Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

To these school-buildings should be added

Farm-buildings, comprising all the arrangements necessary in cach climate for the shelter of the produce of the farm, and when necessary for its preparation for exportation ; for the housing of stock; for the dairy ; for the preparation of manures and of food for the cattle ; and for the shelter of agricultural machines and implements.

The industrial occupations of the scholars would be those of farm-servants.

In the field, the draining or irrigation of the land; ploughing, harrowing, and the preparation of the soil by various manures adapted to its chemical character; the sowing of the different crops with machines or by the hand; the expedients for preserving the seed thus sown; the weeding, hoeing, or drillploughing of the growing crop. The gathering in of the harvest would either be done solely by the labour of the scholars or with such assistance as might be required by the climate.

In the homestead, with a similar reservation, they would conduct the management of the stock, of the manures and composts; the housing of the crop, and its preparation for ex

, portation; and the economy of the dairy.

Besides these purely farm occupations, it would be well to have on the premises a wheelwright's and blacksmith's shop, in which they might learn to mend the carts, waggons, and farming machines and implements, to repair the farming premises, and to shoe the horses.

The domestic services of the household should have in view the establishment of religious exercises, such as could be properly continued in a farmer's family.

Besides a thorough instruction in the Holy Scriptures, the course of teaching would comprise the following subjects :

Probably the scholars on their admission into the school would be able to read and write with case. They should also learn English grammar, as previously explained in relation to the day-school.

They would proceed to acquire arithmetic, in connection with keeping accounts of the management of a farm, and with practice in all farming calculations. Mensuration, land-surveying and levelling, and plan-drawing would be taught, and their practical application constantly exemplified in the measurement of timber or of labourers' work; in estimates for drainage, irrigation, and other agricultural purposes; and in preparing plans from actual survey.

As soon as the rudiments of chemical knowledge were acquired, further instruction should proceed, in connection with the practical application of these elements, to the actual operations of the farm (all of which should be explained with their aid), and afterwards to practical illustrations which the farm itself did not afford.

The pupils should, by frequent practice, acquire expertness in the use of tests of the quality of soils.

The chief characteristics of soils should be understood, and their relation to different forms of vegetation, together with the expedients by which, under varying circumstances, soils naturally of a low degree of fertility may be cultivated, so as to produce abundant crops.

In like manner practical lessons should be given on the influence of various soils ; of different kinds of manure; of the natural influences of light, heat, rain, dew, night and day, and of the seasons on vegetable life ; on the effects of drainage, and of the various modes of working and of cultivating the soil, and managing different crops.

On such knowledge should be grounded instruction in the most improved methods of cropping a farm; the use of the best implements and machines; on composts and manures; and the best mode of procuring seeds.

Time would also probably be found to impart some acquaintance with veterinary medicine, as far, at least, as a general knowledge of the structure of the horse, cow, sheep, and other common domestic animals; of the methods of preparing their food; of the best means of preserving them in health by appropriate food, warmth, ventilation, and cleanliness; the precautions to be employed in peculiar localities and under special circumstances of climate.

Under the head of arts of construction falls the mode of planning farm-buildings so as to ensure an economy of labour with the utmost convenience and security; and with arrangements for promoting the health of the stock ; the best plans for constructing roofs ; the proper strength required for timbers of different bearings, and the best method of economizing materials, with a due regard to permanence of structure.

Wherever peculiar processes are required for the preparation of the crop for exportation, the object of them, whether inechanical or chemical, should be explained to the pupils.

Some knowledge of the laws of natural phenomena would enable them to comprehend the use of the thermometer, barometer, and other common instruments, and would free them from vulgar errors and popular superstitions.

The head master of the farming-school should be competent by experience and skill to superintend the farm, as well as to give the combined practical and theoretical agricultural knowledge of the course proposed to be taught.

He would require assistant-masters, according to the size of the school, to teach the rudiments, and thus prepare every class for his instruction. Each class should be taught in a separate room.

The assistant- masters would probably be promoted to these offices from the charge of day-schools of industry, and might there be deemed to be in training as candidates for the head mastership of farm-schools.

À matron or house-steward would manage all the domestic duties, with the aid of some servants.

It is not necessary here to repeat the general indications given respecting discipline, which have been set forth in relation to the day-school. The same principles are applicable to the model farm-school.

The course of study should extend, if possible, from the age of 14 or 15 to that of 18 or 19. There would not be the same need of apprentices in these schools as in the day-schools, because the scholars would be of a riper age, and might be more fitly intrusted, as monitors, with the superintendence of working parties. The whole of the instruction in classes would be conducted by the head master and his assistants.

The day-school of industry, and the model farm-school, having thus been described, it is now convenient to set forth the arrangements for the training of the masters of such schools.

