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whose stern features no horoscope can entirely lift the gloom, with hostile forces at work around us and among us which must long continue to agitate our country, like the terrible ground swell which still tosses the waves long after the violence of the tempest is spent, we cannot with prudence, neglect to furnish our young men, whose courage and strength must defend their country, with the ready means of such education as will enable them to use that strength and courage with skill and success. Who shall estimate the advantages of the military drill heretofore given at our State University to its students; or how many valuable lives might have been saved, how many blunders avoided, and perhaps months of war averted if military skill and science had been made more common. Not a single year should pass without the organi. zation of a competent military school or department by the State for its sons.

STATE TEACHERS' INSTITUTES. The State Teachers' Institutes held during the past year have been attended with a most gratifying success. Those of the spring series, six in number, were held at the following places, viz; Saranac, Paw Paw, Cassopolis, Eaton Rapids, Fentonville and Howell. The attendance averaged over 163 teachers for each; a higher average than ever before attained by any series. The institutes of the autumn series, seven in number, wer3 held at Port Huron, Clinton, Grass Lake, Battle Creek, Allegan, St. Johns and Coldwater. The war excitement just then at its height, diminished the attendance somewhat from the spring average, but still left large and useful gatherings. The total expenditures for these thirteen Institutes was $1,300 00.

These agencies for the training of teachers are annually attracting more attention, and winning a larger influence. The following general summary of the several series held during the past four years will indicate something of the progress made by them.

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Total of

each Series.

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Spring Series, 1859.
At Kalamazoo,
At Tecumseh,
At Northville,
At Flinto

Autumn Series, 1859.
At Utica,
At Owosso,
At Sturgis,
At Charlotte,
At Dowagiac,
At Grand Haven,

Spring Series, 1860.
At Oxford,...
At Marshall,
At Hastings
At Portland,

Autumn Series, 1860.
At Romeo,
At Birmingham,.........
At Corunna,
At Otsego,

Spring Series, 1861.
At Lapeer,
At De Witt,..
At Lowell,
At Three Rivers,

Autumn Series, 1861.
At Hudson,
At Saline
At Lansing,
At East Saginaw,

Spring Series, 1862.
At Saranac,
At Paw Paw,..
At Cassapolis,
At Fentonville,
At Eaton Rapids,
At Howell,...

Autumn Series, 1862.
At Port Huron,
At Clinton,
At Grass Lake,
At Battle Creek,
At Allegan,
At St. Johns,
At Coldwater,

Total,..

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The first 20 of the above Institutes were held ten days each; the other 19, five days; making the aggregate time of the whole 295 days, and the average attendance 141.

UNIFORMITY OF TEXT BOOKS.

By an amendment of section 57 of the primary school law, passed in 1861, it was made the duty of the board in each district to "prescribe the text books to be used in the school; but text books, once adopted, shall not be changed within two years, except by the consent of a majority of the regular voters at some regular meeting.” While many of the district boards, in obedience to this important provision of the law, have selected text books for their schools, a considerable number of boards are reported as having neglected it. The importance of a uniform and fixed set of text books in any school is of too grave a character to be lightly neglected. The economy of the teachers' time, and the enhanced progress of the pupils effected by a uniformity of books, will amply compensate any district for the the slight expense attending the introduction of such uniformity. I would earnestly urge upon the several district boards the prompt discharge of their duty under this law.

In the end of the volume of school laws published in 1859, may be found a list of text books recommended by the Superintendent to be used by the schools of the State, and also a fuller statement of the argument in favor of uniformity. The widespread complaints against the multiplicity of text books which crowd our schools show the extent of the evil for which our laws provide no remedy but this power of selecting a set of books, which is lodged in the hands of the district officers.

A juvenile text book in Natural Philosophy is very much needed to introduce this study in its proper place in school studies. The general use of object lessons renders it necessary to add a text book in this department. The little book entitled Object Lessons, prepared by Prof. A. S. Welch, the Principal of the State Normal School, is already in use to a considerable extent, and is warmly commended by the teachers who have used it. I cheerfully commend it as furnishing an excellent variety of suggestive lessons in cheap form.

I wish to add, also, to the list of recommended text books, the Manual of Agriculture, by Geo. B. Emerson and Chas. L. Flint, recommended by the Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture for the schools of that State. This little book embraces, in plain and concise statements, the main laws and principles of agriculture, and will prove an interesting and useful study in the higher classes, especially in the agricultural districts.

SCHOOL ARCHITECTURE.

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One of the essential conditions of a good school is a good schoolhouse-a house commodious in size, convenient in structure, and healthful in arrangement. If a convenient shop and proper tools are needful to the success of the mechanic who works apon mere inanimate matter, how much more is a good schoolroom, properly arranged and fitted up for the comfort and use of teacher and pupils, nccessary to the workman who trains and instructs a group of active and restless minds. We may justly be proud of the costly and magnificent school buildings erected in many of our Union school districts within the past six or eight years. Some of the finest specimens of architecture in the State are Union schoolhouses. Nor are the primary districts without examples of elegant and convenient structures among those recently built.

But there still remain among us schoolhouses so mean and ill contrived, so devoid of either comfort or convenience, that a good and successful school is an impossibility in them. In not a few districts the Inspectors report the schoolhouses as utterly worthless, and some are described as not fit even for cow sheds or pig pens. I, myself, have visited primary schoolhouses in the State which ought to be indicted as public nuisances, and in which, if the children were sent as a punishment, the entire community would cry out against its gross enormity and cruelty. I intend no sweeping condemnations, but I cannot withhold my indignant protest against schoolhouses which are little better than slaughter pens, in which every teacher sacrifices his health, and sickness is the inevita. ble fate of every faithful pupil; where good order is physically impossible, and neither study nor instruction can go on but with the greatest difficulty, and I may add, the greatest danger.

It has occasioned me no little chagrin, when visiting some districts, in which, at a generous expense, the people have erected a good building, to find it both inconvenient and un. wholesome. The want of some more definite and correct no

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tions of the essential features of a good schoolhouse among the primary districts, is painfully evident. It seems to be thought that the only thing necessary, is to get room sufficient in which to seat all the pupils, and a small space for a teach. er's stand, and a stove. If anything more is attempted, it is to give a fine architectural form and ornamentation to the extenrior. The skillful adaptation of the rooms to the school work, the arrangement of windows to throw the light in proper quantity and direction, the provision of space and conveniences for class work, the arrangements of desks and doors to facilitate the orderly movement and government of the school, the proper disposition of warming and ventilating flues, chimneys, &c., the provision and best arrangement of needful ante-rooms, closets, &c., and the supply of proper grounds and out-houses -all these are points scarcely taken into account, vital as they are to the best interests of the school.

It is a question of the greatest importance, How can the erection of imperfect and inconvenient schoolhouses be hereafter prevented? Yearly, large amounts are expended for new buildings, and still larger sums must yet be spent before all the districts can be supplied. The amount paid for building and repairing schoolhouses in 1861, was $122,715 22. In 1862, it was one hundred and twelve thousand eight hundred and seventyseven dollars and ninety-six cents. It is probable that the amounts expended for schoolhouses may be diminished somewhat during the war, but it will be only to make necessary a much larger expenditure a year or two later.

On serious reflection I can see no way of securing a proper appropriation of these large amounts, and the erection of proper schoolhouses, but by furnishing to the several townships and districts of the State a sufficient number of good and approved plans of schoolhouses, of various sizes and grades, with full explanations and specifications; and then, by law, making it incumbent upon each district board or building committee to present their plans to the township inspectors, or some competent tribunal, for approval, before entering upon the work

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