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school must suffer in proportion, be the qualifications or learning of his monitors what they may. He ought seldom or never to be found in his desk, but always on the floor among his pupils, and almost always in the act of teaching. It is quite erroneous to suppose that it is the monitors alone whom he is to teach, and that at all times the only duty which he has to perform is the superintendence of general order. He ought, on the contrary, to visit and to teach every class as its circumstances may demand; and, with regard to the inferior classes in particular, where every lesson is a new step, they ought never to be allowed to pass from one lesson to another without undergoing a previous personal examination by himself, in order to determine whether the class is fit to advance, and whether any of its individual scholars must be left behind in an inferior one."
To these remarks it may be added, that he should strive to preserve, as far as he can, a perfect command over his temper; never to exhibit petulance or ill-humour if his pupils do not appear to realize that benefit from his teaching which he considers they ought to have received. An unfortunate child has often been punished for alleged inattention or stupidity when the real fault has been in the teacher; because either his manner has been listless and wearisome, or his explanations have failed to reach the child's comprehension.
With regard to the attainments necessary for a National schoolmaster it is impossible to fix any particular limits. No amount of qualification in this respect, uncombined with aptitude in teaching, can make a good master; although it is most certain that the more thoroughly a judicious and intelligent teacher is acquainted with his subject, the better will he be likely to convey a knowledge of it to others. In addition to an accurate and extensive acquaintance with the precise branches he has to teach, he
should possess a good fund of general information, that he may be ready to turn to account anything which may occur in the course of his lessons, either from the answers of the children, or from any collateral knowledge which the subject itself may suggest. He should constantly endeavour (no matter how highly qualified in regard to acquirements he may be on entering his profession) to increase his knowledge by private study. He should spend some time daily, out of school-hours, in the preparation of lessons, and should ever be on the watch how he may acquire greater readiness in conveying instruction to his pupils.
In the following chapter an attempt will be made to explain briefly the best technical methods of teaching; and some remarks will afterwards be made on the teaching of particular subjects, with "notes of lessons," and other information, which it is hoped may be serviceable to those who are anxious to carry out the principles which have been recommended.
THE different forms which instruction may take, both with respect to the teacher and the scholar, have given rise to the term "Methods of Teaching." These methods are often referred to in educational works by such titles as the following:-" individual," "mutual," "simultaneous," "synthetical," "analytical," and "catechetical " methods. It is therefore considered necessary to explain briefly the general meaning of the principal terms in use,
before considering the methods by which particular subjects may be taught.
Individual teaching is that in which the teacher addresses himself directly to one person only at the same time, his other pupils being engaged in the silent preparation of their lessons, awaiting their respective turns to share his time and attention. It would require little calculation to show that, in a large school under one master, each individual scholar would be entitled, according to this plan, to a very small portion only of actual instruction, even supposing the master could continue his teaching throughout every consecutive minute of the day. The necessity of collecting a large number of children in the same place, and at the same time, has given rise to the method of mutual teaching, the original organization of which is connected with the names of Bell and Lancaster. According to the mutual plan, the children of like attainments are grouped together in classes, and, the whole mass being taught by the master, a considerable portion of his time is indirectly secured to each child. The individual method is more effective than the mutual, inasmuch as it allows the teacher to come into closer contact with his pupils, and to become more intimately acquainted with their particular dispositions and capabilities; but it cannot be practised exclusively for the reasons just mentioned. It is however deemed advisable to combine its use with that of mutual teaching whenever it is practicable. Thus, in questioning a class, the teacher should require the answer to be given by one boy selected from the class, although he should at the same time make it well understood that he who answers is only, as it were, spokesman for the rest, it being the duty of all to pay the same attention as though they were individually addressed. In some schools it is customary to allow the whole class to speak at once. When this is
the case, the method adopted is distinguished by the term simultaneous; but this plan, besides being calculated to cause great noise and confusion if employed universally, is objectionable on other grounds. The simultaneous method may, however, be occasionally used with some advantage in teaching certain subjects, as will be shown hereafter.
In connexion with the mutual system may be mentioned "gallery teaching," which consists in uniting two or more classes for instruction in a gallery of parallel seats. The lesson in such cases usually takes the form of a conversational lecture. When some production, either of nature or of art, is selected to form the subject of the teacher's remarks, it is customary to exhibit a specimen of the production to the children, and the lesson is called an object lesson." In infant schools, where instruction is chiefly addressed to the senses, considerable use is made of this kind of teaching.
While speaking of mutual instruction, it may not be out of place to repeat what has been already remarked under the head of "discipline "—viz. that it is highly essential to preserve the best possible order and attention among the children during any lesson. The best lesson will be comparatively useless, if strict regard is not paid to the discipline of the class. If only one step in the lesson is unheeded or misunderstood, it will often have a bad effect upon future progress in the more advanced parts of the subject. To prevent weariness, the teacher should make his lessons as short as may be consistent with comprehensiveness. Half an hour, or at the most three-quarters of an hour, is considered a sufficient duration for any lesson. It should be an object of especial care with the teacher to make the explanations and illustrations of the lesson as interesting as possible; he should also proceed gradually with his subject, and should practise constant
revisal and examination, so that first principles may be thoroughly mastered, and a proper foundation laid in the minds of his pupils.
Among other methods which require explanation are those of synthesis and analysis.
The word synthesis has been adopted into our language from the Greek, and means a placing together. It is applied to that kind of teaching in which we adopt the method of placing together the simple elements of any subject, one by one, and step by step, until a knowledge of the whole, in a complete form, is arrived at. The usual plan of teaching to read will furnish an illustration. We first make the child acquainted with the names and sounds of letters, which are the simplest elements to which either written or spoken language may be reduced. Next we place together letters to form syllables; afterwards syllables to form words; and then words to form sentences. The word analysis, which has also come to us from the Greek, means just the opposite to synthesis. It implies the separation of any whole into its component parts. Applied to the teaching of language it would show how a sentence might be separated or divided into its clauses, words, syllables, and letters.
Analysis has been aptly compared to the efforts of the traveller who endeavours to find the source of a river by ascending from its mouth; synthesis, profiting by the labour of analysis, places itself at the source, and thence rapidly follows the river to its mouth.
The methods of synthesis and analysis may be mutually employed in teaching most subjects; and indeed, generally speaking, the exclusive use of either of them will rarely be attended with success. When the teacher has attempted to construct, as it were, a portion of his subject in the mind of his pupil by a synthetic process, he will find it necessary to analyse what he has done, in order to ascertain the