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The system of Philadelphia is entirely different from that of New York. They have a grammar, intermediate and primary department for each sex in the same building. They are now trying in some of their schools the departmental system, one teacher being only required to teach one branch, and the scholars going from room to room to recite their various lessons. This system is fully carried out in the Girls' High and Normal School. The teacher who is obliged to teach but one branch can dispense with the use of books in recitation. The teaching is done, also, almost entirely by means of question and answer. Thus the talking is nearly all done by the teacher. In Boston, on the contrary, the time is, in general, nearly all occupied by the pupils. The Philadelphia method is very captivating to strangers. He would, however, recommend a medium between the two.
The system of Baltimore is in imitation of that of Philadelphia. One peculiarity, however, is, that their most modern schoolhouses are all built with but two stories. So strong is their prejudice against high buildings, that the occupants of the Girls' High School building are clamoring for a new house, mainly on the ground that their present one is three stories high. The reading, singing, and composition to which he listened in this school were of a very high order. He was particularly struck with the propriety of manner which characterized the performance of the young ladies who were called upon to read. It denoted both modesty and self-possession.
One great test of a school-system is the kind of teachers that it is able to get and keep. This depends largely upon the amount of salary paid. In Baltimore and Philadelphia the scholars are distributed into so many different departments, thus requiring a corresponding number of principals, that the salaries are necessarily smaller than they would otherwise be. This renders it more difficult to procure and retain the best teaching talent. The highest salary paid in a grammar school in Baltimore is $1300. One large boys’ school is superintended by a female at a salary of $1000, and an assistant with a salary of $500. The average number of pupils under one Principal here is only two hundred, and in Philadelphia it is less than two hundred and fifty. In Boston the other extreme prevails, one thousand often being under the care of one Superintendent. This he thought, too many. Five or six hundred would, he believed, be better. He would suggest as an improvement to the systems of Baltimore and Philadelphia, that the departments be enlarged so that larger salaries can be paid.
The school-system of Washington, although recently inaugurated and partially developed, more nearly resembles, in its theory, that of Boston than that of either of the other cities. The subject of education is at this time attracting unusual attention there. A school-house is now in process of erection, which will, when completed, surpass, both in beauty and cost, any other in the country. It is intended to combine the New York halls with the Boston class-rooms. There seems to be throughout the country a strong tendency to follow this plan in the construction of school edifices.
One of the most serious evils which he observed was that in some of the schools the scholars were overworked. He had asked a number of girls how many hours
a day they devoted to study. He found by their answers that some of them spent as many as eight and quite a large number as many as five or six hours besides their regular school session.
Geo. K. DANIELL, JR., Sec'y.
THE NORMAL SCHOOLS.
Our excellent Normal Schools have all had their public examinations and graduating exercises since the publication of our last number. The Salem school, which, under Mr. Hagar, the able successor of Prof. Crosby, shows no diminution of numbers, graduated a class of twenty-five young ladies; the Framingham school, which, during the winter in the absence of the Principal, had been in charge of Miss Johnson and her efficient corps of lady assistants, a like number; the Westfield and the Bridgewater schools, a smaller number. In the two firstnamed schools many of the pupils reside at home, and the increased cost of board has made but little difference in their numbers; but at Westfield and Bridgewater this cause has led to a sensible diminution in the size of the classes, and it becomes an interesting question whether something cannot be done to counteract its effect. At Harvard College the revived system of “commons," under the superintendence of the college authorities, where the students are charged a small percentage over the bare first cost of food, has proved very successful in reducing the increasing expense of the college course. Whether some such plan would be feasible here we must leave with the authorities to decide.
Of the change which has taken place in the management of the Framingham school we are happy to be able to print the following explanation.
“Our readers are perhaps aware that an important change has been made in the direction and management of this school. It is hereafter to be under the charge of Miss Annie E. Johnson, as Principal. She has been for some years a teacher in the institution, and her capacity for the place is unquestioned.
