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] Education of
USE OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND
CONTAINING A GRADUATED COURSE OP
TRAINING THE SENSES AND DEVELOPING THE FACULTIES OF
BY E. A. SHELDON,
SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, OSWEGO, N. Y. ;
CHARLES SCRJBNER, 124 GRAND STREET.
Entered, according to act of Congress, in the year 1862, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District
of New York.
JOHN F. TROW,
PRINTER, STEREOTYPED, AND ELECTROTYPER,
48 & 50 Greene Street,
FOR many years there has been a growing convic-
tion in the minds of the thinking men of this country,
that our methods of primary instruction are very defec-
tive, because they are not properly adapted either to the
mental, moral, or physical conditions of childhood. But
little reference has hitherto been had to any natural order
in the development of the faculties, or to the many pe-
culiar characteristics of children. Memory, by no means
the most important of the infant faculties, and reason,
at this age but faintly developed, have been severely
taxed, while but little direct systematic effort has been
made to awaken and quicken the perceptive faculties,
which are the first to develop themselves, and upon the
proper cultivation of which we must depend for success
in all our future educational processes. Even in schools
where better views have prevailed, the want of some sys-
tematic exercises, with proper apparatus and facilities for
putting them into practice, has been strongly felt.
The design of this work is to meet this demand :
to present a definite course of elementary instruction
adapted to philosophic views of the " laws of childhood."
We do not claim for it originality, either in thought
or method. It is now a full half century since that dis-
tinguished educational reformer, Pestalozzi, to a great
extent gave expression and embodiment to the principles
and methods herein contained.
Important modifications have however been made ;
many errors both in principles and practice have been
eradicated, and we are now able to bring to bear the sug-
gestions of some of the most distinguished educators in
Europe, based upon many years of careful study and ex-
The work upon which this is founded, and from which,
with the kind consent of its authoress, Miss Elizabeth
Mayo, we have largely drawn, is, as stated in her preface,
" A Manual, in two volumes, containing the essential
portions of the five in which alone such help has hitherto
been attainable ; and this, too, with the addition of much
valuable matter which is now published for the first
This work, entitled " Manual of Elementary Instruc-
tion," has been compiled within the past year, and
brings down to us the light and experience of the best
schools of Europe, where these methods have been longest
and most thoroughly tested.
She further says, "The whole work has been care-
fully reconstructed on a plan which presents principles
and practice in immediate connection, in order to illus-
trate their mutual dependence ; all details of practice
being exhibited as flowing naturally from the first truths
on which they are founded."
While the general plan of this work has been followed,
and some of the lessons adopted with slight changes, a
large proportion of original matter has been added, and
the whole arranged with special reference to the wants
of our American schools.
The Lessons on Objects, Color, Moral Instruction,
Lessons on Animals, and the Introduction have been
made up from the original manuscripts of Miss M. E.
M. Jones, with such exceptions as are indicated, and the
whole arranged by her. For more than fifteen years this
lady was engaged in training teachers in these methods
in the Home and Colonial Training Institution, London,
and has been connected with the schools of this country
sufficiently long to understand something of their wants.
Prof. Hermann Krusi* is the author of the Lessons
on Form and Inventive Drawing. He has also rewritten
the fifth and sixth steps in Number. His suggestions on
many other points have been very valuable. We can but
congratulate ourselves and those engaged in primary in-
struction for this timely aid from one so eminently fitted
for the work.f
Of the remaining subjects, Reading has been entirely
rewritten. The Lessons on Place or Geography have been
slightly changed, introducing two or three original sketches
of lessons in the first step, and so changing the third step
as to adapt it to our American locality. Some changes
have also been made in the Lessons on Sound, Size,
and Weight ; new matter added, and, in two or three
instances, substituted for that contained in the old vol-
While these lessons are prepared for primary schools,
they are also arranged with special reference to use in
* At present teacher in the Oswego Training School.
j- Prof. K. was born, as it were, in the very school of Pestalozzi, in which
his father was for twenty years a leading and active teacher. For ten years he
was engaged with his father in teaching a government school for the training
of teachers in Pestalozzian principles, in one of the cantons of Switzerland, his
native country. After this, he was for six years engaged in the Home and
Colonial Institution, working out and adapting these methods to the English
schools; and it was here that he first brought out the Inventive Drawing.
In this country he has been for several years engaged in teaching normal
schools and teachers' institutes. He has studied carefully the characteristics
of our schools and people ; and is, in every way, abundantly qualified to adapt
thin system to our peculiarities and wants.
