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QUESTION BOOKS.

A Book for every Teacher and Pupil in Geography. Questions in Geography. Combining Mathematical, Descriptive, Political and Physical, carefully compiled to embrace an outline of study, for Common and Grammar Schools, for Daily Recitations and General Reviews. ADAPTED TO ANY TEXT BOOK, 64 pp. Price, 18 cents.

"A proper mastery of these Questions will enable the scholar to build up a complete Text Book of his own, rather than allow him, in a blind, unthinking manner, to follow the track of another."

Questions on the Principles of Arithmetic. Uniform with the above. By James S. Eaton, A. M., 48 pp. Price, 15 cents.

* WORCESTERS ELEMENTS OF HISTORY, Ancient and Modern. By J. E. Worcester, LL. D. A NEW EDITION, REVISED AND ENLARGED, BEING BROUGHT DOWN TO APRIL, 1866. Price, $2.00.

The new chapter on the Great Rebellion and the administration of Abraham Lincoln is a most accurate and discriminating view of the remarkable series of events covering this period. The addition to English History, comprising the chief events of the last twenty years, is of great value.

PHILBRICK'S SPEAKERS. * The American Union Speaker. Containing Standard and recent selections in Prose, Poetry, and Dialogue, for Recitation and Declamation. By Hon. John D. Philbrick, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. $2.50.

"In every feature the work seems to be of the highest excellence."-A. P, STONE, Principal of the Portland, Maine, High School.

"A work of unqualified excellence. Just the book needed by every student of declamation." Prof, LEWIS B. MONROE, Director of Vocal and Physical Culture in the Boston Public Schools,

* The Primary Union Speaker. Containing Standard and Recent Selections in Prose and Poetry, for Recitation and Declamation in Primary and Secondary Schools. By Hon. John D. Philbrick, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. Beautifully Illustrated. Price, 65 cents.

“It is admirable in its plan and its selections.”—YOSES T. BROWN, Prof. Elocution, Tufts College.

* EATON'S ARITHMETICS. I. PRIMARY, 100 pp. - - - 28 cts. | III. COMMON School, 312 pp. $1.00 II. INTELLECTUAL, 172 pp. - 45 cts. | IV. HIGH SCHOOL, 356 pp. $1.30 When one Written Arithmetic only is needed, GRAMMAR SCHOOL, 336 pp. $1.15.

This series of Arithmetics contains the latest and most improved method of teaching this important branch. They have very recently been adopted for

THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA,
THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA,

(re-adopted for four years,)

THE STATE OF NEVADA. * Specimen copies mailed to Teachers, for examination with reference to inIroduction, on receipt of half price. Address

TAGGARD & THOMPSON,

29 CORNHILL, BOSTON.

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BOSTON SCHOOLS. [The following excellent paper was read at the meeting of the Boston Social Science Association, held Thursday, Dec. 13, by Geo. B. Emerson, Esq., its President. Want of space has compelled us reluctantly to omit a portion. We borrow our report from the columns of the Boston Advertiser.]

A traveller from the East by that charming old picturesque road which a hundred years ago led from Salem to Boston, leaving it where it leaves the Saugus Hills, is struck, as he enters East Boston, with a very beautiful building,—more beautiful and more like a palace than most of the royal or ducal residences of the princes of Germany. He sees that it is a school-house, and has the name of Prescott. As he passes along, he sees other magnificent buildings, and learns that all of them are school-houses. The houses of the common people are modest, unpretending structures, built for comfort and convenience. The school-houses are palaces. If he enters the Prescott School on a cold day, he finds himself breathing a pure air, of a pleasant, genial temperature. If he goes through the rooms, he sees the most admirable arrangement, most convenient and nicely-made furniture, desks, tables, and seats for teachers and pupils; the apparatus for warming and ventilating, and all the arrangements for the accommodation of all, — faultless. If he spends hours, as I lately did, in one of them, — the Hancock School,

for example, — he sees perfect order, and an expression of earnestness and happy activity in teachers and taught.

The names given to the schools are of men distinguished for intellect and humanity, the benefactors of the nation and the race, Adams, Bowditch, Bowdoin, Dwight, Eliot, Everett, Franklin, Lawrence, Lincoln, Lyman, Quincy, Winthrop and others.

If he studies the rules and regulations for the schools, he sees little to find fault with, and much to approve and commend*; and he is not surprised that this should be so, when he sees in the list of the members of the school committee the names of very many of the most distinguished clergymen, physicians, lawyers, and other intelligent and educated men of the city.

All this is as it should be. All this shows that the common schools are, as they are continually declared to be, the dearest and most precious interest of the people.

