Page images

the comfort and convenience of small children; healthful and In the month of May, 1835, on the proposition of the pleasing exercises of the limbs and body are practised; the Count de Rambuteau, Prefect of la Seine, President of the Censinging of hymns and moral songs is a frequent occupation; tral Committee of Primary Instruction, the municipal council the study of natural history is pursued to some extent, either having unanimously voted for instruction in singing in all the by means of sensible objects, such as stones, wood, leaves, commercial schools of Paris, it was immediately begun in thirfruits, shells, &c., or with pictures of them, or at least with ty schools more. books which give intelligible accounts of animals, plants, min The same branch is now taught in fifty schools of mutual erals, &c. with questions adapted to recitations. Writing, and instruction, in a number of schools of simultaneous instruction, often drawing, on sand or slates, is generally practised; the and in ten evening classes of adults.-[Journal General de manner of teaching is more varied, enlivening and parental l'Instruction. than in some other schools; and the discipline is commonly more mild; while religious and moral instructions are more

THE DAILY USE OF THE BIBLE IN SCHOOLS. frequent and familiar.

Probably no teacher ever entered an Infant school for the The schools of this State were founded and supported chiefs first time, without receiving hints of importance on some pointly for the purpose of perpetuating civil and religious knowledge of instruction or discipline. Certain it is that many, and those and liberty, as the early laws of the colony explicitly declare. of much experience too, have found something to approve and Tbose laws, some of which were published in the first number to imitate. Hence it has come to pass, that the influence of of this Journal, as clearly declare, that the chief means to be such schools hassome times remained with others after they used to attain those objects, was the reading of the Holy Scriphave ceased to exist.


In many schools, in later years, the Bible has not been used : MUSIC TAUGHT IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF PARIS, though there is reason to believe that the ancient custom of our AND TO WORKMEN.

venerable ancestors has recently been gradually reviving. CiriTranslated for the Connecticut Common School Journal )

cumstances have favored its restoration ; and increasing light

on the principles of sound education cannot fail to establish it On ihe 6th of May, the general meeting called the Orpheon every where. was held in the Hotel de Ville. It consisted of the youpg pu Certificates are in our bands, from experienced instructors pils of the free schools, who had been formed into singing class out of this State, which bear strong testimony to the happy ines by M. B. Wilhem, general inspecting director of vocal mu- fluences exerted'in their schools, by the daily use of the Scrip. Bic of the primary schools of the city of Paris.

tures. We may perhaps publish some at a future time; and Those pupils from the male adult schools who had been would request others who have paid attention to the subject, taught in music classes, were joined with the children, for the sto favor us with communications for our information. tenor and bass, so that voices of very different ages and char Different teachers we have seen who used the Bible in difacters rendered the orchestra the more complete.

ferent ways: some as a class book, some as a text book; and The choir, in number above 400, performed in admirable it is interesting to see in how many forms it may be brought time and harmony, several select pieces, without any instru- into use. Some teachers

, with a map of Palestine before them, mental accompaniment, which were received with general ap- will give most interesting lessons on almost any book in the plause: "The Invocation, by Sacchini; "the Romanesca,", a Bible, by mingling geography, history, ancient manners and piece of the 16th century; the “Spectacle of Nature," by customs, with moral and religious considerations. Others Tscharner; a vocal symphony, by Chelard; "the Little Board- make the Bible the law book of the school; and by showing ers," &c. The exhibition was concluded by two of the chef that they consider themselves and their pupils equally bound d'oeuvre of Michel and Philidor, &c. Several of the pieces to conform their lives and thoughts to its sacred dictates, exerwere repeated by request. The Hall of St. John was filled ; cise a species of discipline of the happiest kind. Others siill, by and among the spectators were the Prefect of La Seine and the aid of printed questions, or some systematic plan of study, his family, several mayors of the arrondissements and their as- employ the Bible in training the intellect, storing the memory, sistants, M. Orfila, member of the Couneil of Public Instruc- and furnishing the fancy with the richest treasures of literation, and several other members of the University, the celebra Others think that the various styles found in the sacred led composer Berton, and some of the members of the Acade- volume, offer the very best exercises for practice in reading my.

