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the present as the age of improvement. We go to other countries for instruction in the arts of reading, writing, and arithmetic, and we would be the glory of the world and the envy of surrounding nations. But we have hitherto left an onerous and important duty unperformed, in consequence of which it is supposed by other nations that we must be behind them in the work of Education, and England is now obliged to vindicate her claim of being the first educated country in the world.
Thus the supineness of the Schoolmaster to his own interests has not only deprived him of many personal advantages, but has tended in a great measure to lower the educational character of the country; and, while pushing Education with the greatest success in nearly all its branches, and with fewer exceptions than are found in any other profession, he has had the misfortune to be considered as a charlatan and a quack, and begins to be looked upon with profound suspicion by the new-fangled, the self-sufficient, and the ignorant.
It is assuredly then time that something should be done to wipe off this professional and national disgrace, to give to learning its dignity, to talent its encouragement, and to indefatigable labour
its just reward. But it is in vain to look for the assistance of others, while those who require such assistance are determined not to assist themselves. Schoolmasters, if they would elevate themselves in the scale of society, must put their own shoulders to the wheel. Heaven helps those who help themselves, as saith the proverb, and we may be as certain that if Schoolmasters make a beginning on the plan and principles of action as laid down in this paper, that a path will open for them among the hills, and that, in due course of time (and that time by no means distant), they will be able to enrol themselves among the other learned professions, and take an exalted position
In the consideration of the best means of promoting this desirable end, there seems to be nothing of such paramount importance at the present moment as the formation of a society among the profession, whose object shall be to unite together the several members of this great fraternity in the establishment of a public institution in central London, through which the principles and practice of Education may be studied and acquired by means of courses of lectures on the various departments of physical and mental science, and especially on subjects relating to the philosophy of the human mind, and the best methods of teaching and training.
To the Institution will be attached :-
First.–A standard library of ancient and modern works of literature and science, and especially of English and foreign works on Education, for the purpose of reference and circulation. SECOND.—Lecture and examination rooms, and reading rooms,
which shall be open daily, for the mutual accommodation of the members, and for meetings and discussions.
Third.- A repository of models, drawings, plans, specimens, philosophical apparatus, which shall be let to the members on hire, according to certain regulations.
The Society to consist of three classes, and be governed by a Patron, President, Vice-President, and a Committee.
The First Class to consist of honorary members—including the Patron, President, and Subscribers to the general fund, and of individuals admitted into the Society in consequence of literary or scientific communications or assistance.
The Second Class to consist of male and female members, who are principals of schools, and of private teachers.
The Third Class to consist of Ushers, Assistants, and Go
The subscription to the first and second class to be £l Is. annually, or a donation of £10, which shall constitute a life member.
The subscription to the third class shall be half a guinea annually.
So soon as the Society is formed, it will immediately direct its attention to the best means of obtaining a CUARTER OF IncorpoRATION, which shall protect the existing principals of schools, and those duly qualified assistants, from the intrusion of unqualified persons as teachers, and secure to them those rights and privileges to which, from their learning, position in society, and influence, they are so pre-eminently entitled.
The Society will next endeavour to establish, in union with some safe and eligible company, a life assurance and annuity fund -to afford pensions to those retiring from the profession—and also a charitable fund for the assistance of decayed schoolmasters and schcolmistresses.
Such is a slight outline of a plan which appears to us calculated to raise the Schoolmaster to his true position in society. He requires patronage to enable him to do this, and we feel convinced that the heads of the Church, and the personages of our aristocracy and commonalty, will be ready to lend their aid to a work which is calculated to do the greatest good to an industrious but oppressed, a deserving but ill-requited body of persons, who above all others are capable of perpetuating the true glory of this great and flourishing country.
In conclusion, we have only to request the immediate correspondence of all principals of schools, governesses, ushers, teachers, and assistants, who are favourable to our plans, and who will be ready to come forward upon the proper occasion.
THE EDUCATION OF THE SENSES. We think it will be held as an established axiom, that Education, to be placed on a right basis, must be philosophical ; that is, in agreement with the known laws of the human mind.” Without this principle to guide us, although we may perchance succeed, we shall never know the reason of our success,
and thus be empyrics at best : it is proposed, therefore, to make this work the vehicle of a series of papers on Mental Pullosophy, as connected with Education, that the practical teacher may know the theory of his own practice, and be ready at all times to give an answer to those that ask him, “Why dost thou this ?”.
It was formerly believed that the mind had “innate ideas, existing independently of, and prior to, the exercise of either perception or reflection; but this notion is now exploded by all modern reasoners (with the exception of a clique of Pestalozzians), and it is now held as incontrovertible, that, although we may not be conscious of our mental powers till they are called into action, yet this consciousness may arise from the most simple sensation; and the impressions derived from external things are therefore to be considered as the exciters of the mindwhich converts them into what are called sensations.
The soul, a pure intelligence, cast upon a world entirely unknown to it, finds itself united to a portion of matter, equally unknown to it, called a body. Susceptible of infinite development, endowed with the dispositions necessary to enable it to connect itself with the moral and physical world, its activity seems condemned to remain dormant till its faculties are brought into action, and furnished with materials for their exercise, by means of the impressions which it receives through the mediuni of the body. But the impressions excited by the senses are not of a nature fitted to establish every relation which the soul is capable of maintaining; other resources are necessary.
