Page images
PDF
EPUB

but think it practicable for a time at least to leave the selection of books to the Acadeinies. A list of apparatus, however, with prices, is given, which the committee deem necessary for each Academy. It is as follows:

Orrery..
Numeral frame and geometrical solids..
Globes ..
Movable planisphere
Tide dial....
Optical apparatus.
Mechanical powers..
Hydrostatic apparatus.
Pneumatic apparatus. .
Chemical apparatns.
One hundred specimens of mineralogy
Electrical machine.
Instruinents to teach surveying
Map of the United States.
Map of the State of New York.
Atlas.
Telescope
Quadrant...

$20 00

2 50 12 00 1 50 3 00 10 00 12 00 10 00 35 00 25 00 10 00 12 00 80 00 8 00 8 00 5 00 40 00 15 00

$308 00

As the apparatus thus mentioned costs about $300, about $200 of the amount apportioned to each school for the organization of the department, could be expended in books.

IV. What evidence of qualification to teach shall be given to the individuals who may be trained in these departinents ?

The committee propose that to those who complete the prescribed course of study and pass the final examination, a diploma be given, bearing the signature of the principal and the official seal of the institution, while to those who complete a part only of the prescribed course a certificate be given, bearing the signature of the principal, and setting forth the particular studies they have pursued, with such opinion of their moral character and their qualifications to teach the branches which they have studied, as they may be considered entitled to. Neither diploma nor certificate, however, is to dispense with the necessity of a certificate from the inspectors of Common Schools of the town.

The committee deem it within the scope of their duty to designate, for the consideration of the Board, the Academies with which

the proposed departments may, in their opinion, be most advantageously connected. They suggest the following:

First district, Erasmus Hall, Kings county.
Second district, Montgomery, Orange county.
Third district, Kinderhook, Columbia county.
Fourth district, St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence county.
Fifth district, Fairfield, Herkiner county.
Sixth district, Oxford, Chenango county.
Seventh district, Canandaigua, Ontario connty.
Eighth district, Middlebury, Genesee county.

In making this selection the committee state that they have been guided by one of two considerations : 1st, that the value of the philosophical and chemical apparatus and library of the Academy named was superior to that of others in the district; 2d, that by reason of their endowments or their peculiar situation, the course of education in the Academies selected would be likely to be least expensive to students.

With the report the committee submitted forms for the diploma and certificate proposed to be issued to members of this department who complete fully or in part the prescribed course of study.

The report of the committee was considered in part at the meeting of the Board, January 8, 1833, and at the adjourned meeting, January 20, the report was formally accepted essentially as given, and an ordinance of the Board was made establishing the departments as recommended by the committee, and in the Academies mentioned; providing, also, that the trustees of these Academies should, upon receiving official notice of their appointment, signify their acceptance of the appointment under the conditions specified, and should, with their annual report, present a full and detailed statement of the progress and condition of the department for the education of teachers for the Common Schools. The Secretary of the Board of Regents was also ordered to prepare suitable instructions in regard to the formation of these departments and proper forms for the academic reports to be sent to the trustees of all the Academics in the State. At a meeting of the Board held March 31st, as the several Academies selected for the establishment of departments for the education of Common School teachers had signified their acceptance of this trust, it was resolved that the sum of $100 be paid to each of the Academies mentioned, for the support of these departments, and the articles of apparatus to be purchased by each Academy were specified in a priced list.

To secure entire uniformity as to the extent to which the course of instruction in each of the prescribed subjects should be carried, the committee of the Board of Regents, to which some details connected with the execution of the above plan had been intrusted, invited the principals of the eight Academies to meet them at Albany on the 1st of September, 1835. The following principals were present:

William H. Campbell, Erasmus Hall; Jacob C. Tooker, Montgomery Academy ; Silas Metcalf, Kinderhook Academy; Asa Brainard, St. Lawrence Academy; David Chassell, Fairfield Acad. emy; Merritt G. McKoon, Oxford Academy; Henry Howe, Canandaigua Academy.

