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As a means of calling attention to the necessity of cultivating a higher class of music in our schools, I trust these remarks may not be deemed unworthy of a place in the Monthly Paper. Their insertion will oblige your obedient servant,
PERCIVAL Prosser. INSTRUCTION AND NEEDLEWORK.
Milnsbridge, Huddersfield. SIR -Your correspondent “ Veritas," in your July Number, seemed to wish to have the opinion and experience of teachers on the subject of imparting intellectual instruction to girls while at needlework,-a subject of no mean importance, especially in mixed schools. I have been connected with two of these, and at first found it extremely difficult to keep the girls on a par with the boys, even in the agricultural districts; and that difficulty I found considerably increased on taking charge of my present school, where the majority of the scholars are half-timers. I tried reading to them, allowed the girls to question each other, &c. ; but found nothing so satisfactory as singing. But as schoolsongs contain very little of the subjects of inspection, I thought, that if it were possible to find rhymes on geography or history suitable to known tunes, it would be an advantage. These I could not meet with, and therefore I composed some myself, of which the following is a specimen :
The Savage Age.—Coming of the Romans.
Old England, now so rich and great,
So beautiful and grand,
And wild woods filled the land,
The Romans came with spears,
And ruled 400 years. In these rhymes I carefully stated every important fact in very simple language ; and arranged every period to different metre, so as to include many tunes; for with children variety is charming, and it was thought that they would tire of singing too many verses to the same tune. These rhymes have succeeded to my entire satisfaction, and other teachers who have tried them have witnessed the same. The children learn them easily, with evident pleasure ; and by singing them continually, they become so indelibly fixed in their memory as to give them no chance of forgetting them. As the basis of oral instruction, as home lessons, and in writing from memory instead of dictation, they are very useful. But I should wish teachers to try for themselves; and for that purpose I should be happy to send a specimen (printed) to any teacher on receipt of a stamped and properly addressed envelope. This specimen would contain English history to the Norman conquest, and Part I. of the Geography of England. Hoping these particulars will be of some small use to my fellow-teachers, I am, &c.
SAMUEL B. BREWER. TEACHING THE DEAF AND DUMB.
Liverpool, Nov. 16, 1855. SIR,- In your last paper “ Lingua'' wishes to know the best method of imparting instruction in an ordinary school to two deaf and dumb boys. If fourteen years' experience as a teacher of the deaf and dumb qualifies one to give an opinion on such a matter, I would strongly advise · Lingua” not to attempt the task at all. And this for the following reasons : 1st. No man can, without special training and experience, teach the deaf and dumb with justice to them ; 2d. No master of an ordinary school could devote the necessary time and attention to deaf and dumb pupils without great injustice to his other pupils'; and 3d. The result of such a training would assuredly disappoint all the parties concerned, and no one more compietely than the anxious teacher himself. That a certain very limited amount of instruction may be given to deaf and dumb children in an ordinary school is practicable enough; but to educate them is impossible. The story told of Goldsmith, that he went to Holland to teach English without knowing Dutch, is useful as an illustration here also. As a substitute for language, deaf children make use of signs and gestures ; and these can only be understood, and employed as a means of communication, by those who have become perfectly familiar with this silent language. But such familiarity is not to be acquired except by constant association with the deaf, as in schools specially devoted to their instruction. By means of pictures and objects “ Lingua” may succeed in teaching his two boys a good many familiar nouns, some adjectives (describing obvious qualities), and a few verbs (of expressive actions); but when he has reached this point he will probably find that his task is too difficult to be proceeded with. The means which are employed in schools like this, whereby the pupils acquire a considerable amount of knowledge before they can use words at all, are not within his reach ; yet it is upon the possession and ready use of this instrument (the language of signs) that the mental development and moral training of the deaf child must almost entirely depend. From a paper of mine recently published, which I shall be glad to forward to “ Lingua," if favoured with his address, I beg to quote the following passage, as bearing upon this subject : “ No ordinary educational process will suffice; instruction can only be conveyed in a peculiar manner by men specially qualified for the work. Among many experiments which have been made, none has failed so utterly as that of trying to educate deaf and dumb children along with other children in an ordinary school."* Theory and practice are both against it. Some of our existing institutions for the deaf and dumb have arisen out of the failure of this very plan; and in Prussia also, where it has been tried under the most favourable circumstances (which want of space prevents my describing in detail), the experiment of introducing and extending deaf and dumb instruction in common schools, by means of the common schoolmasters, has signally failed.”+ And the cause of failure is mainly this : in an ordinary school children are taught through the medium of language, whereas the deaf and dumb know no language; that is the thing which they have to be taught. With “ Lingua” it is an instrument; with me it is an end. His pupils have acquired it already ; mine bave it to learn ; and they can only learn it through the use of a common medium-that of natural and conventional signs.
For the information of such of your readers as may have their attention called to instances of deaf and dumb children requiring education, I may mention, that the schools established for their instruction in England and Wales are located in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Doncaster, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Bristol, Exeter, Brighton, Bath, and Swansea. From any of these institutions information may readily be obtained as to the way in which candidates are to be brought forward for admission. –I am, &c.
School Song.-Tune," Pop goes the Weasel."
Birds, who from each bush and brake
Matins sing at dawning,
All the air a temple make:
Hail, smiling morning!
Youths and maidens, life is new,
Spend it not in yawning;
Cherish early drops of dew :
Hail, smiling morning!
Life is but a passing day,
Take the timely warning,
So to sleep that ye may say,
Hail, smiling morning!
CORRESPONDENTS' ANSWERS TO INQUIRIES. "W. C." recommends “W. P. H.” to use “Darnell's" copy-books, as the best to teach writing in National schools. They may be obtained at the Society's Depository, Westminster.
A correspondent says, that in the Monthly Paper, No. CV., p. 180, "J. P." inquires for an elementary Catechism on the Truths of the Christian Religion, or on Scripture History. It is probable that the Jaiter subject would be found completely supplied by Five Hundred Questions and Answers on the Historical Parts of the Old Testament, arranged by a Lady; printed on small cards, and sold in boxes by Mrs. Berwick, 7 Union Street, Berkeley Square, London.
SIR,-In this month's number of the Monthly Paper “T. J. J." inquires for a good work on Paraphrasing. I beg to recommend him Hunter's Exercises on English Parsing, price 6d. Longmans.
“W. P. H." wishes to know the best kind of copy-books for teaching writing in National Schools. I beg to say, that in my school, which is a very large one, I find the best copy-books to be Forster's National Pencilled Copy-books, price 28. per dozen. Published by C. H. Law, 131 Fleet Street, London, I therefore strongly recommend them to “ W. P. H."
If " A. B. C.” wants a good work on English composition, he cannot do better than obtain Edwards' Eton English Composition.
“R. S.” inquires for a good book on Object Lessons. I consider the best work to be that published by the Home and Colonial School Society, at 16 St. Chad's Row, Gray's Inn Road, London. Price Is. 6d.
He also inquires the meaning of the words "common things.” I have always understood this to be on “objects.” A good work is published by Darton and Co., of Holborn Hill, London, called Rev. T. Wilson's Catechism of Common Things, price 9d. Apologising for the length of my letter, -I am, &c.
H. D. B.
* See Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, p. 132, vol. vii., Session 1854-55. J. H. Parker, London.
+ Visit to the Institutions for the Deaf and Dumb in Europe, by the late Lewis Weld, Esq., Principal of the American Asylum, Hartford, Connecticut.
MR. EDITOR,-Allow me to inform "A Subscriber" that the songs he quotes are to be found in the Singing Master,'a work written by Mr. W. E. Hickson, and published by Taylor, Walton, and Co., Upper Gower Street. The price was 108.; but there is now a "people's edition" at half that price. Or, if " A Subscriber” does not require the whole work, it is published in five parts; parts I. and II. being the lessons, parts III. and IV. the songs, and part V. the hymn tunes, the first three parts being 18., the last two ls. 6d. each part, People's Edition.
The above work is not, I think, sufficiently known among schoolmasters. There is not a better selection of school songs in existence, every song conveying an excellent lesson. Who is not acquainted with one of them—“Try again !"-I am, &c.
