Page images


William H. Young, A.M., Professor of Mathematics and Analytical Mechanics.

Rev. Robert Allyn, A.M., Professor of Latin and Greek Languages and Literature. Francis Brown, A.M., Principal of the Grammar School.

Assistant in the Grammar School. Frederick Dolmetsch, Teacher of German and French.

CALENDAR FOR 1857-8. Fall Term begins

. Sept. 3, 1857.

. . Nov. 21, Winter Term begins ...

... Dec. 3, closes.

..March 9, 1858. Spring Term begins...

....March 25, Examination of the Senior Class begins..

May 24, Annual Examinations begin..

June 17, Baccalaureate Sermon....

20, Anniversary of the Beta Theta Pi Society... Annual meeting of the Board of Trustees..

22, Anniversary of the Athenian Society...

22. Meeting of the Alumni, Anniversary of the Philoma

thian Society, and Commencement..

[ocr errors]

66 23,

W. H. Y.

Ohio University, Oct., 1857.



(CONTINUED.) Fifteenth question.

“Do you use any text books on the theory and practice of teaching ? if so, what are they ?”

Mr. Phelps answers as follows: • Barnard's National Education in Europe, and we intend also to use Palmer's Teacher's Manual,' Page's Theory and Practice,' and kindred works. The intention is to make education in the various branches a subject of constant study during the entire pupilage of the future Teacher in the Normal School. We are yet young, being only one year and seven months old. Time

required, and means are necessary, fully to equip an establishment of this kind."

Rhode Island answers : “ We use no work as a text-book.”
New York answers :

“ Page's Theory and Practice, and Lectures." Westfield Normal School answers : "For reference, Northend's Teacher and Parent,' • Page's Theory and Practice,'· Annals of Education,' Common School Journal,' etc.”

Salem : “ We make more use of Emmerson's School and Schoolmaster' than a y other ; but we cannot strictly be said to use a textbook."

The difficulty in this particular, we apprehend, is that there is no work yet published that has treated the subject of didactics as a science. True, we have works in abundance, from which the professional Teacher may gather much valuable knowledge. We have, in fact, the whole encyclopedia of science, art and literature, and the unwritten experience of the whole profession from which to choose; but, unfortunately, these do not form a very convenient volume, either for reference or study. Half a lifetime might be spent in arranging and classifying, before anything like an intelligent system could be adopted and put in practice by the Teacher.

But we believe the whole system of Didactics, general and special, is susceptible of a philosophical and systematic classification, and that its principles and facts may be studied and applied in the education of man, thus giving it what the educational world has long claimed for it, a scientific character.

Sixteenth question. "Do you regard teaching a science, or an art susceptible of being taught like other sciences ?”'

Mr. Phelps remarks: “Education is undoubtedly both a science and art.

As a science, it investigates and determines the laws which God has established to regulate the development of the manifold powers and faculties of the human being, considered physically, socially, intellectually and morally. As an art, it applies these laws in the cultivation, and as far as possible, to the perfection of man's threefold nature. The science of education is to be perfected by the same intelligent processes of observation, experiment and induction as other sciences. The Teacher should be both a philosopher and an artist—the school his laboratory, 80 to speak.

Rhode Island answers: "Yes; as much as Law, Medicine or Divinity." Mr. Cochran, of New York, says:

6. I cannot answer in

space lines without danger of being misapprehended.” See 15th interrog.

Mr. Dickinson, from Westfield, answers : As a science, the principles of which may be taught, and the best modes of applying them.”

of two

Mr. Edwards, from Salem, says: I do emphatically regard teaching a science and an art, susceptible of being taught like other sciences."

Now, upon the proper interpretation of this question, and the decision we pass upon it, seems to rest the whole issue as to the practicability and importance of Normal Schools. For, if there is no such thing as the “Science of Education,” or “ Art of Teaching," or even admitting there is such a science or art, in a vague sense, but that its principles are equally well developed in the Common School or College, then surely there would be no necessity for Normal Schools. They would only rank, in such a case, with the Academy and the College ; and that they have, in too many instances, assumed this character, is too evident. But this only proves that they have thus far departed from their proper sphere, thereby giving occasion for the reproaches of their enemies. But because they have thus failed in a few instances, proves no more than what might be alleged against any other system or science, or indeed, against any other school; since the objection lies not against the system itself, but against its maladministration; for who would think of condemning the whole system of education because, forsooth, it has been abused, or had even failed to accomplish all it proposes ? ? And yet those who pronounce against education as a science, or take grounds against philosophical means for developing it — as the Normal School proposes—are guilty of a similar inconsistency.

But then does the objector take ground against the the Normal School, contending that the Academy, Common School or College, accomplishes all that is desirable in a professional preparation ? But then again, he subjects himself to a still worse difficulty : for admitting it to be a distinct science, as all must, no one would claim that its distinctive features would be developed without means for such development, any more than the science of Anatomy and Physiology would be developed by the study of Chemistry; or that a good practical physician would be made by simply passing the student through the collegiate course.

But again : will be take the ground that, when all the sciences are taught, then that of teaching will be taught also ? This sounds like begging the question, or, at least, an unfair assumption. But, if it is meant by this position to include teaching as a distinct science, then we readily grant it. But what are the facts in the case ? Are there any Colleges or institutions of any grade in the land, in which the science of teaching is made a distinct study? None, we believe, except the Normal School. And since there are none, why not establish some at once, or engraft such a feature upon the college course ?

But time and space will not allow the discussion of this question at length here. Indeed it is unnecessary. Suffice it to say, that the opinion that there is a science of education, and an art of teaching, is fast gaining ground. Indeed it has become almost universal. Normal Schools, therefore, are fast taking rank with our best institutions. They are fast becoming what they are surely destined to become — the head of our system of popular education.

Seventeenth question. “ Can you make your school strictly professional ? Is this desirable ?” Mr. Phelps answers :

A Normal School properly conducted will be strictly professional. If it be not such, it fails of its object. But by • strictly professional,' it is not to be understood that literary and scientific training is to be ignored. Among the most effective modes for teaching the art of teaching, is that of actually carrying the student over and through the subject which you would have him learn to teach, in such a way as best to illustrate the true principles which are to guide his own practice. The fundamental condition of success with every Teacher is, that he must himself know and understand that which he would have others know. The best mode of teaching an apprentice how to make a shoe would be to go through the process with him. And so of the art of teaching."

Rhode Island, writes: “We are obliged to give much instruction in the subjects to be taught, even in the Common School branches; yet try to make the school as strictly professional as possible. I would make it strictly so if it were in my power.”

New York answers : “ No," but seems to think it desirable.

Mr. Dickinson, of Westfield, says: “We cannot, but consider it very desirable.”

Mr. Edwards, of Salem, says: “We cannot, because our students, when admitted, are not sufficiently prepared."

It is needless, perhaps, to quote further on this point. It is almost the universal opinion that Normal Schools should be strictly professional. But such is the imperfection of the literary attainments of those apply. ing for admission, that so far as our own experience has gone, it has been found impracticable. We have generally managed, however, to form one class, embracing some forty or fifty of the more advanced, and made our instruction in that class strictly professional by lectures and practice in the Model School. At the same time, however, these students were pursuing their studies in the several branches of science.

(To be Continued.)



Have Teachers the true faith in the “Holy Writings," and the courage to habitually teach from them as they should? We give the reflections of a township school clerk.

“We cannot look upon the ruddy-faced little ones in the school room, without many speculative questions arising in our mind with reference to their future destiny. How many, by diligent application, will fill the expectations of fond and anxious parents ? how many will go down to early graves in the spotless purity of childish innocence ? how

many will lead a blameless life, beloved by all who know them while living, and mourned by all who knew them when dead ? how many will live to become active and useful citizens, ornaments and blessings to the society in which they are placed ? how many with truth and honesty on their side, will struggle manfully along life's rugged path, yielding not to temptation, and faltering not at the obstacles to be overcome ? and oh! the important question—how many will lay up treasure where inoth and rust doth not corrupt, relying for support in the hour of trouble on Him who is able and mighty to save? and will bigoted sectarians claim the exclusive privilege of dictating and directing in this mighty interest, with which the present and future happiness of youth is so intimately and inseparably connected ? Is no man qualified to teach or inculcate that system of sound morality, which, emanating from a divine source, is the true handmaid of religion, without first subscribing to the tenets of some particular sect? must the sacred volume be excluded from the daily reading of these youth because the Teacher is not a professing religionist? Would not such a course produce a narrow, prejudiced zeal, not according, to knowledgea mistaken sense of religious duty, utterly destitute of that charity which vaunteth not itself and is not puffed up? But taking another train, and turning to the little ones individually, the interest will increase as we consider the probable strength of the various passions with which they are, for a wise purpose, endowed by nature, and the moral force necessary to control them. Peering into the shadowy future, we see this one a practical farmer, that one an intelligent mechanic, these eminent in some of the useful professions, those pushing out as hardy pioneers, to become the first pillars of the social fabric in some young

« PreviousContinue »