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general confidence has been shaken, there is no question. This fact, though it may operate against the establishment of a National University, is really a very good reason in its favor. To regulate our action with reference to dissolution, would certainly be very unwise, unless we desire to precipitate the event. On the other hand, it would greatly augment the cohesive power of the Union, to engage in a vast and weighty enterprise, in which all the States should equally interest themselves, and the success of which should depend upon the permanency of the confederation.
It has been a common remark among statesmen, in these troubloustimes, that “a war with a foreign power would greatly tend to strengthen the Union.” So it would; but no one thinks of incurring the disgrace of courting a difficulty for this purpose. The double price of injustice and the inevitable calamities of war, is too great to be paid for any good. But a peaceful project, looking impartially to the general welfare, and enlisting the sympathy of all sections, would, without the concomitant evil, bring the same inestimable good. It is no part of our purpose at this time to show that the establishment of an American University would be an enterprise of sufficient magnitude and merit to avert the political disasters which threaten us; but there can not be a reasonable doubt that it would prove an immense conservative power.
In regard to the second difficulty—the inability of the people to discern the need of such an institution—it is only necessary to our purpose to make the single remark, that the masses of the people are often convinced of the beneficence of measures, which they can not, by any means, comprehend. This brings the proposition under discussion, within the range of possibilities, where it meets with the third difficulty mentioned—the inadequacy of the means thus far brought under tribute.
Learned Professors are not in the habit of addressing the million, in advocacy of the projects which they set on foot. Generally they have to deal with subjects that only concern their profession-such as the internal policy of schools--the excellencies or defects of different systems of discipline or of instruction--the merits or demerits of books--and various other topics equally removed from the field of popular interest. It is their habit, accordingly, to confine themselves, in the advancement of their opinions, to Educational Conventions, Meetings of Associations, Anniversaries of Literary Institutions, and the like. If they write, it is for Journals that are read by hardly any one but scholars. In popular assemblies they are seldom seen; and, when seen, generally silent. With the newspaper--the great lever of civilization--they have little to do, and often but little sym.
pathy. It is manifest, then, that if they are to institute, and conduct to successful issues, a vast enterprise, involving the persuasion of the whole American people, under circumstances peculiarly unfavorable, they must consent to transcend the scholarly limits. They must bring into requisition the most diffusive and popular instrumentalities—must speak through broad channels that lead to the nation's heart.
The more effectually to accomplish this, suppose a convention of scholars were to be called, for the definite purpose of considering this one subject—the call numerously signed by distinguished gentlemen . of every State. And, still further, suppose that this convention, upon assembling, were to appoint an efficient committee in each State, whose business should be to communicate with the leading men in regard to the University enterprise, and to talk with the people through their own press. Is it not evident that, in this way, a power would be engaged, prodigious and direct, which, in so noble a cause, would be almost irresistible ?
We are in pressing need of an American University: we can have one, if we will : let us use the requisite means. We have excellent colleges-let them be sustained. We have excellent State Universities, (so called)—let the States rally to their support. But the more these are multiplied and patronized, the louder and more urgent is the demand for a National University.
In order to be National it should be located upon common ground. Under existing circumstances it would be wholly impracticable in New York, or Alabama, or anywhere, outside the District of Columbia. The Smithsonian Institute, and the National Observatory, form a worthy nucleus. If each State would appropriate two hundred thousand dollars toward an endowment, a fund would thus be created, of more than six millions, upon the strength of which a very respectable beginning could be made. Its permanent nationality would seem to require, that each State be equally represented, both in the fund and in the management.
These last remarks are designed merely as hints to our Northern brethren—"straws, to show them which way the wind blows.” And it may not be amiss to add, that a Great Southern University is already spoken of; the establishment of which would defeat forever the project herein considered. It would doubtless be followed (if not preceded) by a Great Northern University—and then a Great Western University. These would be three grand centres of attraction and influence, tending rather to destroy than cement the Union. To avert such a consequence, let the plan of an American University be matured without unnecessary delay. Sectional enterprises can not long be held in abeyance. Shall we hear a response from the North ? XVIII. TRANSYLVANIA UNIVERSITY AND STATE NORMAL SCHOOL,
AT LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY.
[In answer to inquiries respecting the organization of the State Normal School, for the training of teachers for the Common Schools of Kentucky, as one of the Schools or Departments of the Transylvania University, we have received from Rev. Lewis W. Green, D. D., an address delivered by him on the occasion of his inauguration as President of the University and Normal School, on the 18th of November, 1856. From this address, and the statement appended, we give the following exposition of the nature and organization of the Normal School, and its relation to the University.-EDITOR.]
By an Act of the General Assembly of Kentucky, in 1855–56, the sum of $12,000 was appropriated annually to establish “a school for teachers" in connection with the University at Lexington, and for this purpose an Act was passed to reorganize the Transylvania University.
“ MORRISON COLLEGE" was, formerly, the name of the Literary Department of an institution, to which were attached two professional schools— Law and Medical-all included under the general charter and title of Transylvania University.
The buildings, grounds, endowments, and other properties of Morrison College, have been transferred to a Board of Trustees, appointed by the Legislature, and consisting of the Governor and other principal officers of State, together with the members of the former Board, in conformity with an act entitled "An act to reorganize Transylvania University, and establish a School for Teachers.” The design of this act, as distinctly given in the preamble to the bill, is to secure “the successful execution of a plan combining every advantage of a Normal School with those which can be derived from general University instruction.” In accordance with the purpose and the requirements of this act, the Institution has been reorganized, so as to include five distinct schools, embracing,
1st. The School of Moral Science, including all the branches usually embraced in that department,-intellectual, moral, and social.
