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School Convention at Marietta.'
of education to make that which is now known to any, as far as possible, known to all.
THE PERIODICAL Press, GENERALLY. The Religious Magazine, the Mercantile Journal, and perhaps a few other papers of this city, frequently contain important articles in the department of education. The Lady's Book seems to be going over to the side of fashion and frivolity; though a solid article occasionally appears, even in this. Most of the business papers of Boston and other places, though they are still behind in this matter, are yielding to the popular demand, and slowly coming up to the great cause of human education and improvement.
School ConventION AT MARIETTA, Ohio. The semi-annual meeting of the Washington County School Association, was held at Marietta, on the first and second days of May; and appears from the account given in the Marietta Gazette, to have been well attended.
The subjects of Corporal punishmont, Emulation and Legislative Aid in raising the standard of the qualifications of teachers was fully and freely discussed, as well as several other exceeningly important topics.
Reports were also presented and accepted, on Physiology as a branch of Common School Instruction, by Dr $. Fuller, and on the best method of teaching English Grammar, by L. Tenney. An address was delivered on the use of the Bible in our Common Schools, by Prof. Jewett; and another on the subject of Education, more generally, by Samuel Lewis, Esq., the State Superintendent.
Resolutions were passed for the appointment of coinmittees to report on State Institutions for the education of Common School Teachers, on School Libraries, on improvements in Common Schools, and on a Periadical for Schools; and committees on all those subjects, respectively, were appointed, with directions to report at the next meeting, which is to be held at Belpre, on the first Tuesday of November next.
The following resolution was adopted.
Resolved, That in the opinion of this Association, a firm and salutary discipline may ordinarily be maintained iu our schools, by the skilful employment of moral suasion; and that the teacher should resort to corporal punishment only in cases of extremity, and when all other proper modes of influencing the pupil, have failed of success,
NOTICES OF BOOKS. MENTAL AND Practical ARITHMETIC.-Designed for the use of Academies and Schools; with a Key. By Charles Davies. Author of First Lessons in Algebra, Elements of Surveying, &c. &c.Geneva, N. Y.: 1838. 18mo. pp. 288.
Jo preparing text books for the use of Academies and common schools excessive brevity and diffuseness of explanation are alike to be avoided.. The first, by leaving too much to be supplied by the sagacity of the student, retards and ultimately discourages him. The latter, by its very fulness, produces confusion, and tires instead of stimulating his faculties. Besides these and other errors which are equally to be avoided in text books of every kind, there are some which belong more exclusively to each particular department. The older Arithmetics, for example, were essentially defective in presenting the subject in the synthetic method only, while the more modern ones are not less so in their invariable adherence to the method of analysis. For some years past, however, the two methods have usually been blended in nearly their true proportions. Works consisting of analysis alone, such as Colburn's First Lessons, and Emerson's First Part, are still considered as of indispensable importance to the younger classes, but for those whose minds are more mature, the synthetic method is generally preferred, with only so much of analysis as is necessary to a clear understanding of the reasons on which the rules are founded. In the discipline of the intellectual faculties, both methods are of great and perhaps equal importance.
The Arithmetic of Prof. Davies is, in general, distinguished for clearness and simplicity, in its rules and definitions. We are glad to see the answers annexed to the questions, rather than reserved for a separate key, but are not altogether confident that a key at the end of the volume might not be a useful appendage.
We have not time to speak particularly of the several parts of this work, nor is its character so peculiar as to require from us such minute attention. We would only remark, in this connection, that the subject of proportion appears to us to be treated in a very satisfactory manner. It would, however, as it seems to us be an improvement to introduce here and in other parts of the work, the mode of cancelling to wbich we had occasion to refer, at page 176 of the present volume, when noticing Mr Burnham's Arithmetic.*
*We would here remark, that in the closing paragraph of the article alluded to, & typograpbical error occurs, in printing 105 and 85, instead of 188. and 88. The error intended to be corrected in the paragraph alluded to, of reckoning the dollar in the currency of North Carolina at 88. instead of 108., occurs also in the arithmetic before us, and in most other arithmetics in common use.
On the whole, we consider this work of Prof. Davies as one of great practical value, though doubtless susceptible of some minor improvements. We were not specially pleased with the title of the book, Mental and Practical Arithinetic, as it seems to imply a distinction where none exists, inasmuch as every mental arithmetic is of course practical.
A New French MANUAL: Comprising a guide to French pronunciation ; a copious vocabulary ; selection of phrases. A series conversations on the curiosities, manners and amusements of Paris, and during various tours in Europe ; models of letters, &c. &c.Designed as a Guide to the trareller, and an attractive Class Book for the student. By Gabriel Surrenne, French Teacher to the Military and Naval Academy, Edinburgh. Revised and enlarged, by A. Pestiaux, Professor of the French Language in the city of New York. New York : Wiley & Putnam. 1838. 18mo. pp. 244.
