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an institution 'a private enterprise? Again, H. S. P, does “not believe" that a normal department attached to academies is a proper agency for training teachers; as the course of study and discipline is altogether different from that which ought to obtain in our common schools. The first element in every teachers qualifications, is a thorough education. With this he will do better from his own genius and ability than any amount of training in the art of teaching can make him do without it.
One of the chief faults of teachers lies in beginning to teach too young, and before the mind is sufficiently trained for the individual to be independent and self-reliant. Now a thorough course of drilling, not only in the branches usually taught in the common school, but also in the higher branches, where, by the aid of the normal department, the student may receive instruction in the art of teaching also, we “believe" will make efficient teachers.
As to the opinions of distinguished teachers we have all due respect for them. As a general thing we believe the views were formed on the "sunny-side."
It is not the object of this article to underrate Normal Schools. We believe that a more general extensive good may be secured by a normal department in academies, than by a central Normal School, and with far less expense, pro rata.
For the State to ignore her academies, or discourage them, is blowing the sand into her own eyes. Very truly,
A. R. CORNWALL,
WISCONSIN STUDENTS IN THE CEEVELAND MEDICAL COLLEGE.-At the recent annual commencement of the above institution, at Cleveland, among those who had the degree of M. D. conferred upon them, were Henry L. Barnes and L. Seymour Shepard, of Ripon, Wis.
REMBRANDT PEALE, the veteran painter, of Philadelphia, says that Washington's height was six feet and one-eighth of an inch; his weight 220 pounds; his complexion florid, eyes deep blue, and hair dark brown. He was sinewy rather than muscular, moving with an easy majesty. He was a handsome man.
“MUSOULAR CHRISTIANITY."—We think this term, though cleverly intended, is wrongly applied. If religion hangs on a question of muscle, then the Mussalman must be the leading and most powerful member of the church.
(For the Journal of Education.]
WATCH THE MAIN SPRING.
Messrs :—The saying “That political thieves have squandered one-half of our school fund, and a sham school system and incompetent teachers the other half," ought to receive our most earnest attention: and now while there seems to be a disposition on the part of politicians to investigate and expose fraud in their borders, it certainly becomes as to investigate also, and show what we have done with our part of the spoils. As long as the treasury is left open and unguarded, and thieves are not pursued, doubtless there will be numberless greedy eyes and stealthy fingers about the public crib; and as long as our school system will permit, doubtless the greater part of our share of the school fund will be paid to incompetent teachers.
It seems now to be a prevailing opinion that our existing school system possesses too little real worth, and is too near a complete wreck to be revived or be remodeled, but should be abolished, and a system introduced better adapted to the times, and better suited to secure a wise appropriation of our school fund, and through which a competent State Board may have a general control of all public schools, and as far as possible avoid the evils and irregularities now so common. To prepare and establish such a system must require time, and should call into action our best tal. ents and most extensive experience, and we must have recourse both to theory and systems already tried and proved. It would be vain indeed to establish a system evidently bad in theory, or condemned by just experiment.
The system which was to some extent discussed at our last State Teacher's Association, and which has in substance been laid before the people in former Numbers of the Journal, claims for its origin the most successful systems in our country.
We design in this article to consider still the subject of the State Board of Education, which we believe to be the principal pillar of the system. That there should be such a board seems not to be doubted, and that such board should have the general control of all the public schools seems also to be granted ; and also as soon as provision is made, should elect the State Superintendent. But what should be the relation of such board to the general system, and of whom it should be composed, appears not to be so well defined. To determine this point we should, of course, first consider the work to be done, and secondly, what class of men, by their qualifications and occupations would be best fitted to perform it.
It is acknowledged that this board should have a general control of all public schools. Now it would be indeed unreasonable to suppose that any set of men, having no knowledge of the schools themselves, would be fit too control them, but it would be natural to suppose that those persons, otherwise qualified, who are best acquainted with the schools, know their wants, their circumstances, their general standing, etc., would be best qualified to have such control.
The County Superintendent is the only person that really holds a position to gain the requisite knowledge. And he not only holds a position which gives him power to lay plans for the success of the schools, bat also to execute those plans. Again, it is admitted that the same board should have charge of the State Schools. These institutions should constitute the grand superstructure and crowning point of our system, while the common public school should form a strong and enduring foundation. However, if such institutions are not profitable, they ought not to be establishod; but if they are worth more than their cost they must be of interest to all, and every section should demand its share of the profits. The schools now established, or proposed for our State, are, the University with its three departments of literature and science, of law, and of medicine; the Agricultural School with its three departments of agriculture, mechanical arts, and commerce; and the Normal School.
