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be, the principal business of the instructer ; and teachers are not so much die posed to be the tame servants of their books, but are making use of them more as mere instruments put into their hands to aid them in effecting their objects. That all these features of improvement are visible in many schools, it is unnecessary to remind those of our readers who have perused the intelligence contained in the successive numbers of the Journal.
The attention of school committees, as well as teachers, is becoming more decidedly directed to the character of instruction ; and in several counties and towns in New-England, there has been a thorough reformation effected within a few months. To aid this spirit of improvement will in our future dumbers be a more distinct object of our endeavors than beretofore. Nothing can be more important to this country than the advancing of common education to that pitch which American institutions demand, and which they so much favor.
In close connection with the last mentioned topic is the formation of schonis and seminaries for teachers. This is the most effective as well as the most espeditioos method of improving education in any of its departments, and especially in that where many teachers stand so much in need of being taught—as is too much the case with instructers in district schools, it' not in others. On the subject of the training of teachers we have col, we trust, been deficient in the proportion of matter. But our future efforts will we hope receive a more distinct character, from the establishment of a seminary for this purpose in our own state. The principles and practice adopted in this institution may be rendered highly serviceable to the business of instruction, throughout the country. They will be fully stated as soon as the commencement of its operations shall furnish opportunity.
During the past year, the preparing of instructers for the duties of their office has been a proininent object of public attention. Much is now doing towards this object in various quarters. In New-York, a model school has been instituted for the training of teachers in the details of the monitorial method. In the practice of instruction much good way thus be effected. Etfciency and skill in the management of a school are important qualifications in an instructer. More than this, however, is needed: enlarged views of the whole subject of educationan acquaintance with the mind and its habits-elerated ideas of the office of instruction-a wide range of useful knowledge-high intellectual character--a pleasure in instructing--and a perfect facility in imparting knowledge-are essential to the qualitications of any instructer. The highest range of human accomplishment should be that which is possessed by the teachers of youth ; and it is by elevating the requisite standard of improvement in the office of instructicn, that regolar and extensive and permanent results are to be obtained, in the melioration of the condition of society,--more especially in such a form of society as ours, where the general diffusion of intelligence is so peculiarly connected with the af. fairs of the state, and where education is naturally the great organ of general good.
It is an object well deserviog the express attention of the legislature of every state in the Union, that the training of youth for the bigh and responsible office of instructers, should not be left to hazard, or to the presumption of personal zeal and application. Instruction should, in this country, wear an aspect decidedly national and peculiar. It should, in a word, be a model for the efforts of the rising nations which are treading in our own political footsteps, and which are desirous of
adopting from us whatever can contribute to the same great results of personal and pational prosperity, which are so fast accumulating here.
Instructers, it is true, like all other classes of society, are impelled onward by the great stream of improvement; and they cannot retrograde nor stand still, without injuring themselves. Their interest will induce them to saise their qualifications; and the demands of society will be met to some extent. Bat the mind which is willing to rest satisfied with this assurance, must be narrow indeed. Shall we place on the same sordid level the man who is to train our youth for the duties and the character of American citizens--with him whose services reach no higher than mere animal wants, or than idle gratifications which have no connection with the moral and political aspect of society? We are happy to see this important subject beginning to receive a portion of the attention which it merits ; and we hope that the indications which have been given of a disposition to effect something in this department, will issue in provisions which shall be worthy of the character of those states in which such measures have been contemplated.
The system of mutual instruction, under various modifications, and different games, continues to advance with a celerity which cannot fail to render it the predominating method in every department. It is no longer a problem whether this system can be applied to the higher branches of intellectual culture. The system is daily gaining ground in our cities, and no less rapidly in our villages and school districts, generally. On this topic it is unnecessary to be more particular: the intelligence in our own pages may be taken as a specimen (for it is no more) of the progress of this department of improvement.
Among the numerous objects to which the attention of our readers has been directed, none seems to possess a deeper interest in connection with the general improvement of society, than the subject of mechanics' instilutions. These useful establishments have multiplied and spread with astonishing rapidity in Europe, and bid fair to transform the intellectual character, and change the moral and political condition of the most numerous class of European population. Intelligence and refinement are fast raising the operative classes to a station in society, which none but a visionary would have predicted, fifty years ago. Political distinctions can offer no effectual barrier to the silent and gradual revolution whicb education is now effecting in the more enlightened nations of Europe : and happy will it be for all classes of society in those countries, if a regular and progressive melioration should effect what has hitherto been the result of revolutionary struggles and their attendunt miseries-if the condition of the mass of society can be improved by mental culture so as to qualify the whole community, without reserve, for taking an active and intelligent part in the management of public affairs.
