Page images

Avon; Charles A. Goodrich, Berlin; William Marks, Burlington;

THE PUBLIC PRESS OF CONNECTICUT. Francis Gillet, Bloomfield; Jeremiah Rice, Bristol ; Henry Nash, Can We feel under great obligations to all our public jonrnals for what ton; Solomon Olmsted, East Hartford ; Erastus Ellsworth, East Wind- they have done in calling the attention of their readers to the several sor; Elward Hoskins, Enfield; John T. Norton, Farmington; Thad measures and movements of the Board. To those who have done more, deus Welles, Glastenbury; Daniel Hemenway, Granby; Luke Wood, who have introduced from time to time into their columns remarks of Hartland; Bennet F. Northrop, Manchester; Samuel F. Jones, Marl- their own, or of correspondents, urging the subject upon the attention borough ; Allen McLean, Simsbury; Jesse Olney, Southington Ju- of the community, and helping to add new vigor and warmth to lius S. Shailor, Suffield; John Francis, Wethersfield; Martin Ells. public sentiment in relation to this whole matter, we would acworth, Windsor.

knowledge our particular obligations. May we not hope for their Secretary--Porter H. Snow, Hartford.

continued and more energetic co-operation ? Will not every jourA Resolution requesting the Vice-Presidents of the County Associa- nal of the State-standing as each does at the fountain of public opintion to act as agenis of the Journal in their several towns; and another ion--help to make that public opinion more enlightened, more alive, recommending the appointment of the School District Committee in the more efficient, in regard to common schools? However discordant and spring, in order to afford more time for selecting and employing Teach- even irreconcileable their opinions may be on other subjects, let this be ers for the winter school, were adopted.

regarded as a common field to labor in-as a common interest to proThe Rev. Mr. Brooks then delivered another very interesting lecture, more--as a common blessing to enjoy and perpetuate. We shall conon the subject of the Prussian Schools.

tinue to forward our paper to all our public journals. We cannot ask From this lecture, it appeared that schools are established by law in or expect them to send theirs in exchange, but we should be glad to re. every parish in the kingdom; and every child is obliged to atiend and ceive every number which contains any thing in reference to our coinreceive an education; that these schools are under the inspection of a mon schools, or to popular education in general. board created by the government, and responsible to higher boards in the several provinces, all of which are under the control of a minister of

SCHOOLS IN SALISBURY.-LETTER FROM JUDGE public instruction at Berlin, who gives his exclusive attention to this

CHURCH. subject. That there is a regular gradation of schools, from the parish It will be remembered by those who noticed the proceedings of the school to the university, through the several provinces, and none are Litchfield County Convention, that a resolution was passed, recomadmitted to any higher seminary, without having passed through the mending a more thorough visitation and examination of the schools, lower schools. The studies prescribed and the mode of treating them not only by school visiters, but by teachers, of each other's schools, were likewise detailed at length,

and that once a year a Convention be held of all the scholars of the In that kingdom, no one can be appointed a teacher without undergo- several schools.' When this resolution was up, Judge Church remarking a rigid examination, and withoui having been educated at the reg. ed that many years ago, when he was a teacher in the common schools ularly constituted teachers' seminaries.

of Salisbury, all these things were done; and that there had never been The great advantages of this system of education, are efficiency, uni. that engagedness in parents, teachers, and scholars, since the practice formity, thorough intellectual and moral culture, and the effects produ- was discontinued. It will be seen by the following letter from Judge cad in forming a sober, orderly, and intelligent people. It was stated Church, that the recommendation of the Convention has been aciet upthat, since the introduction of this system, pauperism and crime had on, and that the most efficient steps have been taken to revive the good diminished in Prussia thirty-eight per cent., and that especially, juve-old custom in these particulars. We would especially call the attention nile delinquencies were exceedingly rare.

of those who complain of the inefficiency of our present organized The Convention then passed a vote of thanks to Mr. Brooks for his board of visiters, to the steps which have been taken in Salisbury, as addresses, and adjourned.

well as in some other towns, for making school visiters efficient and responsible.

Salisbury, Nov, 12, 1838. ASSOCIATIONS OF TEACHERS.

