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which young teachers especially are more prone to fall. The memories of children are crowded with words and terms and processes, but their perceptive and reasoning faculties are seldom called into activity. Many teachers tell their pupils that they must think and reason, but do not explain to them what thinking and reasoning are. They do not point out clearly the tirst steps in each process, and lead them along gradually and pleasantly till they have acquired strength and confidence to trust in their own powers.
Some fall into the opposite error. They explain too much. They leave but little or nothing for the pupil to do for himself. Instead of teaching how to think and reason, they think and reason for him ; and all that is required is to commit to memory the processes after thev have been reasoned out. Such methods of teaching should be most studiously avoided. It would be no more absurd for a nurse to attempt to teach a child to walk by carrying him continually in her arms, than to expect that the reasoning powers of children will be developed and cultivated while the reasoning and thinking is performed for them. Many attempt to explain what needs no explanation. They do not discriminate between those studies which are acquired solely or mainly by an effort of the memory and those which are acquired by processes of reasoning. The memory is undoubtedly the first faculty that is called into active exercise ; and this should be most assiduously cultivated.
Teachers sometimes err in assigning lessons that are too long and too difficult, so that pupils are often discouraged and lose their interest in their studies and in their school, or else over-exert themselves and suffer both in body and mind in consequence. This error, by no means uncommon, should be most carefully guarded against. Great skill and judgment are required in always adapting the lesson to the understanding and capabilities of the pupils ; without this, no teacher can be eminently successful. There are great diversities in pupils in their ability to understand a principle or to comprehend an explanation. What will suffice for one-half of a class will be wholly inedequate for the remainder. The dull scholars, and not the bright ones, should receive the special, personal attention of the teachers. There is also another extreme to be avoided. Not unfrequently too little is required of pupils. The tasks are so easy that scarcely any mental effort is needed to master them. They are compelled to review what they have passed over so many times that there is no stimulus arising from the pleasures and consciousness of new acquisition. And as a consequence, they become idle, careless, and often subjects of discipline. Besides all this, much precious time is wasted, and the most valuable discipline of mind lost.
There has been a diminution in the number of children attending school the past term. Roman Catholic children continue to leave to attend private schools of their own. More than seven hundred have left within two years. Nearly one hundred have recently left the Hospital Street School, so it will be necessary to close one or more rooms. The whole number of pupils registered is 7,410. There have been received, 287 into the High School, 1,875 into the Grammar, 1,774 into the Intermediate, and 3,534 into the Primary Schools. All of which is respectfully submitted,
DANIEL LEACH, Supt. Public Schools.
In Vermont, 73,259 of the 85,795 children of the school age actually attended school last year, requiring 4,841 teachers, who were paid an average monthly compensation of $20.48 for males and $8.16 for females.
THE INSTITUTE AT NORTH SCITUATE.
The fourth meeting of the Rhode Island Institute of Instruction commenced its session Friday evening, Dec. 16, in the Congregational Church, North Scituate.
The Institute was called to order by the President, William A. Mowry. Prayer was offered by Rev. William H. Bowen. After a few earnest words by the President, Rev. J. H. McCarty, of Providence, was introduced as the lecturer for the evening, who announced as his subject, “ The Lights and Shadows of the School-room.”
Among the shadows were enumerated, monotony of every day life, dullness of pupils, want of sympathy on the part of parents, small compensation. The lights were the consciousness of duty faithfully performed, the sight of awakening intelligence, and the hope and faith that a bright harvest of good shall be reaped in the future from the present unpropitious sowing.
After some further remarks by the President, the Institute adjourned.
SATURDAY MORNING. The Institute met at 9 o'clock in the Hall of the Lapham Institute, President in the chair. Prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Fobes.
The subject, " What Considerations are necessary for the establishment of a High School in the Rural Towns," was taken up and discussed by Rev. William H. Bowen, Messrs. Mowry and Snow; Rev. B. F. Hayes and Rev. Mr. Fobes. The conclusion arrived at was, that towns should be taxed to give all their children who desire it, a free education in the branches of learning usually taught in a High School.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON. The President called the meeting to order at 2 o'clock, and spoke briefly to the teachers, urging them to form town associations, that they might become better qualified, and thereby act as helps to each other.
Mr. F. B. Snow, of Providence, then gave a familiar lecture on the subject of Spelling, pointing out many helps which might be given to scholars by teachers, in showing them how to study, and also showing them how to test the knowledge of the pupils and to accomplish the desired end, that is, goud spelling.