Mechanics' institutions, though not so immediately connected with the general interests of society in this country, still possess a peculiar interest in relation to the numerous class for whose benefit they are inore particularly designed. In such schools of practical instruction there is something congenial to the spirit of our institutions, which at once demands and cherishes a high standard of intelligence in all classes of society, and presents no permanent obstacle to the career of improvement. The vast resources, too, of the country which enterprise and skill. can alone develope, hold up bigh encouragerment to scientitic culture among our
mechanics. It is truly gratifying, therefore to observe schools of the kind just mentioned, becoming matters of popular attention and interest in our larger cities, and extending in some instances to seminaries of a higher order io villages. Among establishments devoted to scientific improvement in connection with preparation for the duties of active life, the Franklio Institute of Philadelphia is entitled to a distinguished place. Its Magazine for mechanics, and its High School for a supe rior style of practical education among youth destined for active pursuits, furnish advantages of a character bitberto new in this country; and which will, is all probability, exert a highly favorable influence on institutions that may spring op in other places, for the advancement of similar objects.
Proprietors of extensive manufactories have it in their power to do a great deal for the improvement of the persons employed by them. Some enlighted and be nevolent individuals are beginning to feel their responsibility and discharge Urit duty in this particular, by assigning an hour daily to the business of instruction, and furnishing various facilities for making attainments in useful knowledge and in the arts.
The education of the agricultural class of our people was mentioned at an early stage of our work, as a branch of the subject which is entitled to peculiar attention. In England and Scotland, this department is daily receiving increased attention. Reading associations and lending libraries are constantly becoming more numer. ous, and are diffusing among the farming class the same spirit of improremeat which has made so rapid a progress among mechanics.
Associations for mutual improvement are growing in number, in various parts of this country, and particularly in New England. These societies will, it is to be hoped, be soon so numerous as to be found in every village throughout the country. A regular plan for the formation of such associations has been proposed in this Journal: its leading features will be found serviceable in giving direction and scope to improvement whatever course may be adopted in the details.*
The establishment of the London University, as affording room for the interesting experiment of practical education on the broadest scale hitherto attempted, seems likely to produce an extensive reformation in the instruction given at higher institutions. An attentive mind cannot but observe how little there is in the whole range of college or university education which, on impartial examination, can be deemned serviceable to the great interests of actual life-how little there is of active training for definite pursuits--how little of invigorating discipline to the mind--how inuch that aims no higher than mere scholastic refinement, in obedience to the usage of antiquity-how much that has no definite aim what. ever, beyond a suitable preparation for the enjoyment of a learned leisure; and how much that sosters an indolent and inefficient character of mind.
Amidst institutions, which, though deser vedly of a high literary and scientific character, are yet so deficient in relation to the actual purposes of human life, the London universiły bas risen up unshackled by ancient usage, unwieldy forms, or official control. It has risen under the auspices of liberal and philanthropic men,
* The draft of the plan has since been improved and published separately by its author, Mr. Josiah Holbrook. Associations of the kind proposed by Mr. H. have been formed in considerable number in Worcester county, in this state, and seem likely to spread still more widely. Their results, thus far, are highly encouraging. We shall meation them more at large, at a more convenient opportunity.
who have the magnanimity to leave it free scope over the whole field of improvement.
An institution so nearly approaching to the great objects of education in this country, cannot but furnish many valuable suggestions for improvement in our colleges and universities. These, it is true, bave been already modified in many respects, so as to meet the demands of society. But as, in common with those of England, they were necessarily modelled on the monastic institutions of remoter times, they need such a reformation as does not stop at the bare introduction of a new book or a new branch of study. The whole system needs revision and adaptation to the existing state of society-not to say of a more enlightened and liberal view of the human mind. Take for example two of the liberal professions, theology and law. A leading object in preparing for these pursuits should be a course of ac. tive discipline, bearing a resemblance as near as possible to the actual occasions of professional lite. Instead of this the student, is immured for several years in his room, withdrawn from the great field of observation, of action, and of improvement,-is compelled to sit down in passive attention to his books, or his lectures and is calied on for active discipline, barely often enough to give him by anticipation an unpleasant impression of the labor of actual business. He does not issue from the hands of his jostructers well trained for his pursuits in life : his personal discipline he has yet to begin. Even in the details of writing and speaking, in which he ought to have acquired a perfect facility, he is still halting through an imperfect and late preparation. The school and college requisitions, which derolved on him once or twice io a month or a term, he finds, if he reflects at all, to have beeu a mere mockery of exercise.
