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to be instructed to use daily at home, beginning with the Lord's Prayer; theu Graces before and atter Meat; the second and third Collects of morning and evening Prayer; a short prayer on entering and on leaving church; the Catechism; and afterwards the same, broken into short questions. This is to be the first lesson from the mouth of the teacher to his class every morning, and it is easy to see how much a very small portion, learnt perfectly by heart, will amount to before the scholar is yet fully instructed in the art of reading.
"If the generous seeds of religion and virtue, be not carefully sown in the tender minds of children, and if those seeds be not cultivated by good education, there will certainly spring up briars and thorns, of which parents will not only feel the inconvenience, but every body else that comes near them." TILLOT.
By such means, the scholar is insensibly initiated into the first principles of religion, and acquires an habitual acquaintance with them, which gives a readiness, distinctness, and pleasantness, to his future. studies.
The catechetical instruction is to be carried to the utmost distinctness and accuracy throughout the Catechism; and when the scholar can say it in the most perfect manner, he is then made to understand the meaning of what he has not fully comprehended. For this, the little book, already mentioned, in which the Catechism is broken into short questions, will be found better adapted, perhaps, than all the explanations which have yet been given of it. It retains the original luminous diction, alters nothing, but merely resolves every question into its simplest elements, so as to present a single idea, at a time, to the mind-furnishing an excellent model of that decomposition and division of labour, by which the most complex and difficult tasks may be rendered simple and easy of acquisition.
After these, the Chief Truths of the Christian Reli
gion, the larger explanations of the Catechism, the Bible exercises of the Royal Military Asylum, Mrs. Trimmer's Teacher's Assistant, and Scripture Catechismi, may follow. Of the broken Catechism, by reason of its small size and low price, one may be put into the hands of every child, as soon as he is able to read it; of the others, one will suffice for a class, the teacher instructing his class viva voce. After this manner, the teacher leaves to the master, or superintendent, only the easy charge of frequent examination, and of explaining to the teachers, what they are to explain to the rest of the school.
But in regard to instruction by question and answer in general, and how far it should be carried, it is worthy of observation, that it is often, though committed to memory, little understood; and that by teaching history, for example, in this manner, we not only interrupt the interest and chain of information in reading, but often teach words, not things. On the other hand, by examining the scholar in the course of his studies in every sentence, by questions, put in every way, as he goes along, you certainly discover whether he understands what he reads, and can instruct him wheresoever he is defective. In this examination he is allowed, in the first instance, to make his answers with the book open in his hand, and afterwards from memory. In this manner our Saviour's Sermon on the Mount, Ostervald's Abridgment of the Bible, and the following books are taught.
Another example of the simplification, method, and order, which are the leading principles of the Madras School, is the arrangement of lessons from the New Testament, into, 1st., the Parables, 2nd., Miracles, 3rd., Discourses, and, 4th., History of our Blessed Saviour.
Long have I felt the want of extracts* from the Bible
* These are now published by the Society for bettering the Condition of the Poor: and are in the list of the books of the National Society.
made on this principle, for the sake of distinctness as - well as economy. This want is supplied to the Royal Military Asylum by marking out the passages to be read in succession. Thus, e. g. the parables should, in the first instance, be all read over by themselves, in the usual course of their lessons by the classes to their teachers. Each in its turn helps to the comprehension of another, and some general notion of this popular and interesting form of conveying instruction, as well as of the instruction conveyed, is obtained. They are next read one by one. The teacher explains them in order to his class as they were before explained to him, and examines them on each particular, in regard to it, as he I was himself before examined. He quits not one parable to go to another till each scholar in his class be qualified to be in his turn an instructor as far as he has
at It is actually for want of knowing how easy the communication of knowledge may be rendered by the means 4 pointed out in this essay, and applied as here applied, that the time spent in school is wasted to little or no purpose. In the way here pursued, the scholar has in a few days advanced one step, and acquired one species of knowledge, which renders the next step easier. Each preceding acquisition adds to the general stock, which more and more facilitates what follows; whereas, in sloventy and negligent teaching, the difficulties never once surmounted are still fresh, and meet him at every turn. In the Madras tuition, the difficulties diminish every day, as he goes along from parable to parable, from para›bles to miracle, from miracle to miracle, from miracles to discourses, from discourses to prophecies, &c. By teaching one at a time, and well, the whole is soon learnt; by teaching the whole in the lump, nothing is well learnt.
But for what more particularly regards the moral and religious application of this system of education,
and the grand views which it opens to the Christian world, I refer to "Elements of Tuition, Part 2, the English School," passim, and particularly to the ex tracts of Sermons preached at Lambeth, and published in that volume.
"Non est aliena res, quæ fere ab honestis negligi solet, cura bene ac velociter scribendi." QUIN.
The management of the pen is of itself attended with no small difficulty, which should not be increased to the pupil, by his having at the same time the form of the letters to learn. On this account he is now taught to trace the written, as before the printed, characters in sand. He may also be taught to write, in the first instance, on a slate with a slate pencil, which in many cases may supersede all instruction at school in writing with paper, pen, and ink: and in every instance may precede it with great advantage.
"Ii quoque versus qui ad imitationem scribendi proponentur non otiosas_velim sententias habeant, sed honestum aliquid monentes." QUIN.
When the scholar is further advanced, and comes to have a copy and ciphering-book, no person is (now any more than before on his sand or slate) allowed, on any pretence, to set a copy, or write a single word or letter in either of them. He has before him his moveable copy, either from copper-plate, or prepared by the master, or usher, or teacher, at leisure, on a separate slip of paper, and ready for the whole school in succession. And he is at once taught, by cutting a slip of paper to the width of the lines of his copy, or other device of this sort, to rule his own paper, as before his slates, which a little practice in this way will soon enable him to do without such help. He is also as soon as possible, to make his own pen, and do every thing for himself, under the direction, not with the assistance, of his teacher.
The waste of paper, from the wide and careless method of ruling in common use, is seldom less than one half of the whole quantity used, even in charity schools: L and its quality and cover, are often much finer than 25 they need be.
against this improvident and useless waste of paper, and also (which is often far more important) of time, the following method of proceeding is recommended.
Let the scholar write, with his finger, in sand, begin10 ning with the simplest letter, and, exactly as in learning D the printed alphabet, let him not quit this till he can make it perfectly well. Then let him proceed to the next simplest, never quitting one till he can make it well; 12 and so through the alphabet. By these means, the spirit of emulation is kept alive, as in the classification: for the progress of every child is known by the letter, to which he is advanced; and he takes accordingly his place at the writing bench, on the right of all those, who are behind him, and the left of all those, who are before him*.
The common practice of ruling paper, and making pens, &c. for the scholar, serves only to prevent him from learning to do these things for himself; and the writing of copies for each individual scholar in his copybook cannot be too soon exploded. It not only wastes paper, pen, and ink, and time uselessly, but also perniciously; for if the master prefers copies of his own writing to copper-plate, he has only to write them on detached slips of paper, when each slip may be written with more care and precision, and will serve a whole school in succession. Equally pernicious is the practice of writing sums for the scholar in his cipheringbook, which so far prevents the scholar from learning what he is sent to school to learn.
* Sometimes the arrangement is into tutors and pupils, when the pupil takes his place by a tutor, who attends and directs. him.