Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

L. S.

GYMNASIUM IN

I certify that the subscription is by the own hand of the Dr. Frederick Lewis Jahn, from here. Freiburg, August 1, 1826.

Municipality of Freiburg,

(Signed) FUHRMANN. [In addition to the above, Dr. Leiber has a very satisfactory certificate from Maj. Gen. Phuel who invented the new method of teaching to swiw, and established the Prussjan Military Swimming Schools.

It may be proper to add that Dr. Lieber is known and approved by Dr. Fol. Jen, Professor of civil law in Harvard University, and superiatendent of the gymnasium in Boston.]

INFANT SCHOOL.-PHILADELPHIA. At the Children's Asylum, in Southwark, (lower end of Fifth st.) a hundred children of the poor have been taught according to the plans used in infant schools, in England, and their proficiency is very striking.

BOSTON. In our last, we had barely room to mention the opening of the gymnasium, with a very large number of pupils. A month's opportunity of observing its progress and participating in its exercises, enables us now to say that thus far it gives the utmost satisfaction to those who have made the experiment of taking a course of lessons. The physical effects of the gymnastic exercise, on pupils of very different ages-from ten to fifty--are surprising. Many have doubled their vigor, and aitained that habitual glow of activity which does not die away immediately after the hour for exercise is over, but accompanies the individual into the transaction of business, or sustains him through the tedious hours of sedentary application. The general and substantial improvement of health, is another bene efit arising from the gymnasium. Periodical and permant headachs, which nothing else could affect, have in some instances been done away; and to all this may be added the ability for various bodily movements and efforts, which, a month ago, seeined to the same individuals who now perform them with ease, to require an energy almost miraculous.

From what has been already experienced of the effects of gymnastic exercise, it is not, we think, saying too much to venture the assertion that the gymnasium, especially when contemplated with reference to the juvenile part of society, seems to furnish the means of raising the human system to any degree of vigor and of bealth, which the common, or even the extraordinary circumstances of life, in any of its various pursuits, are likely to demand.

Judicious culture may turn into any channel, the force and buoyancy of animal and mental feeling, and the clearness and energy of thought, which are always the attendants on health and exercise; and which the gymnasium furnishes to such an amount. As an acknowledged part of education, moreover, it affords an authorised channel for all those exuberant extravagances of mere animal impulse and glee, which now too often leave the traces of care and anxiety on the brow of the teacher; and sometimes bring down on the thoughtless performer expressions of displeasure, or the more palpable corporeal intimations by which he is sometimes reminded of his faults.

Perhaps one of the most gratifying circumstances connected with the gymnasjum in this city, is the great diversity of situations in life to which the pupils belong. Physicians, lawyers, and clergymen, are intermixed with young men from the counter and the countinghouse, and with boys from the public schools. This circumstance is found not at all unfavorable to the decorun or the success with which the exercises are conducted, and is, we think, a very satisfactory indication of the extensive interest which the great subject of physical education has excited.

The Gymnasium is under the superintendence of Dr. Follen, late Professor of Civil Law at the University of Bâle in Switzerland, and at present instructer in Harvard University. He is assisted by Mr. Turner, a distinguished gymnast of the establishment at Cambridge.

NOTICES.

WORKS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.

A Gazetteer of the State of New York: embracing an ample Survey and Description of its Counties, Towns, Cities, Villages, Canals, Mountains, Lakes, Rivers, Creeks, and Natural Topography, arranged in one Series, alphabetically ; with an Appendix, embracing-1. The new Counties and Towns, erected in 1823; 2. A Concise Geography of the State, with all its Civil Divisions, to January 1, 1824; 3. A Table of all the Post Offices in the state, to Jan. 1, 1824,-showing their Names, the Towns and Counties in which situated, and their Distances from their respective County Towns, from Albany, and Washington. With a new Map, and Profiles of the Canals. By Horatio Gates Spafford, LL. D. Albany, 1824. 8vo. pp. 620.

This work is the result of prodigious labor, and must have tasked the patience and perseverance of its author to a degree far beyond what attends the ordinary toils and vexations of compiling a volume of this sort. The accuracy of the details of this Gazetteer, is guaranteed by the express attestations of those individuals, whose departments of the public business of the state of New York, have rendered them most competent to decide in such matters.

