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REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE HOME AND COLONIAL INFANT SCHOOL SOCIETY, for the Years 1836, 1837, 1838, 1839. 1840, 1841, 1842.

PRACTICAL REMARKS ON INFANT EDUCATION, for the Use of Schools and Private Families. By the Rev. Dr. MAYO and Miss MAYO. Third Edition. London: Seeley & Burnside. 1842.

MODEL LESSONS FOR INFANT SCHOOL TEACHERS AND NURSERY GOVERNESSES. Prepared for the Home and Colonial Infant School Society. By the Author of "Lessons on Objects," &c. Second Edition. London: Seeley & Burnside.


A SELECTION OF HYMNS AND POETRY, for the Use of Infant Schools and Nurseries. In Five Parts. Second Edition. London: Suter. 1842.

HYMNS, SONGS, AND MARCHING PIECES, for Infant Schools and Families. Set to Music by Mr. JAMES PYNE. Infant School Depôt, Gray's Inn Road.

"FEED MY LAMBS." The Annual Sermon of the Home and Infant School Society for 1840. By the Rev. EDWARD BICKERSTETH, Rector of Watton.

LESSONS ON SCRIPTURE PRINTS, to accompany the Preceptive Illustrations of the Bible. Intended also to assist Parents and Teachers in the Use of Prints as an Aid to Elementary Instruction. By the Author of "Lessons on Objects." London: Roake & Varty. 1842.

MODEL LESSONS FOR INFANT SCHOOL TEACHERS, &c. Part II. By the same. London: Seeley & Burnside. 1842.

PROCEEDINGS AT THE HALF-YEARLY MEETINGS OF THE TEACHERS instructed at the Institution of the Home and Colonial Infant School Society, held on Wednesday, July 7th, 1841, and Wednesday, Jan. 5th, 1842. London: L. & G. Seeley. 1842.

USEFUL HINTS TO TEACHERS. Published by direction of the Committee of the Home and Colonial Infant School Society. London: Nisbet.


WE have placed these publications at the head of the present article, in order to give some account of them and of the Institution from which they emanate.

The Home and Colonial Infant School Society demands our attention from the importance of its work and the extent of its labours. Commencing with infants, it professes to have laid down a system suited to children from two to eight or nine, thus supplying a want which has long been grievously felt in our manufacturing and agricultural districts; and to enable teachers to carry out this system, it claims to have set forth principles and provided lessons, objects, pictures and other materials in accordance with them. It has also already sent forth nearly 700 trained teachers, and continues to supply annually upwards of 100, to aid in the instruction of our dense population; it is obvious therefore that its theory and practice challenge investigation.

Pestalozzi many years ago proclaimed, what at the time was undoubtedly entitled to all the merit of a discovery, that "Education has to deal with the mind, the affections, and the bodily organs, and should simultaneously, harmoniously, and progressively develope all the various powers with which man is gifted." He declared too, "that the subjects ordinarily presented to the youthful mind were too remote from that knowledge which the child acquired without regular instruction, and were in general taught in too abstract a manner;" and he proposed, in consequence, "to bring education more into contact with the child's experience and observation,-to find in him the first link in the chain of his own instruction."

The system to which his name has been given, though it has long been followed on the continent to a great extent, is but just beginning to be popular in this country. Unfortunately its first advocates were men holding opinions opposed to gospel truth, and they engrafted on Pestalozzianism their own metaphysical fallacies of the innate virtues of children possessing germs of moral excellence, which it was the office of the educator to develope. This caused the system itself to be viewed with suspicious fear; its real good was choked under the rubbish that had been cast upon it, and it would probably have been altogether lost to this country, had not the Rev. Dr. Mayo judiciously and quietly worked out its principles in his own school at Cheam, and adapted them to our English character and feelings. Several of his pupils have taken the highest honours at Oxford and Cambridge, and his establishment now ranks in the very first class of private schools. He has been followed by the Rev. Mr. Barron at Stanmore, the Rev. Mr. Brown at Cheam, and a few others in different parts of the country;-still the system has made its way slowly. And until the establishment of the Society now under our notice, no systematic effort had been made. to introduce it extensively amongst the poorer classes.