Granting that these schools are of importance equal to what is claimed for them, what county will not demand at least one voice in their control, and will not need at least one competent person to see that her children have their proper places within their walls. All the people should be made to know the character and worth of the schools, and each county should support regularly each school in all its departments. Here we wish to consider again who occupies the most favorable position, and who, all things considered, is best fitted to labor for those institutions. The County Superintendents must necessarily meet yearly in convention, to establish uniformity and permanency of system in our common schools, and discuss and lay plans for their general improvement, and each in his respective county must hold teachers' institutes and other educational conventions, must visit all schools, and all neighborhoods, and occupy his time in advancing the general interests of education, and thus must necessarily acquaint himself with all classes, and with their educational wants.
Now should each County Superintendent be constituted a member of this Board, and have a voice in the management of these schools; then being &cquainted with, and having an interest in both the schools and the people, he would occbpy a position that would enable him to do a work that no other person can do. But such board would be too large, would be cumbersome; a broadax is too large for making pens, and an army too cumbersome to guide an Indian's canoe, and such board would be too large to live within a òtone's throw of the institutions, or make monthly visitations, but not too large for their duties.
We can not here present the duties of this board in detail, but will notice, as before, that it will, of course, be necessary to place the immediate care of the State schools in the hands of an executive committee that should execute all orders of the board, and in all things be responsible to the board.
In conclusion, we hesitate not to say that the board that controls the public schools must be acquainted with those schools in order to give them success, and the board that controls the State schools must be able to hold the people in one hand and the schools in the other. BROADHEAD.
COUNTRY SCHOOL HOUSES.–No. 2.
BY THE EDITOR.
AFTER selecting the site for a school-house, the next thing in order is to determine the size of the building. This is usually settled by guess work, or by the estimated cost of the edifice when completed, whereas it should depend entirely upon the number of pupils to be accommodated, and instead of tirst fixing upon the outside dimensions, and then arranging the inside to suit those, the inside should first be arranged, and the size be determined by such arrangement.
A gentleman showing a friend over bis house was asked by him how he had managed to have every thing so convenient, to whom he replied, “I first arranged the shape and size of my rooms, and then put the outside around them.” The planning of a house, like the education of an individ. ual, should be developed from within, and the size and shape of residences and public buildings should be determined by the wants of those who are to occupy them, and not simply by the vote of a district, or the taste of an architect.
In determining the size of a school-house reference shoald be had not merely to the number of children needing accommodation at present, but also to the probable number who may be residents of the district for several years in the future. A district in which there are forty children of an age suitable to attend school, should erect a house capable of accommodate ing sixty pupils at the least.
We will suppose, then, that a house is to be built to accommodate that number of pupils; the size and arrangement of the seats are first to be considered. The best arrangement is a single seat and desk for each papil, (like some of those advertised on the fourth page of the cover of this Number) but when such can not be had, double seats and desks for two pupils will do very well, and will cost but little more than the old-fashioned long seat and desk,
A desk for two pupils should be three and a half feet long, and from fourteen to cighteen inches wide, and, together with the seat, will occupy & surface three and a half by two and a half feet. We may now draft the
ontlines of a row of seats and desks of the size specified, in order to find how much room we shall need to accommodate sixty papils. The above cat represents the ground plan of a school-house, drawn on a scale of ten feet to the inch, an examination of which will give the reader & clearer idea of the matter than can be obtained from the text.
The parallelograms in the center represent rows of seats and desks, of which there are in the four rows twenty-six, besides which, eight papils may be seated in front of the first desks, thus accommodating sixty schol
The center and side aisles are three, and the others two feet wide, making thirteen feet in width occupied by the aisles, and as each desk is three and a half feet wide, fourteen feet occupied by the desks, and allowing one foot for the walls, the building will be twenty-eight feet wide. Of course a brick or stone building would roquire thicker walls. The length of the building is next to be considered. Seven rows of seats and desks, each occupying a little less than two and a half feet in width, will make seventeen feet. The space in front of the seats, between them and the teacher's rostruin, should not be less than four feet, and is drawn that size in the cat. The rostrum (see upper part of the cat) is six feet wide, and