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AGENCY AND INSPECTION. In London, Mr. Baxter has visited numerous schools, and rendered assistance at various public examinations. He has also been much engaged among schools in the country, in inspection, conducting public examinations, and holding meetings. Forty-five places have been thus visited by him during the last quarter.
Manchester and its neighbourhood has continued to receive Mr. Wilks's attention, and visits for inspection, and other official business, bave been made by him to fortyseven other places.
Mr. Madgin has been engaged in the West of England in inspecting schools, holding meetings, and conducting examinations in sixteen towns and villages.
The Principality continues to receive much attention from the Society's agents. In the North, Mr. Phillips has held conferences with committees, delivered lectures, held public meetings, conducted examinations, and inspected schools in fifty-sis places. South Wales has received, through Mr. Roberts, the advantage of the Society's oversight and counsel in various ways.
We take this opportunity to recommend to teachers, that, when possible, they prepare for the Society's Inspectors the fullest and most accurate information which they can furnish respecting their schools, statistically and otherwise. Many valuable suggestions present themselves from such statistics, which those gentlemen know how to turn to good account in offering advice to teachers and school committees. Many valuable and encouraging facts are thus also brought to light, which none know better how to appreciate than teachers themselves. Such facts are also highly valued by the Society's Committee, who are always gratified to receive them.
The following extracts illustrate how much a teacher may live in the affections of his pupils, and how ready they are to show the fact when opportunity offers. A teacher in Kent writes
“During a recent illness I received considerable encouragement from the repeated visits and inquiries of my scholars, who thereby manifested their attach. ment and regard for me. Little presents, brought from time to time by my boys, though of trifling value in themselves, also showed a kindly feeling and interest." Another teacher says:
A becoming feeling of gratitude was expressed the other day by one boy who has removed to London presenting me with a gold pencil-case, and my pupil. teacher with a silver one, each accompanied with a very pleasing note, written by himself. These incidents have much encouraged me, as they prove that my labours are appreciated by some.” The following may encourage female teachers to “sow in hope."
А poor girl once came under my care, who, from bad home-education and example, was most depraved in habits, and incorrigible in disposition. After being a little time under my care, and, therefore, under the influence and discipline of school, she became quite reformed. She remained with me some years, and pursued a good course until she went into service, where she now is, a pattern of poor respectability. A short time ago she joined a Christian congregation, and is, I hope, a child of God.”
Masters also may gain some encouragement by reading the following :
“A boy, formerly under my care, attracted my attention in the street by his
apparent cleverness, though his looks and demeanour were those of ragged, dissipated poverty. I invited him to my school, and gave him instruction gratuitously. The cultivation of his mind and heart were not useless. He grew attached to me, and attentive to my instruction. He stayed three years, then went to America, and returned after five years, when he called upon me to state that he owed all, under God, to me, for his being a Christian ; and that he was about to enter on the ministry.”
Though of a different kind, we think the following is both cheering and suggestire :
“ A boy came to me about six years ago almost an idiot. By treating him myself with the greatest kindness, and requiring the boys to do the same, although he was 'silly Dick' when he came to me, under the influence of this treatment, and the instructions he received, he has grown more sensible, and holds a good situation in a grocer's shop, as an intelligent, well-informed young man.”
British teachers must endeavour to believe that they accomplish more good than they ever hear of, as the following fact suggests :
" A boy, recently returned from a long sea voyage, manifested his attachment for his school, and for me, by soliciting permission to attend school again, during the few weeks he might remain at home, awaiting the time when his captain would be again ready for sea. Through this sailor I have derived great encouragement; for, when one of my pupils, I regarded him as being by no means one of the smartest of his class to learn ; but he now astonishes and delights me with his general infor. mation, gathered, I know, from lessons he received at school from me. I learn from this incident, that though with some children, accounted duil, the teacher may appear at times to be labouring to no purpose, he is really communicating information which, like seed sown, in due season produces its fruit, and that abundantly."
How much a child's future history is determined by the treatment he receives from those about him at some critical period of his life, we may gather from the next extract :
“ About three years ago I found that a monitor, in whom I placed the greatest confidence, had robbed me. I was about to dismiss him instantly from the school; but thinking I might have some influence over his future conduct, I resolved to keep him in the school. I told him the consequences of departing from the path of integrity, and subsequently treated him kindly ; this treatment, under the Divine blessing, was successful; be ever afterwards conducted himself honestly, and showed by his exemplary conduct that his repentance was sincere. He is now in a situation, and his employers are highly satisfied with his conduct."