On motion of Mr. Snow, the President appointed J. W. Colwell, of Providence, Rev. W. H. Bowen and Mr. H. Potter, of North Scituate, a Committee on Resolutions.
The President and Mr. Snow then presented the claims and wants of The R. I. SCHOOLMASTER.
After a recess and singing, Rev. B. F. Hayes was called upon to discuss the subject, “How shall the teacher elevate his profession,” and was followed by James W. Colwell. The point of their remarks was, that the teacher should elevate himself by study and culture and the shunning of every low habit. Rev. Mr. Bowen spoke for a few moments on the subject, “ At what should we aim in teaching Grammar?” He thought we should teach children to speak and write the English language correctly, which he believed could be done without forcing a child through all the technicalities of most of the text-books on Grammar.
Mr. Snow spoke on the subject, “ What are the legitimate studies for the Common School ? " Mr. Colwell, from the Committee on Resolutions, reported the following:
Resolved, That the thanks of the Institute are due, and are hereby returned, to the Rev. J. H. McCarty, of Providence, for a pleasing and instructive lecture on the “ Lights and Shadows of the School-room." We only regret that there were not more present to hear it.
Resolved, That the thanks of the Institute are also tendered to Mr. F. B. Snow, Principal of the Bridgham School, Providence, for unfolding to us, in a familiar lecture, an ingenious method of teaching spelling.
Resolved, That to the citizens of North Scituate we are indebted for the kind and hospitable manner in which they have received us to their homes, making ample accommodations for all teachers present ; and that to them we now return our sincere tbanks.
Resolved, That to the Committee of Arrangements, also, are due the thanks of the Institute, for the pleasant and complete manner in which their duties have been performed.
After some brief remarks by Mr. Hayes and the President, and the singing of: “ America,” the Institute adjourned.
QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN EXAMINATIONS.
QUESTIONS IN GEOGRAPHY.
THE following questions were given to the scholars in the First Grammar School, Bristol, R. I., in a recent examination :
1. In what latitude is the Tropic of Capricorn? How many degrees wide is the Torrid Zone? What large islands does the equator cross? At what latitude would a ship enter the South Temperate Zone in sailing from the equator? Where is the Isle of Man
2. Where is the city of Singapore? In what latitude is Havana Canton ? Pernambuco ? Mobile? Sidney? What mountains in Austria ? Where is the town of Nassau ? What does the Strait of Bonifacio separate ? Where is the Isle of Wight?
3. Through what bodies of water would a vessel pass, in sailing from Liverpool, (England,) to Calcutta ? Name the capital of Dutch Guiana. Which is the higher above the level of the sea, the city of Washington or the city of Mexico ? Name a country from which we obtain prunes ? Name the largest city in South America.
4. Where is Chattanooga? Name five of the largest rivers in North Carolina, and the bodies of water •into which they flow. Name an island from which dried currants are exported. Where is Cape Flattery: Name all the bodies of water through which a vessel would pass, in sailing from the greatest grain port in the world, to the greatest grain port in Europe.
5. Where is the city of Callao ? Where are the Snow Mountains ? What does Bass Strait separate? Where is Lake Baikal : Through what bodies of water would a vessel pass in sailing from the capital of Louisiana to the capital of the British Empire ?
6. Name the capital of Victoria. When does the wet season occur in that part of the Torrid Zone south of the equator? What season is it now at Cape Town? What season is it now on the Island of Tasmania ? Through what bodies of water would a vessel pass in sailing from the largest city in Pennsylvania, to Mocha ?
7. In what direction would a boat float on the Niagara river: Two persons start from Bristol, at the same time, and each travels at the rate of eight miles an hour, one to visit a place five degrees to the north, and the other a place five degrees to the west ; which would reach his journey's end the first? What is caoutchouc, and from what port is it principally shipped : Mention five of the largest cities in the United States, in the order of their size. Through what bodies of water must a vessel pass, in sailing from Bristol, R. I., to Bristol, England.
8. How many towns are there in Rhode Island ? Which is the most southerly? Where is Jamestown: What town is the island of Prudence in ? In what town is Point Judith: Name the counties in Rhode Island. What rivers flow into Mount Hope Bay ? Bound Bristol. What is the population of Bristol : Name the county that Westerly is in.
9. What does the Strait of Bellisle connect? Which is the farther west from 2âÒ2ÂòÂ2 Òâmū222/22\\2\\2\2ūti2?Â?Â2Ò2ÂÒÂ2Ò2ÂòÂ?Â?Â2Ò2Â§Â§Â§Â Â2Ò2Â2âÒÂ2âÒ►/222/22 Lake Ngami? Through what bodies of water must a vessel pass, in sailing from the largest city in Massachusetts, to the largest city in Africa ?
10. How many degrees wide is each of the Temperate Zones? In which of the United States are there no counties? Where is Lake Tchad ? Name the capital of Sardinia. Mention the names of two rivers that flow into the sea of Aral. What does the Strait of Sunda separate ? Name the capital of New South Wales. What are the exports of Turkey in Asia ? Name the capital of Honduras. Through what bodies of water must ja vessel pass, in sailing from the largest city in the United States, to the capital of Turkey.
RESIDENT EDITORS' DEPARTMENT.
WITH this number THE SCHOOLMASTER commences his eleventh annual round to visit the teacher in his place of labor or of rest, to encourage him in his weary toil ; to lighten his burdens if possible, by giving the experience of others under similar circumstances, by suggestions of better plans of teaching various branches, or methods of overcoming the evils and hindrances to success in teaching embraced in the catalogue of dull and vicious pupils, indifference and opposition of parents, ill. constructed school-houses, and the multitude of adverse influences in and out of the school-room.
There is an ideal good and an ideal best way to reach that good; and there is a best way to secure the best results under the circumstances. The ideal and the practical are both essential. It is only by having a high ideal that the good teacher. can reach the best practical results. For when there is a high aim there will be a wise use of all the means at hand to reach the desired end. It will be the object of THE SCHOOLMASTER to aid in this good work. Some words to parents, if teachers
will bring the subject to their notice, will be a powerful auxiliary in the great work of education. But in order that The SCHOOLMASTER shall be able to make his monthly visits it is necessary that he shall have food and raiment and travelling expenses paid for.
It costs money, and a good deal of it, every month, to send THE SCHOOLMASTER on his journey, and this expense has to be met every month by the resident editors, and they look to the teachers of the State for the funds wherewith to meet these expenses. Every teacher in the State ought to be a subscriber to The SchooMASTER, which is published expressly for his and her benefit. If every teacher in the State would become a paying subscriber there would be no difficulty in carrying on the publication of this State journal. But very many teachers are not subscribers; and some who are, fail to pay their bills in advance, which is the only way to support any publication. It is much easier to pay in advance than at the end of a year. And when it has been neglected one year, it is easier to let it go on another year. Perhaps the trouble is, that some subscribers have nothing less than five dollar bills all the time, and cannot get them changed. To all such we would say, if you will please enclose your V.'s to this office, we will send you the change free of expense. But a better way would be, to get four more subscribers and pay for five numbers. Let every subscriber make one grand effort and pay promptly for 1865; and, if possible, send in one new name, and see if he don't feel better for it all the year.
The subscription price of THE SCHOOLMASTER is one dollar a year; and the character of it is not inferior to any other State journal in the country.
Any communication of general or special educational interest sent to this office will be received with pleasure and published. And all subscribers and friends of education are invited to become contributors to the pages of their journal.
In the last number some few bills were accidentally sent out that were not due till February. Of course they should not have been sent till the January number was issued.
THE TWENTY-FIRST ANNUAL MEETING OF THE RHODE ISLAND
INSTITUTE OF INSTRUCTION.
The Twenty-First Annual Meeting of the Rhode Island Institute of Instruction will be held in the Richmond Street Congregational Church, in Providence, on Friday and Saturday, January 27th and 28th, 1865,
Friday morning, at 10 o'clock, the Institute will be called to order, and addressed by the President. Words of welcome to the teachers by Rev. Elias Richardson. Appointment of committees on Resolutions, on the R. I. SCHOOLMASTER, and on Nomination of Officers.
11 o'clock. A lecture by Prof. Joseph Eastman, of East Greenwich. Subject6. The Duty of the Teacher to Himself.”
2 o'clock P. M. Annual Report of the Secretary and Treasurer.
2.30 o'clock. A lecture by Rev. S. A. Crane, D. D., of East Greenwich. Subject—". The English language.”
3.30 o'clock. A lecture by Prof. R. P. Dunn, D. D., of Brown University, Subject—". English Composition.”
7.30 o'clock. A lecture by Rev. E. B. Webb, of Boston.