William Russell.

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But the people, who had expected a change, and who had a cer-
tain liffht to expect it, were not to be disappointed : the train
had nln laid, and the explosion was at hand. The spirit of
revolution extended ; and as it gained strength its character
ebanged. It was no longer that salutary movement which was
ealqilated to improves nation ; it became by degrees oaethat^



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4d2 PDEUC £PUCATiON IN F|tA}«C£*

under the mask of improveaieot^ was to deslroy iadftBcrtimDalelj
all existing institutioos.

Public opinion and public indignation were taken advanti^
of by designing men ; discontent and restlessness prevailed ia
every class, combined with uncertainty and ignorance of what
was desired ; it was a moment, then, thai only required the £-
rection of a few able and unprincipled individuals ; and these
were not long of being found. Pride, vanity, and personal in-
terest became the ruling motives of the leaders of the revoki-
tion : the liberty that was demanded by the people, but the pre-
cise nature of which they did not know, was by them made a
means of establishing their tyranny.

The revolution was effected by public opinion ; bat when it
had once taken place, that disappeared, and the acta of horror,
madness, and folly which it exhibited, were no longer the ex-
pression of public opinion. They were the acts of a few men
who, for the time, had concentrated in themselves the will and
the power of action. Science and letters were found incompat-
ible with the new order of things, and were neglected. Every
establishment or institution belonging to the former era was, in
the madness of innovation, destroyed, and, amongst others, the
universities, which were no longer deemed compatible with lib-
erty and equality, were thrown down, to be raised anew in a
form more adapted to the supposed regeneration of the human
mind. But it was an easier matter to destroy than to reestab-
Ibh them ; and for some time, the nation remained destitute of
all means of instruction even in the ordinary branches of edu-
cation.

When tho reign of anarchy had in some measure passed
away, and when true iovers of their country once more had a
voice in its government, the effects produced by (he low state
of literature became apparent, and measures were adopted to
repair the mischief. But it was a long time before the passioDS
of men sufficiently subsided to enable them to consider, free
from prejudice and bias, the plans that were proposed. Ideas
of perfection were entertained which it was evident were not to
be realized ; and, in the desire to avoid all resemblance to the
institutions of the monarchy, tho republic was like^, in seeking
after simplicity and equality, to lose sight of those laws and re-
strictions essentially necessary to the welfare of every seMbary
of education.

It was now a struggle between the doctrines of the revolu-
tion, and those of reflecting minds uninfluenced by any se^ or



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PVftLlC EDUCATION IN FRANCE. 453

party, and the nation^ was not yet in a state to allow the triumph
of the latter. Amongst the various plans proposed to the Na-
tional Convention, some were of a description so lofty and ex-
travagant as to excite at the present time a smile at their vision-
ary perfection ; others were too like the establishments of old,
and alarmed the revolutionary spirit. Some men of enlightened
character endeavoured to reconcile the two ; but the time had
not yet arrived for the cool and unbiased consideration of so
important a subject ; and in consequence the first plan, adopted
and promulgated in the year 1795, by no means answered the
purposes intended, and was far from administering to the litera-
ry wants of the great body of the people. « *

According to the decree contained in the Moniteur of the 2d
November of that year, three orders of schools were instituted, —
prknary, cerUraly and special schools. In every canton of the re-
public one or more primary schools were established, over which
a jury of instruction^ limited to a certain number of members, had
jurisdiction : the teachers were examined by this jury, and were
nominated by the municipal authorities. In these schools were
taught, reading, writing, arithmetic, and the* first principles of
republican morals.

A central school was established in every department, and was
divided into three grades or classes ; in the first of these were
taught drawing, natural history, and ancient and modern lan-
guages ; in the second, the principles of mathematics, natural
philosophy, and practical chemistry ; in the thit'd, general gram-
mar and the fine arts, history and legislation. Students of the
first class must have attained the age of twelve years ; of the
second class the age of fourteen ; and of the third class the aga
of sixteen.

Every central school was to have a library, a botanical gar^
den, a collection of natural curiosities, and also of chemical and
philosophical apparatus.

In the special schools were to be taught — astronomy, geome-
try, and mathematics, natural history, medicine, the veterinary
art, economy, antiquities, political science, painting, sculpture,
architecture, and music.

Such was the plan of public instruction adopted by the Na-
tional Convention, which, however, was never fully carried into
execution, and which in a few years was superseded by a new
system of organization of still shorter duration.



