothing in the understanding which was not before in the sense; and therefore to exercise the senses well about the right perceiving the differences of things will be to lay the grounds for all wisdom and all wise discourse; which, because it is commonly neglected in schools, and the things which are to be learned are offered to scholars without being understood or being rightly presented to the senses, it cometh to pass that the work of teaching and learning goeth heavily onward, and affordeth little benefit.”
The Understanding to be cultivated as well as the Memory.-" For to pack up many words in memory, of things not conceived in the mind, is to fill the head with empty imaginations, and to make the learner more to admire the multitude and variety, and thereby to become discouraged, than to care to treasure them up, in hopes to gain more knowledge of what they mean. Descend to the very bottom of what is taught, and proceed as nature itself doth, in an orderly way; tirst to exercise the senses well, by representing their objects to them, and then to futen upon the intellect, by impressing the first notions of things upon it, and linking them one to another by a rational discourse. Missing this way, we do teach children as we do parrots, to speak they know not what.”
Lessons with real Objects.--"Since some things can not be pictured out with ink, for this reason it were to be wished, that things rare, and not easy to be met with withal at home, might be kept ready in every great school, that they 'may be showed also, as often as any words are to be made of them to the scholars. Thus at last this school would indeed become a school of things obvious to the senses, and an entrance to the school intellectual." Is not the germ of Pestalozzianism here? The words “pictured out” are put in italics by our. selves to call attention to the old use of this now popular phrase.
Use of Pictorial Illustrations.—“Pictures are the representations of all visible things of the whole world. Such a dress may entice witty children, that they may not conceit a torment to be in the school. For it is apparent that children,
even from their infancy almost, are delighted with pictures. And it will be very well worth the pains to have brought to pass, that scare-crows may be taken away out of Wisdom's gardens."
Use of Blackboard - But little is said on this piece of school apparatus. It is, however, interesting to know that in a description of a school, written two centuries since, this useful adjunct for illustration is noticed. Comenius says: "Some things are writ down before them with chalk on a table. This notice would not have been so satisfactory as it is, but there accompanies the description a "copper cut," and there we see upon the wall a blackboard, as large as a window, with a diagram chalked upon it.
On the point of illustration we may add, "The judgment of Mr. Hezekiah Woodward, sometime an eminent schoolmaster in London. Certainly the use of images or representations is great; if we could make our words as legible to children as pictures are, their information therefrom would be quickened and surer. But so we can not do, though we must do what we can."
Masters must have Sympathy with the capacities of the children under Instruction. “A schoolmaster had need to bend his wits to come within the compass of a child's capacities of six or seven years of age, and to make that they may learn with as much delight and willingness, as himself would teach with dexterity and ease. And because any good thing is the better, being the more communicated, I have herein imitated a child, who is forward to impart to others what himself has well liked."
Phonic Method of Teaching to Read —"It will afford a device for learning to read more easily than heretofore, especially having a symbolical alphabet set before it, to wit, the characters of the several letters, with the image of that creature whose voice that letter goeth about to imitate, pictured by it. For the young a b c scholar will easily remember the force of every character by the very looking at the creature, till the imagination being strengthened by use, can readily afford all things."
It may be necessary to explain, that what Comenius calls the "force of every character" is obtained from verbs denoting the actions of animals, instead of from nouns as is now the general practice. A series of "copper cuts” is given for this purpose, called " A lively and vocal Alphabet."
Tasks and Training.-" Because the first tasks of learners ought to be little and single, we have filled this first book of training one up to see a thing of himself, with nothing but rudiments, that is, with the chief of things and words, or with the grounds of the whole world, and the whole language, and of all our understanding about things." The reader will observe that the word "training" is used in precisely the same sense as by modern educationists.
The Uselessness of bare Rules of Grammar.-—" You that have the care of little children, do not trouble their thoughts and clog their memories with bare grammar rudiments, which to them are harsh in getting, and fluid in retaining; because, indeed, to them they signify nothing, but a mere swimming notion of a general term, which they know not what it meaneth, till they comprehend particulars. For rules, consisting of generalities, are delivered, as I may say, at the third hand, presuming first the things and then the words to be already apprehended, touching which they are made."
Teacher's entire Dependence upon God's Blessing.—"And I pray God, the foun. tain and giver of all wisdom, that hath bestowed upon us this gift of teaching
80 to inspire and direct us by his grace, that we may train up children in his fear, and in the knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and then, no doubt, our teaching, and their learning of other things subordinate to these, will by the assistance of His Blessed Spirit make them able and willing to do Him faithful service both in Church and Commonwealth, as long as they live here, that so they may be eternally blessed with Him hereafter. This I beseech you beg for me and mine, as I shall daily do for you and yours, at the throne of God's heavenly grace; and remain while I live ready to serve you, as I truly love and honor you, and labor willingly in the same profession with you. From my school in Lothbury, London, Jan. 25th, 1658.