Normal and Training classes. Model lessons are given,
and then subjects suggested on which similar lessons may
be drawn up. The models should be carefully examined
and analyzed, and, in the case of classes in training, the
original sketches should in every instance be submitted to
the criticism of the teacher. By individual teachers, these
sketches may be written out and used as lessons in their
schools. In some of the lessons, general directions only
are given ; in others, these directions are more particular ;
while many are drawn out at full length, including both
questions and answers. In any case, they are only de-
signed as suggestions and models to guide teachers in
working out their own plans and methods. Teachers
who confine themselves simply to the lessons presented in
this book, and to their exact minutiae, can but fail in their
work. To be truly successful, they must catch the spirit
and philosophy of the system, and work it out somewhat
in their own way ; of course, always conforming to the
principles upon which it is based : these we believe to
be sound and philosophical, and they should never be
The lessons that have been taken with no alteration,
other than an occasional verbal expression, have been
indicated either in the index, or in the body of the work
where they occur, by the letter M.
It is now more than two years since these methods
were practically and thoroughly introduced into the Os-
wego schools, and from a constant and careful observation
of their working, we feel that we are in some degree
prepared to judge as to what is wanted in a book of this
kind for our teachers and schools ; and we trust we may
not be disappointed in the hope that it will meet these
The subjects are arranged into steps, simply with refer-
ence to the order of time in which it is thought various
portions of the work may be accomplished. All first-step
lessons are designed for children from four to five years
of age, or during the first year of their school life. In the
same way the second step is designed for the second year,
and the third step for the third year ; thus covering the
time usually allotted to our primary departments in
towns where the schools are graded. In some instances
a fourth step is added, which is designed for the next grade.
The order of succession in which the various subjects are
arranged, has no reference to any order in which it may
be supposed they should be taken up. While it is the de-
sign that the lessons of each step, in every subject, shall
be taken up at the same stage of the child's development,
it is not expected that they will all be treated simulta-
neously. From three to five only are taken at once, and
these are carried on until the interest of the children be-
gins to flag, when they are changed for other subjects,
which in their turn are to be changed, as the children
weary, for others still, until we again return to the first
course, to resume it, after a rapid review, where we left it.
This necessity for change with little children cannot be
too carefully observed ; for 110 matter how interesting the
subject is at first, they will in time tire of it ; and a lively
interest can only be maintained by change. Heading,
spelling, and number are the only subjects that are
constant. With the youngest children the programme
should change fortnightly, and with the older ones month-
ly. In the Appendix may be seen some programmes of
the Oswego schools, which will give .a very good idea of
the way in which these may be arranged.
In the country schools, where no such gradation and
classification are possible, where the teachers find it im-
practicable to take up all the topics, as they usually will,
they must confine themselves to those which seem to them
of the most practical importance ; as, for instance, Moral
Instruction, Keading, Geography, Number, Language,
Form, Color, and Size.
Others might make a different selection of subjects :
we only call attention to this, by way of expressing our
view of the importance of doing well and thoroughly
whatever is undertaken. It may seem difficult to make a
selection of subjects where all are important ; but it is
better to leave half of them untouched than to undertake
to do all, and do nothing as it should be done. "Whatever
is taught, let it be taught with reference to correct prin-
E. A. SHELDON.
OSWEGO, Aug. 25, 1862.
INTRODUCTION, . 13
Necessity of Training, . . . . . 13
Pestalozzian Plans and Principles, . . . . .14
Preparation of Sketches, . . . . 16
Criticism Lessons, ...,.. 24
Reports of Model Lessons, ..... 40
Miscellaneous Exercises, . , . . . .42
COLOR, . . 45
FORM, . .62
SIZE, ........ 200
LANGUAGE (M.), 219
DICTATION (M.), 258
GEOGRAPHY, ....... 263
LESSONS ON THE HUMAN BODY (M.), . . . .292
LESSONS ON ANIMALS, 310
LESSONS ON PLANTS (M.), 359
MORAL INSTRUCTION, 384
L NECESSITY OF TRAINING.
IL PESTALOZZIAN PLANS AND PRINCIPLES.
III. PREPARATION OF SKETCHES.
IV. CRITICISM LESSONS.
V. REPORTS OF MODEL LESSONS.
VI.-MISCELLANEOUS EXERCISES IN METHOD.
I. Necessity of Training.
WERE \ve to undertake to discuss the importance of a regular
apprenticeship to the mechanic who builds houses or makes ma-
chines, or of a professional education to the artist, the lawyer, or
the physician, we should expose ourselves to public ridicule. It
is too self-evident to admit of sober discussion. All regard it a
necessity. And even when a thorough professional education has
been obtained, or a complete term of service as apprentice served,
we are slow to employ them until their success has been tested by
long 'experience. "We are slow to tnist the setting of a broken
bone to one who has not given practical demonstrations of his
skill. And yet these things are important only in a physical
sense the lowest of all human wants and necessities. How
much more, then, would it seem important that those to whom
we intrust the moral and intellectual destiny of the race should
be carefully educated and prepared with special reference to their
It would seem too obvious to require an argument, that every
teacher should clearly comprehend the character of the infant
mind, and its mode of operation the way in which each faculty
stands related to the other, and the order of its evolution as also
the related order of appliances in the process of development, to-
gether with a knowledge of the many striking peculiarities and
characteristics of children. It is clear that, without this knowl-
edge, teachers go blindly at their work, and can but fall into
many and grievous errors. One thing is certain, that with the
principles and methods here discussed, no one can hope to succeed
who does not carefully study and intelligently practise them.