with propriety and effect; while a critical attention to the The success of this meeting promises much for the well or character

, situation and feelings of the speakers which such ganized introduction of vocal instruction; and reflected the exercises require, has favorable moral influences. Finally, highest honor on the respected officer who has the direction of other teachers believe that the daily reading of the Bible in that branch.

schools, is of essential benefit to the pupils in various ways; The introduction of vocal music into the education of the and that the frequent repetition of the word of God in the people, is a more important point than we might at first be hearing even of those too young to read, is an inestimable blesinclined to believe. Besides the development which it sing-a part of the birthright of every child in a Christian land, gives to a precious organ, and the relaxation it aflords to the which cannot be rightfully withholden. laborer after his work, the display it makes of talents which To these views our readers may add their own as they often would otherwise have remained unknown, or might never have and seriously consider the subject. It is one which will probaexisted, and its creating new branches of business for the in- bly be ever esteemed a vital one in Connecticut; and if Moudustrious, music supplies a pure and noble species of pleasure, sieur Cousin so warmly urged upon the government of France, in place of amusements too often gross, ruinous and even crim- to make religious instruction the corner stone of their national inal. It tends to soften and purify the manners, and is in fact system of education, and urged with success the example a great step towards the moral improvement and melioration of of Prussia, we may with greater confidence invite the peothe lower classes, which, in our age, ought to be the object of ple of our state to supply their schools with the Scriptures, and all the friends of the human race. We may add, that by means point to the laws passed by their fathers for this very end, of it, will gradually be effected the musical education of France, nearly two centuries ago, and (so far as we have the ability to which country, to the present time, has remained so inferior in comprehend so vast a subject,) to the noble effects produced this respect io Germany and Italy, and which may perhaps even by their imperfect observance. soon have as little reason to envy its neighbors on this point as on any other.

THE AID OF NEWSPAPERS Gratuitous and popular instruction in vocal music in Paris, was commenced in September, 1819, by the first use of M. Will be highly important to the success of the Connecticut Wilhem's method, in the communal school of the street of St. Common School Journal, in the operations to which it is devoJean de Beauvais. This method, which was adopted in March, ted. In our first number it was remarked, that such a paper as 1820, after a report by Messrs. De Gerando, de Lastoyrie, Fran- this would be “needed, in connection with the public prints, cour and Jomard, was successively introduced into the two as an organ of communication between the Board and their schools of the society of elementary instruction, and the nine Secretary and the public.” schools of the city of Paris.

It will be easy io show in what manner the newspapers in


every part of the state may render aid. They may recommend was in the school at Scott's Swamp," "and the best class in our objects, plans and operations, so far as they approve them; town, including boys and girls, was in that school”—“. The and enforce then, it is very probable, with greater eloquence best writing was in ihe school at Plainville, kept by Mr. Hart," and effect than ourselves. They may exert an influence upon &c. &c. their readers which our paper, new and unknown to many of After remarking on the importance of education, the Comthem, cannot possess. They may notice the appearance of mittee add, that every parent who neglects to give his child a the numbers as they come out, and allude to the leading sub- good common school education, does that child the greatest posjects introduced, to keep the public, and especially school offi- sible injury. He fails also in his duty to his country, by gircers and teachers in mind of what is doing for the benefit of ing it a citizen unqualified to discharge his duties,-and above the schools of the State. They can assist in the collection of all, he neglects a irust committed to him by God. useful facts concerning the history or state of education around That this degree of education is undervalued and neglected them, and in devising wise measures for future operation: as within their limits, the Committee conclude, well as by debating such questions as may require discussion. 1. Because two-fifths of the children are all the time out of Some of them may be well informed concerning education in school. other states or countries, and can materially add to the com 2. Because those who do attend, are at school only two-thirds mon stock of interesting information, which we hope soon to of the year. see circulating through all our papers. We hope also that 3. Because parents seldom, if ever, either visit the school, or they may find something in our columns worthy of being copied attend meetings for their regulation and improvement. into their own; and we doubt not that we shall find great sat 4. Because good teachers are not secured by a little addiisfaction in repeated proofs of their sympathy and spirit of co- tional tax upon the society. operation.