THE PETTY SCHOOL.*
BY CHARLES HOOLK, A. M.,
Master of Grammar School at Rotherham in 1636, and of a Private School in London in 1660
CHAPTER I.—How a child may be helped in the first pronunciation of his letters.
My aim being to discover the old Art of Teaching School, and how it may be improved in every part suitable to the years and capacities of such children as are now commonly taught, I shall first begin my discourse concerning a Petty School; and here or elsewhere I shall not busy myself or reader about what a child of an extraordinary towardliness, and having a teacher at home, may attain unto, and in how short a space, but only show how a multitude of various wits may be taught all together with abundance of profit and delight to every one, which is the proper and main work of our ordinary schools.
Whereas, then, it is usual in cities and greater towns to put children to school about four or five years of age, and in country villages, because of further distance, not till about six or seven, I conceive the sooner a child is put to school the better it is, both to prevent ill habits which are got by play and idleness, and to inure him betimes to affect learning and well doing. Not to say, how the great uncertainty of parents' lives should make them careful of their children's early education, which is like to be the best part of their patrimony, whatever good thing else they may leave them in this world.
'I observe that betwixt three and four years of age a child hath great propensity to peep into a book, and then is the most seasonable time (if conveniences may be had otherwise) for him to begin to learn; and though perhaps then he can not speak so very distinctly, yet the often pronunciation of his letters will be a means to help his speech, especially if one take notice in what organ or instrument he is most defective, and exercise him chiefly in those letters which belong unto it.
Now there are five organs or instruments of speech, in the right hitting of
» The following is a copy of the original title page :
By C. H.
Church Yard, 1659.
which, as the breath moveth from within through the moutlı, a true pronunciation of every letter is made, viz., the lips, the teeth, the tongue, the roof of the mouth, and the throat; according to which if one rank the twenty-four letters of our English alphabet, he shall find that A, E, I, O, U proceed by degrees from the throat, along betwixt the tongue and the roof of the mouth to the lips contracted, and that Y is somewhat like I, being pronounced with other letters; but if it be named by itself, it requireth some motion of the lips. B, F, M, P, W,, and V consonants belong to the lips, C, S, X, Z to the teeth, D, L, N, T, R to the tongue, B, H, K, Q to the roof of the mouth. But the sweet and natural pronunciation of them is gotten rather by imitation than precept, and therefore the teacher must be careful to give every letter its distinct and clear sound, that the child may get it from bis voice, and be sure to make the child open his mouth well as he uttereth a letter, lest otherwise be drown or hinder the sound of it. For I have heard some foreigners to blame us Englishmen for neglecting this mean to a plain and audible speaking, saying, that the cause why we gen. erally do not speak so fully as they, proceeded from an ill babit of mumbling, which children got at their first learning to read, which it was their care therefore to prevent or remedy betimes, and so it should be ours, seeing pronunciation is that that sets out a man, and is sufficient of itself to make one an orator.
II.—How a child may be taught with delight to know all his letters in a very little time.
The usual way to begin with a child, when he is first brought to school, is to teach him to know his letters in the hornbook, where he is made to run over all the letters in the alphabet or Christ-cross-row, both forward and backward, until he can tell any one of them which is pointed at, and that in the English character.
This course we see hath been very effectual in a short time with some more ripe-witted children; but others of a slower apprehension (as the most and best commonly are) have been thus learning a whole year together, and though they have been much chid and beaten too for want of heed, could scarce tell six of their letters at twelve months' end, who, if they had been taught in a way more agreeable to their mean apprehensions, (which might have wrought more readily upon the senses, and affected their minds with what they did,) would doubtless have learned as cheerfully if not as fast as the quickest.
I shall therefore mention sundry ways that have been taken to make a child know his letters readily, out of which the discreet teacher may choose what is most likely to suit with his learner.
I have known some that (according to Mr. Brinsley's direction) have taught little ones to pronounce all the letters, and to spell pretty well before they knew one letter in a book; and this they did, by making the child to sound the five vowels, a, e, i, o, u, like so many bells upon his finger's ends, and to say which finger was such or such a vowel, by changes; then putting single consonants before the vowels, (leaving the hardest of them till the last,) and teaching him how to utter them both at once, as va, ve, vi, vo, vu, da, de, di, do, du; and again, by putting the vowels before a consonant, to make him say, as, es, is, os, us, ad, ed, id, od, ud. Thus they have proceeded from syllables of two or three, or more letters, till a child hath been pretty nimble in the most. But this is rather to be done in a private house than a public school; however this man