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shrubs, and flowers of different kinds—and of enjoying an extensive prospect from the roof of the building, with the view of descrying as many objects as possible, for the purpose of elucidation and instruction.—The following example, taken from the "Lessons on Objects," as given in a Pestalozzian school at Cheam, will partly illustrate the plan here suggested:—
Lesson on Gluts.—The pupils are supposed to be arranged before a black board, upon which the result of their observations is written. The glass is passed round the party to !»•• examined by each individual, so that his attention and powers may be exercised about it
"Tearher. What is that which I hold in my hand? Children. A piece of glass. T. Can you spell the word ' glass V [The teacher then writes the word 'glass' upon the slate, which is thus presented to the whole class as the subject of the lesson.] You have all examined the glass, what do you observe? what can you aay that it is? C. It is bright. [The teacher, having written the word 'qualities,' writes under it,' It is bright.'] T. Take it in your hand and feel it. <-'. It is cold. [ Written on the board, under the former quality.] T. Feel it again, and compare it with the piece of sponge that is tied to your slate, and then tell me what you perceive in the glass. C. It is smooth, it is hard. 7'. Is there any other glass in the room? C. Yes, the windows. T. Close the shutters: can you see the garden now? C. No. T. Why cannot you? C. We cannot see through the shutters. T. What can yon say, then, of the glass? C. Wo can see through it. T. Can you tell me any word that will express this quality I C. No. T. I will tell you then; pay attention, that you may recollect it. It is Iran!parent. What shall you now understand, when I tell you that a substance is transparent! C. We can see through it T. You are right; try and recollect something that is transparent. C. Water. T. If I were to let this glass fall, or you were to throw a,ball at the window, what would be the consequence? C. The glass would be broken. It is brittle. T. Could I in the same manner break the shutters? C. No. T. Could I break it if I used great force? C. Yes. T. Would you therefore call the wood brittle? C. No. T. What substances then do you call brittle? C. Those which are easily broken."
These are probably as many qualities as would occur to children at their first attempt, which, Iwing arranged on the slate or board, form an exercise in spelling. They should then be effaced, and if the pupils arc able to write, they may endeavour to remember the
lesson, and put it down on their slates. Various other qualities of glass might afterwards bo described to the pupils, particularly its power of forming images and magnifying objects, when ground into convex lenses, and combined in telescopes and microscopes, which unfold to our view the wonders of the heavens, and the minute parts of creation. The chief business of a teacher, in such exercises, is, to draw out the ideas of children, to direct them in a right channel, to teach them to fix their attention on what is immediately before them, and to employ their reasoning powers in drawing the proper conclusions from the objects they contemplate. Contrary to the almost universally prevailing practice, the idea of any object should generally precede the term by which it is designated; so that a child having acquired a clear conception of an object, may feel the want of a term or terms by which its nature or qualities may at any time be expressed, and be enabled, on every occasion, to associate the one with the other.
Section II.—Writing and Composition.
On this branch of education, I shall offer only a few general remarks, in addition to those formerly stated.—Writing is an art of the greatest utility and importance, and to which children should be accustomed at an early period of their lives. In the first instance, they may lie taught to write on a slate, with a slate-pencil, which they may be taught to hold in the same way as we hold a goosequill or a steel-pen. Instead of beginning with straight lines and parts of letters, they might at once begin either with complete letters or short words, which should seldom be made of a larger size than half text, as in the actual business of life there is seldom occasion for writing a large text-hand. Mr. Buchanan (a gentleman who has been long a successful teacher in Greenock, and the author of several useful publications) lately showed me a plan he had recently introduced to facilitate the forming of letters, when a child is set to write on a slate. The method is as follows :—Slates are prepared, as in the following figure, with the letters, a, b, c, &c . indented on the left-hand side. The pupil works his pointed slatepencil several times throughout the indentings of each letter, and, after he has become familiar with its slopes and curves, and acquires the movements re
quisite to form the letter,he tries to write a number of the same letters in succession, on the line drawn on the slate immediately opposite. Mr. Buchanan has found this plan greatly to facilitate the accurate formation of the letters, in the first attempts of children to write on slates; and it certainly deserves a fair trial in other seminaries. Short words might be indented in the same manner; and when the pupil is at a loss as to the formation and the joinings of the different letters, he may recur to the indented model, and hy following with his pencil its turnings and windings, three or four times in succession, he will soon be enabled to form the word on his slate.