5. Because school houses are neglected, and inconveniences For reasons to which we have alluded in another paragraph in arrangement and accommodation not corrected. in this paper, we count on the aid of the Connecticui press, to After specifying the more prominent defects in the present any reasonable extent: but we know it would be too much 10 condition of the schools, such as the constant change of teachexpect them to publish all that should be presented 10 parents, ers, irregular attendance of scholars, variety, and frequent officers, teachers and children, in the wide range of topics change of school books, the mechanical kind of instruction which is properly embraced in the plan of this paper. It has communicated, &c., the Committee conclude their report with been our design, by timely arrangements, to have a column or the following suggestions: more on certain classes of subjects simultaneously published in 1. That the schools be kept at least ten months in the year. as many papers as possible; but it is evident that few if any of 2. That great care be taken to procure first-rate teachers; them could always be ready to print just such communications and if they are found competent, to continue them from year as it may sometimes be necessary to make, with little or no to year. warning

3. That the same books he used in all the schools in town, It has been suggested by some friends, that the necessary and that no new book be introduced, except in the beginning of publications might perhaps be made in the political and reli- the year, and hy role of the school visiters. gious newspapers, as well as in one devoted to education. 4. That some measure be adopted to secure the regular atBut other considerations beside those given above, have con- tendance of all the children in town on some school, public or vinced us that such a plan would not succeed. If any one pa- private. per should be offered as the vehicle of communication, many

5. That a District Committee be appointed who shall visit persons would prefer some other; and if it were introduced in the school at least once a fortnight, during each season of to schools, some objection would arise against ils party or sec- schooling. tarian reputation. Besides, if there were no other objection, 6. That an anniversary meeting of all the schools be held in the Common School Journal costs only fifty cents a year the month of February, in the meeting-house. This was forwhile the price of a weekly newspaper is about two dollars. merly done in Farmington, and is now practiced in every town On the other hand, if more than one paper were employed, al- in Prussia. though there might be a choice among persons of different We have presented this imperfect abstract of Mr. Norton's opinions on some subjects, no one could read all the communi- and Mr. Haich's Report, because we think it reflects great cations published, without subscribing for two or more weekly credit upon them for their fidelity and public spirit. And as papers ; and to supply a teacher with the matter would cost our law now requires that school visiters shall "submit an annot 50 cents, as now, but several dollars.

nual Report to their respective school societies, of their own

doings and of the condition of the several schools within their GOOD EXAMPLE.

limits, with such observations as their experience and reflec

tions may suggest," it may serve as a fair specimen of a faithFarmington last year elected a visiting committee of nine ful discharge of the obligation now imposed upon that must remembers—and then passed a vote authorizing the Board to sponsible body, the Board of School Visiters ? designate two of their number who should in company visit all Is there not in every school society in the State one school the schools in town at least twice during each season of school- visiter who will see that this requisition of the law is faithfuling, and report to the next annual ineering their precise condi- ly complied with? A series of full and faithful reports on the tion.

condition of the schools, read before the Societies, or published This sub-committee consisted of John T. Norton, Esq. and in the papers, would insuse new vitality into our school sysMr. Calvin Hatch, and were authorized to charge one dollar per day for their services.

