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living genius-thinker (if we may so call him, in

The second remark we have to make is that Mr contradistinction to pure thinkers like John Stuart Carlyle, with his true instinct, bas hit the right Mill), and whom all will allow to be a great way of introducing natural science into schools. thinker, and yet he utters what at least looks like The right kind of teacher of it must be got, and the purest nonsense on an educational subject. the thing is done. There is no use of talking If children are to be taught at school the scientific about the appropriateness of the study for names of all the grasses that grow by the wayside, children. If teachers are not taught natural and of the little winged and wingless neighbours science, their pupils will not. Teach the teacher, that continually meet him, we pity them and teach him thoroughly, and there is a moral certheir teacher. The objects that occupy the tainty that the pupil will share his knowledge, student of natural history are so numerous that There is no other way of accomplishing the object. it is not given to human mind to comprehend In fact, here lies the essence of all Reform of them all, or to be at home in them. But perhaps Education. Everything hangs on the character Mr Carlyle does not mean this? What then can and qualifications of the teacher. If the teacher he mean? Even if we suppose that he means knows nothing about a subject, it is plain that that he regrets he was not taught the names and his pupils will be equally ignorant. If his knowthe habits of the commonest of the creatures and ledge is imperfect and uncertain, then he cannot plants about him, not in a strictly accurate but communicate it in a manner so as to interest and in a loose sort of way, then all we have to say is educate. Only if he receives a thorough training that this is not natural history; this is not awaken himself, and has ample opportunities for self-culing in the child's mind the idea of order and ture, can the subject be so communicated to the symmetry which natural history can suggest; in pupil that he derives the full benefit from it. fact, it is not real teaching that is here wanted. And then whatsoever be the subject taught, the And not only so, but if Mr Carlyle had found a results will be satisfactory. All educational teacher who could instruct him in the names of reformers must begin with the teachers. They the grasses and the plants and the constellations, must strive to procure wider culture for them, he would very soon have forgotten most of them better appliances, and a worthier position. if he had not exerted himself vigorously to keep his knowledge up. What an immense quantity

THE REVISED CODE.- As far as we can ascertain, of matter goes through a boy's mind and a man's there is but one feeling among teachers in regard mind which it is useful to know for the hour and to the working of the Revised Code-a feeling of the day's work, but which by a kind arrangement complete dissatisfaction. The same feeling perpasses into oblivion within a short time. And vaded the discussion of the question at the Social so it is with nearly all that a boy is taught. It Science meetings, and our Scottish intelligence will be entirely forgotten if we have not succeeded expresses the sentiments of Scottish teachers. in implanting a strong desire for further informa- Such an unanimity of sentiment cannot fail to tion and further inquiry, and if we have not made have effect. We earnestly trust that something the particulars give rise to those general notions will be done to put educational matters on a which clasp bundles of forgotten particulars in surer and more satisfactory foundation. In the safe repositories in the mind. In one word, Mr mean time teachers should let their voice be heard Carlyle has placed the study of natural history on everywhere. A little pamphlet has just appeared a wrong foundation. And why? Because there which discusses the subject in an able manner. was no teacher in his University to tell him that We advise our readers to get hold of it, and circu. education has its laws; that it can be understood late its facts as widely as possible. It is entitled, only by those who specially study it; and that “ Education under the Revised Code : Its Revoluthere is no subject in regard to which men make tionary Effects. The Certificated Master, the greater mistakes, because there is almost no sub- Boy Pupil Teacher, and the Student in Training, ject which men who are most ignorant of it Being Improved out of Existence." London : are apt to delude themselves into a belief that they G. J. Stevenson. know extremely well.

THE MUSEUM,

AND

English Journal of Education.

.

NOTES ON ENGLISH GRAMMAR.

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schools ;

IN attempting to write a paper on the the manner of teaching it. The mechanical and

teaching of so commonplace and the intellectual or rational methods of teaching old-fashioned a subject as English grammar differ as widely as the ultimate aims of Grammar, one feels sadly at a loss those who practise them. The former seeks to

for an exordium. If we are writing impart a knowledge of grammatical facts and about the study of the classics, or economics, or rules ; it works upon the memory directly, leaving natural science, we are expected to discuss, in the the understanding to come or go as it listeth ; first instance, such questions as whether the and most of us know from sad experience how particular subject ought to be studied at all in very much of a flesh-wearying and brain-confus

what uses does it subserve? what benefits ing operation it is. The latter seeks to attain all does it confer? But in connection with English that the former aims at, and something more ; it Grammar no such preliminary questions arise. works upon the memory through the understandThe two great classes of educational theorists— ing; it holds that facts and rules are best known, the utilitarians and the intellectualists—are at are only truly known, when the principles upon one here. If the end of education be to fit and which they depend are understood; and it seeks furnish the man for the special work of life for to make the understanding of these principles both which he is destined, he must learn English gram- a means to grammatical knowledge and an inmar; for speech is a tool which every man must strument of mental culture. handle, and must therefore learn how to use. If, The fundamental error of the mechanical method on the other hand, it be the main end of education of teaching grammar, —

