Imágenes de páginas

ecuted and presented, as to develop in the mind of the learner the clearest and most definite ideas of the work to be done.

Can we present the hand-writing of our teachers as such models for the imitation of pupils, even supposing their style of writing to be uniformly alike and altogether faultless ? From the very circumstances of the case we cannot do it. We must therefore agree that these models must be prepared by other means, and engraving is the necessary resort.

This granted, we are next to inquire into the best and most available means for spreading before the eye of each pupil the engraved copy. This we find to be the copy-book.

But it may be asked, what is left for our teacher to do now that there are no pens to mend or copies to write ? I say nothing if pure imitation is to be relied upon in acquiring penmanship. But it is not the only reliance. Letters can be readily constructed from a few elementary marks, so that the mind is led by a system of multiplications and additions to comprehend with exactness, forms and combinations too intricate for imitation.

Herein is the great and powerful auxiliary of the imitative powers for imparting instruction in penmanship. Imitate these elements, from them construct the letters.

Here the aid of a competent teacher is appreciated and here should his efforts be directed.

He should have either his own system carefully studied and arranged, or else be thoroughly familiar with that of some published system of his adoption.

In selecting a system he should carefully discriminate between those having copies systematically arranged in accordance with principles of analogy and relation among letters and thus leading the pupil by a careful graded course to finished penmanship; and those arranged for imitation merely the copies in which have little or no relation and point either to no natural system, or display glaring inconsistencies and omissions, the result of which must tend to flatter while it deceives the pupil.

This subject is regarded with too great indifference by teachers generally, and perhaps I should add, superintendents and examiners. It does make a difference whether you teach from imperfect or perfect copies.

It does make a difference whether you teach by system or not.

arranged and thus and those ?


It does make a difference what system you use in your schools and it should make a difference in your salarg whether you attend to or neglect this study.

But I apprehend little improvement will be manifest until these points are insisted on as qualifications for teaching and I would urge upon examiners the importance of insisting on an acquaintance with and explanation of some rational method of teaching penmanship in schools before granting licenses to teach.


From the Illinois Teacher.

We avail ourselves of the following report of the proceedings of the National Teachers' Association, prepared by a friend. The meeting was well attended anıl interesting. At no meeting, save that at Chicago, have there been present so large a number of teachers. And it will be remembered that the Chicago meeting was too large to be efficient. The vast crowd was most of the time attending to something other than the regular business of the Association. At Harrisburg it was quite otherwise. The exercises were constanıly and carefully listened to. It was a pleasure to speak to an assembly every member of which seemed so much interested. Prof. Greene deserves well of the friends of the Association for having so successfully adjusted the machinery. We shall long remember the Harrisburg meeting as one of the pleasantest educational gatherings we ever attended.

The excursion to Gettysburg was a highly appropriate deviation from the ordinary routine of exercises. We pity the man whose educational value was not greatly enhanced by the inspiration of that glorious battle-field. Standing on the graves of the heroes whose valor turned the baleful tide of rebel invasion, whose victory was the heroic beginning of the triumphant end,- we felt more than ever the nobleness of the teacher's calling, charged as he is with the training up of men and women who are to be the heirs of this noble country, with all its glorious memories and achievements !

Many of the exercises were peculiarly significant and impressive. The Association was addressed by the Governors of Pennsylvania and of free Maryland, both of whom uttered words worthy of their high positions. Gov. Bradford, of Maryland, seems to have thoroughly mastered the lesson of liberty. He understands the necessity of universal education. And the state has already laid the foundation of future prosperity and greatness in a system of free schools.

The Report upon Object Teaching will be a valuable document, and is to be distributed largely in pamphlet form.

Of Prof. Crummell's speech we speak elsewhere.

Our correspondent seems to have been peculiarly unfortunate at Gettysburg. The guides, for the most part, were excellent, both in knowledge and utterance. As a whole, the crowd of teachers was highly favored in this respect.

