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text book in full and spontaneous statement. They will need the stimulus of questions to quicken and direct their thoughts. But these questions should never be leading questions, or such as suggest the answer. They should go beyond those printed in the book, and should. aim to sift thoroughly the pupil's knowledge of the lesson, and to excite also his mind to a: deeper and wider research into the subject itself.
4th. In the high school grade the exercises and modes of learning and recitation become more like those by which the educated man pursues his reading and study in his own library. The studies are more scientific, and are prosecuted by more purely rational methods. Indeed, it is the business of this grade to induct the pupil into those modes of reading, and scientific investigation, which he will need to use in his manhood. That school education is evidently and grossly defective, which leaves the pupil dependent upon teachers, and does not fit him to prosecute his studies by himself, after his school days are done.
But how shall this final school work be accomplished, unless there be a period in the pupil's progress when he is put to the independent use of his powers, and his class exercises are made but such a rehearsal of the knowledge he has acquired, as an educated man gives, when he has occasion to relate the results of his studies.
In thus broadly marking off these four grades of education, it is not intended that the lines of division shall be sharply defined, and that the method of study and teaching shall be suddenly and entirely changed when the pupil passes from one department of school to the other. As in nature, each class and order of being approaches the next, by insensible grada. tions, so the pupils in each grade will gradually ripen up towards the more advanced methods and studies of the next grade.
It should be remarked, also, that although these four stages of scholarship exist in the very natnre of the case, and there will always, therefore, be something corresponding to these
four grades in every thoroughly graded school; yet it is not implied that each school shall have four separate departments. As was stated before, a school may be graded as soon as number of pupils requires the employment of two teachers. But in this case two grades would be combined under one teacher. In other cases where more than four teachers aro employed, as in some of the larger union schools, the grades may be subdivided; the beginners in the grade being placed under one teacher, and tile more advanced pupils under another. But however subdivided or combined, these four broadly marked grades will still remain, each requiring its own peculiar modes of instruction, and each governed by its own laws of progress.
In grading any particular school, regard must, of course, be had to the character and accommodations of the school building, to the relative numbers of the children of the different ages, and somewhat to the courses of instruction previously taught, and the scholarship of the pupils.
If, for example, the school house has but a small room for the Intermediate grade and a large Grammar room, it may be necessary to send the pupils of the former a year earlier into the room of the latter grade, or, in other words, to comprehend the last year of the Intermediate course in that of the Grammar school. It is not infrequent, that the pupils of the last year of the Grammar school are seated in the High school room and taught by High school teachers. It is of course better that each grade shall have its own school room.
In communities in which the older children find profitable employment in some branch of industry, it often happens that there is a disproportionate number of attending pupils of the primary grade. To equitably divide the labor among the teachers will, in such cases, require the division line of the grades to be swung somewhat lower than in other cases.
Some provision will require also to be made for pupils who come to school only during the winter or occasional terms. The absolute necessity for adhering to some regular course of studies in the graded school, forbids that cvery study shall be taught in each term, and a student entering a school fue a single term cannot reasonably expect that the course of instruction shall be varied, to the manifest injury of the entire school, in order to allow him to study some particular branch or bcok not belonging in that term. But the difficulty is not so serious as it appears. In any term, the occasional student will find some classes which he will be prepared to enter, and studies which will be amply profitable for him to pursue, even if they are not the particular studies which he desires. And often it is practicable to arrange the course with reference to the known wants of winter students, or to organize extra classes for their accommodation. Great care, however, must be taken not to over burthen the teachers with extra classes, which ambitious teachers are often too ready to undertake, especially in favorite branches of study.
It cannot be determined absolutely, for all pupils, what shall be the ages for entering, or the time occupied in passing the successive grades. As in body, so also in mind, some children grow faster, and mature earlier than others. In general, children may enter the primary department at five, the intermediate at seven, the grammar school at ten, and the high school at thirteen.
COURSE OF INSTRUCTION.
Much difficulty is met by inexperienced School Boards and teachers in arranging a course of studies for the graded school, and application has in several cases been made to me for assistance. In order to make still clearer the foregoing views on grading, and to render some more explicit aid to school officers and teachers, I venture to add a somewhat fully developed course of instruction; and if it shall in any degree promote a greater uniformity in the conduct of our graded schools, it will much improve this department of our educational interests.
This course, although entirely theoretical, conforms quite closely to the courses now in usc in ecme of the test schools of this country. It is prepared after a careful observation of the workings of our union schools, and an extensive examination of the reports of the schools of our own and of other States, and of some of the most celebrated European schools.
It may not apply perfectly, and in all its parts, to any one school, but it will nevertheless be found suggestive to all. In a small graded school, with only two or three teachers, they may not be able to do all of the work indicated: in a large school with numerous teachers, they will be able to do more.
The following general principles are fundamental and must always guide in any wise selection and arrangement of a course of studies. They are derived from the changeless constitution of things, and can never be violated without positivo
injury and loss. ✓ 1st. The studies and exercises must be adapted to the ages
of the pupils; or to speak more precisely-since years do not always exactly measure development to the successive stages in the mental growth. It is a well established fact that some mental faculties develop earlier than others. As in the human body, some parts do not mature, or even appear, till after others—the hair not growing till several months of life are past, the teeth appearing at a still later period, while the beard comes only with manhood—30, also, but in a more marked degree, the mental powers have their times of unfolding and growth. To address instruction to a faculty not yet developed is as idle as to give beefsteak to a child that has no teeth, or to provide a razor for a youth whose beard is not grown.
First in order, the perceptive faculties, acting through the senses, set to work. The little explorer is busy with hand and eye and tooth, touching, seeing, and tasting whatever comes in his way, and gathering up facts, without regard to their relations or significance. At a later day he is wondering, contriving, conjecturing : his imagination has begun its work. But not till a far later period does the reasoning faculty begin seriously to search for the hidden causes of things, and to deduce from its gathered stores of facts, the great truths and laws which underlie and comprehend them all. Now evidently the
studies of each age must be such as the faculties then acting, call for and can receive.
It is true that children have already been at work several years, when we first meet them in school. Most of the faculties have already begun to act. But there still remains enough truth to make the principle I have given a most important rule.
2d. The studies should follow each other in a logical order, so that one may prepare the pupil to understand the next in the course. Just as the heights of a mountain can only be reached by traveling over its lower ascents, so facts and truths lie, as it were, one above another, and to reach the heights of science one must surmount patiently the lower and elementary principles. No rule is more frequently violated, in the arrangement of studies, than this; and months of useless and irksome toil are expended by pupils, in the vain attempt to master studies for which they have received no preparation, by any previous studies, and whose very language and simplest ideas are wholly unknown. i 3d. Studies should also be chosen with reference to their power to contribute to the great ends of education—the cultivation of the mind and heart and the increase of the intelligence.
It should be remembered that while all knowledge, on whatever subject, appeals to the intellect and requires thought, yet all knowledge does not equally or similarly arouse the feelings and affect the heart. The fact that the three angles of a triangle together equal two right angles, awakens perhaps, a momentary surprise; but the fact that Washington crossed the Delaware at midnight, through ice and snow, defeated the Hessians, and saved his despairing country, thrills the heart with admiration for his beroism, and kindles afresh the love of country. So, to take a different example, while the solution of a problem in arithmetic sharpens the wits and strengthens the powers of reasoning, without necessarily arousing a single virtuous feeling, the study of the truths of Natural History awakens the wonder at the marvelous and beautiful contrivan