JAMES MENDENHALE. Several other correspondents recommend the same book.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON IX REFORMATORIES. SIR,-In reply to “Anglicanus,” it may be intimated, that the metropolitan refuges and reforma. tories devote Sunday afternoon either to religious reading or to direct religious instruction. In so large a proportion of those valuable institutions is the latter course adopted, that the other method may now be considered as exceptional. As, indeed, the sacred hours are found practically to be wasted by simply reading religious books, and constant surveillance is required, there is every prospect of its eventual abandoninent.
When the inmates of refuges are formed into Bible-classes, they are usually taught by members of the committee; the governor attending, not so much for the purpose of teaching, as with a view to the preservation of order. The family aspect of the reformatory,--and this home-likeness is the secret of the success of such institutions,-is more apparent when those who are engaged in the every-day management, and not mere strangers, superintend the classes on the Lord's day.
At first unconnected portions of Scripture were usually selected. But such is the mental constitution of these poor outcasts, that such discursive teaching was only found to supply fresh aliment to that native love of change which in too many cases led to their temporal ruin. Hence it was found, that to give a right direction to their ideas, and a foxily of purpose such as should neutralise this mental restlessness, involved the very elements of their moral and social elevation. It has therefore been considered judicious for such classes to study one book of Holy Writ-generally the Gospel of St. Matthew-chapter by chapter; and from their marked ignorance of divine things, not to proceed to the second until the first is thoroughly understood, and incorporated, as it were, into the mental man. By this means, whilst they gradually acquire all the rudimental truths of Christianity, appeals can be constantly made to their consciences, as incidents akin to their own experience come under review. The mere fact, too, that the doctrines and precepts of the Gospel are thereby not taught dogmatically, or presented in that dry skeleton like form which only repels, but are found necessarily to spring out of those beautiful apologues which abound in the teachings of our blessed Master, tends to create such a deep interest in revealed truth, that again it becomes true that the “common people hear Christ gladly."
This plan has satisfactorily solved the problem, how so to occupy the interval betwixt morning and evening service, that whilst it is rightly employed, religion may be precluded from, so to speak, becoming a drug. For whilst the whole, and not merely a part of Sunday, is consecrated to Him whose glorious resurrection it both confirms and celebrates, from the engagement being peculiarly adapted to their mental states and spiritual needs, a deep interest is often aroused in those who are most unconcerned about the health of the soul. Thus they are gradually,led to prize that higher form of public worship, when, assembling with "the great congregation,” they confess common sins, and seek for the common grace.-1 am, &c.
E. J. HYTCHE.
INQUIRIES BY CORRESPONDENTS. "C. M.” wants a simple description of the processes employed in Lithography, and the materials used,
“H. J." asks whether it is possible for a teacher not professing either music or drawing to obtain a certificate of merit; also what is meant by “Describe the coast-line of the west of Ireland.”
“W. W. H.” asks what would be a suitable size magic lantern for an evening-school in an agricultural parish? What kind of slides would be best, the number of each sort, and the price ?
“H. C. XXVII.” asks the best way to deal with children who bring their dinners in the winter. To shut thenı out of sc ool, away from the fire, seems unreasonable; but they are not to be dep upon during the master's absence.
“W. L.” asks where he can obtain an English translation of Klopstock’s Messiah.
“Rusticus” says, that in the forms left by the Inspectors to be filled up by the masters a space is left for the number who have attended more than one year, more than two, more than three, &c.; and asks how to fill these up, as he has scholars whose names have been on the books of the school ever since its opening, but whose attendance has not been on an average one-third of the time.
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
PUBLISHED BY LONGMAN AND Co. Reading Lessons. Advanced Series. First Book. Edited by Edward Hughes. 448 pages, 12mo, cloth boards, price 38. 6d. This book contains lessons on the following subjects: Mental culturePhysical geography-Scientific biography-Geology-Vegetable and animal physiology-EthnologyNatural history-Political and domestic economy-Chemistry, Mechanics-Manufactures--Natural philosophy-Astronomy-Fine arts-Music-English literature-Selections from poetry-and an etymological and explanatory Appendix.
*Reading Lessons. Advanced Series. Second Book. 431 pages, 12mo, cloth boards, price 38. 6d. This book contains more advanced lessons on the subjects in the First Book, and also on the following: Food-Language Outlines of musical study-The various forms of poetry.
