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46 State Superintendent's Report for 1866, 29
143 Report of School land Commissioners, 214, 284
192 Notice to pre-emptors on swamp lands, 313
312 Act in relation to loaning School and Uni-
State Superintendent's Report for 1867, 321
Normal School of Ohio,
221 The office of the Teacher,
Reading as an art,
Schools in Monroe,
JOURNAL OF EDUCATION.
VOLUME 1.—MARCH, 1856.- NUMBER I.
Teachers' paper merely. While it will
aim to aid the Teacher, it will also recogThe importance of our educational in- nize the fact that there is, or should be, terests has led to the establishment of a school around the fireside of home;-this Journal. Teachers and friends of that love is ordained of God as the great elucation hue long felt the want of a instrumentality for educating the human me lium of interchange of thought and mind. It will also hold that the wealth opinion. About a year ago, Hon. JAMES and power of a Nation consist rather in SITULEBLAND commenced the publication mind than money—that all true reforms of the "Visconsin Educational Journal," must embrace as their central idea, the and under the editorial charge of Geo. S. education of the hand, the head and the Dodge, Esq., we believe it did good ser-heart. To increase and perfect the invice. At the last meeting of the State strumentalities for developing mind-to Teachers' Association, Messrs. SUTHER- elevate our schools to awaken a deeper LAND & Dodge signified their willingness interest in them, as underlying, sustainto transfer their interest in it to the
ing and cherishing all that makes us prosTeachers of the State ; and the result of
perous as a State, or noble as a people, an arrangement satisfactory to them and will be objects whied the Journal will lathe Association, is the publication of the bor to promote. present Journal. As the present is the It will aim to secure a higher standard first number published under the auspices of qualification on the part of Teachers; of the Association, a statement of the ob- to obtain the establishment of Normal jects we shall labor to secure, may not be Schools; to furnish our schools with inappropriate.
more direct supervision, and to call pubWe wish to furnish a medium of com- lic attention to Union or Graded Schools. munication between the Department of It will contain plans of school buildings, Public Instruction and the School and will endeavor to prove a safe guide in Officers of the State, as well as an organ all matters relating to Public Schools. for the State Teachers' Association, in or It will oppose existing evils, but this der that the different parts of our school will not make it necessary to attack exsystem may work together harmoniously. isting Institutions, and while it will enIt is not intended to make the Journal a deavor principally to promote free, uni
versal education, it will recognize every But a supervision of some kind is a educator as a co-laborer.
necessity in the system of public school We wish to secure contributions from instruction. As we have already intima
ted, teachers are inclined to claim the all classes of mind. While there are same freedom in the management of their those among us who may understand the schools, and the same exemption from Philosophy of Education, there are others oversight as are enjoyed by the members
of the other professions. But there is a who can furnish articles upon the differ
marked ditlerence in the two cases, which ent departments of Natural History, Math- is frequently kept out of view. When a ematics, Languages and Metaphysics.- man is dissatisfied with his physician or We wish to enrich our columns with the lawyer, he has only to dismiss him and
seek the services of another. He has no results of the experience and investiga- one to consult
, and there is no one to obtion of the Teachers of the State. Whe-ject. It is simply following the course ther we shall attain the objects here indi- of trade ; a person buys where in his cated or not, will depend less upon the the best. It is true, that, for obvious rea
judgment he can obtain the cheapest and efforts of the Editorial Committee, than sons, the State has prescribed certain conupon the fidelity of the friends of edu- ditions before a man may practice medication.
cine or the law, But a certificate once With this specific statement of the ob- given, the candidate is entirely free from
all direction and control. In one respect, jects which we have in view, and with a we grant, the advantage is with the memsuitable distrust in our own ability, but bers of the other professions. They are with strong confidence in the intelligence examined and receive their certificates and wisdom of those, in behalf of whom from men who are supposed, at least, to
know as much about their professions as we act, we ask the sympathy and co-op- the candidates themselves." This is as it eration of the public.
should be. And so it may be, and so it
should be with the teacher. And we SUPERVISION OF SCHOOLS. hope soon to see the time when the sys
tem of examination, as now practised, (or It is often a matter of complaint among rather the ridiculous farce, as it might teachers that they are subjected to a su- sometimes be called,) shall be entirely pervision unknown to the other profes- done away with; when the teacher shall ions; and that this supervision is some be examined by his peers, and when their times rendered doubly odious by the in-approval shall give him authority to teach experience, not to say positive ignorance, any where in the State at least, where of those placed over them. That there his services may be required. But here is too much ground for this complaint can the analogy fails. The private teacher, it not be denied. School committees are is true, may establish himself wherever frequently chosen without any regard to he pleases, subject to no examination and their fitness for the office; and when this without let or hindrance from any one. is not the case, when the best men that But it is the system of public instruction can be found are selected to preside over to which our subject applies, and of which our schools, it is not presuming much to we propose to treat; and we repeat, that say that they are but poorly qualified to a supervision of some kind is a necessity instruct professional teachers in regard to of the system itself. the peculiar duties of their calling. — In every city and town, schools are to When, therefore, a committee man as- be located, graded and organized. Who sumes the direction of the internal and shall determine the ages and qualificaminor arrangements of a school, the teach- tions for admission ? Who shall decide er has a right to complain of such con- upon the hours for commencement and duct as an unwarrantable interference in close of school, the holidays and vacamatters that should be left entirely to his tions, and the length of the terms ?control.
Teachers are to be provided; who shall
select the best from the multitude pre-whom, and in what manner it may be sented, fix their compensation and pre- most profitably exercised. scribe their duties? A course of study In regard to the persons most compeis to be marked out, and books are to be tent to judge of the efficiency of a teacher selected for all the different branches in and the success of his school, it would school. There are many other duties to seem that there could be but one opinion. be performed by some one: who shall it It is not usual to consult a physician upon be?
a question of law, or a clergyman in reThe teacher is evidently the best qual- gard to the bodily “ills which the flesh ified to give an intelligent opinion upon is heir to.” On the same principle, we all matters pertaining to his profession; assert with the utmost confidence, that but in many particulars he is directly in- the practical teacher is better able to terested, and while, therefore, it is proper judge of the skill and fidelity of those enfor him to advise, it would be very impol-gaged in his own calling. And here it itic for him to decide. In the laying out may be remarked, once for all, that by of a course of study, and especially in the practical teachers we do not mean those selection of books, the judgment of an ex- who may have taught for a few weeks in perienced teacher is worth more than that their younger days to obtain the means of the most competent committee ; yet it of completing an education, or to relieve is better that these points should be de- the tedium of a college life; nor those, cided by a committee, and thus be com- even, who may now regularly engage in paratively permanent, than that they the business of instruction at that season should be changed every time a new of the year when they cannot plough by teacher enters the school. The commit- reason of the cold. But we mean those tee, however, who do not advise with the who, having prepared themselves as best teacher in the matters which come under they might for the solemn position they their supervision, and who do not allow were to assume, have put on the harness great weight to his judgment, are guilty, and given their hearts and their lives to not simply of a slight to him, but of a the work. But practical teachers, it will grievous wrong to the school.
be readily seen, are generally engaged in But again; the teacher is a servant to the active duties of their profession. In the public; under certain restrictions his discussing this question, therefore, we are school is open to all, and he receives his not to consider who are the most capable pay from the public treasury. It is there- of presiding over schools but who are the fore not only perfectly proper in itself, best that can be obtained. And in anbut the community has a right to know swering it, our object will be to show that from some reliable source with what fi- the present laws of our State, with some delity he discharges his trust. No man slight modifications, furnish us with the should be placed in so responsible a situ- most efficient supervision that can be deation without being obliged at stated sired : a school committee chosen from the times to give account of his stewardship; people, who shall be assisted by a superthe faithful teacher will be the last to ob- intendent selected by themselves and unject to the rendering of such an account. der their control. It is natural for us to believe that the The selection of a school committee is members of our profession are as honor- a matter of much importance. That they able, upright and trustworthy as those of who are to direct the course of instruction any calling in le; but the examples of which is to give character to the young perfidy and breaches of faith with which of their city or village, should be the best the newspapers of the day are literally men that can be obtained, needs no arfilled, teach us that it is ansafe, as well as gument, we think, to prove. But it is unwise, to place a man in any responsi- not necessary in our judgment that they ble position without subjecting him to should all be the most learned men. It a constant and careful oversight and con- is desirable that a part of them should be trol.
able to examine teachers, select suitable If, now, we have succeeded in estalish-text-books, and lay out a course of study, ing the necessity of a supervision of and such men may easily be found. It schools, it remains for us to inquire by is equally desirable, we think, that some
of the number should be taken from the men, or laborers, how can it be excommon walks of life; men of sound sense, pected that, in addition to the peculiar large hearts and liberal views. It is often duties of their own calling, they shall thought that literary men only are capa- keep themselves acquainted with the conble of examining schools. This we re- tents and the merits of the multitude of gard as a great mistake. There are many text-books that are continually swarming things to be taken into account in deter- from the press, with the various methods mining the character of a school besides of instruction pursued in different schools a prompt or a tripping recitation; and we and, in one word, with all duties and perhave known men of very limited scientific plexities of the school-room? The thing knowledge, for whose opinion of a lligh is an utter impossibility, and hence the School, even, we would give more than necessity of a superintendent. for that of some of the greatest scholars When this subject was first proposed, in the land. Men, also, whose employ- we confess that we regarded it rather as ment leads them into different paths and an innovation, than as av improvement; trains their minds to peculiar habits of and such, if we mistake not, was the thought, will be able to look at a subject opinion of teachers in general. But after from various points of view, and thus to having given it some thought, we are fulcome to a more correct and intelligent de ly convinced of our error; and we now cision. Moreover, there are material in- believe that towns and cities will really terests to be cared for in the management take an important step in advance, when of a school, and to deal with these inter- they avail themselves of the provisions ests aright, the most competent are not of the statute for the appointment of a generally professional men. But what- superintendent. ever qualities may be looked for in a The first objection that presents itself school committee, it is highly desirable to our mind is, the difficulty of obtaining that sectarianism and polities should have a suitable person for so delicate and repothing to do with the selection. Sad, sponsible a position. It is true that a indeed, will it be for the interests of our proper discharge of the duties of the office children, when the bitter waters of party requires a rare combination of qualities strise or sectarian feeling shall be allowed possessed perhaps by few. But this obto disturb the harmony of our public jection may be urged with nearly equal schools.
force in respect to very many of the reIf, in addition to the choice of suitable sponsible positions in life. In approximen, they could hold their office for a mation to what is wanted is all that we term of three or five years, with a change can reasonably expect; and the difficulty of one or two members annually, it would of finding competent men is not so great give a character as well as a permaneney we believe, as it has often been regarded. to their doings that would add greatly to School committees are chosen in open the usefulness of the board.
town meeting, and too often, as we have But a great amount of labor is neces- already said, without any regard to their sary for an eflicient superintendence of fitness for the office. But a superintenschools. Besides examinations at stated dent is to be selected by a school committimes, the statute requires a monthly vis-tee for a special purpose; he is to have itation of all the schools in the town, and a regular salary, and is to devote all his the maximum requirement of the law will time to the work. Now, if a board will certainly be the minimum performance of exercise any tolerable degree of care in a faithful committee. But it follows al- the choice of a teacher for a single school most as a matter of course, that the men is it reasonable to suppose that they the best qualified to perform these duties would appoint a man to superintend all are the very ones the most engaged in their schools without the most careful inthe active duties of life. However inter- quiry and the most earnest deliberation ? ested, therefore, they may be in the work Another objection sometimes urged by and however anxious to discharge their teachers is, that they are unwilling to be duty, they cannot devote to it that time placed so entirely in the power and under which is absolutely essential to insure the control of one man. But it should be success. Whether merchants, profesional remembered that this man is responsible