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anrestricted use of the highway will havo upon their future characters and lives.
Habits of lawless self-indulgence and disregard of others rights are the legitimate results of lessons learned in the street, and all who realize the truth of the saying, that "the child is father to the man,” will see in anfenced school-houses, cemeteries, and the like, a cause for the prevalence of the idea which regards the public as an outlaw, whom all are at liberty to hunt and plunder.
Every conntry school-house should have a yard containing at least one acre of land, and should be so arranged as to afford a separate play-ground for each sex.
The above cut represents such a yard, drawn on a scale of four rods to an inch; size, ten by sixteen rods; the sɔhool-house in the center, lengthwise, and some what nearer the front than the rear. At the rear of the lot the outhouses are situated, the wood-house in the center, and the privies on each side. The object in placing the wood-house in the rear is to divide the privies (those for the different sexes should never be contiguous), and to save expense by having the out. houses all under one roof,
The play-grounds should be separated by a high, tight board-fence, extending from the rear of the school-house to the outhouses, and there should be double gates and entrances to the yard from the street, from which walks should lead to the school-house doors, and be separated by a neat and substantial paling. There should be a large gate near one corner of the yard in front, for teams to enter with wood and other necessaries for the school. The well may be immediately in the rear of the house in the boy's play-ground. A plan and description of the schoolhouse will be given in the next Number of the Journal.
GENEVA, February 1st, 1858. The Walworth County Teachers' Association met, 'parsuant to call, at Geneva, Jannary 30th, 1858, and was called to order by the President. The Secretary being absent, Mr. R. D. Carmichael was chosen to fill his place pro-tem.
The exercises of the Association were of an interesting and eminently practical character. They embraced addresses, essays, and discussions upon the subjects of reading, grammar, history, and arithmetic. Around these the teachers, without being visionary, threw a freshness and originality which completely redeemed them from the dullness so often united with them, awakened ideas in the minds of their hearers, and introduced them directly into the midst of the several subjects. The essay upon History, by Miss Flagg, was admirably written and well read, leading the Association earnestly to desire the introduction of history into the public schools as a branch of study.
In the evening Prof. Emerson, of Beloit, delivered a masterly and instructive lecture upon the subject of Liberal Education.
During the day and evening the following resolutions were offered and adopted :
1. Resolved, That this Association do petition the Legislature of this State, now in session, to do away with the present inefficient system of Town Superintendency, and establish in its stead a County Superintendency; said County Superintendent to be appointed by the County Board of Supervisors, to hold his office for a term of three years, unless removed by said Board, to receive a salary of $600 per annum, and to have the power of appointing as many deputies, to be paid by him, as he may deem proper.
2. Resolved, That we also petition the Legislature, now in session, to add to the list of branches now required by law to be taught in our common school, those of United States History, Anatomy, and Physiology.
3. Resolved, That we petition the Legislature to amend our school law so as to prohibit children ander six years of age from attending the common school.
4. Resolved, That the Association tender their thanks to Prof. Emerson for his able and eloquent address.
5. Resolved, that the proceedings of this meeting be published in the Elkhorn Independent, and in the State Journal of Education.
The Association adjourned to meet in Genoa, Saturday, February 27th, 1858.
At the close of the exercises the members separated, inspired, no doubt, with a determination to apply themselves more earnestly to the work in
which they are engaged, and sensible that the teacher's character should embrace the highest moral qualities man's nature is capable of possessing.
R. D. CARMICHAEL, Secretary, pro-tem. 0. S. COOK, President.
NORMAL SCHOOLS. It seems to me Normal Schools, thus far in this country, have been a failure.
We, as a people, have learned to labor but not to wait. The bread we cast on the water must return in a few days. Our enterprises would not be great if our resources did not enable us to complete them in a day. No concern for posterity can make us forget self. The acorn-planters are gone. The living age, fascinated by the politeness of concession, and lacking faith in the absolutely excellent, imagines that, as the tenacity of a precious metal is augmented by mixture with a base, so' truth is only stronger for being mixed with errors.
It seems & double portion of this temporizing spirit has been infused into Normal Schools, wherever they have been established in this country. They are similar in destiny to commercial colleges. These sink into agencies for effeminate clerks; those into agencies for equivocal teachers.
A winter course in a commercial college will convert a dandified apprentice into a dashing book-keeper. A winter course in a Normal School will convert a Lazarus of a pedagogue into an Apollo of a teacher.
The anxiety of educators for legislative aid or popular approbation, has led them to organize Normal Schools under laws like gum garters, only of service on the stretch.