Lessons in General Knowledge: an Elementary Reading-Book in the Principles of Natural Science, by Robert J. Mann, M.D. Second Series. 128 pages, 12mo, stiff paper cover, price ls. Contents of Part Il.: Volcanoes-Rivers-The ocean Islands and coral reefs-Coral archipelagos-Captain Cook - Tropical regions of the earth-Tropical plants-Vegetable life-Deserts-T'ribes of the desertMungo Park-Animal life-Muscular novement--The nerves-Instinctive actions-Bees-Francis Huber-Sagacity in animals.
HOME AND COLONIAL SCHOOL SOCIETY. A Vanual of Domestic Economy, with Hints on Domestic Medicine and Surgery, by W. B. Tegetmeier. Second edition, with Questions for Teachers. 157 pages, 12mo, cloth boards. Contents : Domestic economy—The House-Furniture-Cleaning-Grates and fuel-Animal and vegetable food -Condiments and economical cookery-Beverages- Clothing and washing-Domestic expenditureManagement of poultry-Domestic medicine and surgery-Management of sick-room--Fevers-Contagious skin-diseases--Croup, Hooping.cough, and Diarrhæa- Domestic surgery-Domestic remedies-Poisons.
BY ROBERT THEOBALD. Conversational French Phrases, by A. Habersak. Second edition. 59 pages, 16mo, cloth cover, price Is. 6d. Contents: Phrases rendered in French, with various examples of each-Are you? Do you? Have you? How? How long? How many times? How inuch? Is it? Is and are there! What? When? Where? Which? Who? Why?--Imperative phrases.
CHURCH-OF-ENGLAND SUNDAY-SCHOOL INSTITUTE. The Church-of-England Sunday-School Quarterly Magazine, No. XXXI., Vol. VIII., Sept. 1855. 90 pages, 8vo, paper cover, price ls. Contents : Various articles under the following heads: The teacher in his closet-The teacher in his study-The teacher in his school—The lecture-Places and intelligence-Correspondence --The Institute - Notices of books — Public affairs-Notices to correspondents.
Books, &c. received. Three Sermons, preached at the Leeds Free Grammar School, with a Preface on School Services, by the Rev. Alfred Barry, A.M., Head Master. London, F. and J. Rivington.
General Report of Parochial Schools in the Diocese of Canterbury, by the Rev. B. F. Smith, M.A., Diocesan Inspector.
The Relative Importance of Subjects taught in Elementary Schools. A Lecture, by Joshua G. Fitch, M.A., Vice-Principal of the Normal College, Borough Road. Price 6d. Partridge and Oakey.
Prayers for the Use of Teachers and Schoolmasters' Associations. Published by the Brighton and Sussex Church-of-England Schoolmasters' Association. Brighton, Richard Sicklemore.
Journal of Education, Upper Canada. Vol. VIII., No. IX., Sept. 1855.
Religious Education: a Sermon preached in the Parish Church of Maidstone, at the Sixteenth Anniversary of the Canterbury Diocesan Education Society, October 4, 1855, by the Rev. David Dale Stewart, M.A., Incumbent. Maidstone, J. Grundy.
American Association for Advancement of Education: a Circular from. London, Trübner and Co.
Schoolmasters' and Schoolmistresses' Associations, South STAFFORDSHIRE AND NORTH WORCESTERSHIRE ASSOCIATION.-The fourth annual meeting of this Association took place at Dudley on Friday, the 9th November. At eleven o'clock in the morning about 200 of the clergy and laity, including many ladies, assembled at St. Edmund's National Schools, where, under the presidency of Archdeacon Hone, four lessons were given to a class of boys attending St. Edmund's school. The lesson on Scripture was given by Mr. Sydenham; on History by Mr. Salt; on Arithmetic by Mr. Vaughan; and an Object Lesson by Mr. Miles. The examination proved very satisfactory, showing that the schoolmaster, Mr. Sluter, had paid great attention to the education of the scholars. At the conclusion of the lessons, Archdeacon Hone commended the Scripture lesson as a very proper one--a lesson from which, he said, schoolmasters and schoolmistresses might take many useful hints. The principal part of the company then visited the School of Design, to inspect the drawings of the students previously to their being forwarded to Marlborough House.
The dinner took place at the Hotel, at three o'clock; and a company numbering about 120 sat down. The chair was occupied by the Right Hon. Lord Hatherton, Lord Lieutenant of the county of Stafford, who was supported on the right by Lord Lyttelton, Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, and on the left by the Rev. J. H. Sharwood, Vicar of Walsall. The Venerable Archdeacon Hone filled the vice-chair. The Rev. J. P. Norris and the Rev. H. W. Bellairs, her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools, together with a number of clergymen and gentlemen, were also present.
In the course of the evening many appropriate speeches were made; and among other practical remarks, it was suggested that a prize of 5001. to 2000l. should be offered by some educational institution for the best history of England for schools.
The Secretary, Mr. Sluter, read the report of the committee, which congratulated the members and friends of the Association upon its uniform success. It expressed thanks to clergymen for their donations and gifts of books, and for their attendance to deliver lectures to them. Papers had been read by members on different subjects, and lectures had been promised by several clergymen. The subscriptions and donations had amounted to 161. 6s. 6d., while the expenses had been 191. 138. 8d., leaving the Society indebted to the Treasurer in the sum of 31. 7s. 2d. Several publishers of books had sent copies of their school-books for the inspection of the clergy and schoolmasters of the district. The society numbered upwards of forty members, almost the whole of whom are certificated masters, and those who had not attained that distinction were making use of all the means provided by the Association to obtain that honour. Several new members had joined the Association, and others were making application for admission. The members of the Association had, by the kindness of the Earl of Dartmouth, visited Patshull during the year. They had also been permitted to visit the glass-works at Spon Lane. Thanks were given to the Rev. J. Davies, for the use of St. Edmund's school. In conclusion, the committee called attention to the fact, that a deal of good was being done by the Society, and hoped it would prosper.
OSWESTRY ASSOCIATION.--At the October meeting, Mr. James Evans, of Llanannon, read a paper on “ Rain,” showing its formation, &c., as also briefly that of hail, snow, dew, mist, &c. At the
November meeting, Mr. Donald Nicholson, of the Lodge School, Chirk, read a paper on “Atmospherical currents." The general theory of wind was described ; and the winds divided into three great classes, viz. permanent winds, periodical winds, and variable winds. The paper concluded with a short account of the effect of winds on the temperature, and also in the distribution of rain. The subjects proposed for discussion at the next meeting were, the “ Pauper Education Bill," by Mr. Henry Toone, of Knockin; and a “School-library Establishment," by Mr. Lee, Oswestry.
NORTHERN ASSOCIATION.-The members of this Association met at Lumley on Friday, October 26th. From the report which was read at the meeting, it appears that the Association has been established nearly three years, and consists of nine-and-twenty members ; every meeting, however, adds to their numbers. They have already held seven meetings, and among the subjects then discussed we may notice “The position of the schoolmaster”-“The best method of keeping up a connection with old scholars"-"The advantages and disadvantages of mixed schools"_" The necessity of cultivating the feelings and imaginations of children"-and - The best method of teaching Holy Scripture, geography, writing, and arithmetic. At the last meeting the subject of drawing was considered. The members also resolved at this meeting to admit clergymen, school-managers, and other friends of education, as honorary members.
The following Memorial to the Lord President of the Privy Council has been adopted by the Association, and forwarded to Earl Granville, who has promised to give it his best attention:
“ MEMORIAL. Sheweth,-1. That many and serious inconveniences have arisen from the want of a sufficient number of monitors and apprentices in elementary schools.
That the present allowance by the Privy Council of one apprentice to forty scholars is totally inadequate to the satisfactory progress of the children; and that the plan of apprenticing children at thirteen years of age does not enable teachers, managers, or inspectors, to select always those who will eventually form good schoolmasters.
That your memorialists view with great satisfaction a proposal for obviating both these evils made in the last report of her Majesty's Inspector, th Rev. H. W. Bellars. (Vid. Min. 1854-5, pages 406 and 407; and Min. 1853-4, vol. ii. pages 86, 87.) He suggests the employment of children between twelve and fifteen years of age as stipendiary monitors. From the most eligible of these monitors he would select apprentices, who then should be bound to serve till nineteen years of age. It would thus be possible to weed out those young persons who give no promise of aptitude for the calling of a schoolmaster. He also proposes one stipendiary monitor for the first fifty scholars, and one for each additional twenty-five, and likewise one apprentice for the first fifty, and one for each additional 100. Your memorialists think that, with some slight modifications, this proposal of her Majesty's Inspector would produce very excellent fruit.
