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move ever, in Providence, upon its iron track; and signals of danger, in departing from it, meet us all along our way. If we turn to the spiritual realm, it is the "law of the Lord" that converteth the soul, that maketh wise the simple, that rejoiceth the heart, that enlighteneth the eyes, and that, for all benignant purposes, "endureth forever." There may, it is true, bə an undue multiplication of merely conventional enactments, and these may be regarded in the spirit of a drudge or a slave; but the very noblest function of the educator, I apprehend, is to form in his pupils the habit of exact, unvarying, conscientious observance of law. And nowhere upon earth is it more desirable, than in this land of free institutions, of intense individualism, and of juvenile precocity. So much is said here of the will of the people, that each man, each little man even,-is apt to feel that his own will is the lex suprema. Our youth need to be taught, over and over again, that liberty is not lawlessness, but a faithful conformity to all good law. Even the mere conventionalities of school life have an important use. "I desire that you should go through college," said a New York banker to a somewhat reluctant son who had business in view, "for I have observed that those young men, ordinarily, do best in business who have had a liberal education." The banker was right, a shrewd observer, as he was, though not a college man. The very routine of school life, the variety of duties required, the heeding of hours and of bells; the systematic arrangements, and the very spurs provided for the laggard, all tend to fit one for what will inevitably be required of him in whatever walk of life, and to insure, with the other requisite qualifications, his success in the world.
I add only, as touching discipline, that I have an ever
increasing conviction, in opposition to all the rosewater philosophy, of the importance of penalty. Human nature was essentially the same in Solomon's days as in ours; and Solomon, with all his failings, was about as wise as a majority of the modern school committees, and even of the modern teachers. God knows human nature perfectly, and His law has its penalties, even His natural law. We are hedged about by them. The slip on the sidewalk, the careless touch of the heated iron, the eating of some crude and indigestible substance, a thousand physical mishaps and sufferings, forcibly remind us of them. The moral law has its penalties. Penalty, in a broad view, is but "the graver countenance of love."
It is a truly beneficial element in the processes of education. Use all other means to the utmost. Let kindness do its perfect work, we cannot insist too much on this. Let the deftest moral suasion be employed. On the ear of the serpent of evil, let the voice of the charmer fall most winningly. You will accomplish something; but you will not accomplish all. Nay, if you have only kindness, however gushing, and suasion, however mellifluous, if there be no background of penalty, you will accomplish comparatively little. You fail of one of the most effective didactic appliances. Let it be understood that, in the last resort, the offender is to be only "talked to," and the talk will be likely to lose its power. The lightning must strike sometimes; mere heat-lightning and peals of thunder will not suffice. Let the tears of pity fall ever in chastisement; but for the sake of every interest concerned, let not a maudlin sensibility banish penalty from your code.
But I must pause.
Such are the hints I offer,-brief as to the means of moral culture in our
schools. Let the Bible remain, then, as the great authoritative text-book. Let the character and example of the teacher, not in what he says, merely, but in what he is, be a constant incentive to virtue. Let even the curriculum be shaped with reference to the highest moral ends. Let the best social influences be sedulously sought, and evil ones be unsparingly eliminated. When all else is done, let penalty, the stern guardian of the law, the benevolent conservator of all that is dearest to humanity, be wisely and lovingly invoked, and though there may be incorrigible ones still, here and there, you will have the satisfaction of having used the fittest means to the grandest end. Nay, you will have the joy, in many a case, of having aided in the formation of character, the noblest product in the not only for the life that now is, but for im
The Place of the Polytechnic School in American Education.
BY PROF. C. O. THOMPSON,
The School is the comprehensive term under which are grouped all the agencies by which knowledge is communicated and increased. All men admit that the school is the prime motor in civilization, and the indispensable condition of a truly prosperous nation. This term, so freely used and so well understood in its practical bearings, it is difficult to define or to trace. It includes the apparatus of education, but not the whole of it; for education has mighty forces at command which lie outside the school, and sometimes, to some extent, counteract it. What has been happily termed “ unconscious education," transcends the school, sometimes subordinates its processes, always modifies its results. What the school undertakes to do must be wisely limited and determined by this relation to other educating forces. It will not undertake to shape the precise career of a man by rules drawn from a too curious scrutiny of the characteristics of the child; nor will it leave all forms of applied knowledge to be learned in the wider world; but it will be content with the duty
Of the agencies usually attributed to the school, the communication of knowledge, and the means of acquiring and increasing it, are its main end. For these ends, really one, the school exists. In learning them, the pupil is taught in the first stage how to do,in the second, how to know.
Any association of men, no matter how savage, which is, by any fair use of language, called a nation, always contains the rudiments at least of a school. It may as little resemble a modern school, as the savage government a modern State; but yet it is, in its form and object, a school.
How the school began, or how it came to be, are questions full of interest. Doubtless, the teaching of manipulation always precedes the proper discipline of the intellectual faculties, and mixes, to some extent, in all effective teaching. This is the truth concerning the rise and progress, both of national systems of education, and of any particular system.
The rude tuition of the young Briton, Celt, Saxon, Anglo or Norman, in archery, or in navigation, clear and direct in method, and certain in results, was the counterpart, and indeed the spring, of Winchester and Eaton; and the modern education for modern needs would leave little to be desired were its results comparable at all with those attained by the ancient training for ancient needs. One good scholar outweighs, it may be, a thousand Norman archers; but every Norman was a good archer, and rendered a clear return for the labor of his training, while the skillful bowman received spe