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ing monitor. The duty of this monitor is to walk slowly from one end of the school to the other, observing the attention of the scholars; himself at the same time reciting aloud the lesson, if the instruction be general, or exciting the various classes to diligence. He preserves order, under the direction of the superintendent, and informs him of any delinquency which he may perceive in any part of the little assembly.
It will form a very important part of the duty of the superintendent, to watch over the dispositions of the monitors; as there will be constantly a danger of their assuming an authority over their fellow-pupils, which is beneficial neither to themselves nor to the general order of the school. He must be keenly alive to any harshness of address which they may use.
He must not suffer them to exercise any mode of punishment; but he must himself be always ready to enforce that measure of attention to the lesson which may be necessary.
ORDER OF INSTRUCTION.—The next thing which will require the attention of the superintendent of an infants' school, after the division of the classes, will be the arrangement of the order of instruction. He must first, then, have clearly stated before him the subjects which it is proposed to teach in the school. These he must divide into the following parts; those which may be taught to the whole school at once from the rostrum--those which may be communicated by mutual instruction in the several classes and those which are suitable to the higher classes alone, and must be confined to the class-room.
It has been presumed, in an earlier part of this treatise, that the mind of an infant cannot be exercised with cheerfulness on any one subject, except under extraordinary circumstances, for a longer space of time than about a quarter of an hour. The teacher must carefully meet this tendency to weariness, by dividing the lessons themselves into so small parts, that they may be severally completed rather within that period. Novelty, another desirable object in fixing the attention of infants, may be thus consulted; as the lessons may be so arranged as to recur not more than twice or three times in the week, and then at different periods of the day. After the division of the lessons, the teacher may next proceed to form his scheme of instruction. He may, in his scheme, divide the schoolhours of the week into their quarters; and having thus before him the division of the time of the week, he may allot to each quarter its lesson, and arrange the whole in the manner which he conceives to be most suitable to the ends he has in view. The first and ust quarter of each day, I will not hesitate to presume, will in every infants' school be appropriated to the use of a suitable prayer, and the singing of some simple hymn.
ARTIFICIAL AIDS TO THE PRESERVATION OF ORDER.—It may usofully call into exercise the ingenuity of the teacher, to discover means of conveying by signs his wishes at once to the whole school. The following, amongst others, have been tried with success.
The division of the lessons into portions adapted to periods of one quarter of an hour, will suggest the necessity of having, if possible, a clock in the school-room. It will not add very considerably to this expense, if, instead of striking the hours, the clock be made to strike once, loudly, every quarter. When the superintendent perceives the hand approaching the quarter he may place himself in the rostrum, and immediately on the stroke, give out, with a slow and distinct voice, what must be the lesson of the next quarter.
He must have some sign also which the children may all understand, for their terminating their lessons, and returning quietly to their places. This may be the use of a little bell, which he may carry in his pocket. But let him bear in mind, that he may both display and excite ungoverned passion by the hasty and noisy manner of ringing his bell, as well as by the angry tones of his voice.
He will farther find it necessary to have some means of directing the modulation of the voices of the children whilst repeating their lessons. A small and shrill whistle will answer this purpose, if he impress it, as he may effectually, on the mind of the little multitude that, whenever he uses it, they are to say their lessons in a whisper.
The following general considerations on the subject of the preceding section may perhaps be worthy of the attention of the superintendent of an infants' school.
In such an establishment, order is not the result of a law, but of an influence. It is a habit, and not the subjection of the will to reason or to necessity. It will be obvious, then, that however desirable it may be to arrange a school in exact order at the first opening of the institution, much time must be necessarily expended, and much patience quietly employed, before this object can be effectually attained. It will be necessary not to attempt too many points at once; but to begin with the more easy, and to proceed by degrees, to the more exact regulations of the system. If we attempt every thing at once, we may preclude ourselves from doing any thing effectually; but if we are content with small attainments at first, our final success will exceed our utmost expectations.
It must farther be remarked, that the difficulty attending the arrangement of an infant school is almost entirely confined to its first establishment; when the object is to reduce into order a whole assembly of untaught children at once. After this has been once effected, it will be preserved with very little attention and labor on the part of the teacher. The new comers will then, in the course
of things, be introduced by one or two at a time, and will fall into the established order without any effort, and almost insensibly to themselves.
It will be advisable, farther, not to press those lately introduced into the school into immediate occupation. They may be generally suffered, at first, to place and to employ themselves as they please. A little observation on the part of the master will lead to a discovery of their proportionate attainments and the place which they are to hold; and when they have become somewhat familiar with the habits of the institution, they will fill whatever station may be assigned to them with cheerfulness and regularity.
THE TEACHER.–With regard to the teacher of an infants' school, it will be unnecessary that I should detain the reader by any lengthened discussion, as enough has been implied in every part of the preceding treatise. The teacher must be capable of doing all which has been supposed to be required of him, and his efforts must be guided, not by a desire of gain, by which they would probably be much circumscribed, but by an original pleasure in the company of children, and a capability of accommodating himself to their feelings and their tendencies.
