« AnteriorContinuar »
the second, about 300 students,) and the sexes attached to charitable institutions, or Studj Accademici at Florence, comprising for which the scholars pay. The defecmedicine and the fine arts, we will confine tiveness, however, of all these different ourselves to Secondary and Elementary in- means of instruction is but too plain, when struction.
it appears that the number of children who Secondary instruction is afforded to males actually frequent school at any time is to in five colleges, containing about 1200 the whole population as one to sixty. scholars--seven superior Latin schools un It is to compensate this great want, and der the Padri Scolopj, with about 1800— to introduce improved methods of teaching, and twenty-one in the episcopal seminaries, that many of the most estimable inhabitants with about 1000 boarders, besides some of the Grand Duchy, of both sexes and of hundreds of day-scholars. Secondary in all conditions, nobles, churchmen, lawyers, struction for females is given in establish physicians, merchants, &c., have lately ments called Conservatorj, all under the di- turned their united energies and acquirerection of nuns, of which Tuscany possessments, regarding the diminution of popular es forty-three.
ignorance and the improvement of the habits We come now to Elementary instruction, and morals of the people as the first step which is more properly the subject of our towards any real social progress. present inquiry. In the 247 comuni into The means which have been as yet emwhich the Grand Duchy is divided, there ployed for diffusing the blessings of edu. are 230 government boys' schools where cation by private exertion in Tuscany, have the children are received gratis, besides been the establishment of infant schools and others in the principal towns; but those in the of schools of mutual instruction. The term country are often little frequented, the me- Lancasterian schools would not give a thods of instruction very defective, and their proper idea of the method employed in these efficiency very small, from want of proper last, as they have adopted in them whatesuperintendence and direction. For the ver alterations and anxious study of the education of the females of the lower or wants of each locality, or the general prin. ders, the government supports seven ele- ciples of education, have suggested. We mentary schools in some of the principal will first give a general view of the several towns, containing about 1700 girls. Be institutions of both classes which have been sides these, there are fourteen schools at the as yet opened, and then proceed to a more expense of the comuni, and others for both particular account of some of them,
Schools of Mutual Instruction.
Besides the infant schools above enumera. , this, the upper classes learn linear drawing, ted, another is shortly to be established in and the monitors of two or three classes are Florence on a liberal scale, for a hundred examined by the director daily, to ascertain children, by Dimidoff.
that they are fit for the duties which they The society has also this year, by means have to perform, so that in this way the whole of a lottery of ladies' work, obtained sufficient body of monitors, on whom so much of the to establish another school, which will be ap- prosperity of the school depends, are review. propriated to girls, and will be supported by ed every week. The school is divided into increased subscription.
twenty-two classes for reading and writing, The system of mutual instruction has re. and into thirty for arithmetic. It has been ceived a great impulse in Tuscany, by the found very important to render the grades of formation in 1819 of a society at Florence instruction as numerous as possible, so that for its promotion. To this end they have the transition from one to the other should be established two large boys' schools in that gradual, and, as it were, imperceptible. By this town, published a guide for the direction of means the progress is sure and the boy is never those who wish to put the same system in discouraged by finding difficulties which he is practice elsewhere, and formed a magazine not prepared to surmount. * The classes in each of slates, books, and all the furniture neces. separate branch of instruction are composed sary for a school of a hundred children, of different individuals, so that backwardness which can be procured from them immediate in arithmetic, for example, does not retard a ly, and at wholesale prices. The newly es- boy's progress in reading or writing. In tablished schools are, therefore, naturally led each of these branches two operations may to adopt a system which combines so many be observed, one of which may be called advantages as a means of popular education. imitation, the other application. In the first,
The school at Leghorn, from its size, the the children repeat word by word what is attention which has been paid to it, and the told them by the monitors; in the second, useful modifications of the system which pre. they are required to make an application of vails in other places which have been intro what they have thus been taught.
