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last year are upon the shelf or in the garret, the useless lumber of the present. The teacher, from the paucity of his wages, cannot afford to accommodate bimself to the circumstances of his district, nor as a general thing, are the parents disposed to accommodate the teacher. So the wheel turns round, bearing with it expense, defective classification, waste of time and means, mutual heart-burnings, district quarrels, eviction of the teacher, disgust of officers, dissolution of the district, and general dissatisfaction with the best system in the world. This is not an overdrawn picture. It is precisely what results in many cases, from a neglect to secure uniformity of books.

What is the remedy? In some States the district officers control the matter; in others, the township committees; the law enforeing their recommendations. It is evident that without an interposition of law in some form, the evil can never cease. One difficulty attending district regulations is the want of inducement in book-sellers to furnish the limited supply on the most economical terms. A provision requiring the inspectors to recommend the best books, and forbidding the use of any others, will measurably remedy the evil. Book-sellers will then find it an object to keep a supply on hand, and competition will regulate the price. Or better stili, if the law should exact uniformity throughout the State, and authorize two, three or more competent persons to designate the books, providing for changes at proper intervals to meet the spirit of improvement ever at work, the axe would be laid at the root of the evil. Nor would very frequent changes be necessary. It is not every new edition of an old work, nor every book heralding what are called the “ latest improvements,” that commends itself to adoption. Many reading books, for instance, in use twenty years ago, are none the less useful now. Nor would such a law necessarily require the State to turn wholesale book-dealer, and monopolize a trade for purposes of economy that properly belongs to individuals. From all such speculations the State should keep aloof. Individual competition, limited only by the kind of books, would ensure an abundant supply and the desirable economy. At all events, the evil universally complained of cannot be tolerated much longer. One or the other remedies suggested, or a third yet to be devised, is indispensable to the success of our system. -{F. SAWYER, Jr., Sup't, 1843.

The books used in our schools should be approved by men of talents, learning and moral worth, whose habits of teaching or public situation have led them to examine such works with critical attention. There should be but few books on the same subjects in our schools, and they should be uniform throughout the State. To acquire solid learning, it is not essential to read a multiplicity of books, but to study profoundly and to understand thoroughly a few standard authors in the various departments of erudition.

Although the approvals referred to are not imperative, have not the sanction of law, yet the districts and towns, exercising a sound discretion, will usually be swayed by these recommendations.

To suitable books should be added black boards, maps and globes,

with such philosophical apparatus, as advancing knowledge has discovered, and the pecuniary means of the district may justify:-(0. C. Comstock, Supl, 1844.

EXAMINATION OF TEACHERS. It is the legal duty of the inspectors to divide the town into districts, to apportion the public money, make out and transmit to the county clerk all the statistical information furnished by the several districts, and, most important of all, examine candidates for teaching "in regard to moral character, learning and ability.”. They have, then, high and responsible duties resting upon them. In the eyes of the law, they are the guardians of our common schools and ought therefore to be selected with great discrimination. Themselves the judges of what constitutes qualification for teaching, their own" moral character should be stainless, their own learning adequate to the task imposed, their own ability undoubted. Otherwise, they cannot duly estimate such sterling qualities in those they examine. They must possess, too, great firmness of purpose—a moral courage that will shrink from the performance of no duty, whether in the exact line of their own predilections or not, which is demanded by the educational interests of the town. If a candidate for teaching come before them, they have no right to recognize him in any other capacity for the time than as a candidate, and the only questions they are bound to answer satisfactorily to themselves, are such as regard his moral character, learning and ability. If his habits are bad, he should be rejected at once; for the pure heart of youth should not be exposed to the contagion of evil communication or vicious example. Any known vice should be deemed a disqualification. If the candidate be intemperate, sooner keep children in ignorance for a while than subject them to so pestilential an influence. An attendant upon grog shops, or even a dram drinker at home, may do to train brutes, but never, never can he educate the human soul. Here, then, is a broad field for the discerning and severely scrutinizing mind of the inspector. Immorality, in any or all of its protean shapes, however specious may be its semblance of virtue, merits no quarter. It should be cut off at once from all hopes of success.