NUMBER OF TEACHERS IN A SCHOOL.-In order to the perfection of the system, it will not be possible to conduct an infant school without the constant aid of two persons; the attention of one of whom may be directed especially to the order and the general education of the school, and of the other to the communication of knowledge in the class-room. The necessity of two teachers appears in the fact, that amongst infants of so tender an age, it is not possible, as amongst other children, to have secured the habit of order, independently of the inspection of the master. The uninterrupted presence of one teacher must, therefore, necessarily constitute a part of the general arrangement.
QUALIFICATIONS OF A TEACHER.—A superintendent of an infants' school should, in few words, be himself the model of that in which it is proposed that he should educate the little assembly under his care.
Religion. The first qualification of such an individual, it will hence folow, must be the purest excellence of moral character, and the sincere influence of a vital and reasonable religion, which has part in every disposition, and enters into every action of his life. It will not be a sufficient excuse, if the false principle which he may hold, or the evil habit to which he may be liable, be not yet directly cognisable by the children. The former will not fail to throw a morbid influence over the course of his instruction, and the latter will be hidden only by the arts of a hypocrite;-arts which not only qualify, but pervert and destroy the real character of religion, and are of too flimsy a texture to hide their degraded principle from the eye of even an infant. It would be better, for the present, to defer all appeals to the religious principles and feelings of a child, than to place before him that which is calculated to generate disgust
; or to give the idea, that religion consists principally in form and outward show, and has little to do with our secret actions and with our heart.
INTELLECTUAL ACQUIREMENTS.-It is not necessary, that the intellectual acquirements of a teacher of an infants' school should include more than he may have learned at some of the best condueted of our parochial establishments. More importance is to be attached to the mode of his knowledge than to its extent. He should have learned well that with which he professes to be acquainted; and should have the faculty of accurate discrimination, and of tracing the subjects of knowledge to their first and easiest principles.
OF THE MORAL QUALITIES, self-control is one of the most requisite. Irritability and quickness of action must soon produce an evil effect upon the little assembly; who will gradually lose their respect for a teacher, if he be frequently under its influence, and, eventually imbibing his spirit, refuse to submit to his authority. He should be kind and gentle, and yet consistently firm and energetic in his manner. His address should be always that of cheerfulness, and he should, at proper times, be capable of relaxing without effort into playfulness. And, above all, whatever he may think right to do, must be accompanied, both with a manifest good-will, and with a real as well as a professed conviction of duty. He must show the children, that he proceeds always in submission and in obedience to the will of God, beyond which he knows of no appeal.
It is not to be expected, indeed, that in the infancy of this system, persons should offer themselves altogether prepared to undertake the guidance of an infant school. It will generally happen, that the proposed teacher must be himself instructed and formed for his work. And if he be under the influence of true religion, and therefore of an excellent moral character; if he be possessed of a strong natural intellect, and kind affections; and if he have receired that measure of education which is given in our parochial schools, there is little reason to doubt, that with care, attention, and perseverance, he will soon be capable of performing with propriety, the duties which may be incumbent upon him.
Nor is it by any means necessary to believe, that none of the good effects, which attend these institutions, can be secured to infants of so early an age, without attempting an approach to the perfection of the system which has been described. Much has, in some places, been done by the adoption of parts of the plans which have been proposed. In this manner, where infants' schools cannot be established, those conducted by dames, which exist in almost every village in the kingdom, may, in many instances, be much inproved.
PUBLIC LATIN SCHOOL IN BOSTON.
[The following extracts from the Prize Book, comprehend the terms of education, the classification of the scholars, the method of teaching, the books which are adopted in instructing, and other subjects connected with the management of this school; all of which, it is thought, will be equally useful and interesting to such of our readers as have not perused the Prize Book itself.]
The scholars are distributed into six separate apartments, under the care of the same number of instructers; viz. a Principal, or head master, a sub-master, and four assistants. For admission, boys must be at least nine years old; able to read correctly and with fluency, and to write running hand; they must know all the stops, marks, and abbreviations, and have sufficient knowledge of English Grammar to parse common sentences in prose. The time of admission is the Friday and Saturday next preceding the Commencement at Cambridge, which two days are devoted to the examination of candidates. The regular course of instruction lasts five years; and the school is divided into five classes, according to the time of entrance.
When a class has entered, the boys commence the Latin Grammar all together, under the eye of the principal; where they continue untill he has become in some degree acquainted with their individual characters and capacities. As they change their places at each recitation, those boys will naturally rise to the upper part of the class, who are most industrious, or who learn with the greatest facility. After a time a division of from twelve to fifteen boys is taken off from the upper end of the class; after a few days more, another division is in like manner taken off; and so on, till the whole class is separated into divisions of equal number; it having been found that from twelve to fifteen is the most convenient number to drill together.
In this way boys of like capacities are put together, and the evil of having some unable to learn the lesson which others get in half the time allowed, is in some measure obviated. The class, thus arranged for the year, is distributed among the assistant teachers, a division to each. This is preferred to keeping them together; for they are in the room with two divisions of higher classes, there being always three divisions in each apartment; and by the example of older boys they more readily correct their childish foibles, and fall in with the habits of the school. And further, as writing is not VOL. 1.