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Work of the Sanitary Commission, VI. The Office and Influence of Clothes. VII. Governor Winthrop in New England. VIII. The Tyranny of the Majority. IX. Critical Notices. The articles on Daniel Webster, who is pronounced “one of the largest and one of the weakest of men,” and the Tyranny of the Majority are the most noticeable.
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION. Published quarterly by Henry Barnard, LL. D.
The December number completes the sixteenth volume of this unrivaled Educational Quarterly. The table of contents is as follows: I. American Educational Biography. II. Public Instruction in the Empire of Austria. III. Public Instruction in the State of California. IV. Public Instruction in Sweden. V. Study of the English Language. By Rev. Henry N. Day, DD. VI. Reformatory Institutions for Girls. VII & VIII. John Colet, and St. Paul's School, London. IX. Public Instruction in Italy. X. School Architecture-Illustrated. XI. State Teachers' Associations-New Jersey, Iowa, New Hampshire, Indiana, Maine and California.
The biographical sketches in this number include, under the head of Presidents of Ohio State Teachers' Association, those of Samuel Galloway, Isaac Sams, John Hancock, Joseph Ray, Lorin Andrews, LL. D., Israel W. Andrews, DD., E. E. White, Dr. A. D. Lord, and Thomas W. Harvey. It is illustrated with portraits of Senor D. F. Sarmiento, Gorham D. Abbot, Samuel Galloway, A. D. Lord, Joseph Ray, 1. W. Andrews, Isaiah Peckham, (N.J.), D. F. Wells, and 0. Faville, (Ia.), H. E. Sawyer, (N. H.), E. P. Weston, (Me.), and John Swett, (Cal.) The publisher announces that the next number will be issued on the 15th of March.
THE JUVENILE MAGAZINE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. An Illustrated Monthly. Published
by Hurd & Houghton, 459 Broome St., New York. Terms: $2,50 a year.
The first number of this new Juvenile Magazine has won the hearts of the young folks. While its beautiful cover, printed in colors, and attractive illustrations and typography please the eye, its instructive and genial literature satisfies the head and heart. It promises in short to be “a lively elder companion, in hearty sympathy with the best life of the young, and ready with an explanation of what comes within their experience, the things they see and hear, the words they use, and the remoter life which they hear about."
THE LITTLE CHIEF. Edited and published by W. W. Dowling and A. C. Shortridge,
We welcome this new friend of the little folks to a place at our fireside. It comes with a handsome face and merry heart, and brings words of wisdom and cheer. Among the editors and contributors we see the names of several personal friends who know how to please and profit the young. We trust the “Little Chief” will lead a grand army in the good fight against ignorance and wrong. See advertisement.
THE SCHOOL AND FIRESIDE. A Journal devoted to the Interests of Schools and Families. Published Semi-monthly, by Bradley & Gilbert, Louisville, Ky.
We have received the first number of this school paper, edited by Geo. S. Chase, of the Louisville High School. Although started to meet a local want we hope it may become a live and vigorous exponent of the school interests of the State at large. It is the only school journal published in the country that would refer to that arch-rebel, General Lee, as the truly great man whose sword was as gracefully laid aside when peace smiled, as it was gracefully and skillfully wielded while war raged.” Neutral !
The discussion on corporal punishment in the recent caucus at Cambridge, Mass., has been continued in many places, showing a wonderful diversity of opinion. The question, however, is but one of many that appertain to the discipline of the school, and can be considered to the best advantage by determining the principles which underlie the whole system of rewards and penalties.
Every Christian community admits that all government is from God. From Him authority is delegated to states, communities, and families. He holds out assurances of reward for well doing, and declares that the transgressor shall not go unpunished. The state avenges its violated laws by penalties more or less severe, and, in various ways, bestows its rewards upon faithful citizens. Its laws regard alike the weak and the strong, and thus restrict the parent from undue severity or excessive indulgence to his children. If the parent exceeds the privileges given him by common law, through cruelty in inflicting punishment; or by permitting vagrancy, the state may relieve him of the charge of his children. Within these limits the father is the executive and legislator of the family. He may be severe or lenient in his administration. He may govern solely by love, and win the affection as well as secure the obedience of his children by the exhibi. tion of unfailing kindness and watchful sympathy; or he may seek to punish their misdemeanors by harsh words, by deprivation of pleasures, or by severe castigation. Until excess is reached, he is sole judge of the needs and the extent of the penalties and rewards. He may delegate his authority to others, and give up either partial or entire control of his children by binding them as apprentices for a term of years, or for a given number of hours in each day. But as delegated authority can go no higher than its source, his delegate (the master or guardian) is also restrained from the excess denied the parent. The apprenticeship may be formal, and attested by legal forms, or implied and limited only by common usage. In like manner, the schoolmaster is the delegate of the parent, and, as such, has within the limits of his authority the same rights that the parent can have either to encourage or restrain those under his charge. Every parent who sends his child to school, gives his implied assent to the necessary discipline of the school, and binds his child by that act as though he were an apprentice to obey the rules of the institution or suffer the consequences. The authority of the teacher may differ both in time and degree from that of the parent. The teacher may have control over the pupil for certain specified hours; it may not enable him to restrain the pupil from haunts of vice, or from ill doing beyond those hours. His authority may have reference to deportment in school, and not out of it. The parent may prevent the child's attendance, but he may not interfere with the authority of the master when he has once delegated it. If the teacher exceeds his authority by cruelty, or by malicious treatment, the parent may obtain redress through the state. So far, then, as
, the right to punish is concerned, the teacher stands exactly in the place of the parent. No question has ever been raised of his right to reward his pupils as he sees fit; although it can not be doubted that excess has been frequently reached and unheeded in this direction.
