« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
Mistaken Conduct of Col. K.
able benches to be crowded as near the backside of the room as possible, took off my coat, directed Charles to rise, and begged my scholars to get as far as they could from the whip. Half frightened to death, the younger of them crowded into the corners of the room, while the larger ones, more fearless, sat still and looked on.
Long and eloquently did I represent to the poor boy the nature and enormity of his transgression, and the justice of his punishment. His crime, I said, was obstinacy; and I thought so. The boy evinced no deep sense of guilt, and I concluded at length to discontinue my speech, and commence blows.
It happened that the rod which was used was rather dry. I made a parade of laying on very heavy blows, to put the school in awe. They were not so very heavy after all. But the stick was so dry, it soon broke in pieces. One of its brittle parts flew against the cheek of a boy standing near the fire, and slightly broke the skin.—The delinquent was punished with some degree of severity, but there was nothing very remarkable about it.
After this was over, he seemed to behave better ; as well as the whole school. There was not half the noise, and disquiet, and play that there had been, or else I imagined it so. In fact, I thought I could perceive the good influence of the chastisement for weeks, if not for months afterward.
However, about a month or six weeks--I have forgotten which-afterward, I heard a most singular story, abroad. Why I had not heard of it sooner, I cannot and could not then conceive ; nor do I now recollect any better how it was divulged in the end. It was substantially as follows.
The master of the boy whose cheek had been wounded by the piece of whip, and whom I will call Col. K., being very passionate, no sooner saw the cheek and heard the story, with all those exaggerations to which the boy's fright would be likely to lead him, was at once full of wrath and fury. He took his horse and sallied forth. To see me, do you ask? To see the committee ? To see any of the rest of the pupils, to find whether their stories confirmed that which he had heard ? No such thing.
He rode to the village, and entered a complaint against me, to the grand jurors of the town. He represented me as having abused-tyranically and wickedly—a poor orphan* boy; and as being wholly unfitted—by my ungovernable temper—for continuance in the school. He also told them how long the
* Charles was, indeed, an orphan.
Consequences to the School.
stripes were to be seen on Charles's back after the punishment.
It is rather to be wondered at, that the grand jurors should take no notice of this complaint, strangers as they were to me. But the gentleman was not able to rouse them. Perhaps they saw what the state of his mind was—for he was so exceedingly angry, that he seemed almost like an insane man-and concluded that the case was not worth attention.
Here the matter ended, or would have ended, but for me. It is true that there were several persons in the district dissatisfied with me, in a greater or less degree. But they knew better than to treat me in the way Col. K. had done ; and between their sympathy for me and their indignation towards him, the whole matter was dropped.
For my own part, I was unwilling it should end thus. I went to Col. K. and expressed, at once, a sense of the wrong he had done ; and concluded by asking him why he did not come to me at once, as soon as he heard the story. Was it acting the Christian part to go first to others ?
Sir,' said he, "I did not go to you first, because I could not have kept my temper. The children said you were in a violent passion, and had whipped the poor, fatherless boy almost to death, and I thought that if so, it was not worth while to go to you at all. Better go to the civil authority at once.'
I asked him whether he still approved of such a course of proceeding; and as the stories of children, in cases of the kind, could not be wholly relied on, whether he did not think it better to go first to the teacher, and tell him his grievances—whether, in short, if he were the teacher, he would not like to be thus dealt with. Indeed, I pressed him very closely on the subject. It is true, I did not fail to concede that there might have been something wrong in the course I had taken ; but was this the way to set me right?
He frankly acknowledged, at length, that it was not. He said his only apology for the course he had taken was, that he was passionate, and was not sure he should not beat me, if he met me alone, while enraged. But he now saw, he said, that he had done wrong, and was willing to say so publicly.
This was satisfactory; I could not ask more; and though Col. K. had not taken the best method of setting me right, 1 was quite willing to let the matter rest.
It is strange, that while so many parents and masters are quite ready and willing to acknowledge that they ought to go directly to the teacher, if they suppose they have cause to be dissatisfied with him, and talk the matter over freely, so few will ever do it.
They are more likely, nine cases in ten, to go to
Education in Pennsylvania.
some other person and complain. My countrymen, these things ought not so to be!
One word more in regard to my school. All went on well after this, for nearly the whole winter. There was no disturbance, no disobedience; all was quiet and orderly, as if nothing had happened. This use of the whip, on Charles, seemed to have accomplished its object completely. And though I cannot say I believe the rod ought to be much used, yet I consider, with Solomon, that to spare it entirely, in the progress of the education of our citizens, and, above all, to proclaim that we will do so, is to spoil them. The rod is one of those things, which should always be ready for use, but seldom or never used ; in the manner of physicians with some of their more poisonous medicines.
EDUCATION IN PENNSYLVANIA.
