other educational journal in the country—will be strengthened by the addition of several other eminent writers in this and other States. As an earnest of this we announce that the January and February numbers will, one or both, contain articles from the pens of Hon. E. D. MANSFIELD, President ANDREWS, of Marietta College, W. H. VENABLE and S. A. Norton, of Cincinnati, T. W. Harvey, of Painesville, WM. Slocum, Esq., of Rochester, N. Y., and Prof. Wm. F. PHELPs, Principal of the Minnesota State Normal School. These and other contributors of like ability will discuss, in a thorough and practical manner, the live educational questions of the day-questions of practical interest to all who are engaged in school instruction or management.

Since the great majority of our readers are about equally divided between the teachers of graded schools, teachers of ungraded schools, and school officers, we shall strive, as heretofore, to adapt our pages to the respective wants and circumstances of each of these classes. To this end we earnestly solicit contributions from all who have good counsel or practical suggestions to offer. We wish brief and pointed articles. Those who have neither the time nor the disposition to write are requested to suggest topics which they would like to see discussed. Our desire is to make these pages bear directly and effectively on the practical duties of teachers and school officers of all grades.

We hope to devote still more editorial space to professional topics. We have articles on primary instruction and the teaching of geography and reading well in mind, and we expect to prepare them early in the year. The series of articles on “Theory and Practice" will be resumed.

In brief, the next volume of the MONTHLY will be as much better than the present as our increased experience and facilities can make it. And now, dear reader, what are you willing to do to widen its opportunities for usefulness?. We are in the midst of a wide educational revival. Thousands of teachers and school officers are earnestly inquiring for better methods and measures, and, as a result of this professional awakening, there is an increasing demand for educational works. An earnest effort on the part of the friends of the MONTHLY would double its circulation. Is it not worthy of such effort ?

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We fully agree with Mr. Venable, that the true design of an object lesson is to exercise the acquiring faculties, and not to impart a knowledge of special facts. Interrogate every principle of the method, and the answer is, that training, not information, is its great end. But how is this mental training to be secured ? Manifestly by making every step of the object lesson conform to the natural process of mental evolution.

Just here, we take it, is the secret of the ill success of object lessons in many of our schools. The teacher failing to comprehend the true object of the method, or ignorant of its guiding principles, permits the lessons to degenerate into miscellaneous, hap-hazard talks about certain objects, in which every fundamental law of mental training is ignored. In some cases the teacher may have a nebulous idea that the real object of his performance is to develop something-perceptive faculties, powers of observation, or some like subtilty that dodges his comprehension-but development is not his forte. His entire work in the school-room has for its end the imparting of information; his daily instruction is one round of fact-cramming, or, more properly, word-cramming. In his hands the object lesson falls inevitably into the same ruts, or, it may be, becomes a sort of patent method for stuffing the memories of children with the facts, generalizations, and technicalities of the physical sciences.

We are tempted by these observations to point out two conditions on which, as it seems to us, the success of object lessons as a separate exercise in our schools, depends :

1. Our entire system of primary instruction must be based on the principles of object teaching. So long as primary instruction remains in the old ruts, so long as we teach elementary arithmetic, geography, reading, etc., in direct violation of every principle that underlies true mental development, we need not look for special lessons on objects to be successful. They will either be abandoned, or, if continued, will be subverted from their true function. Object lessons, technically so-called, are only one of the branches or channels of primary teaching, and it is idle to expect instruction in this channel to flow in a direction directly opposite to that in the other channels. What is needed is the turning of primary instruction as a whole in the right direction. It is not object lessons alone that can effect the needed reform, but the adoption of a truly philosophical system of primary instruction—a system in which method stands before matter, the how before the what, training before knowledge.