To what extent the following indicates the secret of true success, our readers will readily perceive :
“ I have now been at nearly three years, during which period many have been my discouragements and encouragements; but the latter have more than counterbalanced the former. I well remember, when first I went to supply at my present school, also the first difficulty I encountered. During the opening of the school it was evident, by the base conduct of some of the elder boys, that nothing short of the breaking up of the school would satisfy them; for on the day previous they had made the bold attempt to turn out the teacher, and had succeeded. Much depended that morning upon my success as a teacher. I am happy to say, before the day expired they loved me; and these very boys, with one exception, have turned out well."
The elevation of the children's personal and moral habits, and the improvement of the home, through the school, are objects of increasing
solicitude among British teachers generally,-a fact in which we heartily rejoice.
" The limited time for which the children come, except in a very few cases, prevents us from well ascertaining the effects of the education upon them ; but from visits paid to parents, and remarks made by them, I find—what is very encouraging to a teacher—that the greater part prefer being at school to being at home. In many of the lower class, habits of cleanliness and order have been formed, where beforetime they were almost wholly unknown. Several pleasing instances have occurred, to show that the religious and moral lessons, by God's blessing, have not been thrown away. Parents have stated that they can obtain that prompt obedience from their children, which, prior to their attendance at the British School, they could not obtain without compulsory treatment.”
HOME CORRESPONDENCE.-EFFECT OF GOOD TEACHING ON
THE MORAL HABITS. The Committee of the Banbury British School, in reporting the highly flourishing and satisfactory state of their Schools, offer the following remarks :
" Not only has the attendance increased, but the average of regularity is far higher than ever, and this they attribute to the introduction into the Boys' School of a system of quarterly communications with the parents. By this plan the progress, behaviour, and regularity of each child for the quarter is communicated to the parents. An exact report of the absence of each child is registered, and parents are thus led to see the heavy sum of lost time effected by the five and ten minutes wasted daily. Next to the regularity of the children, the Committee are happy to say there has been a marked improvement in the habits of order and personal cleanliness. Inasmuch as they feel that discipline is the highest aim of education, and as they anticipate little good from mere intellectual training, without the discipline of the affections, they call the attention of the friends of the Institution to this interesting fact. There are in attendance at the Boys' School upwards of 200 children; of these 180 were in the School during the last week.
"The Ladies' Committee, too, have to report most favourably of the numbers in attendance in the Girls' School. There are on the books 163; in attendance last week 130.
“In the Boys', to the usual branches have been added, free-band drawing, figure drawing, and mapping ; and a most satisfactory feature of these classes is, that they have been voluntarily attended by the children after school-hours.
“Besides these classes there has been established a weekly simple lecture upon " Common Things.' These lectures were only given over for a few months at the commencement of the hay season, and the large attendance up to the last encourages the Committee to believe that this voluntary part of the children's education will be attended with the best results to the neighbourhood, by inducing habits of inquiry, and forming the basis of self-education, wbich will go on to the lasting benefit of the neighbourhood. Some of the subjects selected have been the Hand, two lectures ; the Eye, two lectures ; the Brain and Spine, one lecture ; the Foot, one lecture; and to these may be added, several upon Electricity, Air, Heat, Attraction, &c.
“Book-keeping has also been introduced, and seems likely to prove a very advantageous branch of education for the more advanced boys."
The testimony of the Committee of the Millwall British School, which is situated in a densely crowded district, in the east of the metropolis, is to the same effect :
" Your Committee refer with satisfaction to the circumstance that these Schools
have now been in operation for a period approaching eight years, and although during this interval Millwall has given birth to several projects, having for their object the improvement and elevation of its inhabitants, to none of them will your Institution yield the palm, either in respect of prosperity or of general usefulness.
“The present personal appearance and behaviour of the children on the island are in striking contrast with what they were eight years ago—a contrast which is highly favourable to cleanliness and order—and which result, we have good reason to believe, is in a great measure attributable to the discipline and training carried on in your Institution.
s Your Committee are gratified in being enabled to state, that during the two past years the schools have, upon the whole, been in a better position than at any former period, inasmuch as the attendance has been steadier and their efficiency has con. sequently been on the increase."
