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12. The Preparatory Limit Table should be interpreted rather as a maximum than as a minimum.
1. Use cards frequently for individual as well as for simultaneous reading.
2. Do not confine yourself to the set order of words. Pick out words here and there ; read backward as well as forward.
3. I had supposed the teaching of reading by spelling thus, “m” “e” me ; "e" "double-gee” egg, to be obsolete; really, I find it only obsolescent. If a word be analyzed at all, for purposes of reading, it should be by the powers, and not by the names of the letters.
1. If you have not an abacus that stands on feet, ask for one. 2. Use the abacus yourself, but let the children use it constantly. 3. Do not aim to go beyond the limit, 20.
4. Let every kind of relation among numbers be taken with each successive number; i. e., do not teach addition first, and then subtraction, multiplication and division in succession, but teach all these operations, as mentally performed, simultaneously. Thus, that three and three are six, that three is the half of six, and that three is contained in six twice, are but different ways of regarding the same fact.
COMMON THINGS-OBJECT LESSONS-STORIES-SINGING.
1. See that you have, use yourself, and set the children to use, scales and weights, a two-foot rule, a clock card, and a compass.
2. Object lessons must be very simple, but they ought to be none the less on that account, carefully prepared. It is a painful thing to see a teacher standing before a class puzzled to know what to do or what to say next.
3. Similarly, a story should be prepared beforehand. Great interest will be added if the teacher simply illustrate her story by drawing on the blackboard as it proceeds.
4. In questioning children in all subjects, the aim should be to get connected answers of some length, but this can only be very slowly accomplished.
5. Teach children to sing distinctly, but not too noisily. The
musical effect of a perpetual bawl is even worse than that of a perpetual whisper. It is no harm to have an occasional f passage, but then let us also occasionally have pp.
1. Stand so that you can see all the children of the class, and so that each one of them can see, when necessary, what you do and how you do it. Sometimes it is well to overlook children from be. hind.
2. Be not noisy. Speak distinctly and quietly, so that children will listen to hear you; do not shout, so that they must hear you whether they will or no. Even if a busy hum of work (pleasant to hear) fill the room, do not raise your voice too much; call attention by a light stroke of the bell before you speak, then speak in the midst of a profound silence. Pointers and rulers were not made for banging desks with. Teachers feet have other purposes than stamping on the floor.
3. Be not fussy. Self-possession that quietly takes note of all surroundings, and that adjusts itself unruffled and without effort to them all, is the secret of easy government, as it is also the last refinement of the perfect gentleman.
4. Look out for short-sighted children, and for children who are hard of hearing. These physical imperfections are often unknown to the children themselves, and long escape the notice of parents and teachers. Unfortunately, not only do they give an appearance of stupidity to children that are really bright, but they most seriously retard progress unless compensated by the considerate arrangements of the teacher. Let as many exercises as possible cause the children to lift the eyes up from books to maps, pictures, at a distance and work done on the black-board, so that the tendency to short-sightedness may be, as far as possible, checked.
5. Embrace eagerly any opportunity that may be afforded you of visiting the classes of other preparatory teachers. I have seen some excellent work done in some of them, and in almost all the work is good. There is not a single class in which I have not seen at least one thing done so well that I could wish all other teachers of the same grade had an opportunity to see it.— Canada School Journal.
What teaching history is, I shall not carefully inquire. It suffices to say, beginning with facts it must not end with facts. The philosophy of history is impossible in a grammar school ; but the connection of events—antecedent and consequent, cause and effect, and the reasons of things so far from being impossible is altogether possible and necessary. This relation is the thread that binds all the facts together. Among the advantages arising from keeping this relation constantly in mind are these: (1) Cause and effect is one of the strongest principles of association of ideas, thus powerfully aiding the memory in retaining facts; (2) The search for causes makes the study all the more intelligent and fruitful; (3) The logical faculty as well as the memory is constantly stimulated. One main advantage attending the History is the inculcation of patriotism; another one almost equally great is the light thrown upon human life and character.—Supt. B. A. Hinsdale, Cleveland, Ohio.
Southern Colleges and Schools.
[The extracts given below will furnish food for thought to the friends of education all over the South. They are taken from an article in the October Atlantic written by Charles Forster Smith, who, if we may judge from intimations in the article itself, was once professor in Williams College, Mass., but for six years past a professor in Vanderbilt University. The article seems to have been written with the desire to make a clear and fair statement of the case, and after consultation with a number of prominent Southern educators.—ED.)
There is a great awakening in the South with regard to public schools; but in the higher education our policy, or rather tendency, has always been wrong. We have too many so-called colleges and universities, and too few preparatory schools. There has been no great advance, if any, in college work in the South since the war, and in preparation for college there has been a positive decline in most of the States. I am led to this view partly by my own experience; for in six years of college work in the South I have found few men whom I considered fully prepared, both in quantity and quality of work, for a good Freshman class. Besides, I have consulted by letter leading educators in most of the Southern States : of twenty professors, ten, whose experience covers both periods, say that preparation before 1860 was better than it has been since; six, who began to teach after the war, make no comparison, but deplore in the strongest terms the present low state of preparation ; four think we have improved somewhat in this respect. For other proof of the decline in preparatory work, it would only be necessary to remind Southern educators of the fact that most of our ante-bellum academies or preparatory schools-schools which, upon the whole, did better work than our Southern colleges did—no longer exists. This fact is almost universally admitted by my correspondents. In Louisiana, out of twentyfour or more academies fostered by the State before the war, not one survives. Louisiana is by no means alone in this respect.
