Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ing a little innocent fun out of the superexcellencies of these schools; but the total result on my mind was very greatly in their favor. And, indeed, the testimony came in both ways. Not only was I called on to form an opinion of what the men and women would become from the education which was given to the boys and girls, but also to say what must have been the education of the boys and girls from what I saw of the men and women. Of course it will be understood that I am not here speaking of those I met in society, or of their children, but of the working people, — of that class who find that a gratuitous education of their children is needful, if any considerable amount of education is to be given. The result is to be seen daily in the whole intercourse of life. The coachman who drives you, the man who mends your window, the boy who brings home your purchases, the girl who stitches your wife's dress, - they all carry with them sure signs of education, and show it in every word they utter.”

RESULTS OF THE SCHOOLS.

“So much for the schools, and now for the results. I do not know that anything impresses a visitor more strongly with the amount of books sold in the States, than the practice of selling them as it has been adopted in the railway cars. Personally, the traveller will find the system very disagreeable, - as is everything connected with these cars. [But we need not copy a description of what is so familiar to us all.]

But the numbers of the popular books of the day, printed and sold, afford the most conclusive proof of the extent to which education is carried in the States. The readers of Tennyson, Thackeray, Dickens, Bulwer, Collins, Hughes, and Martin Tupper, are to be counted by tens of thousands in the States, to the thousands by which they may be counted in our own islands. I do not doubt that I had fully fifteen copies of the Silver Cord' thrown at my head in different railway cars on the continent of America. Nor is the taste by any means confined to the literature of England. Longfellow, Curtis, Holmes, Hawthorne, Lowell, Emerson, and Mrs. Stowe, are almost as popular as their English rivals. I do not say whether or no the literature is well chosen, but there it is. It is printed, sold, and read. The disposal of ten thousand copies of a

work is no large sale in America of a book published at a dollar ; but in England it is a large sale of a book brought out at five shillings.

“I do not remember that I ever examined the rooms of an American without finding books or magazines in them. I do not speak here of the houses of my friends, as of course the same remark would apply as strongly in England, but of the houses of persons presumed to earn their bread by the labor of their hands.

A porter or a farmer's servant in the States is not proud of reading and writing. It is to him quite a matter of course. The coachmen on their boxes and the boots as they sit in the halls of the hotels have newspapers constantly in their hands. The young women have them also, and the children. The fact comes home to one at every turn, and at every hour, that the people are an educated people. The whole of this question between North and South is as well understood by the servants as by their masters, is discussed as vehemently by the private soldiers as by the officers. The politics of the country and the nature of its constitution are familiar to every laborer. The very wording of the Declaration of Independence is in the memory of every lad of sixteen. Boys and girls of a younger age than that know why Slidell and Mason were arrested, and will tell you why they should have been given up, or why they should have been held in durance. The question of the war with England is debated by every native pavior and hodman of New York.

“I know what Englishmen will say in answer to this. They will declare that they do not want their paviors and hodmen to talk politics; that they are as well pleased that their coachmen and cooks should not always have a newspaper in their hands; that private soldiers will fight as well, and obey better, if they are not trained to discuss the causes which have brought them into the field. An English gentleman will think that his gardener will be a better gardener without than with any excessive political ardor; and the English lady will prefer that her housemaid shall not have a very pronounced opinion of her own as to the capabilities of the cabinet ministers. But I would submit to all Englishmen and Englishwomen who may look at these pages, whether such an opinion or feeling on their part bears much, or even at all, upon the subject. I am not saying that the man who is driven in the coach is better off because his coachman reads the paper, but that the coachman himself who reads the paper is better off than the coachman who does not and cannot. I think that we are too apt, in considering the ways and habits of any people, to judge of them by the effect of those ways and habits on us, rather than by their effects on the owners of them.

When we express a dislike to the shoeboy reading his newspaper, I fear we do so because we fear that the shoeboy is coming near our own heels. I know there is among us a strong feeling that the lower classes are better without politics, as there is also that they are better without crinoline and artificial flowers; but, if politics and crinoline and artificial flowers are good at all, they are good for all who can honestly come by them and honestly use them. The political coachman is perhaps less valuable to his master as a coachman than he would be without his politics, but he with his politics is more valuable to himself. For myself, I do not like the Americans of the lower orders. I am not comfortable among them. They tread on my corns and offend me. They make my daily life unpleasant. But I do respect them. I acknowledge their intelligence and personal dignity. I know that they are men and women worthy to be so called. I see that they are living as human beings in possession of reasoning faculties; and I perceive that they owe this to the progress that education has made among them."

