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A next step would be to let them copy sentences from sheets or books. This is a means of teaching spelling-the value of which is not sufficiently appreciated. When applied to subjects which the children are required to commit to memory, and which, in the lower classes of elementary schools, are usually taught orally, its importance is very great, as the eye takes in correctly what had not perhaps been clearly enough presented to the ear. After the same sentence or sentences had been written several times from the book or sheet, they might advantageously be written either from memory or dictation.
The last step should be dictation itself, to which the previous steps would have been introductory. In writing from dictation, it was generally agreed, that the children ought not to be required to write what they had not previously prepared. And, therefore, it was suggested that they should first be allowed some five or six minutes to look over the portion they would have to write; during which time their attention might be called to words of doubtful or unusual spelling, instruction respecting capitals and other incidental matters might be given, and, in short, any information which might be considered necessary for the due performance of their lesson. It was also suggested, that the portion selected for dictation should be short enough to allow of its being thoroughly well done; that all errors made in the writing should be carefully pointed out, and each child required to write out correctly several times over its misspelled words. Though where due pains had been taken in the preparation, there would generally be but few mistakes to correct.
It was thought that the above methods, vigorously carried out, would seldom fail of their desired effect, provided the lesson came often enough. And, considering its importance, once a day was regarded as by no means too often for the dictation-lesson.
15. What are the effects produced by quarterly payments?
Several teachers who have tried them bore testimony to the fact, that they produce greater regularity of attendance. They seemed also to think that the children of the poor are not prevented by them from attending. All who had tried them were decidedly in their favour.
16. Ought the teacher of the day-school to be required to attend the Sunday-school?
It was generally agreed that if possible he ought not to be the sole teacher there; as, in that case, the school would have too much of its ordinary appearance, and the teacher's presence would be regarded as a duty for which he was paid. For this reason voluntary teachers were thought better adapted to Sunday-school duties. The few teachers, however, who took part in the conversation, were of opinion that the ordinary teacher, although he ought to be released from official duties in the Sundayschool, would hardly be setting a good example to the children whom he must be supposed to influence, if he altogether withdrew from the school.
At the suggestion of the Venerable the Archdeacon of Llandaff, a conversation took place respecting the use of private prayers by children; and two forms, one for morning, and the other for evening, having been brought before the teachers by the Archdeacon, they were unanimously approved of on account of their simplicity; and it was recommended that they should be printed along with the results of the conversations, in the hope that, if approved of, they might be generally adopted. As many of the parents in a large portion of the diocese of Llandaff are continually migrating from one locality to another, and their children, consequently, often change their schools, it was considered likely to be advantageous if some form of private prayer could be generally adopted for them to learn. The forms brought before the teachers are the following:
"Almighty God, our heavenly Father, I thank thee that thou hast kept me safe during the past night, and hast raised me up again to praise thee for all thy goodness to me.
For thy Son, our Saviour's sake, be with me this day, and send thy Holy Spirit into my heart, that I may love thee, and hate and forsake all evil ways. Teach me to think that which is good, and help me to do the same. Make me holy in all my thoughts, kind and true in all my words, upright and honest in all my ways, so that I may please thee; for thou knowest all I think, thou hearest all I say, and seest all I do.
Bless all my relations and friends, teach them to love thy ways, and bring them at last to thy kingdom in heaven, for Jesus Christ's sake, our only Mediator and Redeemer. Amen. Our Father, &c.-The grace of our Lord, &c."
"O Lord God, our heavenly Father, I thank thee for all thy goodness and care over me all my life long. I humbly beseech thee to pardon all my sins, for Jesus Christ's sake, particularly those I have this day committed against thee; and give me the help of thy Holy Spirit, that I may serve thee better for the time to come. O thou that never slumberest nor sleepest, be pleased to watch over me this night, and keep me safe from all harm and danger.
Make me remember that I must one day lie down in the grave, that by thy help I may always so live as I shall wish I had done when I come to die. Help me to grow in grace, that I may love thee more and more, and delight to do the thing that pleaseth thee. O teach me, pardon me, and bless me, for his sake who died upon the cross to save us from our sins, and who ever liveth to be our only Mediator and Intercessor, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Our Father, &c.-The grace of our Lord, &c."
The above Prayers, printed on stiff paper, may be had of Mr. Denton, Bookseller, Abergavenny.
[The Committee of the National Society are thankful for any communication likely to assist SchoolManagers and Teachers, or otherwise promote the work of Church Education; but they do not necessarily hold themselves responsible for the opinions of the Editor's correspondents.]
To the Editor of the National Society's Monthly Paper.
THE CHURCH TEACHER, IN HIS SCHOOL, IN HIS STUDIES AND RECREATIONS, AND IN THE PARISH.
(Continued from the October Number.)
