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selves interested in their work. While they exact attention, of the two kinds, from the children, let them give it in return. Let their own postures of body, expressions of countenance, looks of the eye, and modes of speaking, be what they should be, and then they may hope, adding example to precept, to accomplish the important object which we have been considering. The writer will only add that it is never too late to begin to improve. Let those who have listless, feeble, and awkward habits of muscular attention in their various occupations, but try the experiment of a reform in the ways that have been mentioned, and he fears not to say that the result will furnish additional proof of the mighty influence that the body has both over the mind and the heart.
For the Annals of Education. Art. V. ACADEMIES IN NEW ENGLAND.
In the efforts which have been made for many years past to improve the condition of seminaries of learning in New England, little attention has been paid to academies. Colleges make an almost periodical appeal to the charities of the benevolent, or a frequent claim on the resources of the State. A vast system of aids and supervision has been organized and put in motion for the behoof of common schools, with an array of Boards and Secretaries devoted exclusively to them. But our academies, a class of institutions 100, whose influence on the intellectual character of New Eng land has been in no way inferior to that of either colleges or common schools, seem to be overlooked ; and, in the prevailing zeal for popular education, which is strangely assumed to be the same with elementary and primary education, are in danger of being neglected and forgotten.
Academies had their origin in the conviction deeply and universally felt, that there are degrees of attainment which the common school is not fitted to bestow; and kinds of knowledge which it is highly important to bring within the reach of all our youth, which are beyond the competency of the common district school. That school was kept perhaps ten months in the year for the smaller children, and three or
four for the larger ; in the summer by a mistress, in the winter by a master. The branches taught were the strictly elementary, reading, writing, spelling, and arithmetic, and at no small hazard of at least the charge of affectation and pedantry would any master have talked of physiology and metaphysics, and such things common enough in these days in those seminaries. Between them and the college was a broad space, unbridged; and while many clergymen eked out a scanty salary by fitting boys for College, it was found convenient likewise to establish schools of a higher rank which should have this for a specific object. Moreover there is, and always has been, a large class of youth, inquisitive, intelligent, and quick-witted, whose minds could not be satisfied by the narrow and imperfect training of the district school, and whose pecuniary resources and plans of life would not allow them to attempt a thorough liberal education. To supply this deficiency and meet these wants, academies have been instituted in many of the towns of New England. They in most instances sprung into being without legislative aid ; a few only having received grants of wild lands from the government. They had their origin in the necessities of the people, and a spontaneous effort on their part to relieve them.
The inquiry is a very important one, whether common schools with any improvements which can be made in them, will ever be so far raised from their present condition, as in any good degree to answer the ends which academies were designed to answer? We do not know what may be the plans or the hopes of those who are engaged in promoting common school education among us. We are, however, most clearly of opinion, that as the objects proposed by the two are utterly different, they cannot be accomplished but by different systems, and that no change in the course of study, or increase in the amount of time devoted to it, can ever cause the common district school to be what the academy is and ought to be. Central town schools may in some cases be substituted and with good effect, but this can be done in only a few of the larger towns, and the academy occupying substantially the same place in education that it now does, must always be among us.
These institutions, though they thus had their origin in a universally felt necessity, have been in the majority of cases
inadequately sustained, and have but imperfectly executed their office. Among the causes of this inadequate support are the great number of them, nearness or inconvenience of location, local jealousies, &c. We purpose to notice some of the principal defects in the academies of New England, in the hope of turning the attention of those who have influence and power to their importance and their remedy. Of their excellence we may take occasion to speak hereafter.
The first defect which we shall mention, and one of the first importance is, the want of permanent teachers.