The Pennsylvania Normal School Law says, that no student shall be admitted for less than a month; that any body shall be entitled to admission who has taught, satisfactorily, & district school for a full term; that only those Normals whose tuition is paid by their districts, shall be under bonds to teach after graduation. Such regulations are conciliating cakes for the greedy Cerberus of the age—SHAM.
In Saxony no person can be licensed to teach who has not attained twenty-one years of age, graduated at a teachers' seminary; passed one examination as a candidate for the title of teacher; served two years as an assistant, and passed a second examination.*
All over Prussia it is customary for teachers to practice their work until superannuated, then to retire on a pension. With us teaching is the insignificant splinter of a match to light the candle of a profession, and then be thrown aside.
* National Education in Europe, page 259.
The curricula of most Normal Schools convict them of temporizing. They have full courses, side courses, courses rudimental, courses classical, courses scientific, courses for a year. The wishes of the community are resolately accommodated, whatever may be said of the wants. The conditions of admission are easier than those to any good high school; the studies are no better; the stay de gustibns.
It is argued that schools for teachers are as needful as for lawyers, doctors, or divines. Suppose it true. Will you not admit, for the same reasons, that teachers need as thorough a preparatory course as lawyers, doctors, or divinës? You grant it. But only empirics among professional men ignore a college course as the proper preparatory course; then only empirics among teachers can ignore a college course as their proper preparatory course.
But Normal Schools, unlike law, medical, and theological, rank confessedly lower than colleges, stooping to dabble in the work of high schools, not merely of high schools, but of common schools. Let them exclude one-twentieth as much of the common school course as of the college course is made a pre-requisite by law, medical, and theological schools, and their claims to equality with these will begin to become respectable.
All say that teaching in dignity, in worth, influence, and standing, is equal to law, medicine, or divinity. Then what is true of one will be true of all. Now Normal Schools pretend to give young men, who are yet studying the common English branches, all necessary instruction to qualify them for the profession of teaching. If this is true in Normal Schools, then in district schools ambitious young men, who are yet in the common English branches, can receive all necessary instruction, if their teachers know enough, to qualify them for the profession of law, medicine, or divinity.
Glorious discovery! Blessed district school! Young America can hereafter leave thee, the happy, proud possessor not merely of an education, but of a profession, able to parse and cypher; ready to pulse, preach, or plead. 333
D. J. H.
[For the Journal of Education.)
WATCH THE MAIN SPRING. It is evident that every institution under State patronage should equally support, and be equally supported by all parts of the State, and should be so completely combined with the interests of the State, and so systematically connected with all its parts, that, as it were, by pulling one cord the whole may be readily reached and equally effected.
At present we have nearly three thousand public schools, and each almost perfectly an isolated concern, having little or no connection or dependence upon any other, or upon the general system. We have also about five hundred town superintendents, each adopting his own system, if any, and following his own plans, establishing his own standard of teachers qualifications, and in all cases measuring himself by himself.
Now if we consider the fact, that on an average teachers change locations once in five months, and that town superintendents continue in office on an average bat eighteen months, we discover a variety immeasurable over which our school system, or department of public instruction can have no control. In order to improve our schools, the State must be but & unit, and this variety must be reduced to one general plan, and the whole system so systematized that a State school department may equally inflaence, and alike elevate, all schools, and completely reach all, with a proper standard of teachers' qualifications, with a systematic plan of school visiting and reports, and with an improved method of general procedure and course of instruction, thus giving each school the advantage of system, of combined experience, and the stimulus of a complete comparison with all others.
What is above said of the common school is, and must prove, equally true of all State schools organized under our present system. Our State University has no means of reaching the people, nor the people the University. It stands like a monument of the past, whose design is forgotten. There are none to represent its interests or declare its merits. But it is said, let every school rest opon its merits; and it is further said, that there is nerit in the University. Very well, so is there real merit in a closed Bible. There is no use in concealing the matter, the University is a sealed book, and we might as well expect a sharp sickle to reap without a reaper, merely because it is sharp, as to expect the University to do its appropriate work, and properly elevate itself merel; through merit. There must also be an efficient agency among the people to make known its wants, to present its merits, and send support equally from all parts. Other institutions have their agencies. The Methodist, the Presbyterian, the Baptist, etc., labors with religious zeal, each for his own. We need not mention our legislators, for they never have, and probably never will, to any extent, act as agents for the University. We need not mention regents, to be elected a member of the Board of Regents is to be elected to stay at home. The Board of Regents have power to say to the University go, but have no power to make it go. They may reach the institution, but can not reach the people, the supporters of the institution; they have their lamps, but no oil.
The following is a brief outline of a school system, compiled from the most favored and successful systems in our country, and is designed to meet the demands of our common and State schools.