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object exhibited, and the characteristics by which it is distinguished from every other class of objects. If it be a ship, the masts, the yard-arms, the bow, the poop, the keel, the different kinds of sails, &c. their uses, properties, and the terms by which they are distinguished, may be pointed out and described. If it be a flower, the calyx, corolla, stamina and pistil, may be pointed out, the class to which it belongs described, and the characteristics by which it may be known from every other flower distinguished. After having several times exhibited and described such objects, they may afterwards be held up to the view of a class, or handed round among the pupils for their inspection, and each of them, or at least a few of the more intelligent, interrogated respecting the parts, qualities, uses, or circumstances connected with the object exhibited. The objects which may be thus described are almost innumerable; and hence the necessity, in such a system of instruction, of collecting for every school an extensive museum of natural and artificial objects,-of having an extensive plot of ground connected with the seminary, for rearing trees, 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 elucida, tion 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 Glass.-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 be examined by each individual, so that his attention and powers may be exercised about it.

"Teacher. What is that which I hold in my hand? Children. A piece of glass. T. Can you spell the word 'glass? [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 say 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. C. 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. T. 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 you say, then, of the glass? C. We can see through it. T. Can you tell me any word that will express this quality? C. No. T. I will tell you then; pay attention that you may recollect it. It is transparent. 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 chil dren at their first attempt, which, being arranged on the slate or board, form an exercise in spelling. They should then be effaced, and if the pupils are able to write, they may endeavour to remember the lesson, and put it down on their slates. Various other qualities of glass might afterwards be 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 be 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 goose-quill 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

b

The pupil works his pointed slate-pencil several times throughout the indentings of each letter, and, after he has become familiar with its slopes and curves, and acquires the movements requisite 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 by 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 Jacotot's system of education-instead of commencing with elementary lines, curves, and letters, in what is called texthand-a complete sentence, written by the master, or engraved in small hand, is put before the eyes of the pupil, which he is directed to copy. He writes, as well as he can, the first wordsuppose 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 charac ters 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, and statements of historical, geographical, astronomical, and scientific facts, in order that no opportunity may be lost in familiarizing the mind to useful knowledge. For example, instead of the unmeaning words generally given as 'copies,' 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 are seen in the construction of the smallest insect. In a single drop of certain kinds of water, hundreds of little animals may be seen, 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 ene mies, do good to them that hate you, and live peaceably with all men. It thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he 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 sendeth 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 num"China is the bers of people living in it whose skin is entirely black. 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." "The sun is ninety-five millions of miles distant; and is more than twelve hundred thousand times larger 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 Amazons is three thousand miles long, and 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 facts 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 be inexpedient to classify a number of fundamental truths, facts, and aphorisms, under such heads as the following-Religious, Moral, Geographical, Historical, Astronomical, Chemical, Optical, Botanical, &c. allotting two or three pages of the copy-book for 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 understanding 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 e scenes he has visited, the cvents that occurred, and the friends by whom he was entertained. He

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