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454 EDUCATION OF INFANT CHILDREN.



BDUCATION OF INFANT CHILDREN.

IRemmedfrom last JNumber.]

b H nece$$ary to have a cla$$ roam for the uutrudum of pasrHeu-
lar9 ? — It is a very useful, and most necessary appendage ; for
in it much effective information may be imparted to the more
advanced children, which they again wiil^ most probably, com-
municate to their juniors, and in a phraseology well suited to
their comprehensions.

Are the maieriiiU (f in^ruciion new^or the t^Ueationj or the
end for which they are to be applied ? — The application only is
new, or the end for which the materials- are to be applied. In-
deed I think of the infant mode of tuition, as I ever have of Dr.
Bell's, that there is nothing new in it, nothing but what has beeo
practised years ago, by various individuals, whose different
methods, with the improvements suggested by Rousseau, Fene-
lon Archbishop of Cambray, Milton, Locke, Dr, Hartley, Lord
Kaimes, Helvetius, and other great and eminent characters,
have been reduced to a system. In this opinion I am borne out
by Pestalozzi himself, who admits, that in order to frame the
system for which he is deservedly admired, his course of read-
ing was very extensive.

Are the children to teach each other as much as they possibly can
in that part which is purely mechanical ? — Yes, because thereby
they are both encouraged, gratified, and improved ; nor can it
be doubted that they are perfectly competent to teach the
mechanical part of the school business, and, perhaps, with bet-
ter success than the master himself j I speak here of schools
already organized.*

Does such confinement injure the healthy strength^ and activiiy cf
the body 1 — The relaxation allowed, the air admitted into infant
schools, and the unceasing employment of the corporal and
mental faculties, must be conducive to health, strength, and ac-
tivity.

Can the powers of the human soul be so feeble as not to bear ef-
fectionaie excitementy and govermnent ? — Certainly not ; it is what
they require ; and surely love is the first and best exciter and
governor of those powers.

* It has been asserted by tn ancient writer, that to study was a good wajr
to learn ; to hear was a better; but to teach was the best.



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EDUCATION OF INFANT CHILDREN. 466

Jb U pasMle to awaken in the eouly in its Jint opemng^ the moral
, the human sympathy ? — Most undoubtedly ; the earliest age

the period most susceptible of right impressions^ and affec-
tionate actions.

What have been the moral consequences in the schools already
^mtablished ? — ^The encouraging growth of mildness^ tractability,
csheerfulness, obedience, mutual forbearance, and of every vir-
tuous propensity.

Jb the b^ant School open to children <^ every denomination ? —
Yes ; and as the object of ^ The Infant system' is happiness,
by the expansive growth of all sources of physical, intellectual,
and moral pleasure, why should it be exclusively enjoyed by
any one sect or party ?

hit a preparation as v>ell for religion as for useful knowledge
and practical industry ? — It certainly is ; the first and ultimate
end of Infant education, being the prevention of evil propensi-
tMS, the elicitation of ^virtuous feelings, and the practical exer-
cise of industrious habits.

h the system only for the children of the poor ? — By no means ;
it may be rendered of the utmost benefit to the children of the
rich, under whose auspices, and in the hands of affectionate and
intelligent men, it may be carried to the highest degree of per-
fection. Let the opulent and great, not as mere spectators, but
as attentive and contemplative observers, visit a well regulated,
and well conducted infant school, and they will not only per-
ceive the force, beauty, and importance of the system, but will,
in all probability, feel convinced of the error of much of their
own education, and the consequent impropriety of the mode of
tuition to which they have subjected their sons and daughters.

If the memory the faculty that is to be chiefly employed ? — The af-
fections first ; as they alone are the cause of all knowledge, and
through them the nnderstandmg, next the memory, and lastly
the senses : the heart, head, and hand, must, by slow, or rather
imperceptible degrees, be brought into action.

Jb the system iniended to educe both a moral and an intelUclual
goodl — libese are the two springs of the system, as will, I
think, appear evident from the foregoing and following an-
swers.

Are such schooU to realize in the child as much as possible the
hat and deepest feelings of happiness ? — Certainly ; and such feel-
ings are best awakened, and confirmed by the encouraging
growth of affectionate and virtuous attachments, which effej^ta-
ally prevent moral defects.



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466 EmrCATION of INFAUT OHILDRBlf.

fVhy h4m f^ not been e$tMi$ked before ?-~£ither through the
prejudices of education, the bias of false attachments, or the
jealousy of ignorance ; or, because the benefits likely to result
from them were not generally known, or duly appreciated.

