Page images
PDF
EPUB

are kept. In boroughs the books are kept in a separate room, one bookcase serving for all divisions. The books are numbered and labeled. The label is sometimes a printed slip and pasted on the inside of the cover, sometimes a stamp having the name of the township or district. On the labels are printed the words: 'Any book lost or wantonly defaced shall be paid for by the parents.' The books should be numbered, labeled or stamped at different places, so that in cases of theft detection may be more easily made."

Superintendent Smith, of Delaware county, writes that the number of cases in which damages must be collected or new books bought in place of those lost or destroyed will not average one for each school in the county each year. Superintendent Walton claims that the life of a book depends more largely upon the disciplinary powers of the teacher than upon regulations made by the board.

School boards should provide strong and suitable book cases for keeping the books and supplies.

ITEMS FROM REPORTS.

ARMSTRONG-Supt. Jackson: It is proposed by the superintendent to have a course of study adopted for the country schools.

CARBON Supt. Beisel: The ten examinations held in June were well attended; twenty-three directors were present, Nesquehoning taking the lead, with five directors present the greater part of the day. Classes were graduated from the High schools of Lansford, Mauch Chunk, Lehighton, Nesquehoinng, Parryvllle, and Weatherly. The Lehighton class, numbering seventeen, was the largest ever graduated from any of our schools. Dr. Geo. Hull delivered an address to the citizens at the Lansford commencement, and Prof. Bible at Mauch Chunk. Lansford has added a well-selected list of books to its library. The only examination held in July was for Packer township. The six directors were present, and after the examination they selected their teachers, adopted text-books, and made all necessary preparations for school. Weatherly is making important changes in its school-building to comply with the sanatory school law. Lansford has decided to pay its teachers from $40 to $80-an increase of $5 per month over last year.

DELAWARE-Supt. Smith: Four districts kept their schools open until June 30th. Most of the High and Grammar schools closed with very appropriate exercises, which were enjoyed by large audiences. During the month our directors selected teachers for most of the schools in the county. A desire for thoroughly equipped teachers was manifest on every hand. Many of the directors showed the sincerity of their

desire by a decided increase in salary for experienced teachers. The Radnor School Board has made quite an innovation. They have employed two male principals, one from Massachusetts, at a salary of $1,000, the other at a salary of $700, where they paid last year $475 for two very efficient lady principals who were not applicants for re-election. The directors of South Chester are having a two-story addition made to one of their schools.

FRANKLIN Supt. Zumbro: Several new schools are being organized, requiring additional teachers, etc. School boards generally throughout the county are getting ready for the new text-book law.

FULTON Supt. Chestnut: Dublin has contracted for two new houses; Todd, for two; and Taylor, one. McConnellsburg has advanced salaries, and lengthened the term from 6 to 8 months. Three flourishing normal schools have been in session. The Free Text-Book Law meets with general approval. Prof. Kirk is teaching a flourishing normal class at Hustontown, and Prof. Fletcher in Buck Valley. I have issued to directors a circular setting forth the duties of boards under the new law.

JUNIATA-Supt. Marshall: Beale district I will build a needed extension to the Academia school-house. Two schools will be graded for the next term-East Waterford and Thompsontown. We feel that the directors have taken a step in the right direction, and hope others may be disposed to progress in the same line. There are a number of schools in the county that should be graded. Whenever a school has an enrollment of from 60 to 70 pupils, we cannot expect the teacher in charge to do satisfactory work. The very best teachers should be placed in charge of the primary grades. Hence we trust that the teachers who are placed in this responsible position will know how to care for the little ones, morally, intellectually and physically, so that they may grow up to be useful and honored citizens. All the examinations have been held, except the one for Spruce Hill district. All were attended by four or more directors, save Mifflintown, where only one was present.

LACKAWANNA-Supt. Taylor: Graduating exercises were held in many of the graded schools during the month of June, but I am unable to report particulars. In some places an admission fee was charged and the proceeds applied to the use of the libraries. There is a growing tendency to elect teachers earlier than formerly. There is also a stronger inclination on the part of directors to retain old teachers as long as they give satisfaction.

