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We have expended $187,000,000 in railways; let us expend something to make our railway systems profitable, PATRIOTISM IN SCHOOLS.
I could wish, said Dean Carmichael, that in every schoolhouse of the land there were a portrait of the Queen, and that the British flag floated at every school-house door. In moving a vote of thanks to the Dean for his most instructive and most interesting lecture, one of his audience referred with approval to the recent action of the Protestant Committee of the Council of Publie Instruction, in ordaining that a part of the equipment grant given to ModelSchools and Academies should be expended in the purchase of a flag for each school. Attention might have been directed to a proposal made by the Hon. George W. Ross, Minister of Education for the Province of Ontario, to set apart a day for patriotic exercises in schools, endorsed by the Protestant Committee, which appointed the 23rd of May, the day before the Queen's Birthday, for the purpose, suggesting at the same time that when our aged and venerated Queen shall have ceased to occupy the throne, the celebration may be transferred to the 24th of May with the intention of keeping alive in the memory of future generations of Canadian school children, the blessings that have come to us through the long and happy reign of our beloved Sovereign.
We hope in the next number of the RECORD to publish some valuable suggestions toward the proper celebration of Empire Day.
Practical Hints and Examination Papers.
The Century Magazine for February has an interesting article on Dickens as an advocate for reform in child treatment. This is by Mr. James L. Hughes, Inspector of Pub. lic Schools, Toronto. The subject is, "What Charles
Dickens did for Childhood."
The article is most interesting and inspires one to study again under this new light flashed upon them, the characters of Wackford Squeers and Nicholas in Nicholas Nickleby, of Dr. Blimber and little Paul in Dombey and Son, of Mr. Creakle, Dr. Strong and David in David Copperfield, of Mr. M'Choakumchild, Mr. Gradgrind, Lisey Jupe and the Gradgrind Children in Hard Times.
Mr. Hughes opens with these words:
"Froebel and Dickens are the best interpreters of Christ's ideals of childhood."
In closing he asks:
Did Dickens deliberately aim to improve educational systems and reveal the principles of educational philosophy? The answer is easily found.
He was the first great English student of Froebel. He deals with nineteen different schools in his books. He gives more attention to the training of childhood than any other novelist, or any other educator except Froebel. He was one of the first Englishmen to demand national control of education, even in private schools, and the thorough training of all teachers. He exposed fourteen types of coercion, and did more than anyone else to lead Christian men and women to treat children humanely. Every book he wrote, except two, is rich in educational thought. He took the most advanced position on every phase of modern educational thought, except manual training. When he is thoroughly understood he will be recognized as the "Froebel of England."
There are three things that bring the teacher no return. These are scolding, grumbling and worrying.
There are three things also that bring the teacher a conThese are commending, patience and a
stant revenue. cheerful face.
Do you have difficulty in teaching your pupils to express themselves correctly, neatly and pointedly? There is no royal road to this end. The first essential is that the teacher speak correctly himself. In the next place the pupil must have constant opportunity of expressing himself under the watchful eye of the teacher, so that he may be corrected. This opportunity is given him in the reading, arithmetic and geography lessons, and in fact in all the school exercises.
Pupils should be taught a profound admiration for our wonderful English tongue. Let us cherish, as one of our best inheritances from the past, this glorious language of ours. Translations may be made of incalculable value in securing polished English. They are of very little moment so far as learning the foreign language is concerned. They only prevent the pupil thinking in the language he wants to learn. But if the pupil is constantly urged to render
into choice English without deviating a hair's breadth from the original, the effect upon the English spoken and written will soon be apparent.
How many sentences does each one of your pupils say in your presence a day?
Could it be possible that even one child goes through a whole day's exercises without once uttering a single sentence? Do you allow your pupils to finish their own sentences, or, do you, in fear of wasting time, complete them ?
The culture of our Canadian people is stored up in the language they use. Teachers, the future of Canadian culture rests with you.
We may say that we will not be judged by any such narrow test. We cannot help ourselves. A lady complained to the principal of a certain school that her child's pronounciation of English was being being utterly ruined. "Why, the child is actually saying Raleigh (al like al in the French word mal)!
How much genius has gone to waste because the authors of it had not the language where with to give it expression!
The complaint is frequently made that the reading books become stale and uninteresting to the pupils.
Familiarity breeds contempt.
When a boy, "turning to mirth all things on earth as only childhood can," has ornamented all the chief characters in the pictures, elongated the noses of the men and placed hats of wondrous device upon the women and children, he feels that his duty is done so far as a study of the reading lesson is concerned.
If you have never done so, try this plan. Keep charge of the reading books, distributing them just before the lesson begins. Tell each child to read silently the first sentence. Then allow the pupils to tell you the words that are unfamiliar to them. Write these on the black-board, while some of the children, if possible-you yourself, if nottell the use of the words. Then have the books closed, the children keeping the place in the book with the finger. Allow some child to tell briefly and pointedly what he has Sometimes omit the recital of what has been read, as the reading aloud some connected narrative is in itself an excellent exercise in English.
All sorts of supplemental readers can be procured, from the more or less expensive geographical and historical readers to the cheap, but good, penny and five cent classics. These are suitable for all ages of pupils, as they range from Milton's sublime themes to Grimm's "Fairy Tales."
A teacher was giving a lesson on one of the great railways. This was what the eaves-dropper said he heard: Teacher-What is the next large place on this line? Pupil-L.
Teacher-What is the next large place on this line?
Thus it went on until the close of the lesson, there being some twenty large places on the part of the line under discussion.
It is very suggestive of the story told by the king's story teller, when he was ordered to produce a tale without an end. "There was a barn full of corn. First one sparrow came and carried off a grain of corn. sparrow came and carried off another And so ad infinitum.
Then another grain of corn."
Thus was disposed of one of our magnificent railway lines, the resorts of struggling, throbbing human life, next to the navigable waters, the most important routes through the country.
The next number of the RECORD will contain suggestions for making such a lesson pleasant and profitable. Here are a few reasons why students shonld be separated and examinations carefully supervised:
To avoid the self-reproach that a student would naturally feel who accidentally overlooked the work of another student.
Too great a moral strain should not be placed upon children.
Students have been known to copy. The honest student ought not to be disadvantaged thereby; nor should the onus of reporting a case of copying be placed upon children.
The highest moral tone prevails where examinations are most strictly supervised. This is one way in which ǝhildren are taught to respect the rights of others.
It is night.
All over the land little white-robed figures are kneeling around the little white cots.
But Paul aged six is in bed.
Nothing of him is seen above the white counterpane but a tuft of reddish hair, a broad-freckled forehead and a little freckled nose.
"Why, Paul!" a voice says, "you have not said your prayer.' "Yes, I have. I said it in bed," a sleepy voice rep ies.
"Oh! but you ought to kneel beside the bed to say it. Come, get up like a good boy."
A grunt from Paul followed by a faint suspicion of a snore, while the little nose and his forehead disappear from view. As only a novice tries to reason with a sleepy child, the room is presently in darkness.
It is morning.
The children and all living things are waking to life and activity again.
Paul wants a story.
"What would you like Paul," asked his aunt.
"Oh; something about bears or lions."
"Very well, I will tell you about Daniel in the lion's den."
Rapidly and vividly is sketched this story of stories, the teller closing with the question, "Do you think Daniel crawled into bed to say his prayers." "Oh! no, three times a day he knelt at the open window, where anyone might see him," says the narrator.
"Another please," l'aul says with a face as stolid and unreadable as the sphinx.
Again it is night. And the little prayers forming one grand chorus are ascending from thousands of childish. lips What a blessed fact !
Paul too is going to bed.
Suddenly there is a flop on the floor and Paul is kneeling down to say his prayer.
"Better is he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city," even if he be but a little child.
STORIES FOR REPRODUCTION.
One of our exchanges gives the following tales, all of them suitable for use in connection with the English class. The value of making pupils reproduce in correct language, what is read to them, is well known, though it is sometimes difficult to obtain just the kind of stories or sketches