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S. We will tell him not to steal, sir.
M. Try to do so, my dear children; and then if he is a good boy again we shall all love him.
The child was left for some time standing by himself, and was frequently reminded of the cause of his punishment, and was told to pray to God to forgive him for what he had done. The effect of such a course of procedure must depend entirely on the influence which has been gained by the teacher over the affections of the child, and on the interest which the child has in the good feeling of his school-fellows towards him. It may be stated as a fact, that children who have entered such schools with apparently fixed habits of sin, have lost those habits within a few weeks after their introduction, without the use of corporal punishment.
Objections similar to those which have been expressed concerning corporal punishments, may
be made to the common mode of manifesting the approbation of a superintendant by rewards. These are not necessary, and, generally speaking, are unsuitable to the system of infants' schools. Success is not, in the majority of instances, any where the mark of excellence. It is decidedly not so in these estáblishments; where the moral dispositions are as much the subjects of education as the intellect.
If the master have secured to himself the fond attachment of the children, as he is constantly moving through the various departments of the little assembly during the progress of their lessons, he may encourage diligence and attention by some affectionate expression; by a smile; or by kindly stroking the head of his little pupil.
To rewards which are given generally through the school, I however by no means object. That which gratifies all, can excite a questionable feeling in none, When all are pleased, the spirit of unity is not injured, and the general tone of the establishment is improved. Nor does it appear objectionable to bestow occasionally upon those peculiarly excellent, that which may meet a decided and confessed necessity.
little fellow is a good boy. You see he has scarcely any shoes on his feet, shall we give him a pair ?”. The moral tendency of such an appeal is good. The sympathies of the school are called into action, and the success is certain. They will
They will express their good will towards their school-fellow by an united and cheerful acclamation. A scene of this sort once took place in one of these establishments. A person who visited the school, kindly left with the master a small sum of money; to be expended in any manner which might be most
gratifying to the infants. With one half of the sum, cakes were bought, which were, without exception or favour, divided amongst them. On the next day they were informed, that there was enough of their money left to purchase a similar quantity of cakes, or, if they liked it better, they might go without their cakes, and buy a pair of shoes for one of their little schoolfellows. The proposal was no sooner made, than they unanimously devoted the money to the latter purpose.
SUBJECTS OF INSTRUCTION IN AN INFANTS' SCHOOL.
It cannot be too frequently urged upon those who have the care of the education of infants, that the quantity of knowledge which it is possible to communicate to the mind is a question of the least importance. The present intellectual capacity of children, is not therefore a suitable measure of the instruction which
In the education of infants, three objects must be kept in view, as guides to the superintendant in his selection of the subjects of instruction. The first object of infant education, is, to bring the mind itself into action, and to improve its faculties. The second is, to prepare the child for the discipline of the schools in which he
be destined to pursue his education after he has left the infant establishment; and the third, to improve the tone of his bodily powers and health, in order to the removal of the natural impediments which might oppose themselves to the progress of his proposed education.
In discussing the subjects of instruction which are suggested by the first of these, I will suppose, that whatever other mental powers may offer themselves to general education in man, as an intellectual and moral being, there are four which seem to be peculiarly within the province of the system which we are now considering. We must propose to ourselves to improve the memory, the judgment, the conscience, and the heart.
The MEMORY, as the subject of education, may be regarded as holding a twofold office in the mind. It is either attendant on the other faculties, and receives that which has been first subjected to their scrutiny; or it is the store-house of those things which may afterwards be brought into the action of life. The subjects which are to be committed to the memory of an infant, should be chosen with reference to one or both of these conditions. Whenever it is possible, they should be united : for there is always a danger lest that which is committed to the memory, or, as it is commonly expressed, learned, without having been previously understood, should either bring disgust to the mind, by exciting an effort which is followed by no immediate gratification, or should be soon forgotten. In order, then, as much as possible, to obviate these difficulties, whenever it may be thought necessary to exercise the memory in that which is above the intellectual power of the infant, the