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(CONTINUED FROM NO. XX.)
Oral instruction is that which is addressed to groups of children, either in
illustration of previously prepared lesThe chief, and perhaps the most powerful instrument in intellectual sons, or on subjects which do not form education in elementary schools, is well lessons In the former case it is termed
a part of their ordinary reading or other arranged systematic instruction in the
supplementary, in the latter, indepenordinary school topics; but it is highly dent. desirable, in addition, to attempt it by more direct efforts in Gallery Lessons. Its chief object is the culture and
right direction of the mental powers. That such lessons may be efficient, it is essential to remember, that the In the early periods of sehool life it mental faculties are gradual in their must necessarily be independent, and development, and follow a certain and should be based on objecis which may well ascertained order, that the brain be presented to the children, or which in the periods of infancy and childhood admit of an easily apprehended descripis highly susceptible of injury from a tion. In the later periods, instruction too early or forced culture; that some
should be chiefly supplementary, as exercises of the mind are more difficult this throws the burden of preparation than others, and that the most difficult upon the children, thereby insuring a ones are the most likely to prove injuri- better reception, and more permanent ous to the brain; hence, if we would results. consult the interests of the children, we must carefully adapt our lessons to
QUESTION 3. their age and state of mental development.
Simultaneous teaching has been thus Without being able precisely to de- defined, “The teacher instructs and ditermine the time of the development of rects a certain number of children tothe faculties of perception, conception, gether; he addresses to all the same judgment, and abstraction, it is desir- language, the same demonstrations; all able that the school-life of a child execute at once the same things, and should be divided into four periods, in in union. He has his eye on all, and each of which a special culture of one all observe and hear him.” Where of these faculties should b: attempted; such instruction is addressd to a whole viz., 3 to 4, Perception; 5 to 7, Concep- school, or to large groups of children tion; 7 to 10, Judgment; 10 and up- differing in age, capacity, and progress, wards, Abstraction.
it is either not suitable in character, or The advantages of such a graduation it is not received; in either case, there must be obvious. One of the most is a waste of time and power, with a striking is, that in a school embracing fastening of habits of inattention and these ages, formed into four sections, listlessness, which cannot but have a and coming before the teacher at regu- very injurious influence on the progress lar intervals for this direct culture, he and character of the school. has a simple principle by which, whe- Teaching is collective, when every ther in his previous preparation or in child to whom suitable instruction is his actual teaching, he has to proceed. I addressed, receives all that is presented.
Whenever in the recapitulation of a 1 by the rest, and passes as theirs." Still lesson it is discovered, that some have if employed under the same regulations not received all that has been offered, as Ellipses, it may be made subservient the teaching has not been collective. to purposes of discipline.
In collective teaching the simulta- In individual answering the most neous method is preserved as far as important point is to secure completo addressing groups of children is con- sentences. cerned, but these groups must be as nearly ảs possible of equal ages, caand
QUESTION 4. progress. The province of Interrogation is to discover the state of knowledge on any
Analysis is the method of resolution subject amongst a group of children, or decomposition, by which ideas, sento excite enquiry, and to stimulate a tences, arguments, or subjects, are
This healthy curiosity, to convey knowledge, separated into their elements. and to ascertain if that which has been process is necessary for the communiconveyed has been received. The best cation of knowledge in a simple and mode of employing it must depend on
effective form, and is the opposite of the object in view; if it be in the com- synthesis.” munication of new matter, then it Synthesis is the putting together of should be addressed to all, while those the different parts of a subject after who can answer should indicate their they have been made matters of exposiability to do so by putting out their tion. It is a constructive process leadhands. In examination it should be ing the child by the simplest steps addressed to every child.
from the known to the unknown or Ellipses should be formed when com
from the simple to the complex. paring answers that have been offered, Induction is the investigation of in examining facts, in ascertaining facts for the purpose of drawing a conwhat is known, and in the recapitula- clusion. tion of what has been given. This method should never be employed dur
Exposition is the putting forth of a ing the Inductive or Training processes, tion. “Its province is to put know
matter so clearly as to ensure its recepas, while it never exacts any vigorous mental efforts, it encourages a habit of ledge into the head.” While it employs guessing As a means of intellectual all other methods, it includes as belongculture, it is the weakest of all weak ing to its special province, graphic demethods, but as an instrument of dis- scription, explanation of difficulties by cipline and attention in its proper the mind of a child one's own concep
vivid illustration, and the picturing to sphere, its employment is not to be
G. despised. Simultaneous answering is not essen
N.B.-It has not been deemed necestial to collective teaching, and in fact sary to answer this series of questions is, unless carefully employed, utterly more fully, as articles on the different destructive of it. " The first words of topics, in which they have been fully the answer of the quickest often sug discussed, have already appeared in our gests the whole;it is caught with rapidity 'pages.