LEHIGH-Supt. Rupp: The examinations held in July were in the rural districts and were all very largely attended. Teachers are very numerous. This is owing, to a certain extent, to the general stagnation of business. Many who had left the profession

are again coming back. Quite a number of new school-houses are in course of erection. Lowhill is building two; Upper Milford, one double house; Whitehall, two. All of them will be brick and according to the most recent style of school architecture. Several buildings will be refurnished. Some of the districts have increased the term, while only one has decreased it. The salary of teachers has been advanced in several districts.

LYCOMING Supt. Becht: The monthly meeting of the "Teachers' Exchange" was held in the Superintendent's office on the last Saturday in June. The meeting was largely attended. In addition to the regular programme, "the operation and application of the Free Text-book Law" was thoroughly discussed. McNett and Shrewsbury districts have made an increase in salaries, and a number of other districts will do the same. School Boards all over the county are making necessary changes in books, and purchasing books and supplies to be ready for the work of the coming year.

MIFFLIN Supt. Cooper: A four week Normal term is in session at Belleville. The attendance is unusually good-49 females and 31 males. Of this number the greater part have never taught. The teachers have manifested an interest that is highly commendable. Prof. Geo. W. Alloway, of Youngstown, has done excellent work for the teachers. The County Superintendent has assisted daily in the work free of charge. Prof. Pla of Lewistown, and Rev. W. J. Sweigart of Huntingdon, have both encouraged the Normal by their presence and able and instructive addresses. The citizens of the community have also shown an interest in the work. Directors throughout the county are considering the importance of putting into the schools the best text-books that can be procured.

NORTHUMBERLAND-Supt. Shipman: A great deal of interest was manifested by school officers, clergy and others, in the public examinations. In a few districts resolutions were passed to the effect that no teacher should be employed whose certificate averaged more than one and one-half. Prof. I. H. Manser, for three years principal of the McEwensville schools, was chosen principal of one of the Williamsport schools, and will be succeeded by Prof. F. H. Schaeffer of Middleburgh. Directors everywhere are preparing to comply with the Free TextBook law, by procuring suitable record books and such apparatus as is needed to take proper care of books and supplies.

SNYDER-Supt. Bowersox: A very commodious and beautifully designed schoolhouse is being built near Troxellville, Adams township. A normal class will be taught in Middleburgh,-term, four weeks.

UNION -Supt. Johnson: On July 4th, the P. O, S. of A. of Laurelton, in conjunction with the citizens, raised a flag over the public school building of that place. On the same day the citizens of District No. 10, in

At the

White Deer township, did the same. former place addresses were delivered by Hon. B. K. Focht, Capt. J. V. Miller, Hon. R. V. B. Lincoln, and Rev. Jas. R. Lee; at the latter, by Supt. B. R. Johnson, Rev. W. W. Clouser, and Rev. M. Gross, responded to by Messrs. W. C. Richart and John Moyer. The exercises were interesting and inspiring.

WAYNE Supt. Kennedy: Prof. G. W. Twitmyer has been re-elected principal of the schools at Honesdale-his tenth year there. J. M. Reury, of Maple Valley, New York, has been elected principal of the Seeleyville schools. Prof. Kimber Cleaver leaves Hawley, where he did excellent|work, to accept the principalship of the High School at Shamokin.

BETHLEHEM-Supt. Farquhar: A class of fifteen graduated from the High School, June 27th, and a class of thirty-seven from the Grammar department, receiving certificates of graduation.

NORRISTOWN-Supt. Gotwals: An exhibition of work done in the Manual Training school and in the Sewing and Drawing departments, was held during the last week of the month. The work was examined by a large number of citizens, all of whom expressed themselves as highly pleased with what had been accomplished in so short a time. The closing exercises were held in the Grand Opera House the last day of June. The house was crowded with an appreciative audience. The class numbered 19 boys and 25 girls.

