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School-room, at which all who have it in their power attend. Questions relating to teaching and schools are proposed in writing by the teachers, and are answered at length by the officers of the institution. The little work placed ninth on our list contains the proceedings of two of these meetings, taken in short-hand, and published by direction of the committee. Various questions of interest to teachers and parents are discussed with considerable ability, as "rewards and punishments," "moral and religious training," "teaching natural history," "the method of teaching to read," &c. The spirit displayed seems truly Christian, and doubtless these meetings are well calculated to keep up the feelings which it is one great object of the original training to inspire.
The Model School is a large well-proportioned room, about fifty-five feet by twenty-five, divided by a curtain; this room is under the care of a principal master and mistress; two smaller school-rooms are under the weekly superintendence of the teachers in training, to accustom them in some degree to school-practice whilst in the Institution. To these school-rooms are added three class rooms for the separate instruction of the teachers and for distinct classes of children. The rooms are plain and fitted up without much expence, it appearing to be the object of the committee rather to show good teaching than handsome rooms; considering, however, their vicinity to London, the premises are roomy and convenient, and the neighbourhood (Gray's Inn Road) is more accessible and better known than formerly. Visitors at the institution are numerous, and every explanation seems to be given compatible with the work carrying on.
We cannot better describe what is done in the three schools than by quoting the following extract from the fifth Report of the Society (1841):
"In the first preparatory school, the objects proposed are to gain order and obedience, preserving at the same time that tone of cheerful good humour fitting the joyous season of infancy; to exercise and strengthen the bodily organs, to awaken the mental perceptions on the most familiar objects, and to fix the first religious impressions. The subjects for each day's lessons have been carefully arranged, and after they have been tested by experience, will be published under the direction of the committee.1
In the second school, the objects proposed are to exercise the conceptive as well as the perceptive faculties of the children; that is, to accustom them to re-produce and accurately express the ideas they have gained through their senses; to enlighten their consciences by bringing before them different moral qualities, to awaken a sense of their own responsibility, and to call out and exercise religious feelings, making use for this latter purpose of Scripture prints. The subjects of the lessons for this course are also arranged, and are in like manner undergoing the test of experience, with a view to publication.1 "In both these schools, where the children on their admission are placed,
1 These Lessons have now been published. See Model Lessons, Part II.
and where the teachers first practise the art of teaching, great care has been taken to bring down the instruction to infantine capacities, and the teachers are directed to let their lessons assume as much as possible the character of familiar conversation. In order to form elementary exercises on form and colour, a box has been prepared, containing pieces of wood cut into various shapes, and also patterns of different colours; to these are added a sheet, on which are drawn all the different forms the box contains, and another sheet having on it the various colours. The manner in which these are used is, that the teacher holds up one of these sheets before the children, and pointing to a shape or colour on the sheet, a child is desired to select all the pieces of a similar shape or colour, the correctness of the selection being determined by an appeal to the whole gallery. The perceptions of the children are in this way exercised on two very obvious properties of matter, and an opportunity given of correcting their impressions. In a subsequent course, they are taught to affix the right appellation to the qualities they have discovered. This plan is philosophically correct, and its adoption has done much towards giving the teachers a clear comprehension of a fundamental principle in education, viz:-That the child should first be exercised in forming clear notions, and then taught how to express them. A number of these boxes are prepared, and are sold at the Infant School depôt.
In the Model School, which forms the third step in the course, the instruction is somewhat more systematic and connected. The objects proposed, in addition to the exercising of the faculties of perception and conception, are to give the children a little simple information on subjects about which they have been previously interested, and to exercise their memories in storing up the knowledge they may gain; to make the moral instruction arise as much as possible out of the events of the day, habituating the children to try their dispositions and conduct by the standard of the Bible; to draw the religious lessons more directly from the word of God, and to form a regular course, developing in the children the power of preserving in their minds a chain of events. Much consideration has been given to the course of religious lessons, and it is hoped the publication of the skeletons of these lessons, to be filled up by the teachers themselves, will prove a valuable help in early education.1 In this school also an effort has been made clearly to develope the elementary ideas of geography. The children learn first to form correct notions of the information a map is intended to convey, as the position of places with respect to the cardinal points, their relative position, their distances measured by a scale, and the form of countries as marked by their boundaries. Having commenced with drawing a map of what is within their view, the idea is gradually expanded, and they learn to conceive what is beyond their actual experience. Thus, according to one of the leading ideas of Pestalozzi, 'They proceed from the known to the unknown.'
"One great objection to gallery instruction has been, that the questions were generally answered by a few of the older or more intelligent children, while the younger remained uninterested and acquired a habit of listlessness and inattention. To overcome this, the gallery of the Model School is divided on alternate days, when the younger class go over again the lessons of the preceding day, and the elder ones advance to a new subject. Another advantageous change has been the formation of a juvenile class. The object of this class is to enable the children to continue in the Infant School without detriment, a longer period than is usually allowed. This is important, as in many instances, particularly in the manufacturing districts, where the great majority go so early to work, other schools for their reception cannot be maintained. The children of the juvenile section become more independent of the master's instruction; they learn by heart and work out various lessons at home, and perform at school the office of monitors, teaching their younger
See "Useful Hints to Teachers."
companions what they have themselves acquired. They also pr actise linear drawing a branch of instruction hitherto almost entirely neglected in England, and from the general introduction of which into our poor schools the committee anticipate the happiest results. What an advantage it would be to artisans of all descriptions, to have an eye exercised in forming a correct judgment, and a hand practised in executing. Independent of its real utility, may we not reasonably hope that numbers would be kept from vicious and de basing indulgences, if they had such a pleasurable amusement to occupy their leisure hours at home?"