PAPERS FOR THE SCHOOLMASTER.
DECEMBER 1, 1852.
Pates of a Lecture on Teaching tu Brad. Pu. H.
In the last lecture we considered that part of the subject which related to the lower section; we propose now to enter on that of the middle section.
The great object in this section is to secure correct reading, with an intelligent apprehension of the meaning of the text. Reading is correct “when it conveys to the hearers through the medium of the ear, what is conveyed to the readers by the eye.” In order to secure this, the closest attention mnst be paid to pronounciation, that it may be slow, full, and clear. Perhaps there is no better way of accomplishing this, than by letting each child, for a time, pronounce but one word ; that is, let the entire lesson be read by "word about,” giving to each sufficient time for slow and distinct articulation. When a difficult word présents itself, enunciate it yourself syllabically; let it be done once or twice by the whole class simultaneously in an under tone, and then by each child in rotation.
The whole lesson having been read by "word about” some two or three times, according to its difficulty, the class will be prepared to attempt it by sentences. The reading should now proceed not by rotation, but with those only on whom you call; by making the call irregular and by a careful practice of mutual correction, you will be able to keep alive the attention of the whole class, and render your teaching thoroughly collective. In this section a more extensive analysis will be required for the purpose of thoroughly vivifying the text, and cultivating the intelligence. Begin by proposing a few questions on the subject of the lesson, that the thing may be conceived as a whole; when this is accomplished, take the first period, or paragraph, if a short one, and “ open up and illustrate the meaning of each word in the sentence, and ultimately show the mutual relations of the words, and the connection of the whole passage with the subject generally to which it refers.” In conducting the analysis, adhere pretty closely to the course of the text, and have constantly in mind the grade of children under instruction, that you may not outrun the intelligence of the class. Let your steps in building up a clear and complete conception of the lesson be small, and with many recapitulations. In working out the subject of the lesson, you will do well to clear and deepen their existing knowledge in all cases where the text fairly admits it, but with a distinct recollection that you are not to be led away from your subject by associated matter.
Having completed your exposition and analysis of the period, get one or more of the children to tell you the substance of it in their own language, and let this be the test of your success. If they fail in doing this, you have a clear indication that the thought or thoughts are not fully theirs: you must therefore by interrogation ascertain the point where the defect lies, and having worked it out again more fully, apply your test as before. Be determined, let the labour be what it may, never to leave obscurities behind you; one period well and clearly interrogated is of more value than many lessons hastily run through. And this thorough teaching is of the highest importance in this section, as not a few children hardly pass beyond it, and those that do can only in this way be prepared for the kind of teaching employed in the higher section.
When you are satisfied that there is throughout the class an intelligent perception of the meaning of the text, so far as the period or paragraph goes, let so much as you have done, be spelt, taking eare that each word is first very accurately syllabified, and that a pause is made between each syllable whilst being spelt. By acquiring the pronounciation of the word before spelling, you ensure the attention whilst you give it out, and should there be any misapprehension on the part of the child, you have an opportunity of correcting it at once, before time is lost in attempting to spell a mistaken word.
The grammar of this section should be of the simplest kind,-in the lowest part distinguishing in a few words between vowels and consonants, the nature of a diphthong, &c.; in the middle, the nature of a noun and an adjective; and in the upper, the nature of verbs and adverbs, in addition to what has been done before. It will be sufficient that at this stage the children should be able readily to distinguish the parts of speech already named in their simplest forms, without at all entering upon their modifications. Not more than one or two short sentences should be taken up grammatically, as your main effort should be directed to an intelligent comprehension of the subject of the lesson.
Eertificates of Merit.
No doubt our readers would feel obliged if we could show them some royal way of gaining Certificates, in which it might be impossible to err, and which should lead to certain success. We happen to know several who would feel as grateful as it is possible for human heart to feel, if such a Bradshaw could be put within their reach; but the fact is, it is not only a guide which is required in gaining Certificates, but a considerable supply of effective power, and some degree of engineering skill as well.
The first requisite for the purpose is a head well stored with knowledge. This all those who are about either next Christmas or at Easter to present themselves for examination, are we hope provided with. But let us earnestly beg our readers to recollect that it is not the extent of their knowledge so much as its depth, which is desired ; superficiality, even though combined with tolerable length and breadth, is a bad thing; and it is better to dig deep, to a reasonable degree, in some few spots in the field of knowledge, than to scrape off a thin stratum from a great part of it. A thorough knowledge then of whatever you study, is the main thing; take for
your motto here, Non multa, sed multum.