Of the positive value of Phrase Books and Vocabularies in the acquisition of modern languages, we have no means of forming a decided opinion; but presume from their general use, that it is considerable. Among works of this class, designed to assist the student of the French language, we have seen none which appeared to us, either in its general plan or in the filling up of the several parts, superior to this Manual of M. Surrenne. In addition to a very large collection of choice phrases on a great variety of common topics, the work contains the main principles of French pronunciation, clearly and concisely expressed ; and dialogues descriptive of an imaginary tour upon the continent, which may serve in a great degree, as a practical guide to the traveller. A careful study of this part of the work would probably prove a good preparation for such a tour as is described, and could not fail to supply the traveller with a great amount of that kind of information which he would most need at every step of his journey.
The Boston Musical Gazette, a semi-monthly journal devoted to the Science of Music. Boston : Otis, Broaders & Co., Publishers.
We have seen the first number of this work, which is a handsome quarto of eight pages, and well filled with interesting matter. This journal is to be devoted,' says the prospectus, 'to the subject of music, containing Musical History, Biographical Sketches of eminent composers and performers, impartial reviews of musical works, an account of oratorios and concerts, musical societies, academies and schools, with their various merits, progress, &c. It is to be edited by B. Brown, Esq. AMERICAN
ANNALS OF EDUCATION.
RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION IN COMMON SCHOOLS.
In a former article* I have presented several methods or means of making religious impressions on the minds of pupils in our common schools, which seemed to me open to no objections on the part of those who entertain the most fastidious notions on this subject, and who cry out the most loudly against sectarism. There is one method of accomplishing this object, which seems to me preferable to any, if not to all others which have yet been proposed. It may be pursued either as a class exercise, or otherwise ; and to any extent which the varying circumstances of teachers may require..
The pupils of a given class, or of the whole school, may be called to discriminate character. Thus they may be asked: What do you think was the great difference between Judas Iscariot and Peter ? What between Ahab and Asa? What between John and Paul ? &c.
It is true that these questions may, at first, require a good deal of thought, on the part of ordinary school pupils ; but time enough may be given them for it. The teacher may require them to write the questions on their slates, and annex to them such answers as they may think appropriate, at their leisure. Or he may bring them to the appropriate answers by another set of questions, which might properly be considered as preliminary to the foregoing. Thus the question might be put; If Judas Iscariot had found a purse of money in the streets of Jerusalem, in passing along, what do you think he would have done with it? Suppose Peter had found one, do you think he would have dis290
*This article and that in our last number, under the same head, were made the basis of an essay, whi h was read by the Editor, before the American Lyceum, ut its late session in Hartford, Conn.
Class Exercises in Religion.
posed of it in the same manner? Why? Do you think any other of the apostles would have done the same? Which of them? Why do you think so? Do you think any of the other distinguished men or women mentioned in the Bible, would have done the same with it as Judas did ? But why? What do you think a good person would do, nowadays, in the same circumstances ?
The Saviour, it seems, was not fond of the turmoil of the city, and of city life; and though he was much in Jerusalem during the day, he often went out at night, to Bethany, where Lazarus and Martha and Mary lived, and lodged there. Now which of the twelve apostles do you think most likely to be fond of accompanying him thither? Which would be most likely to remain behind, in the noise and bustle of the city? Why do you think so? What made our Lord prefer going out to Bethany ? and what made him particularly attached to the society of Martha and Mary and Lazarus ?
Do you think our Saviour was an early riser? Why do you think so ? Have you reason to think that any of the apostles were? Will you give me your reasons ? Do you think Judas would be apt to rise early? Do you think Solomon was an early riser? Do you think Daniel was? What advantages are there, in a religious point of view, in early rising ?
What are the names of fifty of the individuals mentioned in the Bible, whom you would most like to resemble ? - This, and indeed most of the exercises we have proposed, will, at first-we repeat it-demand time and thought. They may be given out, to-day, perhaps, at the close of the forenoon exercises, for the opening of the school tomorrow morning.-The contrary of the foregoing may be asked. What six characters mentioned in the Bible, should you be most unwilling to resemble? If there are degress of happiness in heaven, as some suppose, what six persons mentioned in the Bible, are likely to be among the highest ? Why do you think so ?
The teacher may sometimes pursue the following course. He may say to a class or to the school ; If John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, was tempted to do a wrong thing--say to swear profanely-do you think he yielded to the temptation and swore ? Suppose he became very angry at some person who had abused him, would he not then yield to the temptation ? Why not? What other individuals mentioned in the Bible would be likely to do the same? What reasons have you for thinking so? How many of you think it is right to swear, on any occasion ? Why may we not swear, if we are very angry? As many as think it right to swear when we are angry,' may raise your hands. As