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amending the Constitution. He was a leading member of a quoit club which I was invited to attend. The battle-ground was about a mile from the city in a beautiful grove. I went early with a friend just as the party were beginning to arrive. I watched the coming of the old chief. He soon approached with his coat on his arm and his hat in his hand which he was using as a fan. He walked directly up to a large bowl of mint-julep which had been prepared, and drank off a tumbler-full of the liquid, smacked his lips, and then turned to the company with a cheerful “ How are you, gentlemen ?" He was looked upon as the best pitcher of the party, and could throw heavier quoits than any other member of the club. The game began with great animation. There were several ties; and before long I saw the great Chief Justice of the Supreme Court down on his knees measuring the contested distance with a straw, with as much earnestness as if it had been a point of law; and if he proved to be in the right, the woods would ring with his triumphant shout. What would the dignitaries of the highest Court of England have thought if they had been present ? Chester Harding's (privately printed) Aulobiography.
PHRENOLOGY. At the end of fifty years of attempted verification, what is the result? The broad, palpable result to which I would draw attention is, that Phrenology assailed by ridicule, misrepresentation, argument, and passionate contempt, such as usually salute every new and revolutionary hypothesis, has not survived this opposition, has not lived down its ill-repute and converted its antagonists, or the sons of its antagonists; but has lingered with a feeble life of sectarian tradition, inspiring no new prophets, raising up ne influential disciples. If vehement opposition is unhappily one almost universal consequence of the promulgation of a new conception, there is, happily, another universal consequence of every promulgated truth, namely, that it spreads wider and wider, and irresistibly draws successive generations into its fold. Ridicule never killed any truth; persecution never finally suppressed it. The obstinacy of a few disciples prevents the sacred flame from dying out; by degrees it attracts more serious attention, and this attention discovers fresh evidence; the adhesion of serious minds checks the levity of superficial objectors; the ridicule ceases and
calm investigation proceeds. At this stage the new doctrine perishes or rapidly passes into general acceptance.
How has Phrenology borne the test ? Instead of surviving opposition, it has decayed with the declining opposition. It has ceased to be ridiculed; it has ceased to be declaimed against as immoral; and it has ceased to occupy attention. While science has accepted much that is acceptable in Gall's method and results, no one has arisen to extend and improve those results; no school of phrenological investigators has kept pace with the discoveries of Anatomy aud Physiology; nothing has been added to the labors of Gall, Spurzheim and George Combe; nothing has been done to bring the doctrine into general acceptance. Here and there a clever man is found, who accepts Phrenology; but he is generally (I think it may be said always) one imperfectly acquainted with the results of biological and psychological research. At any rate, not one among the eminent physiologists, psychologists, or physio-psychologists of the present day, accepts the scheme as more than a rude hypothesis, while the vast majority reject it as a false hypothesis.
Such has been the result of fifty years' experience. Instead of gaining ground, it has been losing ground. Verification has disproved not confirmed the hypothesis. Observation has not supported the cranioscopy, nor has anatomical research confirmed the physiology. The disproof is overwhelming, and on this account only has the doctrine sunk into neglect. — Lewes' History of Philosophy.
[This is eminently true of this country. A few charlatans still go about imposing on the illiterate by examining their “bumps"; and one magazine, we believe, still repeats from month to month its well-worn wood-cuts; but the doctrine has ceased to attract the attention of educated persons.]
Right METHOD OF TEACHING. Some in criticising teaching, . without any well defined notion of the subject of their criticism, consider a mode of teaching to consist in a set of external forms arbitrarily made out and arbitrarily applied. Consequently a mode of teaching is likely to attract their attention, and too often their opposition, in proportion as it is new. It signifies to them no more than the gestures of an enthusiastic orator signify to those who are beyond the reach of his voice.
A right mode of teaching lies back of all forms, and can never be discovered by an exclusive study of forms.
All intelligent teaching must have for its object one of two ends : knowledge, or development. In either case the method of teaching should be the same; for knowledge and development are both the results of mental activity, and right mental activity is occasioned by right teaching. Education is development; and we may consider that teaching has no other end to look for than development, as that teaching which occasions the most perfect development, will also occasion the most perfect knowledge.
A mode of teaching must be a plan formed from a knowledge of the laws of mental development. We must know the occasions of mental activity, and the way in which these occasions should be presented.
A right mode of teaching, then, will be a plan for presenting occasions to the mind, so as to excite its activity in accordance with the laws that control its development. A mode of teaching is not to be constructed out of the relations that external things hold to one another, but it is to be sought in the mind itself. — Mr. Dickinson's Annual Report of the Westfield Normal School.
Laden with grain, and singing “Harvest-home" ?
