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youth in each district shall become experimentally acquainted with those useful sciences, and with their application to daily exigencies. Though this undertaking is of vast importance in its tendencies, it is unquestionably practicable. Should it succeed, it must necessarily improve the state of society more than any other scheme hitherto proposed. When the human mind receives a bias in favor of the study of nature, it is immediately withdrawn from all vicious and frivolous pursuits. No one will question the correctness of the often repeated saying, tiiat" the next step to the contemplation of Nature, is that of Nature's God." Samuel Hluti hford, President; Amos Eaton, Lewis C. Beck, Professors. Rensselaer School, Troy, N. Y. June 17, 1826.—Geneva(Msette.
GYMNASIUM IN BOSTON. This valuable acquisition to the city is now open; and, from the large number of pupils of various ages, and the high gratification it seems to afford, it promises to meet if not suipass the expectations formed of its usefulness.
WORKS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. Elements of Moral Philosophy: comprising the Theory of Morals and Practical Ethics. By John L. Parkhurst. Concord, N. H. 1825. 12tno. pp. 257. This work is written with much of the zeal of one who regards the christian revelation as the source of all pure morality, and who wishes to make ethics the avenue to truth as exhibited in the scriptmes. The whole character of the work is well adapted to this purpose: it is familiar and unassuming in thought and language, and simple and intelligible in a- arrangement. The author's intentions are highly laudable; hut his success would have been greater, we think, had his mind previously undergone a more rigid discipline on the elements of intellectual philosophy—the basis of the science on which he treats. His work is now a very good popular essay on the subject of moral philosophy; but it might have been made something more: it might have been rendered a work of philosophic rank and merit. As a reading book for families and schools, the Elements will be very useful in the way of enlarging and improving the mind, and placing the duties of life on an elevated basis. The chapter on Emulation and Ambition will, we hope, do much good among teachers. It speaks plainly on the evils arising from emulation, and the attempts commonly made in schools and other seminaries, to clothe it in the garb of an angel of light, while in reality it is only a specious modification of selfishness.—In this part of Mr. I'arkhurst's work, however, there would have been more clearness and more directness, had he set out with discriminating between emulation, and that virtuous desire of meriting approbation, which mingles love and respect for others with all movements of the mind which revert to self. That the desire of approbation is a pure principle of action, which may be successfully transferred to the aid of instruction, needs no demonstration to those who remember that it enters into the impulse to duty towards parents, and benefactors, and the Supreme Being himself. And every teacher who cultivates it attentively and judiciously, will find it much more generally applicable, and more productive, too, of good results, than the selfish principle of emulation.
On the whole this work U ooe which may do extensive good,—a bjgber praise than could have been merited by a work of more distinguished intellectual rank, but of a less decidedly religious character. The Juvenile Philosopher; or Youth's Manual of Philosophy. In four parts: Parti. Natural Philosophy. Prtrt II. Astronomy. Part III. Chemistry. Part IV. Physiology. Second revised edition. Enlarged, and adapted to the use of Schools and Juvenile Readers. Geneva, N. Y. 1826. 18mo. pp. 372.
4 As a school book the Juvenile Philosopher was not intended to supersede any work of real merit,%ut rather to supply a supposed deficiency; to furnish schools with a convenient and cheap manual relating to the elements of natural ttitnce— subjects too much neglected in the education of youth. That these subjects ought to be more generally studied, must be evident to all who consider the peculiar aptitude of most children and youth to examine the objects of nature, and investigate her operations; who consider the importance of early habituating youth, not only to be accurate observers of facts, but also to reflect on what they obsene; to reason and judge correctly; to draw useful conclusions and derive salutary impressions from their observations : when it is also considered how many, for want of seasonable instruction, grow to manhood ignorant of the names, properli<-s and uses of some of the most familiar and useful objects in creation—ignorant of the structure of minerals, plants, animals, and of their own persons; and remain through life incapable of discoursing, in appropriate terms, of these subjects.' The object of this school book is an excellent one; and its execution is very creditable both to the compiler and the publishers. A dictionary embracing the scientific terms used in the work, and the addition of marginal questions, would, we think, be serviceable in a future edition. In the meantime, the pupil's dependence for these advantages must be on his teacher; who should furnish, as far as practicable, the illustrations which such a text-book requires, not merely in the way of oral explanation, but by performing as many as possible of the experiments, or by aiding the pupils in their attempts at the same thing. The latter method will be found more entertaining to the pupils, and not less useful; whilst it will save time to the instructer. The Juvenile Philosopher is entitled, we think, to a place in every school; as it furnishes an uncommon quantity of that kind of knowledge which is useful in all situations in life. Geography for Beginners : or the Instructor's Assistant in giving First Lessons from Maps, in the style of Familiar Conversation. Accompanied with an Atlas. Being intended as the first, or Introductory Book, to a series of Geographical Works, by William C. Woodbridge, and Emma Willard; of which, the second book is entitled ' The Rudiments of Geography,' the third book, 'Universal Geography.' By Emma Willard, Principal of Troy Female Seminary. Hariford, 1826. 18mo. pp. 110. This is a fair attempt at rational, intelligible, and practical instruction. Very young children may here acquire some just and accurate notions—not of the magnitude or distance of the sun or of Herschel, but of the more remarkable and interesting features of the topography of their vicinity, and the geography of their own country; from which they proceed lo Ihat of foreign regions, comparing, as they go on, every object that is laid before them in the book, with something within the range of their own observation. This little work, in the hands of an intelligent mother or primary teacher, may put a child in possession of more useful information than is to be Ibund in most of the larger geographies ;—not that it offers such a multitude of facts, but that it
streets the familiar, the intelligible, the important,—those which will make practical readers, practical thinkers, and useful agents on the stage of actual life. But we would rather have the writer speak for herself.
