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to perform, and man's must be commensurate with the high position which his Maker has assigned him. What this task is, revelation and our own spiritual nature distinctly declare; it is, to bring his will into complete harmony with the will of God, and the dictates of his own reason. Towards this perfection all our efforts must be directed; everything we do, as rational and spiritual beings, which does not tend thither, is done in vain.
The means of its attainment are to be found in the harmonious cultivation of all the faculties with which the Creator has endowed us ; and this cultivation must therefore be regarded as the great business of education.
We do not wish to undervalue the importance of storing the mind with useful and practical knowledge, that shall be available to the individual in after life, in preference to such abstract knowledge as can only serve the one purpose of exercising his faculties in its acquirement. Here, in fact, the practical and the theoretical must go hand in hand. But even regarding his education merely as a preparation for active life, we are convinced that it would be far better for the pupil to receive a good training, without an atom of available learning, than to have his mind surfeited with general information, which he has not the power to digest. The possessor of such information would probably never become capable of thinking for himself, but would only be fit for a mere instrument in the hands of others. By this general cultivation of our faculties, also, we shall most worthily magnify the Creator, not now as unconscious witnesses to His glory, but as voluntary agents in showing it forth; for we yield him honour when we perfect His works, and most abundant honour when we perfect the greatest of His works, the human soul, in which He most fully manifests Himself.
The teacher must not, however, rest satisfied with these general ideas of the duties of his office : he must ascertain the particular laws of development in relation to each set of faculties; and, for this purpose, he must study at least the elements of physiology, and of mental and moral philosophy, as bearing on education. The small progress which English schoolmasters have made in this study is doubtless attributable, in great measure, to the absence of any good work in our language upon the science of education ;* but this does not excuse an almost total ignorance of the subject. Every one must make it his business to gain some acquaintance with it, by reflection upon his experience in his school, and with the aid of such treatises as he may be able to procure. He will then no longer run the risk of misapplying methods, because he will know the general principles of teaching upon which they are based; but on the contrary, he will be enabled to employ them efficiently under all circumstances, and thus to avail himself of their advantages to the fullest extent. He will then understand that they are only valuable in so far as they apply these general principles; that their object is not simply to diminish the labour of learning for the children, but more especially to guide the teacher in developing their minds.' Viewed in this light, methods are evidently of very high importance; but, as at present studied and practised by many schoolmasters, namely, as mere plans of teaching particular subjects, they lose more than half their value.
* We think it important to call attention to the recommendation of Professor Moseley contained in the following passage of the report from which we have already quoted :—" Elementary teaching having been much longer studied as an art in some foreign countries than here-and practised in that higher sense with great success, it is to be regretted that we possess no information generally accessible as to the principles of that art developed in their works on education, and sanctioned by the experience of their schools. A study of the phenomena of the mind and of its development cannot but be fruitful in results of value and importance to the educator. No such study has, so far as I am aware, been undertaken in England with reference to that which belongs to elementary instruction, or in any practical sense.
That remarkable neglect of what belongs to the professional education of the teacher, to which I have so often borne testimony in my reports to your Lordships on the training-schools, is probably due, in a great ineasure, to this cause. Teaching has not yet risen to the dignity of a science among us. I know of no greater boon which could be conferred on elementary education, than to make known here what has been done in that science in Germany." Even a translation of one of the best German works on the subject would be of great utility to English teachers.
ON THE RELATION WHICH OUGHT TO SUBSIST BETWEEN
THE TEACHER AND HIS PUPILS. There are to be found men in the world, who though they reside in the immediate neighbourhood of each other, yet live in total estrangement. They look upon one another with coolness and perhaps dislike, probably for no other reason than that they do not know each other. Such, it is to be feared, is sometimes the case with teachers and their pupils, and we need hardly say that it is a most undesirable condition, leading, where it exists, to many evil consequences. The teacher is separated from his pupils, as it were, by a gult: there is between them no cordial intercourse, no unconstrained interchange of thought, no harmony of feeling. A teacher who is thus content to remain ignorant of his pupils, cannot recognise his true position, nor enter upon his duties in a right spirit, and he is apt to look upon his young charges as so many restless and malevolent creatures, bent upon teasing and annoying him. He thinks it his bounden duty to wage incessant warfare against this spirit of opposition to his authority, and is always on the alert to inflict punishment when any occasion presents itself, as if this were the only means of forming his pupils' dispositions and characters. Yet it is a common and a natural result of such a system, that the more severely the teacher punishes, the more hardened and rebellious the children become.
Another evil arising from the teacher's false estimate of his position, and his ignorance of the dispositions of his pupils, is that it blinds him to whatever is good and praiseworthy in their conduct and characters. Hence it comes that the bestowal of praise is a thing he never has recourse to, and perhaps never thinks of as a means of encouraging his pupils. The good effects resulting from the bestowal of praise where it is really due, have been so graphically and happily depicted by Captain Basil Hall,* that we feel we cannot better illustrate our meaning than by quoting his truthful and touching little sketch of the two captains.
* “ Fragments of Voyages and Travels,”' first series, page 165.
“I shall merely mention,” says he,“ one important trait of character by which the captains were contradistinguished from each other. Whenever one of these commanding officers came on board the ship, after an absence of a day or two, and likewise when he made his periodical round of the decks after breakfast, his constant habit was to cast his
eye about him, in order to discover what was wrong—to detect the smallest thing that was out of its place-in a word, to find as many grounds for censure as possible. This constituted, in his opinion, the best preventive to neglect, on the part of those under his command : and he acted in this crusty way on principle.
“ The attention of the other officer, on the contrary, appeared to be directed chiefly to those points of which he could approve. For instance, he would stop as he went along, from time to time, and
to the first lieutenant, Now these ropes are very nicely arranged; this mode of stowing the men's bags and mess-kids is just as I wish to see.' While the officer first described would not only pass by those well-arranged things which had cost hours of labour to put in order, quite unnoticed, but seemed never to be easy till his eye had caught hold of some casual omission, affording an opening for disapprobation. The approving captain would remark to the first lieutenant, as he walked along, How white and clean you have got the decks to-day!
' I think you must have been at them all the morning, to have them into such order.'
“ The fault-finder in similar circumstances, but eager to blame, would say, even if the decks were as white and clean as drifted snow, I wish to heaven, sir, you would teach these sweepers to clear away that bundle of shakings !' pointing to a bit of rope-yarn, not half an inch long, left under the truck of a gun. In short, it seemed, as if nothing was more vexatious to one of these officers than to discover things so correct as to afford him no good opportunity of finding fault; while to the other the necessity of censuring really appeared a punishment to himself. Under the one, accordingly, we all worked with cheerfulness, from a conviction that nothing we did in a proper way would miss approbation. But our duty under the other being performed in fear, seldom went on with much spirit. We had no personal satisfaction in doing things correctly, from the certainty of getting no commendation. The great chance also of being censured, even in those cases where we had laboured most industriously to merit approbation, broke the spirit of all generous exertion, and by teaching us to anticipate blame, as a matter of course, defeated the very purpose of punishment when it fell upon us. The case being quite hopeJess, the chastisement seldom conduced either to the amendment of the offender, or the prevention of offences. But what seemed the oddest thing of all was that these men were both as kind-hearted, or, if there were any difference, the fault-finder was the better-natured, and, in matters not professional, the more indulgent of the two. Yet, as it then appeared and still appears to me nothing could be more completely erroneous than the snarling method of the one, or more decidedly calculated to do good than the approving style of the other.” This picture needs no comment.
Where a right relation exists between the teacher and his pupils,
time passes happily both with him and with them. They show a desire to do whatever they think will be pleasing to him. His approving smile they look upon as a reward, and carefully avoid whatever they know will call forth his censure. Thus, while the teacher sees their minds developed under his intellectual training, he has the additional gratification of seeing the qualities of their hearts, their feelings and affections unfold themselves in a right direction. He also enjoys the friendship and respect of his former
pupils who have arrived at manhood, and are reaping the fruits of the labours and pains he bestowed upon them, and the more they have profited by his labours, the more grateful they will be.
ON CATECHETICAL INSTRUCTION.