That very great difficuity is felt in this, and other busy districts, in finding candidates for the office of pupil-teacher, in consequence of the inducements held out to them being less than those offered by other callings and occupations. Her Majesty's Inspectors, the Rev. H. W. Bellairs, the Rev. F. Watkins, and the Rev. D.J. Stewart, have all been struck with this growing evil. (Vid. Min. 1853-4, vol. ii. pages 86, 7; also Min. 1854-5, pages 435, 6, 7, and pages 567, 8, 9.) Your memorialists, therefore, most respectfully suggest that the payments of pupil-teachers in mining and manufacturing districts should be raised from time to time to a level with the ordinary wages of the locality.
That schoolmasters have sometimes been unfairly deprived of the augmentation promised by the Lords of the Privy Council for the instruction of pupil-teachers. Your memorialists most respectfully represent that the schoolmaster ought not to lose the sum due to him unless there is manifest reason to suppose that the deficiencies of the pupil-teacher, whether mental or moral, are attributable to him.
II. That serious inconvenience has followed one of the provisions of the Minute dated August 20th, 1853, which renders pupil-teachers whose indentures terminate between March and December ineligible as candidates for Queen's Scholarships till the ensuing Christmas. Numerous indentures in this district terminate in March ; and thus many pupil-teachers quit the calling for which they have been prepared at the cost of so much care, time, and money. Mr. Moseley, the Inspector of male training institutions, reported that in 1853 there were 750 male pupil-teachers eligible for Queen's Scholarships, while he said that only 248 obtained them. (Vid. Min. 1853-4, vol. ii. page 421.) Thus 502 pupil-teachers were to be accounted for in 1853. He again reported, that in 1854 there were 820 male pupil-teachers eligible for Queen's Scholarships, while only 226 obtained them.
(Vid. Min. 1854-5, page 276.) Thus fewer Queen's Scholars were admitted in 1854 than in 1853, though the number of apprentices had increased. The conclusion forced upon your memorialists is this—that many young persons are apprenticed as pupil-teachers at an early age, who never become Queen's Scholars or schoolmasters. The observations of Mr. Bellairs, Mr. Watkins, and Mr. Stewart, seem to corroborate this conclusion. (Vid. Min. 1854-5, pages 407-437, and 571-575.) Your memorialists respectfully suggest that one part of this evil can be cured by allowing all pupil-teachers apprenticed before January 1st, 1854, to compete for Queen's Scholarships at the Christmas next ensuing after their fourth year's examination. The cure for the rest of this evil has already been pointed out, viz. a better selection of apprentices at a more mature age, and a higher payment, especially in the last two years of their apprenticeship.
III. That the education of the masses is at present grievously retarded by two great evils: 1. The early removal of children from school. 2. The irregularity of their attendance during their school years.
It is a melancholy fact, that children are taken at an earlier age from school to work than they were before the means of education were so much improved. Children are taught by trained teachers to read, write, and count in less time than they were ten years ago; but they leave school so much the sooner, and thus all hope of raising the tone of popular education is at present lost. Your memorialists now briefly describe the case of those children who attend pretty regularly up to the age of nine or ten years ; and they respectfully beg to direct attention to the tables printed by Mr. Watkins (Vid. Min. 1854-5, page 438), and Mr. Stewart (Vid. Min. 1854-5, pages 576, 7), as well as to the observations of Mr. Moseley (Vid. Min. 1854-5, pages 300-304), Mr. Cook (pages 391, 2), Mr. Bellairs (pages 400, 1), and Mr. Tinling (page 459).
But your memorialists beg further to draw attention to the case of the thousands of children who attend school only two or three days in the week, at irregular intervals; and also to the case of the many thousands who scarcely ever enter the school.door at all. Schools and schoolmasters may be multiplied; but without some further machinery the education of our ignoraut masses will still