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BEFORE entering on the preparation of another volume, it may not be improper to review the ground over which we bave passed, within the last twelve months. From such a retrospect much encouragement may be afforded to minds interest. ed in the progress of improvement, and useful instruction may be derived for the guidance of our own future efforts, in the undertaking on which we have entered.
Many facts highly important to the interests of education bave been developed by the attempt to establish a periodical devoted exclusively to the subject; and not the least important among these is this, that the public mind seems fully prepared for the existence of such a work as the Journal. Many doubts were entertained on this point, by sincere friends to our undertaking. These may now be considered as fairly set at rest. It is merely to state a fact of some consequence when taken in connection with the progress of public sentiment on the subject of education, that we mention the unexpected extent of the patronage which the Journal has received. If the subscription list of a periodical may be taken as a safe test of estimation, the reception of this work, during its first year, will appear more cordial than that of any wbich has hitherto laid claim to the patronage of the community.-The approbation with which our imperfect endeavors have been received, it would be ungrateful to pass without our best acknowledgements.
In this review of our progress, our chief object is to retrace the more important circumstances which have been developed in our successive numbers. Before entering, however, on such a review, it may be worth while to revert to the early stage of our work and the objects then proposed to our readers. The leading aim at the outset of the Journal was the collection of facts. A success commensurate to reasonable expectations, has, we trust, been attained in this depart
At all events no pains have been spared to obtain an extensive range of useful and practical information of the existing condition of education, at home and abroad. An anxiety to do adequate justice to the sources whence our iotelligence was derived, may, with other causes, have occasionally led us into too copious detail; and in this respect we hope to improve the practical character of the Journal, by a more strict selection of matter, so as to present whatever is purely and indisputably good, and omit whatever we are satisfied is not fully adapted to promote the progress of improvement. The mass of matter, too, which has accumulated to an unforeseen amount, makes condensation, as well as rigid selection, an urgent duty.
The second aim of the Journal, was the diffusion of just and adequale views of education. Some essential aid, it is hoped, has been rendered to this object. Our endeavor has been to exhibit the whole subject, as much
possible, in its relations and dependences. Physical culture has been inculcated as the basis of all education; and we have been more full and more urgent on this head, from the previous neglect of it, which was prevalent; and we do not hesitate to express our
impression that the more this important subject is brought within the range of out servation and experience, the larger will be the proportion of time and attestia devoted to it; and that the public mind will not be satisfied, till, in all the stage of education, this branch is treated as a leading object in human improvement
Moral education we have endeavored to present, with that promines which it naturally possesses in connection with the constitution of man, and ite instructions of revelation, as well as the best interests of human society. That in this part of education, we have been able to present so little that correspoods i the nature or the value of the subject, we deeply regret. Physical and intele tual culture are desirable things; but man can be truly happy with rery little of either. It is not so with moral education ; embracing, as we think i must do, the power of religion, to give it not only efficacy but existence. It is we confidently believe, in moral education, that the greatest discoreries and is provenents are yet to be made. But we fear we shall be slow in our progress, til parents who have directed an earnest attention to this subject, come forward and aid us with the results of experience :-we say parents; because this besises is and ought to be in their hands. And no matter how correct our threries of physical, or intellectual, or even religious education, may be; if the indcence or example in parents, and brothers, and sisters, and school companions, is practcally running counter to improvement, in those unguarded and unnoticed words and actions and habits, which are tacitly forming the real and predominating character of the young. Mothers especially need more of the spirit of attention to this unspeakably important part of their duties and their responsibilities. It is cely by the attentive observation of facts, however, that the requisite knowledge is this department can be developed ; and-as has more than once been urged me parents, the improvement of parental and domestic education must emanate from them. Our second volume will we hope, contain more of their coatributions to this branch of our labors.
One subject to which the attention of our readers was to be turned is yet ontouched : we mean that of personal education,-a branch wbich embraces ebat. ever is practical or valuable in all the rest ; because it does or sboald develope the means by which every human being may co-operate with all the instruction he receives from others, or by which he may direct his own personal efforts, in the improvement of his condition and character, as a sentient, an inteligent, and an immortal being.
