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idea, that religion consists principally in form and outward show, and has little to do with our secret actions and with our heart.
INTELLECTUAL ACQUIREMENTS.--- It is not necessary, that the intellectual acquirements of a teacher of an Infants' school should include more than he may have learned at some of the best conducted of our parochial establishments. More importance is to be attached to the mode of his knowledge than to its extent. He should have learned well that with which he professes to be acquainted; and should have the faculty of accurate discrimination, and of tracing the subjects of knowledge to their first and easiest principles.
The Scriptures.—Of the subjects of knowledge, the sacred Scriptures should be that with which he is best acquainted. These should be his constant study; and his endeavour should be, at all times, to simplify them to his own mind, that he may with greater readiness communicate their various parts and subjects to that of the infant.
Catechism, &c.—The same remark may be made with relation to the other subjects, which are taught in the school to which the children are afterwards to be removed. Although it may
not be thought necessary to communicate these in form to infants at so early an age, the teacher must himself be well acquainted with them, in order that he may effectually guide the children under his care to the knowledge of the principles of those things, which they are afterwards to acquire in form.
He must, farther, be able to read and to write with accuracy, and have a sound knowledge of the early rules of Arithmetic.
NATURAL QUALIFICATIONS.—It is highly desirable, that the teacher of an Infants' school should have nothing repulsive in either his countenance or his person: as the idea of knowledge will always connect itself in the mind of the children with the aspect of the teacher. His voice should be clear, pleasing, and melodious ; as its intonations will form one most efficient means of the communication of his feelings and his will to the children.
OF THE MORAL QUALTIES, self-control is one of the most requisite. Irritability and quickness of action must soon produce an evil effect upon the little assembly; who will gradually lose their respect for a teacher, if he be frequently under its influence, and, eventually imbibing his spirit, refuse to submit to his authority. He should be
kind and gentle, and yet consistently firm and energetic in his manner. His address should be always that of cheeerfulness, and he should, at proper times, be capable of relaxing without effort into playfulness. And, above all, whatever he may think right to do, must be accompanied, both with a manifest good-will, and with a real as well as a professed conviction of duty. He must endeavour to show the children, that he proceeds always in submission, and in obedience to the will of God; beyond which he knows of no appeal.
I would wish it to be understood by the reader, that in this, as well as in all the preceding parts of this treatise, I have described rather what is desirable, and consistent with the perfection of this system, than what may in all instances be found practicable.
It is not to be expected, indeed, that in the infancy of this system, persons should offer themselves altogether prepared to undertake the guidance of an Infants' school. It will generally happen, that the proposed teacher must be himself instructed, and formed for his work. And if he be under the influence of true religion, and therefore of an excellent moral character; if he be possessed of a strong natural intellect, and kind affections; and if he have received
that measure of education which is given in our parochial schools, there is little reason to doubt, that, with care, attention, and perseverance, he will soon be capable of performing with propriety, the duties which may be incumbent upon him.
Nor is it by any means necessary to believe, that none of the good effects which attend these institutions, can be secured to infants of so early an age, without attempting an approach to the perfection of the system which has been described. Much has, in some places, been done by the adoption of parts of the plans which have been proposed. In this manner, where Infants' schools cannot be established, those conducted by dames, which exist in almost every village in the kingdom, may, stances, be much improved.
It may not, farther, be thought irrelevant, if I here suggest the possibility of introducing, with the best effect, this system into those country villages where the population is too small to afford an opportunity for the formation of a school on the national plan, of children above the age of six or seven years. In such villages, it would be desirable to form schools which should receive all the children above the age
two years, until the period when they are employed in agricultural labours; which is, very frequently soon after they have arrived at the age of ten. There are many subjects of instruction, which the children in these establishments might all learn together, according to the mode of the Infants' schools. Those which are more peculiarly adapted to the older children might, at stated periods, he communicated to them after the method of the parochial schools; and the instruction of the infants might be so arranged, as to proceed at the same time, without unnecessary interference.
In all these several plans, however, persevering success can be secured only by the kind and personal countenance, and notice, of those who have no other interest in the children, than that which arises from a desire for their welfare.
The education of a people, and their consequent moral improvement; commencing, as it ought, from the earliest infancy, can, indeed, be expected to become universally effectual of the good which it is calculated to produce, only when it shall be promoted by the united effort of all orders of the community ; when the diligence of the dependent shall be encouraged by the personal favour and the example of those who are destined to diffuse their influence through