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Schools in New London.
In 144 of the School Societies, the whole number which made returns, there is an average of 5 different kinds of spelling books, 24 reading books, 9 geographies, 7 histories, 6 grammars, 11 arithmetics, 5 philosophies, and 10 miscellaneous books.
One member of the Committee mentioned above, having made extra exertion, collected the following items of information from 105 towns in the State; as is stated in the document referred to.
* Parents exhibit generally no interest in the public schools, by attend ing examinations or otherwise. School Committees are in no instance paid. School visitors are paid but in twelve towns. In these towns the number is reduced to three or four, [the usual number being nine] the duties are better performed, and the schools are in a better condiion. The average wages of male teachers, exclusive of board, $14 50;
hat of female teachers, $5 75. Only 85 teachers in the public schools in these towns, follow teaching as a regular profession.
* From returns and calculations made by the same gentleman, it appears there were 6000 children (in the same 105 towns] between the ages of 4 and 16, not in attendance upon any school, in the year 1837 ; over 1000 persons between the ages of 16 and 21, who could not read or write, and 10,000 children receiving instruction in private schools and academies.'
It is also worthy of remark, that while the average wages of teachers, in common schools, is for males only $14 50, and for females $5 75, it is raised in the private schools to $30, and $10, respectively.
We leave it to those who have insisted for several years past, that we were traducing the schools of our parent State, to say whether the soporific tendency of a large fund, is not even more obvious than we have ever represented it. But if a doubt remains, let them peruse the following table, prepared in 1836, with great care, by a competent person, and representing the state of things in every town and district in the county to which it refers, except one.
SCHOOLS in New London County. The following table exhibits the state of Common Schools in New London County, Conn., in 1836. We trust we shall hear no more of the past excellence of the Connecticut schools ; though we hope much from them in the future. No. of Districts,
213 Public money received for 1835,
$13,922,58 Public money expended during the year 1835,
13,546,18 Amt. expended for teachers' wages beside public money, 3,652,71 No. of male teachers employed,
199 No. of female teachers employed,
10,011 9,032 6,603 5,094 3,937
No. of persons enumerated in 1895,
of the district,
a tax, No. considered doubtful, Average of male teachers' compensation,
51 7 1-5
85 112 197
NationAL EDUCATION. We have received a copy of the speech of the Hon. Wm. Cost Johnson, of Maryland, on resolutions wbich had been offered, proposing to appropriate Public land for educational purposes, to all the States and Territories, delivered in Congress in February last, occupying 58 octavo pages, and containing many valuable facts, suggestions and reasonings in relation to the subject of education as a means of national improvement. The following is an extract from the closing remarks of this interesting document. The final passage is quoted by Mr J. from a work on Education by Mr James.
*State colleges and State academies furnish the best education to their pupils; but it is the affluent alone, who can send their children to those institutions. It is there that education, like the Lapland sun, gilds with its rays the edifice on the eminence, but they reach not the cottage beneath the hill.
• If virtue and intelligence are the true and lasting foundations of a free government, how imperative is the duty which rests upon those intrusted with the power of legislation to adopt a general system of public education. Whilst it improves the moral virtues, and exalts the head and the heart, it would do more than the avenues of intercommunication, to knit together the Union of these growing and powerful States, and would unite them in amity and good feeling like a garland of flowers.
Opposition to the proposition will be made, but I hope it will not be
Preaching to Schools.
insurmountable. Every liberal plan of ameliorating the condition of those who most require it, will have to encounter prejudices.
• The first opposition will proceed from a spirit which the necessities of the times originally generated, and which, by the outcry of shortsighted men, and the declamation of interested and ambitious men, has been carried to a pitiful and lamentable excess. I mean the spirit of petty economies, or the sacrifice of great and certain advantages to small but immediate savings.'
INSTRUCTION IN PHYSIOLOGY, We are glad to learn that there is a growing disposition in the community to instruct those who, as Dr Rush says, sow the seeds of nearly all the good or evil in our world, in the laws which pertain to the human frame, and to human health and longevity.
A course of instruction of this kind is about to be given in Boston, hy Mrs Gove, of Lynn. This lady has spent some seven or eight years in the study of Anatomy and Physiology, and comes to the citizens of Boston well prepared for her task, as may be shown by the recommendation of Dr Durkee, one of the first physicians of Lynn-with whom she has studied. Her instructions are to be given in the form of lectures; and to ladies only. In some instances, where the nature of the case appears to require it, the instructions to married and single ladies will be separate.
In the progress of these instructions on anatomy and physiology, Mrs G. proposes to show the fatal consequences of dressing too tightly, the importance and necessity of breathing pure air, the advantages of exercise, of frequently bathing the whole surface of the body, and the absolute necessity of moral and physical purity, in order to the enjoyment of health. She will also give a faithful exposition of the consequences of the abuse of the physical organs. In short, it will be a familiar course of instruction on the very topics, which of all others — religion and housekeeping perhaps excepted - it is most important to females and the world at large, that they should understand ; and we sincerely hope its importance will not be overlooked.