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If it be true, however, that it is the work of education to form the whole man, and not merely to impart a certain degree of knowledge, it is self-evident that those whose laborious occupations and admitted ignorance render it impossible that they can thus educate their own children, should have the means of doing so provided for them. The children of the rich are daily placed in circumstances, which are to a certain degree favourable to the developement of their mental powers and moral feelings; but can we say this of the poor, especially of the manufacturing poor? Surely it is not enough for children situated as they are, and about to enter on such a life, that mere mechanical instruction be given in reading, writing and arithmetic,-the mental faculties must be cultivatedamiable dispositions fostered-the moral habits formed-the physical powers exercised-above all, the principles of the Bible must be instilled and brought into daily practice.

The system adopted by the Home and Colonial Infant School Society, professes to do all this; and if it succeed, it will be hailed by the Christian and the philanthrophist with the strongest feelings of satisfaction and delight. That such is their object is obvious, for the Committee write thus:

"Even in some which are considered our best schools, education has been too much confined to words; children have been taught to analyze sentences, to classify and explain words: the effect of this is to make them acute cavillers-quick at detecting faults-ready speakers. What is really wanted is, to awaken their minds to the beauties of creation—to the pleasures of reading and the exercise of thought-and, at the same time, to cultivate a sound judgment and a meek, lowly, contented disposition; individuals, in short, satisfied with the position in which it has pleased God to place them-having their moral sense formed on the standard of the Gospel, and so prepared to pass through things temporal, that they may adorn their Christian profession whilst on earth, and finally lose not the things eternal.

"This is in vain attempted on the monitorial system alone; a monitor cannot teach what he does not know: little accustomed to observe the operations of his own mind, he can but feebly, if at all, act upon the minds of his fellows: this defect must be remedied by the teacher."-(Report, 1840.)

The Society may be said to have commenced its public existence on the 1st of June, 1836, when the house they originally took in Southampton-street was opened. On this occasion the teachers of Infant Schools in London and its neighbourhood were invited to attend; and after a paper had been read, detailing the then views of the Committee, addresses were delivered by the Rev. Dr. Short (now Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man,) the Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel, the Rev. Dr. Mayo, &c.

In their first report (1836) the Committee thus justify and explain the work they had undertaken :

"If persons who are now laboriously engaged in teaching adults could shew the limited success which attends their most persevering efforts—if that active

and faithful band of Christians who are toiling in Sunday-schools, could state the difficulties they experience in communicating to children, not previously instructed, the most simple truths of the Bible-if the teachers of the National and British and Foreign Schools could set forth the time lost with children who are neglected until they are seven or eight years of age-if the Judges of the land could tell us how many young delinquents, trained from their cradles to every vicious practice, are brought to the bar of justice-above all, if the Ministers of the Gospel could tell to what an extent the duties of their office are impeded, because it is impossible to find language in which to convey their all-important message to minds allowed to remain without early instruction, even the most prejudiced would feel that Infant Schools are entitled to far more encouragement than they receive.

"Whilst then so many are laudably engaged in the education of the adult population, and of children of riper years, this Committee desire to begin at the beginning-to purify, as it were, the flowing stream at its source-to lay hold of the rising generation, and to provide them with an education, essentially moral and religious, up to the period of their entering into other schools, or commencing a life of daily labour in our manufactories and fields. In doing this the Committee are satisfied that they shall greatly shorten, and render more effectual, the work of all who have to do with the instruction of the poor during the subsequent period of their lives; and, at the same time, provide for the wants of a large proportion of the population-especially of the manufacturing population-who, engaged as they are from morning until evening, cannot after the age of seven obtain anything like the semblance of education."