Here certainly, an apology is due for neglect. But when the magoitude of the subject to which the work is deroted, and the very limited assistance which has been received by the individual who conducts it, are taken into consideration; the omission will appear in its true light, involuntary and unavoidable.
Early and elementary education were to be the principal objects of our eforts; and bere, we believe, our readers will acquit us of inattention. The growing im. portance of this topic in public estimation, has rendered accessible a rast quantity of interesting and useful matter. Our selections here bave been rery copi ous ; because we are still of opinion that early culture is that in which reforma. tion is most needed, and in which it can be most rapidly and successfully promoted. The cultivation of health, of moral principle, of intellectual babits,
become important exactly as we diminish the number of years which have been previously lost by neglect or perversion ; and the best services which in future Numbers we may render to the business of education, we shall always consider to be those which aid the parent or the teacher in training the infant and the child.
In tracing the progress of improvement in education at home and abroad, during the first year of this work, one of the most prominent objects of attention is the establishment and the rapid advance of the system of infant schools. A new world has here been opened to the survey and the efforts of benevolent minds. Two years ago a proposal to establish schools designed for infants of two years or eighteen months, would only have excited ridicule or astonishment. But such schools are now in successful operation in our own country as well as abroad ; they have more than realised the highest expectations of their founders, and have brought the invaluable blessings of early education, in its best form, within the reach of the poorest classes of society: they have thrown open the doors of improvement and of happiness, to the human being in the very earliest years of his existence. They embrace in natural and happy coml.ination the leading features of physical, intellectual, and moral education. Health, amusement, instruction, purity, truth, kindness, piety, are not leit to scatter into separate and independent departments ; demanding each a distinct attention, and a different arrangement. All these branches of culture are brought together, as the requisite ingredients of improvement and happiness.
The following passage is from the last publication on infant schools, (Goyder's Manual.)
Let an observer repair to an Infant School, and witness the effects produced by these establishments. He will there see order, cleanliness, and innocent cheerfulness prevail. Infants ol eighteen months, to five years of age,“ happy, because they are good ; and good, because they are happy ;" obedient to the voice of teachers, submissive to their parents, and grateful to their benefactors; their little hearts expanding with the love of their associates, and receiving with eagerness so much of useful knowledge as their tender minds are capable of bearing., Let the reader put a question to any of these little ones, and he will be answered modestly, unrepressed by the chilling sensation of fear; or if the question be too complex for the understanding of the little innocent, an explanation will not fail to be solicited by the child himself.
To those whom heaven has blessed with a competence, to those who are the parents and heads of families, and are of necessity acquainted with the numerous wants of infant children, as well as the numerous evils and accidents to which they are exposed, this statement will not be made in vain. A visit to any Infant School will soon convince any reasonable person of the vast importance of the subject; and while the benevolent niind can there view the interesting nature of the employments, it may form some adequate idea of the extensive benefit which is like. ly to accrue to the rising generation from these most important establishments.
It has often occurred to me, that the system of instruction pursued in Insant Schools for the very poor, might be equally effective to the children of tradesmen and mechanics, and even the rich and opulent themselves.'
Schools of this description are multiplying with uncommon rapidity in England. In our own country they are established in New York and Philadelphia ; they have been partially attempted in Boston ; and the spirit of the system is
introduced in many schools of the primary order in various parts of New-Eng land. We hope that the leading improvements connected with iblant school, will soon be adopted in all schools where the tender age of the children makes it desirable to have them under the care of females ; and that in cur cities there will be found one in erery neighborhood, that this great engine of improvement and happiness may be accessible to every parent who takes an interest in the ear. ly education of his children.
The education of females, was to constitute a leading topic in the dumbers of the Journal. Many interesting accounts of the prevalence of more enlightened views on this subject, have been presented to our readers; and several encourago ing reports of actual improvement have been given in detail.
Among these is the establishment of separate schools of a higher order for the education of females. Jo New-York and Boston these institutions have produced effects wbicb are likely to have an extensive influence not only on the present bat on future generations. They derive a peculiar value from this circumstance, that, being conducted on the system of mutual instruction, they put their pupils in possession of practical qualifications for teaching in the family or in the school. The superior style of education which they impart is also a bighly gratifying characteristic of these schools, and especially when we advert to the prospective inAuence of their pupils, as destined to the most important of all stations in society, the situation which entrusts them with the care of forming the minds of the ring generation.