We have seen the report drawn up by John T. Norton, Esq. To the friends of popular education who have given It is full and faithful--and we venture to say, that a series of us their sympathy and co-operation thus far in our work, such reports made to the several school societies in the state, would awaken in parents a livelier interest in the schools, and have heard from them, they have dono better by the

we return our grateful acknowledgements. So far as we encourage teachers to greater devotion in their noble, but 100 much undervalued, employment.

Journal than we ventured to anticipate. We shall be The Committee give an account of their several visits to glad to receive the names of all who desire to promote each school-specifying the date--the condition of the school-its circulation, as early as practicable. In the mean house--the name of the teacher--the different classes exam-time we shall address the present number to the same ined-the books used the success of the teacher in govern- names we did the first. ment as well as in instruction—the number in attendance, &c.

They then present a summary view of all the schools, mak THE CONNECTICUT COMMON SCHOOL JOURNAL ing such observations as are adapted to encourage those who

WILL BE PUBLISHED EVERY MONTI, have done well, and to lead those who have failed in any particular, to pursue a different course hereafter. For instance,

Persons wishing to subscribe, can forward their names and remittanthey say the greatest impororement witnessed was in the ces, to the member of the Board of Commissioners for their County, middle school, kept by Mr. #1. T. Wells"_" the best reading or to the Secretary of the Board at Hartford, or to the postmaster of

the town in which they reside.






readers of the Journal are requested to correct, as it quite de

stroys the meaning that the writer intended to convey. At AT THE PRICE OF FIFTY CENTS A YEAR.

the sixth line from the commencement of the article, the Persons wishing to subscribe, can forward their names and remittan- word instituted should have been carried out ; so that the ces, to the member of the Board of Commissioners for their County, sentence would read thus. While, on the other hand, the best or to the Secretary of the Board at Hartford, or to the postmaster of the town in which they reside.

system (of popular education), and the most ample provision

of all the other necessary means for conducting its operaCOMMON SCHOOL CONVENTIONS

tions, will accomplish but little, if it is not carried out by

those who are thoroughly qualified for their work. To aid the Board of Commissioners of Common Schools in How are teachers to be thus qualified ? Shall this importhe discharge of their duties, Conventions of the friends of Edu- tant matter be left to accidental and fluctuating circumstances cation will be held in the several counties of the State as ful- to control, or shall some united and systematic effort be made lows

with regard to it? Shall we not make provision, on a wellWINDHAM COUNTY,

digested plan, for training up, for the performance of their duAt Brooklyn, on Wednesday, the 10th of October inst. at 1 done in connection with academies already in existence, as has

lies, the instructers of our common schools ? Shall this be o'clock, A. M.

been attempted in the State of New York, or by the establishLITCHFIELD COUNTY,

ment of a distinct institution, or institutions, for the purpose? At Litchfield, on Tuesday, the 30th of October, inst. at 11 their opinions on these points ; some recommending one course;

Intelligent individuals will be found, doubtless, who differ in o'clock, A. M.

and others, another. The writer thinks that it would be well

to try all, and let experience decide which is the best. We MIDDLESEX COUNTY,

are now trying one plan on an extensive scale, that of having At Middletown, on Friday, the 21 of November, at 10 the teachers of our common schools not trained for their emo'clock, A.M.

ployment, except in a comparatively few instances. The great

mass of them know but little of the principles of teaching and NEW LONDON COUNTY,

of government, and of exercising a salutary influence over

their pupils, when they begin to keep school. The business is At Norwich, on Tuesday, the 6th of November, at 10 o'clock, with them an untried experiment. Some of them acquire wisA.M.

dom and skill by experience ; while others seem to profit by it

scarcely at all. How many, too, engage in the occupation, TOLLAND COUNTY,

whose attainments, even in the elementary branches of a comAt Tolland, op Friday, the 9th of November, at 10 o'clock, mon English education, are very low, and who are admitted to A. M.