Skill in teaching is synonymous with skill in the art of catechising, as applied both to sacred and secular subjects. Good teaching is strictly a logical process. An efficient teacher conveys very little instruction in a direct way. His object is to lead the mind of his pupil onward to each point by a series of questions skilfully connected with each other and tending to the point in question. By pursuing this course, the intellectual faculties of the pupil are being developed at the same time that he is acquiring knowledge. The end of education is to impart to the pupil the power of gaining information for himself in after-life, in short, to train the mind; so that while an intelligent teacher does not overlook the duty of storing the mind with instruction, he still has due regard for the logical means by which this duty can be best performed, and these means are skilful catechising. George Herbert, in his Country Parson, and Archdeacon Bather, in his Hints on Catechising, have fully explained this system. It is, in fact, the old Socratic method, used, not to confute an opponent, but to teach a child. We may now consider a few of the subjects taught in ordinary schools.
Holy Scripture.-When a lesson on this is given, those pupils who can read sufficiently well should be furnished with Bibles. A prayer should be said by the teacher before and after the lesson, the children kneeling. Taking places in the class should, if possible, be avoided. The teacher should beware of the too common practice of allowing a whole chapter to be read; a paragraph of about twelve, or at the most fifteen verses, will, in general, be quite sufficient as a basis for one lesson. Bible-lessons are not reading-lessons, strictly speaking In taking a verse or two at a time the teacher may arrange his questions under three heads, in the following order: first, select the proper names and difficult words, and ask a few questions suggested by the former and explain the latter; secondly, question on the subject of the verse; and thirdly, draw the moral lesson. We shall therefore resolve our Bible-teaching thus:
1. Information (by questioning) as to proper names and difficult words.
2. Information (by questioning) as to the subject or statement.
3. Information (by questioning) as to the moral lesson to be derived from the subject.
It is the safest course to question children individually; the simultaneous method, that is to say, the method which allows children to answer in a body, is very deceptive. It may be used as a means of awakening their attention, but not as a general mode of instructing them. The teacher may use the word "all," or raise his hand whenever he wishes the class to answer together. There should be no hurry or sharpness in giving religious instruction. A deliberate manner and soft voice are, in this part of a teacher's labours, most desirable. The portion of Scripture to be explained should be previously studied by the teacher. In preparing his lessons he will find the following books very useful: Bishop Hall's Contemplations (which are reflections on Scripture characters), Nicholls' Help to Reading the Bible, Expositions of the Parables, by the Rev. J. G. Lonsdale; the Prophecies relating to our Lord, by the Rev. W. Le Bas; the Types, by the same author; and Old and New Testament Biography, by the compiler of the Edinburgh Sessional School-books. There are several commentaries on Scripture, but the writer is disinclined to undertake the responsibility of suggesting one. The teacher must be careful in his choice.
The Church Catechism.—The teacher should repeat portions of this himself, paying special attention to the punctuation, and then make his pupils imitate him. In repeating the plain text, the common errors are in the punctuation and pronunciation. In the sentence "an outward and visible sign of," &c., children are apt to put a stop after the word "grace," and to omit it after the word "sin" in the sentence 66 repentance whereby they forsake," &c. They frequently say "Spontius Pilate," "chart in heaven," "liver us from evil." In such sentences as "promise them both by their sureties," "Yes, verily, and by God's help so I will," and "as our bodies are by the bread and wine," they should supply the words which are understood. They should often be led to classify the several portions of the Catechism under the heads, "what we are to believe,"
"what we are to do," and "the means of grace." In teaching the Liturgy, either as connected with Catechism or as a distinct subject, they may be made to classify its parts under the heads, "confession," 99 66 66 praise,' prayer," "thanksgiving," and "instruction. " The Catechism should be held before children as a rule of daily conduct as well as an epitome of Christian doctrine; not merely a formula to be stored in the mind. regards the order in which the Catechism should be taught, the Baptismal office points to the Creed, Lord's Prayer, and Ten Commandments, as the portions to be studied first. The teacher can make his own selection of a text-book. In this task, also, he must exercise due caution.
Private Frayers and Texts.-For the elder children, and as a means of bringing these subjects before the notice of parents, private prayers may be printed on small cards and carried home. Either the Faith and Duty of a Christian or the Scripture Froofs of the Catechism will serve us as a book of texts; but connected portions of Scripture (as the 23d, 51st, and 103d Psalms, and the Sermon on the Mount) should also be committed to memory. The cards which contain the prayers may also have printed on them a few pithy maxims likely to influence children in after-life. Hymns, when well selected, are also very valuable.