The latest intelligence from the school in New-York, speaks in terms bizbly favorable of the condition of that seminary; and our recent annual esbibitjo in this city, gave public and decided testimony to the success of ti.e institution bere, in evincing the efficiency of mutual instruction, and the propriety of furnishing the female sex with the higher opportunities of improvement.
This department, however, we are conscious needs more of the attention whicha, in such a work as ours, it may be naturally expected to receive. If, in this brapch of the general subject there has been a comparative deficiency, of matter, ibe blame must be laid on the diffidence--we would not say the inaitention-of those of the sex whose opportunities and abilities have furnished them with the mcans of aiding improvement in this important sphere. We would use this opportunity of again soliciting the assistance of those whose attention has been directed to this subject, and who, as wives and mothers, have felt the inadequacy of the current style of education considered with reserence to preparation for the most arduous and the most valuable, though the least observed, of human duties.
Our own impression is, that even the most recent and the most liberal efforts for the education of females, are not at all commensurate to those which are in daily progress for the benefit of the male sex. Not that we would complain of the female mind being confined to lower branches or to fewer studies. This disparity is every day becoming less. This is not the ground of complaint. The objection to the prese ent style of fernale education is this
, that while improvement is making so rapo id a progress in the instruction of the other sex, in accommodating itself to the actual wants of man, and carefully selecting those branches which are to be or practical use in life,-the sam course has not been taken in female education. We have been content with a lica tle more study. But instead of selecting the subjects of instruction so as to gire
preference to whatever might be useful to woman as a daughter, a sister, a wise, or a mother, we have been merely aiming at a higher standard of education, without any distinct reference to the duties, the privileges, or the influence of the female sex.
We would not object, however, to the highest possible standard of education La for females. Even on the most selfish view of the subject, it is well that woman
should be qualified for the intelligent companion of man, in all his pursuits, especially bis intellectual pursuits But the progress of reforination should observe a natural order. The indispensable branches of education should come in for our first attention. Take the case of a lady who is capable of accompanying her husband in his whole range of reading in the modern languages—perhaps in the ancient; and yet is ignorant of the means of prolonging or improving the health of her infant, or is so feeble, from a neglected constitution, as to be compelled to meet most of the demands of daily active duty with an apology which shuffles them off on some other person of firmner nerve. Surely nobody will affirm that, in such an instance, female education has beeo rightly understood or administered.
Above all, female education is extremely defective in regard to moral culture-with reference, we mean, to the power of influencing the buman heart. The art of shedding sweetness on human life is not innate in any miod : it is the result of extensive observation, and of skilful management. And this is true especially of the talent for swaying and moulding the infant mind, and giving it that complexion which it may retain for life,-giving it such a bias as shall operate like an irresistible impulse toward pure happiness and every noble and virtuous trait of the human character, when fixed and elevated by religion.
Every female should know enough of the art of teaching to qualify her for the important task of preparing her offspring for admission to primary or infant schools, and to cooperate with the efforts of the teacher in the business of early instruction, if not in ail subsequent stages of education.
Most of our female readers are well aware that these objects are not provided for as they ought to be, in the present arrangements of female education; and the first step towards definite improvement would perhaps be a fair and full statement of the deficiencies of prevailing methods in these and similar particulars. But it is seinales that are best prepared to do justice even to this early stage of the business; and we would urge it once more on their attention. If the Journal is to be extensively useful in aiding the improvement of female education, it will be so in consequence of the efïorts of fumale minds. Contributions of this class will, we earnestly hope, be more numerous than heretofore in our pages.
To aid practical and explanatory instruction was an object of particular attention in the plan of the Journal. This we bave endeavored to do more by reporting its effects, than directly inculcating its necessity; and it has been one of the inost encouraging symptoms of general improvement that has offered itself to Rotice since the commencement of the Journal, that there is so prevailing a dissatisfaction with those methods which merely cultivate a mechanical memory, and have little or no salutary influence on the understanding. Rational and intelligent views of instruction seem to be rapidly gaining ground; and the developement of the mind is more generally based on the priociples of the inductive method. The discipline of the mind, rather than the mere acquisition of knowledge, seems an object of growing attenti on. Explanation is becoming as it ought to