For ex. duced in it, seems to claim a more particular ample, in reading : in the first class, the notice. It is also interesting to an English-) monitor points to a syllable, and pronounces man, from the names of so many of his coun-1 it; the scholar repeats this aloud. This is trymen being found in the list of subscribers, imitation. The monitor orders a child to together with those of persons belonging to find a certain syllable; the child finds it and most European nations, collected in this ac. names it. This is application. Again in tive emporium of commerce.
arithmetic, the monitor draws four lines on a This school was opened in February, slate, and says, “ To represent four lines, this 1829, the first object being to form boys to figure is used,” (pointing to 4). The child act as monitors. It was then gradually en-repeats the name, and writes the figure. larged, and in 1835 removed into the present This is imitation. The monitor makes ano. building, which has been erected by the so-ther number of lines on the slate, and asks the ciety on a magnificent scale, expressly for it. children, "How many lines have I made ?" It now contains 250 boys. The school is They tell the number, find it on the table of open six hours a day, three in the morning, figures, and write it. This is application. and as many in the afternoon, one of which is devoted to each of the three exercises, which contained only 200 boys, we found forty
* In one of the Lascasterian schools at Geneva, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Besides three classes in arithmetic.
The manner of learning to read is a great comes an interesting inquiry how this excel. improvement upon the irrational method ge. lent effect is produced. The possibility of nerally adopted, in whicli a child is made to arriving at a result so desirable seems to learn a number of names of letters, which he form one of the great advantages of the sys. must afterwards unlearn, in order to combine tem of mutual instruction, in which one boy these same letters into syllables. Our mean. is made responsible for the good conduct of ing will be best shown by an example. From his fellow.scholars. About a third part of knowing the names of the four letters w, a, 1, 1, the whole school form a body of monitors. how is a child possibly to conjecture that these They are selected by the director or master four long names combined together should from the higher classes, and, besides the in. form a monosyllable, wall. Having been struction implied by their position in the taught to consider w as equivalent to "dou. school, they must be above seven years of ble u,” a as equivalent to "ay," I to “el,” | age, must not have been registered as insuand I to “el,” how is he to guess that “dou. bordinate for a month before their election, ble u-ay-el-el,” should be sounded wall. nor have been accused before the jury (of The names of single letters do not help at which more hereafter) for six months. When all to know how they should be pronounced a boy uniting these requisites is to be appointwhen combined into syllables, particularly in ed monitor, the director summons all the rest English, where each vowel has so many dif. of the body, and proposes to them the name ferent sounds. From knowing the names of the intended member, asking if they know of the Greek alphabet, do we know the pro. any objection to his admission. If no suffinunciation of ancient Greek? The rational cient objection is stated, he is forthwith electway of teaching a child to read is to begin ed. The body of monitors, thus constituted, by teaching the sound of each consonant is assembled every morning by the director, preceded and followed by each of the five and he appoints those who shall serve durvowels, and then combinations of the vowels ing that day in each class. Once a week, and double consonants ; then single syllables one of the monitors is appointed by the di. may be combined into words of two or more rector inspector general, and another, suborsyllables. Indeed, we have known children dinate to him, called the monitor.general. learn 10 read quickly and correcily by be. Tne whole instruction and discipline of the ginning at once with an easy book, passing school are now in the hands of the monitors, over all the tedious work of syllables without the director and his assistant having only to meaning. The first word was pointed out overlook the whole, and see that all do their 10 the child and pronounced. The child, al. dury. The monitors are forbidden to speak ready knowing ihe word, soon caught the to any of their class, or to allow them to talk form of the printed letters which represented together, unless on the business before them. it, so as to know it again by sight whenever At the end of each lesson, the inspector-gehe met with it. In the same way he was neral goes round the whole school, and is told taught the following words, and this, as they by each monitor the name of the boy who were really words, that he already knew by has been most diligent, and also of any one ear, and having a meaning attached to them, that has been negligent, in each class, which was much less of a task than the remember names he writes down on his slate. The ining a number of syllables with no meaning.* spector then returns to his desk at the head
But 10 return to the constitution of the of the room, and reads aloud the names of Leghorn school. In this institution are the diligent and negligent, which he has re. daily assembled 250 boys, belonging to ceived from the monitors, which names the class of society in which harshness in the director then copies into a register, or rather treatment of children is not rare, and yet the he makes certain marks opposite to the names most perfect discipline and order are obtain. of these boys in a register containing the ed without the use of corporal punishment. names of the whole school, and arranged for The 3 ist article of the directions to the mas- that purpose, so that at a glance the conduct ter is to this effect : “ The director is ex. of each boy may be seen at once.'
