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English. Collect them all together into one parcel, and place it with an additional amount of my unhappy languages by itself in a course" to be called the fourth year, or honorary division.
Depend upon it, as I read the future, it will be years (if ever) before the curriculum, as it stands to-day, will be quite acceptable to many of our friends in the agricultural districts, however well suited it may be to the good people of our larger towns and cities.
Have none of the half-restrained mutterings of discontent ever reached your ears ?
I have the honor to subscribe myself
DUNHAM, October 2nd, 1890.
A. D. STEVENS.
P.S.-If you fancy your readers are able to extract the small kernel from so large a shell as this, it will encourage me to continue this question at some convenient time later on.-A. D. S.
TEACHER'S PENSION ACT.
To the Editor of the EDUCATIONAL RECORD:
SIR, I have been waiting anxiously, but patiently I hope, to see if you or any other educational authority would make reference to the discussion which took place regarding the Pension Act at the last Teacher's Convention. I think that if the teachers would use the columns of the RECORD, and discuss this matter, it would tend not only to a better understanding of the existing Act, but no doubt many suggestions might be made looking towards the amendment of some of the clauses of the present Act.
In order to draw out the views of other teachers on this (to them) important subject, I would suggest that the fund for this purpose should consist of:-(1) Contributions of teachers; (2) a subsidy from the Government, additional to the amount now given; (3) assistance from the local funds.
If teachers wish to have pensions, they must first of all do something to help themselves. As a body of men and women doing good work for the State, they are entitled to some help from the State in their declining years. The contributions to the fund should be levied as follows:-There should be a first charge on all salaries of 14 per cent., and an additional charge of 23 per cent. on the amount by which the salary exceeds $300 until the salary reaches $800, when a charge of 33 per cent. should form the contribution. There is no doubt that the present uniform percentage of all salaries is a hardship in the case of those teachers whose salaries range from $150 to $300. In my opinion, each teacher at the age of 60, or earlier, if incapacitated by infirmity, should be entitled to a pension amounting to one-fiftieth of his income at retirement for every year he has been a contributor to the fund; but in no case shall this exceed $500 per
annum. The retiring age of female teachers should be fixed at 55, and that of males at 60; while in case of premature death or leaving the profession, repayment (without interest) should be made of the premiums paid by teachers.
Is it not possible that all teachers in private as well as those in public schools might be included in such a pensionscheme if they so desired? I suppose that larger numbers would help to make it more successful.
Trusting that this initial letter will lead to a discussion of the existing Pension Act,
I remain, truly yours,
Lachine Locks, Que., 12th January, 1891.
ROBERT M. SMITH.
As our teachers still seem to be slow in making use of the Correspondence Department of our journal for the discussion of problems in connection with school routine, we cull from the correspondence column of the Popular Educator a few of the queries and answers given therein.
"I have much trouble in arranging the work for my pupils during study periods. Several of the brighter pupils have usually finished before the others have half begun. Then they get into mischief, or are restless. What can I do? The lessons cannot be made longer. If they should be, the slow pupils would become discouraged.— MARY L. P."
Can you not assign further work which the pupils may be permitted to do after finishing the regular class work? Commend what is well done, and note if any have accomplished more than the usual lesson. In this way the bright pupils may work ahead without embarrassing the slower ones. Let the extra work be chosen from some other book, to avoid useless repetition in class work.
"How soon ought children to obey in a primary class? I mean, how many times ought it to be necessary to speak to them ?— E. E. E."
They should obey at once in any grade. It should be necessary to speak but once.
"Would you ever let children mark one another's slates? If not, why not?-EXPERIMENT."
If the children exchange slates, and correct carefully in the right spirit, it can do no harm. Such correction, however, should alternate with the teacher's own. It is well to change the order occasionally in passing the slates, so that they may not always be corrected by the same pupils. Guard against any dishonest or careless work, but do not seem to watch for it.
"I have a district school. None of the children in any class can write a letter properly. Should I expect it of them? And in what grade would you teach letter writing-L. L. P."
Let the children of the second grade copy letters, to become accustomed to the letter-forms. In the third grade require written exercises in the form of letters. In the fourth grade and beyond. have constant practice in letter-writing.
"Do you think it of much use to visit schools? And would you advise an experienced teacher to visit?-ADULT.”
It is of much use to a wise and progressive teacher. Yes, an experienced teacher should visit. Her experience should have taught her humility among other things, and, further, have enabled her to see the good wherever it exists-a power that does not often reside with inexperienced teachers. Yes, visit with interest to profit.
"What kind of general exercises can I introduce on Friday afternoon which will be interesting to pupils whose ages vary from five to fourteen ?-SAME."
Singing, gymnastics, and declamations will interest them all. Object lessons can easily be adapted to the different classes. Let the younger pupils have some interesting busy work reserved for such occasions, and try spelling matches, geography reviews, or picture lessons for the older division. Read aloud now and then. Make time for that.
SOME GENERAL QUERIES: What is the origin of the term John Bull? This national nickname was derived from the name of Dr. John Bull, a famous musical composer in the time of Queen Elizabeth. Travelling incognito in Europe, he accomplished a wonderful feat of rapid composition, which led to the remark that the author must either be the devil or John Bull. The term was unknown previous to that event.
What is the Talmud? It is the first five books (Pentateuch) of the Bible, to which the ancient priests added much oral law, legal provisions and traditions. It is essentially the Bible of the Jewish
What poet has been honoured by American school teachers? Edgar Allan Poe. His remains, after his death, were deposited in Westminster Churchyard, Baltimore, where they rested for twenty-six years with nothing to mark the place of burial. The teachers of Baltimore in 1875, whose recitations had so often been enlivened by the erratic poet, at last resolved to do him an honour by erecting a monument over his grave.
