« PrécédentContinuer »
time to the study of languages; that, confiling in this ycw method, applied to the French, they are willing to put it 10 thic test by becoming learners. Let four schools be established, one in each quarter of the City, calculated to contain twenty-five hundred persons of both sixes,* capable of reading and writing the English language. They might be attended in the following manner:--the NORTHERN SCHOOL on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays, from nine until twelve in the forenoon; the EASTERN SCHOOL on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from half-past two until five in the afternoon; the SOUTHERN School on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, from nine until twelve in the forenoon; and the western School on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, from half-past two until five in the afternoon.t
It is evident, from the above distribution of time and place,-the peculiarity of this mode of tuition, that one teacher only,I is amply sufficient to discharge the duties of the four scliools.
Let us now enquire what salary might be allowed the teacher. Perbaps, live hundred pounds sterling would be considered sufficient for ten months services, $ which is the time required to complete the circle of the French language, mentioned in page cviii.
The expense then for each scholar, would result from the division of five hundred pounds by ten thousand, (the number of scholars,) which makes the quota of each individual amount to one shilling only,man expense so very trilling, that individuals of the poorest class of the community might easily afford it.
• I have been frequently asked how I would manage a Class of 2500 boys, and know, in such a multitude, that each paid proper attention ; to which I uniformly replied, that, for such an extensive Class, I should have recourse to the following expedient:
I would for every 20 boys appoint one of them to act as an overster, and not as a monitor or under-teacher, which is repugnant to this system : each overseer should stand before the boys over whom he is appointed, and in this situation it would not be a difficult task for bim to repeat in unison with the rest, and at the same time observe whether his boys were attentive to repeating, &c. or not, which he would easily know from being so close to them: and, the better to prevent that improper connivance which so often takes place in the Lancasterian schools, as well as to overawe the overseers themselves, I would recommend a super-nverseer over every ten overseers, who should face them, and stand behind the boys, these superover seirs to join also in the lesson with the rest, As each boy has a number by which he is to be called and recognized, as I have already suggested, the Master, without being obliged to call them by their names, would appoint weekly both oversters and super-cversters, by mentioning aloud their respective numbers.
+ Three times a week attendance only is given, that time may be allowed to commit the tasks to memory.and that the learning of French, or any other language, taught on this plan, may not interfere with the a vocations or other studies of the learners.
should the four schools be opened on the above-stated days, and at the same time, the same lesson might be given in every one of them, which would be a great relief to the Master, and thus contribute to make him more perfect in his part.
It does not require quite ten months, or 303 days, as the 120 icssons may be given in 40 veeks, or 20 days; but I allow 23 dave fus holidays, &c.
I consider this shilling, for ten months tuition, as the minimum of erpense. * The next consideration, is the maximum of expense. Although four schools would be sufficient for the tuition of ten thousand scholars, we may suppose that many objections would be made to so few schools, and that it might be found more convenient to establish, in the most, central parts of the City, twenty schools, instead of four, cach calculated 10 contain with ease five hundred scholars; as five Masters would only be requisite for the management of the twenty schools, or the tuition of ten thousand persons, allowing each Master four hundred pounds, instead of five hundred, as, from the proximity of the schools to each other, several incidental expenses would be avoided.
The sum necessary would ihen amount to two thousand pounds, which, when divided by the number of learners, would make the quota of each four shillings only; which I consider as the maximum of expense, should this method be universally adopted.
I must mention an indispensable item of expense relating to this Work, without which the system of tuition cannot be carried on. Unfortunately it cannot be abridged without destroying it altogether, as every part thereof is essential to the completion of the system; but to reduce its price as much as possible, I have caused it to be stereotyped.
I have not taken into this consideration the expence of building schools, as I am persuaded that, if this plan should meet the approbation of enlightened men, twenty such establishments would be erected in London at the public expence, or that of private societies, and that the example would be followed by every town of note in Great Britain and Ireland, so great is the public spirit of the United Kingdom in promoting literature
* The celebrated Dr. Bell, whose name will be venerated by posterity, and gratefully enrolled amongst those of the benefactors of the human race, has recently published a tract, entitled "The Wrongs of Children,” in which he shows the superiority of his plan of tuition over that of the old system, in point of economy. This circumstance bas induced me to compare mine in this respect successively with both.