Are ^ dame echoola et^fidentfor tht purposes rf raiding in siuk
yotmg chUdreHy heartfelt cordiality, internal satirfaciionj and ratine
al pleasure ? — Not at all ; where children are closely confined
are kept in servile fear, and experience no kind of parental
blandishment, no cordiality can exist ; where stem authority
and restriction reign, no satisfaction can be felt ; and where
the afibctions and senses are not usefully and agreeably occupi-
ed, no rational pleasure can be experienced

How long should a child be occupied in learning any lesson ?-^
The lessons should be so apportioned as not to occupy more
than fiAeen minutes in acquiring them ; yet as all children are
not equally talented, and as some children will learn the same
.lesson in a much shorter time than others, whenever it shall be
found that all the class do not know the lesson, 1 would advise
the adoption of Dr. Bell's plan, that of pairing off the children
into tutor and pupil. . This method will more deeply impress
the lesson on the minds of those who have learned it, and pre-
vent the disagreeable necessity of shifting the less gifted chil-
dren from class to class.*

Should not the teachers be placed under the trffeetionate sitpenM"
iendence of one individual ? — ^They should be placed under the
immediate superintendence of one of the committee, who should
condescend to treat them kindly, and converse with them in a
friendly and familiar manner, and who, if he deemed it neces-
sary to find fault, would reason with and advise them in the spur-
it of christianmeeimess and disinterested friendship.

On the other hand, if he thought them deficient in point of
mental acquirements, either from their previous habits of life,
or the want of proper culture, he should lend them such ele-
mentary books as would store their minds with knowledge ap-
{^icable to their sphere of action.

Should any difference be obseroed in Ihe treatment or itutmction
of the monitors J or senior classes ? — In their treatment not even a
shadow of distinction should ever be perceivable ; but in the
mode of development much of the improvement of the younger

""Expedenee has long timce convinced me» that the sorest and best neass
4>f ascertaining in what class to place a child, is to let him begin at the lowest,
and work his way upwards till he finds his own level. For a more particular
explanation of this see Dr. Bell * On The Madras System.*



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EDUCATION OF INFANT CHILDREN. 457

children will depend on the attention bestowed on their teach-
ers. These little agents, if properly managed and inspirited ,
will, yerj successfully, and with great pleasnre, communicate
their stock of information to the classes of which they have
charge.

h ii necessary to class the children as m other schools ? — Certain-
ly ; and in doing this, greater powers of discrimination will be
required than may be generally imagined ; but as Dr. Bell just-
ly observes, there should be as few classes as possible.

Are many ho(^ waniedy and Vfky ? — Pestalozzi haa said, that
the child is his own book, and certainly books can be of na
utility till the energies of the child be awakened, and he be
made an affectionate and thinking being ; then, indeed, it would
be advisable to furnish him with books suited to his capacity,
and breathing the sweet odour of moral rectitude.

Mvst nakiral objects be as much inirodueed em possible for the
mind of the child to act uponf, — Yes, for the sake of creating new
ideas and inclinations, and . promoting a spirit of in<|uiry, and
also that ybrm and language may accompany each other.

Are the children aUotoed some Uttle time to play 'I — Necessarily;
the spirits, when under confinement are generally in a dull and
languishing state; besides, to debar children from exercise and
fresh air, would, in a greater or less degree, impede their
growth, and injure their health, which is certainly of much more
consequence than learning itself.

Should any person supermtendy or direct their amusemsni ? — ^The
master or mistress should always be an attendaut observer of
their pastimes ; but on no account whatever shook! the children
be interfered with, as long as they abstain from everything in-
jurious to the body, or tending to contaminate the mind. A
master, however, truly interested in the happiness, or rather
moral perfection, of his little flock, will occasionally join in their
games, and devise new sports and exercises.

Are they to be provided with playthings that promote muscular ejp-
ercise ? — Certainly, and particularly if they can be rendered in-
strumental to instruction, as well as conducive to wholesome
exercise.

What should be the strongest ptmishmeni that ^tould be used for
wilful disobedience ? — A clear and public elucidation of the na-
ture of the offence, accompanied with a suitable reprimand,
and, if requisite, some little privation. But, however it may be
found necessary to act, an inflexible steadiness of purpose,

VOL. 111. — xo. VIII. 68



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^B8 amcATiofi or wrun eHru>iU5K«



mMmI to tfiiiciat th« moft nOitnd JtiyiMinnalfty ahould ever

if MHba<ry^flny AMdM(efMfedlo6eMn)^^ can-

Bet douU ;. m k is neceasar/ for BMUI9 in vhmt outward coodicioo
soever he maj be placed ; and, it is more than probablf^ that
when the sj^etti shall Iwn received all the eoecgiea of which
it is capable, this will be accomplisbed.

TFky ere IkerotiomdfafiuUUa ofobt^rvoHotiftkamgii^miexprU'
$um to he eMmtUdb^art those wriyicimi powenqf ttodingy wriimg^
mmd cyphermg ? — Because more naturaly and of coarse more iin-
nediately coonected witb^ and conducive to the expaasioaoTail
the powers of the infant heart and mind. It would be in vain to
Uf^e achild ta the goal of knowledge or or self perfection^
88 loi^ as there are brambles thai obstruct, and thorns that
encompass the road ; clear awajr the one, and blunt the poignan-^
%y of the other, — he nuiy then be wooed forward, because he
himself will begin to perceive the beauties of the soene that lies-
before him.

ShoM the de^emd dumb^ at well a» Ae btind^ be ad m it t^ into
theu BchooU ? — Yes ; because their spiritual powecs, and mental
capabilities can be developed, though thetr physical or orgiuuc
structure be d^ifective.

ShoM the naiuralformution of Ae powers precede ae much ae
possible art^eial uiftrycficm ?«-Moat assuredly ; if the soil be not
well and sufficiently cultivated before the seed be committed to
its bosom, it will be in vain to expect an abundant harvest

Why has there been so little aUetUUm paid to^the naiuralegpaimom
of'tKe powersy amd so much to the artyicial descriptioti (f them ?—

This may have been the consequence of an erroneous edn-
cation, the ends of which have been either partial or mistaken.
It is Yery natural to give oar pupils a repetition of the leaaoos
ourselves have heretofore received

Miut wsy if human sympoii^ be the restdi wanted^ ftiii ta a great
meantre our ari^iciml course t^ rewards and pumshmmts ?— Yes ; «
because they give the miod an improper bias. Tbo mind that is
morally and intellectually developed, needs neither the excite-
ment of rewards, nor the goad of punishment ; it acts from the
genuine impulse of internal rectitude, independent of the one or
the other.

Does not om kind action u^uence a child more than vohma ef
words ? — Yes ; because he can much more readily and clearly
comprehend actions, which are unerring demonstrations, than
understand words, which are mere signs, and may be fallacious.



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ci>U€ATioi« or inrAUT cflnnMBN. 459

Do€9 Ae good $wmn ^fAemftimi^^ in te ^gfeH m iUUtm^ ib^
pend more on habiU ikon an rtdet ? — Ob habits, wbiek beeoom
permanent ; whereas rules nia^ be forgotten or ^regarded.

Are ekUdrenmored^^hUdvMihmmode^irmm^ Ikemythan
tvtifc the M sysUm ofamatraimngfear't — Wkh tins mode, whi^
18 'evideiitly more coDgenial to their lender miiids, mad senaibfe
natures.

Ai whai e^iea ehiU i e mih le ifdmntj or aahamed if jnmta^*
««ii<?-^In children of a lively nature, between two and three.
But if an entire and absolute influence be early establii^ed, by
opening a way to the hearty there camot possibly exist a neceesity
for corporal punishment.

Do not chUdrenimUaleyimbUteyOradopimrtuetaeeoonae tieee'^
emd why ?— -Grenerally speaking, more prone to imitate the lal*
ter, and the reason is, perhaps, that these are commonly the first
presented, to them. The infant mind possesses powors, though
*it re^iuires to be furnished with ideas ; surely then, if we sup-
ply it with amiable and virtuous ideas, it will as easily and as
naturally become amiable and virtuous, as it would odious and
vicious by pursuing a contrary mode.

Mmt a chM rue orfaU m tit nofwroZ eonSiUvm according to the
good or bad example ithas to imilaieyimbibey oradopt ?— Yes ; for
as example is far more potent, and much more durable than
precept ; and as there are numberless circumstances to which
children in early life are very attentive, it is of much moment
what sentiments they imbibe from their parents and instrncters,
whose whole visible deportment will powerfully, though insensi*
biy, influence the opinions, afiections, and future conduct of
ehiIdren,-~conseiiuently their happiness, or misery, materially
depends on the good or bad impressions they receive.

Aeorporaipmi^nuidffanymewhenaeeneeefekame does wfl
oXUnd H ?— As the only tendency of corporal punishment n to
harden, and as the dread of it on young children is the fruitfid
- source of falsehood, it should ever be studiously avoided ; in the
present instance, it can be of no avail, because the heart that is
callous to shame, is, in nine cases out of ten, encompassed in a
frame steeled io punishment.

Are good nuamere to he cMnaUd tn the dktM ofMl to he ivkrde at
hoMtwdaepossihle ? — ^Yes ; inasmuch as they are the passports
to favour in eY^ry stage of life, and because he should be early
taught the respect due to his superiors.

hi what con$%$t9 the principal art of infant educaiion ?— ^In vary-
ing and opposing the subjects of attention, so that they succeed



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460 EDUCATION OF INFANT CHILDREN.

each other id reliefs ; and afiect the mind like the disposkioitor
an elegant garden, by a great nmnber of well placed and well
contrasted views.

h the MOffer't txtmpk emmdeni afikefini impartomee in ttete
wekooky to ^ w 'clwi i tk$ BJwmberiMg He thai b md§ ihem to maml — Cer-
tainly, for it wnka deeper into the heart than the moet elaborate
precepts ; and, as first impressions on children, thongh incoo-
Biderable in themselves, have often a great, as well as a laatiag
efiect, it necessarily follows, that every roaster should so con-
duct himself as to conviace the children under his care, that he
considers kind, moral, and religious behaviour of the utmost im-
portance.

Ovi ifuhat rwnk <fli^ 9hould the pemom he chueh viho ore to
conduct such tcAeoto ?•— An eminent gentleman. Doctor M — ^ has
said, < Out of that rank of life which they are destined to teach.'
Without presumieg to controvert the assertion, I conceive those
persons roost eligible, who have received a good educatiofn, pee-*
sees polished manners, have lived in some respeotalnlity, and
who have known the afflictions attendant on poverty.

1$ there any neceeeiiy ofhrU^mg the pawen rfthe soul tfito ocftv-
Uiflnithe escUement ofemulatwn ? — ^Not in the least ; emulation
seldom fails to engender vain glory, if not pride, and is oAen
productive of other mischievous consequences.

jb there amf hind if rewards neceesanf to awaken otfentton, ^
Midren are actively y kUeUigihbiy e^gpsotionaiehf excikd and govern^
ed?— -In my opinion, none ; — it is not unlikely that they may ex-
cite mercenary feelings ; added to which they are creative of
jealousy*

Can children gain too mmch experimental knovMgCy in the first
eight or ten yeare ifthek^ ^ives, to render them unfit for .service ? —

So fhr from conceiving it would unfit them for service, 1 should
deem those best adapted for it, who possessed such knowledge ;
because such persons would not only feel and understand, but
more readily and cheerfully perform the duties thetr respective
stations may demand.

fVhy are the precepts uihkh are stored up in the minds if chil-
dreny so little it^uential on self improvement ?— Most probably be-
cause they have not been clearly elucidated, propeHy impressed,
and rightly directed.



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HARTFORD FEMALE SfiMlNARY.



HARTFORD FXMALB ai^MlNART.



461



[The f<^owiog exposHtoa of the mode of conducting thus
useful and proeperous inMkution, is extracted from a pami^hlet
csoBtainiog a catalogue of the officere, teachers, and pupUs of
the seminary, together with a brief account of the principles of
inatruction and discipline. In the statements which follow, our
readers will recognize the same clearness and practical force
of thought, as in the strictures by the same writer, in a former
number of the Journal. In these, the prevailing defects in
female schools were distinctly shown, and several valuable sug-
gestions were at the same time made, with a view to the
improvement of female education in general.

From the respectable and ample patronage conferred on the
Hartford seminary, there is every reason to infer the entire
success of all similar efibrts to raise the standard of instruction
for the female sex. In most of our large cities there are enter-
prises of this kind commenced, or already in full operation ;
and by these, the advantages of a full course of liberal instruc-
tion are rendered accessible to a great portion of the community,
for the benefit of that sex on which usually devolves the care
of early education. From these attempts, much good will, no
doubt, result ; and especially where instructors are duly careful
to shun publicity and display in the exercises of their schools,
and in the expedients adopted for incitements to application.



Online LibraryWilliam RussellAmerican annals of education → online text (page 51 of 86)