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Portage–J. A. Garfield, J. H. Rhodes.
Tuscarawas-Miss C. Bear, J. F. Blickensderfer, G. N. Carothers, C. T. Emerson, F. B.
OTHER STATES. New York-Francis W. Tappan, N. Y. City. Kentucky-A. G. Murphy, Millersburgh. Pennsylvania-Miss M. J. McCausland, Pittsburgh ; Henry S. Bennett, Brownsville. Virginia–J. R. Donahoo, Jas. F. Snowden, Wheeling.
MR. EDITOR: Allow me, through the pages of the Journal, to call the attention of the Teachers of our State to an important item of school statistics, which they should procure and preserve, not only for the information of others, but also for their own. I allude to the statistics of the age at which scholars in our Union Schools are pursuing certain studies.
It is to be presumed that, in every Union School, the Teachers have a list of the pupils enrolled, and also another list of the scholars' names, in the various classes which are in their charge. If now, immediately after these lists, a column were ruled and the ages of the pupils entered therein-while it would be but a small trouble to add
of each sex and strike the average--the Teachers themselves would be in possession of valuable data for their own especial enlightenment.
Superintendents can thus, from year to year, ascertain the exact state of their schools, by comparing the number of pupils in each branch of study, and their average age, with the same items, at the same period, during previous years.
Allow me to illustrate my meaning by a reference to my own schools. The elose of the first three months of my supervision here was the close of the school year; and the registers of the various schools, together with my own general register, exhibited the following:
9 yrs 7 m 10 yrs 3 m 9 yrs 11 m Pupils studying their ABC,
30 boys 20 girls
6 yrs 8 m
6 yrs 5 m Papils studying Primary Spelling, in } 44 boys 31 girls Total, 75 Average age,
8 yrs 6 m 7 yrs 3 m 7 yrs 11 m Papils studying Spelling with defini'tns, 98 boys 109 girls
Total, 207 Average age,
11 yrs 4 m 11 yrs 11 m 11 yrs 8 m Pupils reading in M'Guffey's 1st Read., 11 boys 9 girls Total, 20 Average age,
8 yrs 4 m
8 yrs 2 m Second Reader,
11 boys 8 girls Total, 19 Average age,
8 yrs 6 m 8 yrs 9 m Third Reader,
36 boys 25 girls Total, 61 Average age,
9 yrs 6 m 9 yrs 4 m 9 yrs 5 m Fourth Reader,
84 girls Total, 146 Average age,
12 yrs 6 m 12 yrs 9 m 12 yrs 8 m Writing-1st, on slates: from copies only, 70 boys
40 girls Total, 110 Average age,
8 yrs 9 m 8 yrs 6 m 8 yrs 7 m Without copies,
44 boys 58 girls
Total, 102 Average age,
11 yrs 3 m
11 yrs 1 m On paper, in copy books,
25 boys 35 girls
14 yrs 10 m 14 yrs 10 m 14 yrs 10 m Arithmetic-1st. Learning tables only; 2d. Elementary, through Long Divis
ion ; 3d. All others. 1st. Tables only,
20 boys 16 girls Total, 36 Average age,
8 yrs 5 m 8 yrs 3 m 8 yrs 4 m English Grammar,
14 yrs 10 m 14 yrs 10 m 14 yrs 10 m Natural Philosophy,
15 yrs 11 m 15 yrs 6 m 15 yrs 9 m &c. &c.
&c. This list, already too long, might be further and more minutely extended. The idea is, I trust, sufficiently evident by what has been given. As it represents the educational condition of my schools after the first three months of my supervision, few will suppose I have any vanity in presenting it. Truly, there is but little in the exhibit to be vain of.
Were all superintendents thus to collect and arrange statistics, much valuable information might be gained.
1st. They themselves would be able to see what was the present condition of their schools, and whether the classes had advanced or retrograded.
2d. Upon the adoption of a few general rules, a system of classification would prevail, sufficiently uniform to enable these averages to present truthful estimates of the comparative positions of various classes in various schools.
3d. The union of all these averages into one, would give the average educational condition of scholars in our Union Schools throughout the State.
In the valuable report of Mr. Freese, Superintendent of the Cleveland schools for the year 1855–6, we have (on page 72, table IV) a general summary, showing the number of pupils in Primer, First
Reader, Second Reader, Third, Fourth and Fifth Readers, in Geog. raphy, Grammar, etc., etc.
So also in Mr. Rickoff's report of the Cincinnati schools for 1855–6, we have, at page 35, a somewhat similar table, rather less extended.
If now these gentlemen, and those in charge of the public schools of other cities and large towns in Ohio, were in the preparation of their reports, to bear this item of average ages in their mind, a very valuable table might be drawn up, exhibiting a standard sufficiently accurate to *be a safe guide in the gradation of schools, and the arrangement of studies.
Personally I regard such statistics as valuable—it may be my own opinion, or they may be really and intrinsically so. As this letter is intended to be suggestive only, I will not undertake to advocate, defend or explain
Mr. Rickoff, in his report, well and truly writes, (p. 41,) "School statistics are far inferior in completeness and accuracy, to the commercial, manufacturing and agricultural statistics of the day. It ought not to be so, for certainly the products of the school room can vie in value with the products of the farm or factory."