leach, because they are willing to do it at a cheap rate, or be

cause if they are not employed, it would be difficult, or perNEW HAVEN COUNTY,

haps impossible, to provide for instructers in the school. At New Haven, on Tuesday, the 13th of November, at 10 Now, the writer is ready to admit that practice is essential o'clock, A. M.

to the forming of a good teacher; and that some make them

selves good teachers by a course of teaching and governing a FAIRFIELD COUNTY,

school, and deserve much credit for so doing. But even these At Norwalk, on Friday, the 16th of November, at 10 o'clock, and successful in the profession, if they had been prepared for

would have become good teachers sooner, and more thorough A. M.

it under the instruction and training of experienced individuals,

with the benefit of seeing a good system carried out in a model HARTFORD COUNTY,

school, which should always form a part of such instruction At Hartford, on Thursday, the 22th of November, at 10 and training. They would thus start with the accumulated o'clock, A. M.

experience of those who had gone before them. And every At these Conventions, the Secretary and some one or more body knows the value of this accumulated experience in all members of the Board, will be present.

the concerns of life. School committees and visiters, teachers, the clergy of all It may be said that some have a natural tact for school denominations, individuals in public stations, aod the friends keeping, and succeed well, without any preparation. They of Education generally, are invited to attend.

begin, and go right at once, and keep on so. This may be Special attention is requested to the queries contained in the true, with regard to a very few; though it might be found, on second number of the Journal, and as far as possible, written a strict inquiry, that this natural tact, as it is called, was not answers are earnestly solicited. If they cannot be brought by born with them, but was the result of the training they had, the writer, they may be forwarded to the Convention addressed in early life, in the family where they were brought up, and to the Secretary.

where good principles, and good order, and common sense, and The conductors of the public journals will confer an obligation efficient and practical ways of managing the young children by inserting the notice of the time and place of holding these and the concerns of the household, prevailed. Conventions in the several counties.

But the great majority of the teachers of our common The clergy of different denominations, are requested 10 pre-schools, need a preparation for their work. And, if we can sent the notice from their pulpits, and to invite ihe attendance have a department for doing this in one or two academies, and of the friends of Common Schools:

also an institution wholly devoted to the object, we shall then HENRY BARNAND, 2d.

very soon be enabled to judge which mode is preferable. Secrelary of the Board

There will be a sufficient number of teachers without any of Commissioners of Common Schools. I training at all, to be contrasted with those who have been pre

pared for their employment at the academy, or teachers' semi-would greatly favor. By amicable arrangements between adnary, to see which on the whole succeeds best. In other coun- jacent districts, societies or towns, schools for the smallest tries, and in some of the States of our country, the latter children might be multiplied, "placed at short distances, and course has been adopted with the most beneficial effects. Ex- taught by females-of course ai lower rates than those paid to perience in this, as in other things, is the safest guide. Can male teachers. When necessary, hey might be reduced to we rest satisfied in this intelligent and prosperous community, mere departments, as has been before suggested. The next till we make one experiment of the kind, at least, and see the higher class of schools might then be conducted with great result ?

T. H. G. ease and success, so that fernale teachers might probably be

employed in many of them through the year, at an expense

not exceeding that now paid to male instructers for a few THE CLASSIFICATION OF SCHOOLS.

months. The number of these schools, it is probable, would One of the inquiries made in some of our large towns, with easily adınit of a reduction in some places; because the older much solicitude, is this: How may we overcome the evils children can walk farther than the younger, with only equal arising from the mingling of children of all ages in our district fatigue; and here would be a saving of expense, to counterbalschools ? Every intelligent observer must be sensible that the ance the small expense of the first class of schools. variety of age, studies, and proficiency, which is found in most But another set of schools is highly desirable, viz.; those in of our schools, is the source, or at least the aggravating cause, which the oldest and most advanced pupils might enjoy the of most of the trials which surround the teachers.

