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can make the application, – imitative as the monkey, faithful as the dog, persevering as the spider, sly as the fox. The impression of one such story, heard several years ago, in a primary class-room, is still clear and strong. In simple, vivid language, a young teacher described a Scottish moor, with its blooming heather, its browsing sheep, and watchful shepherd with his crook and dog. Then the coming of the storm, the scattering of the flock, and the diligent search till every lost sheep was found by the faithful dog. Sparkling eyes were evidence that the story was new. Faithfulness was the text of that special lesson, and faithfully was it illustrated; while questions and answers, running through it, indicated the natural history study on which the charming description was based. When the lesson was carried one step further, earnest faces told that each little heart knew some way to be as faithful as the shepherd's dog. Who shall measure the effect of such vivid teaching and of such unconscious influence upon little children ?
There are wise and thoughtful teachers who believe that the study of Natural History will help to an early interpretation and acceptance of the laws of right living. When from repeated observations, the fact has become evident that the fullest development of plant and animal is possible only under favorable conditions, will not even the young student be led to infer that the same is true with human life? Will he not think that neglected children might have healthier bodies and stronger brains, could they, too, have plenty of sunshine, food, water, and air? When he discovers the wonderful adaptations in insect-life, - how the dragon-fly is fitted to catch its food on the wing; and the mantis to seize its prey while silently waiting; how the grasshopper is adapted to nearly every clime, and the beetle to live upon land and in water,—will he not, as he thinks upon these things and grows to maturity, come to have greater faith in his own adaptive powers, whereby he may become the master, rather than the slave of inevitably adverse circumstances ? When he learns how a species of the slave-making ants has lost the use of its mouth-parts, and even the instinct of feeding, by keeping slaves to supply its food, will he not think of the debasing effects of dependence and laziness? These views are not merely idle theories. Every teacher knows that children do think and reason, that they put questions which the wisest dare not try to answer. It is the firm conviction of those who have experience that the study of Natural History, by bringing the young into close relations with the laws that govern animal life, will tend, in time, to the development of stronger, inore efficient bodies and brains, to more temperate desires, to larger aims ;- in brief, to the practical application of the principles of right living.
And now, in closing, let us repeat that we claim a place for Natural History in our schools, not to provide students with “ bundles of dry facts,” but to secure for all our children, healthful training of body and mind ; to prepare them for various industries ; and to supply them with new resources and good influences for leisure hours.
Let us hope that the poet's song of Agassiz may some time be repeated in fainter accents for every child.
“ And Nature, the old nurse, took
The child upon her knee,
The Father has written for thee.
“Come, wander with me,' she said,
‘Into regions yet untrod; And read what is still unread
In the manuscript of God.'
“ And he wandered away and away,
With Nature, the dear old nurse,
The rhymes of the universe.
“And whenever the way seemed long
Or his heart began to fail,
Or tell a more marvellous tale."
REFORM OF THE TENURE OF OFFICE OF TEACHERS.
By John D. PhilBRICK, LL.D.
Good teachers, and what next? There is no next. This is the meaning of Jules Simon in his saying, “ The master is the school.” In this sense the great German pedagogue, when asked what his system was, made the well-known reply, “I am the system.” This was Garfield's thought, when paying a merited tribute to his great college-master, he said, "Give me a log-hut with only a simple bench, Mark Hopkins on one end and I on the other, and you may have all the buildings, apparatus, and libraries.” This was Horace Mann's idea in declaring the teacher's seminary to be one of the greatest instrumentalities for the improvement of the race. Hence, the pivotal question in pedagogy is the question of the teacher, everywhere and always. The cause of education and the cause of the teacher are one. The best criterion of merit in a school system is to be found in the character and qualities of the teachers in its service.
There is no really fruitful educational reform which does not provide for increasing the competence of teachers. The originators and founders of our normal-school system, Olmstead, Carter, Russell, Brooks, Mann, Barnard, and others, all maintained and acted upon this theory. They held that the end in view, the ideal education, imparted in the ideal school, could come only
through the ideal teacher. In maintaining this theory they stood on solid ground; their position was impregnable. The instrumentality which they advocated as essential for the realization of their idea, was the normal school for the professional training of teachers. Too much cannot be said in praise of their labors and devotion to this great cause. The establishment of normal schools was a great achievement. It is not to be doubted that the normal school is an essential element in a good school system. But history does not justify the assumption that it is the fundamental requisite for securing competent teachers. Something else more fundamental still is necessary to the full success and the full utilization of the capabilities of the normal school. That prerequisite is a desirable status for the teacher who has made his preparation in the normal school.
The creation of such a status has no doubt been too much overlooked and neglected by our educational leaders and reformers, and the reason is obvious. The indispensable requisite for such a status is security,— certainty of position ; such security and certainty of position as is afforded by tenure of office during efficiency and good behavior. Fifty years ago this reform was impracticable. Every school system must, in the nature of things, be in substantial harmony with the other institutions of the country where it exists. In forming the school system of France, Guizot and Cousin took lessons of Prussia and Holland, but they were obliged to adapt their plan to the actual state of things in their own country.
Mr. Forster, on drawing up his school bill, the new Magna Charta of the English people, had at his command all the available results of foreign experience; but he was under the necessity of shaping every provision