1 Authors have heretofore appeared to think that if they wrote a geography, they must make out an entire system. A book for children must be small, and hence they have stated more and more in generals, as they have gone downwards in the scale of age. This course appears to me the reverse of that which the structure of the mind requires. The author here only begins to teach the science. She has been desirous that the child should understand as he goes, rather than that he should go far. To accomplish the object of making the pupils understand the subject, the author has here entirely departed from the common arrangement. Instead of commencing the study of maps with the map of the world, which is much the most difficult for a child to understand, the pupil here begins, in the most simple manner imaginable, to draw the map of his own town. From this he goes to a map of the United states, merely containing the boundaries of the states, then to one on the common plan, and last in the course he takes the map of the world; omitting till this time the subject of latitude and longitude. The author having found the subject of latitude the most difficult part of her task, has devoted a considerable portion of her work to it; but no more than in her opinion is required by the difficulty and importance of this ground work of the whole science, she has left the subjects of religion, government, &c. entirely untouched. This work is large enough to begin with. A child of good abilities, with the opportunities of instruction afforded by a common school, will do well to learn it thoroughly in a year; and by this time his book will be worn out, and one of a new kind, like the second part of this system, will please him better. A few pages might be added, giving a short general view of these subjects. These pages, a child might, indeed, commit to memory, but, conveying no adequate ideas to his mind, they would, in the estimation of the author, be much worse than nothing. They would give to the child the bad habit of using without inquiry, words of whose import he is ignorant. The general tendency of these passages would be to give him a disgust for study; the particular effect, as regards the subjects thus treated, would be to make him suppose that he had gained what he still needed to acquire, while it took away the zest of novelty. The author has here adopted a method of comparing and classifying, which, so far as her knowledge extends, is new and original. In this work, no principle, stated as important in a former one, is abandoned; but the system is supposed to be simplified, and therefore improved. Taking from our own country a standard by which to measure objects belonging to other countries, is, as the author believes, the order in which the mind naturally proceeds. We always reckon the unknown from the known. Another advantage in the classifications on this plan is, that one single number is the key to a whole subject, and this key can give the absolute as well as the comparative size. For example, the number 4 placed near a river, indicates that the river is 4 times the length of Connecticut river. The length of that river being reckoned at 400 miles, we have at once the real as well as the comparative length of the river. On this plan, the numbers on the map express a direct, but on our former plan, an inverse, ratio. That is, in the rase of rivers, on the plan here adopted, the larger the river, the larger the number placed near it; on the other system, the larger the rivers the smaller the number.'
Mrs. Willard is, we presume, extensively known to our readers as a lady of distinguished ability and uncommon experience in this department of instruction, she has labored sue ccssfuily in the higher branches of education; but her present effort possesses an originality of plan, and philosophic justness of conception regarding the objects of education, and the culture of the infant mind, which will neither be found less acceptable nor less useful, that they have been devoted to an elementary department of common instruction. The editor of this Journal has, in common with others, been deemed sanguine in the persuasion that geography and history can be taught in the matter of fact way be hai so often inculcated. Here is a fair opportunity of bringing his me thod to the test. Let attentive parents try the use ol tins little work with their children, at home, and ascertain whether geography can be taught in a purely practical and popular way iu the very first stages of education.
In one point of view, the Geography for Beginners must be useful to all instructor? of young children: it gives full and simple and pleasing explanations of maps; and whatever may be the merits of the theory of education on which it is founded, it cannot fail to be very serviceable to the class of learners it is meant to instruct. An Epitome of Geography, with an Atlas. By J. E. Worcester. Boston, 1826. )8mo.
Instructers who have made use of this author's Elements of Geography, hare hitherto taught their younger scholars from a compendium written by a different author and on a different plan. This jarring in the stages of instruction is a serious disadvantage to the young as their minds are neither sufficiently comprehensive nor well furnished to make due allowances or reconcile apparent contradictions. That the Epitome will be found thoroughly accurate in details the character of Mr. Worcester is a sufficient pledge: it is likely to prove highly interesting as well as instructive to young learners; and we hope that it will be speedily introduced in all common schools. Many of the current abridgements of geography are finely adapted, in many respects, to intelligible and practical instruction; but do not contain the quantity nor the accuracy of information, which might reasonably be expected, even in common schools. Mr. Worcester's little book will be found valuable in this respect from its comprehensiveness, and the judgement exercised in selection. We would mention as particularly entitled to commendation the neat and systematic Tables contained in the Atlas. The author's views and plan in this work, however, will be rendered more distinct by his own statements in the preface.