PREACHING TO SCHOOLS. Pastors, uphold and cherish good Schools in your towns! and be prevailed upon occasionally to visit the schools. That holy man, Mr Thomas White, expressed a desire, That able and zealous ministers would sometimes preach at the schools ; because preaching is the converting ordinance; and the children will be obliged to hear with more attention in the school than in the public congregation; and the ministers might here condescend to such expressions as might most work upon them, and yet not be so fit for a public congregation. I have read the fol
Religious Instruction in France.
lowing account of one, who was awakened by this advice to act accordingly.
• At certain times he successively visited the schools. When he went to a school, he first offered a prayer for the children, as much adapted to their condition as he could make it. Then he went through the catechism, or as much of it as he thought necessary, making the several children repeat the several answers: but he divided the questions, that every article in the answers might be understood by them: expecting them to answer Yes or No, to each of these divisions. He also put to them such questions as would make them see and own their duties, and often express a resolution to perform them. Then he often preached a short sermon to them, exceedingly plain, on some suitable scripture, with all possible ingenuity and earnestness, in order to excite their attentive regard. After this, he singled out a number of scholars, perhaps eight or ten, and bid each of them turn to a certain scripture, which he made them read to the whole school ; giving them to see, by bis brief remarks upon it, that it contained something which it particularly concerned children to take notice of; then he concluded with a short prayer for a blessing on the school and on the tutors.'—Cotton Mather.
TEACHERS' SEMINARY IN Ohio. A new Seminary for Teachers, to be called the Western Reserve Seminary and Kirtland Institute, is to be opened on the first Wednesday of the present month, at Kirtland, Geauga county, Ohio. It is to be conducted in the Temple lately occupied by the Mormons, which will accommodate two or three hundred students. The principal object is the preparation of both male and female teachers. A model school is also to be connected with the Seminary, for instruction, in the branches usually taught in common schools of young persons under 14 years of age. Provision is also to be made, as soon as circumstances may permit, for agricultural and mechanical labor, both with reference to health and the saving of expense.-Should this school go into operation, as its friends confidently expect, we shall probably give a more full account of it hereafter. Mr Nelson Slater is the Principal.
Religious INSTRUCTION IN FRANCE. During a recent meeting of the Society for the encouragement of Primary Instruction in France, at which the Marquis de Jaucourt presided, the subject of religious instruction in the mixed schools' was taken up and discussed. The mixed schools are those which receive both Catholic and Protestant children, and they are said to be quite numerous. It appears they are a deplorable obstacle to religious and moral instruction; for the teachers, baving pupils who belong to both communions,
Lesson for the United States.
are afraid to displease the parents, by taking any particular complexion in their lessons. They therefore leave out religious instruction, to avoid the complaints of one church or the other; and thence it results that the most important part of education is almost universally neglected. The partisans of these mixed schools say that they are a means of establishing harmony between the different forms of worship. Yes, say the other party, but religious ideas are killed, or rather are kept from being born, that we may have peace. It is the peace of death ; the peace of corpses, which never dispute, because they are wholly devoid of life. What a singular advancement of society is that, which consists in strangling religious convictions for the sake of union!
Many members of the Society for Primary Instruction among Protestants have perceived the difficulty, and they have undertaken to substitute exclusive schools for these mixed schools. This design encounters many obstacles. Worldly men, who do not understand the necessity of religion, accuse those who reject the system of mixed schools, of intolerance and fanaticism; Protestants are so few, in many places, that they are unable to support a teacher.
The people of the United States know full well, how to sympathize with their transatlantic brethren on this subject. We too have our mixed schools in great numbers; not indeed very often embracing Catholic children, but almost always including those of various religious sects. And here too, for the sake of peace, almost all religious instruction is banished from our common schools, as well as from many of a higher grade. To avoid giving offence, the old fashioned custom of teaching a religious catechism is set at nought almost entirely; and of late, in many places, committees, parents and teachers seem to have virtually combined to exclude the Bible. Now while we believe there are other and better methods of inculcating religious instruction, than by spending much time in the merc reading of this book, we do not like the idea of eatering into an unholy combination to exclude it altogether. The present course, in our common schools, in regard to religious instruction is most unhappy. Better, it seems to us — certainly it is as well - either to tell our children at once that we do not believe they have souls, or that we do not think they are worth cultivating. Better to be consistent, and say, the body — not the mind — is the main thing—the standard of the man,' as Watts would say. Better say to them in plain terms, as we really and effectually do by our conduct,
Children, money is the principal thing. Other things may be well enough, and some may be worth a little effort; but in all your gettings, get money.