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without the aid of that species of correction. A paper was next read by Mr. Pleasants on "The advantages of adopting a system of home-tasks." The advantages pointed out were many and valuable, and consequently the reading of the paper had a beneficial effect in drawing the attention of the teachers present to the subject of "home-tasks." A short conversation followed, prayers were read, and the proceedings terminated.
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE AND WEST LINCOLNSHIRE ASSOCIATION.-The first annual meeting of this Association was held at the Trinity Schools, Nottingham, on Saturday, Dec. 2. A most excellent paper on the "Education of the reasoning faculties" was read by Mr. Oliff, of Grantham. This gentleman showed clearly how the reasoning faculties might be exercised in the usual routine of schoolinstruction, so as to cause the child to reason on the subjects, and form correct ideas. Euclid was particularly pointed out as being highly conducive to these ends; and by simple illustrations he showed how it might be made intelligible to children in our schools. It had been successfully taught in his own school, not so much for its own sake as for the more correct views it enabled the pupils to form on any subject brought before them, and leading to habits of independent thought. The annual report was presented to the members, which showed a balance in the hands of the treasurer.
DERBY AND DERBYSHIRE ASSOCIATION.-The usual quarterly meeting of the above Association was held in the Curzon Street Schoolroom, Derby, on Saturday, December 2d, 1854. After the usual financial business had been transacted, a very able lecture on the Electric Telegraph was given by Mr. Ryder, All Saints' Schools, Derby. The lecture was illustrated by several diagrams; and a working model of Cook and Wheatstone's telegraph, together with a compound Smee's battery to work it, were shown and explained. Some of the members present felt the shocking effects of a very powerful electro-magnetic machine. A well-written paper on Atmospheric Currents, read at the close of the meeting, by Mr. Sowter, Melbourne, excited great interest. The magic-lantern and apparatus, previously ordered by the Association, were produced at this meeting, and very favourably reported of by the members who had been appointed to examine them.
SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE AND NORTH WORCESTERSHIRE ASSOCIATION.-The following is the lecture delivered by Mr. Vaughan to this Association, and referred to in an account of their proceedings published in the November Number of this Paper.
The Teacher and his Mission.
In selecting this subject, I feel convinced that it is one which should have fallen into abler hands, if adequate justice is to be done to it; but, without further introduction, we will at once consider it in the following order: 1. The mission; 2. The qualifications essential to the proper discharge of it; 3. Some hints as to what we both may and may not expect from the present system of education.
1. The mission of the teacher-surely this is not merely to give a certain amount of technical knowledge and skill in reading, writing, and arithmetic. No, it has far higher aims; even nothing less than the training of the whole child to discharge faithfully those duties to which it shall please God in His providence to call him, when he becomes a man; to sow seed now, the harvest of which shall be gathered in the mansions above, when that child, having done his work below, shall, through the merits of his Saviour, sit down with many of those kind patrons who had been instrumental in putting within his reach the glorious privilege of a sound education, amid the assembly of that "great multitude whom no man can number," and in the presence of that God whom perchance he had first been taught to love by some obscure schoolmaster.
If such be the high and noble mission of the teacher (and who will deny but that it is?), "what manner of men ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness," especially when we remember that we thus train most when we least intend it? For it is not so much the solemn lecture, the serious remonstrance, or the laboured exposition, as the daily walk and conversation of the teacher; his truthfulness; his honest and conscientious integrity in little things; his painstaking and self-denial; his strict regard to justice between boy and boy, and Christian charity pervading the whole tenour of his conduct towards them,-which makes an indelible impression on the youthful mind. What, then, can we expect if, instead of these Christian graces being daily exhibited in the school, children see their teacher practising petty deceit and self-indulgence, manifesting little regard for strict truthfulness and justice, and exercising a splenetic and arbitrary power over that little community of which he is the head? Even in such a case considerable skill may be acquired in that trio of subjects which many parents are apt to regard as the only object for which it is worth sending their children to school. But surely it is not from these alone that we can expect a realisation of that gracious promise, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." The first and primary qualification, then, of the teacher is, that he should be a true Christian; one who will constantly look unto that perfect specimen of what a teacher should be, which is exemplified in the character of Him "who spake as never man spake." Specially an imitation of Him who was "meek and lowly in heart" will tend to keep the teacher at all times humble in himself, and consequently incline him to deal gently with the erring and wayward children committed to his charge. These qualifications of a true Christian life it is impossible for a teacher to pretend to have, if he possesses them not; for, as Canon Moseley well remarks, "I can imagine no greater self-degradation than that of the man who undertakes to act a part before children, nor any greater delusion than that of which he is the subject. A teacher may live before the world under a mask; but before his school he cannot. The eyes of the children pierce him through and through. He will only thus cause them to add to the imitation of his other sins that of his hypocrisy."
A natural love of children is a second and very essential qualification in the would-be successful teacher, since without it he will be ill able to bear with their frowardness, dullness, and perverseness; nor will he be likely to gain their affections, a point which is the groundwork of all true moral training. Children intuitively perceive who love them, and as quickly determine whom they can love.
Another qualification of the teacher is, that he should be active and energetic. The temptations to supineness and inactivity are peculiarly great in the calling of the teacher, who in this respect is far less favourably situated than many others. If the mechanic or the tradesman put additional vigour to the wheel, they are encouraged by seeing the effects of their exertions; but the teacher is doomed to toil on often for many months without witnessing any apparent results. His is a work of faith, not of sight. Energy and activity are also necessary to bear him up against the apathy of parents, and consequent irregularity of the attendance of many of his children.
Last, but not least, the teacher requires a considerable amount of technical knowledge, a still larger share of common sense, and an acquaintance with human nature, joined to an inborn aptness for teaching. As, however, in the present day we may presume that teachers have generally attained a certain amount of technical knowledge, the only question that remains is, how he may best increase it. As the Committee of Council opportunely remark, when they forward a teacher's certificate, "they who
have ceased to be learners are unfit to be teachers." In what way, then, he may best employ his spare time, provided always that he is not under the necessity of taking additional duties in order to eke out an insufficient income, becomes to the teacher a question of considerable importance, and will excuse the few hints I shall proceed to offer.
I was much struck with a remark in the paper already quoted, wherein the writer says, "If, as a general rule, I were asked what it was well for a master to teach in his school, I should say what he knew well; and if I were asked what it would be best for him to teach, I should say what he knew best." Now I think it would save teachers much useless labour if they adopted this rule with reference to their own studies; if they studied those subjects for which they have the most aptitude, and if in these they confined themselves to one or two at a time. I am aware from my own experience, that to divide the little spare time a master has from his direct and indirect school work among several subjects is to do little better than to waste it. As he soon finds that he makes little progress in any subject, he becomes disgusted, and ceases to study with any real ardour, until something again occurs to urge him onward, or to start him perhaps on a fresh course, in its turn to be thrown aside for something else. It is scarcely to be supposed that teachers, more than any other class of men, should be equally au fait in every subject; mathematics and language, natural history and physical science, drawing and music, together with the whole list of subjects included under the head of a "sound English education." Equally or more futile is it to attempt to introduce the elements of every subject in our schools. Let us rather teach fewer subjects, and those few as thoroughly as the limited stay of our children will allow. And herein, I think, we often make a grave mistake. The moment any one subject, in consequence of some impulse given perhaps by some eminent educationist, begins to engross an inordinate amount of public attention, masters appear to rise up as one man to set about teaching it. Prepared or unprepared, time or no time, that becomes for a season the hobby, to which every other subject must bow; at one time drawing, at another common things, at another writing, and by and by something else. Not that we should or can be wholly unobservant of the course public opinion is taking in this transition period of education; but before we alter our plans we should take care to prepare ourselves for the subject we intend to teach, so that we may not stand before our class with merely the crude undigested ideas which may have been hastily swallowed from some "new work" upon it, either the previous night or early the same morning.
1 shall here again quote an extract from the paper of the Rev. Canon Moseley. After speaking of the necessity of making what we teach subserve the purposes of the future man in his particular calling, or, in other words, of teaching the science of common things, he adds: "It is far from my intention to recommend you at once to adopt the teaching of these subjects, or the teaching of them on this plan. To be taught to any useful purpose, they must be well taught, and there are none more difficult to be taught well; there must be a special training for them. Of all the lessons that I have heard (and nobody, I believe, has heard more), the most unsuccessful have been those in which the teaching of common things has been attempted; and that not by any defect in the art of teaching (for these subjects are frequently selected by good teachers), but simply for the want of a real knowledge on the subject. If the teacher had known more of it, they would have selected from it things better adapted to the teaching of children; if they had understood its principles better, they would have explained them better." In addition to the reason here assigned the moral consideration of truthfulness-I may add another scarcely less cogent, i.e. the prejudice of parents against all change; for, as has been already remarked, the only notion they attach to education is, a teaching to read and spell, write, and cast accounts. If a subject be not taught well, it might as well not have been taught at all; and the parents are not far from the truth when they call it so much waste time.