2. Teachers must be instructed in the principles as well as in the methods of object teaching. All experience shows that the carrying out of a philosophical system of education requires a mastery of its guiding principles. A mechanical routine of instruction may be directed by a mere lesson-hearerall that is requisite is to turn the crank and tighten the screws; but a system of instruction that has for its grand end the right unfolding and training of the mental powers, must be intelligently and skillfully employed. “The mistress of a dame-school,” says Herbert Spencer, " can hear spelling-lessons; any hedge-schoolmaster can drill boys in the multiplication-table; but to teach spelling rightly by using the powers of the letters instead of their names, or to instruct in numerical combinations by experimental synthesis, a modicum of understanding is needful: and to pursue a like rational course throughout the entire range of studies, asks an amount of judgment, of invention, of intellectual sympathy, of analytical faculty, which we shall never see applied to it while the tutorial office is held in such small esteem. The true education is practicable only to the true philosopher.” This is the true doctrine. The primary teacher must be trained not only in methods, but in their philosophy. She must be an artist, not a mere operative. Her office is to develop mind, and, to this end, she must know the law of its development and the kind of exercise required at each step of its progress. She must see the adaptation of each means to its special end—must be able, in short, to adapt her method to its varying conditions. Mechanism here will not answer; and the most soulless of mechanisms is a philosophic method of instruction in the hands of a



lind, plodding routinist. We have seen object lessons which were more mehanical, if possible, than the ordinary book lessons of the schools. The allmportant agency for reforming primary instruction is the thorough training of teachers.

We believe that the two conditions above specified are essential to complete uccess in object teaching, even in the direction of object lessons. The system nust be made as wide as primary instruction, and it must be directed by skillal, trained teachers. Still we would not discourage the attempt to impart intruction respecting common objects, even though the teacher may not have aastered the principles of object teaching. Such lessons will break the aonotony of the usual routine and awaken interest, if they should serve no ther useful purpose. We would specially urge that each object lesson be nade a practical drill in sentence-making-in composition. It is not enough hat the child be taught to observe; he must also be trained to express the esults of his observations in good language. Moreover, the written exercise

a tangible result of an object lesson, and as such will give direction and nethod to the teacher's instruction. Thus, by uniting object lessons and comosition, by making the one the gateway to the other, at least a two-fold good s attained.

N. B. We use the term object teaching, not as limited to "object lessons,” ut in the wider sense of a complete method of primary instruction—the natual method first sketched by Comenius, and afterward perfected and applied by 'estalozzi. Object teaching, as thus used (for the want of a better term), inludes the whole of the system of which object lessons are only a part.


It is unquestionably true that one of the most serious obstacles to school rogress is public indifference. An active public interest in the improvement four schools would result in the election of more competent school officers, le employment of better teachers at more adequate wages, the introduction of iser methods of instruction, a more regular attendance of pupils, and, gen:ally, in better schools. But how is this public interest in school progress to 7 aroused and maintained ? This is the important question. We answery inaugurating school progress. So long as teachers are content to trudge long in the old ruts, they need not expect the public to invite them to take ew paths. A public appreciation of better methods of teaching is to be cured by making the public practically familiar with such methods. Com. etent teachers must create a demand for competent teachers; good schools, ir good schools. This is the great educational law. Public sentiment does ot rise higher than its source on any subject. The great need of our schools -that which transcends all other needs in importance—is wiser, truer, better achers. “The great agent for carrying the benign work of reform to our hools,” wrote Horace Mann, " must be the teacher himself." This is the

true doctrine. In the work of school reform, we must have good teachers if we have nothing else, and we must have good teachers if we have every thing else. Progress must begin here. The teacher must carry into the school-room a practical knowledge of better methods of teaching, truer and nobler ideas of his work, and a more earnest consecration to his high calling. Hence it is, that central among the agencies for the improvement of schools are those which directly reach the teacher, which seek to endow him with fullness of qualification.

Of these agencies two stand preëminent, viz: efficient normal instruction and thorough, efficient supervision. The first is the more central and vital, but the latter may be made potent and fruitful. Indeed, the chief office of school supervision is the guidance and instruction of teachers in their daily duties. We have little confidence in school supervision, either state, county, or city, that exhausts itself on that which lies outside of the school-roomwhether this be the external mechanism of the system or public sentiment Supervision must enter the schools; it must introduce better classification and system; it must bring to teachers correct principles and methods of teaching and government; it must test the results of their labors, and inspire them with higher aims and purposes. Truly, there is a great work to be done outside of the schools--school officers need to be instructed and counseled, school patrons to be stimulated and enlightened, and a deeper public interest in the schools must be incited. But what we urge is, that this work can not well be accomplished while the teacher is left plodding in the ruts of a dull routine. Reform must begin in the school-room, and from thence go out and vitalize external agencies and conditions.

