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The 1st Class is taught the combination of
figures, which they write on their slates, as dictated by their
monitor. 2 Class Addition-which is written also
on the slate, as dictated by the
monitor. 3 Class Compound Addition Idem 4 Class Subtraction
Idem 5 Class Compound Subtraction Idem 6 Class Multiplication
Idem 7 Class Compound Multiplication Idem 8 Class Division
Idem 9 Class Compound Division Idem 10 Class Reduction
Idem 11 Class Rule of Three
Idem 12 Class Practice
According to this plan the classes of the school undergo a new and distinct arrangement applicable to this particular branch of education, and are distributed according to the progress they have made in arithmetic. At the precise time appointed for this branch, the school separate from their reading classes, and combine together in their proper order, and remain in distinct classes until their tasks are finished—and then they again reunite according to the arrangements established for the reading classes; by a due attention to the discipline of the school, upon which every thing depends, these changes are, or ought to be, effected without noise or trouble in the course of a few minutes. Such pupils as have not begun to cipher remain during this arrangement under the care of the monitors for instruction in reading; but in general, all pupils who can read and write text-hand in four letters, are introduced into the first class; and experience has shown, that according to this method boys have been taught arithmetic and writing in six or nine months, who never handled a slate pencil, or a pen, before.
Every rule in arithmetic is considered as a study appointed for every separate class according to their progress, and they never advance until they are perfect in the branch to which the attention of the pupils is directed. According to this method, whatever the number of pupils may be, the trouble of tuition is not increased—every pupil in each class is told by the monitor what task he is to perform-it is before him on his slate, and it is his sole business to do it, over and over again, until he is perfect.
Having advanced a certain length, it becomes the business of the pupils to do every thing without the instruction of the monitor. To each class is allotted a proper sum or exercise according to the arithmetical rule which they are practising at the time. The sums applicable to each class (which for convenience ought not to exceed 12) is written upon a board with chalk, or upon a card with ink, which is either suspended from the wall, or placed in such a position as to be seen by each respective class. The monitors who superintend, have previously ascertained what the result of each problem or example ought to be, whether in Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Reduction, the Rule of Three, or Practice. After the task is complete in each class, the result is called out by each pupil, and those that are correct take precedence of the others. In cases where many mistakes occur, such pupils are required to return to their primary mode of instruction until they are rendered more perfect. In both instances the great advantage is, that neither the teacher, or pupil can be a moment idle. In this case, as in all others, in the
of this new system of education, the spirit of emulation is kept up two ways-first, by obtaining precedence in the class ; second, by prize tickets, which, as has already been observed, entitle the meritorious pupil to an honorary reward from the periodical visitors of the school for quick progress in different branches of education. And thus may arithmetic be taught, as far as is necessary for the inferior classes of society, without the expense of books or paper. In this branch, as well as in others, it may be useful to the master and mistress to make themselves acquainted with the minute details and explanations given in the work before mentioned, not only with respect to arithmetic alone, but also to spelling and reading*.
RELIGIOUS AND MORAL INSTRUCTION.
The great and primary object of this institution is, that the pupils, both male and female, should be strongly impressed with a just sense of religion and morality. With this view it is an indispensable rule in the Westminster seminary, that devotional exercises in strict unison with the established church, and in a manner suited to the capacity of the youth of both sexes, and to the vices which are likely to assail them, shall be performed in the school, when assembled and dismissed every day; and that those who have been taught, shall join in a short and appropriate hymn, or one or more verses of a psalm, suited to the purpose.
* In this general exposition of the system of education, a wider range is marked out than may be absolutely necessary to adopt for the Children of the Poor; and certainly beyond the views of the Author, whose object extends no farther than to give that portion of instruction which shall strongly impress religious and moral duties on the minds of the vulgar. These details, however, may prove useful in economising education in general with respect to classes of a rank somewhat superior.
It is also required of the master or mistress, when any irreligious, criminal, immoral, or improper act, such as picking and stealing, unlawfully pawning, swearing, lying, dissimulation, cheating, obscene expressions, rudeness, a disposition to quarrel, cruelty to animals, absence from school without a just cause, disobedience to parents or relations, or others under whose care they are placed, and all other offences of a bad tendency are discovered, that each offence shall be registered in the black book, and dealt with immediately according to the extent of its turpitude or malignity, by a solemn appeal from the master or mistress to