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Boys. Girls. Total. Average attendance for the year
50 191 Reading Bible ..
70 35 105 Easy Narratives
60 50 110 Monosyllables
26 20 46 Proportion and upwards
40 5 45 Compound Rules
30 25 55 Simple do.
40 20 60 Writing on paper.
110 45 155 Learning Geography
156 70 226 Grammar
80 35 115 History .
70 15 85 Composition
52 Drawing on paper, 40; slates, 30
70 Needle-work and Knitting
zo 70 During the past year several of the elder boys have entered upon responsible situations, and are now filling them with credit; and fresh applications are continually received for lads as clerks and apprentices.
By a recent minute of the Committee of Council, certificates, signed by Her Majesty's Inspector, the committee, and the master or mistress, will be given to those children who have attained a certain age, and who have attended the school not less than 176 days in each of the preceding three years. As these will only be issued to those scholars whose attainments are of a high order, and whose conduct has been in every way satisfactory, it is confidently expected that they will be regarded as passports, which entitle the bearers to peculiar consideration.
Those scholars who have completed their education in the school without bearing off some memento of their connexion with it, are at liberty to present themselves, till they have attained their seventeenth year, at the annual examinations, in order to compete for the prizes which are then given. This will continue their connexion with the institution during an important period of life, and stimulate self-culture. Special contributions towards a prize fund are solicited.
CROYDON. “The Committee are more and more convinced of the absolute necessity of imparting to the children of the poor an education adapted to their station in life; and while they rejoice to witness the increased attention which is now given to the subject of education, they refer with satisfaction to the principles of the 'British and Foreign School Society,' on which this institution is founded, as being admirably adapted to promote the moral and religious well-being of those on whom the peace and good order of society so much depend ; while at the same time none are excluded from its benefits on the ground of religious opinion.
“ During the past seven years, upwards of 1,000 boys have participated in the benefits of the school. The master is assisted in his duties by five pupil-teachers, regularly apprenticed, several candidates, and trained monitors. The senior pupil. teacher, who has just completed his term, bas gained a first-class Queen's Scholarship.
" The school is quite full, and has been so for the last two years. The present number on the books is 270, and the average number in attendance during the year is nearly 220.
“ The instruction given includes reading, writing, grammar, geography, and history, with the daily reading of the Holy Scriptures. “The school is annually visited by Her Majesty's inspector of schools."
FOREIGN CORRESPONDENCE.-JAMAICA. The Committee of the Society have lately made a grant of school materials and books, in aid of the effort described in the following letter from a valued correspondent at Kingston.
"In a former communication, I informed you of my removal from Chapelton to this city, having been succeeded at the former place by Rev. Duncan Flctcher, who still carries on the schools formerly under my care. In relation to the work of education at my present sphere of labour, I am glad to say that the school at Shortwood, an out-situation about five miles from Kingston, continues to prosper ; it has been well attended during the year, and the progress of the children has been satisfactory.
“I regret to say, that I have not as yet been able to establish a school in Kings. ton. My predecessors made repeated attempts, but, from a variety of causes, their efforts were from time to time suspended. This fact has led me to hesitate longer about making a commencement than I should otherwise have done ; the way is, however, now prepared.
“I mentioned to you, some time ago, that I had established a Mutual Improvement Society at Chapelton, which, indeed, you kindly mentioned in your annual report. Encouraged by the success which attended this effort, I made a similar attempt in this city; and though our beginning was on a very small scale, we number, now, upwards of 200 members. Monthly lectures are delivered, weekly meetings are held, and much biblical and general information imparted.
“ Though the subscription is small, only four shillings per annum, yet so economically have our affairs been conducted, that there is likely to be a surplus of £15 to £20, per annum, in the hands of the treasurer. This the members have agreed to devote to educational purposes. Added to those funds which I can procure from personal friends, and the payments of the children, it will, I hope, prove sufficient to secure the services of a competent teacher; and with such a teacher, I have no doubt that the school will prosper, more especially as its relation to the Improvement Society will induce the members thereof to send their children.