privileges of a higher education. Might not a sort of a high It may indeed be said, that the teacher finds himself virtually school, or grammar school, such as is provided for by our laws, called upon to keep two or three schools in one, with the addi-be advantageously established near The common center of tion of difficulties of a peculiar nature, which arise out of the several adjacent societies ? Toe same considerations which connection. The numbers of children pursuing one particular have been urged in favor of the measure last proposed, apply part of any particular branch of study, are so few, ihat it is with similar force to this. If a high school were now placed found difficult to form classes of sufficient size, either for the at or near the common point of contact of four townships, convenience of the instruction, or for the benefit of the pupils; throughout the state, taking the average breadth of townships and besides, while we confess ihe difficulty of learning to teach at five miles, no habitations in Connecticut would be much well either a primary school or a secondary one, we expect our more than five miles distant from such a school; while the teacher to conduct both at the same time, and frequently find great majority of the children would have to walk only three him requested, if not required, to form a little High school, or or four miles, and many would be still nearer. even a Grammar schoool, in a corner of his room.

We have no room to speak farther on this subject at present, In the second number of this paper, we gave an example of but hope it may be considered in all points of view. The ima way in which a primary, or infant department may be annex- portance of having both a lower and a higher class of common ed to a common school. The hint was designed for such dis- schools, is certainly very evident; and on this plan they might tricts as are too small to have two schools in each. We may, be founded without great expense. however, add here, that by consulting the state of things in particular districts, and keeping the proper principles in view,

POPULAR CO-OPERATION IS NECESSARY TO THE important advances may be made in many instances, at small

SUCCESS OF SCHOOLS. expense, and with great advantage.

Every intelligent and practical friend of education, must in a certain school of considerable size, which might be more have perceived ihe great importance of an active popular coparticularly mentioned, a small room was added to the building operation with every plan undertaken for its improvemeni. two years since, opening into the large one by a door and a Happy is the communiiy which has a good teacher, a well window near the teacher's desk. There the small children provided and well conducted school: but doubly happy one have been taught, liable to his constant supervision, by the old - which has, at the same time, a spirit of co-operation among est of the female scholars, who received twenty-five dollars a the people, and family habits of such a nature as to favor the year for her services-her parents and herself esteeming this plans of the instructor, and to aid in their accomplishment. small sum a satisfactory remuneration, added to the advadlage Many parents there are, who go so far as to see that their which she received from the practice, and the opportunity in children learn the lessons assigned for them to study at home, pursue her studies during a small part of the time. The ad- but who seem to content themselves with this, when they joining apartment spoken of, was furnished with low benches should go farther. How sınall a proportion, even of this class, and desks, slates, maps, pictures &c., and conducted on the have established such an intellectual system in their family general plan described in our previous paper.

arrangements, that the child may be said to be ever in school? But what is most desirable, is the separation of such depart. There are families in which this desirable state of things aclments into distinct schools; and there are several, perhaps we ually exists, in a considerable degree; and, with some care and might say many, towns in Connecticut, in which such a sepa- labor, it might be enjoyed in many others. Such things greatly ration might be made with advantage. In the city of Harl- depend on habit. ford a classification of schools has been made in several of The tone of conversation at table and at the fireside is of the districts; and, although in most instances, we presume, it greater importance than many imagine: so are the books and is felt that new arrangements are needed, every one must con- newspapers read and thrown before the young. The father, sider the separation of the children into different schools, as at his work-bench or behind his counter, while boeing his corn indispensable.

or pursuing any other of our social forms of useful labor, may The schools of Prussia, Holland, France, New Granada, be communicating to his sons and other companions, lessons and other countries in which common education has made any on an endless variety of usetul topics; while the mother may considerable progress, are systematically classified, as far as ordinarily find still more frequent and upportune occasions io possible; and in some of them, we find two, three, four, and pursue a similar course with her daughters. even five, classes of schools, each with its distinct and appro Domestic education is of such extreine importance, that it priate apparatus, course of studies, methods of instruction and can hardly be too care ully attended to. It is true that in discipline, and teachers specially trained.