Reading.*-Children learn this as they learn many other things, by imitation. The teacher should read over each paragraph to the class before it is read by the pupils. By listening they learn to imitate his emphasis and pronunciation. Reading poetry is excellent practice for the upper classes. Once a month, or even oftener, there may be a "readingday," on which many other subjects may be put aside and longer time be devoted to this important part of education. A periodical impetus of this kind would go far to improve the bad style of reading now so common, not only in National schools, but in those of much higher pretensions. Next to religious, instruction the most important subject that can engage a teacher's attention is reading. As far as the pupil is concerned, it is the great medium through which he is to carry on the process begun in the schoolroom; and, certainly, the teacher can show his tact and intelligence in the reading more than in any other lesson.
Arithmetic.-Too much time is frequently spent in schools in working mere abstract Ability to do this is not the end we propose to ourselves in teaching arithmetic. Children ought to be led as soon as possible to the application of the rules; and, for this purpose, each child in the upper classes should buy for himself, for use in school and at home, a small book of examples, such, for instance, as those by the Rev. W. N. Griffin, sold by the National Society at 1s. 4d. per dozen. The second part of the work includes Reduction, Proportion, and Fractions. Children of the lower classes often leave school before they have acquired proficiency in the compound rules, which they require most. To meet this evil, it is advisable to teach after each simple rule its relative compound one; thus, simple addition, and then compound addition; simple, and then compound subtraction, and so on. Duodecimals is a very practical rule, but often overlooked; it is connected with measurement. There are many trades to which our pupils go, in which the ability to multiply feet, inches, and primes by the same is of much importance. The principle of dividing numbers into unequal parts should often be shown in connection with such questions as "Divide 3657. 15s. among A, B and C, so that A may have 237. 10s. more than B, and B 167. 5s more than C." It was the fault, some years since, to let pupils sit with books of examples before them, wasting their time for the want of sufficient (if indeed any) explanation. The introduction of the black-board, and what are called "new systems," has led us to an opposite extreme. The black-board is used too much, and children are not made to trust sufficiently to their own unaided efforts. They get the theory, and lose the practice. Both plans ought to be combined in due proportion. No amount of lecturing can ever be a substitute for the pupil's individual application. After he has seen a few examples done on the board, he should be sent away with a book (without answers) to work as many as he can of a similar kind. Two good works for a teacher are the Text-Book of Arithmetic, by the Rev. J. Hunter (Nat. Society), and a treatise on the higher parts by the Rev. F. Calder. On mental arithmetic, a teacher cannot use a better little work than that by Mr. Richards, published by the National Society. Mental arithmetic is useful in assisting children to abstract the mind, and in daily affairs it may be turned to good account.
Grammar.-Children can be made to understand what nouns, verbs, and adjectives are by familiar examples, without any formal definitions; but the questions of case, mood, and tense, cannot be taught in this way, for they are more abstract in their nature; and for this reason, it is necessary to supply the pupil with a small book containing the outlines and definitions of the subject. Such a book should be defective
The exact method of giving a reading-lesson will be described in a future Number.
rather than redundant; in other words, it should contain nothing which the child will have to unlearn, but rather lack that which the teacher should supply. “ Playgrammars," as they are called, are objectionable. The really useful part of grammar was never yet learnt in play. Grammar, to our poorer children, is as difficult a thing as Greek or Latin to children of the higher classes; and no one has yet learnt either of these in play. The most popular little book of outlines (and deservedly so) is Outlines of English Grammar, by the Rev. A. Wilson. Grammar is best taught by constant parsing out of the secular reading-books, after the definitions are learnt.
Geography.-This subject must not be altogether omitted, neither should too much time be devoted to it simply because teachers and pupils find it interesting. It should be tested by its ultimate and practical value. Capitals of countries, seats of trades and manufactures, ports, places of historical interest, are always deserving of study. Some of the phenomena known to sailors may be introduced into lessons, as trade-winds, monsoons, currents, &c. Children may be made acquainted with the map of the world by tracing imaginary voyages and routes. The following books, sold in the National Society's Depository, are very cheap, and will be found of much service as reading-books for the children: The Geography of England and Wales-Falestine, and other Scripture Geography-Geography of Europe, the British Colonies (3 Parts), and the Geography of Productions and Manufactures, with Appendices. As a text-book sufficient for the purposes of an elementary school, the teacher may use the Elements of Geography on à New Plan, published by Darton, and sold at the National Society's Depository.
Spelling. The use of spelling-books has of late been made a subject of many unnecessary and fierce attacks. It has been broadly asserted, that the use of such books is one of the errors of what is called “the old system." This assertion should have been limited. In the upper classes, spelling is certainly best taught by making the pupil copy on his slate portions of his reading-book, or write from memory any thing previously learnt by rote; but, in the lower classes, it is by all means desirable that each pupil should learn by heart a few words every day from such a work as the Short Selling Course for the Lowest Classes in Schools, published by the National Society. The reading would be much improved by this practice, as the child's eye would be dai y more familiarised with the forms of words. If the words so learnt can be afterwards written by the pupil on his slate, so much the better. It should be observed, that all children are more inclined to make mistakes in short than in long words. Such words should be frequently written on the slate as "till” and “until;” “succeed" and "*precede :” "pair" "pare," and "pear;" "write," "right,” “rite," and "wright;" believe” and “deceive," &c.; and their application should be shown.