“In beginning the school, I am anxious that the teacher should be provided with all suitable requisites ; and, as it will be conducted on the principles of your Society, your books will be exclusively employed.”
ON CHOOSING THE PROFESSION OF A TEACHER. The school teacher devotes his life to the good of mankind; and his position affords him most favourable opportunity for effecting his purpose. Igno. rance and prejudice in the adult mind, often oppose all endeavours of enlightened persons to improve the morals and the condition,- in the school, the children have yet to learn, but they are open to instruction, and susceptible of impression ; and if the teacher labours wisely, few lives will prove more useful than his. It is not easy to overrate the good of which a successful school teacher may be made the honoured instrument. Look at his position. Next to the parents-and, in very many instances, in precedence of them-day after day, and often for several years, he is the child's great oracle. He gives to a school full of children their earliest ideas. He makes on their hearts the first, and most lively and lasting impression. He deals with, and, to a great extent, he supplies the elements of which their future and fixed character is to be composed. He shapes the mould into which it is to be cast. And at no distant day they become men and women, advancing in a course of truth, integrity, and goodness, to which he gave them the first bent and direction. When one set of pupils have passed through his hands, he makes upon another hundred or more, and then upon another, and another, successively, a similar impression. And thus, if his life be spared, and his labour continue, nearly a whole village, or a considerable portion of the inhabitants of a town,-besides many who have passed on the tide of emigration to the ends of the earth,-bear on their minds, and exhibit in their character the stamp of intelligence, of virtue, and of religion, which he has put upon them.
In producing these effects, of course he does not trust to mere secular learning, discarding religion from his educational process; he does not deal with his school as though man was all material-a piece of complex mechanism, somewhat out of order when taken in hand, and its movements always apt to become deranged ; -the object of education being to put the machine right and make it go well until it stops ; as though the grave was the sepulchre of the thinking, conscious principle, and death an everlasting sleep ;-he takes the Christian view of man, never forgets his spiritual nature, nor the fact that this life is only the infancy of his being,—that in a world to come his powers will receive their perfect development if properly cultivated while here ; nor does he forget another important fact, that his eternal condition will be determined by his present course. He brings the light of Christianity to instruct him how this child of immortality must be educated, and he calculates upon the power of Christianity for his success. This, more than anything else, accounts for the impression which a truly Christian teacher makes upon bis school. And the impression, because religious, will be enduring,—the effect pro
duced by the grace of the Holy Spirit through his teaching will remain when all earthly things have vanished away. To aim at producing such effects is a noble aim; and if the teacher's mind rises to its proper elevation, he associates with this noble object one still nobler—the glory of God: he lives to bring to Him, and train for heaven, human beings whom God created for himself. There is a nobleness in such a life which cannot attach where a man's own honour and profit are the prime objects for which he lives. It greatly adds to this nobleness, if, should other prospects open, a teacher is content with a comparatively limited competence, that he may spend his life a blessing to mankind. All that is sordid and rnercenary such an one renounces; what relates to self is brought within most reasonable limits; and to serve man's highest interests is the glorious work to which his life is devoted. -From the Introductory Address delivered to the Students at the Wesleyan Training College, at the commencement of the session of 1857, by the Rev. John Scott, Principal.
ETYMOLOGY, AS TAUGHT IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS.
THREE things are included in the term etymology. It consists, first, of a system of classification for words ; secondly, of inquiries into the inflections or modifications of form of which words are capable; and thirdly, into their history and derivation. Of these three departments the first and second are obviously necessary, even in the most elementary grammatical instruction; they must always be understood, in some measure at least, before any of the rules of syntax, or the simplest applications of grammar to the regulation of our speech can be made intelligible to children. The third department, however — the investigation of the history of words-stands quite apart from grammar, considered as an art; and, indeed, is so clearly distinguishable from all other parts of the science, that we cannot be surprised at its total omission by many teachers from the course of their grammatical exercises. We shall, for convenience, limit the meaning of the word etymology, in these remarks, to this third or historical branch of the subject. There are few teachers, however, who have not themselves been interested in etymological inquiries, and who have not experienced some pleasure in tracing out roots and comparing derivatives. Accordingly, in a greatly increasing number of British schools, we believe that it is now the practice to quote the Latin or Greek roots of words; and to require the elder classes to commit to memory such lists of foreign words, and their more obvious derivatives, as are printed at the end of many reading books, and in the best school grammars.
Although the disposition to do this in our common schools is, on the whole, a healthy and hopeful sign-a proof that teachers are aiming at a higher and more intelligent style of instruction than heretofore—it is, nevertheless, certain that a great deal of what passes for etymological teaching is practically worthless; and that an unusual amount of skill and judgment is required on the part of the teacher who would make a really wise use of Latin, Greek, or French roots in elementary teaching.
Of one thing we may be certain,--that some knowledge of the nature of derivation and of the principles of language ought to precede any special instruction as to the origin of particular words. To a child in an early stage of progress it is difficult to explain even that there are other languages at all; or that it is possible for the same notion to be expressed by two totally different words. And even when the mind is somewhat more developed, it is still not an easy thing for a child to understand how one language can be extinct, as far as speech is concerned, and yet survive in litera.
ture, in grammar, and in lexicons; or how words shift and vary in meaning as time goes on ; or how metaphorical and accidental associations become attached to nouns and verbs in such a way that their original meanings utterly disappear. Yet, without some preliminary training in this direction, it is difficult to see how it can be of any advantage to a beginner to quote the etymology of the technical words which occur in his lessons. Such a quotation often furnishes no help whatever to the compre. hension of the precise meaning of the English word; but is rather misleading than otherwise. As to any higher purposes--such as the detection of the finer shades of meaning by which it is to be identified with synonymous words, or distinguished from pseudo-synonymes ; the moral or other causes which have effected the changes in its signification ; the inflections which it has lost; the letters which have been interpolated ; and the numerous questions of comparative grammar which it may suggest --all these are matters wholly unintelligible to students of any age, who have not undergone considerable mental discipline.
It is necessary in this, as well as in all other inatters which come within a teacher's cognizance, that he should set before himself clearly the purpose he has in view. We can conceive three possible aims which an instructor may have in contemplation in relation to this subject.
In teaching the roots of a few Greek or Latin words, it may be intended to pave the way for the future acquisition of either of those languages; in other words, it may be supposed that by learning a few detached roots, without any insight into the grammar, a child will be the better prepared for the systematic study of grammar or classical books hereafter.
Or etymology may be taught with a view solely to the elucidation of the meanings of English words.
Or it may be pursued simply for the general purposes of mental discipline, on the ground that exercises in the analysis of words always promote clearness of thinking and accuracy of judgment.
In reference to the first of these purposes it must be admitted, that it will not be serred to any considerable extent by etymological lessons. Every one who has ever learnt a language knows, that it is not till he has learnt something of its grammar and general structure, that a copia verborum is of any service to him. There are differences of opinion among teachers of languages as to whether the grammar should be learnt first, and words and sentences be translated afterwards ; or whether the elements of grammar should be taught simultaneously with easy exercises in translation ; but we never heard of one who supposed that a mass of detached words and meanings should be learnt first. Even Jacotot, who was more inclined than any other eminent teacher to reverse the usual practice in this respect, introduced his pupils to grammatical investigation as soon as they had learnt half a dozen words; and the Hamiltonian and other popular modes of simplifying the study of a language, all agree in recognizing the necessity of rules and principles at the outset as well as of mere words. In truth, if a student wishes, or is intended to acquire a knowledge of Latin or Greek, he will certainly not do well to begin by the separate study of those words in the vocabulary from which English words happen to be derived. He may be sure that in doing so he will be beginning at the wrong end.