Moreover, if we bear in mind the variety of subjects we do teach, the limited time of the children's school days to whom they are taught, and the age at which we have to teach them, we may well pause before we add first this, and then that, to our already too numerous hist, especially if it be a subject of which our own knowledge is very meagre.
If in our own studies we pursue a similar plan, and confine our attention to one or two subjects at a time, we shall in these soon excel; we shall then be at liberty to take up other subjects. If a teacher will thus husband his strength and concentrate his attention, in the course of some ten or fifteen years he will become no contemptible scholar. If a little more encouragement were given to teachers to sit at successive examinations for certificates, men would be found among us really proficient each in his favourite study. Thus, too, would our position both as individuals and as a body be most effectually raised in the social scale; and that, too, in the only safe and unequivocal manner. Two ways of thus benefiting the cause of education, as well as of assisting deserving individuals, I shall take the liberty of suggesting.
First, to hold a general examination every five years (the time when it is proposed to revise the certificates), to which certificated teachers' should be invited to attend, in order to show their progress in technical knowledge, and for the purpose of determining their future position on the Certificate List. Masters must always labour under great disadvantages who sit at the same examination with students who have spent the previous year or years in preparing for it; and who know beforehand the works, and sometimes the very parts of such works, in which they shall be examined.
My second suggestion will perhaps be less promising of success; but it will, I think, where practicable, be more beneficial. It is this: that encouragement should be given to masters who have proved themselves successful teachers through several successive years, to re-enter themselves at a Training College for another year. Some such plan would, in my humble opinion, be a great boon to the cause of education. In this way the men would be found who were suited to become masters of method in connection with our Training Colleges, and also those prepared to carry out the work of reformation in schools for the middle classes. A few prizes of this kind attained by perseverance and self-denial would encourage many men of talent and respectability to become educators, and would retain the services of those already employed in the work; and would, further, render far less the difficulty already felt of obtaining pupil-teachers. For these desiderata, however, we must be content to wait, and in the meanwhile make the best use of the advantages we do enjoy; since success, more or less, under God, will necessarily follow steady and persevering efforts. If it should be feared that such a course would lead masters to neglect their schools, the advantages might be confined to those whose schools had been well reported of. I feel sure that no class of men needs more encouragement than the teacher to pursue self-improvement; for to no class are the temptations to supineness or selfindulgence greater, or the consequences more fatal.
From his position in the social scale, he seldom comes in contact with minds superior, but often greatly inferior, to his own; and from his often isolated position and constant duties, he rarely even sees his fellow-labourers in the same great work. It must indeed be confessed that he seldom seeks
it; and this through an unworthy spirit of rivalry which frequently exists between schools in the same neighbourhood, increased by the vagrant character of many children, who wander from school to school, a nuisance to all, and an advantage to none. Again, in his own school he is looked up to as the fountain of knowledge. What wonder, then, if he becomes careless about self-improvement; and if when he comes forth into the world among his fellow men, he is noted only for pedantry, conceit, and self-sufficiency on the one hand, and narrow-mindedness and illiberality on the other? What wonder if his own self-importance is only equalled by his manifest ignorance, since he has been deprived of all those "corrective spices" which men in other professions enjoy? He has had few opportunities of measuring himself with any but inferiors, and thus at length comes almost to fancy that this arises from his own real superiority to his fellow-men.
These peculiar dangers have not been confined to the teachers of National schools, but equally or more have they been felt in the so-called commercial schools and private academies, in which they have not had so much as the occasional supervision of a clergyman of superior attainments, a privilege which the parochial teacher almost always enjoys. Something more was wanted (for I rejoice to be able to put that in the past tense), which would bring teachers together to encourage the earnest but desponding in his work, to sharpen dormant energies, to rub down asperities, to teach that most important of all knowledge, self-knowledge; and at the same time vouchsafe all the advantages of a mutual improvement society, and put within the reach of each advantages which his own limited means could not supply, in the shape of educational intelligence, valuable books, &c. Such, then, are the important objects of the Association whose anniversary we are assembled this day to celebrate, and such I hesitate not to affirm is the work which it is doing. As one means of its usefulness, I must not omit to mention a very fair library of standard works, considerably increased during the past year by the munificence of the Right Hon. Lord Ward and other gentlemen, one of whom has presented the complete works of Adam Smith, so that the number of volumes now exceeds 200. Associations like these tend greatly to break down those petty jealousies between teachers which we have had occasion to notice, and to unite them together in one common bond of brotherhood and Christian union. This, I conceive, is not the least recommendation to their existence and support.