English History,—If we had a really good elementary book on this subject, much might be taught in the way of reading-lessons. English history, in ordinary schools. should be read backwards. By reading from the reign of Victoria to Henry Vill.. children would get the most important part first, instead of being troubled with iformation about the Romans, Saxons, and Danes, which is hardly alluded to in the present day. The writer was ence informed, that by this plan they world not see the growth of the Faglish Constitution;" but it struck him as being somewhat paradoIKEL. that children who leave school at the age of ten-and-a-half should be able to fathom the depths of constitutional history. In this case, it would be better to pat iate their DIS at once Hallam and Lord Brougham's works. Children read history that they mat know there is such a study, and, if possible, acquire a taste for it, not to study - 20stration" and law. The lust important parts can be read last.
noticed are for the erection of new Diocesan Colleges; let us confine our attention therefore to the state of those which already exist.
Of the above-mentioned accommodation, that for 383 students is furnished by four colleges, which depend on large connections, and not on local influence, viz. Battersea, Chelsea, Cheltenham, and Highbury; in these four the number resident was 347.
For the remaining nine Diocesan Colleges the case stands thus: accommodation, 482; students resident, 301; leaving vacancies for 181, or giving the proportion of residents to vacancies as five to three.
But were all these 301 bona-fide students? may not many of them have been pupilteachers who had come up to read for two or three months only previously to sitting for Queen's Scholarships? It is the general custom to receive such; and Minutes, p. 279, show that only 247 students had resided in the colleges the whole of the year. The average of students resident for 1854 can therefore only be reckoned at 274. The actual number of vacancies, therefore, was 482-274 = 208, or a ratio of vacancies to residents as three to four nearly.
What the numbers may be in these nine institutions during the present year there is no means of knowing; but as the class of students not Queen's scholars has been hitherto speedily diminishing, whilst the number of Queen's scholars entering at January 1855 was only 66 against 129 in 1854, and 105 in 1853, it is not likely that these nine colleges are now more than one-half full.
Again, financially, what is their state?
Excluding Carmarthen, from which there are no returns, and York, in which the income and expenditure balance to a penny, seven colleges remain; of these (independently of donations to building-fund) the income is 92607., and the expenditure 11,3727., giving a deficiency of 21127, or an average deficiency for each college of three hundred per
What, then, is likely to be the fate of new Diocesan Colleges? The present are, though several of them have secured even a higher percentage of certificates than the large ones, struggling vainly with the prestige and connection which the latter possess, and fail to draw within their walls an equal proportion of students. Will new and untried ones fare better? They may add to the existing embarrassments of others, but must expect to suffer in a severer degree the same embarrassments themselves.
It must also be borne in mind, that the two years' course of instruction now virtually enforced (and rightly so) by the Committee of Council, enhances the cost of tuition. Establishment expenses must also be nearly the same, whether an institution contains twenty or sixty students.
In fine, ought not the Committee of Council to follow the rule which they adopt with regard to parishes, and refuse grants for further buildings whilst the present remain unoccupied? And again, ought not Churchmen, who are anxious that these institutions should not lapse into the hands of the State, to lay aside local and narrow feelings, and to join diocese with diocese, in order to maintain in efficiency so great a means for the strengthening of that Church, and for the extension of its influence among the yet untaught masses of our population ?—I remain, &c. G.
P.S. Another point has been purposely left untouched in the body of the letter. In respect of teachers, what is the relation between the supply and demand? It has been usual to take it for granted that the latter far exceeds the former. Many, who in the absence of public data, have had considerable opportunities for judging, doubt the correctness of this conclusion; but they do not doubt that, were the existing institutions generally full, the supply would equal the demand for some years, perhaps, to come.
UNITED ASSOCIATION OF CHURCH SCHOOLMASTERS.
Ravenstone Endowed School.
SIR,-At the annual meeting of this body at Birmingham, at Christmas, it will be decided whether the Northampton resolutions, soliciting the assistance and co-operation of the clergy, shall be adopted or not; and it is hoped that each local association, as well as every individual member, will not fail to send their votes on this important subject.
It has been contended by some persons, that schoolmasters ought to have a union of their own totally independent of the clergy. In my opinion, Sir, this is a great mistake; for I think it is the office of the Church to watch over the mental as well as the spiritual condition of the whole community, and any project attempting to curb its authority will I hope be unsuccessful. The question should be asked, What has placed the Church schoolmasters in their position? Certainly the continual efforts of the Church clergy. Therefore is it not ungrateful, as well as impolitic on our parts, to wish to act independ