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His leisure hours were spent in meditation on the grandeur of the face let down as it were from Heaven above. The Great Stone Face was his only teacher. He drew holy inspiration from constant communion with the grand ideal, and while the world around him were proclaiming first the Millionnaire, then the Warrior, and then the Statesman as the Great Stone Face humanized, he kept on by association approaching more nearly its sweetness, simplicity, and beauty. He became a kind of preacher and teacher to his neighbors and friends, and at last in sympathy with the grand ideas he was accustomed to utter, his face was proclaimed as the likeness of the Great Mountain Copy.
Happy is that teacher whose face, whose life is to his pupils what the Great Stone Face was to Ernest,--a moulding and transforming power. When pupils look at teachers, it should be with an upward, not a downward gaze. And when to you they turn their eyes, stand not in their way to obscure what lies beyond, but rather be to them an inspiration to draw them farther on. Children should see through the eyes of the teacher if need be beauties in the varying scenes of every-day life. There is more beauty even in the sky than was ever transferred to canvas. There is much beauty lost in this world by always looking down, by never looking up. The great aim of life is to look up, and then up, and ever up, constantly to see with keener vision things grand and glorious that fit us still for looking on. I like the ancient Greek name for man meaning one who turns the countenance upward. A nation whose men were “lookers above" could hardly fail to reach the highest point of culture and learning. A gentleman who visited the Centennial said that he went through it once making what he thought was a thorough inspection. On going over it again he found that he had missed some of the most beautiful things at first for the reason that he had not looked higher than his head. The beautiful things were above that. I remembered then for the first time with pleasure that the Ohio Educational Exhibit was close against the sky. It is said that the ancient Roman matrons were accustomed to take their little children in their arms out under the clear night sky, and point them to the starry heaven above, thus early directing their thoughts from earth to higher things. That teacher best fulfils the teacher's work who so impresses himself upon his pupils as ever to be to them a noble presence pointing upward. I would not cover up the practical with fine affectations, I would not invest the teacher's work with any mawkish sentimentality but I would have its true grandeur stand out in bold, clear outlines. That teacher is a success who can make a child feel that to do a degrading thing would be a desecration of the memories and associations of school.
During the battle of Chickamauga the corps of Gen. Thomas had four times beaten back a force thrice its own in number. When the last attack had been repulsed, General Thomas in riding along his lines bent from his horse to take a gallant Captain by the hand and thank him for his heroic efforts in the fight. Shaking it cordially the General expressed his admiration for the noble conduct and high courage of the brave Captain. Gen. Garfield who relates the story says that soon after in passing the Captain he observed him looking intently at his hand, the great tears falling down upon it. To his inquiry of what was the matter he received the reply more emphatic than elegant: “Gen. Thomas has had hold of that hand, and if any mean man ever dares to take hold of it I'll knock him down." He felt that his hand had been exalted by the approving grasp of the great General. It is something of the spirit of that captain that we wish to instil into the hearts of the boys and girls. Perhaps I cannot better convey my idea of a teacher than by quoting the language applied by Sir Richard Steele to, Lady Hastings. “Though her mien carries much more invitation than command, to behold her is an immediate check to loose behavior; to love her is a liberal education." Troy, Ohio, Oct. 26th, 1876.
John W. DowD..
Three urgent necessities exist among teachers. The first is a Permanency of Employment; the second a recognized Professional Literature; and the third is a Uniform System of professional training. The two former are, perhaps, the result of the latter. If so, the remedy for all lies in the prompt removal of this latter
We shall speak only of this latter professional want, in the hope that the suggestions, if deemed worthy, may be caught up by some abler mind and put in such shape as shall warrant speedy relief. A host of other difficulties surround the teacher, both in his preparation, and in his subsequent practice, which can only be reached by providing for these necessities, especially for the latter.
We, as a body of teachers, are struggling for a recognition among the learned professions, while we have but little or nothing beyond the merit of our cause to recommend us. This merit will not save us. We must make good our claims by open and positive effort; because a mere assumption without merit on our part will only make us appear more ridiculous in the eyes of our competitors, however meritorious our cause in itself may be.
Now, how does the great body of common-school teachersincluding the country district school, as well as those of our towns and cities-stand to-day, as to intelligence, refinement, and social influence, when compared with other learned professions? How does this body of teachers stand in respect to Libraries, and Professional Literature? Alas, alas! Here is our weak point. Teachers--or those pretending to teach-can be counted by the score, who do not own a single volume beyond the text-books they have studied, and essay to teach (such teachers teach books, not sciences), some not even a dictionary of their native tongue, to say nothing about professional books, papers, etc. This looks bad. It is bad. It is too bad! But what is the remedy?