We have presented these thoughts as the basis of a practical suggestion. The educators of the State are about to renew their efforts to secure the

pass. age of a law creating the office of county school superintendent. Now what is needed, let it be remembered, is not simply the office but competent officersmen qualified to instruct, inspire, and lead teachers, as well as to collect statistics and attend to outside matters. Let us have an efficient system of supervision or none. It will be wiser to wait until we can secure the enactment of a good law than to inaugurate a vicious system with the hope of modifying and improving it.

The bill defeated in the last Legislature, though faulty in some of its features, contained three provisions which we regard as highly important, if not essential: 1. It entrusted the appointment of the superintendent to the representatives of the several local school boards. 2. It required the appointee to hold or secure a certificate of qualification from a competent examining board. 3. It fixed the salary sufficiently high to command at least moderate ability and experience. These or similar provisions are necessary to guard the office against unworthy aspirants. We may not be able to remove the appointment of superintendent wholly from political influence, but it would certainly be a great mistake to place it under the direct control of the political caucus.



To the person sending us the largest number of subscribers in the months of December, January, and February, we will present a copy of Webster's New Dictionary-retail price, $12. The last premium of this kind offered by us, was awarded to Mr. F. M. Ginn, Fremont, O., who sent us forty-five subscribers. We would also call attention to the other premiums announced in our prospectus.

Our supply of October and November numbers is exhausted, and we are obliged to let all new subscribers begin with January. We send the December number gratis to all whose subscriptions to the next volume were received prior to December 1st. We can still supply the first six' numbers (January to June inclusive) of the current volume. They will be sent, postpaid, for fifty cents.

INSTRUCTION IN LANGUAGE.-A prominent school superintendent in Indiana writes : “ I like to say of a single educational article that it is worth the price of the volume to the subscriber. I can say this of your article on Instruction in Language.' The pamphlet containing this article and the subsequent ones on oral grammar, may be secured by addressing this office. We will send by mail, prepaid, as follows; One copy, 10 cents; 15 copies, $1.00; 50 copies, $3.00.

DRAWING.–The Western Star, published at Lebanon, O., lately contained an editorial suggesting that teachers should be required to pass an examination in drawing. In support of this position it was justly urged that the study is on of great practical importance, and that there are pupils in all our schools who can profitably engage in the exercise. We quote:

“Several considerations demand its speedy introduction into all our schools. It may be pursued profitably by young children. Any child old enough to commence learning to write, is old enough to commence the study of drawing. It is the opinion of those who have seen the results of the study of drawing, that one-half the time now devoted to writing spent in the practice of drawing under a skillful instructor would result in considerable skill in the art of drawing, while the training, the hand would receive, would make the pupil a better penman than he now generally becomes without the drawing exercises. But drawing is an exercise for the mind as well as for the hand. It is one of the best means of developing the perceptive faculties. The study of drawing has been called the art of learning to see. Its study and practice lead to the habit of close observation. The artist sees more than other men in looking at the simplest object in nature."

MILITARY EDUCATION IN COLLEGES.—The Secretary of War, last April, designated Major J. H. Whittlesey, a retired officer of the army, to visit West Point and various colleges, with a view to seeing if it would be practicable to introduce a system of military instruction into our principal colleges. We learn from the Washington correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette that Major Whittlesey has concluded his labor and made his report, which will soon be laid before Congress by General Grant. Major Whittlesey proposes to authorize the President to locate, at certaiu colleges, selected by the several State Legislatures, two military teachers from the army. College graduates who shall have distinguished themselves in military matters, are to have their names put into the army register, and one from each college is to be commissioned, each year, as West Point graduates are. Provision is made for encouraging a disposition among army officers to fit themselves for military professors. All military students are to have their books and camp equipage free. A director general of military education is to be appointed, with the rank and pay of a brigadier general.

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