« AnteriorContinuar »
Address letters relating to subscriptions to G. R. MARBLE; letters relating to advertising to JOHN P. PAYSON, Chelsea; Editorial communications to
W. P. ATKINSON, Office Massachusetts Teacher,
A Book for every Teacher and Pupil in Geography.
Questions in Geography. Combining Mathematical, Descriptive, Political and Physical, carefully compiled to embrace an outline of study, for Common and Grammar Schools, for Daily Recitations and General Reviews. ADAPTED TO ANY TEXT Bоок, 64 pp. Price, 18 cents.
"A proper mastery of these Questions will enable the scholar to build up a complete Tert Book of his own, rather than allow him, in a blind, unthinking manner, to follow the track of another."
Questions on the Principles of Arithmetic. Uniform with the above. By James S. Eaton, A. M., 48 pp. Price, 15 cents.
WORCESTER'S ELEMENTS OF HISTORY, Ancient and Modern. By J. E. Worcester, LL. D. A NEW EDITION, REVISED AND ENLARGED, BEING BROUGHT DOWN TO APRIL, 1866. Price, $2.00.
The new chapter on the Great Rebellion and the administration of Abraham Lincoln is a most accurate and discriminating view of the remarkable series of events covering this period. The addition to English History, comprising the chief events of the last twenty years, is of great value.
* The American Union Speaker. Containing Standard and recent selections in Prose, Poetry, and Dialogue, for Recitation and Declamation. By Hon. John D. Philbrick, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. $2.50.
"In every feature the work seems to be of the highest excellence."-A. P. STONE, Principal of the Portland, Maine, High School.
"A work of unqualified excellence. Just the book needed by every student of declamation." Prof. LEWIS B. MUNROE, Director of Vocal and Physical Culture in the Boston Public Schools. * The Primary Union Speaker. Containing Standard and Recent Selections in Prose and Poetry, for Recitation and Declamation in Primary and Secondary Schools. By Hon. John D. Philbrick, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. Beautifully Illustrated. Price, 65 cents.
"It is admirable in its plan and its selections."-MOSES T. BROWN, Prof. Elocution, Tufts College.
* EATON'S ARITHMETICS.
I. PRIMARY, 100 pp.
When one Written Arithmetic only is needed, GRAMMAR SCHOOL, 336 pp. $1.15. This series of Arithmetics contains the latest and most improved method of teaching this important branch.
They have very recently been adopted for
THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA,
STATE OF CALIFORNIA,
(re-adopted for four years,)
THE STATE OF NEVADA.
*Specimen copies mailed to Teachers, for examination with reference to introduction, on receipt of half price. Address
TAGGARD & THOMPSON,
29 CORNHILL, BOSTON.
In arranging branches of study for the different grades of education, we should have regard chiefly to three things:
1. Discipline of the mind; 2. The acquisition of knowledge; 3. The relation of what is learned to the business of life.
I would premise, that in making the arrangement there should be more in common for all the pupils in the first years than in the advanced years of a course of education. At the outset all should be taught alike; but after a time there should be some difference made between those who are to have a short course and those who are to have a long one, extending perhaps through the college. The reasons for this I need not stop to detail.
Spelling, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, and grammar are commonly considered as comprising all the elements of a com- . mon-school education. Sometimes history is included in the latter part of the course, but after so bad a fashion that it had better be entirely omitted. Natural science is very generally excluded, even in the case of those who are destined to enter college. The only study which has any relation to it is geography, and that is stripped
of its scientific character, and made as dry and uninteresting as it is possible to make it, by teaching it as mere topography.
It is this exclusion of natural science chiefly that takes the very life out of education, and renders it so dry and wearisome. grand reform in education is to be made just at this point.
The principal studies may be considered as making three classes, the linguistic, the mathematical, and what are included under the general term, natural science. Education is mostly confined to the two first in schools, and even in our colleges for the first two years of their course. In academies and high-schools the studies of the third class are more or less introduced, generally rather sparingly, from the fact that the colleges do not require a knowledge of them as one of the conditions of admission. In many of these institutions there is a classical department especially for preparation for college, natural science being excluded from this, but not from what is called the English department.
This is all wrong. The three classes of studies should be begun together at the outset, and should go along pari passu through the whole course of education, whether this end in the common school or reach through the academy or the college. There should be the same gradations in teaching natural science as we now have in teaching language and mathematics.
What! some will exclaim, teach the ologies even to scholars in primary schools? Precisely so, we say, if you only do it right. But how is right? you will ask. It is not by loading down the memory with dry, stiff and cumbersome technicalities. These should be scrupulously avoided in the beginning, and should be introduced gradually as the pupil advances to the higher gradations. This subject will be illustrated fully when in another article I shall treat of gradations in instruction.
I pass now to consider the importance of natural science in relation to the three points mentioned in the commencement of this article.
1. Mental discipline. It is a common error that this must be effected almost entirely by linguistic and mathematical studies. This is even taught as established doctrine by the presidents and professors of our colleges, and it is upon this theory that they omit
to require any knowledge of natural science in the admission of the student, and shut him out from its study during the first half of the college course. With all due deference to their wisdom, we consider them to be maintaining an error that is retarding largely at the present time improvements in education. An apologist for the colleges once said to me, “You must not find too much fault with them, for their system of instruction was framed when there was no science—you must let them have time to make changes." "Time! time!" said I, " is that what they want while physical science is making such rapid strides, are they so slow that they must take an age to consider whether they will admit it to its proper place in their system!"
The study of natural science worth nothing in disciplining the mind! Can this be gravely maintained? The acquisition of knowledge of any kind disciplines the mind—that is, gives it exercise and so strengthens it, as muscular exercise strengthens the body. Each study has its own peculiar kind of discipline. And that which comes from the study of natural science is quite as useful as that which comes from either linguistic or mathematical study. I cannot go into a full comparison of the three classes of study in this respect, but can only throw out here a few hints.
It is said that the study of mathematics makes a good reasoner. That it helps to do so is true, but it cannot do it alone. The mere mathematician is a poor reasoner on ordinary subjects, for he finds in them a lack of that definiteness which belongs to straight lines and angles. Accustomed to few points in each mathematical proposition, he is bewildered by the many points presented in the problems of life; and in attempting an exactness that cannot be had, he commits many an error in his reasonings. The remedy, or rather preventive, is in a training in language and natural science, especially the latter. This would combine with the exactness of mathematical reasoning the power of extended comparison and observation, adding to the definiteness of thought, range and variety. It is especially in the training of the observing powers that the study of natural science is valuable as a means of discipline. I use the word "observing" in its largest sense, meaning by it the reasoning use of the senses in the gathering and arranging of facts, so as to