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The error most fatal to the well-being of a school, and to which the master is most liable, is in looking after individuals and individual points, and attempting to do himself, what one man can never do; instead of seeing that his numerous officers be alert and active, and perform the respective offices allotted to them—a task which is easily done, and, if well done, constitutes the excellence of a Madras School. When the master has reached this pitch of attainment, he is rewarded by the ease and comfort which it gives to himself, and by the profit and satisfaction which it affords to his pupils. In this state of his school every thing becomes easy of execution. Scarcely an offence can be committed, for scarcely can an offence escape detection, as every offence is reported as soon as committed, by the person responsible for the conduct of the offender. Should a tutor fail of reporting the misconduct of his pupil to the assistant, he himself is reported for neglect: and, if the assistant or teacher should in like manner fail, each is in like manner amenable. Such are the instruments, and not by his own individual exertions, with which the master is to perform his functions, if he would promote the general weal.

The next point, which demands particular and strict attention, is the means, which are employed to secure the punctual and undeviating execution of the daily tasks, according to the rules which have been laid down.

The ground-work of these instruments of precision, inspection, and diligence, is the marked book-a guide which ought never to be dispensed with, and never have I seen it dispensed with, without giving rise to much error and neglect, which indeed can hardly be otherwise prevented, where short, numerous, and perfect lessons are required. The marked books are confined to the teachers and assistant teachers; but the master ought to preserve a copy of them for the inspection of the superintendent and visitors.

In each class, the master marks with pen and ink, in the front of the teachers' books, when taken in hand, the number of the class, the teacher's name; the day of the month, the manner in which it is to be read, and whether for the first or second time, &c. and the teacher marks with pencil the day of the month at the place where the lesson begins every morning, and also where each successive lesson during the day, as it is given out, ends. At the close of the school for the day, the individual proficiency of each scholar, or the place which he holds in his class, is entered in the registers by the teachers, ushers, or other competent officers: and also the sum of the daily tasks noted in the marked book, or performed during the day-the number of lessons read; pages or lines ended at; and hours thus employed, in three adjoining columns; aud so with the catechism, religious instruction, writing, ciphering, &c. These are added weekly and monthly, and compared, by the master and teacher, with what was done the preceding day, week, and month. When the scholars are employed in writing on copy or ciphering books, or in other tasks which must be performed individually, each boy registers for himself all his daily operations in the last page of his copy, ciphering or other book; which is compared, by his master or teacher, with what he did the day before, and what other boys of his class and standing do:--and so weekly, and monthly. The page, in which these registers are kept, is ruled into thirtyone parallel lines, to last a month, and into as many columns as there are daily entries to be made. These simple contrivances are admirably fitted to correct idleness and detect negligence in their origin, and to bear perníanent testimony of merit and demerit, even if overlooked in passing.

In the hands of the master the registers are instruments of discipline, and produce great precision and exactitude, enabling him readily to inspect, direct, conduct, and controul the respective classes however nu

merous. To the superintendent or visitor they afford the readiest means of ascertaining the progress and present state of the school. He sees at once the ground gone over by each class since his last visit, and he has only to ascertain by trial, whether it has been gone over as it ought. If so, the master has done his duty, the school is in good order, and comes under the denomination of a Madras School, where perfect instruction predominates.

An examination of the school, should regularly take place once a week, at which it is of great importance that the visitors and superintendent be present: at the same time the black book is solemnly inspected and scrutinized, in presence of the whole school, drawn up in a circle for that purpose; when the nature and consequence of every omission or commission are explained in the language of the school; and the fact tried, and sentence pronounced on the accused by a jury of their peers-good boys, selected from among the teachers and scholars. The sentence is inflicted, mitigated, or remitted at the discretion of the superintendent, visitor, or master. It is essential to the wellbeing of the school that all its regulations be administered with equal and distributive justice.

My experience at home has in this (as in every other instance) served to confirm my experiment made abroad, as stated in the report of the Madras Asylum, where, "for months together it was not necessary to inflict a single punishment." In the hands of a master of energy, who enters into the spirit of the system, and has for some time reduced it to successful practice, and is supported by able "teachers, whose business is not to correct but to prevent faults," "and to preclude the use of punishment*," I am persuaded that no other punishments or even rewards are absolutely necessary than those which the emulation of the new school, the principle of honour and shame, keeps in perpetual action. At any rate in the central (and other schools formed on that model) no corporal,, * Exp. p. 27, 23, 24. El. p. 44, 39.

or other punishments, even from the beginning, were admitted, except confinement, with a task at extra hours. Indeed, so much is done, in the Madras School, by inspection and vigilance, to prevent offences and idleness, that there is little or nothing left for punishment to do. In proportion to the ability and energy which the master displays in executing the rules here laid down, will the necessity of punishment in any shape be done away.

It cannot be too often remarked that this system hinges on the teachers of each class; and that their station must, in one shape or other, be rendered desirable, and an object of emulation; and that the forfeiture of this office through misconduct be severely felt.

That the teacher profits far more by teaching than the scholar does by learning, is a received maxim of great antiquity, which all experience confirms: but, in despite of which, and by an over-weening solicitude about the teachers, although making rapid advances unseen by vulgar eyes, the order and progress of a school are often unnecessarily interrupted and disturbed by frequent change.

To sum up all. The fewer classes the better. Select and retain able teachers, never prescribe a lesson or task which can require more than ten minutes or a quarter of an hour for the learner to be completely master of it: never omit marking the book, the moment the lesson is given out, nor quit a letter, a word, a line, or a verse, or a sentence, or a page, or a chapter, or a book, or a task of any kind, till it is familiar to the scholar. Let his progress be sure and perfect; and it must, provided that the due number of lessons be rightly gotten and said, be accelerated and rapid.

It need scarcely be remarked that not only the universal principle and general laws of the new school, but most if not all of what has gone before, apply (mutatis mutandis) with very little alteration to tuition in every branch of education, and is no less adapted to the workshop, and to the operations of a manufactory, than to the economy of a school.

Of the Practices of the Madras Asylum.


We come now to apply this system of self-tuition with perfect instruction, by short, frequent, and adapted lessons, and in classes composed of scholars of equal proficiency, to the several branches of education, in the scholars progress through an English school.

At Madras, the author did not rest contented with having invented the most expeditious, pleasant, and economical mode of conducting education in general, with having substituted the prevention of idleness and offences by constant inspection and vigilance, and also the incitement of emulation, or a sense of honour and shame, for corporal and other degrading punishments, and with having devised the most ready and efficacious guides and checks by which the execution of this system might be directed, superintended, controuled, and ensured (as has been above detailed): but he also descended to each particular step in the scholar's progress, and contrived certain practices or helps to facilitate and expedite that individual operation. His design was always one-simplicity, ease, effect. The means contrived were solely such as might naturally conduct to this end and the uniform test of these means was trial and experiment, by which all that has been and is to be detailed was effected.

To begin with the art of reading and spelling.

This art is divided into three branches, and a new mode of instruction is contrived, peculiar to each of them.

The first is the alphabet; the second monosyllables, or words of one syllable; the third, words of more than one syllable. These three divisions comprehend the whole that is necessary to be taught in the art of reading: and the three main practices by which these were taught at Madras, are writing in sand, syllabic reading, and unreiterated spelling*, &c.

* Exp. p. 10. 14. El. p. 24. 28.

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