With the religious views of the candidate, the inspector has no legal or other right to meddle. He may place high his standard of morals; practical virtue should be one test of fitness; but the teacher's creed, or the embodiment of his faith upon paper or within the deep recesses of his soul, is something with which only Divine wisdom can deal. The question is not, whether he is a Protestant or a Catholic, a Trinitarian or Unitarian, a Perfectionist, Latter Day Saint, Mormon or Transcendentalist; but whether he has such an unblemished moral character as will enable him to impart healthful principles to his scholars and be to them a living example of all that is beautiful and good.

As to the kind and degree of learning required by law, much is left to the examiner's sound discretion. Generally, the circumstances of the school over which the teacher is to be placed must govern.

College learning, certainly, is not contemplated; for that is hardly wanted in common schools. If sought by any, the University is expected to give it. Nor are the higher branches of academic learning essential, particularly in the present condition of our schools. An elementary school, where the rudiments of an English education only are taught, such as reading, spelling, writing and the outlines barely of geography, arithmetic and grammar, requires a female of practical common sense, with amiable and winning manners, a patient spirit, and a tolerable knowledge of the springs of human action. A female thus qualified, carrying with her into the school room the gentle influences of her sex, will do more to inculcate right morals and prepare the youthful intellect for the severer discipline of its after years, than the most accomplished and learned male teacher. In most of our common schools, the ages of our scholars require female teachers; and the reports show that the summer and some of the winter schools are kept by them. But the inspectors cannot scrutinize their qualifications too nicely. An unqualified female is less to be tolerated than an unqualified male teacher, because her influence, if wrongly directed, is by far the most dangerous.

But we have schools in which children of larger growth seek to perfect the education which in boyhood was only begun. And as the State increases in population, and the necessities of a pioneer existence give way to the intellectual wants which stated periods of leisure are sure to create, we shall find such schools rapidly springing up. Then comes the test of an inspectors fitness for duty. Then comes the time when the common school begins to assume that high and noble and respected station which is due to it. Then comes the necessity of employing teachers who can supply the mental and moral aliment demanded of them, and thus impel the school onward to the attainment of its purposes among the people.

The ability required, undoubtedly means the power to teach. The inspectors must be satisfied, not only that the candidate has a good moral character and sufficient learning, but that he is versed in the art of teaching. This is all important, and it is dwelt upon for a moment because some districts, in their reports, have suggested such an amendment of the law as would enumerate more specifically the qualifications of teachers. But it is believed that, if the term ability be defined as above, no amendment can be necessary. The annals of school keeping every where, show that the purest minds and profoundest scholars do not always, nor indeed often, understand the art of teaching. If Horace had given the world as rich a practical treatise on this most difficult of all arts, as he has on the art in which he himself excelled, many a rejected pedagogue of modern times would have blessed him.

In some foreign countries-Holland, Prussia and others—the art of teaching is taught like any other art; and such has been the conviction of its necessity in Massachusetts, that no less than three Normal schools, or schools for educating teachers, have been established. The two great objects of those schools, say the board of education in their annual report of 1839, are, first, to impart to the pupils

a more correct and thorough knowledge of the various branches required to be taught in the schools; and second, to teach the principles of communicating instruction, both in theory and in practice, at a model school connected with the main institution.

If, then, the ability to teach constitutes a qualification, the legal duty of an inspector is not exhausted by one examination, especially if that examination be made before the teacher has opened his school. On such an examination, the power to teach, or faculty of communicating instruction, cannot be tested. It is only by following the candidate into the school; and there watching the gradual or sudden developments of his disposition, his modes of teaching, and the manner in which he disciplines his scholars and otherwise governs his school that the demand of the law can be met. We all know how easy it is to be deceived in these matters. A candidate may pass a good examination, and theoretically be pronounced qualified; yet in the school room exhibit anything but the traits of a school master. His plan of operations may be as eccentric as that which, to insure punctuality, compelled every tardy urchin to walk a mile with a fool's