The good people of Harrisburg exhibited the most agreeable hospitality toward the members of the Association. The feast of good things at the State-Capitol Hotel on Friday was in no respect · bad to take.' The viands were delicious, and from all we could gather, both from experience and observation, the ladies who served them out to us were more attractive than the tables over which they presided. When the meeting occurs again at Harrisburg we desire to be counted in. Perhaps there may be more luscious peaches, sweeter cream, and more agreeable inaids and matrons elsewhere; but we confess that those of Harrisburg were fully up to our standard, and we were made as happy as it is in our nature to be, and that is much.

HARRISBURG, Pa., August 19, 1865. The seventh annual session of the National Teachers' Association closed in this place yesterday evening, after a term of three days.

On the 15th, the

AMERICAN NORMAL-SCHOOL ASSOCIATION Held its eighth session in the Capitol,- Richard Edwards, the President, in the chair. After revising the Constitution, the following subjects were discussed at some length.

" What is a Normal School course of study?

- What domestic arrangements are necessary for the best interests of Normal Schools ?"

On the first, of these questions, Professor Sheldon, of Oswego; Professor Phelps, of Minnesota, and Professor Hart, of New Jersey, were in favor, as soon as may be, of making the course strictly professional : Professor Edwards, of Illinois, thought it well to have scholastic instruction, for the reason that at present it is necessary, and under any circumstances the work of training teachers would be more thorough.

During the evening, the Association discussed « The importance of memoralizing Congress on the importance of establishing a Normal School in each State in the Union, especially in the South.” This question was discussed by Professor Hart, of New Jersey; Professor Camp, of Connecticut; Professor Richards, of Washington City; Professor Thompson, of New York; Professor Cruikshank, of New York; and Professor Edwards, of Illinois.

At the close of the discussion, a committee was appointed, of which Professor Hart, of New Jersey, was Chairman, to further consider this subject. During the evening one and all had an opportunity of sitting in the chair in which John Hancock sat when he signed the Declaration of Independence. The chair was strong, upright, and stands the test of age like the men of its time.


On Wednesday, the 16th, the National Teachers' Association met in the CourtHouse,—the President, Professor Greene, of Rhode Island, in the chair. The Association received a warm and harty welcome from his Excellency Governor Curtin of this state, responded to by the President.

The Governor alluded to the singular coincidence of the state's being invaded from the South for the last three years in this month. This was the fourth invasion. As they had given the South a warm reception, they would receive the North with equal warmth, and much more gladly. His remarks were received with enthusiastic applause.

Governor Bradford of Maryland, was also introduced, and spoke a few eloquent words in allusion to the universal freedom of all our people, and that the last barrier of our cordial union is now broken down; and he bid us welcome to his state. “Now give us free schools and intelligent teachers, and we are one people." His words were warmly applauded.

The President then read his annual address, which was an able paper. He showed the necessity of a change of things since the war, and of the importance of a National Bureau of Education in order to insure universal education in our Republic. This part of the address was referred to a committee, of which Dr. Hart, of New Jersey, was chairman, in order to secure, if possible, an immediate action of Congress.

Papers were then read on « The Power of the Teacher," by W. N. Barringer, of New York; and on - Normal Schools and their Distinctive Characteristics : they should be established and maintained in each state at public expense,” by Prof. Edwards, of Illinois, The latter was a forcible presentation of the subject, and was followed by a discussion of the same by Prof. Burrowes, of. Pennsylvania ; Prof. Crosby, of Cincinnati ; and Hon. E. E. White, of Ohio. During the evening a paper was read on “ The best methods of teaching the classics," by Prof. Harkness, of Providence, R. I.; also, a lecture was delivered by Prof. J. D. Butler, of Madison, Wisconsin, on “ Commonplace books."

EXCURSION TO GETTYSBURG. The Association spent the whole of Thursday visiting the battle-field of Gettysburg. About five hundred, mostly teachers, left Harrisburg at eight o'clock in the morning on a special train, and arrived at Gettysburg at eleven, a distance of sixty miles. After a gratuitous dinner by the good people of Gettysburg, we started for the battle.ground in squads of about fifty, with a guide for each squad.