While we do not profess to offer any specifics for these evils, yet it does seem, that our main relief lies in the adoption of a Uniform System of professional preparation. What else can reach the case? Grammar, geography, and arithmetic will not do it. These have been tried, and the matter grows worse, and chiefly too, from this too exclusive attention to these merely preparatory studies. Tests of the scientific qualifications of teachers have been set up, and with tolerable satisfaction. Why not, also, in regard to those things which are of more acknowledged importance, and which are certainly equally susceptible of tests?
But scolding about this will never bring about a better state of things. This has been done pretty effectually for the last quarter of a century, to my certain knowledge (though never having done any of it myself), and still the ignorance and indifference remain.
Every school professing to do normal work should be provided with a sound, comprehensive, professional course of instruction and practice; and all teachers should be required to pass a creditable examination in such a course before entering upon their work as teachers. This course should not be a mere rehash of common and higher branches, sprinkled with a few methods labelled “Normal," or some such specious nonsense; but a thorough classification and arrangement of the Laws of Learning and Teaching, as applied to children of all ages and advancement, and schools of every grade.
Such a course has been more than hinted at in a former article. The subject has also been brought before the “National Educational Association,” at two or three different times, in the form of papers read before the "Normal Department" of that body, in which the following recommendations were made, viz:—that a college of teachers, selected with respect to their experience and known ability, be appointed by said Association, whose duty it should be to collate in some convenient form, for the use of teachers and Normal Schools, the leading ideas
pertaining to the profession-its principles and methods as developed by actual experiment and careful research; in other words, to codify the laws of Learning and Teaching, which now seem to lack coherency and systematic arrangement. This would be doing for teaching no more than what has been done for every other profession; and surely ours ought not to be an exception in a matter of so much importance.
The possibility of accomplishing this duty to the entire satisfaction of the profession, might be called in question by some; but I see no more difficulty here than what has been overcome. in other cases. It would simply be a methodical classification and arrangement of the well-authenticated facts and principles pertaining to the subject; nothing more than what has been done in all the other departments of science and art. Absolute perfection, of course, could not be attained; but a high degree of excellence could, and would be; and this, of itself, would give it credence with the profession,
But the way the matter now stands there is little or no uniformity either in theory or practice, even by those claiming extensive knowledge on this subject; and the matter certainly could not be made worse. Such is the unsettled condition of the matters of our profession, that it is really discouraging to young and inexperienced teachers, those having the ambition to excel in their work, to be compelled to wade through such an uncertain quantity for a certainty, and such a wilderness of words for a few ideas. This is remedied to some extent in our City Schools, especially in those that have had the good sense to
establish Normal Schools. But even here the work is too empirical. There is too much special preparation, or rather it is too narrow. The great Laws of Learning are too frequently overlooked, in the blind haste to acquire skill, and to learn special methods, which can be useful only where the principles upon which they are founded, are understood. What we want is something that has bottom, that has underlying principles, so adjusted that they can be studied and learned, and made the basis of all methods, general and special; which to be useful must be self-evolved and individualized in their application, so that we may move with as great a degree of certainty and assurance in the treatment of mind, as we do in the treatment of matter--for surely the necessities for such movement here are as much greater as mind is superior to matter--and the possibilities are as great, to say the least.
Now it does seem to us that such a system could be-not devised, (for its elements are already eliminated, so to speak; and its conditions already exist), but constructed upon a purelyscientific basis; and that its claims upon our observance can be made correspondingly strong. It should become to the teaching profession what Blackstone is to the legal profession, a kind of common law, a universal guide in matters of teaching. Its claims then would become binding upon every member of the profession; and every one should be posted in this law, as he is now posted in that which is merely subordinate to this law.
Thus, I can see how every Normal School, normal class, and every teacher, could be supplied with a sure guide in studying this most essential part of his profession ; whether it be in the form of a text-book, such as has been hinted at, or a Course of Study prescribed in accordance with these facts and principles.
It is our purpose to sketch, in outline, such a course of professional study and practice, and to submit it for criticism; with a hope that it may, at least, open the way for something better.
JOHN OGDEN. Ohio Central Normal School, Worthington, Ohio.
QUAILS VERSUS CHILDREN. I am not a granger, but have been in the country somewhat during the past few weeks, and have discovered that the quails are quite numerous and very cheerful. They seem to strut about with more than usual celerity and audacity.