The apprenticeship of scholars from 13 to 19 years of age in the day-school of industry must be regarded as a preliminary training in all the duties of the masters of such a school. It would be expedient that the pupil-teacher should be the child of parents who would set him a good example; that he should be bound by indentures which should specify his work, his remuneration, the knowledge he was to gain in each year under the instruction of the master; the nature of the annual examination which he should pass before some competent officer; the persons from whom certificates of conduct should be annually required; the test of his practical skill in gardening and fieldwork, and in the art of teaching and governing a class.

When the indenture was fulfilled, the pupil-teacher should be admitted to a competition of bursaries or exhibitions to the normal school, to be held annually. The most proficient, skilful, and best conducted should be selected for these rewards, and sent with a bursary, which would defray the chief part of the expense of their further training, to the normal school.

If the day-schools of industry were efficient, the residence in the normal school might be limited to a year or a year and a half; but if these schools were not in an efficient state, the period of training in the normal school would have to be proportionately extended.

The normal school would adjoin a model day-school of industry. The students of the normal school would thus have an opportunity of witnessing a good example of the management of such a day-school, and of acquiring the art of teaching. They would here improve the processes of instruction and the modes of discipline which they had acquired in schools of inferior efficiency, and make practical trial of the principles of school management, which would be taught in the normal school.

A principal master and assistant-masters in the proportion of one master to every 30 or 40 candidate-teachers would be required in the normal school.

All the subjects of instruction pursued, either in the model farm-schools or in the day-schools of industry, should be here resumed.

The masters should here lead the candidates through a systematic course of instruction on each subject, revising their previous acquirements; rendering them more precise, accurate, and rational; and developing them beyond the limits within which their future duties as teachers would be confined.

The group of subjects from which the pursuits of the candidates in the normal school might be selected can be more properly described than the exact limits to be placed on such studies in each colony.

The course of the normal school would comprise certain of the following subjects :

1. Biblical instruction and the Evidences of Christianity.
2. English Grammar and Composition.
3. English History.
4. Geography.
5. Chemistry, and its applications to Agriculture.
6. The Theory of Natural Phenomena in their relation

to Agriculture.
7. The rudiments of Mechanics.
8. Arithmetic and Book-keeping.
9. The art of Land Surveying and Levelling, and Prac-

tical Mensuration. 10. Drawing from Models and Plan Drawing. 11. The Theory and Practice of Agriculture and Gar

dening 12. The Management of Farming Stock, including the

Treatment of their Diseases. 13. The art of organizing and conducting an Elementary

School. 14. Vocal Music. It is unnecessary to enter into minute details as to the daily routine of the normal school : some general indication of principles only is required.

The principal object to be kept in view throughout the training of the apprentice and candidate-teacher is the formation of character.

The prolonged training in the day-school, followed by the residence in the normal school, cannot fail to make them acquainted with the details of the school-keeping, with the management of a garden, and the art of teaching a class.

As only the most advanced of the pupil-teachers would be selected for the normal school, the revision of their studies in that school would give them a considerable command of the elementary knowledge required in schools of industry. In these respects much confidence may be expressed as to the results of their training. The dispositions with which they approach their duties as schoolmasters and mistresses are still more important.

The discipline of the apprentice and student should afford no encouragement to the presumption and pedantry which often accompany, an education, necessarily incomplete, yet raised above the level of the class from which the pupil-teachers are taken; yet it should not be such as to weaken the spring of the natural energies, or to subdue the force of individual character. No form of training is less capable of establishing sound moral sentiments than that which exacts an unreasoning obedience. The discipline which thus subdues the will, makes the pupil fecbler for all virtuous actions.

To train the student in simplicity, humility, and truth, and at the same time to strengthen his mental powers, to inform his intelligence, to elevate his principles, and to invigorate his intellect, are the objects of his education.

On this account, the domestic life of the apprentice with his own parents, under the best influences of his own class in society, might, if his family were a religious household, usefully alternate with the discipline and duties of the day-school. He would understand, from experience, the wants, the cares, and hopes of the Jabouring class whose children he would have to educate. Instead of being repelled by their coarseness and poverty, and thus unfitted for daily contact with them, he would have a sympathy with their condition, which the training of the school would direct to proper objects. He ought to enter and to leave the training-school

, attracted by preference to the education of the labouring poor.

While in the day-school, the pupil-teacher would partake the common work of the garden, &c. This labour should be during some hours daily continued in the normal school. He should still feel that his origin and his future employment were in harmony.

With this view, his dress should have no distinction but that of greater simplicity and cleanliness. Any pretension beyond the ordinary peasant's dress, which his parents could provide, should be discouraged. He should strive to teach by his

« ForrigeFortsett »