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the liberal institutions flourishing in its midst. As before said, this is all well. It is progress, and progress in exactly the right direction. It is a matter for sober and rational exultation, that so much has been achieved. But let us be liberal in our views upon the great question of providing the best possible education for the young. Let us be specific when we speak of the excellencies of our school systems. Let us be candid and honest in defining the nature of our labors and in estimating the value of our services. We turn then to the question, are our schools progressive-both conservative and progressive ?
We are to seek evidences of excellence and progression, first, in improvements upon past and present, known methods of school organization, school discipline, and instruction. In this respect it is believed that our schools have been, for several years, decidedly progressive. But, second, we are to look for progress in the invention and introduction of subjects and modes of instruction not hitherto known or practiced in any measure—more philosophical in plan, more efficacious and far-reaching in their tendencies. As the highest order of human culture is introduced, we are to look for a change in the whole moral atmosphere of a community. Truth, justice and charity will begin to be gloriously triumphant. Selfishness, fraud and uncontrolled appetite rapidly disappear.
Are these evidences of progress around us? Perhaps so in some measure, but certainly they are not super-abundant. The demand for these modes and results is not yet sufficiently distinct and emphatic. On the part of the parent and of the public, there exist only the vague hope or expectation that the Teacher, somehow, is educating, somehow will educate the child. Whether the skill of the Teacher is expended upon the intellectual or the emotional and moral nature of the pupil
, has seldom been a subject of thought or inquiry,'much less a matter of careful observation and analysis. On the part of the Teacher also, it is feared that little beyond instruction in the sciences and the culture of the intellect is seriously and deliberately undertaken. The preparatory training on the part of the Teachers themselves is still wanting, the skill is wanting, the instrumentalities are wanting ; and, more still, the ideal is too often wanting, or exists in but a misty, shadowy, form, in all that relates to the culture of the emotional and moral nature of the young
It certainly can not, in truth, be said that the child is properly eduoated, when his knowledge of the sciences is accurate and extensive, and yet his impulses all wrong, while his intellect has been highly dis
ciplined, yet his temper never subjected to control, his taste in letters most refined, yet his sense of justice most uncertain and obscure. Let us then be temperate and candid in speaking of our educational condition and progress. Giving proper credit for all that we have that is essential and truly valuable, let us aim at a higher standard of excellence than has before been sought. We must not, for a moment, be satisfied with former conquests. We must not repose on old virtues or old laurels, while so much remains to be achieved. If, ten years ago, there was a pressing necessity for a liberal, judicious school organization in our State, there is an equal necessity now, for just and liberal sentiments in relation to the higher departments of education.
If Teachers of prudence, energy, experience and real, were then needed to introduce the more outward, material elements of a free, public school system to popular favor, Teachers are now needed to inangurate emotional and spiritual culture into the free school training of our country. This may, indeed, appear difficult, discouraging, -seemingly almost impossible. So have all other valuable achievements. It is sufficient for us to know that its accomplishment is necessary and possible.
SANDUSKY, Dec. 1, 1856.
M. F. C.
The Moon.- Dr. Scoresby, in an account that he has given of some recent observations made with the Earl of Rosse's telescope, says : “With respect to the moon, every object on its surface of one hundred feet was now distinctly to be seen, and he had no doubt that under very favorable circumstances, it would be so with objects sixty feet in height. On its surface were craters of extinct volcanoes, rocks, and masses of stones almost innumerable. He had no doubt that if such a building as he was then in were upon the surface of the moon, it would be rendered distinctly visible by these instruments. But there were no signs of inhabitants such as ours -no vestige of architecture remains to show that the moon is or ever was inhabited by a race of mortals similar to ourselves. It presented no appearance which could lead to the supposition that it contained any thing like the green fields and lovely verdure of this beautiful world of ours. There was 20 water visible - not a sea, or river, or even the measure of a reservoir for supplying town or factory. --all seemed desolate."
TO THE EDITOR OF THE OHIO JOURNAL OF EDUCATION :
Dear Sir You ask me to give you some account of the progress and present state of the Night Schools of this city. I do so with pleasure, and only hope that it may be interesting to your readers.
With us there is such hurrying to and fro, in the excited search for wealth, and so many branches of business in which young men and women may profitably engage, that few remain at School long enough to complete even a good business education. Of 16,673 pupils registered last year in all the Public Schools of this city, only 2,468 were over twelve years
age, and more than half of the whole number were under nine. Children engaged in any industrial pursuits at so early an age, cannot be supposed to take any great interest in the business that occupies them, but rather that they should regard their labor as a task imposed, not for their own good, but for the good of others. Nor do they feel the weight of responsibility which rests upon those of maturer years, and which modifies and restrains their natural impulses. Their time is not all occupied, and their intervals of leisure are devoted to mere amusements and matters of temporary or trifling moment. What they learn at School is forgotten. Habits of study previously formed are superseded by irregular and even vicious courses, and the work of early education is nearly obliterated before manhood is reached. The period of which we speak is one of no little import. tance to the commonwealth. Any one who observed the processions of the last political campaign, and heard the shouts which, as the roar of many waters, surged up the hill-sides that encircle us, will acknowledge that there is a power in Young America which is to be respected and cared for. Well, to bridge over this period which intervenes between the school-going age and maturity, is a problem which bas scarcely yet been solved. Atheneums, Philosophical Associations, Mechanics' Unions, etc., etc., bave been established without number, both in this country and in Europe, and they seem to answer a condition of American society, every where. In this city, I believe, these institutions have assumed a new shape. They have become homogeneous elements of the Publio School system.
Every Winter, for sixteen years, have night Schools been established in various parts of the city, by the Board of Trustees and visitors of the Public Schools. This Winter there are ten of them, in as many of the Public School buildings. Each of these Schools employ from two to five Teachers. They are classified as nicely as the very great variety of attainments and studies will permit.
Till last session, these Schools were open only to young men. Last Fall young ladies were admitted for the first time. Though great apprehensions were felt lest this step might lead to difficulty, and bring discredit upon the entire system, no practical inconvenience, whatever, has been experienced. Young ladies and young gentlemen are seated in separate, rooms each under the instruction of Teachers of their own sex. By dismissing the former a few minutes before the latter all the danger that had been predicted is avoided, and up to this time no complaints have been made of any want of safety in passing to and from Schools after night-fall.
The Night Schools are generally instructed by the Teachers of the day Schools by others, however, when these can not be secured. They open at 7, and are dismissed at 9 o'clock in the evening. The salary paid for this service is from $25 to $30 per month of twenty nights. The course of study has not yet been laid out, and it is quite doubtful whether one can be devised that shall meet the wants of a mass of scholars so heterogeneous as the pupils of the night Schools are found to be.
It is possible that some plan of organization may be devised which will throw larger numbers of pupils together in the same house, and thus some classification be secured.
Not unfrequently, young men and women come into the Sebools unable to read or to write. A single winter is generally sufficient to open to them the rich stores of our literature, and give them a use of those wondrous characters which speak when the voice is silent. The progress of the pupils who attend these Schools regularly is highly satisfactory, and justifies the annual appropriation made to sustain them.
THE NIGHT HIGH SCHOOL.
A new feature has been recently added, which is expected to have the happiest influence upon the whole system of Night Schools. I refer now to the Night High School.
Last Summer a contract was made between the School Board and the Board of Directors of the Ohio Mechanics’ Institute, by which, for the consideration of $10,000, one half of the very large and substantial building, known as the Mechanics' Institute, was transferred in perpetual lease to the former party. The Mechanics' Association had maintained lectures for several years. These were thinly attended, however,
and it was suggested by Dr. C. G. Comegys, a prominent and active member of the School Board, that it would not only be proper, but that it would be highly advantageous for that Board to take upon itself the selection and maintenance of these lectures, and to engraft the entire course upon that already adopted in the District Night School. It was proposed that no one should be admitted to this course who could not undergo an examination on all those branches which are essential for a thorough understanding of a course of scientific lectures. A difficulty was anticipated in the very limited number who could be found to undergo an examination in Geometry, Algebra, and the definitions and classifications of the Natural Sciences. To provide against this, it was thought best to establish two preparatory grades, making three in number with the course of lectures already mentioned. Thus has the plan of the Cincinnati Night High School been conceived and elaborated.
The course prescribed for each of the three years is for the
1st year–Algebra, Geometry, Book-keeping, Vocal Music, Drawing and Design.
2d year-Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Geology, Botany, Animated Nature, Vocal Music, Drawing and Design.
3d year-The same subjects as of the second, to be taught in a course of lectures.
It will be observed that the course is almost exclusively scientific. Cincinnati is located in the midst of a country that knows no superior for agricultural resources. Her horticulturists are known over the world. She is eminently a manufacturing city. It is fitting, then, that her young men and young women should be trained so that they may intelligently take a part in the development of her tremendous resources.
The examination of candidates for admission to the Night High School took place in the evenings of the 31st of October and November 1st. It was conducted by printed questions, copies of which I enclose to you, to be inserted or not, at your pleasure. They were prepared for the candidates seeking admission to the third grade. The second grade has not yet been established. Two hundred and twenty-four candidates were examined and only one hundred and fifty admitted. A part of these admitted have been formed into a preparatory class.
The School was organized on Monday evening, Nov. 10th, under the instruction of Cyrus Nason, Esq., Principal of the 4th Intermediate School; John Hancock, Esq., Principal of the 1st Intermediate ; Asahel Page, 1st Assistant in the 4th Intermediate, and Miss Ellen F. Free. man, a teacher of the Woodward High School.