Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

It saves time.-Simultaneous recitation.--Its evils.

and the teacher should have the energy to insist upon them. Mark the countenances of a class as they go to their seats after a good recitation. They feel that they have done something, and they look as if they valued the teacher's approbation and their own so highly, that they will learn the next lesson still better.

It is moreover a great saving of time, to have the lessons promptly recited. This saving will afford the opportunity to introduce those additional illustrations I have before suggested, in order to excite a still deeper interest. It may sometimes, though not always, be well to make a prompt and perfect recitation the condition of introducing the additional matter. - 9. Rely not too much upon simultaneous recitation. This has become quite too fashionable of late. It had its origin in the large schools established some years since, known as Lancasterian schools, and perhaps was well enough adapted to schools kept upon that plan in large cities. But when this mode of reciting is adopted in our district and country schools, where the circumstances of large numbers and extreme backwardness are wanting, it is entirely uncalled for, and like other city fashions transferred to the country, is really out of place.

Seriously, I look upon this as one of the prominent faults in many of our schools. It destroys all independence in the pupil by taking away his individuality. He moves with the phalanx. Learning to rely on others, he becomes superficial in his lessons. He is tempted to indolence by a knowledge that his deficiencies will

[ocr errors]

Sometimes allowable.-When?

as

not stand out by themselves; and he comforts himself after a miserable recitation with the consoling reflection, that he has been able to conceal his want of thoroughness from his teacher.

It may sometimes be useful. A few questions thus answered may serve to give animation to a class when their interest begins to flag; but that which may serve

a stimulant must not be relied on for nutrition. As an example of its usefulness, I have known a rapid reader tamed into due moderation by being put in companionship with others of slower speech, just as we tame a friskful colt by harnessing him into a team of grave old horses. But aside from some such definite purpose, I have seen no good come of this innovation. I am satisfied its prevalence is an evil, and worthy of the careful consideration of teachers.

By the foregoing means and others which will suggest themselves to the thoughtful teacher's mind, he can arouse the interest of his classes so that study will be more attractive than play. For this object every teacher should labor. It is of course impossible to give specific rules to meet every case ; it is not desirable to do it. The teacher, put upon the track, will easily devise his own expedients; and his own, be it remembered, will usually be found the best for him.

As a motive for every teacher to study carefully the art of teaching well at the recitation, it should be borne in mind that then and there he comes before his pupils in a peculiar and prominent manner; it is there his mind

The teacher makes his mark at recitation.

coines specially in contact with theirs, and there that he lays in them, for good or for evil, the foundations of their mental habits. It is at the recitation in a peculiar manner, that he makes his mark upon their minds; and as the seal upon the wax, so his mental character upon theirs leaves its impress behind !

[ocr errors]

A great question.—The interest in study an abiding one.

CHAPTER VIII.

EXCITING INTEREST IN STUDY.

It is ever an interesting question to the teacher, and one which he should consider with great care—“How can I excite an interest among my pupils in their studies ?” The intelligent teacher feels that this is the great question ; for he foresees that, if he fails here, his difficulty in governing his school will be very much increased. He therefore turns his attention with deep solicitude to the motives he may present, and the methods he may employ to awaken and keep alive the interest of the school.

If he has reflected at all upon the subject, he has already arrived at the conviction, that it is necessary for the good of all concerned that the interest awakened should be an abiding one; that it should not only not abate during the term of school, but continue -nay, grow stronger and stronger-even after schooldays have passed away. There is probably no greater mistake in education, than that of raising in school an artificial excitement, which may aid perhaps in securing better recitations, but which will do nothing toward putting the mind into such a state, that it will press on

A common mistake.--Emulation.-Perplexity.

in the pursuit of knowledge ever after the living teacher has closed his labors.

The higher principles of our nature being aroused with difficulty, are too apt to be neglected by the teacher, and thus they remain in their original feebleness; while he contents himself with appealing to our lower characteristics,-thus doing a lasting injury by unduly cultivating and strengthening them, at the same time that he awakens after all but a temporary interest.

In view of the importance of the subject, and the difficulty of judging aright upon it, I shall make no apology for devoting a few pages to the consideration of

SECTION I.-INCENTIVES TO STUDY-EMULATION.

The teacher will find in a greater or less degree, in the mind of every child, the principle of EMULATION. It is a question very much debated of late, What shall he do with it? Much has been said and written on this question, and the ablest minds, both of past ages and the present, have given us their conclusions respecting it; and it often increases the perplexity of the young teacher to find the widest difference of opinion on this subject among men upon whom in other things he would confidingly rely for guidance. Why, asks he, why is this? Is there no such thing as truth in this matter? or have these men misunderstood each other? When they have written with so much ability and 80 much earnestness--some zealously recommending

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »