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place to a cheaper successor; that for one half of each year, at least, he must seek a precarious subsistence in another locality, and, perchance, in another pursuit; and that, while employed in his temporary school, instead of having a fixed and comfortable home, he must wander throughout his district, fixing his home successively in different families! I ask, how many of the twenty thousand teachers, who are now patiently pursuing their untiring and unostentatious, but not unhonoured labours in the common schools of Prussia, could be induced, on such terms, to plant themselves in the schoolhouses of free America, or who of them would not prefer the plough, or the mechanic's toil, before the thankless and unrequited office of a schoolmaster?

The Prussian schoolmaster devotes himself to teaching for life, because he knows that, for life, it will yield him an adequate support. The government assigns him a post, and this post it guaranties to him, during good behaviour. It supplies him with a house and garden, and encourages him to collect around him all the comforts of life. It secures, also, that his salary shall be punctually paid; prescribes a course of study to which every child is obliged to conform; enforces a regular and universal attendance of all children of the proper age, and provides a system of rigid inspection and supervision. The school is so connected with the Church, and so honoured by law as well as by usage, that the teacher is considered inferior only to the pastor. His employers dwell in the same hamlet, so that children can be always at school; and if eminent for his zeal and fidelity, his fame is certain to reach his superiors, and to command applause not only, but substantial reward or promotion. And, finally, he has the cheering assurance that when, in the discharge of his high, but toilsome and anxious duties, he has worn out his best days, he will not at last be dismissed and forgotten, but will be held in honoured remembrance by those whom he has instructed, and


will be permitted to retire on a pension from his govern


It will be found that in Prussia, and the other countries of Europe most distinguished for improved systems of public instruction, the training of teachers has gone hand in hand with a reorganization of the schools, and with stringent regulations in regard to the attendance of scholars, the choice of schoolbooks, the construction of schoolhouses, and the rate of teachers' wages. It must be so here. What was accomplished in those cases, promptly and effectively, by the centralized and almost unlimited power of the government, must be accomplished, here, by the slow progress of public opinion. While discussion and agitation contribute to develop, on the one hand, the necessity there is for a better class of teachers, the example of even a small number, who may be trained up and stationed in different parts of the state, will soon serve to strengthen this feeling. Everything depends, in this country, on having the people thoroughly penetrated with the conviction that our common schools must be good schools; and that, in order to make them so, they must receive the united support of all citizens, and must be rendered attractive to a superior class of teachers. It must be felt, that not only better teachers are wanted, but better employers also. A spirit of co-operation and liberality must be awakened. The position of instructers must be made permanent, and they must receive that consideration, to which they are so well entitled by the intrinsic dignity of their office, and which will tend so much to lighten their labours. Every individual can do something, towards a consummation so desirable. By reading journals and books devoted to the subject of education, and, above all, by visiting schools, and reflecting on what he sees, each one can rouse in his own mind a clearer perception, and a deeper feeling of what is needed, and of what he himself should do. Teachers, however well qual

ified, need aid and encouragement, and it should never be forgotten that the regeneration of our schools must be the joint work of the people who employ, the instructers who teach, and the government which superintends.

While I thus insist upon the necessity of something besides new methods of training teachers, I would also remind teachers themselves, that they may do great things towards improving our schools, if they have but the will, and employ the right means. If their only object is, to teach for a few months for the sake of money, and if it is apparent that their thoughts and interests are away from their school, they will deserve little respect, and need expect none. So, if they betake themselves to this employment merely to escape hard work, and are satisfied, if they can, from year to year, wring a license to teach from careless or ignorant inspectors, they should, in such case, remember, that their labours are an injury rather than a blessing, and that they merit neither pay, nor consideration. If, on the other hand, they have a proper sense of their duties, and strive to qualify themselves for their due performance; if they are diligent, in acquiring more knowledge of the various branches of elementary learning, and more skill in imparting that knowledge to others; if they have a generous ambition to send back their pupils improved in wisdom and virtue, that thus they may be known as real benefactors of the world, let them be assured that such teachers will be honoured and rewarded. example will prove contagious. Not only will other teachers emulate their efforts, but parents will imbibe the same spirit, and the work of improving our schools will quickly become popular and general. "We have seldom known teachers," say the visiters (1840) of one of our largest counties," who understand their business; who take a pride and satisfaction in devoting all their energies to the good of their school and of the district; who have made themselves acquainted with all the families in the district, with their weak


nesses, prejudices, and wishes; and, in short, acted the part of the good Samaritan to all, without regard to compensation for the first quarter only—we say we have seldom known such a teacher under the necessity of leaving a district for want of the highest wages. Therefore, let those who wish good wages and a permanent situation be impressed with this fact, and act in view of it."


We have already intimated, that better means for educating teachers, and qualifying them for their peculiar duties ought to be provided; but we have been anxious, at the same time, to enforce the too-much-neglected truth, that in conjunction with such means, improvements should be made in the existing methods of organizing and conducting schools. Where population is crowded and employment scarce, young persons educated to a particular calling are not likely to quit it. But in a country like ours, where there are so many broad and open fields for enterprise, and where knowledge and talent bestow such influence, we may establish normal schools and educate young persons to become teachers at great expense, and yet fail to secure their services. We are not, therefore, to infer that such schools, when established here, will prove as efficient as they have been found to be in Europe, nor that they can supersede the call, for strenuous and judicious measures to reorganize our whole system of primary instruction.

There is another circumstance which deserves consideration, as distinguishing our system from that which prevails in Prussia, and Holland. In those countries, especially in Prussia, there is no connexion between common schools, and the higher seminaries of learning. The former are intended exclusively for the education of the working class; the latter for those who intend to devote themselves to the liberal professions. Very rarely does a child pass from a


Prussian common school into a gymnasium, and from thence to the University; as, here, he passes from the district school to an academy, and from thence, again, to college. With us, who know no distinction of caste, all are parts of one system for the education of the people. With them, primary schools, and normal institutions for preparing the teachers of primary schools, form one system-the seminaries for the education of the upper classes, as they are termed, form another. A young man, in Prussia, who enters the gymnasium,* expects to pass through the University; nor does he ever expect, during his own course of education or afterward, to become a teacher in a primary school. In this country, nothing is more common, than for a youth who has passed his earlier years in a common school, to go to an academy for a few months to complete his education, as he terms it, and often he does it for the special purpose of preparing himself to teach. Here, all profess to aspire to the best education they can possibly obtain; and hence, when a child enters a common school at the age of five, though his parents may be ever so humble in rank, and his own means ever so limited, it is still uncertain at what point his elementary instruction may stop, whether in the common school, in the academy, in the college, or in the professional school of law, medicine, or theology. Many, again, after leaving the common school in early life, and engaging for some years in active or laborious pursuits, return to study; and, without waiting to perfect their English education, proceed at once to Latin and Greek, or such other branches as will facilitate an immediate entrance on a profession. It is also to be remembered, that in this country, a considerable proportion of those who teach winter schools are actually

*If it be asked where a German youth, intended for the University, is placed until he becomes qualified by age and attainments to enter the gymnasium, we answer-under private tutors, or in schools specially intended for the higher classes of society.

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