II. Pestalozzian Plans and Principles.
There are several different ways of giving a lesson.
EXAMPLE. Six ways of giving a Lesson on a Plant.
1. Account of the plant learned by children from a book, and
repeated to the teacher.
2. Description learned and repeated as before, teacher after-
ward explaining the meaning.
3. Piece first explained by the teacher, then learned by the
children, and repeated.
4. Picture shown parts pointed out by teacher. Description
learned, and repeated as before.
5. Specimens given parts examined first by teacher, then
observed by the children.
6. Specimens distributed parts found out by the children,
who frame a description, which is put on the board and committed
Again, since all lessons should be given in accordance with
correct philosophical principles, we subjoin the following, as laid
down by Pestalozzi :
1. Activity is a law of childhood. Accustom the child to do -
educate the hand.
PESTALOZZIAIST PLANS AND PKINCIPI.Eg. 15
2. Cultivate the faculties in their natural order first form the
mind, then furnish it.
3. Begin with the senses, and never tell a child what he can
discover for himself.
4. Reduce every subject to its elements one difficulty at a
time is enough for a child.
5. Proceed step by step. Be thorough. The measure of in-
formation is not what the teacher can give, but what the child can
6. Let every lesson have a point. (Except in junior schools,
when more than one lesson is required before the point is reached,
each successively tending toward it.)
7. Develop the idea then give the term cultivate language.
8. Proceed from the known to the unknown from the par-
ticular to the general from the concrete to the abstract from
the simple to the more difficult.
9. First synthesis, then analysis not the order of the subject,
but the orcler of nature.
Of course, the educational teacher, in addressing a class of stu-
dents, would explain and illustrate these principles. In order to
ascertain whether they are thoroughly comprehended, the follow-
ing questions may be put. Answers should be given in writing.
1. A teacher begins Arithmetic by teaching a child to count
orally, 1, 2, 3, 4, &c. What principle is violated ?
2. A teacher teaches multiplication by letting the children
sing the tables. "What principle is violated ?
3. Begins Geography by use of globes, pointing out conti-
nents, &c. What principle is violated ?
4. Begins Natural History by taking the children into a mu-
seum where there are specimens of all kinds, and making a classi-
fication. What principle is violated ?
5. To develop an idea, begins with the definition; " Children,
I am going to teach you something : ' All things through which
we can see clearly are transparent.' Look at this piece of glass."
What principle is violated ?
6. Having developed an idea, omits to give the term or put
it on the board. "What principle is violated ?
7. Gives a lesson on coal, without presenting the object.
What principle is violated ?
8. Gives a lesson without observing any divisions either by
S. R. (simultaneous repetition), or by W. B. (writing on the board).
What principle is violated ?
9. Teaches Reading by the name method. What principle is
10. Adopts a uniform plan in her lessons, so that the children
always know in what order a subject will be represented. What
principle is violated ?
11. Tells the children that water is a liquid, and then shows
what a liquid is. What principle is violated ?
' 12. Gives a lesson on position and distance, always measuring
and representing the object herself. What principle is violated ?
13. Gives a lesson on the lion, before the children have had
one on the cat. What principle is violated ?
14. A lesson on perching birds as an order, before any have
been given on the robin, canary, and other individuals. What
principle is violated ?
15. Teacher, giving lesson on a tiger, refers to cat lets one
child talk of the cat at home, another of the dog, a third of the
horse, a fourth of riding the horse to town. What principle is
16. Undertakes to give lessons on the parts of speech to chil
dren who have had no lessons on objects. What principle is
III. Preparation of Sketches.
Too much stress cannot be laid on the importance of prepar-
ing notes or sketches in writing. It is not too much to say that
no lesson ought to be given, a sketch of which has not been sys-
tematically prepared. In training students to this work it is found
PREPARATION OF SKETCHES. 17
desirable to begin with an examination and analysis of a few sim-
FIRST EXAMPLE. Sketch on Water.
(See " Objects," Second Step.)
Directions for Analysis.
1. Matter to be separated from method.
2. Point to be found, whether definitely stated, or contained in
the title, or in the head.
3. Terms and information given to be distinguished from ideas
4. Ideas developed, whether
(a) by addressing the senses directly.
(5) by comparison.
(c) by experiment.
(d) by addressing the reason.
