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Chase, of Lowell ; Caleb Emery, of Boston ; M. P. Case, of Salem; A. P. Stone, of Millbury; Richard Edwards, of Salem; and Wm. L. Gage, of Boston. These names, in connection with that of Prof. Crosby, are, it is believed, a sufficient guaranty that the Editorial Department of the “ Teacher" will be ably conducted; and, to say the least, will not be inferior to that of any Educational Journal in the country.
The “ Teacher” will take a wider range in the educational field than it has heretofore taken. While no department of instruction, from the primary to the most advanced, will be neglected, and no pains will be spared to make it of practical value to every grade of teachers, parental duties, and educational topics which interest the community at large, will receive due attention. It is believed that, under the new arrangement, the “ Teacher" will not fail to be a valuable aid to all who are in any way concerned in the great work of Education.
Its size will be increased from thirty-two to forty-eight pages. It will be printed on new type, and on superior paper. A portion of each number will also be printed upon smaller type, so that the amount of matter will be nearly doubled. The Directors are determined to do all in their power to improve it in all its departments, and to render it a source of intellectual profit and honorable pride to every teacher and friend of education in Massachusetts. The subscription price will, however, notwithstanding the greatly increased expense of its publication, remain the same as heretofore, viz: one dollar per annum, in advance.
The Educational Advertisements in the “ Teacher,” (for which it is now becoming so important a medium,) will give it increased value to Teachers and School Committees ; especially, as these advertisements will never be allowed to encroach upon the forty-eight pages properly belonging to each number.
New arrangements have been made with Mr. Coolidge, the Publisher. It was thought advisable for the Association to own the “ Teacher," in order that the receipts above the necessary expenses might be applied to increasing its usefulness. Mr. Coolidge, willing to meet the wishes of the Association, has placed the periodical wholly in its possession. These new arrangements subject the Association to some pecuniary responsibility, - a responsibility no greater, however, than can be easily met, if the friends of Education are willing to render what aid they can in procuring subscriptions to the work. The Directors feel that they may with propriety appeal to every Teacher in the State to become a subscriber. The “ Massachusetts Teacher" is now in all respects the property and organ of the Teachers of the Commonwealth, — to be always under their control, through agents of their own choice. Its interests are their interests ; its success cannot fail to promote their success.
To every member of the great body of Instructors in this honored State, the Directors would earnestly and confidently address the question, Will you not do, and promptly do, all you can, by your own subscription and by procuring the subscriptions of others, and by your contributions to its literary department, to advance the prosperity of our Journal, and thereby increase the usefulness, respectability, and emoluments of the profession to which you belong? It is also hoped that members of School Committees, and other friends of popular instruction, will be induced to give it their cordial support.
With this statement of the proposed improvements in the “ Massachusetts Teacher,” and this brief appeal to those for whose advantage it has been established, the Directors of the Association look with confidence for the efficient cooperation of all whom they address; and they indulge the hope that the efforts they are now making to produce an Educational Journal worthy of the State whose name it bears, will be crowned with success. There will, of necessity, be
some delay in issuing the January number, but no pains will be spared, in order that subsequent numbers may appear promptly on the first of each month. Subscriptions are to be sent to Samuel Coolidge, Publishing Agent, No. 16 Devonshire street, Boston.
In behalf of the Directors,
D. B. HAGAR, President of the Massachusetts Teachers' Association. GEORGE ALLEN, JR., Boston, John KNEELAND, Roxbury,
Local and Chas. J. CAPEN, Boston, Financial Committee. Wm. L. GAGE,
Boston, December 29th, 1855.
no The January number will be sent to some gentlemen who are not now subscribers, but who, it is believed from their interest in the cause of Education, will wish to give the work their support. Should any of these prefer not to become subscribers, they are requested to signify this at once by returning the number to the Publisher, so that the February number may not be sent to them. All Postmasters are requested to act as Agents for the work.
JOURNAL OF HOME AND SCHOOL EDUCATION.
SUPERVISION OF SCHOOLS.
A PRIZE ESSAY, BY DANIEL MANSFIELD,
PRINCIPAL OF THE WASHINGTON SCHOOL, CAMBRIDGE.
It is often a matter of complaint among teachers that they are subjected to a supervision unknown to the other professions ; and that this supervision is sometimes rendered doubly odious by the inexperience, not to say positive ignorance, of those placed over them. That there is too much ground for this complaint cannot be denied. School committees are frequently chosen without any regard to their fitness for the office; and when this is not the case, when the best men that can be found are selected to preside over the interests of our schools, it is not presuming much to say that they are but poorly qualified to instruct professional teachers in regard to the peculiar duties of their calling. When, therefore, a committee man assumes the direction of the internal and minor arrangements of a school, the teacher has a right to complain of such conduct as an unwarrantable interference in matters that should be left entirely to his own control.
But a supervision of some kind is a necessity in the system of public school instruction. As we have already intimated, teachers are inclined to claim the same freedom in the management of their schools, and the same exemption from oversight as are enjoyed by the members of the other professions. But there is a marked difference in the two cases, which is frequently kept out of view. When a man is dissatisfied with his physician or lawyer, he has only to dismiss him and seek the services of another. He has no one to consult, and there is no one to object. It is simply following the course of trade ; a person buys where in his judgment he can obtain the cheapest and the best. It is true, that, for obvious reasons, the State has prescribed certain conditions before a man may practise medicine or the law. But a certificate once given, the candidate is entirely free from all direction and control. In one important respect, we grant, the advantage is with the members of the other professions. They are examined and receive their certificates from men who are supposed, at least, to know as much about their profession as the candidates themselves. This is as it should be. And so it may be, and so it should be, with the teacher. And we hope soon to see the time when the system of examination, as now practised, (or rather the ridiculous farce, as it might sometimes be called,) shall be entirely done away with ; when the teacher shall be examined by his peers, and when their approval shall give him authority to teach any where in the State at least, where his services may be required. But here the analogy fails. The private teacher, it is true, may establish himself wherever he pleases, subject to no examination and without let or hindrance from any one. But it is the system of public instruction to which our subject applies, and of which we propose to treat; and we repeat, that a supervision of some kind is a necessity of the system itself.
In every city and town, schools are to be located, graded, and organized. Who shall determine the ages and qualifications for admission? Who shall decide upon the hours for the commencement and close of school, the holidays and vacations, and the length of the terms ? Teachers are to be provided; who shall select the best from the multitude presented, fix their compensation and prescribe their duties? A course of study is to be marked out, and books are to be selected for all the different branches pursued in school. These and many other duties are to be performed by some one; who shall it be?
The teacher is evidently the best qualified to give an intelligent opinion upon all matters pertaining to his profession; but in many particulars he is directly interested, and while, therefore, it is proper for him to advise, it would be very impolitic for him to decide. In the laying out of a course of study, and especially in the selection of books, the judgment of an experienced teacher is worth much more than that of