Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

nearly equal divisions. One-half the floor was already divided into eight commodious and well ventilated rooms. The other half made a very fine assembly room, capable of holding over seven hundred pupils. This room, by means of sliding doors and movable screens (which could be raised and lowered like the sails of a ship), was also convertible into eight recitation rooms, airy and comfortable. In ten weeks from the time that the Committee were authorized to provide for normal instruction the building was hired and furnished, a staff of instructors appointed, and the school filled to overflowing with about eleven hundred scholars. It was soon discovered that sixteen recitation rooms were insufficient to accommodate so great a number, and therefore the Committee leased half of the floor below, consisting of nine suitable rooms, which were fitted-up and furnished in an incredibly short period of time.

The pupil-teachers were admitted into the Normal College upon the results of a competitive written examination. The candidates were only known by numbers; no examiner knew the name of any girl, nor the school from whence she came. This plan secured the faculty and tutors from even the suspicion of favoritism. As the ordeal was strange and novel, and likely to create nervousness and embarrassment, all those who failed to pass it were re-examined, and if found qualified admitted.

It was remarked, with considerable force, by some of the principals, that it would have saved an immense amount of labor if the students had been admitted upon the written statements of their teachers. But such a course would certainly produce great trouble and difficulty in the end; and might degenerate into pro rata admissions, (as in Philadelphia,) which must inevitably lower the standard of scholarship. Ere long there would be general discontent and charges of partiality. All things considered, it was best that rich and poor, high and low, should be placed upon a common platform, and subjected to the same conditions and regulations. In a competitive, written examination alone can uniform justice be secured for every individual candidate.

It might be well to state that the written work presented by the pupils revealed some facts which might be useful to the instructors in the public schools. First, There was a general deficiency in clear, vigorous, and legible penmanship: Second, A want of executive force in the arrangement of the subject-matter: Third, A curious indifference to capitals and periods (whole pages sometimes being found without a stop or capital letter; and this, too, from pupils who could solve questions in arithmetic, and parse and analyze with ease): Fourth, An indisposition to finish a thing: Fifth, A great difference in the attainments of the pupils of the same age and grade, and considerable diversity in the subjects taught: Sixth, An unaccountable habit of thinking that the name was equivalent to the thing itself, and that if they were called “ supplementaries,” that was quite enough ; it entitled them to high positions, whether they knew the subjects taught or not: Seventh, The papers evidently proved that the girls knew a great deal more than they were able to express on paper. It is but fair to say, however, that many of the papers evinced careful study and exact teaching. The work of a great number of the Female Grammar Schools was correct, beautiful, and creditable to the girls and their teachers.

In conformity with the By-Laws, the President and VicePresident prepared the following course of study, which was presented to and adopted by your Committee:

COURSE OF STUDY FOR THE FEMALE NORMAL

AND HIGH SCHOOL.

There shall be a three years' course, divided into six terms of twenty-two weeks each.

1. First TERM, FIRST YEAR- Ancient History and Physical Geography; Latin commenced; French or German commenced; Algebra commenced; and Natural Philosophy commenced.

The above stndies to be prepared at home, but never more than two subjects of study during one day.

Botany and Chemistry, to be taught in school.

English Grammar and Arithmetic reviewed fortnightly.

2. SECOND TERM, FIRST YEAR.— Ancient Geography commenced, and Ancient History continued; Latin continued; French or German continued ; Natural Philosophy continued ; and Geometry commenced.

The above studies to be prepared at home, but never more than two subjects of study during one day.

Botany, Geology, and Chemistry, to be taught in school.

English Grammar, Arithmetic and Algebra reviewed fortnightly.

Music, Calisthenics, Drawing, Penmanship and Bookkeeping to constitute a part of the first year's course. There shall be written exercises in Spelling every day, or exercises in Dictation. 3. FIRST TERM, SECOND YEAR.- Modern History commenced ; Latin continued; German or French continued ; Geometry; Astronomy commenced.

The above studies to be prepared at home, but never more than two subjects of study during one day.

Geology, Chemistry and Physiology, to be taught in school.

Physical and Ancient Geography and Algebra, to be reviewed fortnightly.

4. SECOND TERM, SECOND YEAR.-Rhetoric commenced; Latin continued ; French or German continued ; Astronomy; and Plane Trigonometry.

The above studies to be prepared at home, but never more than two subjects of study during one day.

Physiology, Anatomy and Hygiene, to be taught in school. History and Geometry reviewed fortnightly.

Music, Calisthenics, Drawing and Impromptu Composition to constitute a part of the second year's course.

Written Spelling and Etymology or Dictation daily.

5. First Term, Third YEAR.- Rhetoric and English Literature ; Latin continued ; French or German continued ; Zoology; Civil Polity; and Intellectual Philosophy.

The above studies to be prepared at home, but never more than three subjects of study during one day.

Chemistry, Mineralogy and Object Teaching, with Discussions on the Methods of Instruction.

Geography, History of U. S. and Arithmetic reviewed with the view of developing the power to teach.

6. SECOND TERM, THIRD YEAR.—Practice in the Training Department; Discussions on the Methods of Instruction and School Government; Object Teaching in Theory and Practice ; Intellectual and Moral Philosophy; English Literature and Essays.

Elementary Branches reviewed weekly with the view of developing the power to teach.

Music, Calisthenics, Drawing and Impromptu Composition to constitute a part of the course during the first term of the third year. During the second term of the third year, Speiling, Etymology, Arithmetic and Grammar to be thoroughly learned and discussed.

The principal object in view in the above selection and arrangement of subjects of study was to furnish the pupil-teachers with the working tools of their profession; to carry out as far as possible the design for which the College was founded. It may be perceived that due prominence is given to the study of language, to the natural sciences and to the methods and principles of instruction. Although there has been a close adherence to the “course” in the spirit, yet it was found necessary to depart from it, in some instances, in the letter. Translation, as a medium of culture, cannot be over estimated. A teacher needs more than any other person the faculty of discrimination, and, consequently, of correct criticism. This power of “ reasoning from probabilities to probabilities, as in real life, is far more important than the power to reason from certainties to certainties, as in the pure mathematics.” The study of classic or of foreign languages imparts the power to weigh, to balance, to judge and, therefore, to arrive at tolerably correct conclusions.

The Committee, with great liberality, has furnished two rooms with costly apparatus to enable the girls to receive the best kind

« AnteriorContinuar »