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or not listened to with the silent attention and in the devout posture suitable to divine worship. These are symptoms of insubordination which in a moment strike the eye even of a casual visitor. An injudicious master would resolve to suppress them at once by strong measures of corporal punishment.
“But, as in the case above stated, of imperfections in the system of tuition, so here also, where moral habits are to be changed, you will perceive the necessity of caution and deliberation. The habit of reverence is not the growth of a day, but results from repeated acts of subordination and obedience. You will provide, therefore, that when children enter school they shall show the customary obeisance, as part of that • lowly and reverent submission to all their betters' which their catechism enjoins.
“ You will make them take their places in a quiet and orderly manner, and not omit to notice any deficiency in cleanliness or neatness.
“You may find advantage in making them go through certain mechanical movements and evolutions at the word of command ; an occasional exercise, which not merely re-awakens attention, but produces almost instinctively an obedient temper. Above all, when you engage in prayer or reading the Scriptures, you will uniformly evince by your voice and manner that you are suitably impressed with the deep importance of this duty; you will thus excite more effectually in them a spirit of reverence corresponding to your own. Prayer thus offered at the daily opening and closing of the school will seldom fail in due course of time to subdue turbulence, soften obduracy, and introduce reverential feeling.
“ As the dismissal for the day takes place immediately after prayer, you will of course conduct it in a regular
and decorous manner, suppressing noise, contention, and confusion." *
6. Among the other points of discipline to be observed are those which refer to personal cleanliness and neatness, and to the due preservation of the property belonging to the school. No child should be allowed to attend school with unwashed face or hands, uncombed hair, or dirty and ragged clothing. All books and school materials should be used with proper care and returned to their places after use. The room should always present a neat and tidy appearance, and, in short, all those arrangements which affect the discipline of the school should fulfil the Apostle's precept, “ Let all things be done decently and in order.”
II. The means of discipline comprised under the second head are those whose aim is to accustom the children to application and zeal in the performance of their various school duties. They include emulation and the taking of places, rewards, punishments, &c.
i. Emulation.-Emulation, although objected to by some persons on moral grounds, and as being contrary to the spirit of Christianity, is, more or less, almost universally practised in schools. One plan pursued is the following : When any child in a class has committed a blunder, he who stands next to him (having first signified to his teacher by holding out his hand that he wishes to speak) is allowed to answer, and if right to take the higher place. If he should give a wrong answer also, those below are allowed to try, according to their turns, and the boy who gives the correct answer takes prece
* Extract from a letter to an Organizing Master by the Venerable Archdeacon Sinclair while Secretary to the National Society-published in the Society's Reports.
dence of all those who have failed. In taking the place it is desirable that he should pass along the front of the line; and when any child is degraded to a lower position in the class, he, on the contrary, should pass along the
It is important that no boy except the one next to him, whose turn it was to answer, should be allowed to correct any
mistake until the monitor has pointed to him, and, by so doing, has given him permission to speak. When children are allowed to correct mistakes indiscriminately and without regard to their standing in the class, noise and confusion must be the necessary result.
Another mode of causing emulation among children is by giving rewards or prizes. This plan is, however, far less common now than formerly. The necessity which once existed for such extraneous inducements, intended as they were to soften the rigour of an imperfect and unnatural system, is now happily passing away. It is to be hoped the time is at hand when children will not look upon going to school as the greatest hardship of their existence. The inattention which is so often complained of is more frequently the fault of the teacher than that of the child. Let the teacher make his lessons interesting to his pupils ; let him awaken in them a natural curiosity and a desire for new information; and he will soon find that there is but little necessity for artificial means of emulation, such as prizes, medals, and other rewards.
In those schools in which it is still thought requisite to give rewards, they should mark something more than mere progress in learning. Great idleness and carelessness, combined with natural talent, will often rise above the most unwearying perseverance joined with inferior parts; it would therefore be manifestly unjust to reward the child who, notwithstanding his general inattention and indisposition to study, has been enabled merely by
natural superiority to excel his more hard-working companion. Good behaviour, diligence, and application to learning, are the qualifications which appear most to deserve any extraordinary advantages which a school may have to bestow. It is, however, very difficult to arrange any system of rewards without exciting feelings of envy in the unsuccessful pupils, and of dissatisfaction in the minds of those parents whose children have not obtained distinction. Upon the whole, masters will do well to dispense with rewards, by striving to make the instruction given in the school so attractive as not to require their use.
Punishments. In this place it appears necessary that a few words should be said in reference to punishments. Under the most judicious master, and in the best organized school, instances will occasionally be found of wilful misconduct and disobedience, determined and repeated inattention to studies, and utter disregard of adınonition and advice. When any such instance occurs, it is absolutely essential that the master should have at his command such means of correction as shall at least prevent a speedy repetition of the offence. It seems almost needless to remark that the punishment should always be proportionate, and of the kind best adapted to the fault which has been committed ; and that no vindictive feeling on the part of the teacher should accompany its infliction. Some persons think that a considerable interval should elapse before the punishment is applied, while others hold that no time should be lost in carrying out such measures as will be likely to bring the refractory pupil to a better state of mind. The teacher will be able to judge for himself, according to the circumstances of any particular case and his own disposition to sudden excitement, which of these two plans may be adopted with the best hope of producing the desired reformation.
Some persons altogether object to corporal punishment; but it will be found on experience that it is an instrument of discipline which cannot wholly be dispensed with. It is however generally admitted that its use should be as limited as possible, and that it should only be employed when all other means have failed. The master who can govern his school, only so long as the feeling of fear is kept alive in his pupils, is surely very unfit for his office, and under such a teacher the necessity for corporal punishment will be constantly on the increase. But he who unites firmness with kindness, and who shows the children, by his constant watchfulness over them, and by the earnestness of his manner, that he has their interest too much at heart to allow their faults to escape his notice and correction, will find that personal chastisement may be almost indefinitely diminished.
In connexion with the use of corporal punishment it will be well to observe the following cautions :
1. Never to punish with the hand, but always with
2. Never to use the cane as a pointer, or for any purpose except that for which it is designed.
3. Never to punish on any part of the body which may be likely to receive permanent injury from the application of the cane. The palm of the hand appears to be most appropriate. Leaving a mark upon any part of the body should be carefully avoided.
4. Never to allow the monitors or the subordinate teachers the use of the cane.
5. Never to torture children by making them keep the body in any inconvenient position for a long period of time, as by holding up the hands over the head, &c. &c. Kneeling as a punishment is also highly objectionable.
The plan of setting tasks, or, as they are sometimes called, impositions, which involves confinement in school