Principal Chassell was chosen chairman and Principal Howe secretary of the meeting. The course of study prescribed for the teachers' department was discussed, and each principal named the text-books adopted in the teachers' department in the institution under his charge, and explained the mode of instruction in each branch. A great uniformity in text-books was found to exist, but it was thonght inexpedient to decide upon any particular author whose text-books exclusively shonld be used in the institution here represented. The meeting, however, selected for the library of each school, a list of books of reference for the teachers' department, to be purchased by the Regents; and recommended that Geometry “only through the first six books of Playfair, or what shall be deemned equivalent in other authors” should be required; that the study of algebra throngh simple and quadratic equations and ratio and proportion should be placed in the course of study, and stated that diplomas from an engraved plate are deemed important “ to render the evidence of qualification uniform, and more acceptable to the young men who shall have completed the prescribed course of study."

The reports from these eight Academies for the academic year 183+-5 shows that in four of them no pupils had entered the course of study in the teachers' department. In the other four, St. Lawrence, Oxford, Canandaigua and Middlebury, one hundred and eight had pursued the prescribed course at some portion of the year.

The length of the course of study, three years, the declaration required of members of that department of their intention to devote themselves to the business of teaching, the low rate of wages paid teachers in the Common Schools, the lack of information on the part of the public as to the object of the Regents in establishing these depart

ments, the facilities for more lucrative employments which demanded no extended special preparation, and the spirit of speculation which prevailed in many sections of western New York at that time, are all mentioned as causes which operated against the increase of numbers in these departments. Erasmus Hall decided to resign the trusts given it in the establishment in that institution of a department for the instruction of teachers, as there were no applications for membership in such a department on account of the “high price of board in Flatbush and its vicinity," and from the fact that many of the patrons of the school“ have in view higher prospects for their children than teaching Common Schools.” But the reports from all the Academies upon the plan were very favorable to it in spite of the obstacles which seem to beset its progress. It was considered that these departments “ have directed public opinion to the state of Common Schools and the means of improving them, and have also raised many higher institutions to very laudable efforts for improving their own condition;" that “it is not probable that by any other means with so little expense could the Regents have produced so widely felt an influence in behalf of education;" and that “an important end in the cause of education will be attained by educating young men in the manner prescribed, though not one of them should ever teach,” for “it will spread through society men who can judge and advise well on the subject of Common Schools.”

In addition to the schools in which the departments for the instruction of teachers had been established by the Regents, Gouverneur High School, Bridgewater Academy, Rensselaer Oswego Academy, Union Academy, Onondaga Academy, Yates County Academy, and Monroe Academy, report that especial attention had been paid to the preparation of teachers for the Common Schools, and the aggregate number of teachers instructed by them was 213; while Washington Academy reports the organization of a teachers' department by the Trustees with a course of study of two years, but otherwise under the same regulations and course of study as required in such departments established by the Regents; and on April 5, 1836, at an adjourned meeting of the Board, the regents established in Washington Academy the department for the instruction of teachers which had been discontinued in Erasmus Hall.

The attendance and growth of these departments for the first four years is shown by the following table :

[blocks in formation]

By an act of Congress, passed June 23, 1836, a certain share of the surplus revenue of the United States was deposited with this State for safe keeping until called for by the general governnient. The legislature by an act passed January 10, 1837, accepted the trust and by the act passed April 4, of the same year, provision was made for loaning this money in the different counties of the State at a fixed rate of interest and under certain prescribed conditions.

Gov. Marcy in his message to the Legislature of 1837, in discussing the question as to what disposition should be made of the income arising from this Fund, says :

“I also recommend that a liberal portion of this income shonld be appropriated to the Academies in such manner as will not only increase the amount annually distributed to them, but also improre the Literature Fund; having in view principally the design of rendering them more efficient as seminaries for educating Common School teachers.

The general superintendence of the Academies, including as a matter of course the departments erected therein for the instruction of Common School teachers, is committed to the Regents of the University,

In his message of 1838, after referring to the suggestions of his message of the preceding year upon this subject he says:

“The departments for educating Common School teachers erected under the patronage of the State in eight of the academies have been in operation two years, and the last reports from them present favor able results. The number of students attending them is steadily increasing, they are resorted to as sources for supplying the demand for teachers, and the services of those instructed in them are on that

1 The total amount of such surplus was $37,468,859.97, of which New York would have received $5,352,694.38; but out of the four installments provided by the act only three were paid over to the States, making the share of New York $4,014,520.07, which forms the present U. S. Deposit fund of the State.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »