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Cold method that was formerly practised in the Eton and Westminster schools, and the English universities, embracing many other things which our hasty and concise sketch did not allow us to mention. It is the same method which produced those thorough classical scholars whose attainments we now regard with astonishment ; among whom were not only those distinguished theologians who have been the or: nament and defence of Christianity, but also (what with us would be a still greater subject of wonder) many who ranked high in the lists of politicians and statesmen. Why may not the same results be produced in our day and in our own land ? Even should it require the same, or even a longer time than that which is ordinarily occupied, it cannot be devoted to a more worthy object or a more useful branch of education.
The most formidable objection seeins to lie against this method of studying the grammar. Memoriter instruction has been so long neglected, and more easy methods so much resorted to, that the faculty of memory seems every where weakened and incapable of those efforts which in former times, and under more rigid discipline, it has been known to put forth. In consequence of this the idea of committing 10 memory whole grammars, including exceptions, observations, irregular forms and lists of irregular verbs, appears frightful both to the scholar and the teacher. A greater difficulty still seems connected with the thought of retaining such a mass in the memory, after its various parts have been once committed. It may be adınitted, that if the scholar can acquire two pages one day he may do the same the next, and so on as long as the exercise is continued ; but how shall all this be retained ? is the great question. The answer brings us to another very simple process in the art of teaching, which solves the difficulty at once. It is the process of constant daily repetition, or of repeating every day from tho beginning of the book until the space passed over renders it too long for one recitation, and then beginning back and going over the same process, until in each review the class is brought up to the point of present advancement. Nor will this require the time at recitation which would at first seem necessary. Great patience and perseverance might be demanded for a few first lessons, but after this, each repetition will produce such a familiarity with the language, and
such a readiness and rapidity of utterance, that a great amount of space may be passed over in a very short time; and this readiness would be increased at every similar trial. With a class well exercised in this manner from the beginning, the whole Greek verb might be distinctly pronounced in less than ten minutes, and the half, if not the whole of one of our larger grammars might be repeated in one Saturday forenoon, or some other time specially devoted to the object. By this means the grammar is learned in that manner which some affect so much to condemn, viz. by rote. It becomes (if we may repeat an expression which we have several times used) stereotyped in the memory; or rather it passes beyond the domain of memory, and enters into the habitual associations of thought. It is by this severe exercise of this memory at first, that it is afterwards actually relieved from that heavy burthen which other modes of instruction throw upon it. The forms and rules no longer require the painful effort of recollection, or the still more toilsome process of constant recurrence to the book. They are no longer remembered, but like the forms and peculiarities of our own language, beeome a part of the inner property of the mind. A wrong inflection or construction is no longer simply remembered but is felt to be wrong. Bad grammar in Greek or Latin (if we may use a common expression) sounds bad as well as in English. It is thus we claim by this process, however paradoxical it may appear, actually to relieve the memory in all the subsequent part of the student's course,”
NOTICES OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
COMPARATIVE View of Ancient HISTORY ; EMBRACING A SKETCH
OF THE CONTEMPORARY HistoRY OF THE NATIONS OF ANTIQUITY : To which are added, OBSERVATIONS ON CHRONOLOGICAL Eras; comprising an explanation of the different ancient and modern systems of computing time, and the modes of reducing each to a correspondence with the Christian Era: by Joshua Toulmin Smith, author of “ Progress of Philosophy among the An. cients," &c. pp. 122. 8vo. Boston: Hilliard, Gray & Company. 1838.
It may truly be said that the common method of teaching history
is a very patchwork piece of business. We do not mean that there do not exist excellent bistories of different nations and countries, but that the mode in which history is generally first communicated to the mind is imperfect and injudicious. It is sufficiently obvious that the real use of history is, to show how, under certain circumstances, men will act. The history of a single nation may do this in a degree, but it will be very imperfectly. In order truly to know in what circumstances any nation or people stands, at any one time, it is necessary to examine what are the circumstances of other nations and people at the same time. It is by this comparison alone that we can properly estimate the use made by any one people of the circumstances surrounding them. Now, it is well known that in schools and colleges in general, history is taught by taking, first, the history, elementary or more detailed, of one nation, and then of another, till the round is gone through. A student may thus indeed get a very good idea of what events transpired in any one country, at any particular time, but that is all he will get. He will not know,-and very few students de know-what was going on among one people, while certain transactions were going on ainong another. Many, for example, would be compelled to hesitate, if asked what was going on in Egypt, Greece, Italy, or Asia, at the time Solomon was King of Israel. Thus the real use of history, the comparison of the different degrees of advance of different nations, their different employment of the same circumstances, is totally lost.
