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Removed to 29 Cornhill,
Our rule not to advertise by DETRACTION prevents us from answering in kind a recent attack in the advertising columns of this JOURNAL upon Guyot's Geographies, made by the publishers of WARREN's. We will show at our office, to those interested, a list of places in this vicinity which have recently discontinued the use of WARREN's Geographies (and the comments of such parties upon these books), embracing several large cities and several score of towns.
A QUESTION OF FACT. Was the old or new edition of Warren's Geography superseded by Guyot in
Nevoburyport 9 A statement lately published in the interest of Warren's Geographies, purporting to be a certificate signed by me to the effect that Guyot's superseded the old edition of WARREN's Common School Geography, was never given nor signed by me, to my best recollection and belief. The facts are, that both the old and the new edition of Warren's book were in our schools; but the one in the beginning classes, and the one superseded, and the one compared with Guyot's, WAS THE NEW EDITION.
ISAAC 'P. NOYES, NEWBURYPORT, Oct. 25, 1869.
Sec'y of School Committee.
In March, 1869, GUYOT's Geography superseded WARREN's Common School, then in use in our schools. The exchange was made at my store, and to my knowledge many of the books exchanged were WARREN'S NEW EDITION of 1868. That book in fact was used by the beginning classes, and was considered in comparison with Guyot.
N. A. MOULTON,
Chairman of Board of School Committee. NEWBURYPORT, Oct. 25, 1869.
This will certify that I sold the new edition of Warren's Common School Geography for use in the schools of this city for nearly a year previous to the adoption of Guyot's series.
GEORGE W. CLARK, NEWBURYPORT, Oct. 25, 1869.
On the 15th of March, 1869, I bought of Mr. G. K. Tucker, three hundred and twenty-seven copies of the New England edition of Warren's Common School Geography, that came from the schools of Newburyport, – about one half of which was the new edition of 1868.
N. J. BARTLETT, BOSTON, Oct. 22, 1869.
“SEE A VERY DIFFERENT STATEMENT” from the above in a late WARREN
GILMAN H. TUCKER,
New England Agent for Guyot's Geographtes. At THOMPSON, BIGELOW & BROWN'S, 29 Cornhill, Boston.
THE DEFECTS IN OUR HIGH SCHOOLS .....
..... Page 1
FIRST LESSONS IN NUMBERS.... ..........
EDITOR'S DEPARTMENT. - SALUTATORY, 24; REMOVAL, DEATH OF JOHN
D. MARSTON, 25; INTELLIGENCE, 26; DEDICATION AT WALTHAM, 27; WORCES-
[Remarks of W. C. Collar in the High School section of the State Teachers' Association, October 22, 1869, on the question, “ Are our High Schools what they should be?”]
MR. CHAIRMAN, — I have listened to Mr. Harrington's paper with a great deal of interest. I think he has made important suggestions, but I do not agree with him entirely as to the cause of that inferiority of our High Schools which I join him in deploring. Whenever a new institution of learning is to be established, the two primary and most important points are, to plan a scheme of studies, and to secure a corps of qualified instructors. These objects effected, the results of the working of the institution will depend in some degree upon methods of instruction. These three, I suppose, are the essential points: the choice and order of studies to be pursued, the selection of teachers, the methods of instruction to be adopted. But important as all are, they are not important in the same degree. A narrow or irrational curriculum will in some measure produce an unsymmetrical culture. Some faculties will not be likely to receive their proper stimulus or discipline, and some will be unduly quickened and exercised. Still the result will be determined in no small measure by the spirit of the student, and by the way in which he is taught to study. It sometimes seems to me not of great moment what one studies, if he only stud.
ies in the right way. For example, the opponents of classical education have always maintained with great earnestness that the principal mistake in making education exclusively literary is that it leaves the observing faculties untrained; and strange enough, so far as I know, this has never been answered. But I consider the Latin and Greek languages as the most valuable instruments for training these particular powers. How numberless and how interesting are the points to which the observation may be directed on a single page of a classic author! It is only the wooden method of our instruction in these tongues that ever furnished ground for such a charge.
I repeat that, considered with reference to culture, what a man studies is not of transcendent importance. Viewed in reference to the acquisition of knowledge, it claims more consideration. It is doubtless true that both a higher culture and more knowledge would be gained if the character and succession of studies could be made to correspond to the successive stages of mental evolution. Doubtless the mind at different periods of its growth craves and readily assimilates certain kinds of mental food. How best to supply that want is one of the perplexing probleins of education, — perplexing from its intrinsic difficulty, and from the diversity of opinions among the learned and the wise. It will require a long period of patient reflection, observation, and experiment before a solution can be hoped for. But fortunately in this matter it seems now possible to avoid making great mistakes.
If we compare the schools of Germany, France, England, and America, the marked differences that strike us in the results produced cannot, I think, be attributed in any large measure to differences in plans of study. There are, it is true, many differences of detail, but a general correspondence obtains in the most important respects. On the other hand a very great difference in studies does not produce, so far as I am able to discern, any extraordinary diversity of power and culture. The education of the young Greek of the age of Pericles, and that of the young Englishman of the age of Elizabeth, were very unlike; but they seem to have been equally fitted to form the intellect and mould the character.
I have said that the question what studies are pursued is less important than how one studies. But when we consider the community, that is the school or college, rather than the individual, this question in turn sinks into insignificance in comparison with that other which concerns the character and attainments of the teacher. A perfect scheme or programme of studies goes but a little way towards making a school. A perfect theory of instruction will do but little. The teacher after all makes the school. The teacher is the school; and a good school should not be taken to mean a good building, good text-books, good apparatus, a good theory; but earnest, able, efficient instructors. Therefore I conclude that whatever defects in our High Schools we see and lament are due, not to these externals, but to some fault in ourselves, the teachers. Shall I be pardoned if I go a step further, and point out in what I suspect we are wanting ? I believe we are wanting in knowledge, in enthusiasm, and in devotion.
First, knowledge. To teach with power the fullest knowledge is an absolute prerequisite. The subject must be mastered. For the teacher above all, “ a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”; nay, it is almost a fatal thing,— dangerous for his pupils as well as himself, if he does not know it is little; and well nigh fatal to his efficiency, if he does know it. For conscious ignorance bę. numbs the faculties, chills all ardor, represses all enthusiasm, and begets feebleness, awkwardness, and embarrassment. It shrivels the soul, and fetters the tongue. It cramps and confines, it seals up the sources of inspiration, and takes the very life and spirit away.
“Of course," it may be said, “it is the merest truism to assert that the teacher must understand what he professes to teach." But I affirm with the emphasis of profouud conviction that very much more than that is necessary. The subject must be worked out by patient, protracted, original research. It must penetrate and permeate the mind; it must be wrought into its very fibre. Then, and not till then, can knowledge be freely and spontaneously reproduced. This is the first fundamental condition of really effective, successful teaching, and in just this respect, in my opinion, is the cause of failure most frequently to be sought.
I say perfect knowledge of what one has to teach is the first