5. Illustration Use of Board S. R. Ellipses Kind of
The analysis of water as made by students should appear
1. Matter. See Summary.
2. Point is contained in the heads, which are
Uses, and special qualities on which uses depend.
3. Terms given liquid and bright ; information given every
country is well supplied with water.
4. Ideas developed :
(a) Water is bright has neither taste nor smell.
(b) Water is a liquid has no color can be seen through.
(c) Water is useful for washing and drinking. (Memory.)
(d) Water is used for washing, on account of the absence
of color and smell.
5. Illustrations Ellipses and S. E. Summary elliptical.
SECOND EXAMPLE. Lesson on Writing Paper.
"What is this ? Paper. Whence do we get paper ? Does it
grow upon any plant ? Does it come from off any animal ? Do
we dig it out of the ground ? How do we get it then ? It is
made. Yes, it is made by man : but did man make it out of noth-
ing ? No ; he must have something to make it from. Do you
know of what paper is made ? It is made of rags. Yes, the best
paper is made of linen rags. Of what is linen made ? Do you
not know ? It is made from the fibrous stem of a very pretty
plant. Here is a picture of it ; it is called flax. Repeat together,
u Paper is made of rags ; the finest paper is made of linen rags ;
linen is made from the fibrous stem of a plant called flax." Now,
children, look at the paper, and tell me what you observe about it.
It is white. This paper is white, but what is this ? Blue. And
this ? Brown. "What kind of paper is white ? "Writing paper.
Try and find out why writing paper is made white. That we may
see the writing upon it. Look at it and feel it. It is smooth.
Put it between your thumb and finger. It is thin. Try again.
It is light. Repeat together these qualities, " "Writing paper is
smooth, thin, and light." Now hold it toward the window. "We
can see through it. Can you see through it as well as you do
through glass ? What is the difference ? We can see everything
quite clearly through the glass ; but through paper we only see the
dim light. What did we say of glass ? That it is transparent ;
but we say of objects through which we can see light only, that
they are translucent. What can we say of paper ? It is translu-
cent. Try what you can do with paper. We can tear it. What
more ? We can bend it and fold it. Yes ; on account of this
quality it is said to be pliable. Repeat together, a Paper is easily
torn : it can be easily bent and folded : it is pliable." See, I have
put a part of this sheet of paper into the fire. It burns. It is in-
flammable. Why do we call paper inflammable ? Because it
burns readily. Tell me some other things that are inflammable.
Wood, coal, &c. Of what use is this kind of paper ? To write
upon. Yes ; and when you are grown up, and perhaps have to
PREPARATION OF SKETCHES. 19
live very far away from your father and mother and brothers, Low
pleasant you will think it to receive a sheet of paper folded up,
and brought to you by the postman, to tell you how they all are,
and how they are getting on ! "What is such folded-up sheet of
paper called ? Yes, a letter. How glad you will then be, that
when you were young you went to school, and learnt to read, so
that you can understand what is written in the letter brought by
After you have told me all you have found out about writing
paper, and sung a hymn, I will tell you a true little history about
writing. Now all repeat together, " Writing paper is made of
linen rags ; linen is made from the fibrous stem of a plant called
flax : writing paper is white, translucent, and pliable ; it is smooth,
thin, light, and easily torn ; it is inflammable ; and it is useful to
After learning to spell any new words met with in the lesson,
the children repeat the hymn
" I thank the goodness and the grace," &c.
Now I will give you the little history I promised. It relates
to one of those countries in which they worship idols of wood and
stone, and where the people do not know God and Jesus Christ.
The Lord put it into the heart of a very good man in England,
Mr. Williams, to go over and teach these poor ignorant people
how they might be saved and go to heaven. How do the Scrip-
tures say that we can be saved ? This good man had to cross the
sea, in order to get at this country. How did he manage this ?
Yes ; he went in a ship, and when he arrived at the country
where the people did not know God and Jesus Christ, he began
to teach them a great many things ; he was very kind to them,
and showed them how to build neat little cottages, and places
where they might learn about God ; and he made a ship that
would sail upon the water. One day he was working very hard
among them, when he found that he had left a tool at home of
which he was in need ; so he called one of the men, and taking up
a chip of wood, wrote upon it the name of the tool he wanted, and
desired the man to take it to his wife, and that she >yguld give
him something to bring back with him. The man looked aston-
ished, and waited for a message. " Go quickly," said Mr. Wil-
liams ; " I am in haste ; show this to my wife, that is all."
Now the poor man, though he was a great man in that country,
knew nothing about reading or writing, and as he went he thought,
How silly it is to take this piece of wood to show. However, he
did as he was bid ; he was obedient. How great was his surprise
when he had given the chip to Mrs. Williams, to see her look at
it and immediately fetch the instrument. " But how do you