On a principle somewhat similar, a child may be taught to write with ink upon paper, by setting before him a piece of good writing made with a red pencil, and making him pass and repass over all the strokes and curves with a pen full of black ink.—In Professor Jocptot's system of education—instead of commenting with elementary lines, curves, and letters, in what is called text-hand—a complete sentence, written by the master, or engraved in tmal i hanri, is put before the eyes of the pupil, which he is directed to copy. He writes, as well as he can, the first word— suppose ' The;' and no further progress must be made, till, by an attentive comparison of his own performance with the original copy, he becomes conscious of the faults and defects of the former. Such questions as these are then put. Q. Is this T well made? A. No; it is too high, or too short, or too long. Q. Could it be made better? A. I think so. Q. What must you then do to improve it? A. Make it longer, or broader, or shorter, &c. Q. How could you have made it better at first? A. By paying more attention, &c.— But I leave it to the writing-master to adopt such plans for teaching the formation of written characters as his experience may deem most expedient, and conclude with two or three general remarks.
The principal object of writing is to communicate our sentiments to others, or to record the fleeting thoughts that pass through our own minds for the subject of future consideration. The art of writing should therefore be made to bear, as soon as possible, on the practical purposes of life. Instead of continuing children for years, at the formal practice of writing from 'copy-lines'—as soon as they acquire a tolerable hand, they should be accustomed to write forms of mercantile accounts— statements of arithmetical operations—cards 'of invitation—letters of friendship or business —forms of address and superscriptions—and whatever else they may afterwards have occasion to practice in the actual business of life. The miscellaneous sentiments embodied in the
lines and pieces which they copy, should uniformly contain religious and moral precepts and sentiments easily understood, ar.d statements of historical, geographical, astronomical, and scientific facts, in order that no opportunity may lie lost in familiarizing the mind to useful knowledge. For example, instead of the unmeaning wools generally given as 'copics,' such sentences as the following might be substituted:
"The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. He knoweth our downsitting and our uprising, and understandeth all our thoughts. The darkness cannot hide from him; for the darkness and the light are both alike to God." "The power and wisdom of God arc seen in the construction of the smallest insect In a single drop of certain kinds of water, hundreds of little animals may be scon, by the microscope, swimming like fishes in a pond, every one of them having eyes, a mouth, stomach, and bowels, and instruments of motion." "About sixteen hundred years after the Creation, the whole earth was covered with a flood of water, which reached more than twenty feet above the tops of the highest mountains." "Fear God, and keep his commandments. Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and live peaceably with all men. If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if ho thirst, give him drink. For God is long-suffering and kind, even to the unthankful and the evil; He causeth his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and eendeth his rain to water the fields both of the righteous and of the wicked.*' "The world in which we dwell is round, like a globe or ball; and it would require a journey of nearly twenty-five thousand miles before we could go quite round it." "The Atlantic ocean lies between Europe and America, and it is three thousand miles broad." "Africa is a very hot country, and there are great numbers of people living in it whose skin is entirely black. "China is the most populous empire in the world: it contains about three hundred millions of inhabitants. The whole world contains above eight hundred millions." "The moon is two thousand one hundred and sixty miles in diameter; and is two hundred and forty thousand miles distant from the earth." "Tho sun is ninetyfive millions of miles distant; and is more than twelve hundred thousand times lar,rer than the whole earth." "The air, or atmosphere, presses upon every square yard of the earth's surface with a force equal to more than nineteen thousand pounds." "The river Amazon is three thousand miles long, anil is the largest river on the globe," &c .
