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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 showy 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 pas. sively 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 ; dever 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.]
XIX. EDUCATIONAL MISCELLANY AND INTELLIGENCE.
STATE NORMAL SCIIOOL, OF NEW JERSEY.
THE STATE NORMAL SCHOOL OF NEW JERSEY, at Trenton, was established in 1855, by an Act of the Legislature appropriating the sum of ($10,000,) ten thousand dollars annually for its current expenses, leaving it to the town, where the school should be located, to provide suitable building and outfit, in consideration of the advantages of having such a school in its midst. These were promptly offered by several towns, and were finally provided by an association of the citizens of Trenton at a cost of $25,000.
The Normal School was opened in October, 1855, under the auspices of Prof. William F. Phelps, who brought to his duties, large and successful experience as a teacher, especially in connection with the State Normal School at Albany, and a profound study of the special requirements of such an institution. We shall defer further notice of this school to a subsequent number, in which we propose to give an account of all the State and City Normal Schools and other agencies for the professional training of teachers, in the United States and British Provinces. And in the mean time we present to our readers the following plans of the building erected for its accommodation, as combining in a highly successful manner all the essential requirements of an institution designed for a Normal School, composed of pupil-teachers of both sexes, and for Schools of Practice and Illustration, made up of boys and girls, distributed into several classes, or schools, according to age and attainments. It will afford useful hints for the construction and arrangement of houses for graded schools. The marginal references and notes render any extended description unnecessary. The following is a brief summary of the excellencies of this structure.
"1. Symmetry of form, location, arrangement, and dimensions. On the first floor, every room has its counterpart in all these respects; and the same prin. ciple was carried out in cach of the three stories, so far as the nature of the case would admit. It was necessary to provide for each sex separately, except when under the direct supervision of an officer of the school. This object, it will be seen, has been fully attained, without departing in any case, from the fundamental ideas of simplicity and unity.
"2. Every apartment is in its proper place. Its location, form, and dimensions were determined by the particular uses to which it was to be applied. For ex. ample: the four clothes and wash rooms are on the first floor, immediately adjoining the respective entrances of the four classes of pupils to be accommodated thereby. The rooms for the Model School are also on the first floor, to avoid the disorder and inconvenience attendant upon the ascent and descent of flights of stairs by large numbers of children. The class or recitation rooms of the Normal School are systematically arranged and apportioned among the three several stories of the building, in order to avoid crowds, and the inconvenience of frequently concentrating a large number of persons in the same story. The assembly room is on the second or middle floor; and thus no class is required to ascend or descend more than one flight of stairs. The reception room and library are on the same floor, near at hand, and easy of access, while the recitation rooms of the Principal and Vice Principal are immediately adjacent to, and separated from the assembly room, by a glass partition. The lecture room, corresponding in form and size to the assembly room, is in the third story, directly over the latter, because less used, and when used, it requires to be well ventilated, and well removed from the annoyances of the street.
"3. The various class, lecture, and other rooms, are large, airy, well-lighted, and in every respect commodious, and well provided with the most approved black-boards or slates.
"4. The means of ingress and egress are ample; there being four entrances for the pupils, besides one for visitors, and four flights of stairs corresponding thereto, each separate from and independent of the others, leading to every story of the building. There are also four doors from the two principal rooms, connecting directly with these stairways. By means of this arrangement, the largest audience which these rooms could contain, may, if needful, be safely discharged in from three to four minutes; also the general movements of the school, such as the passage to and from recitations and lectures, the assemblage and disinissal of the pupils, &c., can be effected with ease, promptitude, order, and precision.
“5. The apartments are well heated and well ventilated. The furnaces, four in number, and of the first class, are located at the ends and sides of the main building, thus securing an equable distribution of heat to every part. In general, the ventiducts pass upward from each apartment, opposite the hot-air flues, and all of them terminate in an air-chamber in the attic. This air-chamber is, when necessary, to be supplied with heat from a small furnace for that purpose in the basement, by a single fue. The contained air is thus rarefied, passing upward and outward through the ventilator in the roof. A partial vacuum is thus formed in the air-chamber, and a current is at once established from each apartment through the ventiducts to it, insuring an effective ventilation, and a full supply of pure and healthy atmosphere for respiration.
“6. Each story is supplied with an abundance of water in both front and rear, either for purposes of cleanliness, or for the extinguishment of fires, should any occur. The halls and stairways, the library and trustees' or reception room, the laboratory and lecture rooms, are all furnished with gas, which renders them eligible for evening use, should such be required.
“7. For the uses to which it is to be applied, the building is of unsurpassed strength and durability. In short, it is believed that in all its appointments, this building leaves little to be desired in respect to simplicity, convenience, and adaptation to the purposes for which it was designed."
FARNUM PREPARATORY SCHOOL.
Among the liberal offers made by individuals and associations, to induce the Trustees of the State Normal School to locate the Institution in their respective towns, was one by Mr. Paul Farnum of Beverly. He offered to place at the disposal of the Board, for the use of the School, for a period of five years, a brick edifice of ample dimensions, to be built and furnished upon the most approved plan, and also an elegant and commodious dwelling house, free of rent, for the use of the Principal. The cost of the two buildings was to be about $20,000. This offer was declined on account of the superior claims of Trenton, as the capital of the State, where the operations of the Normal School, with its improved methods of instruction and discipline, would be under the constant notice of the Legislature, but it has been accepted for a State Preparatory Normal School, of which we will give an account in an early number.