'The work entitled Elements of Geography, Ancient and Modern, by the author of this Epitome, is adapted to the u.-e of academies and the higher schools, and to pupils somewhat advanced in their education, and it has accordingly been adopted by several colleges among the books which are required to be studied before entering on a collegiatec ourse.
The object of the author in preparing this Epitome has been to furnish a manual adapted to the use of pupils of an early ag>', who" may afterwards study the larger work, and also to a numerous class of young persons ol both sexes, whose means of education are too limited to admit of their studying thoroughly, while at school, a more extended treatise.' The Epitome it will be perceived therefore is intended for a different class of learners from that for which Mrs. Willard's is prepared. The former is designed for young learners of the common age for commencing the study of geography, but the latter may be used with children just leaving the stage of infancy. The Franklin Primer, or Lessons in Spelling and Reading, adapted to the understanding of Children ; composed and published by a Committee, appointed for the purpose by the School Convention of Franklin county, May 25, 1826. Greenfield, Massachusetts. 18mo. pp. 36. Amidst the indications of approaching legislative measures for elevating the standard of instruction in common schools, it is gratifying to observe the spirit of improvement at work in narrower spheres, and a county convention of school committees taking the business of practical reformation into their own hands. This result is the more pleasing that it is in the instance under notice peculiarly successful. The method adopted in the Franklin Primer is simple and natural. We have here no useless columns of rare and hard words, which the scholar will hardly meet again in the course of a life time's reading. The book is arranged in lessons so as to present an analysis of every portion of reading exercise : this analysis conlists of all the words in a lesson placed over it in columns for spelling. The little reader thus enjoys the advantage of entering on his task with the previous preparation of having spelled and syllabled every word in his lesson; and should his memory fail in any word, he has only to revert to it, and recognise it in the spelling columns. This little book is one of the most ingenious improvements in this branch of initrurtion, that has hitherto been recorded in our journal. One step farther we would suggest to the able author of this Primer; (and it would, we must confess, be a wide deviation from the beaten track;) but from the ingenuity and skill displayed in his present production, we gather assurance that the suggestion will not be slighted by him
May not the order of nature be followed a little farther; and the 'composition' be made to precede the ' analysis'; so as to enable the child to commence with reading and descend to spelling? The infant does not learn to recognise a fret as such by studying first the roots, then the trunk, then the twigs, then the bark, then the leaves. His eye and his mind grasp the whole object, and do not descend to particulars till afterwards; he does not analyse till compelled to do so. To apply the principle involved in this illustration to the business of teaching the art of reading, is no new thing in some countries ; a,id in these this method has been found invariably successful. A fondness for system is now fast displaciog it; but the more modern plan neither teaches faster nor more thoroughly. We would not leave this highly meritorious production, without adverting to its excellent adaptation to the minds of very young children. All the reading lessons are simple, easy, intelligible and natural in their style; and they will prepare the little learner to read with an unassuming and lively manner, in works of a higher order. A Just Standard for pronouncing the English Language; containing the Rudiments of lire English Language, arranged in Catechetical Order; an Organisation of the Alphabet ; an easy Scheme of Spelling and Pronunciation intermixed with easy Reading Lessons: to which are added, some useful tables, with tbe names of cities, counties, towns, rivers, lakes, &c. in the United States; and a list of the proper names contained in the New Testament, and pronounced according to the best authorities. Designed to teach the Orthography and Orthoepy of J. Walker. By Lyman Cobb. Revised Edition. Ithaca: -1825 18mo. pp. 168. This Spelling Book has peculiar claims to attention. The appellation of a 'Just Standard' some teachers will hardly think due to a work which follows Walker so rigidly, in most words; while the advocates of Walker may point out inconsistent deviations from that orthoepist, such as e before r being represented as having the sound of u short, whilst i before r takes the sound of e in met. In orthography the upholding of antiquated final k, in spite of the decision of prevailing usage, may justly be objected to. Mr. Cobb, might, we think, have done a signal service to education, by publishing a corrected Walker's dictionary, or a vocabulary of doubtful and disputed words. He has evidently bestowed much attention on such subjects; and even his spelling book wears a formidable air of authority from the labor and research by which it is characterised. The Tables annexed to this volume, are uncommonly full and accurate. The whole work indeed is highly creditable to the author's intelligence and industry. For our own part, however, we confess we have no great partiality to spelling books, and think very favorably of the more recent pi .n of using only a primer and then an easy reading book of a simple and intelligible character; the little scholar making his own spelling book, by spelling every lesson he reads; and taking his pronouncing lessons from the Dictionary. Under the management of a