At the pressly forbidden to employ the rod, or to end of the day the monitors who have con. strike his scholars with the hand.”+ It be ducted themselves well receive a mark of
approbation. Every Saturday, the monitors At the admirable Lancastrian school of the point out any boy in their class whom they British and Foreign School Society, Borough may thiok worthy of passing into a higher Road, the children begin with words of three one, and if, upon examination, the director letters, which affords the opportunity of question finds him fitted for it, he passes. Every two ing them on their meaning, as well as of merely months, when the visitor of the school goes + Guida per le Scuole di Reciproco Insegna- whole school takes place, when any who are
out of office, a general examination of the mento.
jound deficient are put back into an inferior importance of this daily observation of the class, and a report of the whole is made by practical working of the system, in its mi. the visitor in writing.
nute details, cannot be too much insisted For further encouragement to good con- upon. It stimulates the exertions of the diduct, one-tenth part of the school forms what rector and scholars, and affords the means is called the society of merit. The admis- of introducing innumerable little improve. sion into this body is not confined to any ments, and of immediately altering whatever particular classes, but is determined by the is amiss. marks of diligence in the register, of which The chief difficulty attending the mutual 150 are necessary, after the deduction of the system of instruction is to prevent the inmarks of negligence, one of the latter can. struction conveyed by it from degenerating celling four of the former. Besides this into a mere mechanical exertion of the methe candidate must not have been accused mory, unconnected with the opening of the before the jury for a year, must not be above mind and the improvement of the reasoning sixteen years old, and must be able to read, faculties. Thus children will sometimes write, and cipher pretty well. When a va- know all the words in a sentence, and read cancy is to be filled up, the director proposes them correctly, without the slightest idea of three candidates, out of whom the rest of the the meaning of the whole. That this, howsociety choose, by secret voting, one, who is ever, is not a necessary defect in the system admitted at the ball yearly public distribu. is proved by our experience in England, tion of prizes. The members wear a medal, where it has been adapted not only to teach are seated apart from the rest of the school reading with intelligence, but to higher on occasions ofceremony, and are presented branches of knowledge, such as geography, to any distinguished visitor who comes to history, drawing, and natural history. This see the school.
effect is obtained by constantly requiring the We come now to the jury, an institution monitors to call into exercise the reasoning destined to deprive the punishments inflicted faculties of their class, by questioning them of any appearance of passion, and to render on the meaning of every thing they learn, them more imposing. Those who are ca- from their first entrance into the school. pable of sitting on a jury are chosen, one The difficulty has been felt at the school from each class, by the rest of the boys of of mutual instruction at Florence, where the class. Half the number are changed the five higher classes receive instruction upon each half-yearly distribution of prizes. from the director in person, an exercise When a boy is accused of any offence, he which is called sviluppo intellettuale. This selects from this body the jury who are to is accomplished by each reading in turn a try him, which consists of four boys, presi- short paragraph, upon the meaning of which ded over by the inspector-general. If the the director questions them, enlarging upon accused belong to the body of monitors, or any point of morals, or other incidental subto the society of merit, he may select his ject, from which instruction may be derived. jury from those of his own class. The jury, Besides this, some of the highest boys are having heard witnesses, and the defence of required to write some little original comthe culprit, communicate each secretly to position while at home; such, for instance, the inspector the punishment which he as the history of a holiday or festival, a dedeems just
, and the director chooses, from scription of some incident, or a story which their verdicts, that which accords best with has been read to them. the printed laws of the school. An account We have already given so much space to of the whole proceeding is then entered in a the description of infant schools in Lomregister kept for that purpose.
bardy, that we must pass over in silence It is very much to the credit of the inha- those of a similar kind in Tuscany, particu. bitants of Leghorn that, amidst the affairs of larly as the latter are principally modelled commerce, in which most of the supporters on the system of Aporti above alluded to. of this school are engaged, those appointed We will only remark a most important acby the society to visit the school have been cession lately made by the society of infant found most diligent in the performance of schools at Florence, by the reception into this duly, though they are required to attend their body of twelve capi d'arte, or heads of daily each for two months in the year, to trades, a class who formerly possessed the make observations, receive applications for government of the Florentine Republic, admission, acquaint themselves with the The last report in reference to these indi. conduct of all, and point out those deviduals, saysserving of rewards; of all which particulars
" It is known to you all, that those wonder. they have to present a written report at the sul moments, those superb edifices, those mamonthly meetings of the committee. The jestic temples, with which our city abounds are
all the creations of that period in our history ciples of morals, taught through the medium when the magistrates who ruled the Republic of the Italian language, to the first and were selected from our corporations of arts; second classes, three times a week; bistory when, under their direction, Florence was, (ancient and modern), taught by means of the the arbitress of the fate of Italy.”
French language, to the first and second
classes, three times a week; geography, to Amongst the trades thus belonging to the the first and second classes, by means of the infant-school society, through their represen. English language, three tiines a week; writ. tatives, we remark workers in wool and silk, ing, drawing, dancing, to all; grammar to booksellers, jewellers, dyers, cabinet-makers, the first class.” gilders, tailors, carpenters, bricklayers, ba.
This school having a special object in kers, and others. The co-operation of this
view,—to afford a good commercial educaclass of citizens enables the society to find certain employment for the children educated to the objects which are most important 10
tion,—the course of study has been directed by them, as the period when their age obliges those who are to engage in commerce. them to leave the school, which will in future These appear to be, the knowledge of manbe at eight years old, the society having lately kind in relation to their Maker and to one resolved to add a tbird class to their school. Before we conclude this notice of the first most important productions of nature, and
another, the knowledge of languages, of the efforts now in progress for the improvement that of the elements of mathematics. of public instruction in Northern Italy, we will give a short account of a commercial knowiedge of man's nature, in his duties as
a member of society, is communicated (in school, under the direction of Professor Do.
addition to direct religious instruction) by veri, opened at Leghorn in August, 1833. This establishment resembles, in some re
means of a judicious selection of moral tales
-read, discussed, and afterwards reduced to spects, our proprietary schools, the parents of writing. On the day on which we had the the boys received into it forming a society, pleasure of visiting the establishment, the by whom the professors are appointed, their lecture on morals commenced by the profes. salaries and all expenses of the school de. frayed, and the course of study arranged. Class assembled round his desk, the essay of
sor of that branch reading aloud, to the whole Hence it is calied the school of the padri di
each boy on the subject which had been famiglia (fathers of families); and at the pe- treated of in the last lecture. On that occa. riod of our visit it contained forty boys, who sion a tale had been read aloud to them by at'end school from 9 a. M. to 4 p, M. daily. the professor, and then again by some of the
The affairs of the school are under the im- class; after which they had been questioned
on the facts related, and appropriate reflec. consisting of four inspectors and a treasurer.
Upon their return home, after school, each Each of the inspectors undertakes in turn
boy had written his account of the story in the particular personal surveillance of the his own words, incorporating with it the re. establishment for three consecutive months.
flections of the professor. It was these esOn entering the school, we found all the children, having just finished a slight lunch. says which the professor was now reading to
the class, and upon which he remarked or eon, engaged in their amusements. It being put questions to the boys, as he proceeded. a rainy day, last winter, a walız was playing This appears an excellent m'thod of teaching on a violin in one room, and all the company composition and orthography, and answers there whirling gaily round. The rest were that end much beiter than the plan of forcing in another room, receiving instructions in dr.zwing; both these accomplishments being upon a boy the irksome task of stringing to. here considered as recreations. The boys trite subject, under the name of a theme.
gether some common.place sentiments on a are divided into three classes, and there being
It will have been remarked that a pecuthree separate school-rooms, three professors lierity in this establishment is the method of can be engaged in instruction at the same time, the different classes proceeding from teaching foreign languages in a practical way,
by making them the vehicle of instruction in one room to another at the conclusion of each
other subjects. hour. The course of instruction, as at pre While the exercise above described was sent arranged, comprises the following sub.
going on in Italian, the second class, in an jects :
adjoining room, was occupied with a lesson “Sacred history and geography, to all, in history, given by a native of France in his every Saturday; natural history, to all, three own language. He first read over and cor. times a week; arithmetic and geometry, to rected, in the hearing of all, the portion of the first class, three times a week. The prin-| history which each boy had written in French,