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THE SCIENCE OF WEALTH: A Manual of Political Economy. By AMASA WALKER, late lecturer on Public
Economy, Amherst College, Philadelphia. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 455 pp., 12-mo. The leading principles
of Political Economy are easily grasped and reduced to intelligible statement. Their application to the varying questions of commerce, revenue, etc., is more difficult. Mr. WALKER's conclusions will not, of course, be accepted by every one; but he at least brings the results of long and devoted study to bear upon his discussions, and his book will be found more fresh and readable than most of those written on the subject. It is particularly full on exchange and currency. A MANUAL OF ENGLISH LITERATURE; by John H. HART, L. D., Professor of Rhe
toric, etc. in the College of New Jersey. Eldredge & Brother, Philadelphia. 630 pp. large 12 mo. As might have been expected, Dr. Hart has given us an admirable volume. Its plan is more comprehensive, and its critical judgments are more discriminating than are usually exhibited in such compilations. Instead of a multitude of short and unsatisfactory extracts, more is told about each author. We are particularly pleased with the recognition and discriminating discussion of the religious literature of England. The ground covered by the book extends from Chaucer to the London Times, and it contains more information on the subject of which it treats than any other yet published. Bloss' ANCIENT HISTORY-Revised and Improved. By J. J. ANDERSON, author of
School Histories of the U.S., etc. New York: Clark & Maynard. 445 pp., 12mo.
Two editions of this convenient Manual were received with favor, some years ago, and being now stereotyped, and otherwise improved, it is issued as one of Mr. Anderson's excellent series. The style is felicitous, the book much more readable than most of the compilations of the kind, and well calculated to infuse a taste for ancient history into the mind of the pupil,
which is, perhaps, its chief merit. The narrative closes with the fall of Rome, A. D. 476. HAGAR'S MATHEMATICAL SERIES.--I. Primary Lessous in Numbers; II. Elemen
tary Arithmetic; III. Common School Arithmetic. By D. B. HAGAR, Principal of State Normal School, Salem, Mass. Philadelphia: Cowperthwait & Co.
Mr. Hagar is a clear-headed, judicious teacher; and these books are the results of experience. The Primary and Elementary are both beautifully illustrated, and the Elementary and Common School combines mental and written uxercises-a plan now meeting general approval. The books are fine specimens of mechanical skill and fully up to the tinies, in all respects. THE NEW AMERICAN PRIMARY SPELLER. Published by E. H. Butler & Co., Phil
adelphia. 72 pp. 12 mo. Price, 20 cents.
This is a very sensible spelling-b. ok. Lessons are first given which illustrate the vowel sounds. Then, beginning at home, a list of words is given suggestive of a detailed description of well-known objects. From home and its surroundings the child is led by easy steps to other familiar places of interest. As his range of vision is extended his vocabulary increases, and thus his langua ze is built up. He needs to know how to spell these words, and he should be taught to weave them them into sentences as well as to spell them, for the words are not his until he can use them. Illustrations are used on each page to introduce the lessons, and give them interest. We wish the book great success.
SPECIAL NOTICE.—The prices of VENABLE'S SCHOOL HISTORY OF THE UNITED States, and THALHEIMER'S ANCIENT HISTORY, (See Wilson, Hinkle & Co's announcement,) are as follows: VENABLE'S UNITED STATES: Retail price, $1.25; single specimen copy for examination, with a view to introduction, sent by mail, post-paid, on receipt of 85 cts. THALHEIMER'S ANCIENT: Retail price, $2.25; single specimen copy for examination, post-paid, $1.50. Liberal terms on supplies for first introduction. THE UNITED STATES HISTORY, will be ready May 15th, and the ANCIENT HISTORY very shortly thereafter.
PERIODICALS. THE HERALD OF HEALTH for April contains many instructive articles, opening with one written by Lord Bacon, in 1597, entitled “Of the Regimen of Health." For this useful Magazine address Wood & Holbrook, 13 Laight Št., New York.
While spending a few weeks in one of our large cities some two years since, I received an invitation to visit the school in one of the suburban villages which fringed its border. Knowing that the residents were among the most active and intelligent business men of the city, and that they considered the best school possible one of their surest investments, it was with unusual interest that I took an early train from the city to see the result of their pet enterprise.
Arriving a little before the opening hour, I prepared myself to make the most of the day. The number of children in the community 110t being large, the school was divided into two main divisions, the teacher in the lower grade having an assistant. A modified Kindergarten was also attached to the school, the children coming only in the morning and being under the direct charge of the assistant in the lower division. The plan of the building did not admit of the best arrangements for this work, but as aids they had procured a plain board table about ten feet long, and two and a half feet wide, having a divide three inches high, running lengthwise through the middle, the height such that the little ones could easily reach and place objects upon it. Arranged on the table were a variety of blocks, cubes and triangular prisms an inch each way, longer prisms of various kinds, several sets of Crandall's building blocks, color blocks and cards, and many other things. For this and the higher work they had two series of manuals with patterns for block work, matting, drawing and other exercises. An extensive collection of pictures of animals, sets of geometrical forms, specimevs of minerals, globes, maps and other appliances completed the store of apparatus.
As the children came into the school room their elastic steps, natural and easy movements, and beaming faces, told us that to them the
school room was not a place of mechanical restraint. They quietly seated themselves, the troublesome hands lying at rest in the lap. The whole scene spoke of preparation for the graces of social life rather than for the formalities of military etiquette.