These schools have been advancing, not regularly, but intermittingly, for the last fifty years.

In the spring of 1821, they were nearly all — there may have have been a solitary exception — poorly furnished, dirty, badly warmed, and not ventilated at all; ventilation for school-rooms was not then discovered. From the beginning, the Primary schoolrooms were as badly ventilated as are the sleeping rooms in the summer hotels

The schools have advanced intermittingly. From time to time our fellow-citizens have been lulled into a feeling of complacency which made them think and say, “Our schools are the best, in all respects, in the world. They need no improvement.” This happy state of contentment has occasionally been disturbed by reports not always believed, such as, — some years ago, _“The schools of New Orleans, under a Massachusetts man, are as well managed as those of Boston;" later, “ The schools of St. Louis, under Massachusetts men and women, are as well managed and as well taught; the schools of Chicago, under a Massachusetts man, are both ; " last,“ The schools of Oswego, without any help from Massachusetts, are as well managed, and better taught.”

These reports may possibly have had an effect. Certain it is that more decided improvements have never been made in the schools than within the last few years. It is only necessary to specify the introduction of gymnastic and calisthenic exercises, the greater attention paid to music, the admirable vocal gymnastics, and, best of all, the more perfect grading of the schools. The three first of these must necessarily have the most beneficial influence upon the health and happiness of the pupils; the last increases vastly the power of the teacher to impart instruction. A teacher who has had a class of pupils differing so much in capacity and progress that he has been obliged to divide them into two sections will find his opportunities for teaching doubled, by being able, without injustice, to arrange all his pupils in one class.

The questions before us this evening, and which it behooves us as the parents, grandparents and friends of the children in the schools, or who ought to be in these schools, to discuss, are:

Are the schools, with all these costly conveniences and precious appliances, what they should be ?

Are they doing all the good to the children and the other inhabitants of the city that they are capable of ?

The chairman of this meeting begs to be allowed to make some suggestions, in the form of questions, for the consideration of the ladies and gentlemen present, — to offer something definite in the discussion of this great subject.

In the first place, as to the teacher; for “as is the teacher, so is the school.The wisest arrangements and the ablest committeemen cannot make a good school with a poor teacher. I know that you have some, and I believe you have many, teachers who are persons of the highest character, education and accomplishment, and of great skill and experience. But the best efforts of one of the noblest of these may be counteracted and almost nullified by the stupidity, ignorance or perverse self-sufficiency of an incompetent committee-man. And it may be now, as it has been before now, that an individual sometimes comes into this high office, not for the advancement of the schools, but for his own advancement in power or reputation. Are the individualities of the teachers respected ? Is each teacher, in his own department and in his own room, allowed to teach and to govern according to his own convictions, by his own methods, and in his own way? For every teacher, fit for his place, can thus teach and govern incomparably better than he could under the dictation of the wisest committee-man that ever entered a school. Do the teachers avail themselves of the opportunities presented by the improved grading to teach, — to give real instruction ? not to hear lessons, but to give lessons; to open and enlarge the mind of his pupil, and pour in knowledge, not from the pages of a text-book, but from the fresh fountains of his own knowledge and thought ?

[After quoting some admirable hints on teaching by Archbishop Whately, which we mean to print hereafter, Mr. Emerson continues :]

Now the present admirable system of grading gives to all the teachers opportunities of teaching according to the principles here sketched. The high standard of attainment among the teachers enables them all to do this. Do they generally do it? The practice of object-teaching, introduced into the Primary schools, is preparing the way for it. The abundant supply of well qualified teachers furnished by the Normal schools gives the means. Is there any reason why something of the kind should not be introduced into every teacher's room?

[Mr. Emerson here spoke of a visit he made to a Primary school in Sheafe Street, — a school made up of children who had just left the care of their mothers, and had never been in any school before that quarter. They seemed perfectly happy, quiet, busy, interested, and evidently learning. He found that all those things, except whispering, which in the old schools used to be forbidden, were here allowed and encouraged, — dolls, toys, beads, buttons, pine cones, shells, slates and pencils, and the liberty of drawing what they pleased. As much pains were taken to interest them in their playthings as in their letters and words.]

Next, in regard to studies, there are some questions to be asked :

Are the studies pursued in the Grammar schools what they should be? Is the great fact, that, for nearly all the children of the city, the grammar schools furnish all the school education they can ever get, sufficiently regarded ?

Almost every girl is by nature destined to be a nurse, a mother, a teacher and manager of young children. Do all the girls receive in the Grammar schools all the helps which they might

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