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in general, any more than the fact that a few lawyers were dishonest proved that lawyers as a class are so. He thought that our present system of supervision was as good as any other.

Mr. KIMBALL, of Boston (Boylston School), said that no one, he presumed, would argue against all systems of supervision. The main error of the prevailing system was, in the kind of men who were often chosen as supervisors. There was not, he thought, a teacher present, who, if he was to tell his experience, would not bave to relate instances of gross ignorance on the part of men who were placed over him as members of the School Committee. He had known more than one man in such a position, who would not be able to tell whether in the sentence, “ John lost his hat” there was a verb. Another evil was, that the committees were constantly changing.

Mr. Jones, of Roxbury, spoke of the last-mentioned evil as one of the most serious of the present system. The teacher had not more than time to become acquainted with the views of one committee man, before another was substituted, whose ideas were, perhaps, quite different. As it not unfrequently happens that each insisted upon his own notions being fully carried out, it placed the teacher in a somewhat uncomfortable position, and checked the improvement of the school. Another great defect had been already referred to, namely, that teachers were often censured by those who never taught school, and who, consequently, were ignorant of the real merit of the work which they attempted to criticise. He thought also, that teachers were often interfered with, and cramped in their efforts by the officious ignorance of the committee. It often took longer to educate them, than the scholars.

Mr. RICHARDSON, of North Chelsea, said that he had never been dictated to, or interfered with by the committee, nor did he think the practice a common one. He had been himself, a member of a School Committee, and had always endeavored to work for the good of the teachers. If a teacher was generally efficient, although he had some faults, he was always careful to say as little as possible about the latter. He took good care to let it be publicly known that he considered him a good teacher. He did not approve the custom of publicly calling attention to a teacher's faults in a school report.

Mr. Brown, of Boston (Bowdoin School), thought the present system excellent. It was perhaps, susceptible of some improvement, but was in the main, as good as could, under existing circumstances, be devised. He considered it one of the most striking manifestations of democracy; of the power of the people to take care of themselves. It is very true that as the labor must be performed gratuitously, it was often hard to find capable men to undertake it. He thought, however, that the men selected, were, as a general thing, well qualified and faithful. He thought the difficulty in Boston was, that we did not have supervision enough.

He would restore the Primary School Committee. The want of it was very severely felt by the teachers. The Superintendent cannot be everywhere, and it is very essential that the schools should be visited often, and the teacher encouraged. We may talk of a superintendence that shall be paid for, but this can never become practicable except in the cities and larger towns. Much of the work must continue to be done without reward, and he knew no better method of accomplishing this object, than that now employed. Mr. Brown then spoke very highly of a mode of superintendence which, as he had understood, was practised in Cambridge. The Committee was elected as usual. The members then proceeded to choose one of their number, who beside acting as chairman was styled Superintendent of Schools, and received a salary as such. He was obliged, however, to report often to the full Committee. He holds no exclusive authority, and can only draw attention to whatever he considers amiss in the schools.




Among all the excellent public institutions of Massachusetts, none do her more credit, and none give larger returns in benefit to the community that support them, than her four excellent Normal Schools. She is the only State in the Union that can count so many, and yet such is the demand for the education they give, that already their spacious buildings are too small to accommodate the applicants for admission. From the recently published Report of the Board of Education, we glean the following facts and statistics relating to them.

In the Framingham School, which, during the absence in Europe of Mr. Bigelow, the principal, has been most successfully conducted by the lady assistants, there have been, during the year, 170 different pupils, and there are 128 now in the school. The average age of the young ladies is 18. The visitors report that “the school building is now too small to accommodate the number of pupils we have, and we can make no provision for the increased number of future applicants; unless some change is made in the building or the school, many young ladies must be rejected for want of accommodations.

The visitors of this school, D. H. Mason, Esq., and Hon. EMORY WASHBURN express themselves as follows on two most important subjects :

“ We are entirely satisfied that females should be generally employed to instruct both in our Public and Normal Schools; not so much from motives of economy, as because of their peculiar fitness for this service. When fully qualified, they carry equal ability, and a more ready tact and sympathy into the great work of instructing youth, and we sincerely hope that this Board will urge this truth more earnestly upon the people of the Commonwealth. Almost all the schools throughout the State can then be continued throughout the year, affording to children largely increased opportunities for education, and to our enterprising young women an honorable and remunerative occupation. We desire, however, to say that the great difference in the compensation of our male and female teachers is now unreasonable and unjust.

“ The experience of another year has strengthened the belief we have often expressed, that the great defect in our system of education is the introduction of too many studies into our Public Schools. We entice the pupils to higher and more attractive studies ; but they do not obtain that thorough knowledge of the elementary branches which is the only sure foundation of true learning and culture. The period devoted to school education is much too short, and hardly sufficient for the mastery of those common elementary branches absolutely necessary for the ordinary business of life. We pretend to educate the people, and not the privileged classes of the people. Our Common Schools are intended to meet the wants of the masses, and not of the students of universities. We Beek to elevate the race, and not to prepare a few for position in life above others of the race."

The visitors of the Westfield school, Rev. Wm. Rice, and Rev. S. T. SEELYE, report that:

“ The number of pupils has been large, and the accomplished Principal, and his efficient and faithful assistants, have given new evidence of their fidelity and zeal, in the number of well trained teachers they have sent out into the schools of the Commonwealth. The supply, however, by no means equals the demand. The Principal of the school has not been able to furnish one-tenth, even, of the number of teachers for which application has been made. It is a noticeable fact that an increasing number of these applications come from Grammar and High Schools. This shows that the community is learning to appreciate the value of the Normal training, in preparation for the more advanced, as well as for the primary departments of the Common School system. It is hoped that the number of students may be greatly increased, in order to supply in some degree this large and increasing demand.”

