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of.” If he fail thus to convey his idea, he will proceed to inquire what other things around them, and in which they are already informed, --the room, the house, their clothes, are made of, and thence lead their minds to the subject before them. They will, in consequence, very quickly catch his intention.
At the commencement of the instruction of infants, one thing alone, if possible, should at the same moment be presented to their mind.
Instruction should not be communicated to them in the form of tasks. If it be intended only to exercise any particular mental energy, the time will regulate the lesson. If it be intended for the retention of the memory; then, frequent reiteration is the mode of learning, and that which is not effectually attained at one period will be completed by future repetition.
If it be possible, MORE OF THE SENSES THAN ONE should be brought to bear upon the subject which is offered to the mind. Let the eye or the hand assist the ear, in the reception of the communicated thought. I have seen the following lesson on honesty given to an assembled school. There were placed on a board, in an elevated situation, where all could be seen with distinctness, a sovereign, an apple, and a pin.
The conversation, which follows, then took place.
M. My dear children, what is this?
C. None, sir.
C. Because it is as wicked to take a little thing as to take a big thing; and God sees us always.
In the next place, in the communication of a lesson to his scholars, the teacher should unite with it some one or more of those means of uwakening and fixing their attention, which we have already shown to be in his power.
He may deliver the lesson himself in lan
Or he may
guage of affection and kindness. place one of the children as monitor in an elevated rostrum. When this child has called the attention of the others, by clapping his hands, or by saying aloud in cadence repeatedly one, two, three, four; in either of which they will all immediately join, they will cheerfully say after him the lesson which he may be directed to teach them.
To the words of the lesson, as we have already remarked, some rhythmical action may be adjoined.
The lesson may be uttered in various cheerful tones, in which the whole will by sympathy unite.
It may be formed into metre, or so put together as to adapt itself to some common tune.
Or it may be said by the whole school arranged in order, to the beat of the foot as they walk round the room, or the play-ground.
In order, however, to meet those subjects which could not with propriety be thus communicated, and for the general purposes of the establishment, the whole school should be divided into classes, with a monitor to each class, who may, at stated times, arrange his fellow-pupils before him,
and teach them that which the superintendant may see him capable of, and direct. All things which are learned by the ear, and.committed to memory, such as the combinations of number, the tables, spelling, hymns, the names of the books of scripture, and some of the more simple precepts of the sacred volume, may be taught to the whole school at once, thus arranged; the monitors each standing before hisclass, and instigating them by his example to repeat that which is given out by the boy who is acting as chief monitor, at the rostrum. The signs and representatives of those things which have thus been learned from the rostrum, the knowledge of which must be acquired by the eye, such as figures, letters, and words, may also thus be taught by the several monitors to their classes, either seated or standing before them.
Beyond this general mode of instruction, it is necessary that a small adjoining room should be prepared, in which the several classes, in their turn, may undergo from day to day, a course of personal examination. There the progress of any individual may be discovered, and there the more advanced classes may receive a direct preparation for the higher schools, into which, in progress of time, they are to be transferred.
Finally, in order to connect the education pursued in these schools with their future instruction in the parochial establishments, the older children may occasionally be formed into a circular class, in a space appropriated to this purpose; and then mutually examine each other in those subjects, which will prepare them for the higher schools.
The general hints which have been already given concerning THE CULTIVATION OF THE MIND ITSELF will have sufficiently suggested to the teacher the mode in which this desirable end is to be promoted. This part, indeed, ofthe system must necessarily be entrusted to the superintendant himself. It requires, more than all the others, consideration and thought; and without these qualities in a high degree, he cannot well perform the duties which are incumbent on him. He must incessantly, then, bear in his remembrance, that the cultivation of the mind -the intellect, the conscience, and the heart, of his little flock, is one principal part of his office. On the mode of doing this most effectually, he may exercise his utmost ingenuity. He must not be satisfied while one thing; one form, one colour, which is to be found in the room around him, or in the garden of the school, remains, on which the children have not yet brought their mind into action. He must