Assistance has, therefore, at the commencement of its existence, been provided for it, which may be called supernatural, if we may so term effects of which we cannot discover the cause. This aid, which we hare named instinct, has been supplied, but not lavished. Constantly granted on all necessary occasions, it is withheld when, by making a proper use of the lessons of experience, the mind is able to dispense with its assistance.
Thus, immediately after birth, there is no manifestation of the attributes of the soul; the wonderful machine in which it is inclosed is at present useless, because it has not yet learnt how to make use of it. In vain does this adınirable organization S'em to have been intended to produce two different eilects; one to inform the soul of what is passing without, the other to execute its orders. The soul, as yet, does not understand any information which the body conveys to it, and has no orders to give. Imprisoned in a twofold ignorance, it can know nothing of external objects but through the medium of the senses; and external objects alone can reveal to it the properties of these organs.
Not that the concurrence of the will is necessary to enable the soul to receive impressions: it feels pain and pleasure; but intelligence is as yet passive. To the infant every thing is vague and confused; nothing has any reality or any individuality. The forms which pass and repass before its eyes are but as fugitive shadows. The various noises which it hears, the shocks which it receives from solid bodies, are only insulated events: it experiences changes and modifications which it does not understand. In this state even hunger would be to a new-born infant mere pain, with which no idea of relief would be associated. Not knowing what it wanted, it would die of inanition, if its Creator had not provided for the continuance of its existence. Here, then, instinct becomes necessary, and here, therefore, it has been given : the infant seeks the maternal breast, and is soothed and nourished.
But the frequent repetition of the same impressions brings into action the faculties of the soul. The different sensations of the child become connected in his mind, and are reproduced by his memory in the same order in which the realities were presented to him. I have seen an infant, only a fortnight old, too young certainly to be able to distinguish objects, show plainly that it understood when its mother was about to nurse it. It must therefore have both recollected and hoped ; two important faculties, memory and imagination, were excited; the intellectual being was called into action.
Nor does it seem as if the feebleness of the body at this tender age were any impediment to the development of the intellect; for this feebleness affects only those members of the body which are to execute the orders of the soul, and as yet it has no orders to give. On the other hand, the bodily organs, those, for instance, of sensation, which merely convey intelligence to the soul, begin to perform their functions immediately: the eye and the ear bring information, little understood it is true, but perfectly accurate. Thus a concurrent progress seems to have been prescribed to the moral and physical faculties, in order that, as the soul becomes more able to command, it may find in the body a docile and expert servant.
When the child has succeeded in making the testimonies of his different senses agree with each other, his notions become more fixed; the external world appears to him under more definite forms; he believes himself surrounded with real objects, and begins to awaken from a dreamy state of existence, in which every thing hail appeared confused and uncertain.
Education, therefore, to be philosophical, must first consider sensation. The senses are the organs of our consciousness, and by which we become acquainted with the visible world. By them we feel that there is an outward creation. When we feel through the eye, we call it seeing; when we feel through the ear, we call it hearing; when we feel through the nerves of the nose, we call it smelling; when through those of the tongue, we call it tasting; and when through the hand, or other parts of the body, we call it touching, and sometimes by the generic name, feeling. To the whole, we apply the term “sensation;" but sensation can exist in no part of the body, but in the mind. To sensations we are indebted for a knowledge of ourselves : sensations warn us of the positive existence of surrounding objects; they preside over self-preservation, by inducing us to avoid danger, and warning us of the wants of our economy: by sensations man is induced to many of his most important acts. Education is, therefore, addressed to the mind, through the senses in the first instance, and afterwards to those higher attributes of mind, evolved by the process, and as they become successively developed ; till at last we are enabled to deal with pure principles in their abstract form, beyond the sphere of sensation altogether. The human infant is not only born with a mind capable of becoming conscious of impressions, made through its bodily organs, but with a power able to elaborate these impressions, and to convert the crude materials of sensation into pure intellectual truth.
Sensations are developed under the influence of any irritation; sometimes this irritation results from the application, over the surface, of external bodies, or from particles arising from them; at others, on the contrary, they proceed from some internal modification the deeply-seated organs undergo—whence is derived the proper distinction of internal and external sensations. It would be to little purpose to inquire how and in what manner we become conscious, or how the organs of sense are connected with the brain, or how the mind is united to the body. It is sufficient for us to know that, in man's early stage the mental energies are employed about sensible impressions: when these are withdrawn, the mind sinks into inactivity and torpor, having no materials within herself upon which she can employ her exertions. The ideas of young children are, with few exceptions, derived immediately from these impressions; and although it may be said that there are no innate ideas, yet there is an innate something, without which ideas could not exist; the business, therefore, of early education is, so to watch over sensation and the development of the understanding through the senses, that they may be made serviceable to a proper perfection of the reasoning faculties.
The senses may, with peculiar propriety, be divided into two classes. The first may be termed, “ corporeal;” the second, “ mental.” To the first we may refer those senses which are