STOCKPORT.-EXAMINATION OF THE BRITISH SCHOOL. In November last, a public examination of the scholars attending the British School, under the instruction of Mr. Curtis and pupil-teachers, was held in the school-room, Wellington-road, in the presence of the parents of the children, and a highly-respectable company. The room was densely crowded, as a compli. ment to Mr. Curtis, prior to his removal to London, where he has accepted the appointment of Vice-Principal in the Society's Normal College for training teachers. The Mayor (Joseph Orme, Esq.) presided, and contiguous to his worship sat S. W. Carrington, Esq., Mr. J. Eskrigge, Mr. Milner, the Rev. W. Gurney, Mr. John Andrew, &c. The scholars of both sexes were submitted to a severe exami. nation in grammar, Scripture, geography, slate arithmetic, reading and explanatory passages thereon, mental arithmetic, French, and history ; each subject being interspersed with pieces of music, sung by the scholars from the note-book. At the termination of the examination, Mr. Carrington proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Curtis, for the indefatigable way in which he had discharged his duties as master of the school; and pointed to the fact, as an evidence of his success, that when be first entered upon his duties there were only sixty or seventy daily attenders, and now they numbered 340. Having wished Mr. Curtis hearty success in his new sphere in London, he suggested to the parents the propriety of subscribing and presenting to the late master some testimonial of respect, prior to his leaving the town, in which the committee would doubtless most cordially join. Mr. Milner seconded the motion, and expressed his personal gratitude to Mr. Curtis, for having imparted such sound and practical instruction to the dear children as might be useful to them in after-life. Mr. Councillor Burkitt also spoke, in equally complimentary terms, of Mr. Curtis's exertions, and declared the high satisfaction he derived in having four of his sons in the school. Mr. Curtis, in his valedictory address, expressed his warm appreciation of the good wishes of his friends, justified the system of instruction and discipline he had adopted, and which would be contioued by his successor ; and said, he would have regretted leaving Stockport, had it not been that he had, unsolicited, been appointed to a very honourable situation at the Normal College, Borough-road, London.
BRITISH TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION. The usual Quarterly Meeting of this Association was held in the Theatre of the Normal College, Borough-road, on Saturday, November 3rd. The Essay, read by Mr. Dadson, of Chatham, was on the means of securing early attendance at school, and was followed by a discussion on the subject, in which many of the principal London Teachers took part. '
Dr. Cornwell then addressed the meeting. After briefly reviewing the progress of popular education during the last twenty years, and sketching the history of the
Association from its commencement in 1836, he concluded by resigning the office of President of the Association, in consequence of his retirement from his official position in the Training College, and from active public life.
It was then moved by Mr. G. White, of Abbey-street, and seconded by Mr. Baines, of Clapham: “That while the members of this Association reluctantly accept from Dr. Cornwell the resignation of the office of President—an office which he has so kindly and efficiently filled for several years—they cannot do so without acknowledging their obligations to him for the wise counsels and the valuable aid they have been accustomed to receive from him, and without expressing their earnest wish for his future happiness."
The resolution was adopted unanimously, in a very full assembly of the members, every one of whom appeared desirous to testify, in the strongest manner, his sense of the value of the services which, during a period of twenty years, Dr. Cornwell has rendered to the Association, and the respect and affection which are entertained towards him by the whole body of British Teachers.
It was subsequently resolved, on the motion of Mr. Ryder, seconded by Mr. Lawrence, “That Mr. Joshua Fitch be requested to accept the office of President of the Association."
The Essay in February next will be read by Mr. Joseph Bennet, of Islington, on "Varieties of Character, and the treatment best adapted to them.”
DECIMAL WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.
Side by side with the movement which we have already described to our readers for decimalising the English coinage, another kindred effort is being made, of not less -importance, although the attainment of its object is probably more distant. An "International Society for obtaining a uniform Decimal System of Measures, Weights, and Coins " has been formed under promising auspices, and has recently held its first meeting in Paris. Its object, as far as this country is concerned, is to secure the adoption of the entire metrical system now in use throughout France and Belgium ; and if it be well organized, and its business well administered, it will, before long, be actively engaged in diffusing information on the subject, and claiming the attention of all thoughtful men, and of teachers especially, to its objects and intentions.
Meanwhile, the subject well deserves the serious consideration of all masters in elementary schools. It is one which concerns them intimately, and on which they are deeply interested in forming an accurate opinion. We can scarcely do more here than urge it on their notice, and offer some very brief elementary considerations on the whole question.
That our own tables of weights and measures are unsatisfactory, and that they give rise to serious difficulties in teaching, every person engaged in schools knows very well. “ Three barley-corns are one inch, twelve inches a foot, three feet a yard, five and a half yards a pole, forty poles a rood. Again, sixteen ounces are a pound, twenty-eight pounds a quarter, one hundred and twelve pounds a hundredweight." Our memories have all been burdened in this way, we have all tried vainly to discover some plan in the arrangement of these numbers, have given up the task in despair, and been driven back to the almost hopeless endeavour to remember them as abstract propositions.
It is not our present purpose to trace the causes of all these irregularities and inconsistencies; they may be ascertained, however, on a careful study of the best books on arithmetic. From such sources it will be seen why the words ounce and pound have one meaning when gold and silver have to be weighed, and another in the case of cheese or butter,-how the words yard, ell, foot, acre, puncheon, gallon,