For the reasons and policy of the measure, the following are the views of the Board as indicated by the visitors of the school on their announcement to its pupils, of the action which had been had upon the subject.
It is nearly thirty years since the system of Normal Schools was adopted in the Commonwealth. The school now at Framingham was the first of those which have since so fully sustained the most sanguine expectations of the friends of the system. The character and condition of this school were highly satisfactory to the Board, nor had they any wish to make any change in the corps of teachers beyond what was necessary in order to accomplish the plan which they had proposed to adopt in respect to its management. No one outside of their body was in any way responsible for the measure, and it was a matter of regret that in order to its being carried into effect, they were to lose the skill and experience of the present head of the school.
Among the considerations wbich weighed in their minds, in coming to the conclusion which they had, were the following.
It was problematical, when the schools were established, how far it was safe and expedient to place our schools under the charge of female teachers. There was a general feeling that it was desirable to open to woman fields of occupation and employment suited to her constitution and habits of life, in which she would come into fair competition with her brothers for compensation as well as
It was moreover desirable that the competition between individuals of the sex should be upon the ground of superior qualifications rather than the numbers who might be inclined to enter the field.
It was believed by those who had made the subject a study, that the education of the young offered one of these fields for effort, and that woman had many qualifications for its duties which would enable her to excel as a teacher. And the experiment has so far succeeded, that the public bad become satisfied that the expectations of the friends of the measure had been more than answered by what had already been achieved. All that remained was to impress upon the public mind what was due to these teachers in the way of adequate compensation. And even in that respect the feeling was tending in a right direction. By the return of the schools of the Commonwealth, in 1838, the number of female teachers was but sixty in a hundred, whereas by that of 1866 it was eighty-six in a hundred; and during the last year the increase of female teachers was one hundred and fifty-three, while the decrease of male teachers was one hundred and thirty-eight. Their compensation, in the mean time, had almost doubled, and had been increased, the very last year, upon an average, $2.45 per month.
In view of facts like these, the Board of Education bad been deliberating for the last year, whether the time had not come when another step should be taken in the progress of popular education, by placing one of the Female Normal Schools of the State wholly under the charge and direction of one of their own sex. It was obviously unfair to discriminate in the way of compensation between teachers as a class on the ground of their relative rank and position, and to deny one of the sexes any chance to rise above the subordinate condition in which they have bitherto been kept in our schools. If woman was competent to fill a higher place, there was no justice in shutting her out by arbitrary rule or custom. The Board had come to the conclusion that the general good of the schools in the State, as well as a sense of what was due to the sex, as co-laborers in the field of education, called for the experiment, at least, to be made, of placing one of these schools under the management of a female principal, and that the situation and surroundings of the one at Framingham obviously indicated it as the one in which the experiment should be made. They considered themselves fortunate in having secured the services of Miss Johnson, and they look forward with much interest, but entire confidence, to the result. If it failed, it must be upon the ground that woman cannot teach or will not be taught by woman. It could not fail, unless the sex were willing to have it understood that in the sphere for which they were specially designed by Providence, they could never hope to rise above a subordinate position, and were to be forever content with an inferior and inadequate compensation. The Board, on their part, did not apprehead
any such result. The experiment, in their belief, would vindicate for women a right to claim a rank equal to any among the educators in our land.”
A CORRESPONDENT suggests the following orthographical experiment: “Distribute to your class small slips of paper, and without previous notice or special injunction, require them to write thereon. Caterpillar,' • Stomach.' Collect and examine the papers, and note the variety in the modes of spelling. Quite a display of originality is the usual result.” We should be glad to get a report of such an experiment.
MASSACHUSETTS STATE TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION. The next Annual Meeting of the Association will be held in Boston, at the Tremont Temple, the sessions commencing on the afternoon of Thursday the 11th of October, and continuing two days. The meeting last year was very successful; it seemed to be the beginning of a new era in the life of the Association. To make the meeting of the present year equally successful and profitable, it is only necessary for School Committees everywhere throughout the State to follow the wise precedent of last year, in permitting teachers to dismiss their schools on the days of the meeting. The programme will appear in our next number.