When I say “started for the battle-ground," I mean we began to examine the special points of interest ; for the whole town and its surroundings, for two miles „distant every way, was the battle-ground. Much of the cannonading on both sides was done over the town. We saw many houses riddled with musket-balls. But the main battle-field is south of the town. Some of us were rather unfortunate in guides, for they knew but little and could tell less. But from Cemetery Ilill we were soon scaling the stone-walls and fences along the line of fortifications behind which, our • boys in blue' fought so bravely. I often thought, as we straggled along without much plan or purpose, and gaining little or no valuable information, that had our soldiers been so badly disciplined the field would have been a place of defeat rather than victory.

Very soon the route was strewn with stragglers, unable to keep up, looking rather demoralized. Before two hours the squads were broken up, the exact spots of interest and special information were despaired of, and many might have been seen retreating rather crestfallen towards Cemetery Hill. The moral of our first two hours effort is, if you wish special information about a battle.field, you should not forget to have a guide to tell you that knows the facts, and then never go in large crowds.

About four o'clock all had assembled on Cemetery Hill, near the corner-stone of the proposed National Monument. Here the meeting was called to order by the President, S. S. Greene, and prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Coleman, of Baltimore. We were welcomed to the place by one of the clergy of Gettysburg. Short speeches were made by Mr. Sheldon, of Boston ; Mr. Richards, of Washington City; Mr. Henkle, of Ohio; Mr. Dixon of Canada, and others. In the President's remarks, he alluded to the fact that in our body were seventeen States represented, and in the soldiers' graves around us rested the brave dead of fifteen States or more. The occasion was one of thrilling interest. Surrounded by beautiful, even sublime scen- . ery, assembled on one of the greatest battle-fields of modern times, educators of the nation, pledging themselves anew to more earnest efforts for the good of their country, hallowing the spot where the nation was born anew, invoking the God of Heaven to bless our coming and inspire us with holy zeal from above, were thoughts that filled the lover of his country with new life and great resolves, and made all feel that it was good to be there and drink in the glorious inspiration. It is fit that this place should be made the Mecca of America. After one leaves the ground and begins to think of it, it seems more and more grand. Every student and teacher of history should visit and study this battle-field. After passing appropriate resolu. tions, and singing “ America,” the meeting broke up, and the well-pleased crowd returned to this city, where we arrived at ten o'clock at night.

THIRD DAY. On Friday the Association opened its session at an early hour and dispatched business rather rapidly. Still, much that was on the programme had to be omitted for want of time. In the forenoon a report of the Committee on “Object Teaching as pursued at Oswego" was read by S. S. Greene, of R. I. This report was considered of so much practical value to teachers that the Association ordered it printed in pamphlet form for general distribution. Immediately after noon, Miss Cooper, of Oswego, gave an object lesson. She brought in a class of little onesall strangers to her-and gave them a lesson of ten minutes' length, using an apple as an object. The exercise was a success.

The distinguished Lowell Mason, of New Jersey, then gave us an object lesson in Music. He called the Association his class. His questions and remarks were witty and we!l timed.

Papers were then read by Prof. Rickoff, of Ohio, and Prof. Wickersham, of Pennsylvania. At the close of Prof. Wickersham's reading, the subject of which was “ Education as an Element in the Reconstruction of the Union," it was announced that Prof. Crummell, a distinguished graduate of Cambridge, England, was present.

Prof. Crummell was brought forward and introduced, and to my astonishment he was as black as the ten of spades. As he moved toward the stand there were evident signs of excitement in the large audience. There was the nigger in our midst! What shall we do? Shy around him because he is black? Refuse him a hearing because he is a lower order of being. Humanity and justice triumphed ! Mr. Northrop, of Massachusetts, took him warmly by the hand and led him to the President's chair, where he was cordially received amid bursts of applause from the audience. He spoke as follows:

THE BLACK PROFESSOR'S SPEECH. “ I thank you, sir, and the gentlemen of this Association, for the honor you have conferred upon me. I take it as an evidence of American interest in the Republic of

« AnteriorContinuar »