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THE first distinct suggestion of a SCHOOL having for one of its objects the special preparation of schoolmasters, which we have met in our researches into the educational history of the country, occurs in the Massachusetts Magazine for 1789-in which the writer (supposed to have been Elisha Ticknor) proposes "to abolish the system of Town Grammar Schools, and to establish a public Grammar School in each county of the State, in which should be taught English Grammar, Latin, Greek, rhetoric, geography, mathematics, &c., in order to fit young gentlemen for college and school-keeping. At the head of this county school I would place an able preceptor who should superintend the whole instruction of the youth committed to his care, and who, together with a board of overseers, should annually examine young gentlemen designed for schoolmasters in reading, writing, arithmetic, and English grammar, and if they are found qualified for the office of school-keeping, and able to teach these branches with ease and propriety, to recommend them for this purpose. No man ought to be suffered to superintend ever so small a school, except he has been first examined by a body of men of this character and authorized for this purpose."

The first School or Seminary established avowedly for the instruction of those who desired to become teachers, and organized and conducted in reference to this end, was in the town of Concord, Vermont. In that town, Rev. Samuel Read Hall, in March, 1823, opened a School or Seminary especially for this class of persons, prepared and read before them every year for seven years a course of Lectures on School Keeping, and another on School Government, and to illustrate how children should be governed and instructed, admitted into his Seminary a class of young pupils, who constituted a sort of Model School. A portion of the Lectures prepared for this Seminary were printed in 1829, and a few years later, an edition of over ten thousand copies were printed at the expense of James Wadsworth of Geneseo, and distributed to the several SchoolDistricts of the State of New York under the sanction of the Legis

A woman kept the school, sharp, precise, unsympathetic, keen and untiring. Of all ingenious ways of fretting little boys, doubtless her ways were the most expert. Not a tree to shelter the house, the sun beat down on the shingles and clap-boards till the pine knots shed pitchy tears; and the air was redolent of hot pine wood smell. The benches were slabs with legs in them. The desks were slabs at an angle, cut, hacked, scratched; each year's edition of jack-knife literature overlaying its predecessor, until it then were cuttings and carvings two or three inches deep. But if we cut a morsel, or stuck in pins, or pinched off splinters, the little sharp-eyed mistress was on hand, and one look of her eye was worse than a sliver in our foot, and one nip of her fingers was equal to a jab of a pin; for we had tried both.

We envied the flies-merry fellows; bouncing about, tasting that apple skin, patting away at that crumb of bread; now out the window, then in again; on your nose, on neighbor's cheek, off to the very school-ma'am's lips; dodging her slap, and then letting off a real round and round buzz, up, down, this way, that way, and every way. Oh, we envied the flies more than any thing except the birds. The windows were so high that we could not see the grassy meadows; but we could see the tops of distant trees, and the far, deep, boundless blue sky. There flew the robins; there went the bluebirds; and there went we. We followed that old Polyglott, the skunk-blackbird, and heard him describe the way that they talked at the winding up of the Tower of Babel. We thanked every meadow-lark that sung on, rejoicing as it flew. Now and then a "chipping-bird" would flutter on the very window-sill, turn its little head side-wise, and peer in on the medley of boys and girls. Long before we knew it was in Scripture, we sighed: "Oh that we had the wings of a bird"—we would fly away, and be out of this hateful school. As for learning, the sum of all that we ever got at a district-school, would not cover the first ten letters of the alphabet. One good, kind, story-telling, Bible-rehearsing aunt at home, with apples and ginger-bread premiums, is worth all the school-ma'ams that ever stood by to see poor little fellows roast in those boy-traps called district-schools.

But this was thirty-five years ago. Doubtless it is all changed long since then. We mean inside; for certainly there are but few school-houses that we have seen in New England, whose outside was much changed. There is a beautiful house in Salisbury, Conn., just on the edge of the woods. It is worth going miles to see how a school-house ought to look. But generally the barrenest spot is chosen, the most utterly homely building is erected, without a tree or shrub; and then those that can't do better, pass their pilgrimage of childhood education there.