INTELLIGENCE. Mr. J. F. CLAFLIN, of Newton, has accepted the appointment of Principal of the Worcester, High School, at a salary of $2,500. On leaving Newton he was presented by his friends there with a purse of $350, and by his pupils with an ice pitcher and salver and a handsome Bible.
MR. E. STICKNEY, of the Gibson School, Dorchester, succeeds Mr. Claflin at Newton.
Mr. F. L. HOSMER, of the Adams School, Dorchester, has resigned, with the intention of preparing for the ministry.
BOOK NOTICES. [We desire to make our acknowledgments to our publishing friends, and especially to Messrs. A. Williams & Co., for their numerous contributions to our book-table.) Homes Without Hands, being a description of the Habitations of Animals,
classed according to their principle of construction, by the Rev. J. G. Wood, with many illustrations, 8vo, pp. XVI. and 651. New York: Harper & Bros.
If we were only rich enough we would put a copy of this fascinating book into every school in the Commonwealth, and we should expect to be abundantly repaid by the increased interest that would be sure to follow in the neglected study of Natural History. In all that wonderful study there are no more wonderful chapters than are here, by a happy thought, brought together into a volume. Wonderful houses dug in the ground by beast, bird, insect, and shellfish; wonderful houses hung in the air; a whole town of houses under one roof like the social weaver-birds; wonderful houses in the heart of trees, and the caddis drawing his house of shells and sand along the bed of the brook, and fishes which build nests in the sea ; the oven-bird looking out of his door, and the tailor-bird sewing his curious nest; the ant-lion digging his pit, the robber-crab plundering his neighbors, and the raft-spider navigating his frail and curious craft, and the curious nest of the myrapetra in the heart of South American forests. If one would receive a new impression of the infinite wonders of creation he has only to peruse the pages and examine the very beautiful illustrations of this beautiful book. We trust it will find a place in many a town and school library. HISTORY OF Julius CÆSAR, Vol. 2, 8vo., Harper & Bros.
We heartily detest the unprincipled Emperor of France. The unscrupulous adventurer whose name, coupled with his crimes and his audacity, has transferred bim from the purlieus of the Bowery to a throne, where, as far as he dares, and as far as the spirit of the age permits him, he stifles liberty, and uses a great nation to serve the purposes of his vulgar ambition, is doubtless in the hands of Providence an instrument for ends at which he himself is far from aiming, suffices at least to show that when of such stuff emperors can be made, the day of empires and emperors must be nearly at an end. But an emperor when he writes history, bas imperial means of collecting information, and although he does not write it very well, and though his first volume was in part but a thinly disguised plea for what he calls his Napoleonic ideas of modern government, yet we presume that in this volume, which recounts the Gallic campaigns of Cæsar, the master of all the learned men of France has not failed to gather together what new light can be thrown by careful diligence on the course of the great Roman general's career. The book must, therefore, be an instructive commentary on the Commentaries of Cæsar.
Its typographical appearance is extremely handsome, and is a credit to the press of the Harpers. We miss the maps and plans of the original, but presume they are to be given in a volume by themselves. THE PRINCIPLES OF Latin GRAMMAR, by Peter Bullions, D. D., revised by
Charles D. Morris, late Rector of Trinity School, New York, and formerly Fellow of Oriel College, England, 12mo, pp. 390. New York: Sheldon & Co.
A new edition of the late Dr. Bullions's well-known Grammar, carefully revised by a thoroughly competent English scholar, and very clearly and handsomely printed. We will call the attention of teachers to one point, by the following extracts from Mr. Morris's preface :
“In the treatment of all infected words, attention bas been called to the stems or uninflected forms, from which the several cases or persons are made. Though the editor is himself convinced that it is the best as well as the most scientific way to teach pupils to remember the stem, and not the nominative case or first person singular, as representing the word denuded of all its accidental modifica