“Let us (says Dr. Bell) suppose an empire in which 2,000,000 scholars are to be taught, and that the fees and emoluments of the schoolmasters were at an average 501. a-year. Under the old system, requiring 49,000 masters, the amount at 50%. would be 2,000,0001. ; under the new, requiring 4000 masters, it would be 200,0001.; the saving is 1,800,000 annually."
I shall now, for the sake of argument, suppose that the imaginary empire of Dr. Bell has such a crowded population as to admit that either his plan, or mine, (which embraces far greater numbers than his,) could have a full play, or be brought into action, aud that provisions are so cheap, that I may adopt, as mine, his average of the fees and emoluments of schoolmasters. As each Master may teach on my plan 10,000 scholars, it follows, that 200 masters would discharge the task of teaching 2,000,000 scholars, and that the aggregate amount of their fees and emoluments would only be ten thousand poands.
My plan of teaching is therefore twenty times cheaper than that of Dr. Bell, and trio huudred times cheaper than the old systein. As to the respective merits of the three plans, I leave it
the enlightened part of society, and such as are best able to appreciate them, 10 decide which is superior in point of power and effect.
and science. The above twenty schools would likewise serve for the teaching of three more languages, or other branches of useful learning, as there would be threc portions of time in wbich each would otherwise be shut up. The Spanish language might be next taught, as the new method has been adapted to it by two gentlemen well qualified for the task. A knowledge of this would greatly promote the interests of commerce, by facilitating intercourse with countries in which tbat language is spoken, That its study ought to be an essential part of a commercial cducation. herefore, is evident. In regard to the other two languages, the present system of education readily points out to me the Greek and Latin. I confess that somo dilliculties occur, because the proper materials are not so abundant as those furnished by the living languages. They are, however, far from being insuperable. I have therefore a well-grounded hopes that some patriotic and enlightened person among the learned, will, at no distant period, execute this task, and thus confer an invaluable benefit on mankind. Then will a liberal education become the cheapest commodity in the country, -cheaper, indeed, than a single suit of clothes of the coarsest manufacture.
In order that the labouring and busily-cmployed classes of the commupily may also have the opportunity of learning languages, Masters might uc cmployed to teach evening, or even Sunday-schools, at suitable hours and places, in some of the buildings already appropriated for tcaching morning and afternoon schools.
21st. This system continually asfords to the Teacher the means of ascertainiog with mathematical precision the stage of advancement in his plia pils, while they in their turn can mcasure his capacity, and, to a certain degree, the extent of his acqui ements. This must kindle between the Teacher and his pupils a superior kind of emulation. An attentive perusal of pages Ixvi. &c. will place this important property of the system in the clearest light.
22d. So perfect is the system that the sliglitest error cannot intrude itself. For the truth of this advantage, which seems so extraordinary as to border on magic, I appeal to any person of sense who will read with attention the development of this system from page xxxix. et seq.
23d. It exhibits a circumstance unique in its kind, that of strengthening the faculties of the mind, by means of mechanical processes suggested by Naturc berself, and which make a durable impression on the organs of specch.
2411. Professional characters, by giving two attentive perusals to the present Introduction, or by sceing the System once in operation, will become possessed of the art of teaching on my principle, so readily may it be acquired,
25th. An attentive observation has already fully proved, that those who have learned French by the new mode of instruction, have succeeded with much greater rapidity in their other studies. That this must be the caso naturally results from the advantages already enumerated.
I here conclude my enumeration of the advantages peculiar to this singular method. I might have pursued the subject still farther, had I not reflected that any one of the advantages which I have recited is sufficient to give it a decided preference over any other system, when it shall be put to the test by others, as it has already been by me.