You, sir, also at the Christmas session of our Association, submitted the following resolutions wbich were passed :
'Resolved, That as an expression of the sense of this Association, the interests of education require that correct and comprehensive statistics of educational effort and progress in each county of the State of Obio, should be systematically kept and made available.
" Resolved, That the Executive Committee be requested to prepare suitable blanks for this purpose, and have the same ready for distribution at the next meeting of the Association.
It is much to be regretted that our present Executive Committee have not presented these blanks; something should be done, and I would suggest that the Superintendents at their adjourned meeting at Columbus, take the matter under their serious consideration, and a committee be appointed to draw up and present those blanks which our Executive Committee have ignored.
The Superintendent of the Cincinnati schools has already introduced this subject; but the item of the average age of the pupils seems either to have escaped his attention, or is not regarded as of much importance by him.
As an Association of Teachers, united for the purpose of advancing the interests of education, it certainly becomes imperative upon us to take active measures for the immediate collection and permanent pre
servation of such statisties. They will not only be highly valuable for immediate study and reference, but they will constitute an imperishable and invaluable record in the future, of the labors and services which our Association performed for posterity.
SCHOOLS - A GLANCE BACKWARD AND FORWARD.
Plato has said that the ancients were wiser and lived nearer the Gods than we,” and as we gaze backward through the vista of years, we are half persuaded to echo the sentiment. Visionary legends and puzzling myths have come to us with the few attested facts concerning the early world; yet through the mist of ages, we can trace the dim outlines of splendid ruins, bearing within and about them the magic touch of many Lost Arts. Asia, the cradle of the world, was not less the cradle of letters, rocked by the inspired hand of those who dwelt not afar from Eden's bowers; and who have left us, upon the now newly exhumed tiles and cylinders of clay, records of a mighty people. Their schools, like the privileges of their government, were for the few; and the wise men and magicians initiated only a chosen number into the secrets of science and the mysteries of nature. An ancient King of Persia first founded a college, solely for the priesthood; but, whatever of literature it may have fostered, is now irrevocably lost. Jewish history gives us no account of schools except those of the priests and prophets, and of a few private tutors; yet without schools, the wandering children of the desert often uttered eloquent words in melodious measures, under the guidance of their ever-faithful teacher - Nature. Tamerlane, who strewed the earth with dead, often sought the companionship of scholars and poets; and Baber wrote spirited annals of his
And, far back, when the world was barbarous, we read of the pet institution of our day- Public Schools. During the latter half of the sixteenth century - the golden age of India -- when Acbar was sovereign, they were regulated by royal authority, thus: The boys were first taught the letters of the Persian Alphabet separately, with the different accents or marks of pronunciation; and as soon as they had a perfect knowledge of this, which is acquired in a few days, they were exercised in combinations of two letters, and after studying them
for a week, they were given a short line of prose or verse containing a religious or moral sentiment wherein these combinations constantly occurred. They were expected to read this with occasional assistance from the Teacher, who, for several days, continued to give them a new hemistich or distich and a repetition of what had been read before. The young scholar was given four exercises daily: the alphabet, the combinations, a new hemistich and what he had read before. The sciences were taught in the following order : Morality, Arithmetic, Accounts, Agriculture, Geometry, Longimetry, Astronomy, Geomancy, Economies, the Art of Government, Physics, Logic, Natural Philosophy, Abstract Mathematics, Divinity and History. Each individual was educated according to his prospects; and even while yet within the shadow of the Dark Ages, these schools and the Hindoo Colleges were counted the hope and pride of the Empire.
China was not then the bidden light which she is now deemed, although it was left for later generations to develop and apply her wonderful discoveries and inventions. Before the Christian Era, a work was written in China upon the importance and necessity of establishing Common Schools, and in every village, boys who were obliged to labor during the day, were taught at evening schools; while all those of four and five years of age were taught to read. The rich now employ private tutors, and a female is occasionally educated, and attains reputation in poetic composition. Peshamar and Bokhava have Seminaries of education. The
poor of Mohammedan nations send their children to a Mollab, where they learn to read the Koran -- the rich employing private tutors. Hindoo learning is now confined to the sacred books, which are said to have issued simultaneously from the mouth of Bhroman; yet the priests of this day do not understand even the use of the instruments now in their possession. The few schools which the English have established there and those by the missionaries, are now the only effective means of instruction. Thus does the westward “Star of Empire" return to illume the darkened east. In Burmah, through the influence of French missionary, Public Schools were once established, and parents were obliged to send their children; but this institution died with its founder. In 1713, we hear of schools in Tobolsk, where German, Geometry, Latin, French and Drawing are taught. The Swedish emigrants and Russian prisoners thus cast the early dew upon the otherwise barren soil, and a Siberian exile is no more a wanderer and an outcast. A glimmering of the light upon the plains of Shinar was felt upon all Asia, and finally made Egypt mistress of the world in the arts and sci