DEAR SIR,- The School Society in this town at a late meeting direct

ed, that a committee of two of the board of visiters should visit and exThe formation of these associations has been very generally recom- amine all the schools in the society iwice the ensuing season, and make mended, and we are glad to learn thai they are coming into existence in to the board and to the society a particular report, in writing, of the many towns in this State. Unless several of the Teachers are located siate and condition of each school, to the end that the information thus for some length of time, in the place where they now are, we would obtained should be communicated to you: and at the same time agreed recommend that they make their association a branch of the Town As- to pay this committee at the rate of onc dollar per day for the time spent sociation. It will save much complexity of organization. That these in this service. associations may promote the usefulness of schools, is the uniform ex

The board of trustees was also directed to take such measures, as perience of the Siates about us. They are coming into existence, all that the instructers of the district schools in the society should visit and over France, under the encouragement and recommendation of the Min- examine each other's schools during the coming winter; and also that ister of Public Instruction. They have been and still are found im- there should be a public examination of all the schools at one time, portant aids in the promotion of education in Holland. These socie- when the schools as well as the several teachers should be publicly adties or associations, are numerous,” says a traveller in Holland. --

dressed on the subject of common school instruction. The result of " They are generally of a local character. Eight, ten, or more school- these experiments will be communicated to you. masters residing nenr each other, form an association for the discussion

With great respect, your obt. servt. of subjects connected with education, and report through their secretaries to the editor of the Contributions,' (a periodical devoted to Com

POST MASTERS.-POSTAGE.-THE JOURNAL. mon School education) who publishes what he thinks is likely to be of general benefit . There are at present upwards of two hundred of these

To post masters, who have thus far rendered us very important sersocieties, and above iwo thousand schoolmasters are thus associated. vice in obtaining subscribers for the Journal, and in forwarding reIn a report to the king, made by the Minister of Public Instruction, in mittances free of postage, as they are authorized to do by the Post Masthe year 1818, these associations are described as having been of the ter General, we would express our thanks. Small as the postage may greatest utility.”

seem in a single instance, still it is a consideration not to be overlooked in the aggregate--especially when it is remembered that the corres

pondence extends inio almost every town in the State--and especially, SCHOOL VISITERS' REPORT.

when it goes to add to the expense of a Journal which does nou begin io I will readily be seen by reference to the law of last session, that pay for itself—and when we are now making preparations to publish "the written Report of their own doings, and the condition of the sev- 1 Extra numbers containing valuable information respecting the School eral schools within their limits for the preceding season of schooling;

Systems of Prussia-Holland, New York-Massachusetts-and othwith such observations as their experience and reflection may suggest,

er States,-information which we are bold to say cannot be gained from required of the school visiters, is a different matter from that of making any one, or half dozen volumes-not at least for four times the subscriprelurns to the Board of Commissioners, for which they must prescribe tion price of the Common School Journal. But in undertaking this the forms and forward them to the school society's clerk. These re- Journal, and the laboring oar of the Board, we expected to spend and be turns will embrace the very facts which onght to be reported to each spent in its service. Als we ask is such co-operation as the friends of society, but in addition the faithful discharge of duty under this sec

common schools can give us in their several ways, but if the aid is to tion would call for something more in the way of sugge. tions of im. be given it should be given now. provement. To have this duły faithfully done, each school society in

There is an increasing interest in the whole subject-a spirit of inihe State would do well to follow the example of Farmington, of North quiry as to what is doing for the education of all the children of a comStonington, of Watertown, of Salisbury, and other societies in re munity, both among ourselves and abroad. This interest should be ducing the number, and making their dulies more specific, and com- cherished--this spirit of inquiry must be stimulated and gratificd, and pensating them for their time at least. But whether paid or not, we that now, if we expect much permanent good to be done here. Those hope thai at least one school visiter in each society will be found who are disposed to sustain this Journal as an instrument in this cause, who will see that these provisions of the law are faithfully com

are requested to do so now. All subscriptions to this Journal must plied with. The condition of all the schools in the State cannot be hereafter be paid in advance; and all communications in reference to it ascertained without the active and faithful co-operation of school vis- be post paid. iters,

Case, Trifany & Co., Printers, Pearl street, Hartford.


Vol. I.]



[No. 6.

THE CONNECTICUT COMMON SCHOOL JOURNAL and management. Besides, it would create obligations of a very WILL BE PUBLISHED EVERY MONTH, AT THE PRICE OF

interesting and peculiar kind on the part of the young women

themselves. They would see that their past services are appreFIFTY CENTS A YEAR, PAYABLE IN ADVANCE.

ciated, and that the respectable and influential around them are Persons wishing to subscribe, can forward their names and remittan- their friends, and ready to encourage them in their wishes to ces

, to the Secretary of the Board at Hartford, or to the Vice-Presi- enlarge the sphere of their usefulness. Such encouragement, dent of the County Association, or to the postmaster of the town in delicately and liberally given, has a powerful effect upon the which they reside, who can render the Journal èssential service by act- ingenuous and aspiring feelings of a mind sensible to the good ing as its agents. To any Teacher who will forward the names and remittances of four opinions of others, and seeking after higher degrees of excel

lence. subscribers, an additional number will be sent.

And to any person who will forward an order and remittances for There is vastly too little of this right sort of patronage, on fifteen numbers, two additional copies will be sent, if desired. the part of the older and influential portions of the community

All subscriptions to the Journal must begin with the first number. The bestowed upon the younger in our country. In no department of back numbres will be sent, as long as they can be supplied.

public utility, would it accomplish more than in thai of popular Twelve numbers, comprising at least One Hundred and fifty-two closely education. "Take your teachers by the hand. Let them see printed quarto pages, equal to at least Four Hundred octavo įpages, will that you esteem them highly for their works' sake. Aid them constituie the olume.

All subscriptions hereafter must be paid in advance, and all letters in all their efforts to improve themselves and their schools. relative to the Journal must be post paid.

Make the future look inviting to them. Inspire them with a

laudable ambition to excel in their profession, and furnish them Printed by Case, Tiffany & Burnlnm, Pearl-8t.

with the means of doing it. Especially do female teachers need this kind and fostering attention.


SCHOOL BOOKS. The following positions have been laid down in the prece

No complaint is more common than that which is made ding numbers.

against the variety of school books. While we are ready to We need, exceedingly, a much larger supply of first-rate join in lamenting the inconveniences which flow from this teachers.

source, we are by no means prepared to propose with entire In order to have first-rate teachers, they must be trained for confidence any immediate remedy. Such, however, is the extheir employment; and for this purpose one or more seminaries ient of the evil, and the general conviction of it, that the subjeet devoted to the object, are necessary.

Al the same time, de

seems to demand some notice. partments for training up teachers ought to be connected with

And in the first place we may affirm, probably without the some of our most respectable academies.

danger of contradiction, that most of the school books now in In the present emergency, great efforts should be made to

use contain decided improvements, when compared with those encourage and bring forward good female teachers of common which were in use fifteen years ago. By this we mean, that schools.

they are on the whole better adapied to the use of the great boIt is proved abundantly by actual experience, that our district hy of teachers, and to the intellects of the mass of pupils. They schools can be taught and governed well by temale teachers of generally abound more in familiar illustrations, and are writthe right character and qualifications, in the winter as well as

ten in a more simple style, as well as formed on a more natuin the summer, and while lads and young men of eiginteen and ral plan. twenty years of age attend them.

We wish, however, in this place, to remark, that some of the If these positions are correct, and the writer thinks he has old books possess great merit, and may be preserred, and for shewn them to be so, what are the practical inferences to be good reasons too, by a certain class of teachers, and for more drawn from them? One certainly is

, that the friends of popu- advanced scholars. lar education throughout the State should, in their respective

There are two great classes of teachers : those who depend lowns, find out the good female teachers of common schools, chiefly on books for the instruction of their pupils; and those and sustain them in their employment, and encourage them to who depend more upon the manner in which they use them, continue in it. Their compensation in very many cases, should viz. in company with verbal explanations and examples. Of be raised. We must come up to this part of the work prompt- these classes of teachers it may in general be said, that they ly and liberally, with regard to both male and female teachers, require different books. Hence, while we hear, on the one or our other efforts will be unavailing. The reasons for this hand, the majority of teachers, (embracing most of the younger are obvious. If our young men and young women are to be ones.) greatly prefering the analytical school books, and induced to spend their time and money in qualifying themselves those containing illustrations and simple language, we occato be first-rate teachers, they must see a fair prospect of being sionally meet with a few, and principally ihose of long experemunerated for this expenditure, and also that school-keeping rience, expressing great regard for some which were in use will bear some comparison, as furnishing the means of a liveli twenty or thirty years ago, and for such modern ones as more hood, and of laying up something at the end of the year, with

or less resernble them. other occupations.

It is plain, huwerer, that neither of these opinions should be Raise the wages of good female teachers, and you give an regarded as decisive, in application to more than one of these impulse to the whole movement that will be seen and felt at classes of teachers.' What suits one class, must of necessity once.

be more or less inappropriate to the other. To one who choosAnother thing to be done is, to assist the good female teach- les to introduce his pupils to arithmetic or grammar in a way of ers to be still better fitted for their work. Suppose you have in his own, and to drill them on the elements by verbal processes, your town one or more young womer of this description, 1: changeable according to circumstances, may regard the long moderate circumstances, who are anxious to go on with their explanations and inductive lessons in soine books as superflueducation, but have not the means. You might advance the


and may even be inclined to pronounce them hindrances money necessary to procure for them a year, ur certainly six to his classes. Yet, at the same time, those lessons and exmonths' instruction, a some respectable academyą and let it be planations may prove of great daily use in many a neighboring refunded in whole or in part, at convenient seasons afterwards, school, not only to the pupils directly, but also to the youthful when they are engaged in keeping school. Even a generous or illeducated ieachers, who, having bever before enjoyed equal donation in this way would more than come back, in a short opportunities for becoming really acquainted with the branches time, to your children and youth in their improvei instruction

they have undertaken to teach, are glad to avail themselves of by their influence on the opinions of men. All have witnessed the convenient course of self-instruction thus afforded them, the physical and moral engines which have been set in operaand to learn even faster than they teach, without the painful tion around us within a few years; and they are ready to benecessity of confessing or exposing their ignorance.

lieve that others, no less wonderful and useful, may be already We therefore are decidedly of the opinion, that much good in motion, and not far behind. has been done by many new school books, though the variety In our country, too, and emphatically in our state, reflection often found in one school causes very great inconvenience, and must convince every one that knowledge is necessary to his wbich should be corrected as far as possible. How that may own, as well as the public interest. Men do not rise in society be done, most speedily and effectually, is one of the points here at the smile of a monarch, nor sit preeminent in wealth or which our school associations, we hope, will soon determine. honor upon entạiled estates and titles. Neither do our laws! Where schools are furnished gratuitously with books, as in the so powerful as well as so just, allow the strong or the over; city of New-York, the inconvenience may be prevented; and bearing to oppress or terrify the peaceful or feeble. Men mus' wherever this plan is in future adopted, it may be easily re- rise, if they rise at all, mainly by the aid of virtue and intelli moved. The expense of the books, it is desirable to have gence; and both are held in general esteem, in a good degree borne by the parents, as far as they are able to bear it; but if it proportioned to their influence. is both more convenient and more economical to have books With these and other advantages, so superior to all that can provided in gross by the school officers, and distributed by be found in most other regions of the earih, Connecticut, we them at cost, it may be thought judicious, at least in some pla- repeat, has most powerful motives and templing facilities for ces, to change the common plan of supply, and find some proper the speedy, and general introduction of the best improvements way of deriving the money from the parents.

in the departmeni to which we invite the attention of all. To some extent experiments of this kind have been made almost every where: for there are gratuitous supplies of books EARLY LEGISLATION OF THE ORIGINAL COLONY OF given to some of the most indigent pupils; and those who know anything of the facts can say whether there would be any ad

NEW HAVEN, IN RELATION TO COMMON SCHOOLS. vantage in committing more extensively, the selection of books to school officers.

Any city, and any people, might be proud of such a history as we As things exist at present, there is a constant exposure

here present from the truly eloquent Historical Discourse of Professor to frequent changes of books in almost every school. Publish- Kingsley. ers of new books, in order to make them known, send out “If there is any thing in the institutions of a free state, which shows agents, who give away many, and sometimes, at least in other the character of its founders, it is the regard paid to the education of states, have offered to exchange new books for old ones. Each, youth. Religion, morals, enterprise, whatever benefits or adorns soprobably, believes his own books to be the best, and be consci- ciety, rests here on their surest foundation; and where effectual provientious in pressing them into places of others; but it is certain- sion is made in the infancy of a community for general instruction, othly time that other opinions should be given, and that the sorts from our commonwealth the universal education of our citizens, and

er salutary regulations may be expected to accompany them. Take of books to be used in our schools should be determined by our social system is at an end. The form might continue for a time; more disinterested and less variable authority. No doubt but its spirit would have fled. To suppose ihat pure religion, pure many useful changes have been effected by such means; and morals, an upright administration of government, and a peaceable, ormary perhaps might be cited; but the next book may be a very derly, and agreeable intercourse in the domestic and social relations of inferior one; and yet it may be made to supersede that which life can exist, where the people as a body are ignorant of letters, is an is now approved.

egregious solecism. I do noi say, that education is all that is needed; We may close this subject for the present with one remark : human society, are comparatively weak and unavailing. This truth

but without knowledge generally diffused, other means of improving that, while there are great difficulties in the way of establish- the first planters of New Haven strongly felt; and the record of their ing the use of any particular books in schools, the advantages acts furnishes most honorable proof, that the course of their legislation of uniformity in peighboring districts, and especially in the was in conformity with their convictions. same school, are worthy of very serious attentiun.

“Among the early proceedings of the General Court, while its jurisdiction was confined within the limits of Quinnipiac, we find that an

order was given to establish a public school for the instruction of youth, THE PECULIAR ADVANTAGES OF CONNECTICUT.

and a committee was appointed to consider“ what yearly allowance is We cannot forbear to refer again to the superior facilities meet to be given to it out of the common stock of the town." This orpresented, by the nature of society in this State, to the improve- der was made at the same time in which the planters were taxing themment of the Common Schools. We could wish that every in the fundamental agreement” was entered into, we find a record, that

selves very heavily forthe erection of bridges. The very year in which habitant of it had a clear apprehension of the difference between Thomas Fugill is required to keep Charles Higginson, an indented apthis land of hereditary intelligence, knowledge, and unmingled prentice, “al school one year; or else to advantage him as much in his Protestant religion, and even the most favorably situated coun- education, as a years' learning comes to." Charles Higginson was tries of Europe, in which these blessings have been shared by probably the first apprentice indented in the colony, and this condition the mass of the people in but a very scanty degree if at all. of his apprenticeship was recorded, undoubtedly as an example of privThe contrast, when contemplated by one personally acquaint- ileges to be granted to all in the same circumstances. Here is a proed with both sides, affords one of the most serious and useful ceeding, which marks as distinctly as any measure could, the views enlessons which an intelligent man can study, after his relurn tection which onght to be extended to the indigent, and their regard for

tertained by the leaders of the colony of ihe value of education, the profrom foreign travel.

popular rights. If any one hereafter shall wish to inspect the early coWe see in Europe how much science and useful learning of lonial records of New Haven, to find subjects of reproach or merriment, all sorts may be accumulated, by the well directed efforts of let him be referred to the entry of the indentures of Churles Higginson. comparatively a few individuals. We perceive at home that If all the ridiculous and absurd reports which have been circulated about many opportunities are offered, not only for its attainment, but the New Haven laws were founded in fact, this single record, in the for its general diffusion. Europe teaches us how to obíain; opinion of the intelligent and unprejudiced, would throw them at once America how to disseminate. By going from home we may into the shade. Such a course of policy as is here unfolded, such charilearn the art of acquiring: but if we would understand where ty for a class of the community, at thai time, and still, under every Euand how we may most easily and efficiently do good and com- No suggestion for the adoption of a rule by which an elementary edu

ropean government but little regarded, would cover a multitude of sins. municate, we must return to our own native soil

, look into the cation was secured to apprentices, could have been received from any school house, enter the dwellings of our farmers, professional law of the parent country. No act of parliament, it is believed, emmen and mechanics, and sit down by the very fire-side of our bracing such a provision, exists in England, with all its improvement infancy. This is the very kind of society best fitted for oli and wealth, to the present day. purpose, the state of things we want, the right sort of people. "Schools were at first instituted by a general law, without any penalHere we find no prejudices against learning or improvements of ty to secure its crccution; but this proved insufficient. Another law, any kind. On the contrary, ihe prejudices of the people are di- therefore, respecting children's education, was introduced into the New rectly of an opposite character. Neither is there here a disposi- ant sanctions. The'deputies, constables, and other officers in public tion to question the practicability of every thing until it has trust, are required "to bave a vigilant eye over their brethren and been seen in existence. On the contrary: the vast and various neighbors," and to take care " that all their children and apprentices, as improvements already made, have opened the way for others they grow capable, may through God's blessing, attain at least so much

as to be able duly to read the scriptures, and other good and profitable servation, and, of course, it condensed the future into the imprinted books in the English tongue, being their native language, and mediate and the present. After that epoch passed, the fiscal in some competent measure to understand the main grounds and princi- condition of the country, the momentous questions connected ples of the christian religion necessary to salvation; and to give an an- with the organization of a new government, without model or swer to such plain and ordinary questions, as may by the said deputies, precedent in the history of mankind, and, at a later period, the officer or officers, be propounded concerning the same. under this law were first warned: if they continued in fault, they were agitations of party, have engrossed the time and enlisted the fined ; if no reformation followed, the fine was doubled ; if it still appear- talents of men most interested in elevating the character of the ed, that the children or servants of any family were " in danger to people, and most competent to do it. It cannot be denied, too, grow barbarous, rude and stubborn through ignorance," the court of ihat for years past the public eye has been poiuted backwards magistrates is authorized "to proceed as they find cause, either to a great to the achievements of our ancestors, rather than forwards to er fine, taking security for due conformity to the scope and intent of this the condition of our posterily; as though the praise of dead salaw, or may take such children or apprentices from such parents or thers would provide adequately for living children. The public masters, and place them for years,—boys till they come to the age of voice, the public press, and the public mind bave been prolific one and twenty, and girls till they come to the age of eighteen years or of that doubtful virtue, which substitutes empty commendapublic convenience, and for the particular good of the said children or tions of what is good, for earnest efforts to procure it. apprentices.”

After the more important institutions of the country had been "The course of legislation in Connecticut, and in the united colony settled, and an abundant accumulation of the means of subafter 1665, shows conclusively, that neither the prospect of advantage sistence had bestowed leisure, it would naturally happen that a from education, nor the dread of penalties, was sufficient to secure the portion of public talent and resources would be set at liberty, proper execution of the laws respecting schools. Accordingly, the se- and left to choose new spheres of action and new objects of lect-men of every town were to see that none " suffer so much barbarism bounty. But here arose various philanthropic enterprises, in any of their families," as not to teach their children and apprentices whose objects lie beyond the limits of our own territory, Had so much learning, as may enable them perfectly to read the English tongue;" and by a subsequent statute, it was made the duty of the grand- it not been for their claims to the precedence, it may be prejurymen in each town, once a year, at least, “to visit suspected families sumed that no inconsiderable portion of that self-sacrificing and satisfy themselves, whether all children under age and servants in spirit and that copious stream of wealth, so bountifully exsuch suspected families, can read the English tongue, or be in a good pended upon other causes, would have found a congenial procedure to learn the same.". Still later it was enacted, that "if any sphere of activity in cultivating the moral and intellectual be unable to do so much,” that is, to teach their children and apprentices wastes within our own burders. We have lately heard many to read the English tongue, that then at the least, they procure such of the men, who have been foremost in these works, speak of out book, that they may be able to answer to the questions that shall be their past conduct

, in language which said, " These things propounded to them out of such catechism, by their parents, or masters, ought we to have done, but not to have left the others undone." or ministers, when they shall call them to an account of what they have And even those munificent contributions in aid of different delearned in that kind;" and all who were found delinquent were subject-partments of learning, made amongst ourselves, and to be exed to heavy penalties. These are specimens of the early laws of New pended amongst ourselves, have been confined, with one recent Haven and Connecticut on the subject of schools. From this detail it is and praise worthy exception, to the higher literary institutions manifest

, that the introduction of the common school system was a work of the country. Though their beams have been vivifying and of time, and of unwearied effort. By perseverance, however, the bene. nourishing, yet they have been shed rather on the solitariness fits of education were finally perceived and acknowledged by all; a of the summits of society than through the populousness of its school was brought to every man's door; the poor, and even the slave, were within the reach of instruction; and hence, for nearly a century

valleys. and a half, a native of Connecticut of mature age, unable to "read the

Passing by many causes which have conduced to the same English tongue," has been looked upon as a prodigy:

end, we shall mencion but one more. In no other country was "The source of the wide-spread and incalculated benefits of popular ever such a bounty offered upon industry and practical ialent education in America, may be traced, without danger of error, to a few as in ours. Skill, sagacity, the results of intellectual applicaof the leading puritans; and among these, the founders of the little colony cation, have won a large portion of the prizes of fame and of of New Haven deserve a most honorable place. Hubbard says, - opulence. It has been as though an officer had been sent to "They,” the people of New Haven,“ made many attempts, all along every house, to seek out and to impress whatever could be from the first to the last of their being a distinct colony, -even such as were above their strength,—to promote learning by public schools." — made available for outward and material prosperity. Hence To the vigorous and patient efforts of these inen, we are indebted for this wealth, possessions, whatever makes up the external part-the effectual mode of really benefitting the many; and it may not be too body, if we may so speak-of human welfare, have advanced much to say, that if the early pilgrims, more particularly of Massachu- with unparalleled success; while a general amelioration of setts and Connecticut, had not struggled and toiled for this great object, habits, and those purer pleasures which flow from a cultivation and if they had not been immediately succeeded by men who had im- of the higher sentiments, which constitute the spirit of human bibed a large portion of the same spirit, the school-system of New Eng. welfare, and enhance a thousand fold the worth of all temporal land would not now exist."

possessions,-these have been comparatively neglected. Per

haps it is the order of nature that a people, like an individual, CAUSES WHICH HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO AN

shall first provide for its lower and animal wants,-its food, its ABATEMENT OF INTEREST IN OUR

raiment, its shelter,-but the demands of this part of our nature COMMON SCHOOLS,

should be watchfully guarded, lest in the acquisition of sensuThe causes here assigned by Mr. Mann, in the Massachu-al and material gratifications we lose sight of the line which sells School Journal, to account for the abatememt of interest separates competence and comfort from superfluity and extrayin the common schools of ibat State, will be found to have agance, and thus forget and forfeit our nobler capacities for operated just as powerfully with us.

more rational enjoyment. That the general interest once felt in regard 10 our common schools has subsided to an alarıning degree of indifference, is


COMMON SCHOOLS. a position not likely to be questioned by any one who has compared their earlier with their later history. This is not to be We are rejoiced to find that these associations are springing attributed to any single cause, but to the co-operation of many. up in every section of the State. They are unequivocal eviFirst, perhaps, in the series, came the life-struggle of the Rev. dence of an awakening pablic sentimeni; and if they embrace olution. Education is principally concerned with the future. the intelligent and efficient friends of our schools, they may acIts eye is fixed on a remote object, whose magnitude only complish immense good. In addition to what we have before makes it visible in the distance; for it is with our moral as said in relation to them, we present the following suggestions with our natural vision, the dimensions of the vast are reduced from an article prepared for the last number of The Journal by the remoteness to the size of the minute in proximity; as in part of which are uncalled for after what was then said, and the case of the astronomer, who, while looking at the sun, saw what has already been done. Those who enlist in a cause like an animal of huge limbs and immense bulk rushing up on one this, must not be disappointed to find their motives suspected, side, and soon overshadowing and darkening its whole surface, their exertions vorewarded by those whose professions are which proved to be only a fly crossing the upper lens of his loudest in favor of the general object, but who are sure to telescope. The Revolutionary struggle was one for self-nre doubt be wisdom of this or that, or any other specific mode


accomplishing it. Nay, they will miss the co-operation o that love by co-operating in every effort to promote the physical, many benevolent, and patriotic, and christian friends, who have moral, and intellectual health of their children. to learn the great but simple truth, that benevolence does not A committee of publication should be appointed, in order to consist simply in liberal donations of money to be expended on make kpown from time to time, the progress and doings of the gigantic enterprizes abroad, but may sometimes be best mani- association, and to encourage and enlighten those who are lafested in personal but obscure offices of kindness at home, in boring in other fields. diffusing the means of intellectual and moral refinement The board of officers, and the association should hold freamong those whose “waywardness may try the teinper, or quent meetings, transact business of interest, and make its pro· whose coarse manners may shock our notions of propriety and ceedings known as above suggested. The members, and esdecency."

pecially the officers, should put themselves in the way of imThey must therefore expect to labor on, uncheered, suspect proving themselves in the knowledge of the principles and praced, and perhaps opposed. They will need to exercise all their tice of education, and acquaipting themselves with teachers, independence of mind, and stand firm to the manly resolution their views, feelings, qualifications, methods, &c. to persevere till they accomplish their object-feeling that to be Another primary object of the association should be to pro. pure and great, indispensable to the public safety as well as to mote the extension of useful knowledge in every convenient the public happiness and prosperity, and commensurate with form, the cultivation of taste, and in general, a good appropriaall that we hold good for time and for eternity, they must re- tion of the leisure hours of all classes. And this should not be gard themselves enlisted for life among the friends of common regarded as disconnected from the great object of the associaschools. Let them attend meetings on the subject as widely tion; it is highly important to its accomplishment, nay, indisand frequently as possible, and they will find iheir own zeal pensable to its complete success. These means will serve to enlightened and strengthened. Let their plans of organization enlist that active, hearty, intelligent and laborious co-operation be as broad and unobjectionable as possible. Try to enlist, if of many individuals, which is necessary, in ascertaining the they are not already in the field, the active exertions of ihe condition of the schools, people, and children, and in introduclergy, members of the faculty, and the bar, with intelligent cing, sustaining, and annually improving the best systems and farmers and mechanics—to get together and talk the subjeci up. methods. We must all agree to bear and forbear with each Try to reach the hearts of parents through the shortest path other. The best friends of improvement in our schools, and their love for their children, by getting children theinselves in- in the condition of the public taste, intelligence and morals, terested in their own improvement.

may present themselves with ill defined and inadequate conRaise contributions from those who are able and willing to ceptions of the various ways in which their services may be give, 10 purchase publications devoted to the subject, and we desirable, and of the amount of time, thought and labor, which may here repeat the recommendations of such as we have here they may hereafter have an opportunity to deyote to the genetofore noticed. These publications can be employed 10 advan-ral good in prosecuting them. tage by being lent to those who are desirous of informing themselves. If a friend of the cause could induce his influen. WYSE ON TEACHERS AND TEACHERS' SEMINARIES, tial neighbor to read an education magazine or newspaper, he

AND TEACHERS' LIBRARIES. may soon find his favorite object regarded with greater interest.

The following extracts are from a very valuable treatise, enti led He may do still more by inviting the editor of a newspaper

Education Reform, by Mr. Wyse.

But all this will be of little avail without willing and competent copy passages of particular kinds, and thus lay them before a teachers. If knowledge and virtue depend upon met and methods greater number of readers.

again upon the manner in which they are applied, still more do both But should such measures appear slow in producing effects, depend upon the individual to whom their application is intrusted. there is one important one which will be rapid and of great The difference between a good and a bad school, between an instructed utility. Let the Teachers be visited-approached with such and ignorant pupil, between education and no education, is just the marks of respect as their station plainly deserves, and with a difference between a good and a bad teacher. Better, far beuler there cordiality which may win their confidence. Some of them was no education going on at all, than education under the guidance of may he humble individuals, retired in obscure walks, where ignorance or immorality. Not to teach, is only the absence of good; they have never dreamed of aiming at popularity or honor, much that this truth, acknowledged in every other department of society, is

to misteach, is positive evil. Yet such is our perfect inconsistency, less of receiving it. Though it may require a liitle time to denied, at least, practically, in this of education. Who thinks of trustconvince them, that a man of any prominence in society can ing his apprentice to a novice in the craft, or the training of his horse feel a strong, uniform and permanent interest in their lowly la- to an ignorant horsebreaker ? It is miserable imbecility to talk of bors, so generally, so universally underrated; yet, when once teaching, much less of education, when we have no assurance that we persuaded by sufficient experience, that there is one person who have teachers or educators at all. sympathizes with them in their difficulties and trials, and ap

The first, the very first point then to be placed beyond all chance or preciates their daily task as most respectable, because difficult doubt, in a good system of National Education, the only point which and important; that there is one who loves the school, the qualifications of the teacher. But what are these qualifications and how teacher, the pupils, and who esteems their company both hon- are they to be ascertained? If not of the very highest order, they ought orable and agreeable, from that moment the friend of education always to be such as should fully qualify him, especially for the pracneed never feel alone, nor lament the want of opportunities to tical portion of his profession. He should not merely be intellígent, pursue his chosen objects. He has already established an in- but moral; not only moral and intelligent, but fully capable of transfluence, which is in beneficial exercise, even where he is not fusing both his knowledge and morality into the minds of others

. The present. The recollection of his last visit bears up the sinking highest attainments are useless without this power; they may be gold, mind of a long neglected teacher; while the anticipation of his but it is yet in ingots. He knows not the art of putting it into circulareturn, or the mere mention of his name, lights up a smile on ination, much less are they to be taken on trust, and least of all on the

tion. These are qualities not to be discovered by a half hour's exammany a blooming countenance, and adds vigor to every exer- recommendation of persons disqualified, by ignorance, and prejudice of cise of their busy hands and their active minds.

situation, sect, or party, from judging. If examination competitions When the association is formed, committees should be early are bad in the case of professorships, they are worse in that of ordichosen, and composed of men willing to act, as well as talk, nary teachers. They must, except by miracle, be abused; a far more to whom should be entrusted certain specified duties. The certain and universal guarantee is essential. They can only be had supervision and visitation of each school should be assigned to by the same process by which it is obtained in other professions, by gentlemen and ladies of each district, who should be required previous special Education. There must be schools for teachers, before io give a written account of their visits and remarks, and these set about education. It is expensive. But is it necessary ? that is the

think of teaching. You must educate your educators, before you should be read and acted on at the general meetings of the as- material question. The necessity has been long since admitted; it sociation, or at the stated meeting of the officers.

was recognized, virtually at least, ihe first hour we talked of Education. If mothers and others can be found willing to accept the But a consideration, not quite so clear, is, how and where are you to charge, (and we hope they will regard it as a slanı'er, that we Cerlainly, after having degraded to the lowest level one of the highest have implied that such cannot be found) female committees functions which can be intrusted to man, it is natural we should hear should be appointed to visit the schools, especially those kept these objections. But the fault is ours, and not theirs. If this were by teachers of their own sex. It is time the mothers of the the country it boasts itself to he, if it were a country in which the pubState, whose love for their offspring is undoubted, should show lic really aspired to elevate the human mind, to assign intellectual su

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »