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We recommend masters, when teaching the geography of any country, to sketch the boundaries first, and make the pupils acquainted with the outline and principal features, so that when they come to be taught from the regular maps, they may be able to tell at once the names of the principal cities, mountains, rivers, and lakes, without waiting to read their names. By teaching Geography in this way it becoines an intellectual and an interesting subject, and not a mere wordy exercise, as it is in many of our private academies at the present day.*
Mr. Mann thus describes a Prussian teacher instructing according to this plan :
The teacher stood by the black-board, with a chalk in his hand. After casting his eye over the class to see that all were ready, he struck at the middle of the board. With a rapidity of hand which my eye could hardly follow, he made a series of those short diverging lines or shadings employed by map engravers, to represent a chain of mountains. He had scarcely turned an angle or shot off a spur, when the scholars cried out, Carpathian Mountains, Hungary, Black Forest Mountains, Westernburgh ; Giants' Mountains, (Riesin Gebirge) Pine Mountains, (Fichtel Gebirge,) Central Mountains, (Mittel Gebirge) Bohemia, &c. &c.
In less than half a minute, the ridge of that grand central elevation which separates the waters that flow north west into the German Ocean, from those that flow north into the Baltic and south east into the BlackSea, was presented to view,-_executed almost as beautifully as an engraving: A dozen crinkling strokes made in the twinkling of an eye represented the head waters of the great rivers which flow in different directions from that mountainous range; while the children almost as eager and excited, as though they had actually seen the torrents dashing down the mountain sides cried out, “Silesia,"
” “ Metallic Mountains," " Danube," “Elbe,” · Vistula,” “Oder." The next moment I heard a succession of small strokes or taps, so rapid as to be almost indistinguishable, and hardly had my eye time to discern a large number of dots made along the margin of the rivers when the shouts of “Lintz," “Vienna,” “Prague,
,” “Dresden," “Berlin,” &c., struck my ear. At this point in the exercise, the spot which had been occupied on the black board was nearly a circle, of which the starting point or place where the teacher first began, was the centre; but now a few additional strokes round the circumference of the incipient continent, extended the mountain ranges, outward towards the plains--the children calling out the names of the countries in which they respectively lay. With a few more flourishes, the rivers flowed onwards towards their several terminations; and by another succession of dots, new cities sprang up along their banks. By this time the children had become as much excited, as thongh they had been present at a world making : they rose in their seats, they flung out both hands, their eyes kindled, and their voices became almost vociferous, as they cried out the names of the different places, which, under the magic of the Teacher's crayon, rose into view. Within ten minutes from the commencement of the lesson, there stood upon the black board a beautiful map of Germany with its mountains, principal rivers and cities, the east of the German Ocean, of the Baltic and Black Seas, and all so accurately proportioned, that I think only slight errors would have been
We have now offered our suggestions on teaching the elementary subjects, and proceed to write on the advanced branches that should, if possible, be taught in Evening Schools—they are but few, viz., Book-keeping, Practical Geometry, Mensuration, and Mechanics. In teaching Book-keeping to adults, who, as we have already stated, can devote but a short time to study, we would recommend the little treatise written on this subject for the use of the National Schools in Ireland. It is an excellent work and exceed. ingly simple. It may be urged that it does not contain sufficient matter, but to this objection we would reply-it does not pretend to teach more than is sufficient to prepare the pupil for the counting-house, and give him a general and practical insight into the subject. For these purposes it will be found perhaps the most useful treatise that has as yet appeared, and we have no doubt that in teaching adults it will be found superior to any other, from its perspicuity and simplicity. The work on Mensuration, issued by the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland, is a most excellent book. It contains a course of practical Geometry admirably calculated to aid the working artizan in the improvement of his craft. Mechanics is a subject of great interest to the aspiring apprentice of the present day. Teachers, if possible, should provide themselves with a model of the steam-engine, and make their pupils as conversant as possible with its mechanism, for which purpose a knowledge of mechanics will be found essential. We have now enumerated the subjects which we think comprise the most useful course that, possibly, could be taught in a school intended for the education of the working poor.
found, had it been subjected to the test of a scale of miles. A part of the Teacher's time was taken up in correcting a few mistakes of the pupils; for his mind seemed to be in his ear as well as in his hand; and notwithstanding the astonishing celerity of his movements, he detected erroneous an. swers and turned round to correct them. The rest of the recitation consisted in questions and answers repecting productions,climate, soil, animals, &c., &c. Compare thu effect of such a lesson as this, both as to the amount of the knowledge communicated, and the vividness, and of course the permanance, of the ideas obtained, with a lesson, when the scholars look a few names of places on a lifeless atlas, but never had their imaginations abroad over the earth, and when the Teacher sits listlessly down before them, to interrogate them from a Book in which all the questions are printed at full length, to supersede on his part all necessity of knowledge. * If this were the country it boasts itself to be, if it were a country in · which the public really aspired to elevate the human mind, to assign intellectual superiority its proper station, long since its laws would have regarded the profession of teacher, as one in great degree invested with paternal
A teacher possessing the qualifications we have indicated must be fairly remunerated or he will not devote his time to the tedious and laborious daties of an Evening School. The poor salary given at present renders it impossible to procure the services of competent and energetic masters to conduct these schools. With very few exceptions does the grant to Evening Schools, in connexion with the Board of National Education in Ireland, exceed £5 per annum. This sum, with the receipts of the school, comprise the salary of the teacher, which, including both, does not exceed, save in a very few cases, £12 per annum. Even this sum is considered by many to be considerably above the average. It is obvious, therefore, that no competent teacher will undertake the arduous task of conducting an evening school efficiently, for so small a salary as this. Consequently we find these schools directed by masters, fagged and fatigued from the effects of teaching during the day—their energy completely spent, and requiring rest or recreation much more than additional toil. There is no alternative; the salary given would not compensate a teacher if he were to devote his time exclusively to an Evening School, and under such circumstances it is better that trained teachers, however fatigued, should be entrusted with their management. But certainly a change in the system is much to be desired, for so long as the present plan is continued, little hope can be entertained that Evening Schools will effect the object for which they were intended. Indeed it is, and ever has been, our opinion, that until we have a body of efficient, energetic, and qualified teachers to conduct these schools, adult education can never be advanced beyond its present wretched state. But surely not for ten or twelve pounds per annum, are we to hope to procure the services of the master required. We must therefore, expect to witness the decline of these admirable schools, until the salary of our daily school teachers is such as will raise them above the necessity of resuming the weary task of instructing in the evening, and a proper remuneration given to a competent master who will undertake the task,-teachers whose vigor and energy have not been impaired nor diminished by previous toil.* There is, perhaps, no country in the world
where a teacher is so poorly recompensed as in Ireland, or where some provision is not made for him in his old age by the state, but in Great Britain. He is miserably paid for his labor when life is in its prime; and the only prospect he sees in perspective at its decline, is the work-house or the pauper's grave. Contrast this with the treatment and the respect Schoolmasters receive in other countries. Throughout Germany no profession is more respected than that of a teacher; not only is it respected, but he rests secure that he will be provided for when incapacitated by illness or old age, to exercise his duties; but still more, if found deserving, his widow and orphans will be provided for also.* and religious rights. If there be many instances in which Teachers themselves have derogated from this dignified position, and converted what ought to have been the most important of social duties into a mere trade, it is only the natural result of our unwise and niggard legislation, and belongs not to the profession nor to the men.--Wyse on Education Reform, Vol. I. Page 292.
Mr. Kay in his admirable work, “ The Social Condition and Education of the People,” thus speaks of the Austrian Teachers. The Teacher is protected from neglect, insult, or injudicious interference, while he is at the same time kept under a wholesome check. His close connection with the emissary of Government of the empire gives him a standing among his neighbours and covers himself and his office with the respect of the people. The Austrian Government has indeed so strongly felt the importance of making the teachers respected, that one of the laws expressly requires the Overseer to address the Teacher at the Public examination with the Title of Mr. and Sir, and forbids the overseer to allow himself to treat the Teacher with any undue familiarity or carelessness before his pupils.
Besides these wise enactments, a series of laws has been framed, by which a pension and livelihood is secured to every superannuated teacher, and to the Orphans and Widow of every deserving Teacher who dies in the public service. These enactments are for the most part similar to those which I have already described as in force in Prussia.
By these means the Teachers are released from all anxiety about providing for the support of themselves in old age, or of their families in case of their own decease, and are, consequently, freed from any temptation to divert any of their thoughts from their school duties to mercantile, or money-making pursuits, and are enabled to devote the whole of their faculties, thoughts, and energies to the duties of their profession.
Besides these advantages, the people are by these different regulations impressed with a high consideration and respect for the profession, as they see it an object of the anxious solicitude of the Government. They know that the Teachers must be learned men, or they could not have gained their situations, and that they must be men of high character, or they would not be allowed to hold their offices. They see the Teachers in continual correspondence with the agents of the imperial Government. They see how respectful the teachers are treated by the overseers and civil magistrates.
We are now, perhaps, diverging from the subject before us, but we hope at a future period to advocate the cause of National Teachers and to show the great injustice done those whose lives have been spent in educating the poorer classes of our fellow subjects.
What we are now to consider is, the remuneration that should be given to an efficient and properly qualified teacher charged with the management of an Evening School. The time generally devoted to these schools we admit is short, perhaps too much so; but, on the other hand, when we take into account the fatigue of adults consequent upon the toil they have undergone during the day, it might not be prudent to make the time for study much longer than is devoted to it at present. Three hours we think should be the maximum, say from 7 until 10 o'clock each night, during which time the teacher requires to be energetically and constantly employed to do justice to his pupils. Now in the most economical point of view we consider lhiin entitled to a sulary of at least £60 per annum, and any sum under that is not sufficient to compensate him for the duties that devolve upon him, if he really interest himself in the education of his pupils. This salary may be objected to on the ground that many teachers of Day Schools have not salary equal to it, with this we liave nothing to do, as we are to suppose their merits do not entitle them to it, or that there are not sufficient funds placed at the disposal of the Commissioners to reward them, which we believe is really the case. The school fees should be assigned to the teacher and form part of the salary liere mentioned. We hold this to be an excellent plan, since it must serve to stimulate the teacher to procure a good attendance to the school; but in any case the salary above mentioned should be secured to the teacher.
The payment by pupils should be insisted upon, for there is no pupil whowill present himself for admission to an Evening
This respect reacts upon the children in the most beneficial manner. They see the Teachers welcomed at home, honored by the agents of the imperialGovernment, cared for by the Government in sickness and old age, comfortably lodged, and treated by every one with respect.
This begets in the minds of the scholars a respect for their instructors, makes them pay attention to their advice and instruction, makes them anxious to win their good opinion, and thus gives a double weight to all the counsels, advice and admonitions of these excellent monitors.
It is impossible to exaggerate the value of the labours and of the influence of such a body of men working among the poor.