Every school forms a little commonwealth with peculiar laws of its own.
These laws take their source in the general legislation of the state, the special enactments of the school trustees, or the minute regulations of the master; provided that no lesser law conflicts with the next higher. The state may, for example, determine that the pupil shall attend school so many months in each year; the trustees may decide what studies shall be pursued; the teacher may establish rules to secure the results expected of
him by the higher authorities, as the diligence or the punctuality of his pupils. These regulations he may enforce by rewards and by penalties, or he may attain the end desired without special regulations.
There are, then, at least three ways of governing a school : by the law of honor, the hope of reward, the fear of punishment, and, of course, all these methods may be used in the same school. We shall consider them in turn.
The law of honor supposes that each pupil will do right for the love of the right, and receive his reward in the approbation of a good conscience. Some schools are thus governed, and attain marvelous results; and yet these are secured by the penalty pronounced by public opinion and the loss of reputation in the eyes of master and scholars in case of willful lapse from duty. The affection of the scholar for the teacher, or rather his reverence for his good opinion, becomes, at times, of the most sensitive nature, and the fear of losing his regard the most poignant sorrow. There are many obstacles in the way of administering the government of a school by this method. The frequent changes of teachers do not allow time for the full development of their personal influence. The barbarism of certain localities demands for the time a different sway. The boorishness of certain parents becomes entailed on their offspring, and deadens all sense of duty and honor. Where these obstacles can be removed, and the teacher is sustained by the external influences of the community, the school can not fail to prosper. And yet there is danger that this method may be carried too far; that the teacher may magnify venial offenses against his petty punctilios into cardinal sins, and work too much on the confiding and affectionate nature of
The hope of reward finds its ground in a thousand different forms, from the oral approbation of the master to actual and tangible prizes. Certainly there are many of these which every candid mind must approve. It is of little moment how some of them are applied. A perfect recitation may be rewarded by a certain per centum, or by a token in the shape of a card or medal, for these are both in the nature of a reward, although a child may place a different estimate on the token than he does on the mark. A series of perfect recitations may be rewarded by a specific place in the class-room or on the roll--and all know what a stimulus this is to certain ambitious hearts. Just at this point comes in a serious difficulty, which attends all rewards
made for the sake of distinguishing comparative merit. Under their influence the ambitious are prone to become more ambitious, and sometimes come to entertain anything but kindly feeling toward their rivals, while the backward are apt to lose all courage, and fall into negligent and careless habits. The reward ceases to be a stimulus to any but a very few in each class, and becomes to them a source of envious strife. If, however, the reward is such that every one may hope to gain it by continued good conduct and diligence, it is not open to this objection. The old fashioned method of conducting classes in spelling, affords an example to the point. If the head boy retained his place till he missed, some luckless wights were ever at the foot, contented to remain there; but if the head boy took his place at the foot at the close of each trial, there were none who might not hope to attain the same honorable place by decent effort, and the reward was a proper stimulus for exertion. If the rewards are so numerous that they become common-place, the pupils can not fail to have little esteem for them, especially so if they are trivial in themselves. On either hand we meet the dilemma: if too few, we excite envy; if too many, contempt; the golden mean is not 80 easily reached. Perhaps the nearest approach to this mean is attained by granting rewards to each department of duty, as to scholarship in each class, to deportment, and to punctuality. A general principle, applicable alike to rewards and penalties, is, that they should be paid in kind; as long continued punctuality may be rewarded by an occasional holiday ; but it is not always possible to determine what is exactly appropriate. Some prizes for excellence in study have been continued so long, that their intrinsic worth is less than the representative value derived from the historic associations clustering around the gift. Such are the prizes at college, the college honors, or the medals bestowed by corporations. These, in time, are regarded as conventional rewards in kind. A reward for scholarship, paid in kind, is rapid promotion, either in the class where the distinction was earned, or to the next higher. The degrees in colleges which are now merely conventional, were formerly of intrinsic worth, and were of the same class of rewards. The Bachelor of Arts bad certain privileges of study granted him; the Master, certain rights in college authority; the Doctor received the full meed of his scholarship in the right to teach, being doctus, i. e., learned. It would not be difficult to revive this honorable custom, and extend it to institutions of lower grade; then would sophomores show their