We hold it to be almost impossible for any institution or class of institutions to flourish long and do their work adequately without permanent teachers. By permanent teachers we mean those who have chosen teaching as a permanent occupation, and who remain at least several years in the same school. It hardly needs argument in our day, though we could argue the case if it were needful, to show that the education of youth is too sacred and arduous a task, that the responsibilities involved in the undertaking of it are too vast, and the preparatory discipline too long and too severe, to allow its being entered on with fair hope of anything like complete success, by one who regards it as a new experiment, and a means to something further on. The early years of any teacher's professional life are but a series of experiments; his experience is month by month of plans changed, and mistakes corrected, and wisdom growing out of error. The principles of the art may be taught in normal schools and elsewhere, and thus much is gained; but no more can the statement of principles and a few weeks practical use or observation communicate the art of instruction, than the definition of a plane and an account of the muscles that are to be used in wielding it, can make a good carpenter. The matter is well understood, though often practically neglected, in relation to the instructors in our common schools. He who has taught the same school for twenty successive winters, as has been the case in some of our country school districts, is twenty times a better teacher than he who takes it for a three months trial and to get a living for the next six. A long continuance in the same place and occupation gives reputation, authority, confidence. The teacher's course gradually ceases to be tentative. It be
comes steady, uniform, guided by a definite plan in a determinate method, and is rendered firm by a consciousness of strength. Moreover permanence ensures respect. The new pupil looks up with a fuller confidence to the master who has taught his elder brothers. The confidence of the parent too, and his consequent co-operation, or at least, acquiescence, are more certain. He who would question and dispute all the measures of the new comer, will respect the decisions, and abide by the rules of one whose character is already established, and whose experience is not less than his own. « They manage these things better” abroad, in Scotland for instance; where the parish schoolmaster receives a fixed stipend, scanty indeed, but for life, and where, by having been the tutor of almost successive generations, he acquires the respect and the love of all, and a rank in the parish, which makes ample amends for the want of a wider fame.
Again, there can be no sufficient inducement nor opportunity even, without permanence, for a man to make those attainments in knowledge, which the teacher must make to become fit for his profession. Let it be considered what extent and diversity of knowledge, what practical skill, and what thoroughness of attainment every teacher of an academy must have gained, to be what the teacher of an academy in New England ought to be. Look at the wide range of studies actually pursued and which ought to be pursued, by the great body of the youth among us. And in this glance it ought not to be forgotten that the education of a vast majority of the most respectable and useful females is finished at these institutions. The teacher then, must be a good classical scholar, (for lads are fitted for college in almost every one of them,) accurately acquainted with the language and literature of Greece and Rome, and imbued with their spirit. He must be a good mathematician, well versed in natural philosophy, algebra, geometry, and their ordinary applications, with mechanics and astronomy, for all are embraced in his sphere of things to be taught. Add to these chemistry, logic, rhetoric, and we have by no means exhausted the round of studies in which he must engage, and in which to maintain his rank and that of his school he must make at least, a respectable proficiency. Thoroughly to master the principles of any one of these departments of
rank and ch he must emeans ex
learning, and to acquire a complete knowledge of their details,—and this is necessary to complete success in teaching in any,-is a labor for years ; and the teacher must have, what as yet he has not, apart from his own love of study, a suitable opportunity and an adequate inducement patiently to toil in these researches, till he can impart from the perfectness of his own attainments, a perfect thoroughness of learning.
Another defect in the academies of New England is the want of authority in the teacher. Not that it is desirable to place an absolute power in his hands, nor that in many instances due authority is not exercised and submitted to; but the system, the constitution of these seminaries, in most instances, gives him little or no power beyond the influence of his personal character, and the efficacy of his persuasion. The pupil comes under the jurisdiction of his teacher only during the hours of recitation or at most of study, and is at other times beyond even his surveillance. He cannot compel the lazy and loitering; he cannot coerce the refractory; he cannot punish the vicious. The severest penalty that can be inflicted for ordinary transgressions and slight improprieties, is a reproof or an admonition; and for the grossest outbreak of violence or insubordination, a dismissal; a course seldom resorted to, as it is found to throw as much discredit on the teacher's skill in government, as upon the pupil whom it is designed to punish. This want of authority results from the constitution of academies, which, though incorporated and under the control of boards of trustees, are in fact, only private schools, sometimes slightly endowed, with a permanent building and some few conveniences for teaching, as a small library. They are, as such dependent, mainly on the students who come to them, and are of course very much in their power. We may resume this subject in a future number.