A sentence or two of this description might be given to a whole class of writers, to be copied several times over; and after the class has finished the writing, the fact, or sentiment contained in the sentence might be explained and illustrated. By this means, a number of useful (acts and practical rules of conduct might be gradually communicated to the youthful mind; and, being noted down in the pupil's copy-book, they might be reperused and referred to on any future occasion. Perhaps it might not lie inexpedient to classify a number of fundamental truths, facts, and aphorisms, under such heads as the following— Jieligious, Moral, Geographical, Historical, Astronomical, Chemical, Optical, Botanical, Sec, allotting two or three pages of the copy-book foi each department The above suggestion proceeds on the principle, that in every department of study, an opportunity should be taken of imparting some new and useful truth to the unders'anding of the young, or impressing some moral lesson upon the heart.
As soon as the pupil is able to handle the pen with some degree of dexterity, he should be accustomed to write forms of letters, narratives, essays, or real epistolary correspondence. He may likewise, at this period, be gradually taught the art of composition. This may be effected, in the first instance, by recounting to him a striking narrative, or an interesting historical fact, and desiring him immediately to repeat it in his own style, and afterwards to write it down nearly in the same manner. After being accustomed to write, a few simple narratives, descriptions of some objects connected with natural history, or some striking moral sentiments, may be read over several times in his hearing, as exercises in composition. He may next be requested to give a narrative of any excursion he has made, either alone, or in company, and a description of the scenes he has visited, the events that occurred, and the friends by whom he was entertained. He may also be desired to describe the rural scenery around him, and the streets, lanes, public buildings, and other remarkable objects connected with the town or village in which tie resides. A stuffed bird or quadruped, an insect, a plant, flower, or any other object, might occasionally be presented to him, with a request to describe in writing, its form, parts, proportions, and properties, as they appear to his senses after a minute inspection. The apparent motion of the sun during summer might be prescribed as an exercise of this kind, in which he might be desired to describe the direction or position of the sun at 6 and 9 o'clock in the morning, at noon, and at 3, 6, and 8 o'clock in the afternoon. A description of the different phases of the moon, and of the positions in the heavens in which she appears, immediately after sunset, when she
assumes the figure of a crescent, a half-moon, a gibbous phase, and a full enlightened hemisphere—might form another exercise.* Such exercises would tend to excite a spirit of observation, and to impress the mind with various facts, which would be found of immense benefit to the pupil when he should afterwards enter on the regular study of tho sciences. When such exercises are prescribed to a whole class, a day and hour may be appointed, when a few of the compositions might bo read by the teacher in the presence of the class. This will give him an opportunity of offering remarks on the merits of the different compositions, and of showing how the same ideas may be expressed in different language. On such occasions, orthographical and grammatical errors may be pointed out, and directions given how they may be avoided. At the same time, instructions may tie given in reference to the proper use of capital letters, stops and marks, and the proper arrangement of any piece of composition into sentences and paragraphs.
The utility of such exercises will scarcely be called in question. They would habituate the young to observation and reflection—instead of looking at the objects and phenomena of nature with an unconscious gaze, they would learn to inspect them with minute attention,' and investigate their forms, qualities, and effects. In such observations they would feel a variety of pleasing emotions; for the acquisition of new facts and ideas, and knowledge of every description, is a source of enjoyment to every mind, whether young or old. Besides, such studies and employments would have a tendency to prevent them from engaging in frivolous pursuits and mischievous devices; and, in the future periods of their lives, they would be enabled to record and describe, with perspicuity, any remarkable occurrences or facts that may fall under their observation. We have reason to believe that many interesting facts in relation to geology, mineralogy, zoology, meteorology, and other departments of natural history, have been detected by persons in the lower ranks of life, which have been lost to the scientific world,
* In order to underpaid the object of such an exercise, it may ndt be nnproper lo stale, that immediately after sunset, the moon, when in a cretcenl phase, appears near the west or south-vest quarter of the heavens, in our northern latitude— when of the figure of a half-moon, she appears nearly in the south at the same hour—when of a gibbous phase, about the south-tost—and when a full *oon, in the east, nearly opposite to the point of sunset, and sometimes a little to the south-east or north-east, according as she is in north or south declination. These circumstances can be easily ascertained in the course of a fortnight, and it is of some importance to a young person that he bs enabled to determine them from his own obserri. in consequence of their being beheld with an incurious eye, and from the observers having been incapable of writing an intelligent description of the objects which came under their inspection. Hence the numerous bones of fossil animals which have been mangled and destroyed, and thrown aside as rubbish, by labourers and miners, had they been preserved entire, might have thrown a new light on the extinct species of the animal kingdom, and on the former state of the world. But in the present state of society, there is not one out of a hundred capable of writing a perspicuous description of any fact, physical, political, or moral, that may fall under his observation. If, therefore, young people were early excited to habits of observation, and to record in writing the results of their observations, they might afterwards, in a variety of ways, be eminently useful in contributing to the advancement of science and of general knowledge.
