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assist, as much as possible, the conveyance of sound to every part of the room. The flat wall, too, should offer a wide surface for the display of representations of animals; of subjects of Scripture history; and of short and impressive texts from the sacred volume. These would thus be constantly before the eyes of the assembled children, and may be silent instructors of their observant minds, whenever the regular business of the school may cease.

CHAPTER V.

THE ARRANGEMENT AND THE MODE OF CONDUCTING

AN INFANTS' SCHOOL.

NUMBER OF CHILDREN.-In the establishment of an infants' school, one of the first things which must occupy our attention is the number of children which may with effect be educated together. Now in the discussion of this point, as that of the subjects of infant instruction, possibility is, I would remark, by no means a sufficient guide to our decision. It may be possible, for instance, under the most favourable circumstances, and for a certain time, to catch the attention, and to instruct together as many as three hundred infants ; but the influence over so many cannot be lasting ; and when the disorder is once effectually introduced, it will take some considerable time to remove it. The system may indeed be destroyed by either extreme. Where moral influence, proceeding almost directly from the best and the kindest feelings of the heart, is the only source of authority, and where mutual sympathy is one powerful instrument in the hand of the superintendant, it is manifest that the number may be either so great that both will be lost--the voice of the

teacher be merged in the discordant shout of the infant multitude, or the company itself divided into its little parties, and thus the influence of mutual sympathy cease to be universal; or, on the other hand, it may be so small, that the desire to excel will subside into personality, or the influence of evil temper and of disorder become universal, before the superintendant is able to subdue it by the better feelings which

may remain.

Where circumstances are favourable, three schools, of one hundred children each, are far to be preferred to one of three hundred. The number should not be less than from fifty to eighty, and it should on no occasion exceed one hundred and fifty. In an assembly so circumscribed, if the form of the room be suitable, the superintendant may, from his rostrum, watch the eye of any individual. . He may address himself to any one, or he may avail himself of the ear of all, without elevation of voice, without anger, and with the best effect.

age of

AGE OF THE CHILDREN.- Children are ad. mitted into the Infants' Schools from the two years, to that at which they are received into the parochial schools; which is generally six or seven. The presence of the older children, if the establishment be well managed, is

productive of very beneficial consequences. The mutual influence of the infants on each other may, through these, be rendered, more extensively effectual, and as they will have attained to a greater measure of knowledge than the others, and will have imbibed more correct habits of order and attention, the best monitors may generally be selected from amongst them.

It may,

SEPARATION OF THE BOYS AND GIRLS.After the assembling of the school, the first division that takes place must be that of the boys and the girls, whom it will be well to arrange at the opposite sides of the rooms. indeed, seem useless to insist on this division among children so young as those at an Infants' school; nor am I prepared to say that there is an absolute and present necessity for it. The principle, however, is accordant with the system.

In such an establishment, regard must be paid to the appearance and the tendancy of things, as well as to their present nature; and the arrangement which I have thus recommended will, amongst others, encourage a delicacy of mind and propriety of manners, which the children will probably never totally forget.

At the first opening of a school, it may not be possible for some few days, or perhaps weeks,

to press arrangement farther than this point. The operations, however, may be commenced in its present state. The master may direct the children to clap their hands, or stamp with their feet when he does so; or to move their arms in the same manner as himself. He may teach them to step to the beat of a tambarine, to be silent when he rings his bell; to whisper when he uses some other sign. Something of a moral character will be attained when he has proceeded even thus far-attention, obedience, order, rhythm ; all of which will be important aids to the future success of his plans. He cannot do better than proceed, in the next place, with some simple effort in number; and even before

any

individual of his school is able independently to recite the lesson, he may, following the recommendation which has been already given, place one of the older and more active children before him, and by whispering in his ear, teach him slowly to lead the school. By this method, he will secure attention and excite a more lively interest than by his personal instruction. The little pupils may be thus occupied until it be possible to make the arrangements of the new institution more complete.

CLASSES. -The division of the school into classes must be a work of consideration and

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