No. II. The advantages which, in a former article, we ascribed to the catechetical method of instruction, belong, of course, to the method only when rightly understood and skilfully practised. It would be an easy task, but an invidious one, to point to published specimens of catechetical instruction, consisting of a mere series of sentences, in the form of question and answer, which are by no means entitled to be regarded as veritable specimens of the true catechetical method. Such books may be drawn up in the catechetical form, but certainly not in its true spirit. One reason why the catechetical plan of teaching has been less appreciated than it really deserves to be, is, that discredit has been thrown upon it by the puerile and jejune specimens which have been given to the public. To this we may add the no less crude attempts made by teachers who have neither the necessary fulness of knowledge, nor a sound practical acquaintance with the essential principles and details of the method.
We are far from approving of any attempt to reduce the business of teaching to a mere code of dry rules. We deprecate, in fact, any such attempt, and believe that it cannot fail to prove abortive-in so far at least, as the highest objects of education are concerned. From the shibboleth of system, in this sense, the best interests of popular education have, on all sides, seriously suffered. The spirit which prompted the question, “ Can any good thing come out of Galilee?” has been too much abroad and too much indulged in by those who have happened to think differently on the great question of popular education : 4 question, nevertheless, respecting which a variety of opinion (right principles being taken for granted) is perhaps more to be desired than dreaded. That this spirit has lost much of its virulence and is now fast disappearing, may be regarded as one of the most propitious signs of the times, visible in our educational horizon.
While, however, we would determinately set our face against the notion that the teacher should be fettered by any external cramping or strait-lacing, under the name of system, such as we have alluded to, we are ready, on the other hand, to acknowledge that it would, we think, be equally vain to expect success in the business of education, where the teacher is ignorant of the principles of his art or science
(call it which you will) as it would be to expect that success should attend the efforts of the professor of any other of the arts or sciences, who was totally unacquainted with the fundamental principles and details of his profession. This holds good especially with the catechetical me. thod. One who has not reflected on, and studied the principles and details belonging to the method, cannot expect to practise it successfully. This method admits, and indeed requires, perhaps more than any other, hints, rules, and instructions for its right employment.
If the method does not require study and helps of this kind, how comes it that so comparatively few good catechists are to be met with, and that glaring mistakes, short-comings and failures, such as the following, are so often witnessed in the conducting of the catechetical exercise. Long preachments intervening between the questions, instead of the lesson being closely concatenated, and the links, the steps in the process, separated, or rather united, at most, by a few explanatory or supplementary words from the teacher.-Random questioning in which the catechist himself seems scarcely to know what he is aiming at, and from his aimless exercise effects of course nothing definite or worth the time bestowed upon it.—Questions obscurely put; clothed in language beyond the pupil's comprehension, and encumbered by a number of unnecessary words, a multitude of which, in this case, never fails to darken counsel.—Questions put which do not require any intellectual effort on the part of the pupils, and only admit of monosyllabic answers, such as “
no.”-No notice taken of wrong answers, to show wherein they are wrong ; nor the inaccuracies, in language or fact, of half-right ones pointed out.-No attempt made to arrest the attention and keep the minds of all the pupils simultaneously at work, the answers being received from a few of the older and more advanced pupils.-Telling the first word, or part of the first word of the answer, a practice which destroys entirely the intellectual character of the exercise, and gives rise to senseless guessing.--A monotony of voice. -No attempt to give sufficient variety to the form of the questions.Questions awkwardly put, and made to end too frequently in the word what, &c., &c.
Now it is sufficiently obvious that the young teacher who commits these and similar faults is liable to go on doing so, unless his attention is directed to them, or he should have an opportunity of referring to some standard in which they are pointed out, and the subject minutely treated of. Where his shortcomings are not thus brought under his notice, he can hardly fail to acquire, and confirm himself in, faulty habits of teaching, which, as in the case of most other habits, are much more easily contracted than got rid of. Besides this, the teacher, who has not studied his method, and is conscious that he is not familiar with its details, cannot be expected to possess self-confidence. He is apt to be put out by wrong answers.
He is almost afraid to stop to resolve doubts, and to clear up difficulties when they arise. When thus put out, he becomes nervous, and fails to elicit from the children what they really know. He probably tells and makes them repeat his words. But this, regarded as a catechetical exercise, is a failure. Knowledge so imparted can take but a slight hold on the pupils' minds, and can contribute little to the development of their intellectual powers. On