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that should be presented to the eye ; | and expression. During the lesson the and in these lessons children should interest of the children should be ex. remain until the eye is as familiar cited, by getting them to talk of the with them as the ear, or in other things of which they are reading, or words until they can read them with of the meaning of the words. After
The best lessons we know for it is read, it should be spelt and then this purpose are those published in the written or printed on the slate from First Book of the Sunday School dictation. Union.
In the later stages, the reading The next step is to extend a child's lesson should be read individually in acquaintance with language, and hence the drafts, that the children may be lessons gradually introducing words better prepared for any assistance to be used in every day life, but not common received from the teacher. After the to childhood should be presented taking individual reading in the draft, with care that the increasing difficulty is mutual correction under the superin the phraseology and not in the matter vision of a monitor, the meaning and of the lessons.
derivation of words should be given to Another stage would require the a class of two drafts, by an apprentice. introduction of difficult matter and After which the different classes form. as a consequence an increase in the ing a section should pass to the gallery amount of difficult language. for examination, analysis, and supple
The principle then on which the gra- mentary instruction by the teacher, to duation of the reading lesson should be be followed by simultaneous and inconducted is that of presenting first dividual reading; the teacher should to the eye, the words with which the g've the example in tone, emphasis, car is already familiar; secondly, the and expression, and finally the lesson further addition of words, whose mean- should be reproduced, either as an ing may be readily conveyed to the abstract or by dictation, to ascertain mind, and whose form and sound may whether the eye has been properly embe easily made familiar to the eye and ployed during the previous processes. ear; and thirdly, the introduction of
QUESTION II. such difficulties in matter and language Grammar should be taught so as to as will require a vigorous analysis on make children acquainted with language the part of the teacher, with consider- as the vehicle of thought. Hence atble mental effort on the part of the tention should be directed in the first children.
lesson to simple sentences and not as is The great difficulty in the gradua- usually the case to classes of words. tion of the reading lesson is the want The relation which the words in the of suitable books. Those best adapted sentences sustain to the things they to our purpose are the books published represent, and to each other, so as to by the Irish Educational Board; or express thought, should be pointed out. those by McCulloch.
Afterwards the simple sentence should The processes through which a read be gradually increased, by the addition ing lesson should pass, depend on the of qualifying words and clauses to the stage of the children.
subject and predicate ; and this process In the earlier stages, the lesson should be continued until by a carefully should be printed or written on the graduated series of lessons the child slates; it should then be read, word is made acquainted with the different by word, clause by clause, sentence by classes of words used, their definite sentence, by the children individually, office, the modifications to which they the teacher shewing them how, but are subject, and the various modes in throwing as much upon them as possi- which they may be arranged. ble. It should then be read simulta- In thus teaching Grammar it is neously for the purpose of emphasis ' necessary to observe that no word
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should be introduced into a sentence , should be spelt as it has been written, until the mind is ready for the idea it and if a boy finds that he and his ronveys, and no modification or inflec- neighbour do not agree, let him hold tion of a word should be allowed to be out his hand, and then be required to made until the difficulty of giving the spell as he has written it; the two ways precise meaning without it is felt. of spelling the word should then be
Grammar and Composition should be put down on the black-board, and the taught together. Let half an hour sense of the class taken as to which daily be devoted to them; on one day is right, after which all the class should there should be oral instruction, and on write the word in its correct form. At the next the formation of sentences on the end of the sentence, the slates the model of the previous day. For should be inspected, and if any child's instance if on Monday the oral instruc- slate now contain mistakes, he should tion had been to show how the subject be required to produce them three or might be extended by means of an six times correctly. Thus proceed to adjective (as “a ripe apple falls,”) on the end of the lesson or till the time Tuesday the children should be required allotted to it has expired. to form on their slates a number of sentences illustrating the same case.
QUESTION III. Dictation lessons should make a One object to be secured by teaching a child familiar with the structure of Arithmetic is doubtless to enable the words and with the peculiar difficulties child to apply to the purposes of of the language, and this may be best common life those rules of computation done by a graduated series of lessons. in which he has been instructed; but
1. Words of like endings as bid, did, this though a valuable is not the only hid, kid, lid ; bend, lend, mend, send. nor the most important one.
2. Words with silent letters, knee, means of exercising the reasoning dumb.
faculties and of forming the understand3. With double vowels and con- ing, its functions are the same with sonants as piece, cabbage.
those assigned to geometry in a high 4. Primitives and Derivatives as state of education, it is the Euclid of shade, shadow ; fiercely, fierceness; care, elementary schools,” Hence it should careful, careless.
be so taught as to furnish material for 5. Words nearly alike in sound but the cultivation of the reasoning powers. different in meaning; as device, devise. Its great object is the discipline of the
6. Peculiar difficulties, as—“ Eight mind; and for this it furnishes great heifers and ewe sheep were chewing facilities as its principles are capable of the cud beneath the tough boughs of easy demonstration and ready applicaan ancient yew tree in that beautiful | tion. field.”
To attain these objects a dogmatic Teaching should be made Collective style of teaching must be avoided, the during oral instruction by the practice reason of every process must be made of mutual correction combined with apparent, the principles must be demonvigorous interrogation; and during strated, and examples of their applicathe written exercises by a constant tion in household economy constantly oversight and thorough revision. The given. A great defect in the ordinary certainty of such revision will do much examples is their being connected with to secure that diligent application with subjects of which the majority of out which the most skilful teaching is children have no ready conception. inefficient. To the correction of dic- To remedy this the teacher should form tation exercises especial attention must examples having special reference to be given. This correction should the circumstances of his children's appeal to the eye not to the ear; hence parents, and to the particular modes of after a sentence is dictated, cach word l business pursued in his locality.