I desire, in the next place, to notice briefly some of the results which may be anticipated from such labours. I think few will be inclined to dispute that it is impossible that a number of children can be assembled for some six hours a day under such a teacher as we have feebly attempted to portray,-one having the love of God and his charge really at heart, and prompted by a noble ambition to avail himself of every advantage for benefiting either himself or his school through several successive years, without being very different men, and far more intelligent artisans and citizens, more honest and upright as servants, and far more loyal subjects, than they would have been under other circumstances. They will not be the ready tools and dupes of every demagogue and empiric that may possess sufficient impudence to ask for their allegiance, and enough of contempt of all truth to make them specious promises, or to offer them impossible advantages. But in many cases, far more than this, we humbly believe, will be the result of such a training. The Christian walk and conversation, and a living transcript of those "fruits of the Spirit" which shall issue in eternal life, will have been stimulated and encouraged; at all events, we may trust that a good foundation will have been laid for the Christian minister afterwards to build upon.
Lastly, as both teachers and philanthropists may anticipate too much from the present scheme of education, and thus prepare for themselves unnecessary disappointment and disgust, it may be well to recal to mind the counteracting agents at work, which will prevent the realisation of its full advantages.
From a system of education such as I have attempted to describe, the superficial observer might expect to see the number of cases in our assize-calendars lessened; the number of paupers in our unions, together with their too frequent cause, the number of beer-shops and gin-palaces, greatly diminished; he might expect to find the number of attendants in our Sunday congregations and occasional lectures, the number of subscribers to local and other charities, to useful and instructive periodicals, the number of applicants for assurance policies, shares in building-societies, for admission to mechanic's institutes, museums, public libraries, and young men's associations, greatly increased. He would, however, probably be disappointed to find that the actual reality fell sadly short of these his expectations. But is the educational system to be blamed? I think not. We must bear in mind the large number who are every year growing up around us without participating in its advantages. Our schools have a considerable number on their registers and in actual attendance; but we have only to look around, and see a probably larger number either running wild about the streets with no one to care for their souls; or else, although their names may be enrolled in the registers of some school or schools (for often such children belong to several), they themselves are nursing babies and carrying out meals three-fourths of the time which they profess to spend in school. A child is sent to school pretty regularly, if at all, between the ages of three and five; he then spends half or more of his time at home for the next two or three years, and then is off to blow' or some other juvenile employment. Such is the educational history of many a little fellow of some eight summers old, who is said to have attended school ever since he could walk, or indeed before; and the selfish and ignorant parent will often express great indignation at the little progress which has been made. The majority of children of the really labouring class, at least in South Staffordshire, go to work at that age; and if they stop over nine, they are the children of some more intelligent parents, or of tradesmen, or the middle class; and in such cases they are likely to stop over eleven and twelve. This, however, will only happen where the parents are sober and thrifty in their habits, or where the family is small, or where the parents are masters themselves: not always, however, in the last case; for often they set their own children to work instead of employing an additional boy. I believe I may safely aver that not thirty per cent remain a sufficiently long time, or come sufficiently regular, to get higher than the third or the fag-end of the second class; indeed, by that time they can read the Testament (as they term it) after a fashion, are as good scholars as their parents, and therefore, agreeably to such parents' logic, it is quite time for them to leave school and go to work. Such children, as they grow up, will scarcely find learning so interesting as to pursue it afterwards for the love of it. Such children will, if they read at all, be rather unlikely to pick up any useful or scientific publication, which is far beyond their comprehension, while there is an abundance every week of sentimental and infidel trash poured forth in penny numbers, an abundant source of mischief, which, owing to the corruption of the human heart, they intuitively understand.
If, then, the children who attend our schools leave in so many cases at such an early age, and with such a mere apology for learning, and with but little prospect of improving themselves in after life, surely little advantage can be expected to accrue to the country at large from their education, since only an additional instrument for mischief, and another temptation to evil, bad books, has been
thrown in their way. It is, however, perhaps premature to expect any great result until the present generation has grown up and become parents themselves.
In conclusion, I would repeat that, in my opinion, the great educational want of the present moment is scholars; scholars whose attendance at school shall be less vagrant in character, and less limited in duration.
TESTIMONIALS.-To Mr. JOHN SHEFFORD, after Fifteen Years' service, a Time-piece, with suitable inscription, and a Purse of Gold, by the Trustees and Ladies' Committee of the Stepney Infant School.
To Rev. S. H. HOOPER, by the Children and Teachers of Holy Trinity Church Sunday-School, Ripon, a Pocket Silver Communion Service and Family Bible.