SHENANDOAH-Supt. Whitaker: A very successful term was closed June 29th. Seventeen pupils were graduated from our High School, and fifty-six from the Grammar grade. The commencement exercises were held June 28th and 29th. The graduates acquitted themselves very creditably, and on both evenings the large public hall was crowded with audiences as large, orderly, and appreciative as ever assembled in the building. A very gratifying indication of our progress is the fact that we will have over a hundred pupils in our High School next year. Our School Board is up to the times, and several undertakings are now under way which will greatly improve our facilities and add to our educational advantages. Besides these, the Board has subscribed for a copy of The Pennsylvania School Journal for each member, and for each teacher, for the coming year.

WILKES-BARRE-Supt. Coughlin: The schools closed June 16th. The year's work is regarded as very satisfactory. The educational meetings of the year have been very interesting and especially profitable. The attendance was unusually good in the advanced grades. The increase of enrollment in the highest Grammar grade over that of last year is 25 per cent. In the High School, the rate of increase is nearly the same. Thirty-seven students were graduated.

CARE OF THE VOICE.-Mr. Eichberg, Supervisor of Music in the public schools of Boston, gives the following caution, which is well worth heeding. He says: The age of most of the pupils in the high schools renders extreme caution in the treatment of their voices a duty and a sacred obligation. The common belief that boys' voices alone require especial care during the period of transition has led to much loss of voice and of health. Just as important, if less striking, changes occur in the nature

and timbre' of the female voice. I am convinced that the voice of a girl from twelve to seventeen years of age requires all the more careful management from the very fact that, not suffering, like a boy, from an almost absolute impossibility to sing, she is likely to over-exert herself, to the lasting injury of both health and voice. When teachers are better acquainted with these physiological facts, they will understand the necessity of not sacrificing such young-such temporarily "diseased" voices-to the

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]

desire of exhibiting and showing off their classes. |sing, and then told her her voice was gone, that she Another frightful cause of injury proceeds from the must not sing a note for a year, and return to him desire of many female pupils always to sing the at the end of that time, and in the meantime imhighest part-the first soprano. It is with them prove her health. She faithfully complied with "Aut Caesar, aut nullus." Periodical examination these directions, and came back to Garcia at the of the pupils' voices, by the teacher, has seemed to appointed time. Rest at a critical period, had reme the only safe course in order to remedy this evil. stored her voice, to her own delight and to the In Jenny Lind's younger days, it is related that gratification of her master. From that moment a she applied for instructions to Garcia, the great grand career was open before her, which has made teacher of vocal music in Paris. He heard her her name a "household word" in two continents.

[merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][merged small]

THO

PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

ASSOCIATION.

OCTOBER 1893.

ENGLAND'S TYPICAL AND GREATEST SCHOOLMASTER.

ENSHRINED IN THE LITERATURE OF HIS COUNTRY.

THOMAS ARNOLD, of Rugby, ranks unquestionably amongst the great practical teachers of modern times, and his biography by Dean Stanley is one of beauty and interest. Suddenly called from a life of obscurity to the head-mastership of a great English public school, he rose at once to a towering influence, far above the situation, and enshrined himself in the literature of the country as England's typical and greatest schoolmaster. His personal friends and supporters, in advocating his claims to become master of Rugby, prophesied that, if elected, he would change the whole course of public school education throughout England; and if the prophecy has not yet been altogether fulfilled, Arnold has done much more for religion, literature, education and general progress, than even his most sanguine admirers foresaw. Not only did he show in a new light the vast capabilities of the public school system, but he has left behind him, in his work and its traditions, an indefinite but growing force, which in many quarters has been fittingly summed up as the Arnold influence. Whatever it be, the public teacher who does not share in it is really outside the great educational movement of this century.

Thomas Arnold was born at Cowes, in the Isle of Wight, in 1795. He was educated chiefly at Winchester and Oxford,

No. 4.

where, in his twentieth year, he was elected Fellow of Oriel, and gained the Chancellor's Prize for the best Latin essay. Four years later he took orders, married, settled down at Laleham, near Staines, and occupied himself in teaching private pupils, and in a wide range of literary work. He remained at Laleham for ten years. In his schoolboy days he appears before us as a kind of poetical dreamer or placid enthusiast; but at Laleham he became an intense realist, and found satisfaction only in the severest forms of fertile application. Carlyle himself did not more earnestly believe in the gospel of work. During these ten years of seclusion his industry was enormous. He read widely and deeply in the field of Greek scholarship and Roman literature; formed very definite opinions on most political and social questions of the day; and, above all, studied the character of boys, and how to deal with it.