-a method which is aided to cultivate the mind, -treating it as an organism and abetted by most of the text-books in common to be tended and trained, not as a cavity to be filled, use,—is that it follows a purely deductive method. -what instrument so fitting for this work as gram- Its teaching is wholly synthetic. It makes chilmar, the science which holds by philology with its dren believe that some man invented letters, just right hand and by logic with its left ? There are as Guttenberg invented types, and arbitrarily commany studies which, as being partly or wholly of bined these into syllables and words, while some the nature of luxuries, may be omitted from the other clever fellow devised the plan of building ordinary bill of fare ; but grammar is the staff of these into sentences and books. Now not only life of the educational course, which by common can the inductive development of grammar be consent must be on every table, whatever else is distinctly and historically traced, but there is

hardly another science to which the inductive While, however, this coincidence of sentiment method of teaching can be so profitably or sucprevails as to the matter to be taught, the old cessfully applied. Individual words existed bewar breaks out again when we come to discuss fore grammar, and without making grammar

wanting.

VOL II.

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tive;

necessary or possible. To explain grammar, and capitals, and their proper use ? All this therefore, as the science of words is only one half however important, and however necessary to be of the truth. Grammar did not become a possible known at some time,-is here entirely out of science until complete thoughts had expressed place, a bewilderment to the mind, and a severe themselves in complete sentences. Grammar, trial to the temper; all the more that it has no therefore, is the science, not of words, but of bearing whatever upon the great general princispeech. The sentence is its starting point, be- ples of classification, which are the first and most cause it deals with words, not separately or as important thing for him to know, and knowing they are in themselves, but as they are combined to understand. In no case have the letters di and related in propositions. Indeed, Plato's divi- which a word is composed anything to do with sion of the proposition into subject and predicate its nature as a part of speech. Indeed, the same gave the first hint of the analysis of language, word may be at one time a noun, at another a and at the same time supplied the only true verb; at one time an adjective, at another a proprinciple on which words can be grammatically noun, at another a conjunction; its class being classified, namely, according to their functions in in each case determined by its function in the the sentence. This division suggested the two sentence. Why, then, burden the child with all essential parts of speech,—the noun and the verb, this unnecessary knowledge,—with all those ling —and at the same time clearly indicated their and difficult, often unpronounceable and oítead essential character, - that of the former as a incomprehensible words,—so long before he is naming, that of the latter as an asserting word. able to make any practical use of it, or is requires Round these two classes of words all the others to learn anything else dependent upon it? naturally cluster,—the adjective attaching itself The true starting-point of grammar itself hatto the noun, the adverb to the verb and the adjec-ing been the sentence, the sentence should also le

the pronoun doing duty as lieutenant to the taken as the starting point of its teaching. The noun; the preposition and conjunction acting as teacher, then, should select, from the ordinary aides-de-camp to the superior officers to whom reading-book, a succession of simple sentences, they are attached ; and the interjection breaking simple in structure as well as in meaning, and in upon the regularity of the march with an having divided each of them into its two leading abrupt command, or a primitive outcry.

parts, the asserting part or predicate, and the This relational character of the classification is naming part or subject, he should point out that implied in the very name given to the different there is one word in particular in the predicate that classes of words collectively. They are the Parts asserts, without which the sentence would be de of Speech,—the elements of which language is stroyed; and similarly that there is one word in made up, in their simplest forms, and reduced by particular in the subject that names the thing a strict analysis to their smallest possible num- spoken about, without which the sentence would be ber. Every fact and every relation expressed by incomplete. In this way they will be familiarized any part or parts of speech, must have previously with the functions of the Verb and the Nous. existed, to render grammar possible. What gram- and they should be exercised upon these parts of mar did was to observe and record these facts, speech alone for some days or weeks. Short and then to generalise from these, and give names to simple definitions should be added, and should be the classes thus inductively originated. Thus committed to memory, if indeed they have a grammar is strictly a natural science; and the already imprinted themselves there without u objects of its study should be treated,—not as effort. For all practical purposes, the definitie they are arranged in scientific manuals,—but as "Nouns name things," Verbs make state they exist in nature.