A work which should display history in a different forın, exhibiting the contemporary history of different nations, showing how all were going on at the same time, was certainly a desideratum, both for private reference, but especially in school education. The work whose title we have given, supplies this desideratum. The historical portion of this work comprises a compendious outline of the events of the different nations of antiquity. It is sufficiently brief not to overload the memory with minute details, while no events of any importance are omitted. We would observe too, that the author has not servilely copied from old and imperfect histories, as is too often the case, but has introduced remarks, on some points of history, which seem nearer to the truth than any common version. In each of these cases he gives his authorities in a note, so that the teacher can verify the truth himself.
This work may, with great advantage, be placed in the hands of the beginner in history, instead of the, so called, Universal Histories which it is now the custom to employ; and wbich, though they
comprise all nations in one volume, are free from none of the defects already pointed out, while they contain none of the advantages of larger individual histories. The beginner will here find the important events of all nations of antiquity told in an interesting manner, and some valuable lessons drawn from them in the concluding chapter. But the work will not be useful to the beginner alone. It will be an admirable assistant to the student who has advanced higher, and is examining larger works on individual histories. He may, with great advantage, refer, as he proceeds, to the pages of this volume, to gain an insight, or refresh his memory, as to contemporary events in other nations.
We must not forget to notice the “ Introductory Remarks on the Use and Study of History," which contain many judicious suggestions, and enhance the value of the work.
Of the “ Observations on Chronological Eras,” we need say little. The title page expresses in part their object, and their utility to all, not merely students or beginners, but general readers, must be too obvious to need remark. They contain an immense mass of facts and illustrations, which can be found no where else, and which are evidently the result of much research, though here presented in a clear form. An explanation is given of all the modes of reckoning time, both of the ancients and moderns; of the Ancient Jewish, Greek, and Roman Calendars ; of the reasons and manner of the change from what is called old to new style in our own calendar, &c. Many interesting observations occur as to the origin of the computation by the christian era and by the era of the world. The work ends with a table, in which the computations according to the different eras are compared together. Thus the years of Rome, of the Olympiads, of Nabonassar, &c., are placed side by side, and all reduced to the years of the christian era. This cannot fail to be useful to all, in every kind of historical reading.
We again recommend this work to the attention our readers, convinced that both the historical and chronological parts will be found highly useful. We hope that it will find a general introduction into our schools.
We are obliged to defer several votices which were prepared for this number.
From the American Quarterly Register. LIST OF STUDENTS AT COLLEGES AND THEOLOGICAL SEM
INARIES IN THE UNITED STATES FOR THE ACADEMICAL YEAR 1838-9. [The Institutions are arranged according to their seniority, and the presiding officer of each is named. In colleges, those students only are mentioned who are in a course of study for the degree of bachelor of arts. The List is as full as we could make it from Annual Catalogues, or authentic accounts wbich we have been able to obtain.]
Colleges. Harvard University, Ms. Hon. Josiah Quincy, LL. D., President, Founded, 1638. Seniors, 63 ; Juniors, 44 ; Sophomores, 54 ; Freshmen, 55. Total, 216.
Yale College, Ct. Rev. Jeremiah Day, D. D., LL, D., President. Founded, 1700. Seniors, 95; Juniors, 102 ; Sophomores, 106; Freshmen, 108. Total, 411.
College of New Jersey. Rev. James Carnahan, D. D., President. Founded, 1746. Seniors, 73 ; Juniors, 85; Sophomores 55; Freshmen, 17. Total, 230.
Columbia College, N. Y. Hon. William A. Duer, LL. D., President. Founded, 1754. Seniors, 34; Juniors, 36; Sophomores, 39; Freshmen, 47. Total, 146.
Brown University, R. 1. Rev. Francis Wayland, D. D., President. Founded, 1764. Seniors, 38; Juniors, 55 ; Sophomores, 41; Freshmen, 43. Total, 177.
Rutgers College, N. J. Rev. Phillip Milledoler, D. D. President. Founded, 1770. In the Senior, Junior, Sophomore and Freshmen classes, 76.
Bow doin College, Me. Rev. William Allen, D. D., President. Founded, 1794. Seniors, 28 ; Juniors, 31 ; Sophomores, 35; Freshmen, 20. Total, 114.
Union College, N. Y. Rev. Eliphalet Nott, D. D., LL. D., President. Founded, 1795. Seniors, 108; Juniors, 87 ; Sophomores, 42 ; Freshmen, 20. Total, 251.
Middlebury College, Vt. Rev. Joshua Bates, D. D., President. Founded, 1800. Seniors, 41 ; Juniors, 35; Sophomores, 28; Freshmen, 19. Total, 123.
Jefferson College, Pa. Rev. Matthew Brown, D. D., President. Founded, 1802. Seniors, 47 ; Juniors, 42 ; Sophomores, 33; Freshmen, 35. Total, 157.
Washington College, Pa. Rev. David M'Conaughy, D. D., President. Founded, 1806. Seniors, 11 ; Juniors, 23 ; Sophomores, 12 ; Freshmen, 10. Total, 56.