'This and all similiar works are the means of giving geographical instruction a right direction ; and they are not only proper subjects of notice in our pages, but are the instruments by which intelligent instructers may succeed in a satisfactory discharge of their duties in the school-room.

Geography, rightly taught, may be rendered peculiarly valuable in subserving the purpose of preparation for the actual business and intercourse of life. But as it is usually taught, it is made an excuse for a profound ignorance of a pupil's local situation in the country or state in which he is born and brought up, and which is the sphere of all bis active and practical duties. By a strange perversivo of method, geography, and even astronomy, are made to precede topography; and the juvenile pupil is expected to prattle about matters which involve didicult solutions in geometry and mathematics, while he knows little or nothing of the extent or limits of his own village or town.

It is by works such as Dr. Spafford's that this quackery in education is to be done away, and that the youth of our country are to become familiar with their own states, counties, and towns, whether they succeed or not in mastering astronomical geography, or calculating the distance of the fixed stars. This is one branch of education in which, at least, the urgent demand for intelligent citizens, well versed in ordioary matters, will, we are confident, force in a useful course of instruction, at the expense of relinquishing to later and higher stages of education those . preliminary definitions' which sound so pompously in recitation, but add so little to the stock of real knowledge, and furnish so little valuable discipline to the mind.

We do hope that some well-informed, enterprising and indefatigable individual will furnish the state of Massachusetts with a complete and accurate Gazetteer, or rather with a work which might afford a more regular and connected view of its topography and statistics, while it furnished the same quantity of matter as that which would be contained in a Gazetteer. To follow the alphabetical order of the topics, as is commonly done in works of this sort, is not so satisfactory, either to teacher or scholars, as to adopt a systematic course which naturally guides the mind through the whole subject.

Dr. Spafford's work we are happy to observe is recommended for schools, by the late superiotendent of common schools in New York. An epitome, expressly adapted to this purpose, accompanies the larger work. It seems, however, too scanty to convey satisfactory information; and if the larger work is found too heavy for the zeal and ability of instructers, and for the patience and application of pupils, perhaps an intermediate work, furnished with one or more very large mape, might prove acceptable, and might remunerate its author for the time and labor he has expended on this useful enterprise.

The Prize Book, No. VI. of the Public Latin School in Boston. Boston : 1826. 8vo. pp. 31.

These “juvenile performances' may be of valuable service in promoting improvement in education. They may excite in other schools of the same class as that from which they issue, a spirit to expulate the same standard of juvenile scholar. ship, by the same rigid and truly classical discipline of the youthful mind, which leads to such results as these. And this would be an excellent effect of the publication of the Prize Book. For we are far from thinking that classical learning, in its early stages, generally receives any thing like an attention commeosurate to its value. We would oot have every boy indiscriminately sent to a Latin school : the rudiments of classical literature can be of little benefit to many who are now goaded through them. But there are professions in which the ancient languages are presupposed as a qualification. Let boys destined for such pursuits learn, and learn thoroughly, whatever may contribute to their familiarity with the classics ; and let every book which can aid this good object, be widely circulated, that the character of education may be rendered more respectable, and that the views of instructers may be elevated to a nobler standard-- 10 one more worthy of the attitude in which our country has placed herself, even in this early stage of her progress.

We are far from thinking that improvement in education lies solely in originating better systems, or reforming and reipodelling old ones. We do need, and most urgently need, intelligent practice in teaching-skill in applying good methods-the improvement which results from experience and observation, and draws practical conclusions on the spot and at the moment. The best theories in the world, if put into the hands of slovenly and superficial and inexperienced teachers, will work no better results than, in too many instances, we now see :-youth presenting themselves as candidates for admission to college, who can bardly pronounce five words successively, without mangliog the noble prosody of the language in which they attenipt to read, or betraying the grossest ignorance of the rudiments of its grammar.

In all this we do not mean to overlook the great and rapid improvement in preparatory schools, which has been observable of late years. But we wish to stir up teachers to still greater diligence aud to still higher aims. The perusal of the Prize Book will act, we think, as an incitement to effort; and in this light we would earnestly recommend it to instructers.