Books Received and Reviewed.
[All Exchanges and Books for Review should be sent direct to Dr. J. M. Harper Box 305, Quebec, P.Q.]
The Northwest Journal of Education, published in Seattle, Washington Territory, is a well-edited periodical, and gives one an idea of the great progress which is being made in education in the West. We shall be glad to place it on our exchange list. The Phrenological
Journal, an old favourite, offers this month library prizes to contributors. The success of the Presbyterian College Journal, which we receive regularly, is a great gratification to all who are interested in Canadian periodical literature: the character of this journal is well sustained. The Canadian Record of Science is an excellent exponent of scientific investigation in our own country, and contains articles by Professors Mendenhall, Wesley Mills, Harrington, Penhallow and Sir William Dawson. The advertisement sheets of Messrs. J. E. Bryant & Co., Toronto, have been received, and we shall be very glad to review any of the volumes therein mentioned. Onward, a new venture of the Methodist Book and Publishing House, Toronto, is sure to be a success in Dr. Withrow's hands: it is a paper for young people of eight pages, and beautifully illustrated. Among many other periodicals received this month we may mention the Teacher, a high-class paper, the Montreal Medical Jonrnal and Trübner's Record of Eastern Literature. The catalogue of Amherst College has also been received, which reminds us that we would like to have a copy of the calendars of all our Canadian Colleges and Universities, together with the various reports of the Superintendents of Education in the country.
Nos ECOLES, by Dr. Napoleon Legendre, F.R.S.C., and printed by M. C. Darveau, Quebec. The perusal of this brochure has given us a good deal of pleasure. Written in the author's faultless style, and forming, as it does, a succint critique on the Quebec system of Public Instruction, our teachers will value the booklet very highly. The work is dedicated to the Hon. M. Mercier, and deals with the subject of primary instruction, intermediate schools, superior education, special classes and evening schools in a manner which cannot but recommend it to all interested in our school work.
SKETCH OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF AMERICAN LITERATURE, by Greenough White, M.A., and published by the Messrs. Ginn & Co., Boston, U.S. The object of this work, as its name implies, is to prove the independent and organic development of the literature of the United States. It is a book of the deepest interest to us on this side of the line, who talk so much of the characteristics of a Canadian Literature, and must be of deeper interest to the author's compatriots. Mr. White's task seems to be to show the close relationship between the literature and the political and social development of his native land. His essay proves him to be a man of great culture and wide literary experience, as well as a critic of great shrewdness of thought.
GERMAN COMPOSITION, by Professor Charles Harris, of Oberlin College, and published by the Messrs. D. C. Heath & Co., Boston, U.S. The teacher of German will find this book one of the best for exercising the pupil in re-translation, leading to German composition. The introductory parts of the book fully explains the plan of the author, and the pains he takes is sure to make the text-book a favourite. The stories to be translated are simple and familiar, while there is an excellent vocabulary.
LOURETTE, OU LE CACHET ROUGE, edited, with introduction and notes, by Professor Alcée Fortier, of the University of Louisiana. This, as the latest of the books for French translation in the Messrs. D. C. Heath's Modern Language Series, sustains the excellent character of these text-books, which is about the highest recommendation that can be bestowed upon it.
THE NEW PROGRESSIVE FRENCH READER, edited by the Messrs. Gregor and Curtis, of the Montreal High School, and published by William Drysdale & Co., Montreal. The editors of this new reader for our province have done their work well, and no one who takes up the book will fail to observe its greatest virtue-namely, the easy gradation of the pieces to be translated. Yet this is by no means all that has been done. The notes have been judiciously inserted, while the blending of the amusement to be derived from the perusal of the various selections, with the labor of translation, is sure to influence the pupil, according to the true natural method, to take an interest in the niceties of translation, which is so often a difficulty when other text-books are used. We are glad to learn that the book has been so well received by our teachers.
OLD MORTALITY, by Sir Walter Scott, and published by the Messrs. Ginn & Co., Boston, U.S.A. The problem, "What shall our Children Read," the above enterprising firm is trying to solve in a practical manner, and "Old Mortality," in the serviceable form in which it has been published and edited by D. H. M., will, we are sure, be welcomed both by young and old. The print is clear and large, the binding strong and durable, while the notes will prove of the greatest service to those who are not very familiar with local phraseology found in nearly every page. Coming as it does with the second and third volume of Open Sesame, so ably edited by the Misses Bellamy and Goodwin, and published by the same firm, it shows what can be done to lead children away from the trashy storybook, to the best and most interesting selections from our literature. We cannot but heartily wish such enterprise the widest success. Not only our school libraries, but our homes, should be provided with copies of Open Sesame.
BUSINESS TIPS, a mercantile dictionary containing explanations of Technical Terms, Business Forms and Office Work, compiled by Mr. Alec Thomson, of the Montreal High School, and published by Messrs. William Drysdale & Co., Montreal. This book may certainly be looked upon as a new departure in the methods of approaching the study of book-keeping. The book contains all that need be taught of book-keeping in the school, and yet the accountant himself will find it useful. There has always existed a prejudice against the study of book-keeping in the minds of some of our teachers otherwise engrossed with the classes in Classics, mathematics, etc., but we think Mr. Thomson has proved that the study may be undertaken with profit even by the pupils who do not expect to be the merchants of the