cap drawn over his head, and one of the punctual scholars to follow at some distance to see that the delinquent did not steal an occasional impunity by tearing off the cap and putting it in his pocket; which, to discipline the intellect, awarded a prize to that boy or girl, who at the end of the quarter and on examination day, should re- . cite with the greatest rapidity, giving each word precisely as printed, all the rules in Adams' arithmetic, all those in Murray's grammar, and the Assembly's catechism from beninning to end; and which, by way of punishment for the minor faults of each hour, forced the luckless sinner to stand upon one foot, with the huge quarto bible at arm's length in one hand and a pitcher of water in the other, while a second law-breaker was stationed hard by, brandishing a rattan, that neither burtben might be dropped or the balance lost. It is not positively asserted that such a teacher can be found in Michigan, but simply this, that precisely that way of “teaching the young idea how to shoot,” might not be inconsistent with a fautless examination out of the school. No inspector, then, should deem his legal duty ended with one examination. Having placed the candidate in school, he should keep his eye upon him; and if practically that candidate belies the certificate he has received, the law says such certificate may be annulled.- [F. SAWYER, JR., Sup't, 1842.

BLACKBOARD INSTRUCTION. The communications received evince an almost universal neglect in our district school teachers to use the blackboard, as a means of instruction; and even in the sew instances where it has been tried, but an occasional teacher appeared to comprehend its object or understand its use. Now, it is safe to say that no mechanical invention ever effected greater improvements in machinery, no discovery of new agents more signal revolutions in all the departments of science, than the blackboard has effected in schools; and certain it is, that no apparatus at all comparable with it for simplicity and cheap

ness, has to such a degree facilitated the means, and augmented the pleasures of primary instruction.-F. SAWYER, Jr., Sup't, 1843.


Eligible teachers are all-important. This fact is now more deeply and generally impressed on the public mind than formerly. A new science, founded on the nature of man, has been ascertained and taught. It is pedagogics, or the science of teaching. This is a distinct and most valuable science. On it the successful investigation of all other sciences depends. Its application is the art of teaching. It was once imagined that almost every man of a competent education could teach a school. But to this proposition there are many exceptions. It does not follow that because a man has received a liberal education, he is therefore a lawyer or physician. With all his attainments, he can be neither till he shall have faithfully studied one of these learned professions. And by a parity of reasoning, it is plain that an acquaintance with general literature and science does not, of necessity, prepare one for the arduous, but delightful business of educating the undying mind. Such a preparation is chiefly derived from the study of the science and art of teaching. Firmly persuaded of this truth, many of the governments of the old world, and some of our sister States have instituted normal schools, in which the science and art of teaching are elucidated and enforced. Model schools are formed and taught in these institutions. Here candidates for the office of teacher see many beneficial demonstrations in reference to classification, methods of teaching and government; and in short, whatever is valuable within the range of human knowledge, regarding this paramount interest. A teacher should be a man of learning and virtue. At all events, he should perfectly understand what he prosesses to teach. Among other attainments, he should know something of physical education. Sound health, a development of all the physical faculties, and an improvement of all the senses, are things too important to be overlooked in a system of popular education. He should be able and disposed to take a sort of paternal care of the health, morals and manners of his priceless charge.

To govern his school properly, it is essential that he govern himself, subjecting all his passions, desires and affections to the control of reason and conscience. Industry, kindness and patience should be prominent traits in his character. His moral qualities, bearing and deportment, should be approvable and worthy of imitation. He should have a fondness for books, learning and study, evincing a correct taste, and that he deems his education unfinished so long as his capacity to advance it remains. He will thus keep pace with the discoveries and improvements of the age, extend the sphere of his usefulness, partake of the most sublime enjoyment, and exhibit a laudable example to those upon whose reputation he will make a lasting impression. A teacher should be ardently devoted to his useful and honorable vocation. He should love children and youth. Their progressive acquirements, in all those branches of education which en

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