« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
70. The rod of correction belongs to the province of parents and guardians, who, under the influence and teachings of nature, we might rationally suppose, would have more affection for children, than to transfer it to the hands of strangers : for, if through the impulse of passion parents do sometimes abuse their offspring, which in truth cannot be denied, what can they expect from strangers that are void of parental affection? From banished, disappointed, and almost profligate men, who never felt a glimpse of that maternal glow which softens anger into love.
71. In order thoroughly to impress on the minds of com. munity, the baneful consequences of the foregoing evil, and cause them if possible to abandon it by adopting Lancaster's mode of distributing rewards, and by inflicting rational and mild punishments ; I will request the reader to examine the regulations of colleges, of academies, and large seminaries in populous towns. I wish to ask if these institutions embrace that martial, that worse than savage punishment of whipping students into moral rectitude ? Or in another instance, do the Ministers of the gospel, who have charge over a congregation, whip those parishioners, who are tenfold more obnoxious than their children?
72. Does not a knowing, mischievous, and designing of fender, deserve a more severe punishment, than a child that merely acts from the impulse of a lively disposition ? Yet in those institutions, lenient means and measures form the genius of their government.
73. It will not suffice to answer and say, that, “ Policy dictates a more mild government, in managing overgrown offenders, than in managing children: that we can compel little ones to submit to more tyrannical laws, than we can larger pupils." This is fostering the erroneous principle of which ye complain; this is the deformed, the wicked, and the horrible act, that seals the death warrant of social and harmonious order throughout the whole intelligent part of animal creation. No, reader; humanity, morality, and the divine golden rule of “ doing unto others," &c. must have a voice in these things,
74. In a republic like the United States, it may not be criminal to think and act on this subject: such a measure would not be treasonable ; it would not be contrary to the genius of a majority of the people, nor an infringement on the constitution.*
75. In the next place I will show how a School has been, now is, and most certainly in future will be, governed without Whipping.t
* It is contended by some eminent Teachers, that where boys are brought up in a city or populous town, and have no decent parents to govern them; a rod of suitable dimensions, used in a rational manner, is necessary. In such cases let the trustees employ teachers that can be relied on as to their discreetness in governing.
In obstinate cases, or when boys are guilty of wilful neglect, Mr. Wm. A. Tweed Dale, of the Lancastrian Academy, at Albany, has introduced the fashion of tapping the inside of the offender's hand or fingers with a small rod. The salutary effects arising from this mode of punishment, are superior to those of whipping : it is less degrading and at the same tine sufficiently irksome; it tends to keep the passions of the Master within due bounds, and leaves the mind of the delinquent impressed with just treatment, without harbouring a secret idea of revenge.
+ Joseph Lancaster of London who brought this plan of teaching to the present height of perfection, has more than one thousand scholars under his care in one school, and it is said, they are all governed without whipping
76. In the first place let us attend to some general remarks, and secondly, mention particulars.
First, when a Teacher enters a school, he must take into consideration the conveniencies of the house, the season of the year, the natural and acquired abilities of the children, the manners, fashions, and dispositions of the employers generally, and all other objects appertaining to his important task.
77. The superintendence of different schools cannot be reduced to a particular form, like the declension of a noun or conjugation of a verb; nor will one set of rules always remain proper for the same school. Discretion must be exercised in varying the rules of government from time to time, as different circumstances may require : and that must be done without confusion, inconsistence, or perplexity.
78. If school-houses were built uniformly, in a suitable manner for the purpose intended, the management of a school might be reduced almost to a system.
* Though I expect no interest in the subject whatever, yet through pity to youth, who are yearly losing a great portion of their time by reason of inconvenient school-houses, will mention the size and formation suitable for one in the country : It ought to be forty-two feet by twentyone, with chimnies (not stoves) at each end. The benches should not be fastened to the walls as in the usual way, but in two tiers crosswise of the house, with an aisle in the middle four feet wide lengthwise of the room. Then the benches may be about eight feet in length, with back spaces for the scholars to go in and out without disturbing each other. The outward door may be opposite one of the chimnies at a corner of the house, and an enclosure made for cleaning feet, &c. before coming into school. Another place on the opposite side of the chimney, may be for depositing dry wood for kindling morning fires. Then on each side of the other
But under the existing circumstances of our country schools, Teachers will be obliged to exercise their ingenuity with as many variations, as a good husbandman would his, in managing a farm.
79. A man well skilled in agriculture, will study out how to pursue the best modes throughout his various sorts of soil; the rich and moist will receive one series of culture during a suitable time, the stéril and dry another; change of crops will be necessary for a third, while a fourth which has been mismanaged, but betokens signs of a fruitful field, will receive experiments by his philosophic care.
80. In other words, the care of a Teacher may be compared to that of a regular bred physician, who, free from nostrums and catholicons, observes every concurring circumstance of his patient, and administers accordingly; in difficult cases, performs his art with vigilance and closeness of application; so a Teacher, that determines to exhibit justice to his pupils and employers, and gain to himself good fame, must take into view all the accompanying requisites of those who are placed under his instruction.
81. In the second place we will enumerate particulars worthy the notice of a Teacher.
The reader may refer to clauses 60, 61, and 65—these three clauses point out several preparatory objects for the keeping of good order. In some cases, though not always, it is necessary that the Teacher should be first at school
chimney, a closet and shelves may be formed as a receptacle for the loose clothes. Messrs. Enoch and Theodore Coburn, No. 14 Beaver-street, Albany, have made an improvement on the Russian stove. It emits wholesome air, and is said to make a saving of about nine tenths in wood.
in the morning, and, having suitable wood prepared before. hand, build a fire very early, that the room may be warm, and not have confusion reign for want of a little timely preparation. When the scholars begin to enter the room, let the Teacher, or him whose turn it was to make a fire, receive the spare clorhes from the children, and deposit them in such manner that he can expeditiously deliver them out again to the owners at noon.
Four times in a day some capable person must be placed as a steward to perform this duty with neatness and care.
Where the shelves are spacious, the depositing can be performed with ease; they may be numbered so as to correspond with the number of the classes, and the articles can be placed accordingly.*
82. It is now expected that the books, cards, pens, replenishing of the inkstands and utensils generally, have been seen to and prepared for the commencement of busi
This preparation must be made on the preceding evening. The reason is obvious: For the Teacher must pay
his whole attention to the order of the scholars; see that they come in decently with as little noise as possible, and not allow speaking to any one but the Teacher or Steward—see that fairness is used in warming, and order to their seats, classes or parts of a class when he judges proper.
83. In the next place some short appropriate devotional lesson may be read or otherwise performed, and business may begin with regularity, all attending to the different
* In a school that is very numerous, the boys sling their hats in schoolhours after the manner of slinging a knapsack; but placing them in holes under their writing-desks is more convenient.