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the right, you will find a roughly constructed laboratory, and a number of boys busily engaged in the preparation of the simpler gases. Their nimble fingers are accustomed to manipulation, and the experiments previously performed by the teachers are easily and accurately reproduced by separate groups of boys.
I need not say that considerable attention is given to the teaching of Geometry, which occupies an important place in the time-table of all the classes of the school. But it is not the Geometry of Euclid; it is not the Geometry, or what unfortunately passes for it, of nine-tenths of our English schools. The pupil of the Model School of Brussels, and indeed of the majority of Continental schools, is not plunged wholly unprepared into the complex deductions of Euclid, or any other system of demonstrative Geometry, the difficulties of which are so often met by the pupil learning by beart the words of the propositions to be proved, without understanding anything of their signification.
In the first place, the pupil is shown solid geometrical figures; he is then exercised in constructing them for himself in clay, in cardboard, or with wires; he is then shown how to distinguish the several parts of which figures are composed, and so to understand the definitions; to recognize in other objects than in mere geometrical figures the recurrence of the same forms; and further, to judge distances by the eye, so as readily to distinguish five inches from seven inches. This elementary teaching is followed by a more intimate investigation into the characters of solid bodies. The pupil is exercised in making sections of prisms, spheres, cylinders, and cones; in methods of measuring areas and volumes; in obtaining by actual intuition a knowledge of the properties of different figures; and, finally, in geometrical constructions.
Let me ask you to follow me for a moment into a class-room on the right, where a lesson in Geometry is being given to a class of boys of about ten years of age. The walls are furnished with shelves, on which various objects are ranged. Here is a complete set of weights and measures; near these are a number of geometrical forms,—some in wire, some in wood, others in section. Further on are skeletons of other animals, and a collection of different kinds of wood. The eye is then caught by a series of surfaces illustrating the various shades of color; and close to this is a case of different woolen and cotton materials, and a variety, too numerous to recount, of other objects appealing to the senses for recogni. tion. Near me is the master, standing on an ordinary platform, with a desk in front of him, and a black-board at his side; and round the room, with their backs to the master, are ranged the boys, each in front of his paneled black-board, with chalk in one hand, and sponge moistened at the china sink with which every class-room is provided, in the other. And now the master commences to dictate a geometrical exercise to his pupils. Before him is an irregular six-sided figure, with sides of unequal length. “From the point A draw a horizontal line AB of 11 centimetres in length, at B construct an angle of 120 degrees," and so on; and gradually is evolved on every black-board an accurately drawn facsimile of the figure from which the teacher has dictated the exercise. Mistakes undoubtedly occur, but they are corrected when the figure is examined and the source of the error clearly pointed out.
Let us witness a very early lesson in Geography. As maps are indispensable to the study of Geography, through the practical and absolute inability of everyone to travel over the countries with the general features of which it is necessary to be familiar, it is very essential that a child should have a clear idea of the meaning and purpose of a map. We are standing in the big hall on the ground floor. The plan of the school is exbibited before us. The boys are gathered round it. One boy holds a long pointer, and indicates on the plan a course which he proposes another boy shall take to reach a certain spot on the school. The course having been indicated, a third boy objects that it is impossible, as it would neces. sitate the passing through a wall, or the jumping over a high rail. The course being duly altered, a boy at once proceeds to travel over the ground described on the plan, and having arrived at the place proposed, he halts and makes known his position by showing himself on the gallery, or by letting himself be heard. Sometimes he goes wrong, and another boy corrects his route. This game of Geography seems to amuse the small boys very much, and is undoubtedly a practical way of clearly explaining to young children the meaning of a map.
I need hardly say that Drawing is taught throughout the entire school, and not as an accomplishment, but as an essential of primary instruction. And I hope I may be pardoned if I avail myself of this opportunity to express the hope that Drawing may become, before long, an obligatory subject in all our Board Schools.
With respect to the question of Grammar, let us see what is done at our École Modèle. The child obtains by practical experience an acquaintance with the elements of Etymology. He is able to distinguish a noun from an adjective, and an adjective from a verb; he discovers, too, the difference between such words as “of” and “to," and categorematic words. Some notice of inflection he will also necessarily obtain. But Grammar is regarded as an abstract science, which has its proper place in secondary education. The teaching of it to young children is pronounced harmful.
A subject of instruction, which appears to have given great difficulty to the founders of this school, is History. All practical teachers will understand the kind of difficulty which the teaching of this subject presents, when it is taught for its own sake, and for the development of the faculties, and not for the satisfaction of an examiner. We cannot place Alcibiades and Julius Cæsar, Charlemagne, St. Dunstan, Queen Elizabeth, and Isabella on the table, and make them like puppets re-act the scenes of their past lives. We cannot reproduce the circumstances in which they lived, nor realize the influence of the element of time in the production of bygone events. Indeed, the question of time gives rise to two difficul. ties; first, the difficulty of enabling children to realize the interval between the past and the present; and secondly, the difficulty of enabling them to form an idea of the intervals between different events in the distant past. History is spread before the child's mind, like the stars of heaven are before the vulgar gaze. Our eyes fail to tell us how far they are away from us, or how distant they are from one another. But the realization of the past is perhaps more difficult; and History, be it remem. bered, is studied before Astronomy. Nevertheless, the teaching of Hig.' tory finds a place among the subjects of instruction of this strictly RealSchule; and, in order to give it a real character, and to bring home to the child's mind the method of historical research, so that the word "authen. ticity" may have a clear signification, the teaching of History proceeds from what is near to what is remote. Commencing with the study of family life, and passing to the history of the city itself, to the changes that have taken place in its structure, in its streets and buildings, etc., and proceeding thence to the history of the reigning King, and the events of the last few years, the teacher works back to a period within the memory of the parents of his pupils, whose reminiscences are made available, in order to furnish the child with the notion of tradition. From our own history to the history of other peoples the transition is easy. In bringing home to the child's mind the surroundings of bygone periods, frequent use is made of pictures, maps, and other objects that serve to illustrate the habits and conditions of the people, and equally of contemporary narratives where any exist.
