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May we not mingle something that is pleasant and interesting with this arbitrary work of learning to read ?—not occasionally nor spasmodically, but systematically, making it a part of the regular business of the school. Let them draw, let them sing. Give them natural objects and phenomena to study. Let them tell what they have observed about birds, and insects, and plants. Let them be free to ask questions, and, above all, let them have the freedom of the school-yard when they can no longer be kept busy and interested in the school-room. Do this and we shall have no truant papils. Do this, and children will love school. Knowledge is sweet to them. They seize it with an eagerness that is entirely unknown
to later years.
How is it with our grammar schools, and the more advanced pupils in the district schools? Is there no demand for amendment here? I am not forgetful of the improvements which have been made since the time I sat opon a backless bench and studied Daboll's Arithmetic, and read from the Testament. I am in no ways ungrateful to those noble workers who have brought our schools up to their present standard. I am especially thankful to those who have so simplified the abstruse studies of our schools, Yet would it not be better, instead of giving them the abstract studies of arithmetic, and more especially of grammar; so young, to place before them something simple and attractive ---bistory; the rudiments of the nataral sciences; to teach them to read better and spell better; to teach them the elements of Meteorology; for,
« Fain would they know what makes the roaring thunder,
True, we have no suitable text-books at present; but create a demand for them, and they will be forthcoming. Teachers who have a peculiar aptitude for their work can throw a charm arvand even the most uninviting studies; but all are not teachers who bear the name, and the young mind craves different knowledge. It is placed in a world where all is strange. It observes phenomena and desires to know the secret causes. Mysteries envelop it, and it looks to us for a solution. Is asks of us bread, and we give it a stone.
There is a lesson some times taught in schools of a higher grade, than to learn which it were better to remain in the thickness of ignorance until the hour of doom; aye, better for a child that a “mill-stone were hanged about his neck and he were cast into the depth of the sea.” The lesson is UNTBUTH. It is tanght by the self-reporting system. I do not say that it necessarily grows out it, but that it does grow out it, and to an extent fearfal to contemplate ; and will grow out of it, unless administered with the utmost cautiousnes and the sleepless vigilance of an earnest, conscientious teacher. To thus administer it, it costs the teacher efforts quite commensurate with the good results it brings.
It is not a pleasant task to disparage the pet and darling of many eminent educators. The system is doubtless a great help, especially to weak teachers. It gives constant stimulus to all, and reaches many pupils to whom higher motives would not so directly appeal. But however much it may lighten our labor, however much it may incite the dull and indolent to exertion, if it be likely to test too severely the integrity of a single child, if it be likely to lead one single soul oven to look toward falsehood, let us away with it; for intelligence is in no way comparable with moral aprightness. The clear, open brow, the eye that never blenches, are God's sign-manual, and, in Heaven's name, let not the autograph of the All-Wise be defaced by our poor chirography! Rather let us seek to implant this topmost of all virtues where it is not; rather let us clarify beclouded consciences, that the divine light of truth may shine in and illumine, and warm, and gladden the soul.
When we have fixed a deep and abiding love of truth in the mind of a child, we have given him the key to all the sciences, aye to all knowledge -I had almost said to the Kingdom of Heaven. We may
much toward inculcating tbis sublimest of virtues in our school.rooms. We may, by a thousand little devices make integrity and ingenuousness popular; and popularity is an atmosphere in which all sentiments gather strength.
This system, besides holding out inducements to deception, has also a mercenary tendency. It is so much work for so much pay, so much study for so many credits. I fear we shall not by this system make true lovers of learning, make men and women to whom the earth shall be transfigured by their love of science-men and women who shall themselves be trans. figured by the cultivation of all that is noble and true within them; but misers, who shall count o'er their gains “ until their souls turn gray and dry as dust."
The effects of these lessons we are now imparting are to outlast the stars. Does it not become as, then, as teachers, to look to our work, to know what we do, to study our vocation, to wrestle with ourselves, as of old did Jacob with the angel ? and though we tarry till the break of day, let us not yield the struggle until the blessing of wisdom is gained to light our darkened way. Then, when our term of life shall be dismissed, and we go home to heaven to take our long vacation, the good Father may look benignantly upon us, and say, My child, you have done what you could.-Illinois Teacher.
BEECHER ON BURNS.—A lady, when told that Mr. Beecher was about to deliver a lecture on Burns, suggested the equal necessity of a lecture on scalds.
Mr. Beecher is so constantly in hot water that he ought to be pre-eminently qualified to handle sach & theme. – Nero York Post.
My subject is a simpie one—“simply reading.” A simple art, perfected by simply observing simple principles, and yet simple as the remark may seem, from the frequency of its utterance, we bave but few good readers; for the simple reason that but few take pains to become such. Care, then, would be the remedy. We have thrown the fault upon the student, but we do not wish to excuse the teacher wholly from the blame, but we will place the fault within the school-room, and let it there be divided up ainong the inmates and the house. We wish the room to be counted in, as there are many of our economy school-rooms which are unfit to be school-rooms, and especially reading-rooms. We trust that the public will learn this fact in due course of time, and in a scientific manner remedy the evil. Next to this we would call up the teacher, and he will call timehonored custom to his assistance. The theory has been (all may see how far it has gone out of date) "cram all the book knowledge that you can into the mind of the young; crowd it fall, and what runs over will show 8martness ; never mind how, or when, or where, or even what, the theory is to crowd. Never mind the sorting and associating of ideas, the analyzing or defining of words, let them all form one conglomerate mass, and call it education. This theory has been practiced too much, and its evils are glowing with so much intensity, that we hope for its speedy eradication. 'Tis an old and (has been) honored custom for all and each reading and each spelling class to come up in grand review once each forenoon, and once each afternoon in each day. In a large school the teacher would spend perhaps from ten to fifteen minutes to each class. Spend it how? Why, hearing them read; there certainly is no time for explanation, inflection, modulation, etc., etc., especially if we read round twice, as is customary. You, as teacher understand the meaning, perhaps, of the words which the scholar has just uttered, but the scholar or the class does not. They have simply taken upon their minds a jargon of ideas in so loose and un associated a manner that it makes no impression, and passes off as rapidly as it was thrown on. If a single idea is retained from the wreck, it is like a thought snatched at random, you know neither its origin or its destiny. The meaning of the words, the sense which the author intended to convey, is either misconstrued, or cast entirely one side, as though it entered not into the contract. We have mencioned some of the faults ; may we reasonably look for reform? Will our country district school teachers remember that the child has a voice to be cultivated as well as a mind,
and that words have meaning and sound as well as being. Will they ever realize that reading is as much a science as arithmetic, and will they discard the idea of making it a mere pastime, which only holds its place among the exercises of the school from long custom. Will they practice upon the modulation and intonation of the voice, as a music teacher would if he were going to teach a papi) to sing. I have space here simply to hint at these faults ; I aim to give no treatise for their correction. You have the works ot all educators in your schools.
They have given you the book; it is your work, then, to teach it. It can not be done in a five-minute exercise. Apportion, then, your time in such a manner, that when the reading exercise is commenced, you may continue it long enough to accomplish some good. Watch carefully while the scholar reads, and apply your criticisms. Make the piece correct before you leave it.
On account of our limited space we next pass to the scholar. He says he is learning to read. Ambition has prompted him to go into a class one or two degrees above his capacity. The class is called; he snatches up kis book and turns to the place, a piece opon which his eye has never rested before, he stammers, stumbles, jumps, and guesses, and at length gets through with his verse. Thus be is learning to read. He fears to let his voice out lest more mistakes become apparent. He bows his head forward for shame that his lesson is no better learned. The result is, he is cultivating neither voice, mind, body or soul, neither is he learning to read. Studenti nature has made you an upright being, with the understanding that you should stand upright. You are provided with a pair of langs, with the intention that you should keep them in a healthy condition, and ase them not only for the purpose of breathing, but for the purpose of giving power to the voice. Voice has been given to you with the intention that it should be cultivated. Now, as you are engaged in the work of gaining an education, remember that each one of the attributes with which nature has endowed you, demands a share of culture, and that cul. tare must be applied with care. You are willing, when you look back over your past course to acknowledge the listlessness and heedlessness with which you have gone to work to learn the science of “Good Reading.” With many of you the idea has never entered your minds that rules, were in any way essential, and have labored under the mistake that simply to travel over a certain exercise for an uncertain number of times, would at length constitate you a good reader. I trust that you now see
A little observation on your part, while others are reading in the usual way, will reveal much of the mangling work which is perpetrated upon the English language. To the ear of a good reader it is hideous to wit
ness this lingual murder. The misplacing of a punctuation point, the wrong sounding of a word, will often as effectually change the meaning of a sentence as the use of entirely different words. Yet this fault is
Teachers and scholars, you have the remedy before you in your books. My present object is accomplished when I have called your attention to it, and induced you to look around yon, and see how few good readers there are among us, and how easy and simple is the remedy. Very many of our clergymen read their sermons from che pulpit, and many who have produced a good composition spoil it in the delivery, and if we should not look for good readers among those who are in the daily practice of reading in public, then where? Many of our popular public readers (speak, ers they are called) are bearable only that they have deep pith in the com position, which is half hiden beneath a faulty articulation. GENEVA, Feb. 3d, 1859.
A DEVELOPMENT OF THE FUNDAMENTAL NOTIONS OF
BEING AN INTRODUCTION TO BECKER'S SCHOOL GRAMMAR.
Translated and Modified for the Wisconsin Journal of Education.
ED. JOURNAL:-In offering yoa, for publication, the following translation, I have one or two things to say about it. I have translated with a literalness which may seem to some to amount to freedom. The German denken I have rendered by to think, jhough the English word has not the technical signification of the original. The German word comprehends those mental processes by which notions (Begriffe) are formed and used. The translator's notes are thus marked : Tr.
§ 1. Man speaks, and expresses his thoughts in words. Speech is a natural function of man as a thinking being.
Remarks.Speech is not an inve ion, nor is it properly learned as an art; but it is a gift of nature, which is developed by social life, and like other natural on dowments, perfected by exeroise;