Our present limits will not permit us to extend our remarks on this subject; otherwise the actual deficiencies of college and university education u.ight be pointed out in several other departments, where their consequences are not less inju. rious.
The growing results annually reported in the department of benevolent effort for the promotion of education, are, this year, unusually interesting. The number of institutions devoted to the improvement of the deaf and dumb, is increasiog in this country as well as in Europe; and experience is daily suggesting better methods of instruction, for furnishing those who would otherwise be outcasts from human intercourse, with the means of intelligent and useful communication with the more favor. ed part of their species. The improvement of the condition of the blind, is attracting increased attention in Europe ; and several interesting reports have been presented of the high pitch to which their instruction has been carried, in the various branches or useful knowledge, and in the common arts of life.
la the department of missionary effort, the progress of improvement is pecu. liarly interesting. The inagnitude of the operations wnich are here connected with education, does not seem to be sufficiently known or appreciated. Many of the various missionary stations throughout the world have attached to them schools of practical instruction in the useful arts, for the benefit of adults; and most are furnished with well managed schools of common education for tne young, who are, in large numbers, receiving the same elements of kuowledge and of improvement which are developed in the happier sphere of civilised and polished society. Some of the missionary stations provide instruction of a still higher order, and open the
benefits of collegiate education to those who might otherwise hare passed the lives in the ignorance and degradation of their ancestors.
That our intelligence of this kind has not been more full in our first volume, <3 not been owing to neglect. The extent of this department, and the palutade & interesting facts which it presents, made a systematic arrangement per oferty sirable ; while at the same time, considerable research was indispensaik, = suur cases, to procure exact information. A report embracing the leadioz izcts in this department, will, we hope, be prepared in season for an early number oi * kit volume.
In this, as well as in other spheres of human improvement, it is gratifying > observe education recognised as the surest and most successful instrument of el fecting good, and as that which, though others may occasionally be more rapid and striking, seems to be the destined method of elevating the buman race to a character generally is not universally--marked by whatever is pure, poble, asiable, or happy.
Sunday schools--another fruit of christian philanthropy--are advancing wib increased rapidity in the melioration of society.
The number of schools of this description is immense. Their bepeits are is valuable to all classes. To the illiterate and the neglected they furnish instrtion and counsel, without which the young inust unavoidably grow up in the aecumulation of evil babits and misery, if not of crimes and punishment. To the better taught they aid the domestic department of their education, and provide them with larger advantages for religious and moral improvement.
The condition of these schools is not a little interesting to persons sto take a pleasure in observing the progress of improvement in education. A simple, familiar, and explanatory style is gaining ground in the manner of imparting instruction. The Sunday School Union of this country, an institution of great extant, and which is effecting much in this department, gives a decided preserere to this method, which cannut fail to introduce it widely in American Sudiay scbooks.This is, we think, a point of great importance in connection with the developement of the mind, and the formation of character. It is of the highest monest that while intelligible and natural instruction is becoming more and more prevalent in ordinary schools, religinus and moral impressions should not be left to depend on mechanical acts of leaming and saying by rote what is not rendered accessible to the understanding, or interesting and impressive to the beart.
One feature in the character of recent improvement is the vast superiority a current school books. The plan and design of such works are, to a nuch greater extent than heretofore, accommodated to the juvenile mind. A systematic and strictly scientific arrangement are sacrificed to one which is intelligible and practical. The order of the mind in its natural progress is consulted in preference to that of the subject abstractly considered. The formation of mental habits is re garded, and the discipline which every science and every book may be made to administer, is becoming a matter of more distinct attention. These improvements are conspicuous in books prepared for the earliest stages of education.
Among works of this character it is hardly necessary to meotion Colbera's treatises on arilhmetic, which are now in use in most schools where the teachers