To the Rev. S. M. Lakin, Tutor of St. Mark's College, Chelsea (in which Institution he was formerly a student), on his leaving the College, a copy of Bishop Jeremy Taylor's Works, in 10 vols. 8vo, containing a suitable inscription.
To Miss WARNER, a Papier Maché Inkstand, by the Pupil-teachers of the Stalbridge Nat. School. To Miss HEYES, a Table-Lamp and Gold Thimble, by the Children of the Central School, Westminster, and the Schoolmistresses in training.
APPOINTMENTS.-Mr. JAMES BEANLAND, from St. Paul's, Derby, to the National School, Tankersley, Barnsley.
Mr. EDWIN ADAMS, to the New Schools, St. Mary's, Hitchin.
From Hockerill Training School, Bishop's Stortford.
E. Nash, Assistant-Governess, Hockerill.
A. Harrison, Shenley, Herts.
S. Hearne, Southborough, Kent.
Z. Lockwood, Ickleford (Assistant), Herts.
S. Tayler, Stepney, Red Coat, Infants.
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
Directions for Cutting out and Making Articles of Clothing, by S. W. 36 pages, 12mo, with 9 plates, canvass cover, price 6d. This book is the substance of some letters which appeared lately in the National Society's Monthly Paper. It contains practical hints as to the best mode of cutting out and making, and the cost of, the following articles: Shirts, shifts, women's aprons, night jackets and dresses, night-caps, pocket-handkerchiefs, neckerchiefs, smock-frocks, trousers for little boys, collars for boys, flap-shirts, pinafores for girls and infants, flannel coats and stays for girls and women, frocks for girls and infants, sun-bonnets; infants' bedgowns, robe blankets, caps, and shirts. Hints are also given upon supply and sale of work, purchase of materials, employment of elder girls, employment in the parish generally. assistance of ladies, followed by a few practical rules and suggestions. Plates of some of the articles of dress are appended.
BY LONGMAN AND CO.
Training in Streets and Schools, being a Lecture on the Training System of Education as originally established at Glasgow by David Stow, delivered at the Educational Exhibition, St. Martin's Hall, August 10th, 1854, by William Knighton, M.A., Lecturer on Education at the National Society's Training Institution at Whitelands. 83 pages, 12mo, paper cover, price 1s.
BY WALTON AND MABERLY.
The Elements of Rhetoric, a Manual of the Laws of Taste, by Samuel Neil. 244 pages, Svo, cloth boards. Contents: Introduction on rhetoric, its nature and uses-The philosophy of language-The history and structure of the English language-Style-The imaginative faculty-Poetry-The emotional nature of man-Literary æsthetics-Figurative expressions-The ludicrous, wit and humourMethod-Eloquence.
BY ADDISON AND HOLLIER.
Happy is the Man. A sacred Trio for 3 Trebles, by George W. Martin, Professor of Music at the Metropolitan and Hockerill Training Colleges. Price 2s. 6d.
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.
"We cannot undertake to notice anonymous communications, nor to insert letters or information received after the 20th. The name and address of our correspondents should always be sent, though not necessarily for publication.
"D. B." You should get the penny Summary of the History of England, sold at the National Society's Depository, which will fully answer your questions.
"G. W. P." should refer to the index of former volumes of the Monthly Paper for letters which have appeared on the subject of mounting Maps.
"H. Le B." is thanked; we may find room for his useful letter in a future Number.
"P. W." We do not readily see how we can advise you. Unless you have signed an agreement to the contrary, we conclude that you are entitled to a quarter's notice or a quarter's salary.
"G. S. N. James" is thanked. He will perceive that we have inserted a letter on the subject of his communication.
"E. G., A Sunday-School Teacher," is thanked. The plan of register you recommend is not, we think, unknown to our readers.
Several other letters, &c., not noticed above, are in type, and we hope may appear next month.
THE Meetings of the Committee of the National Society have taken place as usual during the past month. His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury presided on the 10th January at the Meeting of the General Committee.
The Treasurer has been authorised to pay the Grants voted to the Schools in the following places, the several undertakings having been reported as completed :
The following Contributions from Parochial Associations, and Collections after Sermons, together with payments from new Subscribers and Donors, have been remitted to the Society during the past month. The Committee thankfully acknowledge these contributions, and trust that further support may be obtained for the Society in other localities by an extension of parochial efforts. Most parishes afford some evidence of the operations of the Society, and therefore its claims might with good effect be advocated, and additional means placed at the disposal of the Committee to carry on the work in which the Society has long been successfully engaged. The List is made up to the 20th January.