mients,” are sufficiently explicit, while they are These are not new truths. They are generally quite comprehensive and scientifically correct. admitted in theory : what we desiderate is a fuller This done, the other parts of speech should be recognition of them in practice. For example, taken up in order, and after the same esperiwhat good end can it serve, when children are mental manner ; not hurriedly or too close uça commencing the study of grammar, to burden one another; but leisurely, and at pretty wide them at the very threshold with scores of dry intervals; for the impression produced by a new facts about vowels and consonants, semi-vowels fact is generally in proportion to the time during and double-consonants; about labials, dentals, which it is allowed exclusively to occupy the and gutturals ; about sharps and flats ; about diph- mind. In each case the function performed by thongs and triphthongs; about monosyllables, dis- the words in a sentence should be first examined syllables, and polysyllables ; about small letters and explained ; and the result of this examina

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tion should be gathered up in brief functional makes knowledge itself delightful, and enkindles definitions such as we have given above of the the desire of knowing more. Noun and Verb. These definitions should be It is obvious that such a method can be applied committed to memory, and then repeated and only to the mother tongue, for the basis of it is written out in the class as often as time will that the meaning of the words separately, and the allow; and in every case when a word is assigned sense expressed by them collectively, shall be to a certain class, a reason should be required from previously understood. This, of course, only the pupil, in terms of the definition. When this forms an additional reason for the native lanstage has been reached, the pupils will be able to guage being studied. If the distinction of the name the part of speech of every word they meet parts of speech is not learned in the mother with in their ordinary reading, and thus to per- tongue, it cannot be properly learned in any

other form the exercise of parsing in its most elemen- tongue. In fact, this very circumstance makes tary form,—that of simple classification of words. it indispensable that the grammar of the native Beyond this, their knowledge should not be language should be, to a certain extent, known, carried during the first grammar course ; and in before that of any other language can be entered particular, the subdivisions of the parts of speech upon. For there is this great difference between into various kinds should be postponed to a the teaching of native and that of foreign gramlater period. Herein our method differs funda- mar, that in the former case the language is mentally from that of most of the text-books in known, and used practically by the learner ; the use. Of twenty-four elementary grammars that forms are known, their signification is known, and lie before us, no fewer than eighteen commit the he learns grammar to name and classify them, error of introducing the subordinate kinds of and deduce from them the rules of correct speech. nouns, for example, before passing to the other But in the latter case nothing is known, and the parts of speech ; and not a few of them add to meanings, both of the single words and of the forms, this full details regarding gender, number, and must be learned, long and laboriously, before the

The effect of this is to keep the pupil learner can understand the language as the exin total ignorance regarding the verb, adjec- pression of thought. But the labour of this will tire

, and pronoun, until he has learned every- be very much reduced, if the pupil has previously thing that can be crammed into him about the acquired, through the medium of a known lan

The useful exercise of parsing is thus guage, a bold and accurate framework of grampostponed until everything regarding all the mar, into which the words and forms of the parts of speech has been learned. It moreover strange language have merely to be fitted as they keeps in the back ground the relational prin- occur. In this case, everything which he meets ziple upon which the parts of speech are classi- with in the foreign tongue will have its prototype fied; and it cannot but puzzle and perplex the in what he already knows of his own. There will, pupil, and make the whole subject eminently of course, be peculiarities and differences to be repulsive.

noted; but how is he to know that these are peThe method we have explained, on the other culiarities or differences, unless he is in a position band, is both simple in itself and encouraging to to compare the language he is acquiring with one the pupils. Thoroughly scientific in principle, it which he already knows? is yet neither difficult nor tiresome. It carries We have spoken hitherto only of Classification, he sympathy and intelligence of the pupils along and we have confined our remarks chiefly to a with it, and greatly increases both in the opera- first course of instruction in grammar. The adtion. We have said that grammar is a natural vantages of the knowledge thus acquired, howscience; and, indeed, the interest with which ever, are by no means confined to this elementary little fellows observe and arrange the elementary stage. It will be found to be of the greatest benefacts in the natural history of words, is the same fit to more advanced students engaged in the deessentially, though different in accidents, as that tailed study either of their own or of other lanwith which their seniors deal similarly with the guages. natural history of birds and plants. Thus, too, It is a subsidiary advantage of our plan, that it the powers of observation and comparison are enables us to carry on the instructions in gramtrained to an extent and with an exactness hardly mar and in the Analysis of Sentences simultaneattainable by any other means at so tender an age, ously, each facilitating and throwing light upon while the opportunities it affords of constantly the other. Indeed, as we have already shewn, applying the knowledge that has been acquired, the first step in the process, the division of the contributes to that consciousness of power which sentence into its two essential elements, is analysis.