Oral teaching combining demonstra
QUESTION IV. tion of principles and dictation of exercises, individual application to
These have relation to the children, written or printed examples, and con
the teacher and method. stant advancement of the proficient,
1. With respect to the children. are the things essential to success.
Their position requires attention for They can be secured only by an
the purpose of inducing a love of neatorganization based ability in
ness and order. If seated at desks in Arithmetic. The practice of teaching parallel rows each child should be imArithmetic in the reading section is as mediately behind his neighbour; if false in principle as it is fatal to success. standing at drafts the boys on the sides " It often happens that the same child of the semicircle should be equal in will make very different progress in numbers and exactly opposite. The different branches, many à boy will posture of the children should be erect shoot a head of his class-fellows in for the sake of health, neither leaning reading and yet fall short in the read- nor lounging should be permitted. All ing section of them in arithmetic,” talking should be prohibited. Employand vice versa.
ment should be secured for all. The In organizing for Arithmetic the slightest deviation from what is reclassification is a matter of consider- quired with the least wandering of the able moment, as in the best formed attention should be checked at first. classes, if there be periodical examina
2. With respect to the teacher. tion and removal, there must be some
His eye should take in all; every who are either below the average of child should feel how utterly impossithe class, or are ignorant of the prin- ble it is to escape its notice; his voice ciples taught in it. Now, it would be should be no louder than is necessary an absolute waste of time to teach the for the class to hear,-noise creates informed and the uninformed together; noise; his manner should be firm, hence they should be placed in drafts | conveying the impression that it is according to the attainments. In each quite hopeless to attempt to do wrong classes two or more principles should with impunity. be taught. Those that have mastered
3. With respect to method. the first principle should be placed The interrogation should be rapid, in the higher draft, and should be not addressed to the children in turn, seated in the desk silently working but irregularly, so that each child examples from cards, while the new may feel the importance of being atcomers and the rest in the remaining tentive. It should be at once addraft should be taken round a black dressed wherever there is a vacant board for instruction, in the first look, a wandering eye, or any other principle taught in the class. On an- symptom of inattention. other day the lowest draft should be The answering should be individual, left in the desk for silent working, and and if not immediate, or if wrong, the higher one taken out for instruction others should indicate their ability to in the other principle. Such a classifi- answer by putting out their hands. The cation and method by adapting the teacher should never correct an answer instruction to the state of the children, himself so long as he can procure it tend to ensure its collectiveness.
from the class.
PAPERS FOR THE SCHOOLMASTER.
NOVEMBER 1, 1852.
Putes of a Lecture ou Teaching to Rend. Du. ¥.
It will simplify the consideration of the subject, if we assume, what in the majority of cases will be the fact, that for Reading purposes, a school may be divided into three sections.
We propose to consider first-Reading in the Lowest Section. The steps here usually are-letters, tablet-lessons, and First Reading Book.
1. Letters.—Not a few schemes have been put forth, and tried for the purpose of removing the difficulties in the way of mastering the letters of the alphabet. These plans are of two kinds: those that propose to teach the names, and those proposing to teach the sounds of the letters.
The old method, as pursued in Dames' and other schools, by which the names of the letters were learnt individually in the order of the alphabet, is now generally discarded in elementary schools, as being purely dogmatic, and exercising no faculty but the memory. Other modes based on the shapes of the letters, and on the organs employed in their pronounciation, have shared the same fate.
The plans already named were synthetic in their character; another method called the “ word,” or “look and say system," calling in the aid of analysis, has been somewhat extensively used within the last few years. The word system proposes to take a word as a whole, and when known as a word, to analyse it into its elements, and so get at the knowledge of the names of the letters comprising it.
Whilst the "name" method is evidently on the decline, the Phonic or Sound Method, in which the memory is subordinated to the reasoning faculty, is fast taking its place. In reading we use, not the names of the letters, but the sounds of which the letters are the signs. The Phonic Method is founded on this fact, and is so called because it teaches the true sound of each letter, as it is brought into notice. The steps in the Phonic process are three : 1, show a print of a natural object having a monosyllabic name; 2, analyse the word so as to teach the children to discover, identify, and name the several constituent sounds; 3, beginning with the vowel sound, show the sign of each sound, and by synthesis their combination into words.
This method will be better understood after a careful reading of the following extracts, in which you will observe that either the board, or the letter-box, may be employed, and that only familiar and easy words are used.
The following lesson was given in a Prussian school, and recorded in “Mann's Tour.” The teacher first drew a house on the blackboard ; by the side of the drawing he wrote and printed the word house; with a pointer he ran over the forms of the letters, the children tracing the forms in the air. The word house was now copied both in script and in print, then followed not the “names,” but the “sounds,” of the ietters; in this way the letter (h) was set up in the reading frame, and the children gave a hard breathing, then the diphthong (au), the German for house being haus, the (h) and (au) were now brought together, and their sounds combined—then (s) followed in like manner. Sometimes the last letter is taken first, and so the word framed backward. The responses were either individual or simultaneous, according to the master's signal.”
O'Malley, in his “ Tour in Holland,” gives the following description of a lesson by Mr. Prinsen, master of a Normal school at Haarlem.