What, then, are the causes of this decline in secondary education ? The war had its effect. Many fine old academies went down in the general ruin. But too much stress must not be laid upon this; for why was the mortality so much greater among the schools than among the colleges ? Besides, most of the academies in Louisiana, referred to above, had ceased to exist before the war. Again, business has taken the place of otium cum dignitate; the result has been eagerness, impatience, haste to get into active employment. Young men will not take the time to get ready for col lege, nor stay in college when they get there. Naturally there has been a reflex action on the part of the colleges, which have adapted their requirements to the new conditions. As to the effec of the public schools on college work, an eminent Georgia professor writes me: “ The bastard .common-school system' has broken up the large neighborhood schools that used to exist in Georgia, and the fragments are generally in the hands of young women and others, who are incompetent to prepare young men for college." In the same strain writes a professor from Virginia: “Our public schools have as yet done nothing towards making themselves preparatory schools to the colleges. They have, however, succeeded in totally destroying the
old field schools' that used to do that work before the war." There is at present serious trouble just here. We look forward to a better day, but the transition stage is very disheartening. A leading member of the School Board in Nashville said recently : “It is a serious matter to know how to get a boy fitted for college. The public high school does not do it, and yet no private preparatory school can exist beside it." There are in Tennessee only four public high schools, but in none of these is Greek taught, and in only one sufficient Latin for the freshmen class of a good college; other branches are little ahead of the Latin. There is usually in the South a gulf of one or two years between the public high school and the college. It would seem easy enough to put on extra classes at the top, and charge extra fees for the instruction, but it has not been done. It will be done, no doubt, as soon as the colleges make their terms of admission such as to require it. When we shall begin to approach the Massachusetts idea, where “in every town containing four thousand inhabitants and over a high school is required to be kept, in which the pupils are all offered the advantages of a preparation for any of our colleges," and where the high schools are so popular that “about eighty towns are now maintaining such schools, thcugh not required to do so by law," and where the whole number of these public high schools is 226, certainly we in the South shall have no fault to find with the public schools. This state of affairs in Massachusetts is but the legiti. mate result of the policy inaugurated in 1647 by the law of the colony, which required "that every town of one hundred san ilies should maintain a school, the teacher of which should be able to instruct youth so far as they may be fitted for the university."
But the greatest cause of the decline of preparatory schools is, I believe, none of these. The great fault is with the colleges themselves. Preparation for college regulates itself by the law of supply and demand. All the colleges publish requirements for admission; very few enforce them. Since the boy is not required to prepare for college, he comes to college without preparation. What little there was in the way of college endowments in the South was swept away by the war. The colleges must live, however, and no resuurce was left but to live on tuition fees—what no good col. lege could live on. Hence arose an unseemly competition for numbers, and this has gone on—as was natural, since there are among us at least three times as many colleges as the country can legitimately support-until the colleges and universities have entered into competition with the very preparatory schools, and left them nothing to do. “ The university," writes a professor in one of the oldest colleges in Virginia, "takes students whom we ought to have. We take the boys who should be in our preparatory school, and it, again, takes infants (so to say) who ought to be taught at home."
The greatest evil in Southern education, it seems to me, is the fact that we have so many colleges and universities. One would suppose that in America the mere number of colleges would no longer impose upon any one, but such statements as the following occur in a recent defence of Southern ante-bellum education : “In 1860 the New England States had twenty-one colleges, with 3,738 students, and the single State of Georgia had thirty-two colleges, with 3,302 students.” “This is a startling showing," the writer adds. Indeed it is. The irresistible conclusion seems to be that the State of Georgia was better educated than all New England. The same writer compares the eight colleges in Massachusetts with the twenty-three in Vir. ginia, and the two colleges in New Hampshire with the fourteen in South Carolina. He seems to proceed on the assumption that a college is a college. The paragraph that went the rounds of the newspapers a few years ago, to the effect that there were two universities in England, four in France, ten in Prussia, and thirty-seven in the State of Ohio, seriously taken, would prove Ohio to be the most highly educated land the world ever saw. A professor in a small Southwestern college once gravely informed me that the course in Latin in his college was higher than that in the University of Virginia, and proved it by his catalogue. Emerson or Carlyle (I forget which) writes to the other : “Nothing can lie worse than figures except facts.” Sup. pose we were to work out the problem of the relative superiority of New England and the South, in point of culture, in this way: In the six New England States there are only seventeen male colleges; in six Southern States—namely, Georgia, Ken. tucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia—there are sixtyseven male colleges—just four to one. Is that the ratio of culture of the two sections ? What better reductio ad absurdum could one wish? How many of our colleges would Harvard alone outweigh in any just estimate of higher education ? Any one who will study the question carefully will be very likely to come to the conclu. sion that in the United States culture is generally in the inverse ratio to the number of colleges. Where you find the largest number of colleges you will be apt to find the fewest fitting-schools and the lowest state of what we call the higher education. In fact, great density of ignorance round about is necessary to the welfare of a certain kind of college.
It will, no doubt, be generally admitted that New England, and especially Massa. chusetts, approximates more nearly the proper state of higher education than any other section of the United States; and on that assumption some comparisons are made, with no purpose, however, of depreciating the South, but simply to ascertain just how we stand in educational matters.