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J.'s plan for reading and writing.

months hence, as now—SOMETHING -something which fairly represents the subject to be acquired, which contains its essential characteristics. 2. REPEAT that "something" inressantly (sans cesse), i.e., every day, or very frequently, from the beginning, without any omission, so that no part may be forgotten. 3. REFLECT upon the matter thus acquired, so as, by degrees, to make it a possession of the mind as well as of the memory, so that, being appreciated as a whole, and appreciated in its minutest parts, what is as yet unknown, may be referred to it and interpreted by it. 4. VERIFY, or test, general remarks, e.g., grammatical rules, &c., made by others, by comparing them with the facts (ie., the words and phraseology) which you have learnt yourself.

19. In conclusion, I will give some account of the way in which reading, writing, and the mother-tongue were taught on the Jacototian system.

The teacher takes a book, say Edgeworth's "Early Lessons," points to the first word, and names it, "Frank." The child looks at the word and also pronounces it. Then the teacher does the same with the first two words, "Frank and"; then with the three first, "Frank and Robert," &c. When a line or so has been thus gone over, the teacher asks which word is Robert? What word is that (pointing to one)? "Find me the same word in this line" (pointing to another part of the book). When a sentence has been thus acquired, the words already known are analysed into syllables, and these syllables the child must pick out else

yet each component member of it bears to every other component member relations which each of us may, in his own department of study, search out and discover for himself. A man is really and soundly learned in exact proportion to the number and to the importance of those relations which he has thus carefully examined and accurately understood."

For the mother-tongue.

where. Finally, the same thing is done with letters. When the child can read a sentence, that sentence is put before him written in small-hand, and the child is required to copy it. When he has copied the first word, he is led, by the questions of the teacher, to see how it differs from the original, and then he tries again. The pupil must always correct himself, guided only by questions. This sentence must be worked at till the pupil can write it pretty well from memory. He then tries it in larger characters. By carrying out this plan, the children's powers of observation and making comparisons are strengthened, and the arts of reading and writing are said to be very readily acquired.

§ 20. For the mother-tongue, a model book is chosen and thoroughly learned. Suppose "Rasselas " is selected. “The pupil learns by heart a sentence, or a few sentences, and to-morrow adds a few more, still repeating from the beginning. The teacher, after two or three lessons of learning and repeating, takes portions-any portion of the matter, and submits it to the crucible of the pupil's mind : -Who was Rasselas? Who was his father? What is the father of waters? Where does it begin its course? Where is Abyssinia? Where is Egypt ? Where was Rasselas placed? What sort of a person was Rasselas ? What is 'credulity'? What are the 'whispers of fancy,' the 'promises of youth,' &c., &c.?”

A great variety of written exercises is soon joined with the learning by heart. Pieces must be written from memory, and the spelling, pointing, &c., corrected by the pupil himself from the book. The same piece must be written again and again, till there are no more mistakes to correct. "This," said Joseph Payne, who had himself taught in this way, "is the best plan for spelling that has been devised."

Method of Investigation.

Then the pupil may write an analysis, may define words, distinguish between synonyms, explain metaphors, imitate descriptions, write imaginary dialogues or correspondence between the characters, &c. Besides these, a great variety of grammatical exercises may be given, and the force of prefixes and affixes may be found out by the pupils themselves by collection and comparison. "The resources even of such a book as "Rasselas " will be found all but exhaustless, while the training which the mind undergoes in the process of thoroughly mastering it, the acts of analysis, comparison, induction, and deduction, performed so frequently as to become a sort of second nature, cannot but serve as an excellent preparation for the subsequent study of English literature" (Payne).

21. We see, from these instances, how Jacotot sought to imitate the method by which young children and selftaught men teach themselves. All such proceed from objects to definitions, from facts to reflections and theories, from examples to rules, from particular observations to general principles. They pursue, in fact, however unconsciously, the method of investigation, the advantages of which are thus set out in a passage from Burke's treatise on the Sublime and Beautiful :—“ I am convinced," says he, "that the method of teaching which approaches most nearly to the method of investigation is incomparably the best; since, not content with serving up a few barren and lifeless truths, it leads to the stock on which they grew; it tends to set the reader [or learner] himself in the track of invention, and to direct him into those paths in which the author has made his own discoveries." "For Jacotot, I think the claim may, without presumption, be maintained that he has, beyond all other teachers, succeeded in coordinating the method

Jacotot's last days.

of elementary teaching with the method of investigation" (Payne).

§ 22. The latter part of his life, which did not end till 1840, Jacotot spent in his native country-first at Valenciennes, and then at Paris. To the last he laboured indefatigably, and with a noble disinterestedness, for what he believed to be the "intellectual emancipation" of his fellowcreatures. For a time, his system made great way in France, but we now hear little of it. Jacotot has, however, lately found an advocate in M. Bernard Perez, who has written a book about him and also a very good article in Buisson's Dictionnaire.



8. I ONCE heard it said by a teacher of great ability that no one without practical acquaintance with the subject could write anything worth reading on Education. My own opinion differs very widely from this. I am not, indeed, prepared to agree with another authority, much given to paradox, that the actual work of education unfits a man for forming enlightened views about it, but I think that the outsider, coming fresh to the subject, and unencumbered by tradition and prejudice, may hit upon truths which the teacher, whose attention is too much engrossed with practical difficulties, would fail to perceive without assistance, and that, consequently, the theories of intelligent men, unconnected with the work of education, deserve our careful, and, if possible, our impartial consideration.

§ 2. One of the most important works of this kind which has lately appeared, is the treatise of Mr. Herbert Spencer. So eminent a writer has every claim to be listened to with respect, and in this book he speaks with more than his individual authority. The views he has very vigorously

* This essay, which was written nearly twenty-five years ago, I leave as it stands. I take some credit to myself for having early recog nised the importance of a book now famous. (June, 1890.)

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