It was one of the first measures of the Committee to request the Rev. Dr. Mayo to deliver a short course of lectures for the improvement of the existing teachers. The substance of these lectures has since been embodied in an address to Infant School Teachers, and is published in the early part of the volume which stands first on our list. In this address, the necessity for the improvement in Infant Schools is thus strikingly set forth :

"In common with many other individuals, I hailed with great delight, some years ago, the establishment of infant schools. These institutions held out the cheering promise of ameliorating the moral, as well as the intellectual condition of the working classes; and it was delightful to witness the lively intelligence, the cheerful good humour, the pure morality, the simple piety that prevailed, in many of these schools. Numerous were the instances, not only of children improved, but of parents reclaimed through their happy influence. But, alas! our expectations were found to be too sanguine, and the infant school system had scarcely been formed, when symptoms of degeneracy began to manifest themselves. The teachers, hastily, and, in consequence, superficially instructed, caught up a few forms, and failed to imbibe the spirit of the method. In some instances, it was made a mere plaything; to sing a few vulgar or trivial songs, to make certain ludicrous movements, and to talk over a few pictures, were thought to be the principal business of the school. In many more, it was made an exhibition; a few children more lively than the rest were continually paraded before visitors, and a great deal of wonder was excited by the repetition of words which were not understood, or the display of knowledge, which puffed up rather than edified. If the coarser exhibitions of brutal passion, which disgrace the infant population in our streets were restrained, still it was most painful to see pride, vanity and other works of the flesh nurtured where they should have been checked. Out of this very spirit of display, it arose that in a large proportion of the schools, the communicating information on a variety of ill-selected topics

was made of more importance, than training the children to habits of accurate observation and correct expression. Indeed, it was too generally the case, even in the schools enjoying the highest reputation, that the development of the mind was more sedulously pursued than the improvement of the temper and the formation of the moral character. And whence did this rapid degeneracy spring? Partly, as I hinted before, from the inadequate instruction which teachers received, but still more from forgetfulness of the great objects for which infant schools had been established. Inferior temporal considerations had occupied the place of superior and spiritual aims. We must then retrace our steps; we must supply our deficiencies. The infant school must be once more a sacrifice to the Lord; the humble and grateful offering of Christian charity and zeal to Him, who once lisped in the accents of childhood, and tottered in the weakness of infancy. Once more must be inscribed on the portals of our infant schools-Holiness to the Lord.' While all the sensibilities of infancy are waiting, as it were, for the first influence that shall call them forth, the precious but fleeting hours must be consecrated, not so much to a knowledge' that 'vanisheth away,' as to that knowledge which is 'life eternal,' the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. The school of infancy must be as the gate of heaven, and the scenes of early instruction be regarded as 'holy ground.'”—(pp. 1—3.)

The Committee, adopting at once the idea here suggested, have placed "Holiness to the Lord" over the gallery of their Model School; thus avowing to their friends and visitors that the Society is established on "Christian principles." One of their earliest resolutions was to the following effect :-"That in the opinion of the Committee, the only education which can prove a blessing to the country, must be based on a knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and on vital religion. That while the Committee venerate and love the Established Church, and believe that it is the channel through which it has pleased God to pour incalculable benefits upon the country, they are convinced that in a Central Society for promoting Infant education, all who hold the fundamental truths of the Gospel, and love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, may cordially unite. That the Committee in consequence, educate in the principles and practice of Infant Education, persons of decided piety of different religious denominations, considering it the province of the Local Committees of Infant Schools to select their own Teachers."

Subsequently, however, on the recommendation of the Rev. Edward Bickersteth, the Committee wisely added to their resolutions, after the words "Christian principles," "as such principles are set forth and embodied in the doctrinal Articles of the Church of England." And as the large number of teachers who board and lodge at the institution (from 45 to 50,) render two houses necessary, one has been appropriated to members of the Established Church, so that clergymen and others sending teachers to be trained, may feel that the domestic arrangements and associations are satisfactory. On the whole, so far as our enquiries

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