Connecticut it is probably appreciated and practised in as high One of the first objects proposed by many of the advocates a degree as in any part of the world. Here we have many of a classification of our schools, is the separation of children shining examples of it; and no person acquainted with the of different sexes. It has been a serious question with some State, can hesitate to assign the general character of the peogood judges, whether it is not better to have boys and girls at- ple, in a great degree, to the influence of the family. tend the same school, provided it be conducied on the best Let us consider for a moment the amount of time to be disprinciples known. Others, on the contrary, would first divide posed of by a child or youth in the intervals of school hours, schools into male and female.

and compare it with that occupied in school. We may set ihe While we leave this subject to the consideration of our read. laiter at thirty hours a week during eleven months in ihe year, ers, we turn our eyes to the map of Connecticut, and ask, as the highest rate: that is, 1,560 hours, or the amount of 65 whether we might not gain much by adopting a system of class- days and nights. Where the school is kept eight months, the ification, different from any yet practised among us, but which child spends, at the utmost, only 990 hours in school, or 41 days our compact population, good roads, and other circumstances,' and nights.

Now is the child had but 12 waking hours in the day, and generally diffused, we shall see at least an hour in a month should never be detained from school a single day in eleven appropriated to the regular meetings of school officers in every months, he would have more time out of it than in it. But, township or society, and the secretary's records will show that taking things as they are, we may safely set down the time not only the receipts and expenditures, but also the conduct spent in school by children during ihe years when they attend and character of teachers are watched over, the systems of school, at not more than one third or one quarter of that spent government and instruction, the arrangements in the school out of it. If then the parents can do any thing effectively in and on its premises, the books, fixtures, and apparatus, as well favor of the education of their children while in their compa- as the use to which they are put. Then we may hope to see ny, they can have a great deal of time to do it.

also, records of the number of visits paid by each member to And here we may stop a moment to advert to the danger we schools, and of the observations made in person, on desecis obare always in, of feeling as if there were a kind of magic in a served, improvements made or proposed, meritorious teachers school, to render it necessarily. inore favorable to improvement and pupils recommended. than any other place. Alas, how far is this from the fact! In

(To be continued.) a great many instances, the child is there exposed to physical trials and moral difficulties most up favorable to moral improve- THE IMPROVEMENT OF SCHOOLS NATURALLY TENDS ment. We should bear in mind, therefore, that while we have

TO THE BENEFIT OF COLLEGES. our children around us, we commonly have them in a purer atmosphere, more comfortable positions, and a state of greater It has often been foretold, by some of the friends of educafreedom to listen to instructions, and to ask for explanations, tion in this country, that wherever common schools might be than the vast majority of children customarily enjoy in their improved, the higher institutions of learning would soon rise schools. If, therefore, we have the sagacity to select appro- higher in public esteen and patronage. Others have seemed priate subjects, and to propose them in ihe best manner, what to think that the improvement of colleges ought first to be aiman important institution for their education do we preside over ed at, as the only measure for the improvement of schools. while we sit at our own firesides and tables, and pursue many

Without insisting that either is an object of indifference, or of the daily employments of life!

even destitute of great importance, we may sasely say that with-
out good common schools, the people of any State can hardly

be expected to place a very high value on the high institutions. OUR SCHOOL LAWS SHOULD BE SIMPLE.

