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avoid laying down, or at least divulging, any general rules, on the subject either of the nomination or the appointment of his monitors. It should be distinctly understood through the school, that in every such nomination all circumstances must be taken into account that one may be rejected or removed from being a monitor, merely on account of his not possessing a turn for teaching, without calling in question either his own other attainments or his diligence, and that, among the monitors themselves, the post of honour depends, not on the numerical order of the class entrusted to them, but entirely upon its state of discipline and improvement."
At first the monitor should be employed, as far as practicable, in the mechanical parts of instruction only; as the hearing of tasks previously prepared, &c. Each monitor should be provided with an assistant, to whom should be assigned the charge of the books, slates, &c., belonging to the class, and the duty of superintending the order and attention of the children, while the monitor himself is engaged in teaching. He might also be required to make up the registers of attendance of his own particular class. One monitor must be selected for the office of usher, whose duties will be explained in a succeeding chapter under the head of " Discipline."
Considerable prejudice generally exists in the minds of parents in reference to the monitorial system. They imagine that while their children are employed in teaching their schoolfellows they cannot possibly be acquiring ány new information for themselves. To counteract, as much as possible, the unpopularity to which the system is thus subject, the master might select two sets of monitors, and employ them alternately, so that one set might at all times be receiving the ordinary instruction of the school. Besides this, he ought to devote an hour
beyond the usual school-hours to their instruction, and also give them special lessons for preparation at home. If the funds of the school are sufficient, a small pecuniary reward may
be allowed to those monitors who have performed their duties efficiently, or at least the ordinary school fee should be remitted.
2. Pupil-teachers, &c.-In the previous section it was remarked that the Committee of Council had endeavoured to remedy the defects of the monitorial system by calling into use a new officer under the name of pupil-teacher. The plan, however, was not entirely originated by that body. The National Society and the London Diocesan Board of Education had both previously turned their attention to the appointment of a similar class of assistant teachers for schools. In the report of the National Society for the year 1844 occur the following remarks :
In addition to the ordinary operations of this school (the National Society Central School), a number of well-recommended youths have been admitted, during - the last year, as paid monitors, with a view to their becoming assistant teachers, and eventually masters of schools. The instruction given them by Mr. Wilson, after school-hours as well as in school, is purely a preparation for useful
Their training is essentially practical, and the acquisition and application of knowledge go on almost simultaneously. They thus insensibly gain a power of reproducing, and a habit and love of communicating what they know, which eminently fit them for their future laborious duties.”
To those who are acquainted with the Government scheme, the above quotation must have the appearance of almost an exact description of its objects and intentions. It remained, however, for the Committee of Council both to extend the plan throughout the country at large, and also to place it upon a secure and per
manent basis. This has been done by a system of apprenticeship, by which boys and girls are bound to serve under a duly-qualified teacher, for the space of five years, after which they are removed to some accredited training institution,
The Minute which decided the appointment of pupilteachers and stipendiary monitors, with the regulations consequent thereupon, is to be found in the reports of the Committee of Council for the year 1846. As these regulations are also embodied in what is called “the Broad Sheet for Pupil-teachers," a copy of which it is presumed may be obtained on application to the Secretary of the Committee of Council on Education, it appears needless to insert them here. Neither is it necessary to enter at much length upon any subject connected with pupil-teachers, as the published regulations define with very great exactness almost every point upon which information can be desiredAs for example :
The Qualifications requisite for Admission,
The Qualifications required at the Yearly Examination of the Inspector.
Provision is made for one hour and a half's instruction per day, by the master, during the five school-days of the week. But with this limited allowance of time, which, however, is as much as can well be afforded in addition to the six hours of regular school-work required from the master, it is manifest that much of the pupilteacher's success in arriving at the standard of attainments laid down by the Committee of Council must depend upon his own application during the hours of private study. It would be very desirable if any arrangement could be made whereby the pupil-teacher might reside with the master, so that his moral and intellectual training might receive a more constant and regular supervision and direction; but this, under existing circumstances, is rarely possible. The gratuity, or amount of remuneration, allowed by the Government is not sufficient to cover the expenses of board and lodging. For these the pupil-teacher is obliged to depend principally upon his friends, and thus, in most cases, residence with his parents is a matter almost of necessity. The same cause operates also against the selection of youths who are strangers to the school and neighbourhood, and thus many very eligible candidates, who might otherwise be disposed to offer themselves as pupilteachers, are excluded.
Great care should be taken in the selection of pupilteachers. They should not be chosen merely for their superior intelligence and sharpness, though it must be remembered that a child of slow intellect is not likely to prove a successful teacher. Those children will make the best return for the time and labour bestowed on them, who have had the blessing of religious parents, and a well-ordered home, where the efforts of the teacher to impress on them the importance of their future calling will be duly seconded, --who have good, sound abilities, rather than precocious sharpness, and who have shown from their earliest years a love of teaching, and an orderly, methodical frame of mind. As the pupil-teacher advances in his apprenticeship, it will be the especial duty of those set over him to check the very first symptoms of self-sufficiency and conceit-faults not unlikely to be fostered by the position in which he is placed —and to make him feel that his stock of knowledge must be at the best but slight and superficial.
There can, however, be no doubt that the pupil-teacher system has contributed in a great degree to the efficiency of national schools, and its universal application is a matter much to be desired.
In the Appendix C is inserted a time-table, suggesting a routine of instruction for pupil-teachers in each year of their apprenticeship, which may possibly prove useful to those not experienced in the subject.
3. On Classification and Time Tables.—On the subject of Classification some difference of opinion exists. The followers of Dr. Bell contend for large classes, containing not fewer than 36. On the other hand, the disciples of Lancaster maintain that the number in one class should never exceed 9. Between these opinions a middle line may be drawn, and it is therefore recommended that an ordinary class should contain about 20 to 24 children. A larger number would probably become unmanageable under a pupil-teacher or monitor, unless with very long experience, while a much smaller number would lead to such a multiplication of classes as to make it almost impossible for the master to provide anything like an efficient staff of assistants, to say nothing of the increased noise which would be occasioned by the additional number of voices.
It would be very desirable if a distinct classification could be made in every branch of study: that there were, for example, a particular set of classes for reading, another for arithmetic, another for geography, &c. But this is generally found difficult to accomplish. It is of course next to impossible to find in any
many boys of exactly the same attainments in all subjects, or even possessing the same degree of aptitude in all the different departments of learning; but it is nevertheless comparatively easy to find, in a large school, twenty children sufficiently near to each other in their general acquirements to derive a common benefit from any of the teacher's lessons. In some schools, however, the classes are often subdivided in the practice of arithmetic, and in other silent lessons, the lower divisions being placed