What a conquest over personal feeling and national prejudice! A testimony like this is precious to us when we are in danger of depreciating our work; or when we are sad from the feeling, how feeble are our efforts and imperfect our success, in comparison with our aspirations. It is specially interesting at the present time to see how closely the reasoning of many Englishmen against the enlightenment of the “ lower orders” tallies with the reasoning of most Southerners and even some Northerners against the freedom, education, and elevation of the colored race in this country. The reasoning, let it assume what guise it may, is all selfish. One inference more from our author's picture. Will the ruin of such a nation be permitted ? Will they be left, as their enemies predict, to go to the wall ?” May we not adopt our author's assurance ?

“I venture to express an opinion that they will by no means go to the wall, and that they will be saved from such a destiny, if in no other

way, then by their EDUCATION."

INTEREST.

In teaching any branch it is always best to “ forelay” for what is to come, and, in so doing, have “an eye single” to what will be thoroughly practical. This should be always done in teaching mathematics in all its branches. There is no claim to originality in the method here offered of teaching this important subject, but an earnest desire to save the pupils of our common schools from the task of learning much that will be almost entirely useless in the “counting-room” and in the business operations of life. In teaching Percentage, forecast for Interest. I would find the per cent. of any sum, by getting aliquot parts of that sum, considered as one hundred

per cent. E.

E. g., in finding .87 of $9200, take }, or .50, of the sum ; 1 of the last number, which is .25 of the sum; it of the given sum, which is .10 of that sum; of this last number, it being .02 of the whole sum ; and the results will be $4600, $2300, $920, and $184, which added give $8004. A little practice will soon enable the pupil to perform the work rapidly and accurately. Having, by practice, laid a good foundation, we are ready to build the “next story," Interest, in the same

manner.

Take the following example: Required, the interest of $9200 for 14 years, 7 months, and 29 days. The interest of $1.00 for 14 years and 6 months is .87: we find the aliquot parts as before, and have 1 month and 29 days, or 59 days beside, to find the interest for. .01, (one one-hundredth), of the principal is the interest of $1.00 for 2 months, or 60 days, which can always be found by moving the point two places to the left; and moving it three places gives the interest for 6 days. With this explanatory remark on the days, we are ready to go to work. We take the following aliquot parts : of 60 days' interest for 30 days, į of the same for 20 days, } of 30 days' interest for 6 days, 1 of 6 days' interest for 3 days, which give $46.00, $30.666+, $9.20, and $4.60; and these added to $4600, $2300, $920, and $184, give $8094.466+, Ans. Remove the points and find the parts mentally, putting down the results only. This is the method used by “business men,” and is readily grasped by the mind of the pupil.

The writer has used this method with success, in teaching a class of forty, whose average age was thirteen, it being the first time they had ever studied interest. This method will recommend itself to any teacher who will give it a careful examination, and it seems superior to the “way” of getting aliquot parts of one year's or one month's interest; this “way” combines both, in a measure. Not that the old methods should be discarded, but preference given to the above as the most practical. Boys entering the counting-room are obliged to give up the “old way” and learn a shorter one, so let us give them that shorter wayat the outset.

A few words on “ Problems in Interest.” Often has it been said by teachers : “ If the rule for any problem in interest should be asked of me, I could not give it, nor could I solve such a problem unless I could see the rule.” Furthermore, any teacher of experience knows the impossibility of pupils' giving “the way” of performing the problems, if he “skip around” in asking his questions. The fault with the pupils and some teachers is to be found in THEIR teachers. A little explanation of the formula, trp=i, will enable the pupil to grasp the whole subject, and so thoroughly that it will never leave him. In teaching multiplication and division of Simple Numbers, “ forecast ” for this also, and have this principle well grounded, viz.: “If the product of three numbers, and two of those numbers are given, the third may be found by dividing the product of the three by the product of the two." Use the "old" or “new method " in interest here, and if both are well understood, or one only, we are ready to go on. t:

time, r = P principal, and i = interest; and if the principal is multiplied by the rate and time, it gives the interest; therefore, the interest is the product of three numbers, time, rate, and principal, or ir p= i; and if two are given, the third can be found as above: thus, ir p= i, (cross the r, as that is the required quantity), and the class answer: “Divide the interest () by the principal (p) multiplied by the time (1) considered as a decimal, and the quotient is the rate (r)." Again, trp= i, (crossing the p,) answer: “Divide the interest (i) by time (t) multiplied by rate (r), the quotient is the principal (p).” Again, trp=i, (crossing the t,) as before, “ Divide interest by rate multiplied by principal, and the quotient is the time.” This is practical, and girls and boys always remember

rate,

trp=i.

« AnteriorContinuar »