To turn more directly, however, to the contents of this pamphlet: we would dot be understood as holding it up for a perfect model: it has its imperfections and its puerilities. But what reasonable person could expect such a production--the attempts of boys--to be entirely free from such characteristics? Considering the age of its authors, it is highly creditable to them. But, above all, it speaks for the care, the talent, and the taste of the teacher, under whose superintendence the formation of thought and language is go successfully conducted.

As to the question whether it is better to require of boys so great a proportion of their time and labor as such efforts demand, --it is useless to enter into lengthened discussion. To be thorough scholars--and it is for parents, not for teachers, to decide what boys shall be such,--to be familiar with the language, and to catch the spirit and taste of the classics, such exercises are necessary: not to say a word of the jovaluable general qualities of mind which they cultivate.

The English part of the Prize Book shows much judgernent and taste, and a good deal of practical skill in composing; and we trist that whaterer infiuence on other schools the Latin department may exert--this will not fail to tun the attention of instructers more forcibly than heretofore to the important branch of English composition. The writing and speaking of our own language, we are glad to see attended to at all bazards, and to find them to successfully cultivated in a school where the ancient languages are the chief objects of attention. But if there is any beneficial improvement practicable and urgent in the arrangements of this ancient and respectable institution, as well as of preparatory schools generally, throughout the country,--it is that of drawing out the cultivation of English rhet. oric into a distinct department of instruction, instead of merely leaving it the scraps of time and attention which can be afforded to it at intervals.

If the literature or the eloquence of America, is ever to be what it ought to be --what it can be--the English language, if not placed, (as it should be,) above both Greek and Latin, must at least be raised so as not to be comparatively on a footing of charity, or perhaps of contempt and neglect.

BOOKS FOR CHILDREN.

The Friendless Boy: [A Story for children, published by the American Sunday School Union.] Philadelphia : 1825.

This simple little narrative has a great deal of natural beauty, and of the true pathetic, in its manner. It cannot be read without a deep and tender interest, nor without leaving the best impressions on the sympathies of the young reader : its lessons of piety, too, are finely wrought in with the tenor of the story. There are here and there, however, phrases which will be round unintelligible to very young readers, and wbich a separate revision with reference to plain

and familiar expression would have exchanged for others better adapted to infant capacities.

Little Susan and her Lamb. [Published by the American Sunday School Union.] Philadelphia, 1825.

This is an interesting and instructive story, designed to show the inseparable connection between piety and huinane feeling. It is modelled on the first narra. tive contained in the Tales for Girls noticed in No. 1 of this Journal It retains the pleasing simplicity of the original, and gives a more decidedly religious and moral complexion to the anecdote.

This and the preceding little book are designed more immediately for the use of Sunday schools. But they convey so much useful pleasing moral instruction, and are so well adapted to young children, that they may be advantageously used in other schools, and in families, and even with very young children; as, in this case, the mother or the teacher may tell the story in her owo words, and adapt it in every respect to the years and capacity of the listeners.

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. Received since last oumber : Goodrich's History of the United States-Eaton's Church History-Opie's Illustrations of Lying— The First Book, or Spelling Lessons for Primary Schools - The Classical Reader--Conversations on Common Things (Second Edition)Sales' Rudiments of the Spanish Language.

[blocks in formation]

[From Prosessor Jardine's Outlines of Philosophical Education.]

[The observations embodied in the following paragraphs, refer to the existing state of professional education in Great Britain. But they are, to a considerable extent, applicable to the same departents in our own systems of instruction; and may suggest many valuable improvements.]

I PROCEED now to make a few remarks on that part of the academical course which has for its object, the qualification of professional men for the duties of public life; and also to suggest some observations on the expediency of extending its limits, so far as to comprehend certain branches of study which, however important in the estimation of literary men, have not yet been introduced into the scheme of university education.

In gcneral, however, my remarks, in this section, apply, not so much to the things which are taught, as to the manner of teaching; for, thcugh I shall take the liberty of suggesting a considerable addition to the professional course, my chief object is to recommend to those who preside over the departments of theology, law, and medicine, the adoption of the practical method of instruction which I have already endeavored to describe.

It is unnecessary to repeat the arguments which have been used in the former division of this chapter, in order to point out the numerous advantages which arise from employing the mental energies of young men in their own education, and to expose the futility of every plan of education, which does not secure the free and constant co-operation of ihose who are to be taught. It will require but little reflection to sata

89

VOL .

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »