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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847,
BY DAVID P. PAGE, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Northern
District of New York.
Many a meritorious book has failed to find readers by reason of a toilsome preface. If the following volume meets a similar fate, whatever its merits, it shall lack a like excuse.
This work has had its origin in a desire to contribute something toward elevating an important and rising profession. Its matter comprises the substance of a part of the course of lectures addressed to the classes of the Institution under my charge, during the past two years. Those lectures, unwritten at first, were delivered in a familiar, colloquial style,—their main object being the inculcation of such practical views as would best promote the improvement of the teacher. In writing the matter out for the press, the same style, to considerable extent, has been retained,—as I have written with an aim at usefulness rather than rhetorical effect.
If the term theory in the title suggests to any mind the bad sense sometimes conveyed by that word, I would simply say, that I have not been dealing in the speculative dreams of the closet, but in convictions derived from the realities of the schoolroom during some twenty years of actual service as a teacher. Theory may justly mean the science distinguished from the art of Teaching,—but as in practice these should never be divorced, so in the following chapters I have endeavored constantly to illustrate the one by the other.
If life should be spared and other circumstances should warrant the undertaking, perhaps a further course comprising the Details of Teaching may, at some future time, assume a similar form to complete my original design.
DAVID P. PAGE.
STATE NORMAL SCHOOL, Albany, N. Y., Jan. 1, 1847.