Editor's Department. ·
It has not been possible for the Secretary of the State Association to prepare his official report of the annual meeting at Springfield in season for this number. It will appear, together with our editorial remarks thereupon, and especially upon so much of the proceedings as related to the editorial management of this journal, in our December number.
Another “ Cambridge Whipping Case.” – Newspaper reporters have been endeavoring to get up another sensation over the cruelties inflicted by Cambridge teachers. We even heard one rumor that a child had been so cruelly beaten tha. its life was despaired of. We are in the best possible position for stating that the real injury amounted to a large black-and-blue spot, and the case is so illustrative of what is going on in many other places, that, though a local matter, we think some account of it will not be out of place in our pages.
The case was brought before the Police Court by the medical gentleman who made himself so prominent in the previous one, and whose spirit may be judged by the fact that he declared to the judge in public and in the presence of a member of the Cambridge School Committee, to wit ourself, that it was not the teacher, but the Cambridge School Committee who were really to be arraigned. When His Honor, Judge Ladd, refused to entertain the complaint until the School Committee had taken action in the matter, and expressed a wish that the father of the child should enter the complaint if one should afterwards be made, the father, an Irish laborer, stated that he was very busy, and declined to appear, saying that he hoped the child's mother would be sufficient.
The school in which the punisbment was inflicted is filled with Irish children of the roughest class, and has recently been — through no fault of the School Committee, but through the failure of the City Government to provide suitable accommodations - not so much a School as a Bedlam. Two teachers having failed in it, the lady in question was procured by one of the two gentlemen on the Cambridge School Board who are most opposed to corporal punishment, in consequence of her reputation for skill in managing such cases. She is a lady who is respected by all who know her, and is a very successful teacher. The child had been behaving very outrageously, and the ruler with which the punishment was inflicted was too thin to do more than make a black-and-blue spot. Nevertheless the Committee declined to confirm the teacher's appointment, adjudging that the punishment was too severe, and had been inflicted hastily and improperly, though there was no evidence that the teacher had lost her temper, and much evidence that she was succeeding in bringing order out of chaos. When the case again came up before the Police Court, the Judge stated to the gentleman above alluded to, that he should be obliged to entertain a complaint if one were made, but that under the circumstances, he thought it would look very much like perse
cution. We think — and we took occasion to express the same opinion to that gentleman - that if he had pressed it, either in his own or in the parents' name, the indignation which he is making such efforts to arouse against the teachers and the School Committee of Cambridge, would have been very strongly turned against himself.
In view of such cases as this, we do think that teachers as a profession - and of that profession we are proud to consider ourself a member — should make themselves distinctly and unmistakably heard, and should claim at least that impartial treatment from their fellow citizens which is granted to every one else. While Cambridge continues to accommodate her schools in old vestries where little children are placed on settees made for grown persons, in attics in which the teachers' can only stand upright in the middle of the room, in old buildings, dangerous because mechanical operations are going on below, she cannot long expect good teachers to enter such schools at the risk of being dragged before the Police Court if they try to do their duty.
A Move in the right Direction.—The citizens of Watertown interested in the cause of education, were invited to meet Monday evening, July 1st, at the High School House, to help inaugurate a new library to be devoted to the use of the teachers of the town and also of those who propose to teach. The meeting was organized by the choice of the Rev. John Weiss as Chairman, and Solon F. Whitney as Secretary.
The Chairman explained that the object of the meeting was to accept the books which had so generously been provided for the benefit of the teachers, and to hear some explanations of their subjects and merits. Too many young teachers went into our public schools relying upon natural smartness, to carry them successfully through the great work of forming minds. They only cared to prepare themselves enough for each day, to keep a little ahead of their classes, and be able to answer all possible questions. But the work of education can be only done by minds that are well drilled in methods and subjects. The intelligence must be submitted to discipline in each department, and also in a field wider than the school programme, that the teacher may feel very superior to the routine of each day, see through and through it, and carry it on in an enlightened way. The well equipped mind will discover the best methods of teaching in every case. Good teaching could not prevail in our schools until the teachers undertake larger schemes of study for their own improvement, by coming into contact with the best books in every department, and by those which are full of suggestion of the best courses to pursue. Such books were provided in this Teachers' Library. It was now small, but it must be nourished and made as perfect an instrument as possible. The town was indebted to Mr. Joseph Bird for this valuable gift. He did the work, collected the money, procured the best list from gentlemen distinguished in the work of education, purchased the books, and now he placed them before the meeting. The Chairman called upon Mr. Bird to speak more particularly upon the books and their subjects.
Mr. Bird stated the conditions of the gift, which were that the library was to