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MADISON FEMALE SEMINARY.-The second term of this Institution commences on Monday, the 4th inst. It is justly establishing the reputation of an excellent school, and we are glad to see that it is well patronized.
From a report to the Board of Education of New York, it appears that the number of scholars attending school during 1857 was 140,000, and that the daily attendance was 50,000. The total cost of their instruction was $1,100,410 81– being a fraction over $8 for each scholar. There are at present 40 ward, 30 prim ary, 30 evening and 4 normal schools.
ILLINOIS COLLEGE.—We are in receipt of the annual catalogue of the officers and students of Illinois College, Jacksonville, for the academical year 1857–58. For the year the number of students has been as follows: Seniors, 4; Juniors, 15; Sophmores, 12; Freshmen, 26; preparatory department, 41; total number, 118. The next commencement will be on Thursday, June 18th. It will cheer the friends of the College to know that it was never in a more prosperous condition than it is now. A large and beautiful new building, with the modern improvements for heat, light and ventilation, and containing commodious recitation, lecture, apparatus and library rooms, has taken the place of the building destroyed by fire; and it has proved to be well adapted to the purposes for which it was designed.—Exchange.
ARITIMOMETER.-O. L. Castle, of Upper Alton, Ill., has invented a new arith mometer, by means of which the operator can, by playing on nine keys, add any numbers together, and their result wil be indicated on a dial. The ordinary ratchet arrangement is employed, and the extent of the addition is regulated by the number of index wheels which can be increased at pleasure.—Scientific American,
It is stated that upward of seventy-five thousand dollars has already been raised, and put out as interest, of the sum required for the purchase of Mount Ver
Two hundred thousand dollars is the sum demanded for the land and building.
BOOK NOTICES. Third Annual Report, and Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin for 1858.
A cheaply bound but well-printed book of over 500 pages, containing the Report of the Executive Committee, statistics, personal reminiscences, sketches of the early history of different portions of the State, and biographies of the pioneers a paper on American antiquities, several on the early Jesuit missionaries in the northwest, eulogies on Prof, Percival, the poet and late State Geologist, and in. teresting articles on the aborigines, whose hunting grounds will soon be subjugated by the ax and plow of the white man.
We learn from the Report that there are over 3000 volumes in the Society's library, besides a large and valuable collection of letters, pamphlets, and newspa. pers. There are also in the library, thirty-six oil paintings, mostly of distinguished pioneers.
The Society was incorporated in 1849, but had done little up to 1854, at which time it was re-organized.
The present flourishing condition is the result of the indefatigable labors of the Secretary, Lyman C. Draper, who, possessed of the peculiar qualities requisite for the work, has devoted several years to researches into the early history of the West, and he intends hereafter to preserve the fruits of his investigations in the shape of biographies of those adventurous men whose enterprise and achievements have resulted in giving to us the noble heritage we now enjoy.
Rays's Higher Arithmetic. The Principles of Arithmetic, Apalyzed and Practical
ly Applied, for advanced Students. By Joseph Ray, M.D., late Professor of Mathematics in Woodward College. Edited by Chas. E. Mathews, M.A. Publishers: Cincinnatti, Winthrop B. Smith & Co: New York, Clark, Austin, & Smith.
We like this book very much. The principles involved in pure arithmetic are clearly analyzed, and their applications in Interest, Insurance, Commission, and Percentage, generally fully illustrated. There is a section devoted to Accounts Current, another to Storage Accounts, and the subject of Annuities is treated at length. The work will take a high rank as a text-book for advanced classes in our schools.
First Book of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy. By William A. Norton, M.A.,
Professor of Civil Engineering in Yale College, and author of a Treatise on As. tronomy. New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 51 and 53 John Street, 1858,
The subject of Natural Philosophy has hitherto received but little attention in our common schools, and, as a consequence, our people are, as a mass, almost entirely ignorant of the nature and causes of the various phenomena daily presented to their view in the physical world. It is believed by many teachers that young children ought not to attempt the study of Natural Philosophy, on account of the difficulty of understanding its principles, but we think that it is no more difficult than geography, and should the teacher thoroughly understand the subject, and provide himself with some simple apparatus to illustrate it, he will not complain of a want of interest on the part of his pupils. The boy who broke open his father's watch in order to find what caused its motions, was old enough to learn the first principle of Natural Philosophy.
The fact is, our children spend from six to a dozen years in the common school to learn a little of reading, a little arithmetic, geography, and grammar, as theories merely, and then their education finished, they go out into the world, knowing nothing scarcely, and capable of appreciating but little of the beauty and glory of nature, or the wisdom and skill and power of the great Creator. And good men
wonder that we are a careless and skeptical people, doubting the goodness, and sometimes even the existence of our Heavenly Father; forgetting that we havo never learned to read the record written with His own finger in the great book of nature, which, on account of our ignorance, is to us almost a sealed book.