In 1828 he was elected head master of Rugby. Dr. Wood, his immediate predecessor, brought up the school considerably, and Arnold found it with a larger attendance than at any previous period. Yet with all this apparent prosperity, the general tone of the school was low. Discipline was loose; the young gentlemen had very pronounced ideas regarding their own importance, and claimed a high latitude of self-will. Those who loved learning had

the opportunity to advance, but the great majority passed through the curriculum of the school in easy indifference, without gaining any perceptible good either as regards power of habit or extent of information. Along with other easy indifference, there was a good deal of coarseness in the Rugby atmosphere. The older boys looked on bullying the younger as a right; and the younger ones were thus transformed in their turn into sneaks and cowards. The general tone at Rugby, as at the other public schools, was irreligious.

The reform of such a school was soon found to be a work of great difficulty. "I came to Rugby," Arnold afterwards wrote, "full of plans of reform; but I soon found the reform of a public school was a much more difficult thing than I had imagined." He was, at the outset, denounced on all hands. In addition to the opposition which he met within the institution, he was severely assailed by a large section of the press as a dangerous innovator. He felt this keenly; and several of his friends dropped his acquaintance, and then heartily denounced his conduct. He frequently complained of the want of sympathy. However, he resolved to reply to no attack, and to offer no explanation of his views and conduct to any one except a personal friend.

In the face of all opposition, he went steadily toward his goal, resolved to purify and elevate the whole tone of public feeling and opinion; to emancipate the boys from their slavish deference to the traditions of the school and the current code of morals; and to turn out manly, brave, and thoughtful young men, well equipped for the realities of life. He was not content merely to govern the school by orderly methods, and to keep down the more offensive forms of vice. On the contrary, he aimed all resources at the building up of character. Manly-minded, bold and honest in all his actions, he despised the craven spirit that followed the authority of the multitude to do evil, and resolved to supplant it. He preferred He preferred moral to intellectual excellence; and though he always aimed at training up capable intellectual men, he felt always satisfied, and generally supremely happy, when he saw that his pupils would likely become manly Christian gentlemen. He preferred moral principle to gentlemanly conduct, and gentlemanly conduct to intellectual ability. What he strove against

was coarseness, the selfishness of public school boys, and the childish deference to opinions and prevailing fashions shown by them after they had became grown-up

men.

Though Arnold sometimes erred in the estimate he formed of character, he has rarely been surpassed in quickness and correctness of insight into the nature of boys. Here he seemed to act by intuition. He took in a boy at a glance, penetrated through his slyest and most secret motions, analyzed his whole nature, and fixed upon all the seeds of hope in his constitution. Seeing thus the qualities of the material with which he had to deal, Arnold not only gained great influence in the little world of Rugby by the general accuracy of his descriptions and predictions, but was also able to take active steps by stimulating the lazy, repressing the forward, cheering the diffident and encouraging the weak. Nothing escaped his comprehensive insight. Latterly the boys knew this, feared his omniscience and stern treatment of meanness or cunning, and came to reverence one who was as tender towards the weak as he was stern towards the vicious.

But he had much more than keen insight into character. sight into character. Dean Stanley says: "It was felt he had the power in which so many teachers had been deficient, of saying what he did mean, and of not saying what he did not mean; the power of doing what was right, of speaking what was true, and thinking what was good, independently of any conventional or professional notions that so to act, speak or think was becoming or expedient." Dr. Arnold was very fully alive to the imperfection of a boy's nature; the idea of boyhood which he had gathered from keen observation and wide experience was not remarkably high; and he never applied to his pupils the same standard that he applied to grown-up people. Upon their moral training he spent much effort. He sought to widen the free atmosphere of the public school, after making it purer; and he believed that much vigor would be derived by the growing character from the sense of independence and responsibility which he ever strove to develop. To rules which lay beyond the sympathies of a well-trained boy, and to leading-strings of all kinds, he attached little value. Hence, in all his dealings with his charge, nothing was more marked than the generous confidence that he

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »