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In and out of School.
It is set forth, not as mere probability, but as a proved fact, that half a day is better than a whole day of school-teaching. If three hours instead of six be given daily to the schoolmaster, and be so managed that the pupil is physically and mentally able to give bright undivided attention to the whole of his work, he not only can learn absolutely as much as the child who is compelled through a gix-hour routine; it is his further gain that what he knows he knows more literally“ by heart," knows with a relish; while he is sent out into the world with a habit of close study, so assured that he hardly knows what it is to apply his mind with half attention to a duty.
The second half of the day, which now, being spent in the schoolroom spoils the whole, if it be devoted to gymnastics, drill, athletic sport, or-in the case of those who must work with their parents for the bread they eat—to labor in the house and field, care and does serve to train a sound body while helping to a fuller ripeness of the mind. We say, not theoretically that it would do, but practically, and from the wide experience of many, that it does this. Here, for example, is a heap of evidence.
Mr. William Stuckey, who is teaching eighty children at Richmond, and has worked for more than a quarter of a century in schools of seven hundred, of a hundred and eighty, and of a hundred scholars, testifies that in his experience “two hours in the morning and one in the afternoon is about as long as a bright voluntary attention can be secured.” Particular children could sustain attention longer, but they would be scarcely five per cent of the whole number taught. With efficient teaching of an interesting subject he has found that no one lesson could with advantage be pressed beyond half an hour. - The benefits,” he says,
" of enforced attention are small. With young children, of the average age attending British schools, if you get a quarter of an hour's attention, and having prolonged the lesson to half an hour, then recapitulate, you will find that the last quarter of an hour's teaching had nearly driven out what the first quarter of an hour put in.” Mr. Imeson, who has been for eight-and-twenty years a teacher, and has taught children of all classes, is of the same opinion. Study, or the attempt at it, for seven hours a day, destroys, he says, the willing mind, Mr. Isaac Pugh, who has taught during thirty years of work about three thousand boys, says that with boys of higher classes, attention has been kept on the stretch for two hours in the morning, and afterwards from the same class he might get an hour's positive attention in the afternoon, but even that could not be done day after day. Mr. Cawthorne, after twelve year's experience, agreeg with Mr. Pugh ; but considering his low estimate to refer to the silent working system, thinks that with a different system half an hour's additional attention might be got in the morning, and as much more in the afternoon. . But it is not all equally good, Even with varied reljef lessons, he says: “In the morning we find the last half-hour very wearying; in the afternoon, we find the first half-hour bright, the next. Half-hour less bright, and the last halfhour worse than useless." Mr. Donaldson, of Glasgow, who has for eight years taught in large schools, gives a table. He says:
"My experience as to the length of time children closely and voluntarily attend to a lesson, is : Children of from 5 to 7 years of age, about 15 minutes. 7 to 10
20 10 to 12
25" 12 to 16 or 18
30 I have repeatedly obtained a bright voluntary attention from each. of these classes for five, ten, or fifteen minutes more, but I obseryed it was always at the expense of the succeeding lesson ; or, on fine days, when the forenoon's work was enthusiastically performed, it was at the expense of the afternoon's work. I find the girls generally attend better and longer than the boys, to lessons on grammar and composition; the boys better and longer than the girls, to geography, history, arithmetic, and lessons on science."
Mr. Bolton, head-master of a Half-Time Factory School at Bradford, where nearly five hundred children are now being taught, and who has had seven years' experience of the half-time system, after seven years' experience of full-time teaching, says that he finds the half-time scholars “more advanced. They come fresh from work to school, and go fresh from school to work. I believe that the alteration is in both ways beneficial.” To which Mr. Walkers, one of the firm in whose factory the same children are employed, adds his testimony that, “where I had to complaiņ, one hundred times, thirty years ago, I now have scarcely to complain once." He
is asked, “Do you find your commercial interest in the improvement?" and answers,
and answers, "Most decidedly, notwithstanding that we spend a very large sum on the school every year.” As the halfday's work brightens attention to the schooling, so the half-day's schooling in its turn, brightens attention to the work.
To this we shall all come some of these days. We shall have : schools for pupils of all classes in which no more than the natural
power of attention will be occupied, and where that will be strengthened instead of sickened and debilitated by excessive strain. The headwork will be balanced with the gymnastic discipline and the drill, that give ease and precision to the movements of the body, with a wholesome vigor to the mind. But already the time is come when the truth now established should be applied to the education of the children of the poor. One great difficulty is removed when the boy's help in the home is left to the parent, and it is only for half the day that he is claimed by the school. master, to be brightened even for home service while he is trained for an active, thoughtful, everywhere earnest, manhood.--All the Year Round.
HENRY W.. LONGFELLOW.
Great men stand like solitary towers in the city of God, and secret passages running deep beneath external nature give their thoughts intercourse with higher intelligences, which strengthens and consoles them, and of which the laborers on the surface do not even dream!
Bome such thought as this was floating vaguely through the brain of Mr. Churchill as he closed his school-house door behind him ; and if in any degree he applied it to himself, it may perhaps be pardoned in a dreamy, poetic man like him ; for we judge ourselves by what we are capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done. And, moreover, his wife considered him equal to great things. To the people of the village, he was the schoolmaster, and nothing more. They beheld in his form and fountenance no outward sign of the divinity within. They saw
him daily moiling and delving in the common path, like a beetle, and little thought that underneath that hard and cold exterior lay folded delicate golden wings, wherewith, when the heat of day was over, he soared and revelled in the pleasant evening air
To-day he was soaring and reveling before the sun had set ; for it was Saturday. With a feeling of infinite relief he left behind him the empty school-house, into which the hot sun of a September afternoon was pouring. All the bright young faces were gone; all the impatient little hearts were gone; all the fresh voice shrill, but musical with the melody of childhood, were gone; and the lately busy realm was given up to silence, and the dusty sunshine, and the old gray flies that buzzed and bumped their heads against the window panes. The sound of the outer door, creaking on its hebdomadal hinges, was like a sentinel's challenge, to which the key growled responsive in the lock; and the master, casting a furitive glance at the last caricature of himself in the red chalk on the wooden fence close by, entered with a light step the solemn avenue of pines that led to the margin of the river.
At first his step was quick and nervous ; and he swung his cane as if aiming blows at some invisible enemy. Though a meek man, there were moments when he remembered with bitterness the unjust reproaches of fathers and their insulting words ; and then he fought imaginary battles with people out of sight, and struck them to the ground, and trampled upon them; for he was not exempt from the weakness of human nature, nor the customary vexations of a schoolmaster's life.
Unruly sons and unreasonable fathers did sometimes embitter his else sweet days and nights. But as he walked his step grew slower, and his heart calmer. The coolness and shadows of the great trees comforted and satisfied him, and he heard the voice of the wind as it were the voice of spirits calling around him in the air ; so that when he emerged from the black woodlands into the meadows by the river's side, all his cares were forgotten.
“ Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.” What does the word his refer to, and why is it used ?
Home and School Influence Especially Necessry in Time
J. M. GREGORY-1862.
The grand march of humanity stops not in its course even for var.
From the cradle to the coffin, the crowding columns move on with lock-step through the successive stages of life. Childhood cannot halt in its progress for returning peace to afford leisure for education. On into the years--to manhood, to citizenship, to destiny--it rushes, whether learning lights its path and guides its steps, or ignorance involves it in error and conducts it headlong into vice. And if in peace the school is needful rear our children
intelligent and virtuous manhood, how much greater the need when war, with its inseparable barbarism, is drifting the nation from its onward course of peaceful civilization, back to the old realms of darkness and brute force.
The high and heroic aims of this conflict will doubtless mitigate the evils which necessarily attend an appeal to arms. To thing of the physical health and prowess that camp life and military discipline will develop, the love of country and love of liberty will rise again from mere holiday sentiments to the grandeur and power of national passions, and the Union, made doubly precious by the blood which its maintenance will cost, will attain a strength that no mortal force can shake or destroy. History will grow heroic again, and humanity itself will be inspired and glorified with this fresh vindication of its God-given rights and duties, in this new incarnation and triumph of the principles of Constitutional and Republican liberty. The too absorbing love of money, which has hitherto characterized us, has loosened somewhat its clutch, and been won to acts of genuine benevolence, at the sight of an imperiled country; and the fiery demon of party spirít slinks away abashed before the roused patriotism which lays life itself on the altar of liberty.
But with all this, the barbarisms of war are too palpable and terrific to be forgotten or disregarded, and the wise and patriotic statesman will find in them a more urgent reason for fostering those civilizing agencies which nourish the growing intelligence and virtue of the people. Against the ideas and vices engendered in the camps, and amidst the battle-fields, we must raise still higher the