As to the value of etymology in elucidating the precise meaning of English words, it is to be remembered, that the mere knowledge of the derivation, in the majority of cases, contributes little or nothing to this end. Tell a child that commit is derived from mitto, I send, and con, with or together ; or that succession is from cedo, I go, and sub, under ; content yourself with the bare statement of the fact, and you have rather mystified than helped him, in determining the modern signification of those words. The same remark will apply in different degrees to more than half the words contained in an ordinary list of derivatives. The truth is, that in a vast number of cases, the original meaning of the root word was greatly modified, even
before it was borrowed from the Latin ; often, too, the presence of a prefix or suffix has further altered its signification ; while, since the word has become acclimated in England, it has either been narrowed or widened, chained to some local or moral association, or employed for some entirely new purpose. If it is in the teacher's power to trace all this,—to show what exact connexion there is between the notion of " loosening ” (solvo) and the word “resolution ;” or between “ folding” (plico) and "application ;” “punishment” (pæna) and “pain ;" hearing ” (audio) and "obedience ;” a “boundary'' (terminus) and " determination” or a term ; “ timber" (materies) and “matter;"" old” (Tepeopus) and “priest ; " "wisdom” (copia) and "sophistry;" or "bile” (xoln) and “ melancholy,"—it will doubtless be of great service; and the result of his lesson will be, that apart from historical facts of great interest, the pupil will really acquire a much truer conception of the definitions of these words than can be otherwise attained. Nothing but bewilderment and misapprehension, however, can arise from merely knowing the root, in these and hundreds of similar cases. Nothing, we had said-yes, something else will result,--that conceit of knowledge without the reality, which is one of the greatest evils in education. There will be the possession of a rather showy and pretentious piece of information, wbich, while it professes to explain English by the help of Latin, does in fact throw light neither on the one nor the other. Every good teacher will perceive, that if he can so train the minds of his pupils that they can trace the true connexion of such roots and derivatives as we have named, and know exactly where the resemblance in meaning between the one and the other begins and ends, he will be teaching effectively and well. But no mechanical learning of words by rote will do this ; nothing but close and intelligent application on the part of learners, and considerable knowledge of the subject, and much skill in detecting and explaining the less obvious meanings of which words are capable, on that of the teacher.
In regard to many subjects, a little knowledge is better than none at all; but in this it is, in fact, rather worse. It is a mere piece of pedantry for one who knows nothing of Latin or French to quote a detached word or two of either language as the root of some English word, unless by it he can actually explain or understand that word the better. As a matter of grammatical history, the fact of the derivation is of extremely small value to him. Moreover, a reference to a foreign language, in illustration of any subject whatever, seems to imply something of scholarship, and carries with it an air of importance, which makes any little inaccuracy doubly ridiculous. It is not absolutely necessary that a moderately well-informed man should know the origin of every word of foreign extraction which he uses; but it is necessary, that any knowledge he profeses on the subject should be precise and thorough as far as it goes. Otherwise it is as delusive as it is pretentious, and is more likely than any other sort of superficial acquirement to expose him to scorn and humiliation.
There can be no doubt, however, that in the hands of a judicious teacher the second of the three purposes we have above enumerated may be partially realised, and the third, to a very considerable extent, by the study of etymologies. We shall subjoin a few very brief rules, by the help of which the right results may be attained.
I. Do not attempt to teach the subject systematically except to elder classes, and to those who have had much practice in grammatical exercises.
II. Introduce the roots of words very sparingly in all other classes, confining them to those English words of a technical and difficult kind, which can be literally explained by a reference to the origin of their several parts, e.g. sub-aqueous, microscope, acoustics, soliloquy, &e.
III. Always insist on having the foreign word, when quoted, accurately spelt and pronounced. Nothing seems more absurd to a person of moderate scholarship, than to see a Latin word incorrectly spelt, or to hear it sounded with a false quantity.