The singing of “The Sweet Story of Old," and the repetition of “The Lord's Prayer," was followed by a moral lesson on “The Duty of Attending to One's Business.” A picture was presented in which the children discovered and mentioned a boy with a slouched hat, the front turned round to one side. His uncombed hair came down over his eyes. His coat was but half buttoned up, one side coming down longer than the other and the collar turned in. There were also a large tree, a trough through which water was running, and a bucket standing under the trough with the water pouring over its sides. The boy stood with hands in his pockets locking vacantly the other way. This gleaned from the picture, the story was told by the teacher. The lesson of his carelessness and inattention was drawn and the duty of avoiding his fault impressed. Application to their own duties followed. Including this lessen the opening exercises occupied about twenty-five minutes, but the teacher told me she gave such lessons not oftener than once a week.
In taking the slates from the desks and placing them ready for work hardly a sound was audible. The class in the Second Reader had a new lesson. The children first selected words that looked hard. If the word could not be pronounced at sight, the child himself attempted to separate it into syllables, the teacher writing it upon the board as it was properly divided. Different children and finally the class simultaneously pronounced and spelled the word both by letter and sound, also giving the name of each sound. The meaning of the word was then considered and the children framed new sentences containing it. In one case the cocoanut tree was mentioned and the class examined a picture of it in the dictionary. A short discussion of the habits and uses of the tree followed. The children then pronounced all the words of the lesson beginning with the last and going back to the first, cach giving one word at a reading. At the close of the recitation the teacher assigned certain paragraphs of which during the next hour the children wrote the phonic spelling upon their slates. At the hour for examining and correcting the slate-work she pronounced each word, gave the sounds (pronouncing the syllables) and then the name of each sound, the children marking the words which were wrong, she herself afterwards examining both work and corrections.
In the Third Reader the preparation of the lesson, similar to the plan just given, had been made the day before. To secure proper emphasis in
the sentence, “ Those mountains are just in our way, and how are we to cross them?" the teacher asked, "of what is the author speaking ? Where does he say these mountains are? What does the author want to know?” So in securing all the excellences of expression the thought was made the basis. Nor was the teacher content until
reading was secured. She maintained that the primary school is the place, to teach correct modes and habits of reading and that children could render pieces within their comprehension as well as older persons, the only limit to this assertion lying in the direction of vocal power, but. the flexibility of children's voices made this almost perfect in the pieces. they could understand.
A lesson with the little ones followed, in which Grant took off his shoe, and the class found and named all of the parts and then gave the use of each.
A map of the room to scale, had just been completed, the children making all of the measurements and directing the drawing. The second class had an exercise upon it, reviewing what they had learned! respecting representation by a map, the points of compass, etc. Teacher and pupils indicated journeys, even to the jumping from the southwest window (the room was on the second floor) and coming round to the east door to Bessie's seat.
In numbers, instead of learning the tables from printed forms, the children used objects and made their own tables. The work on the slates was very neat. A great many concrete questions were asked, but only simple forms of solution were required. The number and variety of expedients used, not only maintained the interest of the classes, but secured unusual thoroughness.
One of the classes had a lesson on the Right Whale. Pictures and a piece of the fringed layer of whalebonz were brought into the class. The habits of the animal were consisdered and statements of these written upon the board. In case of any peculiar structure or use of parts adapting the animal to its habits, as of taking its food, illustration was fully used.
The most advanced class were having lessons on minerals. They were able to recognize the principal kinds of rocks and had learned their chief characteristics. The boys' pockets were perfect museums and at recess you could see the children searching for stones, bringing them to the teacher for confirmation of their classification or the new ones for future lessons. Beautiful specimens of each kind, as it was discussed, were brought from the home cabinets. One little girl showed me a book in which she had neatly written the substance of the lessons for
I must not omit that much abused subject, " Spelling.” Besides the spelling of all of the new words in their various lessons, there were special spelling classes. At that time the principle by which the words were associated was the phonic principle. The lesson for the day was upon the sound of ch like k. The plan pursued was—
1. To awaken in the rainds of the children a clear idea of the mean. ing of the word. If the word were a noun, as chrysalis, chameleon, troches, or chlorine, if convenient, the object to be named was presented and named by the children, if possible, otherwise by the teacher. If the object itself could not be brought before the class, a picture was used or such description or statement of its uses given as would lead to its meaning. If an adjective, as chalybeate," a description of its application was given thus, " What kind of waters are those tasting of iron said to be?" If a verb, as “ characterized,” the action or state might be supposed in other words calling for the equivalent thus, “ Instead of saying, Mary's manner is marked by gentleness, what word may we use to mean the same as marked?” The children or teacher reply, “ characterized.” Modifications of all these plans must be made as occasion requires.
2. If it can be done without much guessing, the children spell the word orthographically, and the teacher writes it upon the board. Otherwise, the teacher at once writes it on the board, and the child reads.
3. The child spells the word phonically.
4. The child names the sounds, the teacher writing the word phonically as the sounds are named.
5. Individual and simultaneous drill upon the orthographic spelling, the phonic spelling, and the naming of the sounds.
6. The children frame sentences containing the word.
After two or three words were obtained, the children learned by comparison that they contained the sound of k represented by ch, and the heading “ch like k” was written above the list of words. The children were then requested to give other words containing that sound, and the more difficult ones were treated as those for which the teacher had called. As occasion required, the teacher suggested for more new words. A sufficient number having been obtained, a final drill upon them was taken. Afterwards the children copied and studied the words, the teacher requiring the children to add five words to the list. If the lesson was particularly difficult, it was reviewed the next day and a few new words added. Otherwise all the lessons of the week were reviewed on Friday.
Time wiil not allow me to speak of the gymnastics, singing, exercise songs, and other expedients used to refresh the children at the close of nearly every recitation, except to notice an imitative exercise in which