TIME-TABLE. The time-table shows that the school hours are from 8 in the morning till 4 in the afternoon-8 hours in all. But as there is 1 hour's free recreation between each lesson, and 11 hours for dinner in the middle of the day, the school hours are reduced to 337 in the week, or about 6 hours a day. Of these 331, 7 are devoted to gymnastics, drill, etc., reducing the number to 261. This distributed over 5 days, as is the case with us, would give 57 hours a day,-say, from 9.30 till 12.30, and from 2 till 4. You will observe that the attempt is made so to arrange the order of the subjects each day as to ensure the occupation of different faculties in turn. Further, you will note that the greatest amount of time is given to language; and that Flemish is taught as well as French. In a country where the language of the people did not differ from that of the educated classes, this would be unnecessary, and another modern language might be substituted. Under the head of language is understood reading, writing, dictation, recitation, and grammar Science stands next in order, as regards time given to it, with 54 hours in the week. The subjects of geometry and drawing overlap to some extent, and we find 57 hours given to the two subjects. Gymnastics and exercise also take a fair share of the week's work—7 hours.
Should we ever be fortunate enough, which I trust we may be, to have a Model School of our own, it will be necessary to elaborate a scheme of instruction, and critical consideration of the scheme of the École Modèle will be found of the utmost use. Meanwhile, all who are interested in the advancement of primary instruction must be grateful to the Ligue de l'Enseignement for the opportunity afforded by this school of enabling educational investigators to see the practical results of methods of teaching, and of the applications of theoretic principles to the work of instruction, which a variety of circumstances, too potent to be set aside, prevent our observing in our own schools. I have no doubt whatever that the foundation of a Model School in London would do more to improve primary
teaching throughout England, and so raise the moral, intellectual, and physical well-being of our working classes, than the publication of any quantity of books, the delivery of any number of lectures or speeches on the principles of education. Of making of speeches there is no end; let us now have facts and experiments. Such a school might be established by the School Board; by private subscriptions; or it might be founded, for paying pupils, as a public company,-in which case, as in the High Schools for Girls, a fair dividend might be gained on the subscribed capital. I should esteem myself too much rewarded for the little trouble I have had in bringing before you this description of the Brussels School if the remarks I have made should lead to the establishment of a Model School in this country.- English Journal of Education for Nov., 1880.
INTUITION AND INTUITIVE METHODS.
BY A. SLUYS.
QUESTIONS PROPOUNDED BY THE BRUSSELS CONGRESS. Has experience discovered any rocks to be avoided in the use of intuitive methods? What is the intuitive method ? What are the sciences of observation to be taught?
Is it best in primary schools to co-ordinate scientific notions and group them under the name of the science to which they belong, or to place them under the general denomination of object lessons ?
LITTRÉ defines intuition to be: “sudden, spontaneous, indubitable knowledge, like that which the sight gives us of light and sensuous forms, and consequently independent of all demonstration.”
In Kant's system, intuition is : "the particular representation of an object formed in the mind by sensation."
Larousse attributes the same signification to the word; “it applies," he says, “ to every clear and immediate perception; and we call the faculties to which we owe perceptions offering this characteristic, intuitire faculties.” “ These are distinguished from reflective faculties, which, needing the support of knowledge before acquired, or of hypothetical data, only arrive indirectly at their end.”
“ In 1817,” says M. Buisson, “the word intuition made its entrance into the official teaching at the Sorbonne with all the éclat of Mr. Cousin's word.”
No French dictionary gives the definition of this term in its pedagogic acceptation.
The Intuitive Method. The expression intuitive teaching is the equivalent of what the Germans call Anschauungsunterricht, which is sometimes translated teaching by inspection or the sight. These expressions are improper, for the intuition of things is acquired by the other senses as well as by the sight.
Intuitive teaching is that teaching which proceeds in conformity with the laws of the development of human intelligence. It consists in making the child observe things directly by the senses, in teaching him natural history in nature itself, physics with the necessary instruments, chemistry in the laboratory, industry in workshops and manufactories. In intuitive teaching the perceptions and the words that express them are furnished, and then the mind is exercised in judging and reasoning upon the exact notions acquired by observation. It is the opposite of dogmatic and purely literary teaching, which considers language as the principal factor of intellectual development, and which sets forth notions of things under the form of verbal explanations, definitions, rules, laws, formulas, descriptions, reasonings, etc., without