We alluded, in a former number, to the comnion school system proposed for Pennsylvania, by Mr Josiah Holbrook, and promised to present it ere long to our readers. A letter from him, dated Philadel. phia, January 6th, encloses a memorial, which embodies so many of the principal features of his plan, that the memorial' and ' letter' may probably be sufficient for the present. Should we find room, at any subsequent period, for a more extended notice of the plan itself, we shall insert it. After the usual compliments, Mr Holbrook says :
It is a singular and singularly interesting fact, that every member of the “ State Convention,” now in session in this city, thinks favorably of the system of education proposed sometime since at Harrisburg, for adoption in this State, and that the delegates from the German counties lead the way in this grand enterprise. A delegate from “Old Berks," proverbial as a German county, who has been opposed to the school law, says, that this circular comes to the point wanted, and is in the true republican spirit. He is one of the committee of twelve enclosed, and has sent copies of the memorial to all sections of his county, where, from personal knowledge, I know it will meet with favor and many signatures. The case is similar in Northampton, Lebanon and Lancaster ; all German counties.
«The enclosed memorial has been and will be signed by nearly every
Memorial to the Legislature.
one of the delegates, and sent by them to all parts of the State. It is a common expression, that they have now got hold of the right end of the string instead of the wrong end, as they always have had before. A steady perseverance for a few months longer, is certain to give to Pennsylvania something that deserves the name of “system of education", or a body composed of members or parts connected with each other; which, so far as my knowledge extends, cannot be said of schools or of educa-' tion in any state in the Union.'
The following is the memorial alluded to. It is entitled • A Memorial for Common Education,' and is addressed "To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.'
The undersigned, citizens of Pennsylvania, very respectfully invite the attention of your honorable body to some measures for the advancement of Common Education through our State. Impressed with a belief, that many improvements may be introduced into our public schools, without any additional expense of time or money, and that one of the most republican and practicable modes of introducing such improvements is, by presenting them, by means of lectures and appropriate illustrations, to the consideration of our citizens in all sections of the State, we ask of your honorable body a sinall appropriation for the employment of one or more persons to visit all sections of the Commonwealth for
• The person, or persons, thus employed, may present to schools, and to public meetings called for that purpose, not only systems of instruction and modes of teaching, but subjects of science, particularly mineralogy, properly illustrated by specimens, exhibited and explained on these occasions; and by that means enable all classes of the community in every section of the State, to collect, examine, and understand the natural productions of their respective vicinities, and to institute a system of exchanges with each other, for the inutual and lasting benefit of all concerned.
For securing to our citizens the full advantage of the proposed visits and lectures, for awakening general and immediate interest in schools and the diffusion of useful knowledge, and for communicating directly much useful instruction to all parts of the community, we also ask of your honorable body, a provision for a small cabinet, or collection of minerals, properly selected, labelled, and described, and a few instruments, for elementary, practical instruction, for each and every public school in our Commonwealth : the expense of such collection and instruments not to exceed ten dollars for each school.
• Fully convinced, that an appropriation for the two objects above proposed, viz. for lectures on education and the sciences, to be given in all sections of the State, and for a few specimens of nature and other inConvention on Education at Newark.
struments of useful instruction, for all our public schools, would be preeminently economical, and calculated to provide for our Commonwealth an enlightened, practical, and permanent systen of common education, and one which would be adopted and appreciated by its citizens, we respectfully, but confidently present the subject to the consideration of your honorable body, assured that whatever measures may, in your wisdom, be adopted respecting it, they will be directed by a desire to promote the highest and best interests of those whom you represent.'
This memorial is signed by John Sergeant, James Clarke, Thaddeus Stevens, James M. Porter, Charles Chauncey, G. M. Keim, Walter Forward, Joseph R. Chandler, Phineas Jerks, Thomas H. Sill, G. W. Woodward, and John Dickey, the committee appointed at a meeting for the adoption of measures for the advancement of common education, held in Harrisburg, in June last; and they ask, as it seems, the attention and signatures of their fellow citizens to the memorial.
CONVENTION ON Education.
We have received from E. W. Sylvester of Lyons, Wayne county, N. Y., a copy of the Lyons Argus, containing an account of a Convention on Education, held at the village of Newark, seven miles west of Lyons, about the first of January, at which many spirited resolutions on the subject of common schools were introduced and discussed, and some of them adopted. Among these, was one respecting the means of producing a spirit of subordination in schools and the love of study, in which the practice of addressing the moral powers of the pupils was particularly enjoined, and that of expelling from the school, by the trustees, those who cannot be restrained either by moral means, or by an appeal to tbeir ambition. Another resolution recommended the following studies, as suitable for common schools, leaving the order in which they should be pursued, to the discretion of the teacher, viz. reading, spelling and defining, arithmetic, mental and written, geography, English grammar, writing, composition, declamation, elements of philosophy, history of the United States. A third resolution recommended a list of books proper to be used in each branch. Another, still, requested all parents and teachers to peruse carefully, some publication devoted to the interests of education.
A committee was also appointed to prepare and publish an address to the inhabitants of Wayne county, and the friends of education generally, which also appears in the Argus, and is replete with sound arguments in favor of the improvement of common schools, and of their unspeakable importance. They were also invited to attend an adjourned meeting of the convention, which was to have been held at the same place ;Newark-on the 20th of January. We sympathize most deeply, with