« AnteriorContinuar »
stitutions. I enclose two which have been received here during the past week, the one by the master of the school, the other by me. You are at liberty to make any use you please of them. I think that such a system of competition does not say much for the estimation in which the institutions pursuing it are held, either by the public at large, or by the persons more immediately interested; and further, that it is one which managers of schools throughout the country should discountenance by every means in their power. I am, &c.-ENEAS B. HUTCHISON.
[We believe that one of the objects of the late meetings of Principals in London was to discountenance all canvassing for pupils on the part of the Training Institutions.— Ed. M. P.]
SIR, I am anxious to qualify myself to pass the examination required for a registered mistress. I have seen in your Paper a course of study marked out for pupilteachers. It would be a valuable assistance to myself, and I doubt not to others also, if a similar course could be laid down as a help towards passing the examination for registration. It would be easy for any teacher to select out of such a course those subjects in which he or she might feel deficient, and give close attention to them.-I am, &c. A WESTMINSTER SCHOOLMISTRESS.
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN TEACHERS AND PARENTS.
SIR,-Much has been said about the desirableness of a regular communication between teachers and the parents of their scholars. I am not aware that much has been done towards establishing such a communication. I enclose to you a card and quarterly report, which have been used more than a year with considerable success. The only drawback is the trouble of filling up; but the difficulty not so great, nor the time required so much, as would appear from a first observation.
MIDDLE CHURCH SCHOOL.
This card must be brought to school every Monday morning, and no entry is to be made thereon but by the Master.
Money due at commencement of the quarter, 1s. Paid, J.S.
Caution.-Should any attempt to alter a mark be detected, all the marks on the card will be forfeited.
MIDDLE CHURCH SCHOOL.
Report of the Attendance and Conduct of Thomas Jones, Middle, from October 1st to December 31st, 1854.
The number of marks due is shown in the first column. The second column shows what the numbers would be had proper attention been paid.
The attendance may be copied from the class-register. The numbers for cleanliness, lessons, and attention, may be known by simply keeping an account of those children who happen to be remiss in those particulars. This may be done in the following way: Let a slate or a sheet of paper be headed "Cleanliness," "Home Lessons," "Attention.' Suppose a child (Thomas Jones) neglects his lessons on Monday and Thursday; another (James Owen) is inattentive in school on Tuesday and Wednesday; the account will be kept thus:
T. Jones, Monday, Thursday. J. Owen, Tuesday, Wednesday.
If any serious offence is committed, the card may be found and marked at once.
The quarterly report is abstracted from the cards. At the end of the quarter, the task of adding the numbers on the cards may be safely committed to the best boys of the first class, if they are made to understand that the sum of the totals per quarter must be equal to the sum of the totals per week. The quarterly report should, if possible, be delivered to the parents by the master himself, or by the clergyman, when the deficiencies or merits of the child may be discussed with advantage.
The children may be required to pay a penny each for the cards. In this school each child is provided with a print bag, in which the card is carried. A small press may be purchased for a few pounds, by means of which the elder boys may be allowed the privilege of printing the cards.-1 am, &c.
DIOCESAN CERTIFICATES FOR TEACHERS.
The Grammar School, Thorp Arch. SIR,-In your October number, and at p. 329, it says, that the Worcester Diocesan Board" has determined to grant a certificate to any teacher whose school receives a very favourable report by the diocesan inspector, and which are not under Government inspection, thereby giving the teacher a stimulus for greater activity." An acknowledgment of this kind has long been wanted and felt by teachers of foundation and other schools, who have in consequence been denied, although men possessing qualifications, a Government Certificate of Merit.
As a reward for diligence and perseverance in carrying out the great end of Church education, it will be, I am sure, duly appreciated; and should the diocesan certificate be without a pecuniary proviso, the merit of possessing it will be sufficient for the painstaking master.
It is highly gratifying to us, who are shut out from the Government honours, to know that something is being done in the way of rewards for the deserving; and we can only trust that the other Diocesan Boards will follow the example so praiseworthily set by the Worcester Board* for the furtherance of education, and raising the position of its faithful servants.
In conclusion, permit me to say, there will be found many a deserving man who is at the present time without any testimonial, except in their school report-books, of his diligence and energy in the good cause, anxiously anticipating and striving to win the promised honour.
Should you deem my humble remarks worthy a space in your excellent Paper, you will oblige, &c. W. H. BOSHER.
THE ART OF TEACHING.
SIR,-The art of teaching is essentially the art of communicating; and no one who fails to identify the one with the other can be called a successful teacher. A person may sit in front of a class, and demand attention, feet together, eyes on the book, &c.—the mechanical accompaniments to teaching, and yet feel himself conscious of the want of some more important desideratum. In many instances, teaching (so called) consists in merely hearing a class read; an undisguised acknowledgment of the author's incompetency to explain himself: like the boy who, when requested to prove a problem from Euclid, replied he had too much respect for Mr. E. to investigate any of his opinions. The secret of good teaching is this: the ability of the teacher to bring the matter to the minds of his scholars in the same intelligible light in which he perceives it himself.
To attain this it is absolutely essential that he should have a full knowledge and comprehensive view of the subject in hand. Obscurity on the part of the teacher will render all his efforts to enlighten his pupils futile. He must not indulge in suppositions; no extraordinary stretch of the imagination will compensate for a deficiency of information. Discrepancies in this respect tell fearfully against the scholar. With only half ideas on a subject, he had better have had none at all. He will never appreciate what he cannot comprehend. And this arises, perhaps, not so much from the child's incapability to understand as from the teacher's incompetency to explain. It is humiliating in the extreme only to fancy your class entertains but a poor opinion of your talents. Children are penetrating; and, however dull, they seldom fail to discover a teacher's failings. No man, says a writer, is a hero with his valet de chambre; and few teachers are prodigies in the eyes of their scholars.
A teacher should no doubt insist upon a proper respect being paid to his person. But the respect due to him is of two kinds: the first to his office, the second to his capacity. The latter I conceive the more desirable, and which all engaged in the scholastic profession should try to merit. A good teacher, therefore, should possess qualifications that guarantee confidence in himself and respect from his pupils. One of these qualifications I have before alluded to; I will now enumerate the others. A necessary characteristic of the teacher is a will to endeavour by every means in his power to conquer that indisposition to learn that so naturally becomes a young mind. To attain this, he must be earnest and animated in his delivery, and should display in his manner a real anxiety to improve his children; and this the latter soon find out. He must not manifest the slightest indifference to the most insignificant inquiry on any legitimate subject, but take it as a criterion of the inquirer's wish to learn. Carelessness in teaching begets carelessness in learning; for as the teacher is, so is the scholar. The teacher must not remain satisfied with the silent acquiescence of his hearers, but by careful questioning and probing ascertain the registered result of his labour. 'Tis not enough that information should enter at one ear and pass out at the other. It must be thoroughly masticated, or it will never digest. Children's appetites for learning are extremely delicate; and, depend upon it, they will evince no disposition to remember a collection of dry facts. Again, the teacher must have sufficient discernment to discriminate between a boy of nine and one of thirteen; in other words, he must adapt his language to the capacity of his hearers. In this many teachers fail signally. They cannot stoop from their own lofty conceptions, and unphilosophically attribute their ill-success to some inherent stupidity
The system of granting Diocesan Certificate: has for some time been in operation in the diocese of Bath and Wells.-ED. M. P.
in their children. They appear more like M.P.'s on a small scale addressing their constituents, than persons teaching the young idea how to shoot. Above all, the teacher should aim at the development in himself of those principles of right he strives to inculcate into others. In a school, example is everything; and to preach one thing and practise another is derogatory to the character of a teacher. So far I have endeavoured to show what a teacher should be; in my next, by your leave, I shall direct my efforts towards the practical application of these remarks to some of the more important branches of elementary instruction.-I am, &c. FULL STOP.
SIR,-Will you permit me, through the medium of your widely-circulated Paper, to call the attention of my brother-schoolmasters to Mr. C. Knight's re-issue of the Penny Cyclopædia, under the title of the English Cyclopædia.
For an outlay of 6d. per week during about five years, sixteen volumes, containing the fullest information in every department of human knowledge, may be obtained. This affords an excellent opportunity for schoolmasters to procure, at a trifling cost, an invaluable work of reference from which to prepare their notes of lessons. The entire cost of the English Cyclopædia will be about 67. Two volumes and a half of Geography, and as many of Natural History, have already appeared.—I am, &c.
ABSTRACTS OF SERMONS.
SIR,-Having long encouraged my boys to write abstracts of sermons, I will with pleasure give the "Kentish Incumbent" my opinion on the subject, if you think it worth your valuable space.
I have been induced to believe that the close attention, instead of destroying the practical effect of the preacher, tends rather to increase its benefits, while it must necessarily restrain the child from wandering thoughts and irreverent actions. My reasons are these: I have always found the abstracts to contain those remarks of the preacher which were most successful in awakening the conscience or informing the mind; and they seldom omit a word of good practical advice. They feel an interest in doing it; for I had an instance a few weeks ago of the son of a captain, who visited his father at a distant port, going to the church on Sunday, and writing his abstract as usual after leaving it, which he brought to me on his return.
I keep a list of the names of boys who write them, and reward the writer of the neatest and best with some small gift on Monday morning, such as a penny or the like; and reserve the names of those who are less successful, with the promise of a book at some future time. This is not a great expense to me, as in a small school few boys can write them.-Yours, &c.
LESSON ON IVORY.
SIR, I beg leave to forward to you the above lesson. I have been obliged to write it out at length, in order to make it intelligible to your readers. It may be used for all classes, and such parts avoided as are too difficult for the child's understanding. It would be well if a lesson on the elephant were to precede this-such a lesson appeared in one of your past numbers. Let me add, that a piece of ivory shown to the children will impress the lesson more strongly upon their minds; and to London schools, a visit to the Zoological Gardens to see a living elephant would prove a great treat. Let the map of the world be also used.-I remain, &c. VERITAS.
Description.-Ivory (derived from a Greek word meaning 'heavy'), the tusks and teeth (not much used) of the elephant, hippopotamus, or walrus, is a solid, white, translucent substance, about two and a half times heavier than water; distinguished from bone by its texture of semi-transparent network, is less brittle, and by its retaining its permanent whiteness; fine ivory is more transparent than paper of an equal thickness; when first cut it appears somewhat yellow, from a secretion of oil in it, but soon becomes again white; it is not easily stained or destroyed by exposure to the atmosphere.
African ivory is considered the best, that from India not being so white. The tusks are formed after the ordinary manner of the teeth of animals, but attain an immense length; a pair has been found weighing 330 lbs., and 8 feet in length each; and Mr. Gordon Cumming has one which measures 10 feet 9 inches, and weighing 173 lbs.; the average weight of each tusk about 30 lbs.; and small teeth weighing from 4 to 20 lbs. are worth from 107. to 167. per cwt., while the very large ones realise as much as 50%. per
cwt. Ivory is supposed to have remained a part of the elephant for two or three hundred years.
Where found. In the whole of Southern Asia and Eastern Archipelago, but best found in Ceylon; also in Africa, especially about the large rivers in the interior (see Gordon Cumming's interesting work); much ivory is also obtained from the fossil elephant, which is found in all parts of the world. Humboldt discovered some on the Andes; and it has been found in the Arctic regions. That obtained from the hippopotamus is found much in the Nile. Ivory is frequently imported from India by the Red Sea, &c. to Alexandria, and re-shipped to England; but its general passage is by the Cape of Good Hope. As a general rule, the best ivory is obtained either in Asia or Africa about the equator. London, Sheffield, and Birmingham are the principal places where ivory is worked. In the year 1850, 8000 cwt. was imported.
Habits. In this article no information can be given under the above head.
Uses.-The earliest workers in ivory were probably the Chinese, whose temples, pagodas, &c. are still unrivalled. From the walls and palaces, as well as tombs, we learn the Egyptians also used it, and very probably that kind obtained from the hippopotamus. That the Jews used it to some extent is manifest from the Scriptures (Solomon's throne, Ahab's palace, as well as their beds or couches); and Layard in his researches has proved that the Assyrians were not unacquainted with it. The Greeks also formed their Olympian Jupiter (one of seven wonders of the world) out of ivory. The Romans applied it extensively to useful ornaments; and its use appears almost to have died with the fall of that empire. The Portugese re-introduced it into Europe; and Dieppe now boasts of the finest collection of carvings in our continent.
It is greatly applied in the manufacture of handles to knives and forks, and cutlery of every description. Sheffield alone employs about 5000 persons in its manufacture for this purpose. Billiard-balls, chessmen, tablets, slabs for miniature portraits, &c. &c., are among its many uses (and the children will readily furnish a number of other purposes to which it is applied). The ivory dust is a most valuable gelatine; and the ivory black is obtained by burning ivory.
ON TEACHING READING.
St. Ives National School, Hunts. SIR,-Having found the following system of teaching elementary reading superior to any other, I pray you will kindly allow a space for its insertion in your valuable periodical. As soon as young children know most of the letters of the alphabet by sight and by sound, the first reading-book may be put into their hands. Suppose a class to con
sist of twenty children. Let the three lines represent three parallel desks, the small letters (a, b, c, d, e,) sub-monitors, the dots the children of the class, and A the pupil-teacher. Let each of the submonitors read a sentence to the pupilteacher, and immediately he has read the sentence let him hear the three over whom he is placed read the same sentence. Next the pupil-teacher will hear No. 2, who will also immediately hear his group of three read, and so on till No. 5 has read. In this way one of the sub-monitors is constantly reading to the pupil-teacher at A, the other four are engaged in hearing the remaining twelve children, and every individual child is fully employed during the whole time of the lesson. After having read in this way for twenty minutes, the sub-monitors fall into their places, and the class having been got into good order, each child reads only one word. Let this be the sentence: "You may write on your slate." The first boy says 'you," the second says "may," and the third boy says "write," &c.; thus they go on round the class, each boy reading only one word. This plan will go on for ten minutes, and for ten minutes more they may read simultaneously, making the whole time to be forty minutes, which, by this system, has never been found to be too long for junior children. I sincerely trust that some of your readers will give this system a fair trial, and then kindly submit to you the result of the experiment —I am, &c.