The number of pupils in attendance the past year has been 116 — 101 ladies, and 15 gentlemen. The number of graduates, 27. It is proposed to connect one of the town schools of Westfield with the institution, as a model school.

The visitors of the Bridgewater school, Rev. Dr. J. F. CLARKE, and Hon. J D. PHILBRICK, report that “the school has been as successful and prosperous the last year, as in any previous one." The number of different pupils in attendance has been 122; the whole number admitted since the commencement of the school, 1499. We make the following extract from the visitors' report :

“ The Normal Schools of Massachusetts are intended to be model schools. Their object is not to communicate a very varied or high culture, but to teach teachers. Therefore, we ought to spend the most time in trainii

pur pupils

of thoroughly in those elementary studies which they are to spend mos.

heir lives in teaching. The great questions to be solved in the interest of Common School education, are : “ How can little children be most easily and thoroughly taught how to read, write, and perform the simpler processes of arithmetic ? " “ How can the love of knowledge be communicated to little children?” “How can a good moral tone be given to a Primary School ? ” “How can a school be governed with the best mixture of order and freedom, of kindness and firmness ? All the best modes of teaching, be they object-lessons, phonic processes, analysis of sounds, drawing on the blackboard from memory, &c., should be introduced as soon as possible into our Normal Schools. Every new discovery in education should be at once naturalized there."

At Salem, as we have had opportunity to know from observation, there is another prosperous and crowded school. The whole number of pupils during the year has been 164. Of the retiring Principal, the Visitors, Prof. J. P. MARSHALL, and ABNER J. PHIPPS, Esq., speak as follows:

“ Near the close of the summer term, Professor Alpheus Crosby tendered his resignation. The reasons for this step are best expressed in the language of his letter to the Visitors :

“ • The critical condition of the country at the present time, and the danger that the rights of the colored people will not be duly regarded in the coming reconstruction, have recently produced in my mind the decided conviction that I ought, for a time, to devote myself to efforts that would not consist with the proper discharge of my duties as Principal of this school.'

“It is generally understood that a strong interest in the education of the female sex, and an ardent desire to improve the character of the instruction given in the Public Schools, by furnishing teachers specially trained for the work, were the chief motives that induced Professor Crosby to accept the arduous labors of a public instructor, and thus to devote to the general good those acquirements and that experience which peculiarly fitted him to be a teacher of teachers.

" No ordinary inducements, therefore, could, with propriety, be offered him to remain in charge of the school.

“ The Visitors desire, in this place, to express their deep sense of his eminent services in the Normal School, to whose interests he devoted not only his best efforts, but also a considerable portion of the limited salary received from the State.

“ The Visitors could not expect to retain the valuable services of Mrs. Crosby after the resignation of her husband. Indeed, her health had become seriously impaired by faithful service as assistant in the Normal School for nearly eleven years, and her physician had prescribed rest from the labor of teaching as indispensable to her recovery."

Only those who best know this school can appreciate the obligations it is under to the conscientious and untiring labors of Prof. and Mrs. Crosby. It is very fortunate in fecuring as its new Principal, a gentleman so well qualified for the place as M b. B. Hagar.

We måkey ie following extracts from the Visitors' report:

“ At the request of Mr. Hagar, the school committee of Salem have kindly placed under his direction a class of children to be, in part, instructed by the senior class in the Normal School.

“ He writes to the Visitors: 'In regard to our experiment I will say that thus far, it works finely. Four days of each week, some twenty or more little ones, about seven years of age, come before my senior class, for half an hour.

** The class are greatly interested in the instruction given to the children, and

are, I am sure, deriving much profit from the exercises. The children appear delighted with what is presented to them day by day.

“ If this experiment continues to give satisfaction, I hope to be able to make other additions to the practical teaching department of the Normal School.'

“ The Visitors hope that the experiment will receive the approbation of the Board.

“ The expediency of offering prizes for reading, few will question, and the generous donations of Mr. Lee* for that purpose are, we believe, fully appreciated by the Board. The Visitors think they have been productive of much good in the Salem Normal School by exciting an increased interest in reading, and would suggest, as an additional stimulus, that the names of those who have gained prizes during the year, be published in the annual reports of the visitors of the several Normal Schools.

“ The Visitors would call the attention of the Board to the insufficient salaries paid to the female assistants in this school.

“ We feel confident that not one of them, if disposed to make a change would fail to obtain a larger salary elsewhere; and if the Board would retain their services, too much reliance must not be placed upon their devotion to Normal School work. A little has been added to their salaries during the past term; still they are obliged to exercise the most rigid economy in these times of high prices."

We trust for the credit of the Commonwealth, that the last suggestion will be attended to.

John Bright ON EDUCATION. At a recent Sunday School Conference in Rochdale, Mr. Bright spoke on the subject of education, citing examples from the common school system of the United States. He produced statistics to show that in Manchester and Salford there are more than fifty thousand children who are receiving no instruction whatever. Of these, vast numbers are not even reached by the agency of the Sunday school, which seeks to descend to the lowest ranks of the people. He added:

“Now, I shall give you the contrast to this, to show what has been done elsewhere, and what might be done here. I ask you just to go with me to a portion of the United States of America, which was peopled from this country some two hundred and forty years ago. I mean the New England States. As you look upon map of the United States, you will find a cluster of small states to the northeast of the State of New York. Those six states are those of New England, which were originally peopled by the Puritan emigrants from England, who settled there. This is the district to which I wish to confine your attention, and I am not asking you to look over the whole of the United States, though in all the free states the same system is extended to a great degree, and is gradually producing similar fruits.

“As to the results, I might give you the statements of travellers, and I will give


* The venerable Thomas Lee, Esq., of Boston.

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