At the same time, it is both more gratifying and more just to One general fault in the school systems of those States admit that the interests of colleges and schools are closely and which have any, is their complexity. The writer of these indeed inseparably connected. The truth is, that every step remarks has had experience in the service of an inspector of taken in favor of education in any department, is to be regard common schools in ihe State of New York, and has heard the ed as a common benefit, and the friends of the private and pub. system greatly objected to on account of the numerous stat- lic schoul, the academy, the college, the university and the uies relating to it, as well as the multiplicity of little formalities seminary, should rejoice at it together. required, and the doubtful interpretation of which various points are susceptible. His own experience has also justified

SABBATH SCHOOLS AND COMMON SCHOOLS. ihose objections. Probably most persons who have exercised offices under these statutes would acknowledge, that such de Whoever has attentively considered the intellectual influenfects have greatly erubarrassed the operations of the school ces of our Sabbath schools, must expect them to operale very system of that S.ate; and that many districts and towns might powerfully in favor of education at large. The portion of time every year be found, which, if judged strictly, have not a good occupied by the teachers in their instructions is so small, obat claim to the money divided by the State.

some persons might presume it to be insufficient to produce A few evils which it is important to guard against in every great effects. But it is founded and conducted on certain princommon school system, may here be mentioned.

ciples which have great value and efficiency in themselves. Ist. The neglect of frequent visitations to the schools. In the must ordinary exercises, the scholars are questioned School officers should pot be required to go in a body, for that ininutely on the import of the words in the lesson, and are reoften doubles the inconvenience of attending. The practice quired to give attention to the meaning of what they study, as of visiting in this manner gives an air of solemnity and strict- well as to express that meaning, often in language of their ress to those occasions, which is quite the opposite of the char- own. Both these exercises are truly intellectual, of primary acter they ought to bear. The visits should be frequent, not importance, yet extensively neglected in common schools. at fixed times, and so familiar as not necessarily to interrup! Another advantage lies in the natural and happy connection the usual occupations of the master or scholars. The school of several branches of learning in the same lessons; for examofficers should so distribute their labors, ibal each might have pls, reading, geography, history, &c. It is probable that many the particular supervision of the school nearest his house, or persons have first learned, from experience in a Sabbath school, most convenient to his daily walks. More than one officer ihat more ihan one branch of knowledge may be taught at the should be assigned to each school, when it is practicable; and same time, not only without loss, but actually with advantage. ail the officers of a lown should be authorized and expected 10 The teacher of a sabbath school has also opportunities to visit all the schools when convenient.

learn something of the value and importance of the discipline 21. The want of frequent and well regulated meetings of of persuasion, and the way of applying the law of love to the school oíficers. In most places school officers meet but seldom, government of a class. Having no compulsory power placed and then merely to attend 10 pecuniary or other external mat- in his hands, he has felt his entire dependence on moral means; lirs. In too many cases, we find there is little or no concert and while the characters as well as the minds of his pupils even in attending to these interests; but one person is left to have been improving under it, in most cases he may be found act alone, or nearly so, with an urdue amouni of care, labor, to have shared doubly in the benefit. and responsibility, and withcúribe benefit of assistance ortach to The teacher of a Sabbath school, in most cases, soon finds vice from well qualified associates. Such individuals may be reason to prepare himself for his weekly instructions, by study found in some places, who bare, as it were, kept the schools and reflection; and those who have had most experience will alive during a term of years. Their services have been of great probably be most ready to agree, that the very system offers revalue: but ihey are generally liberal as well as practical men, markable incentives to a regular discipline of the mind, as well who have some correct views of what good schools and sys as of the heart. tems are, and whose experience has prepared them highly to Now, without going farther with particulars in this place, we yalue and efficiently to appreciate any good plans for their may remark what is very evident indeed, that experience in improvement.

such a course of study, teaching and government, is highly faSchool officers should meet often, and attend to every im- vorable to the formation of a character for other branches of portant department committed to their care. A regular order instruction. Indeed, without such characteristics as this proof business should be adopted and strictly adhered to. The cess is calculated to foster, po one can be a good teacher: time and place of meeting should be fixed and known. When while, if these be possessed, other deficiencies can scarcely be the friends of education shall cccupy their appropriate sia- regarded as essential, or at least as insurmountable. While tions, and when the spirit which is to be desired shall be therefore we may look with a longing eye for the time when

[ocr errors]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »