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possibly attain to the knowledge of any thing in the world without first attaining some mathematical knowledge or power. That mathematical knowledge may have been gained unconsciously, and may not have arranged itself in a distinct scientific form in his mind; but it must be there, for there can not possibly be any intellectual life whatever upon our planet which does not begin with a perception of mathematical truth. A natural method of education requires us, therefore, to pay our earliest attention to the development of the child's power to grasp the truths of space and time.
Mathesis would naturally divide itself into three great branches, treating of space, of time, and of number. Geometry unfolds the laws of space; algebra those of time; and arithmetic those of number. Other branches of Mathematics are generated by the combination of these three fundamental branches. Now, geometry, arithmetic, and algebra, should be taught in a natural order. There is a difficulty in deciding, simply from the logical sequence, what that order is, because the fundamental ideas of the three studies are so nearly independent of each other. Pure algebra, as the science of time, can not, however, be evolved without reference to number and space; it will, to say the least, in the very process of its evolution, generate arithmetic. But geometry can be evolved without the slightest reference to time, although not, to any extent, without reference to number. The idea of number is one of the earliest abstractions from our contemplation of the material world.-American Journal of Educa. tion.
(To be Continued.)
SINOE the organization of schools and systems for the spread of knowlledge, and the improvement of mind, there has been, perhaps, no one subject upon which more has been said and written, than that of the bigh responsibilities and duties of school teachers, while comparatively little has been considered with reference to the duties and obligations of school patrons.
The office of teacher is, indeed, one of high and sacred trust. God only can know the weight of responsibility felt by the true teacher. The greatness, the extent, and, at the same time, the complexity of the work overwhelm the soul, and cause the heart-searching inquiry, “who is sufficient for these things ?" If to prepare the mind for the reception of knowledge -to break up the fallow ground of natural dullness and incapacity to stir
up and present to the warming, quickening, and enlivening rays of light and truth the dormant strength and productive powers of the mind, and implant therein the healthful seeds of knowledge and virtue, were the only work assigned the teacher; then, even then, were their task arduous and great. But Oh! the weeds! the weeds! those noxious plants of vice and folly, which either choke out, and destroy utterly, or render deformed and sickly the precious plants of wisdom and virtue. How! oh, how! shall they be eradicated ? how kept out from those tender and receptive soils, while strewn and nourished there by daily influence beyond the teacher's control? How, we ask, is this mighty task to be accomplished ? How are those fetters upon the efforts of teachers—these clogs upon the wheels of the chariot of knowledge—these almost insurmountable hindrances to the triumph of light and right on earth, to be removed without an awakening on the part of parents and guardians as to their share in the work, and the absolute necessity of their co-operation with the teacher for its accomplishment ?
An awakening, we say, for we do not think that the manifest neglect and deficiency in duty, on the part of patrons, arises, generally, from a willful desire to escape the yoke, but, as before intimated, from want of due consideration of the subject—a real sense of obligation.
To the parent the infant mind comes fresh from the hand of the Creator, pare, spotless, innocent—soft and impressible, receiving as readily and irera. sably the impressions of truth, of virtue, of humanity, of nobleness, of manly integrity, of moral courage, perseverance, energy, and industry, as the blighting stamp of the opposite qualities. Whose fault is it, then, if at an early age the child reaches the school-room, already advanced in knowledge of evil. Why has the love of vanity and idleness taken the place in that young heart of the love of learning; that innate principle of the human mind, manifest in the young child by its countless "whys" and perplexing "what-fors,” concerning every thing it sees or hears; a principle which, if rightly nourished, would grow with its growth, and strengthen with its strength.
Whose fault is it if the teacher finds it impossible to make that child love study? or, with the minutest explanations, more than half understand the plainest propositions of science? At whose door lies the charge of that child's training? Why is half its time spent in the street, or other common resorts of those whose communications corrupt young minds and hearts, as well as good manners? Who's to blame if such “child left to himself” (a part of the time, at least) brings his parents to shame, and becomes vain and negligent, and often perverse ?
Christian parent! take thy child with thee to thy closet, and with its little hand clasped in thine, bow in the presence of thy God, and ask thy soul whose fault it is? And if ever that delicate plant expand in worth and beauty, in the light of knowledge and truth, whether the teacher alone must labor for it. MILWAUKEE, 1859.
O. A. ALWARD.
It is gratifying to observe even a few of the teachers of our State interesting themselves in the cause of education; and their inquiries and suggestions as to the most successful methods of teaching the various branches of school study, are well calculated to awaken a deeper iuterest among teachers, and to secure their improvement, and the consequent improvement of their schools. From the pages of the last year's Journal I have derived many valuable suggestions, which, on practical application, I have found beneficial and well founded. But there is one department belonging to the complicated duties of the teacher, which has not, I think, received the attention it deserves; and which appears, to one comparatively inexperienced in the business of teaching, as more perplexing, and attended with greater difficulties—especially to beginners-than any other one thing pertaining to the teacher's profession.
I allude to “School Government;" or the means necessary to preserve order and secure obedience in the school-room.
That “Order is Heaven's first law,” is generally admitted ; and that it should be the first law of the school-room is evident also; but notwithstanding the assiduous efforts of teachers to secure a recognition of this law on the part of their pupils, there are many who abandon the undertaking in despair, and declare it impossible. Now, the question is, what are the means best adapted to secure this great desideratum ? It has been, and still is, a debatable question, whether corporal punishment is a neces. sary and indispensable branch of an efficient system of school discipline. I feel a moral repugnance to the old proverbial idea, “Spare the rod and spoil the child”—however wise its author-and yet I am not fully prepared to admit the doctrine that "moral suasion” is, in all cases, sufficient to restrain the wayward tendency of human nature.
This point being unsettled in my mind, I have taken, in practice, a piddle ground; though ever leaning to, and wishing to be convinced of the potency of moral means.
Education is no longer looked upon as a mere training of the intellect only, but as a harmonious development and discipline of the moral, intellectual, and physical elements that combine to form the perfect model hu. man being; and any system which does not rightly educate all these, must necessarily be deficient.
'Tis on the moral more than any other, that the governmental rules and requirements of a school have their influence; and hence, their choice and application should be made, with reference to these important bearings. We have conflicting theories upon this subject, which must be put to the
test in the school-room, where their merits will be decided ; and from the teacher must come the final answer to this all important question.
Many, like myself, are in the maze of doubt and uncertainty, and would be glad to hear the subject discussed by those qualified by experience to throw light upon a matter deeply interesting to teachers, especially to novices in the profession. HORIOON, 1859.
PHYSIO AL EDUOATION.
We hear much said of the importance of Physical Education. It is generally admitted by educators that without a symmetrical development of the physical, moral, and intellectual powers, education fails to accomplish its true ends. Teachers, and those who have given their attention to the workings and results of the school-room, know that the close confinement, the injurious bodily positions allowed there, and the enervating effects of continued mental, without physical exercise, naturally enfeeble the health of scholars, and often sow the seeds of disease and death. If education looked alone to intellectual adva cement, it would then be important to keep the bodily health good, since without good health it is impossible to make much mental progress. But as education is to develop and discipline the whole being according to the laws of nature, it follows that whatever results are contrary to these laws, are the offspring of a wrong education.
Now let us ask what are the schools in Wisconsin doing in the way of physical education ? Except in a few instances, very little attention is paid in building school houses to proper ventilation. In many, ably most common school buildings, one hour's time is sufficient for the scholars to consume all the pure atmosphere in the room, and poison what remains. Without any means for the admission of a supply of pure air, and the escape of that which has been poisoned, the scholars are obliged during most of the time spent in the school-room, to breath over and over again poisonous vapors, instead of the pure atmosphere of heaven, which is necessary to the maintenance of health.
Very little attention is paid to proper bodily positions and motions. Scholars are allowed to sit, stand, or walk in the most unhealthy, careless, or ungraceful manner.
Lastly, in how few schools do we find any thing like a regular system of exercises for development of the muscles of the body. We have seen in but one school a proper and thorougb system of gymnastic exercises. This was in the Second Ward High School of Milwaukee. The system was in
troduced by Prof. Kursteiner, M.D., formerly of Madison University. These exercises consist of various motions of the limbs and body, bringing into energetic activity all the muscles. Such a system, carried out as it is in this school, can not fail to keep up and improve the health ; so that scholars coming from this school, instead of possessing feeble bodies, incapable of manual labor, will come from it sound and vigorous in body, and able to earn their living by physical labor, if they should be called upon to
This article may look too much like complaining. But are we not in fault? The world is filled with the weak, the sick, and dying. Is it necessary that every generation shall grow weaker as well as wiser: How much of the physical suffering now so common can be prevented by proper physical education, is certainly worthy the consideration of teachers, JANESVILLE, 1859.
NEARLY all the development of mind is secured through reading. In our early days we learn from the lips of parents and teachers, and as we pass on through life, we acquire ideas by observation and experiment; but too much attention can not be given to that source of information which is found in books and newspapers; it is through these that the world is becoming more enlightened. A person who will intelligently read our best publications and periodicals may become a learned scholar, though he live in obscurity, and has never been at school--and such is the progress of the expanding mind, that many who have never learned to read in childhood commence in manhood, and by their untiring exertions, when the implements of their labor are laid aside, enter apon study by the evening lamp, and thus store away valuable knowledge to be used as necessity or convenience demands.
The importance of reading should be carefully impressed upon the mind of the rising generation. To this effect teachers must wisely select their authors, and be ever well posted in regard to intelligence of every description. They need newspapers and journals of education, and other periodi. cals, as much as they do food and clothing. When any thing new or interesting comes before the public mind, it should likewise be presented to the school. Science, politics, and religion-inventions, discoveries, and expeditions—all present matter for thought, which even the younger papils will generally relish.