We are prejudiced of course. Our views and feelings are not to be trusted. They are good for nothing except to show what an effect our school-days left upon us. We abhor the thought of a school.-We do not go into them if we can avoid it. Our boyhood experience has pervaded our memory with such images, as breed a repugnance to district-schools, which we fear we shall not lay aside, until we lay aside every thing in the grave. We are sincerely glad, that it is not so with every body. There are thousands who revert with pleasure to those days. We are glad of


But we look on such with astonishment.




THE following outline constitutes Essay VI. of Essays on Popular Education, published by Mr. Carter in the Boston Patriot, with the signature of Franklin, in the winter of 1824–25. The series was commenced on the 17th of December, 1824; and the essay containing the outline was published on the 10th and 15th of February, 1825.

It will do but little good for the Legislature of the State to make large appropriations directly for the support of schools, till a judicious expenditure of them can be insured. And in order to this, we must have skillful teachers at hand. It will do but little good to class the children till we have instructors properly prepared to take charge of the classes. It will do absolutely no good to constitute an independent tribunal to decide on the qualifications of teachers, while they have not had the opportunities necessary for coming up to the proper standard. And it will do no good to overlook and report upon their success, when we know beforehand that they have not the means of success. It would be beginning wrong, too, to build houses and to tell your young and inexperienced instructors to teach this or to teach that subject, however desirable a knowledge of such subjects might be, while it is obvious that they cannot know how, properly, to teach any subject. The science of teaching-for it must be made a science-is first, in the order of nature, to be inculcated. And it is to this point that the public attention must first be turned, to effect any essential improvement.

And here let me remark upon a distinction in the qualifications of teachers, which has never been practically made; though it seems astonishing that it has so long escaped notice. I allude to the distinction between the possession of knowledge, and the ability to communicate it to other minds. When we are looking for a teacher, we inquire how much he knows, not how much he can communicate; as if the latter qualification were of no consequence to us. Now it seems to me that parents and children, to say the least, are as much interested in the latter qualification of their instructor as in the former.

Though a teacher cannot communicate more knowledge than he possesses, yet he may possess much, and still be able to impart but little. And the knowledge of Sir Isaac Newton could be of but trifling use to a school, while it was locked up safely in the head of a country schoolmaster. So far as the object of a school or of instruction, therefore, is the acquisition of knowledge, novel as the opinion may seem, it does appear to me that both parents and pupils are even more interested in the part of their teacher's knowledge which they will be likely to get, than in the part which they certainly cannot get.

One great object in the education of teachers which it is so desirable on every account to attain, is to establish an intelligible language of communication be tween the instructor and his pupil, and enable the former to open his head and his heart, and infuse into the other some of the thoughts and feelings which lie hid there. Instructors and pupils do not understand each other. They do not speak the same language. They may use the same words; but this can hardly be called the same language, while they attach to them such very different meanings. We must either, by some magic or supernatural power, bring chil dren at once to comprehend all our abstract and difficult terms, or our teachers must unlearn themselves, and come down to the comprehension of children. One of these alternatives is only difficult, while the other is impossible.

The direct, careful preparation of instructors for the profession of teaching, must surmount this difficulty; and I doubt if there be any other way in which

two young ladies, who had attended the private instruction of a neighboring clergyman.

In 1779, two students of Yale College, during a long vacation, after the British troops invaded New Haven, had each a class of young ladies, who were taught arithmetic, geography, composition, &c., for the term of one quarter.

One of these students, (Rev. William Woodbridge,) during his senior year in college, in the severe winter of 1779-80, kept a young ladies' school in New Haven, consisting of about twenty-five scholars, in which he taught grammar, geography, composition, and the elements of rhetoric. The success of this school was such as to encourage a similar school in another place, and with about the same number of scholars. These attempts led to the opening of a similar school in Newburyport, which was supported two quarters only. Before that period the Moravians had opened a school for females in Bethlehem. This place has been long celebrated for its numbers, and continues to enjoy a high reputation, notwithstanding its many rivals. Full to overflowing, when they could accommodate no more, they opened other branches in other places, which I can not enumerate.

In 1780, in Philadelphia, for the first time in my life, I heard a class of young ladies parse English. After the success of the Moravians in female education, the attention of gentlemen of reputation and influence was turned to the subject. Drs. Morgan, Rush, (the great advocate of education,) with others, whom I can not name, instituted an academy for females in Philadelphia. Their atten tion, influence, and fostering care were successful, and from them sprang all the following and celebrated schools in that city. I have seen a pamphlet of about one hundred pages, entitled the "Rise and Progress of the Female Academy in Philadelphia," to which I must refer for farther and more particular information.

About the year 1785, young ladies were taught in the higher branches of education by Dr. Dwight, in his Academy at Greenfield, in the State of Connecticut, and his influence was exerted with great effect, in improving the state of female education.

In the year 1789, a Female Academy was opened in Medford, within five miles of Boston, so far as I am informed, the first establishment of the kind in New England. This was the resort of scholars from all the Eastern States. The place was delightful and airy, containing ample and commodious buildings, and fruit gardens of about five acres.

Here the school flourished in numbers for seven years, until the estate was divided and sold, and its removal became necessary. Seven years of experiment, however, had evinced the practicability of the plan. Schools upon a similar plan, and female high schools, in which the arts and sciences are taught, were soon multiplied, and a new order of things arose upon the female world.

[In a subsequent communication "Senex" thus resumes the subject.]

You inquire how so many of the females of New England, during the latter part of the last century, acquired that firmness, and energy, and excellence of character for which they have been so justly distinguished, while their advantages of school education were so limited.

The only answer to this question must be founded on the fact, that it is not the amount of knowledge, but the nature of that knowledge, and still more, the manner in which it is used, and the surrounding influences and habits, which

form the character. Natural logic-the self-taught art of thinking-was the guard and guide of the female mind. The first of Watts' five methods of mental improvement, "The attentive notice of every instructive object and occurrence," was not then in circulation, but was exemplified in practice. Newspapers were taken and read in perhaps half a dozen families, in the most popu lous villages and towns. Books, though scarce, were found in some families, and freely lent; and in place of a flood of books, many of which are trifling or pernicious, there were a few, of the best character. They were thoroughly read, and talked of, and digested. In town and village libraries, there were some useful histories, natural and political. Milton, Watts' Lyric Poems, Young's Night Thoughts, Hervey's Meditations, the Tattler, and Addison's Spectator, were not scarce, though not generally diffused. Pamela, Clarissa Harlow, and an abridgement of Grandison, were in a few hands, and eagerly read; and the Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, was the chief work of this kind for the young.

But the daily, attentive study of the Holy Scriptures, the great source of all wisdom and discretion, was deemed indispensable in those days, when every child had a Bible, and was accustomed to read a portion of the lesson at morning prayers. This study, with the use of Watts' Psalms (a book which, with all the defects it may have, contains a rich treasure of poetry and thought, as well as piety,) at home, at church, and in singing schools, I regard as having furnished, more than all other books and instructions, the means of mental improvement, for forty years of the last century.

But when were found the hours for mental improvement? Time will always be found, for that which engages the affections. If the spinning day's work was one and a half, or two runs, early rising, and quick movements at the wheel, dispatched the task. The time was redeemed. Often was the book laid within reach of the eye that occasionally glanced upon it for a minute or two, while knitting or sewing.

In the families of educated men, social intercourse became an important means of education to the daughters. The parents spent their evenings at home. In almost every town, there were one or more collegiate students, or men of professional and liberal education. Many taught in the common schools, and "boarded round" in families. The conversation of such persons was then highly appreciated, listened to, repeated and remembered. These circumstances afforded considerable aid to the cause of female education; for here, as in other cases, the means more scantily provided, were more carefully improved.

The mind is formed by the current of its leading thoughts, as the intervale, by that of its river. At that period, the social, domestic and sacred virtues were the general standard of female merit, in place of learning and accomplishments. Throughout the wisdom of Solomon, the domestic virtues are extolled; and among the ancients, the companions of kings and princes, without these accomplishments, were thought unqualified for their station. The daughters of New England studied the economics of the Proverbs. Nine tenths of all the cloths in use were of domestic manufacture. So late as the eight years' Revolutionary war, when hand-cards only were used in carding wool, all, or nearly all, the clothing for the New England troops, was manufactured by the patient, laborious industry, of our mothers and daughters. This was done in addition to all family clothing, bedding and hosiery. If they had a calico, worsted, or

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