Page images
PDF
EPUB

2. One year's apprenticeship.

English Physician.

American Phy ician. 1. A regular classical education at college. 1. Not required. 2. Apprenticeship of not less than five years. 3. Preliminary examination in the classics, &c. 3. Not required. 4. Sixteen months' attendance at lectures in 24 4. Eight months in two years.

years 5. Twelve months' hospital practice.

5. Not required. 6. Lectures on botany, natural philosophy, &c. 6. Not required.

The Americans are justly proud of their women, and appear tacitly to acknowledge the want of theoretical education in their own sex, by the care and attention which they pay to the instruction of the other. Their exertions are, however, to a certain degree checked by the circumstance, that there is not sufficient time allowed previous to the marriage of the females to give that solidity to their knowledge which would ensure permanency. They attempt too much for so short a space of time. Two or three years are usually the period which the young women remain at the establishments, or colleges I may call them (for in reality they are female colleges.) In the prospectus of the Albany Female Academy, I find that the classes run through the following branches :-French, book-keeping, ancient history, ecclesiastical history, history of literature, composition, political economy, American constitution, law, natural theology, mental philosophy, geometry, trigonometry, algebra, natural philosophy, astronomy, chemistry, botany, mineralogy, geology, natural history, and technology, besides drawing, penmanship, &c. &c.

It is almost impossible for the mind to retain, for any length of time, such a variety of knowledge, forced into it before a female has arrived to the age of sixteen or seventeen, at which age, the study of the sciences, as is the case in England, should commence not finish. I have already mentioned that the examinations which I attended were highly creditable both to preceptors and pupils ; but the duties of an American woman as I shall hereafter explain, soon find her other occupation, and the ologies are lost in the realities of life.

421

MISCELLANEOUS LITERARY INTELLIGENCE.

NATIONAL CONVENTION OF THE FRIENDS OF EDUCATION.

CIRCULAR OF THE AMERICAN LYCEUM. “At the ninth annual meeting of the American Lyceum, held in the city of New York on the 3d, 4th and 6th of May 1839, the following resolutions, proposed by Professor Brooks of Massachusetts, were maturely considered and unanimously adopted ; viz.

Resolved, That it is expedient to hold a National Convention for one week in the ' Hall of Indepencence' at Philadelpbia, beginning on the 22d of November next at 10 o'clock A. M., for the purpose of discussing the various topics connected with elementary education in the United States.

Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed to request the Governor (and, if in session the Legislature) of each state in the Union to invite the friends of education in their state to attend the Convention.” (Copy of records.)

The undersigned, baving been appointed to form the committee, do now in obedience to their instructions respectfully address you on this paramount subject.

The American Lyceum, in taking measures to carry into effect the above resolutions, expresses its deep anxiety for the proper physical, intellectual and moral culture of every child in the United States. It is ascertained that as many as nineteen out of twenty children, who receive instruction, receive it in the common schools. These schools therefore must be with us the hope of civilization, liberty and virtue. To elevate them so as to meet the wants of our republic is the high and single aim of the Convention. Parties in politics and sects in religion will not for a moment be recognized in any form. No power will be vested in the assembly. It will be, we trust, a company of philanthropists, patriots and Christians coming together in the spirit of an expansive benevolence, to consult for the highest good of the rising generation; and whose deliberations and results, when published to the country, will bring the great cause · of Education simultaneously before the several states in a forın for

enlightened, definite and successful action. As subservient to this humane and patriotic object, we would suggest a few among the many topics which will demand the consideration of the meeting : viz.

How many children are there in each state who, according to the laws of that state, should be under instruction ? How many of this number are found in the schools ? What is the condition of the common schools in each state ? What is the organization of the school system? What branches of knowledge should be taught in our common schools ? What should be the character of our common school books ? How may school apparatus and school libraries be made most useful? In what branches should instruction be given orally, and in what degree? What should be the qualifications of teachers ? Are normal schools (or seminaries for the preparation of teachers) desirable ? On what plan should they be established ? Is a central normal school for the Union desirable ? Should it be under the direction of Congress or a society of citizens ? What connection should the common schools have with academies, colleges and universities? What models for school-houses are best? Will a“ Board of Education,” established by each state, afford the best supervision and secure the highest improvement of the schools ? How can itinerant teachers and lecturers best supply destitute places? Is a national system of instruction desirable? How should a school fund be applied ? In what part of each state has the greatest progress been made in elementary education? How may school statistics, which must be the basis of legislation, be most easily collected? What features of the systems now in operation in Holland, Germany, Prussia, France and Great Britain, may be most usefully adopted in this country?