My readers are now fully acquainted with the history, the nature, and the advantages, of the System which forms the subject of the present work. I have occupied much of their time, because I conceived the matter too important to be passed over in a slight manner, and I was desirous of initiating them completely into a plan, which I hope may prove of radical utility to all nations. Any thing which abrilges education without weakening it, is important to mankind. He who saves the time of a fellow.crcature, enables him to live so much the longer; and deserves the same kind of gratitude as be who saves the life of a fellow.creature. But the man who rescues another from the misery and sin of ignorance, though never estimated as he ought to be in the scale of rank,-lhe man who infuses, as it were, an intellect into thic “clod of the valley," is surely the best and the noblest benefactor of liis race. It has been my ambition to produce a system which will enable philanthropy to effect this great desideratum. The poor pine in neglected barrenness, and, from want of knowledge, fall into vice, because fortune denies them thic means of education. But I have here endeavoared to devise facilities, by which a man of moderate inconic may enlighten thousands ;-by which the impediments of povcity may be overcome ;-and learning, which is now monopolized by the wealthy few, become equally extende:) throughout every order and quality of mankind.*
• An opinion has be. n prom:Izated that it is injurious to society to enlighten too much the lewer classes, as they are called. If there be any danger, I beg to assert, that it is nou in en: fightening them too much, but, on tie contrary, it is in imparting to them too little knowledge, which may justify the poet's assertion, that "a little learning is a dangerous thing.” The education which the poor receive from the National or the Sunday schools is not calculated indeed to expand their minds, it being chiefly limited to reading and writing, and that by a methed far from being the true one. It resulls, therefore, that, when they leave school, they have tot imbibed a taste for reading and studying, and that their minds remain nearly as vacant and unemployed as when they entered it. in proof of the great moral advantages which accrue to the inferior classes from being enlightened, or rather well-informed, I shall cite the example of Scotland and Switzerland in general, where they are really su; by which they are rendered, if "worth makes the man,” truly useful and respectable members of society. I now leave it 10 the moralist to decide whether this does not account, in a satisfactory manner, for fewer crimes and misdemcanors being committed in those two countries, than almost ip any other part of
The great advantage of being expert in languages, is too obvious to bo inscrted here. It will oot be denied, that a speedy and ellectual mode of imparting the ancient and the modern tongues, in thc study of wliich the bloom of life is usually wasteri, must be of decp and incalculable importance. They form the steep and Ginty hill of science; and, being once scaled, the temple is full before us, and we tread upon flowers.
Charles V. has observed, that “every language which a man acquires, renders him another man;" so that a person who should be master of the five hundred different languages of which specimens have been recorded by professor Adelung, would be a little army in himself! It is equally true, thatthe want of a common medium of communication prevents the amalgamation into one common people of those who speak various languages, and yet live beneath the same ruler. Tocnable governments to give uniformity to the languages spoken under them, is one of the great objects this System is destined to accomplish. With few masters, and at a comparatively trilling expensc, it would enable the Emperor of Russia to cause the Ruse sian language to be communicated to all the tribes in his vast territories in a few months; and, by the same means, the English language miglitaccompany the extension of the English government, and be rendered universal in the same short time throughout the chequered population of its realms, from the millions who people the banks of the Ganges, to the Candians, the Hottentots, the Negrocs at Sierra Leone, the Maltese, the Caribs, the Canadians, the Irish, thc Scotch, the Welsh, and the Grecks of the Seven Islands.
It has been remarked, that the present Systein bears much resemblance to that of Mr. Lancaster. This is not the case, The present plan is of earlier origin, and the principles of the two are diametrically adverse to cach other, as will be obvious from the following parallel :
LANCASTER'S PLAN, Cannot exist without the aid of muinerous A las bcev anticipated froin what precedes) monitors or inder-teachers: hence it may be called the dismity or subdivision of in
ers :-even one sinale usher in the largest struction. Like other systems, it demands possible school would berital: its great printhe division of schools into classes accord
ciple being the concentration or unity of in. ing to the number, progress, and tarious siructian, as itembodiestle bumerous clas. erpacities of the pupils.
ses essential to otherschools, into one gene-
ages, or various capacirics of the pupils. The Author cannot, however, mention the name of Mr. Lancaster without expressing the admiration in which he holds his talents.
It would be affectation to say, that the Volumes wow published are submitted without some diffidence and anxiety. The produce of many a weary hour of toil and study cannot be sent forth into the world without solicitude. But the Author confides in the liberality of the nation to whom bis pretensions are addressed. He is conscious that his claims will be received with caution, and scrutinized with jealousy; but be invites candid and liberal criticism, and will only prize such reputation as may be granted from a conviction of bis deserts.
cannot exist with monitors or under leach