Believing that a more intimate acquaintance with the works of nature would beget greater love and reverence for the Creator, we hail with gladness every morement calculated to popularize and introduce the study of natural science into our common schools. Mr. Norton's little book seems admirably adapted to interest and instruct the youthful mind, and we trust it may meet with a favorable reception at the hands of our teachers.
TUE ATLANTIC Monthly is a decided success, and has made its way, in three short months, to the homes and learts of our people.
We have made arrangements with the publishers, Messrs. Phillips, Sampson & Co., by which we can furnish this sterling Magazine to our subscribers, in connection with the Journal of Education, for $2,50 a year. Those subscribers whose names are now upon our books, can have the Magazine by sending us $2,50, and new subscribers, by sending us $3,50 will be entitled to the Magazine and the Journal. This also applies to subscribers at club rates. The price of a sin. gle copy of the Atlantic is $3 a year, so that by subscribing through this office, you get the Journal of Education for 50 cents. Send in your names, friends, as once, and be eareful to givo the îname of your post office and county very
We have received several Reports, Pamphlets, etc., which we shall be obliged to defer noticing till next month, for want of room.
Ofice of Supt. of Public Instruction,
Madison, February 1st, 1858.
TO TOWN SUPERINTENDENTS,
You will confer a favor on this Departmənt by returning to the Office of the Wisconsin Journal of Education, the names of the District Clerks elected in your several towns at the Annual Meeting in September last.
Each District Clerk is entitled to a copy of the Journal of Education, and in order to insure its regular receipt by those officers, it is necessary that the publishers of the Journal should have a complete list of their names and post office address.
LYMAN C DRAPER,
Supt. of Pubic Instruction,
THOSE of our readers who have perused the excellent series of articles now being published in the Journal, “On the Value of a Good SchoolHouse," are prepared to consider some suggestions concerning things essential in the location and construction of that most important feature of our educational system.
We propose to devote a few pages in this, and succeeding Numbers of the Journal, to the presentation of some thoughts, or conclusions, the result of several years experience inside of that unique structure, the country school-house.
In the first place, when a school-house is to be built, it must be located, it must have the ground to stand on, and this is usually the most difficult point to settle, the largest “bone of contention" over which the inhabitants of a district are wont to snarl and quarrel; and in many instances the erection of a school-house, of which the people were in great need, has been postponed from year to year, simply because the site for the same could not be agreed on. It must be located exactly in the geographical center of the district, no matter what the quality of the soil or the shape of the surface may be, as Jones would think himself false to Democratic principles and lacking in independence, if he should vote to locate the school-house twenty rods nearer to Brown's residence than to his own.'
Now, while a central location is of itself a good thing, it is not the Lost important point to be considered in relation to a building in which shall be congregated the children of the district from year to year, during the most impressible portion of their lives.
The first aim should be to select a healthy location, for no combination of advantages in other respects can compensate for the absence of this; and the house should be built at any point, no matter how far distant from
the center, or the district should be disorganized and attached to those which zurround it, rather than expose the children every time they step outside the school-room to the poisonous miasma arising from marshes and low lands in the summer, or the piercing blasts and severe cold of an elevated situation in the winter. Neither should a school-hoase be built on a level arid waste, where the scorching rays of the san pour down con" tinuously during the long summer days, drying ap vegetation, burning the life out of the atmosphere, and enervating the body and mind of teacher and pupils, but on a gentle eminence, sufficiently elevated to be always free from standing water, and protected, if possible, from winter's winds by a ridge of land or a grove of timber.
Having selected the spot for a site, the next thing in order is to determine its size, and this is the second point at which mistakes are usually made, though there is not generally as much contention about the size as about the locality of the site, all agreeing in providing the smallest one that will at all answer the purpose. In many instances the front of the house is set even with the road fence, leaving no yard except that furnished by the street; in others the fence curves beautifully around the rear of the house, leaving space enough for teams to pass, and an area at the sides on which to pile the firewood, and serving as a place of deposit for ashes, litter, etc.
Notwithstanding the interest felt in the subject of education, and the improvements which have been made in the construction of school-houses, actual examination of a large portion of the State, has convinced me that not one school-house in a hundred has a yard of suitable size and properly enclosed, and this is true of sections of country in which land is not worth more than ten dollars per acre.
Now, that every school-house should have an enclosed yard, is evident from the following considerations: First, as a matter of economy. The house and appurtenances are always more liable to damage from accidents, and trespasses on the part of animals, rude boys and uncivilized men, when standing open to the street, than when surrounded by a good fence.
Second, on the score of neatness. A yard or area to which hogs and horned animals have access at their pleasure, is not a fit place for young children to sport and play in, and it is impossible for the teacher to exert a proper influence upon his or her scholars in regard to cleanliness, and the personal habits connected with it, so long as the school-house is situated in the highway, and surrounded by the filth which usually accumulates under such circumstances,
Third, pupils shodia have sufficient room for exercise and amusement without using the highway for that purpose, not only because they are Pliable to injury from passing teams, and often frighten skittish horses, cans. ing their drivers annoyance and trouble, but because of the influence the