Fellow Citizens : The discussion of these and kindred topics will probably elicit a mass of information, the importance of which, cannot be easily overstated. We would therefore urge those, who should attend the Convention, to come prepared for making known the valuable facts they can gather. Believing that all the talent of a country should be so tempted forth, by judicious culture, as to bring it into profitable and harmonious action ; that it is important to the public good as well as to private happiness that we should receive the requisite supply of useful information ; and that each faculty which the Creator has implanted in childhood should be developed in its natural order, proper time, and due proportion, we invite you to secure the attendance of delegates from your state, prepared to promote this first duty of our republic—THE EDUCATION OF OUR YOUTH. Believing that our country must look to intelligence as its defence, and to virtue as its life-blood; and that the plan now proposed, originating in the most enlightened views of freedom and humanity, will be the first in a series of means for securing the greatest good to future generations, not only among us, but to our sister republics, the Lyceum desires to bring into a focus all the light which can be collected in our land. Some of the most distinguished gentlemen in several states have promised to be present; and we would suggest the expediency of inviting the members of Congress (who will be on their way to Washington about the time of the meeting) to join the Convention.

With the most heartfelt good wishes for the success of every effort for the benefit of the young both in your state and throughout the Union, we are

Your friends and fellow citizens,

THEODORE FRELINGHUYSEN, of New Jersey.
CHARLES BROOKS, of Massachusetts.
JOHN GRISCOM, of Pennsylvania.
HENRY R. SCHOOLCRAFT, of Michigan.

THEODORE DWIGHT, Jun., of New York.
New York, June, 1839.

We take great pleasure in publishing this circular. A Convention wisely organized and judiciously conducted, can hardly fail to give an impulse, and right direction to the efforts that are now made in behalf of elementary education. The object and the occasion are noble. The patriot ought to be there, and the philanthropist, and the christian. All may write in this work, and it needs and will reward, the most strenuous labors of all.

MECHANICS' LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTIONS IN ENGLAND.

Origin. « The commencement of this system was the work of Dr Birkbeck, to whom the people of this island owe a debt of gratitude, the extent of which it would not be easy, perhaps in the present age not possible, to describe. That most learned and excellent person formed the design (as enlightened as it is benevolent) of admitting the working classes of his fellow-countrymen to the knowledge of science, till then almost deemed the exclusive property of the higher ranks in society, and only acquired accidentally and irregularly in a few rare instances of extraordinary talents, by any of the working classes. Dr Birkbeck resided for some time in Glasgow, as professor in the Anderson College, and about the year 1900, he announced a course of lectures on Natural Philosophy, and its application to the arts, for the instruction of mechanics. But few at the first availed themselves of this advantage ; by degrees, however, a general taste for the study was diffused, and when he left Glasgow two or three years afterwards, about 700 eagerly and constantly attended the class. For some time after Dr Birkbeck's departure, the lectures of his able and worthy successor, Dr Ure, were well frequented, and the Professor happily thought of adding a library, for the use of the mechanics, and entrusting the direction of it entirely to a cominittee chosen by themselves. A difference, however, at first to be regretted, led to consequences highly beneficial; for a great number seceded from the lectures, and formed an institution entirely under the management of the mechanics themselves. It has been successful beyond all expectation,- a thousand working men attended it last winter, while the numbers of the parent establishment were scarcely diminished.”

London Mechanics' Institution. The suocess of this metropolitan institution is indeed highly encouraging. There are about 1200 members; and the means at their disposal for instruction are extremely ample. They have a library of 6000 volumes; a museum of machinery, models, minerals, and natural history ; with an experimental workshop and laboratory. Lectures are delivered twice a week on natural and experimental philosophy, practical mechanics, astronomy, chemistry, literature and arts. Elementary schools or classes exist for teaching arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and their different applications, particularly to perspective architecture, mensuration, and pavigation. There is a class for mutual instruction, containing 120 members. The theatre is capable of holding more than 1000 persons. The average annual receipts are about £1600. In this institution, two thirds of the committee are working men, and that body is elected from the members. This regulation of their own affairs, by the members is highly beneficial where it is practicable, and should be gradually introduced into the provinces as the mernbers become qualified to undertake the task.

At Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a Mechanics’ Institution was opened in March, 1824, and to which there are now 240 subscribers. At Kendal, in April of the same year, a similar institution was founded, to which there are now 150 subscribing members, all of the working classes. The example has been followed by Carlisle, Harwick, and Alnwick ; by Aberdeen and Norwich; and even in Ireland, by Dudlin and Cork.

Manchester. The object of the Institution in this grand centre of

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »