« ForrigeFortsæt »
study of natural objects in a familar way has laid a good foundation on which the superstructure of the natural sciences has been built. To children thus brought into contact with nature natural science can never simply mean a long string of hard names. Still further, this probing into things gives the child the weapon with which he can slay falsehoods in some statements and verify other statements. Again object lessons brighten the lives of children by giving them opportunities to use the brain, hand, eye, etc., practically, the senses are the doors by which knowledge reaches the brain. They teach the child to love nature and to be kind to living things. Herbert Spencer says, "To tell a child this, and to shom the other, is not to show it how to observe, but to make it a mere recipient which weakens rather than strengthens its powers of self-instruction, which deprives it of the pleasure resulting from successful activity, which presents this all-attractive knowledge under the aspect of formal tuition, and which thus generates that indifference and even disgust with which these object lessons arc sometimes regarded. On the other hand to pursue the true course is simply to guide the intellect to its appropriate food, and to habituate the mind from the beginning to that practice of self help which it must ultimately follow. Children should be led to make their own investigations and to draw their own inferences. They should be told as little as possible, and induced to discover as much as possible." When the child has thoughts and drawn inferences from his own observation the next thing is to give him the language to clothe his thoughts and to show him an orderly way of stating his thoughts and inferences.
There are several unwise methods of procedure in conducting object lessons that it might be well to warn the teacher against. Never use a book in the class. The teacher may require a book for purposes of comparison, to see that her own observations are correct. The teacher should not interpose herself between the object and the child. The child should receive information through object lessons, but first and foremost his senses should be trained, the power of attention increased, observations should be made more intelligently and comparisons more accurately stated. Too many subjects should not be taken up in one year. The teacher should not do the bulk of the work in
collecting objects for the lesson. Objects should not be seen by the children in false relations to other objects; therefore excursions to the woods, fields, etc., are valuable aids to knowledge. The teacher should not question the child in a disorderly way. After an object has been analyzed its fragments should not be left scattered about but should be formed into the complete whole. Object lessons should not stand apart from other subjects, but should be correlated with reading, writing, language lessons, arithmetic, drawing, modelling, etc. Untidiness of arrangement should not be allowed. No fitter closing to these few remarks on object teaching could be made than to quote the plaint of Carlyle, who never enjoyed the pleasures of object lessons: "For many years it has been one of my most constant regrets that no school-master of mine had a knowledge of natural history, so far at least as to have taught me the grasses that grow by the wayside, and the little winged and wingless neighbors that are continually meeting me with a salutation which I cannot answer as things are. Why did not somebody teach me the constellations, too, and make me at home in the starry heavens which are always overhead, and which I don't half know to this day?
-AGRICULTURE FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS.-The young teacher examining her "Course of Study for Elementary Schools" sees "Object Lessons" or "Useful Knowledge as one of the subjects of instruction. She further sees under these last headings the subdivisions: Form Study and Drawing, Color, Size, Weight and First Notions of Agriculture. This last subject is further defined by a note to the effect that "Special attention to the Plants, Animals, Forest Trees and Minerals of the Province and their uses' is to be given. A teacher who has spent all her life in the city will probably learn as much as she teaches the first year. Boys and girls brought up on the farm know the calls of birds, the sounds they make and the places they select for their homes, the coloring of their eggs, the various kinds of bills that birds have, the different uses they make of them, and the nature of the food as determined by the character of the beak of the bird. They can distinguish the forest trees and the trees of the orchard; they know the various kinds of grain and the insects that destroy them. They have followed the complete
life of the frog while playing in the streams of the fields. They can distinguish the various kinds of soil, and know what plants flourish best in a clay soil, in clay loam or sandy loam, etc. But there are more things that they do not know, and it is the teacher's place to supplement the knowledge of the children, correct their mistakes and help them to an orderly habit of observation and thought and statement. She must interest the children in the farm, the stock, the crops, the pests of the farm, the birds and insects that are the farmer's friends, the useful trees and the ornamental trees, the domestic animals and the wild animals of the locality, the garden flowers and the wild flowers in their season, teach them to love nature in her various moods, get the children to observe the wonderful provisions for all things that breathe, to note the changes in nature-in animals, trees, fields, flowers and so forth, so that they may realize that there is no more necessary or nobler work in the world than that of the farmer.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION,
QUEBEC, May 19th, 1899.
On which date the regular quarterly meeting of the Protestant Committee of the Council of Public Instruction was held.
Present:-R. W. Heneker, Esq., D.C.L., LL.D., in the chair; George L. Masten, Esq.; Professor A. W. Kneeland, M.A., B.C.L.; the Reverend A. T. Love, B.A.; the Right Reverend A. H. Dunn, D.D., Lord Bishop of Quebec; H. B. Ames, Esq., B.A.; Principal W. Peterson, LL.D.; W. S. Maclaren, Esq.; W. J. Watts, Esq., Q.C., M.P.P.; the Reverend E. Î. Rexford, B.A.; Principal S. P. Robins, LL.D.; John Whyte, Esq.; Inspector James McGregor. The meeting opened with prayer.
Mr. W. J. Watts was introduced and welcomed as member of the Council of Public Instruction, having been appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to succeed the Venerable Archdeacon Lindsay, resigned.
The Secretary reported that he had received a copy of an order in council approved on the 18th instant, by which
Mr. Gavin J. Walker, of Lachute, had been appointed as member of the Council.
The Reverend Dr. Shaw, Mr. Finley, and the Honorable Justice Lynch sent regrets for unavoidable absence.
The resignation of Dr. Norman as associate member of the Protestant Committee and of the Central Board was read and accepted.
Dr. James Dunbar, Q.C., of Quebec, was elected to succeed Dr. Norman as associate member of the Protestant Committee.
Mr. G. W. Parmelee resigned as member of the Central Board of Examiners. The resignation was accepted.
Moved by the Bishop of Quebec, seconded by Mr. Rexford, and
Resolved, That the Reverend A. T. Love, B.A., and Inspector Parker, B.A., be recommended to fill the two vacancies on the Central Board.
Inspector McGregor was appointed to succeed the late H. Hubbard, Esq., on the Board of Examiners for the examination of candidates for the position of Inspector of Protestant schools.
It was resolved that it be a recommendation of the Protestant Committee to the Government :-That an allowance of six hundred dollars be granted to defray expenses incurred by the teachers in attending educational conferences, the same to be chargeable to and taken from that portion of the $50,000 which may properly be regarded as set apart for the special needs of Protestant education.
A letter from the Secretary of the University Board of Examiners was read in relation to the date of the June examinations.
It was moved by Dr. Robins, seconded by the Lord Bishop of Quebec, and
Resolved, That the question of the time of holding the Matriculation and A. A. Examinations and the Preliminary Examinations be referred to a sub-committee ad hoc consisting of Principal Peterson, Chairman of the A. A. Board of Examiners, the Reverend Mr. Rexford and Mr. Masten, with instructions to consider and report at the next meeting of the Committee.
NOTICE OF MOTION.
I beg to give notice of motion, for consideration at the next regular meeting of the Protestant Committee of the Council of Public Instruction :
Ist. That in accordance with the second alternative suggested by Art. 450 of the new Code, the amount of money accruing annually from the sale of marriage licenses be devoted to Protestant elementary education.
2nd. That whenever a rate of three mills in the dollar is not sufficient under ordinary circumstances to support the necessary elementary schools in any municipalities complying with the regulations, the marriage license fees and the poor municipality fund, in addition to their share of the common school fund, be divided among such municipali. ties in proportion to the daily average attendance of pupils during the school year;
3rd. Municipalities desiring to obtain a share of the marriage license fees and of the poor municipality fund must make application to that effect to the Superintendent of Public Instruction on or before the first of September in each year;
4th. That the application must be accompanied by a certificate from the school Inspector of the district stating, first, that the school law and regulations have been faithfully carried out in the municipality; second, that the teachers are competent; third, that there are no arrears due by solvent persons; fourth, that the taxes are insufficient to support the necessary schools during the school year.
(Signed,) JAMES MCGREGOR.
A letter from Mr. Lippens was submitted along with samples of a chart for teaching fractions which he wished to have approved for use in Protestant schools.
Moved by Mr. Ames, seconded by Mr. Love, and
Resolved, That the Fractional Charts of Inspector Lippens be referred to the Text-book Committee with instructions to report regarding the same at the next meeting as to the advisability of having them formally recommended by the Committee.
Applications from various persons for diplomas were read and submitted to Dr. Peterson and Dr. Robins for ex