2d. The School of Physical Science, with a like extent of meaning, including chemistry, natural philosophy, astronomy, and other cognate sciences.
3d. The School of Mathematics, which sufficiently defines itself.
4th. The School of Ancient Languages, including the Greek and Latin languages, and literature.
5th. The School for Teachers, including the theory and practice, the science, and the art of teaching.
The relation of the School to the University is precisely the same, in
all respects, as that of any other department of the General Institution ; being not merely attached to it, but incorporated with it, as one of its component and essential parts, yet retaining its own distinctive character, and having, like other departments, its own distinct Professors, as a Normal School."
The instruction in the primary, and most essential branches of this department, together with the classification of the pupils, and all the minuter details of interior organization, are confided to two Professors, with the advice and assistance of the President, while the general government and administration of discipline rest ultimately with the Faculty of the University and the Board.
In addition to the two Professors exclusively devoted to this department, the President, as Professor of Moral Science, in the University, and the Professor of Physical Science, give special instruction to the Normal students, adapted to their wants, and prepared for their exclusive benefit. Thus the State pupils are not merged in the general mass of the College classes, yet enjoy all the advantages which may be derived from the acquirements and the experience of the Professors in the University, the superior apparatus, &c.
It is the fixed purpose of the Faculty and the Board that the funds of the State shall not be perverted from their primary and specific object, which is to train up teachers for the country. Therefore, the Normal School being carefully organized, with special reference to that object, each State pupil is considered, by the very fact of his accepting the appointment, a member of that school, and pledged to master the studies in that department; nor can any be allowed to neglect, much less wholly to omit these primary studies, for any personal advantage, real or imaginary, to be derived from the higher studies of the college proper. Yet, should any pupil possess, (as many do,) such intimate acquaintance with the studies of the Normal School, or such aptness, and industry, that in the judgment of the Faculty, he may profitably devote a portion of his time to the higher studies, then, the whole University is open for his benefit, and every facility is afforded for his wider improvement; it being our distinct purpose to insure accuracy in the lower branches, yet afford every opportunity and stimulus for progress in the higher.
This opportunity for higher culture, so eagerly siezed, and so well improved already by a portion of our pupils, makes not only an abler man, but a superior teacher; and in all the more gifted minds, will assuredly stimulate to larger acquirements in after life; thus multiplying the number of thoroughly educated men, and accomplishing collaterally another of the great purposes of the Legislature, to raise up men for the State, as well as instructors for our schools.
Should any wish to return and complete their studies here, all the advantages of the University are gratuitously offered.
These advantages to the Normal School, derived from its connection with the University, are attended by correspondent advantages to other departments of the general institution, which are well worthy of serious consideration, and render the University a place peculiarly adapted to the education of youth.
First. The infusion of so large an element favorable to study, morality, and good order. So many full grown men, sober, discreet, studious, decorious in all their demeanor. This influence is powerfully felt in every department, and combined with other causes, has given a most healthful impulse to our enterprise in its very commencement.
Second. The greatest defect in all our institutions is the want of accurate and thorough scholarship, and mental discipline. This arises, not so much from any defect, either of ability or fidelity on the part of the professors, as from a difficulty which lies at the very foundation of our system, and is absolutely insuperable by human ingenuity or patience, viz.: The total want of accurate instruction and thorough discipline in the early stages of education. This is an absolutely unmanageable evil. It meets, and thwarts, and baffles, and disheartens, at every point and in every department, the most enthusiastic, energetic, and conscientious instructor. It is fast reducing us to be a nation of superficial sciolists and empty drivelers. It is a crack in the foundation which runs through the whole superstructure, mounts to the dome and endangers all. We may plaster it over ingeniously and skillfully, but the weakness remains. Worse still, and worst of all, the very attempt to hide the defect, recoils upon our moral nature, strikes in upon the inner man, and shovoy pretense becomes inevitable moral turpitude. Now the only remedy is a reform in the lower departments of instruction. This can be effected by the Normal School only; by the stricter methods, and the more accurate acquirements which it is enabled to enforce; thence it may be extended to the common school and the academy; and returning to the University in the person of pupils formerly trained in the Normal School, may constitute, in every class, a neuclus of trained, and disciplined minds around which others may gather, as examples of thorough and successful culture. The great design of education is not merely to communicate knowledge, but to discipline the faculties; to render the mind, not passively recipient, but reproductive. For this purpose, the method adopted in every well directed Normal School, is not merely the best, but the only possible, or conceivable method. Require the instant reproduction ; never allow the pupil to consider a subject inastered, until all the facts, principles, trains of reasoning, the whole process of investigation, can be distinctly stated in language satisfactory to himself, and intelligible to others. This habit formed in the Normal School, and transferred to every department of the University, would, of itself, suffice to revolutionize our system of education, and raise up a new race of thinkers, and men.
[There can be no doubt as to the influence for good, which the incorporation of a Professional School for Teachers into Universities, will exert on the cause of popular education in Kentucky, through the higher order of common schools, and when combined with Teachers' Institutes, a State Teachers' Association, active county superintendents, and a Normal School for Female Teachers, on the ordinary common schools. -Ed.]