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He learned to identify himself with the interests he was set to promote. He claimed every acre of his father's ample farm, and every horse and ox and cow and sheep became constructively his, and he had a name for each. The waving harvests, the garnered sheaves, the gathered fruits, were all his own. And be. sides these, he had his individual treasures. He knew every trout-hole in the streams; he was great in building dams, snaring rabbits, trapping squirrels, and gathering chestnuts and walnuts for winter store. Days of election, training, thanksgiving, and school intermissions, were bright spots in his life. His long winter evenings, made cheerful by sparkling fires within and cold, clear skies and ice-crusted plains and frozen streams for his sled and skates, were full of enjoyment. And then he was loved by those whom he could respect, and cheered by that future for which he was being prepared. Religion he was taught to regard as a necessity and luxury as well as duty. He was daily brought into contemplation of the Infinite, and made to regard himself as ever on the brink of an endless being. With a deep sense of obligation, a keen, sensitive conscience, and a tender heart, the great truths of religion appeared in his eye as sublime, awful, practical realities, compared with which earth was nothing. Thus he was made brave before men for the right, while he lay in the dust before God.
Such was Haddam training one hundred years ago. Some may lift their hands in horror at this picture; but it was a process which made moral heroes. It exhibited a society in which wealth existed without arrogance; labor with. out degradation; and a piety which, by its energy and martyr-endurance, could shake the world.
We are not to suppose that the boyhood of John Brainerd under these influences was gloomy or joyless; far from it. Its activity was bliss; its growth was a spring of life; its achievements were victories. Each day garnered some benefit; and rising life, marked by successive accumulations, left a smile on the couscience and bright and reasonable hopes for the future.
We might have desired that this Puritan training had left childhood a little larger indulgence; had looked with interest at present enjoyment as well as at future good; had smiled a little more lovingly on the innocent gambols, the ringing laughter, the irrepressible mirth of boyhood; and had frowned less severely on imperfections clinging to human nature itself. We might think that, by insisting too much on obligation and too little on privilege; too much on the law and too little on the gospel; too much on the severity and too little on the goodness of the Deity, the conscience may have been stimulated at the expense of the affections, and men fitted for another world at an unnecessary sacrifice of their amiability and happiness in the present life.
But in leaving this Puritan training, the world “has gone farther and fared worse." To repress the iniquity of the age and land, to save our young men for themselves, their country and their God, childhood's caprices and sneering at strict Sabbaths, but by going back to many of the modes which gave to the world such men as John Hampden, William Bradford, Jonathan Edwards, Time othy Dwight, and David and John Brainerd.
XV. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS.
DURING the session of the National Teachers' Association at Harrisburg for 1865, a meeting of State and City Superintendents there present was held, of which Rev. B. G. Northrop, Agent of the Massachusetts Board of Education, was Chairman, and Rev. L. Van Bokkelen, LL. D., State Superintendent of Public Schools of Maryland, was Secretary. At this Convention it was decided to hold a meeting in February, 1866, at Washington, for the purpose of forming a National Association of School Superintendents, to be composed of those devoted to the supervision of schools in the several States and Cities of the country, and the discussion of topics appropriate to such meeting.
A meeting was accordingly held on the 6th, 7th, and 8th of February, 1866, at which nine States and twenty Cities were represented. The Mayor of the city of Washington gave the Association a cordial welcome, and the President of the United States, on receiving their call, expressed great interest in their object, and in the extension of school instruction to every child in the country, and the Secretary of the Interior expressed to a committee on a memorial to Congress on a National Bureau, who waited upon him, his interest in the success of their memorial.
Papers were read by Charles R. Coburn, Superintendent of Com mon Schools of Pennsylvania, on “School Statistics ;" by L. Van Bokkelen, State Superintendent of Maryland, on "The Practicability of Greater Uniformity in the School System of Different States ;" by E. E. Wbite, State Commissioner of Ohio, on “A National Bureau of Education ;" by C. M. Harrison, State Superintendent of New Jersey, on “Defects of our State System of Schools ;" and by Newton Bateman, State Superintendent in Illinois, on the “Leading Feutures of a Model State School System.” These subjects were thoroughly discussed and resolutions pertinent to the same were adopted, and several committees were appointed to report more in detail to the next meeting.
A committee consisting of Messrs. White of Ohio, Bateman of Illinois, and Adams of Vermont, were appointed to memorialize Congress on the establishment of a National Bureau of Education.
12. Pensions. The teachers of trivial and parochial high schools receive no pensions, but in case of incapacity from old age or sickness and the appointment of an assistant, they are assured of at least the minimum salary, and the more deserving teachers may be allowed even the full amount of their previous incomes. If the teacher has served from three to ten years at the time of his death, the widow receives from the community annually three-fourths of a so-called “poor-house allowance.” For a shorter period she can only claim an equitable portion of the revenues of the school for the current year, but for a longer service an entire allowance ($25) is granted and each child receives one-fourth as much annually until fifteen years of age. The deficiency of provision for the wants of veteran teachers has led to the formation of numerous pension societies, and in Vienna some special appropriations are made for their benefit. High school teachers and their families have like rights with State officials to pensions, and their children, if not more than three in number, are provided with instruction to the
age of eighteen. 13. School Classes.—High schools are organized into four classes ; trivial schools have three classes if the number of school apartments and teachers permits, which are parallel with the lower classes of the high school, so that scholars should be prepared to pass from the third class of the one to the fourth of the other. Even where the classes are less the same progress is sought to be attained. The formation of sub-classes is not permitted, but orer-crowded classes may be arranged in parallel divisions where practicable. The number of scholars in a single apartment is not definitely limited, but 80–100 is usually considered a maximum. In the normal schools this maximum can not be exceeded and in the Vienna schools every class that numbers more than eighty must be divided. In trivial and parochial high schools each class is assigned wholly to its own teacher or under-teacher, who advances with his pupils through all the classes, or as far as he is capable of going. He has also to be present at the giving of religious instruction and to review with his class the instruction given. 'In the high schools each teacher has that class assigned to him for which he is best qualified. The director is al. ways obliged to take part in the duties of instruction.
14. Teachers' Conferences.—To secure regularity and uniformity of progress and instruction the director or principal of every high school meets in conference with all his teachers at least once a month. For the purpose also of enlarging the sphere of influence of the more skillful teachers it is made the duty of the district superintendent to call quarterly conventions of all the teachers and under-teachers of his district, and conventions of teachers from different districts may be held with the consent of the provincial authorities. The superintendent presides in person or by deputy, subjects of discussion are designated previously, and written exercises are required. Annual reports of these meetings are made to the Common School Inspector and by him to the Department. These conferences are the result of an ordinance of 1848, which inet with much
opposition but is now in most successful operation. In Bukowina, Ven. ice, and the Frontier none have as yet been held, but in the remaining provinces they meet on an average twice a year in each district.
15. Terms; Time of Instruction.-A pupil may enter a trivial school at the beginning or close of the first half-year, but admission to a high school is generally permitted only at the commencement of the year. The schools of the provincial capitals and the high schools commence the school-year simultaneously with the gymnasiums and real schools and continue eleven months. The four weeks of vacation in the country schools are variously distributed as the occupations of the inhabitants make it most desirable. No schools are kept upon church festival days, and the director of a high school may grant four additional holidays during the year. When attendance upon a country school is unavoidably interrupted on the part of many of the pupils, the school must still be kept open for such children as are able to be present, and attendance upon certain days of the week is, as far as possible, obligatory upon all the children. Instruction is generally given both forenoon and afternoon, (8–10 A. M., and 1-3 P. M., or in the cities 2-4 P. M.,) with two asternoons in the week free. Where but a half-day school is kept, three hours in the forenoon are given to the older children and two hours to the younger. In the high schools the number of hours may be increased to twenty-four in the week, or even more, the whole of Thursday or two afternoons being also free. In Jewish schools, where instruction is given in Hebrew, the number of hours is often much greater.
16. Distribution of Studies.—There is no uniform scheme of studies followed in the trivial schools, each teacher being guided by the customs and wants of his locality. In the high schools, while there is much diversity, yet generally, in the first class, two hours each week are given to religious instruction, three to writing, the same to arithmetic, and twelve to instruction in language; in the second and third classes, three hours each to religion and writing, four to arithmetic, and ten to language; and in the fourth class, four hours to religion and arithmetic, three to writing, and nine to language.
17. Text-books and Apparatus.—There can be no departure in either the trivial or high schools from the use of the books prescribed by the State Department. The books for religious instruction are appointed by the higher ecclesiastical authorities; reading-books, primers, and the like, must be approved by them as containing nothing opposed to the teachings of the Church, and in regard to text-books in other branches they can at any time object to their proposed introduction. The Jewish schools use in general the same books, though special editions of the readers, &c., are prepared for them. Much greater attention has been paid of-late years to the introduction of school apparatus and other means of instruction, especially in arithmetic, natural history, and geography. School libraries are dependent upon the voluntary contributions of the communities and individual friends of education. In some of the provinces they have increased very rapidly-as in Bohemia, from 644 libraries containing 95,000 volumes to over 900, with 153,442 volumes, within ten years.
18. Instruction in Language. The native language is the prominent subject of study in the common school. The method of teaching reading is left, to a great extent, to the choice of the teacher. With the older teachers, and in crowded schools where the attendance is very irregular, the old alphabet method is not forbidden; at the normal schools, on the other hand, the vocalizing or syllabic method (Lautir-methode) is preferred, while the method of teaching by writing (Schreiblese-methode) has been introduced in many places. More advanced instruction is given practically, rather than by abstract rules—by exercises in the use of language and in grammar in connection with the reading lessons, and by the transcription of what has been committed to memory, or read or repeated before the school. Upon leaving the high school it is required that the pupil shall be able to thoroughly understand whatever he reads, that he be well informed respecting the structure of the sentence, and be skilled in descriptive composition and narration, letter-writing, and the drawing up of ordinary business papers. For instruction in grammar the primer, of course, gives no aid whatever, and the grammatical appendix of the first and second reading-books is intended only as a brief compend for the ready reference of the teacher in his practical exercises. The grammar which accompanies the third reader gives a thorough knowledge of etymology and syntax, upon a plan suited to the.character of the school, but designed to facilitate the learning of foreign languages and following the terminology that is employed in the gymnasiums and real schools.
A second language can be introduced generally as a medium of instruction only where the children are already well acquainted with its use and after the first difficulties of reading have been overcome, so that farther instruction may be carried on uniformly in both languages. Where the use of the second language is less general, its introduction depends upon the wishes and necessities of the population, commences in the second or early in the third class, and instruction is carried so far that in the fourth class some branch of study is conducted in it. In one or the other of these ways the German language is taught in many schools, and the same is true of the Italian in the Littorale and Dalmatia. In the high schools German forms an essential part of instruction throughout the course. A third language is but very rarely introduced and only where three nationalities are in constant intercourse. Instruction in Latin or in a foreign language may be given in the highest class, but only as an optional. In the Jewish schools there is often a Hebrew instructor, by whom the children are taught to read and translate that language.
19. Instruction in Other Branches.— Writing is taught by means of copy-sheets. The attempted introduction into the lower classes of a system of writing-books with copies prefixed provoked much opposition