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The subdivision of these two elements into the as performing special functions of the adjective, primary terms, and the relations of these terms about which there may be difficulty or doubt. to each other,—with the single exception of the The distinction of conjunctions as co-ordinating objective relation,-are all involved in the defini- and sub-ordinating should be pointed out as a tions of the parts of speech. It is only necessary, preliminary to the explanation of the difference then, to explain the nature of the object, as com- between principal and subordinate clauses, and pleting the sense of certain verbs, to enable the between the compound and the complex sentence. pupils to analyse, in a general way, every simple In now entering upon inflection and syntax, # sentence that comes under their notice. And, let are prepared to give up, to a certain extent, the us add, it will be found an invaluable aid to inductive method which we have hitherto iol. grammar, not only in the first but in subsequent lowed. Not of necessity, however ; but simps stages, if every sentence is analysed before the for convenience' sake. The forms of inflection, and words are parsed, and the words are then parsed the laws of syntax, had the same origin as the in the order of the analysis. In the case of the classification of the parts of speech, and might be objective Relative, for example, this plan will pre- taught upon the same plan. There is, howerer, vent ninety per cent. of the mistakes that are a stage in every science when the tyro must be usually made.

asked to take certain things for granted, and The introduction of the object, and the practice especially to avail himself of the labours of these of analysis, will have prepared the way for enter- who have already reduced the mass of knowledge ing on Inflection and Syntax. Before doing so, which it contains to the exactness and symmetry however, it may be proper at this stage to go over of a science. This stage is arrived at when the the parts of speech again, adding certain of their facts and rules have become so numerous as w subdivisions,—those, especially, which must be make the examination of them experimentally known as a preliminary to inflection. It is always a tedious and roundabout process; and this stage desirable, as the books on method say, “to pro- evidently has been reached in the study of granceed from the known to the unknown." And as mar, when the numerous details of inflection and we began the former course with the verb, we syntax are to be entered upon. may follow the same order here also, taking as We by no means approve, however, of following our starting point the fact with which the pupils implicitly the usual order and method of teaching have already been made familiar, that certain these subjects, in connection with which, as it verbs require an object after them, while others seems to us, two very obvious errors are comdo not. This gives us at once the distinction be- mitted. The first is, that it separates inflection tween transitive and intransitive verbs, and pre- and syntax, thus losing the benefit of the light pares us for discussing, under inflection and syn- which the one throws upon the other, and leading tax, the forms and nature of the objective case in to the very unnecessary repetition of many things nouns and pronouns.

under the latter head which have already beti We have grave doubts about the propriety of discussed under the former. The second mistake, introducing, at this stage, the usual distinction of which is a consequence of the first, consists in nouns as proper, common, and abstract, or even, the plan of isolating the parts of speech, and giraccording to Professor Bain's more rational ing all the possible inflections of each separater analysis, as significant and meaningless. Such without reference to the relations which they bear divisions have no direct, or at least a very remote, to one another. This appears to us a complex bearing upon any part of grammar. It is purely dislocation of language. It ignores the fact, that a logical distinction, proper nouns corresponding most of the forms of inflection are not arbitrary with particular, and common nouns with general changes made upon words viewed by themselves terms; and however important it may be at a but are the expressions of the various relations later stage, when the transition is to be made that subsist between one word and another, or be from grammar to logic, it is merely out of place tween the ideas which they represent. in an elementary course. The classification of To correct these errors, we do not propose any pronouns, however, must be included, for this not radical change in the text-books ; indeed, the only affects their own inflections, but the personal method depends upon the teacher, far more than inflections of the verb. The different kinds of upon the book he happens to use.

But we prothe adjective and the adverb may, or may not, be pose that, before inflection is entered upon, the given, according to the general capacity of the syntactical relations which render inflections pupils ; but it may be useful to refer to the either necessary or convenient, should first be exnature of the demonstratives and the numerals, amined and explained. This will help to nake it

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