In connection with writing, Drawing is an accomplishment in which every young person should be initiated. As writing consists in the imitation of characters and words, so drawing is the imitation or writing down of objects. Almost every child feels a desire to imitate the actions of others, and when he has it in his power, to draw representations, however rude, of the objects around him; and in such exercises feels no small share of enjoyment. He may be taught to begin with geometrical figures, as lines, angles, squares, parallelograms, triangles, polygons, arches, circles, ovals, cones, pyramids, cylinders, and the like, as being the foundation of all other proportions. He may next proceed to the drawing of fruits, as apples, pears, cherries, &c., with their leaves; of flowers, as roses, tulips, and daisies; of birds, beasts, fishes, and serpents; of the human body, with its several lineaments; and of houses, spires, public buildings, and landscapes. After he has executed some of these objects from patterns set before him, he should be encouraged as soon as possible to copy from nature. For this purpose, ho might be directed to begin yith attempting to draw the representatioaBf an adjacent building, of the schoolhousc, with its garden and area, of a church, a spire, a tower, or some adjacent public edifice—also the imitation of a tree, a flower, a horse, a cow, a dog, a ship, or a windmill. After drawing several landscapes from copies, he may be requested to delineate a particular landscape in the neighbourhood of the seminary; and if such an exercise were prescribed to a whole class, premiums (if such a principle be admitted) might be offered for two or three of the best finished
drawings. Previous, however, to such attempts, some of the principles of perspective would require to be familiarly illustrated. The pupil might next be instructed in the delineation of maps, the drawing of architectural plans, garden plots, and rural ornaments, machinery of different kinds, and optical, mathematical, and philosophical instruments. In the present state of society, and amidst the improvements now going on in all kinds of machinery, a particular acquaintance with this department of drawing would be found of great practical utility, and there arc few mechanical exercises in which the young would take greater delight
Drawing has hitherto been considered chiefly in the light of an ornamental study, and has been viewed as principally adapted to the amusement of ladies, and the higher ranks of society; and their attention ihas been chiefly directed to the copying of paintings, engravings, drawings, and fancy-piecit, which have no prototypes in nature. Hence there are comparatively few who have learned this art in the usual routine, that can accurately delineate a landscape from nature, draw an architectural plan, or give a correct representation of any instrument or piece of machinery. The art of drawing ought not to be considered as merely an elegant amusement: it is capable of being rendered of the greatest utility to science, and to those arts which minister to the comfort and rational enjoyments of human life. Were useful knowledge more generally diffused, and were the young universally taught to draw from nature, our views of the landscape of the world, of the facta of science, and of the operations of art, might be indefinitely enlarged. Every traveller would be enabled to take a sketeh of the wonders of nature, the varieties of art, the domestic associations, and the more interesting scenery displayed in the different regions through which he passed; and such sketehes, being afterwards expanded into panoramas, or engraved for the optical machine, might extend our conceptions of the scenery of the world, and convey clear and distinct views of objects which we may never have an opportunity of visiting. Every naturalist would be qualified to delineate an exact representation of any unknown tree, flower, shrub, or uncommon animal, that might fall under his observation. Every one engaged in astronomical observation could represent to others, with accuracy, the phenomena of the solar spots, with their numberless variations— the aspect of the lunar mountains, peaks, and vales, in every phase of the moon, and the changes which may occasionally be taking place—the varied appearances on the surfaces of the planets, as seen through telescopes— and the relative positions, sizes and phenomena of the stellar and planetary nebulae dispersed through the distant regions of space. Every artisan and mechanic would he qualified for sketehing any mechanical improvement or invention, cither of his own or of others; and every labourer, for delineating whatever curious or uncommon objects he might meet with, either in his rural walks, or in his digging, mining, and agricultural operations.
But, in order to enjoy the advantages which would be derived from universal instruction in the art of drawing, every object which the young are set to copy should be one which has 1' real exis'ence in nature, and which may be instrumental in conveying to their minds a new and correct idea of objects which they may not previously have seen, and thus of adding something to their stock of general knowledge; and they should be given to understand, that the object of drawing is not mere amusement, but practical utility; and consequently they should be induced to copy from nature and art as soon as they are able to handle the pencil with any degree of dexterity. It appears truly absurd and preposterous to set before children, as patterns of imitation, fancy pictures and imaginary landscapes which have no prototypes in the real world, when there are so many real objects and diversified landscapes around us, and when we consider that every new object which has a real existence, presented to a young mind, adds something to its stock of knowledge. Fancy pictures are of as little use in giving us correct representations of nature and art, as novels and romances are in conveying accurate information of the transactions and events recorded in history. On this ground, I would deem it inexpedient to distract the attention of the young with historical paintings or drawings, however much much pieces may he admired. In short, when we consider how much useful information, as well as pleasure, may be conveyed by accurate pictures taken directly from the scenes of nature and the operations of art, we cannot but view it as highly expedient, in attempting the general diffusion of knowledge, that every young person should be taught to delineate, on any emergency, whatever phenomena or processes of nature, or operations of art, may be thought worthy of being depicted and recorded.
Arithmetic is the science which explains the properties and relations of numbers, and the method of computing by them. A knowledgo at this subject should form a part of overy system of education, as its principles and
rules form the groundwork of all the computations connected with commerce, geometry, mensuration, geography, astronomy, navigation, and other departments of science.
Previous to engaging in the regular study of this science, and attempting its more complex operations, the general properties of numbers should be familiarly illustrated by sensible representations, in a manner similar to what is generally practised in infant schools. This may be done cither in private by an intelligent parent, or in a public school, as an occasional amusement for those who have not entered on the regular study of arithmetic; which would prepare them for understanding its fundamental rules and computations. A variety of moveable objects, as peas, beans, beads, marbles, cubes, &c. may be provided,—or perhaps small pieces of wood cut in the shape of cubes or parallelepipeds, as they do not roll, may be more convenient for this purpose—and a method such as the following, corresponding to the spirit and plan of Pestalozzi, may be pursued. The teacher, placing one of the cubes before the children, says, "This is one cube;" the children at the same time repeat, "This is one cube." The teacher, adding another, says, "These are two cubes," which the children likewise repeat. This process may be continued till they advance to the number 'en. Then, taking all the cubes from the table, and throwing down four, the question is put. How many cubes are on the table? which the children, after having been for some time familiarized to this mode of notation, will be able to answer. In like manner, other numbers may be successively placed on the table, and similar questions put. This process may be varied as follows: Placing a parallelopiped or oblong figure before the children, the teacher may say, " Once one"—placing another at a little distance from the first, "Twice one"—adding another, "Three times one;" and so on, making the children repeat the numbers as the pieces are laid down. When the ten oblongs are thus arranged at equal distances and in a straight line, such questions as the following may be put. How many oblongs are there on the table 1 Do they lie close together? Is the first oblong placed nearer to the second than the second is to the third? Do their long sides lie in the direction of the window or of the door, &c.! Could they be placed differently without changing cither their number or distance! When these questions are answered, they may then be desired cither to shut their eyes or to turn their backs to the table, when three oblongs may be taken away, and the second moved nearer the first, and the question put, How many oblongs are there now? The children, having counted them, H 2 (89)