If the graduated course of instruction adopted in these schools be well constructed, it will be a very important improvement in the work of education, and the public are much indebted to the Society for accomplishing it. The difficulty of entering into the minds of others of a different class, and of a different age to ourselves, and of adapting the march of our ideas to their more limited intelligence, is far greater than those who have not made the trial can well imagine. In dealing with young children, too, the question of bodily health is a consideration never to be lost sight of. The late Dr. Hope, the most recent authority on these subjects, says, "in the earliest period it is requisite that the infant should as speedily as possible become acquainted with language and the external phenomena of nature; accordingly the faculties of observation, memory, and attention, to which perhaps curiosity may be added, are developed in the highest degree." "Most parents," he adds, " are aware that if education be improperly conducted, the health may be impaired. Were we not acquainted with the order in which the faculties are developed, we should have great difficulty in answering their questions; but we can now answer confidently, in general terms, that if those faculties only are exercised by education, which nature has in the fullest operation at the time, and if that exercise be not carried to fatiguing excess, no injury to the health will be sustained, since we are only doing nature's work, slightly modifying the direction of it. If, on the contrary, we attempt to anticipate the order of nature, and to draw out faculties which do not yet naturally exist, the utmost detriment to the health, no less than to the future intellectual powers, may be expected to occur."
Adopting to their full extent the views of Dr. Hope, that early education should be the handmaid, not the counteractor, of nature, the committee have endeavoured to frame a course of instruction calculated to call out the observation, correct the impressions, and fix the attention of childhood, and to arrange such a progressive series of lessons that one step may lead to a second without any distressing effort to the most delicate mind. We had marked for extract that portion of the work entitled "Useful Hints to Teachers," in which this graduated course is given, but it is long,
and our extracts have already transgressed our usual limits, occasioned mainly by a desire to let the committee speak as far as possible for itself. We may be allowed to express a confident hope, that all who take an interest in the subject will obtain the book; we cannot, however, close this article, and take our leave of the Society, without quoting, in justice to its exertions, the following eloquent appeal with which their fifth report concludes :
"Your Committee feel that they cannot make a stronger appeal to the public for its continued and increased support than in thus giving a plain unvarnished statement of what they are doing, and propose to do. They are deeply grieved and mortified to be compelled, by the inadequacy of their permanent income to meet their necessary expenditure, to call year after year upon their kind friends for additional help, and to be obliged also continually to shut their ears to urgent applications made to them for assistance; they do not, however, despond. If the Lord were manifestly withholding his blessing from the operations of the society: if the voice of the wise and of the good proclaimed the failure of their plans, they might indeed pause and tremble, and contemplate the abandonment of their labours. But when they find the reverse of this; when they see those fruits in the demeanour and conduct of the teachers under instruction, which only the Spirit of God can produce; when they receive the frequent testimony of the pious and enlightened friends of education, that the instructors they send forth are to a degree effectually prepared for their work, that the principles of the system are sound, and the practical developement of them happily conceived and skilfully executed; that the effect produced on the infant mind is such as an intelligent philanthropist would approve, and that the influence exercised on the infant character such as a Christian pastor would desire, they cannot think, when their wants and the state of their finances are made known, that patriotism and charity will look on them and pass by on the other side. No;-they feel convinced that the offering of Christian benevolence will be poured in adequate measure into their treasury; that a field which the Lord hath blest will not be suffered again to become desert through the indifference of his people; and that pecuniary means will not be wanting for the maintenance of their plans, and the extension of ascertained usefulness.
EVERY-DAY DUTIES; in Letters to a Young Lady. By M. A. STODART. London: Seeley and Burnside. 1841. HINTS ON READING; addressed to a Young Lady. By M. A. STODART. London: Seeley and Burnside. 1839.
Ir has been often observed, that some of the most striking and cogent of the subordinate evidences to the divine origin of the religion of the gospel are to be found in its tendencies; in the influences, that is, which it exercises indirectly upon the social system. One of these tendencies is developed in the abolition of slavery;-another, in the restoration of woman to her original and proper position in the scale of being, thus verifying the words of the Apostle Paul, that "there is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither male nor female; there is neither bond nor free, for all one in Christ Jesus." And these tendencies are most fully developed, where the accredited standards of national Christianity are most in accordance with the tenor of the word of God. We say national Christianity; for Christianity, as in America, may be pure, though it is not national; and, as in Spain, national where it is not pure-and licentiousness, in the one case, will exult over woman in the consciousness of superior strength, and superstition, in the other, will make her the victim of its unscriptural observances, because she is least able, by argument, to expose their fallacies, and, by resistance, to withstand their power. Popery consigns woman to the cloister-while the unrestrained selfishness of vulgar democracy regards her as little more or better than a domestic drudge-the first servant of the house. Not such can she ever be in the estimate either of the Anglican Churchman, or of the Bible Christian. The service with which the Church consummates the closest and dearest of all earthly unions, speaks of "the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity;" while the Apostle Paul, in expressing his wish that the younger women should marry and bear children, defines their "every-day duties," by the significant phrase that they "guide the house;" and the manner in which those duties should be performed, when he adds, "and give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully." In order to illustrate this special province of woman, and to point out the principles on which its functions may be so discharged, as to elevate and ennoble the female character, the little work at the head of our list has been prepared; and without adopting all its