Page images
PDF
EPUB

How many hearts have their best hopes centred in the young creatures now passing before us with their bright faces and care-free mind ! Father, in the shop or the mill in the store or the office, toils cheerfully on as he thinks of his boys and girls now in school, and looks forward to the time when he shall see them useful and happy men and women ; and mother is patiently going from one household task to another, comforting herself, as she grows weary of the endless making and mending and picking-up and putting-away, with the thought of the time when around her shall be tall sons and fair daughters making glad her heart. Grandma, busy with her knitting-needles, is thinking of the children, too. She remembers the time when her own little ones walked miles across the fields and through the woods to the old log school-kouse, where they learned to read, write and cipher; and, 23 she contrasts this with the advantages of THESE days, she expects great things of Johnny, Mary, and the others. If any of these bright ih opes are blasted, if any of these children go out into the world with broken health and ill-developed minds, or hearts distorted by evil passions, shall any of the sin lie at our door.

But they are all gone now, and we must go too. As we enter the open door, our work for the day lies spread out before us. We have been told that it is CLEAN work. Yea, verily, if we do it well.—(ILL. TEACHER.

Obituary.

HORATIO N. ROBINSON.—Died at his residence in Elbridge, N. Y., Jan. 19th, 1867, after more than twelve years' suffering as an invalid, Prof. Horatio N. Robinson, LL. D., the well-known author of a series of Mathematical text-books, aged 61 years.

Prof. Robinson was born at Hartwick, N. Y, He never attended any but a district school until he was sixteen years old, when he made the calculations for an almanac, which attracted the attention of a wealthy gentleman of the neighborhood, who sent him to PrincetonCollege. He did not remain, however, to graduate, but at the age of nineteen received and accepted the appointment of professor of mathematies in the navy, which position he fiHed acceptably for ten years, visiting many parts of the globe.

In 1835, he married Miss Emma Tyler, of Norwich, Com., a most estimable lady, and removed to Canandaigua, N. Y., taking charge of the Academy in that place, and subsequently of the one at Geneseo. His health becoming somewhat impaired by teaching, he removed with his family, in 1844, to Cincinnati, Ohio. Here he entered the field of authorship, and his first production, the University Algebra, combined with so much of originality, new and practical methods, with such thorough knowledge and treatment of the subject, that it met with great success and popularity. This encouraged him to prepare several other works, all of which were published by Jacob Ernst, of Cincinnati.

He removed to Syracuse, N. Y., in 1850, and in ’54 to the town of Elbridge, where he resided at the time of his death. In 1858, the publication of his books was removed from Cincinnati to New York, where Ivison, Phinney, Blakeman & Co. continue to publish them.

After this transfer, some of the best practical talent of the country was employed to assist Prof. Robinson in completing his series, by adding a full course of elementary text-books, and thoroughly revising and rewriting the higher mathematics. The very large and increasing circulation of these books attest their merits, and the name of the author will long be familiar to the best teachers and educators of the entire country.

He was an enthusiast in the pursuit of science, and what would have been considered severe labor, and even drudgery by many, was but recreation to him. During the many long years he was confined to his room, even to the week of his death, he was constantly employed in improving and developing some new thought, principle, or method of his favorite science; and, when unable to use the pen, and often while suffering the most acute pains, would he dictate for another to write. It is a rare and exceptional case to find the highest scientific talent joined to a pleasing simplicity of style and remarkable facility in imparting instruction : and still more rare to find such talent devoted to the preparation of text-books adapted to the young.

His devoted and faithful wife died in the fall of 1863, respected and loved by all who knew her. He has followed her, as we trust, to that better land, for although never a professed and active Christian, yet he gave unmistakable evidence in his last hours of a heart renewed by grace, and of his firm unshaken faith in Him who saves to the uttermost all who trust in Him.

VICTOR COUSIN, the distinguished French philosopher, is recently deceased.

PROFESSOR ALEXANDER DALLAS BACHE, for many years Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey, died Sunday morning, Feb. 17, at Newport, R. I., of softening of the brain. He was a scientific man of high rank, and a grandson of Benjamin Franklin.-(N. Y. TEACHER.)

Marking.

In our High Schools, and in most of the classes in our Grammar Schools, the rank of each pupil is kept by means of checks and credit, or marks for conduct and recitations; and in estimating rank, it is usual to combine the marks for scholarship with the marks for deportment. There are several objections to the system, as at present managed.

1. To mark for each recitation is a great tax on the time and attention of the teacher, and diminishes, to a considerable extent, his direct teaching power.

So far as the teacher becomes a mere hearer of reci tations, so far this objection ceases to hold good.

2. The difficulty of discriminating with sufficient accuracy to do justice to the pupils.

3. The tendency of the system to make scholars superficial, as the reward or rank is bestowed for passing the recitation, and not for what is treasured up and retained.

4. It is a perpetual temptation to practice deception, and it is probable that a very large proportion of pupils yield to the temptation sooner or later.

5. Conduct and scholarship are things totally unlike; and to add together the marks indicating these two distinct classes of merit to determine the sum total of the merit of a pupil is a proceeding as irrational as that of adding the numbers representing the weight and height of a pupil to ascertain the cubical measure of his corporeal figure.-(Boston SCHOOL REPORT, 1866.)

Extracts from Superintendent's Report.

The re

In many of our villages and thickly settled towns a union of districts that would render it possible to grade the schools, would be advantageous. With primary schools conveniently located, and a central school of higher grade established, the benefits of the graded system may be made available. Until the adoption of the “ Township system of school organization,” special legislation must be sought by those localities desirous of securing the benefits resulting from the method of managing schools that has been found so effective in our cities and larger villages.

The number of children less than 4 years of age, who have attended the public schools some portion of the past year, is 2,176 or 9 more than were reported last year. This fact is creditable to peither the judgment of school officers, nor the humanity of those parents who permit their children to attend school at so early an age. straint and routine of the school room are not adapted to the growth of either the body or mind of a child less than six. years

of
age.

Listlessness, apathy and disgust are the certain consequences of the parental folly that denies to a child the freedom of movement required by his body, and the variety of objects demanded by his mind. That provision of our State constitution which precludes us from excluding from the public schools children under six years of age, is, in the opinion of most teachers and school officers, unwise and unfortunate.

TEACHERS.-Of the 6,114 certificates granted during the past year, 65 were FIRST GRADE, 151 SECOND GRADE, and 5,898 THIRD GRADE-The number of first grade certificates is 6 more than last year.

The teachers in most of our city schools are examined by city superintendents, and no report of the grade of certificates granted is made to this office.

There is a demand in all parts of the state for teachers who have had the advantages of professional training. Persons qualified to teach are well paid as soon as their fitness becomes known. A necessity, however, exists for permitting those of very limited attainments to teach. Otherwise hundreds of schools would be without teachers. The cause of this is found in the fact, that no facilities for obtaining the training necessary for a teacher have, until recently, existed in our state. The

Kenosha,

1,5110

Milwaukee..

.............................................................................................

1.500 1,800

1,2 O,

Normal Department of the University and the Normal School at Platteville are doing a small part of much that we hope, ere long, to see accomplished.

The salaries paid in some of the cities of the state, to the principals of high schools, are as follows: Beloit,......

$1,600 Fond du Lac,

1,600 Janesville,

1,500

1,200 Madison,...

1,200 Oshkosh, Racine,.. Bheboygan....

In many of our villages, teachers, fitted to take charge of graded schools, receive from $800 to $1000 per annum. In some of the country districts there is too little importance attached to attainments, tact and experience, by those who employ teachers; and cheapness is often more carefully considered than qualification. The economy that sacrifices the school for a few dollars, is ill-advised, and the injustice that demands ability, learning and character in a teacher and yet refuses a liberal compensation for them, merits the severest reprobation.

It is, however, proper to remark that some of the best schools in the state

may be found in obscure villages or rural districts-schools that in order, discipline and attainments surpass others better known and better appreciated.

Rules for Home Education,

The following are worthy of being printed in letters of gold, and being placed in a conspicuous position in every household;

1. From your chiidren's earliest infanoy inculcate the necessity of instant obedience.

2. Unite firmness with gentleness. Let your children understand that you always mean what you say.

3. Never promise them anything unless you are sure you can give them what you promise.

4. If you tell a child to do anything, show him how it is done, anch sce that it is done.

5. Always punish your children for wilfully disobeying you, but never punish in anger.

« PreviousContinue »