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CLARKE INSTITUTION FOR DEAF-MUTES.
Members of the Corporation.
Committees of the Corporation.
SCHOOL COMMITTEE. LEWIS J. DUDLEY, Chairman.
JULIUS H, SEELYE. GARDINER G. HUBBARD.
F. B. SANBORN. WILLIAM ALLEN.
REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT.
To the Board of Education.
GENTLEMEN :-In order to make the Fifth Annual Report of the Clarke Institution cover its school year, which begins in September, and correspond in time with the official reports of other institutions, it will include the year ended September 30, 1871, and its financial statements will stop with that date. Notice will be taken, however, of the pupils present at the opening of the school year which began September 20, 1872. Our Report, therefore, will contain remarks upon a portion of the year covered by the fourth report.
The whole endowment of this school is derived from the gifts and bequests of John Clarke, Esq., which amounted, during his life-time, to $50,000, and since his death to $223,250, making an aggregate of $273,250. It was the strong and often expressed desire of Mr. Clarke that the Corporation should build a permanent establishment for the reception of pupils in Northampton, and, in accordance with this desire, the present estate on Round Hill was purchased and improved. The total cost of land and buildings here, up to the 1st of October, 1871, has been $91,749.75; of furnishing, $7,076 11; in all, $98,825.86. The bequests of Mr. Clarke being held, according to the terms of the will, as a permanent fund, of which the income only is to be appropriated to the expenses of the establishment, it has been necessary to incur a temporary debt in paying for the buildings. This debt is now $31,500. The fund, amounting now to $223,250, is securely invested, and returns an average interest greater than that paid on the temporary debt. The real estate is in good repair, and estimated to be worth all it has cost.' The number of acres is twelve, much of it under high cultivation, and planted with fruit-trees in good bearing. There are three halls, or school buildings, a stable, laundry, and gardener's cottage on the premises, all ample for their
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present use, well built, and conveniently located. They were first occupied by our pupils in September, 1870, but the boys' house was not occupied till March, 1871, and the improvements in the grounds about it were not completed till the past summer. The school year of which we have to speak will therefore be the first year the new premises have been occupied.
The first term began September 28th, 1870, and closed Feb. ruary 14th, 1871; the second term began March 1st, and closed July 18th, 1871. The whole number of pupils during the year was 42; the average number was 40 ; the ordinary school expenses were $12,561.79, for the two terms. A detailed account of the receipts and expenses will be found in another place. The number of pupils present at the opening of the second school year in the new buildings is 41; the number of teachers is five; of other employés, eleven. The Principal, Miss Rogers, is now in Europe, acquiring a knowledge of schools and methods of instruction there; having left Northampton early in July, expecting to return during the second term of the present school year.
Miss Rogers reached Europe in the latter part of July, went directly to Germany, and, before visiting any schools, devoted some weeks to study and practice in the German language. On the first of October, in company with the president of the Clarke Institution, she went to Vienna, and entered the school of Mr. Lehfeldt (in our last report misprinted Siegbach), which I had visited in 1870, and in which I was greatly interested. It is a small family school, and therefore Mr. Lehfeldt is able to give his pupils more individual instruction than is common in larger institutions. Here Miss Rogers observes the method of instruction pursued day by day, especially with the youngest pupils. She also visits, on alternate days, the great school of Mr. Deutsch, supported by the Jews of Vienna-one of the largest and best articulating schools in Europe, and in the same quarter of the city with Mr. Lehfeldt's. Thus she has the opportunity of observing how the younger pupils are instructed in large classes, as well as in the smaller ones of Mr. Lehfeldt's school. She makes daily notes of the progress of the pupils in both schools, and writes these out fully for the use of her assistant teachers in Northampton, who compare the results thus recorded with those obtained in our own school,-an 'excellent method of comparing the practical value of the systems of instruction adopted in different schools. Miss Rogers will
remain at Vienna a considerable portion of the winter, and then visit other European Schools where either articulation or the sign language, or both, are employed, and record the results there witnessed. From her observations and my own, made in the present and past year, it is found that a direct comparison between our own school and those in Germany taught by articulation is difficult, on account of the difference in the methods and character of the teachers in the two countries, and the habits of thought and study among the people. Our American teachers are generally younger, and more active and versatile in their modes of thought and instruction ; while the German teachers are slower, more plodding and methodical, following fixed rules rather than adapting themselves to the capacity of different scholars and classes. Indeed, the chief differences between the various European schools of articulation appear due to the teachers rather than the nominal methods pursued. Where the instructors are young, zealous, and interested in their work, the schools are good, by whatever system they are taught; wherever, from any cause, the enthusiasm is less, the instruction is apt to be more mechanical, and of comparatively little value. In our next report we hope to present a more detailed comparison of our methods with those of Europe.
During the school year ending with the long vacation last July, the greatest number of pupils present at the Clarke Institution was 42, the average number 40, and the number of classes five. There were also five teachers, including the principal, and not reckoning the additional teacher, who, since Miss Rogers has been absent, performs the duties of fifth instructor. Concerning the progress made, information will be found in the report of the school committee, hereto annexed. It has not been thought advisable to give samples of the compositions of the pupils in this Report, since those presented in the fourth report were written during the same school year of which we now speak. In regard to the employment of a special teacher of articulation, which the Corporation have long contemplated, a few remarks may be here made. Since our last report was written, an opportunity has been allowed to test, in some degree, a new system of teaching articulation, introduced in this country by Prof. A. M. Bell, of Canada, formerly of England, and practically communicated to teachers and pupils by his son, Mr. A. G. Bell. This system,