of our dense and neglected population. We cite a passage in the first Report of the Committee of the Home and Colonial Infant School, bearing upon this necessity, and showing also that the Society from the first had just notions of its task and its capabilities:

If persons who are now laboriously engaged in teaching adults could show the limited success which attends their most persevering efforts—if that active and faithful band of Christians who are toiling in Sunday-schools could state the difficulties they experience in communicating to children, not previously instructed, the most simple truths of the Bible—if the teachers of the National and British and Foreign Schools could set forth the time lost with children who are neglected until they are seven or eight years of age—if the Judges of the land could tell us how many young delinquents, trained from their cradles to every vicious practice, are brought to the bar of justiceabove all, if the Ministers of the Gospel could tell to what an extent the duties of their office are impeded, because it is impossible to find language in which to convey their all-important message to minds allowed to remain without early instruction, even the most prejudiced would feel that Infant Schools are entitled to far more encouragement than they receive.

Whilst then so many are laudably engaged in the education of the adult population, and of children of riper years, this Committee desire to begin at the beginning--to purify, as it were, the flowing stream at its source-to lay hold of the rising generation, and to provide them with an education, essentially moral and religious, up to the period of their entering into other schools or commencing a life of daily labour in our mauufactories and fields. And in doing this the Committee are satisfied that they shall greatly shorten, and render more effectual, the work of all who have to do with the instructiou of the poor during the subsequent period of their lives; and at the same time, provide for the wants of a large proportion of the population-especially of the manufacturing population—who, engaged as they are from morning until evening, cannot after the age of seven obtain anything like the semblance of education.

It is not the acquisition of words ; it is not the tenacity of memory without the exertion of the powers of reasoning; it is not even the acuteness of intellect, to which education is to be limited. Neither is any visitor to a school to be a judge of its system and the proper progress of the scholars, from a troop of well-marshalled monitors and a complete apparatus in the character of working machinery; nor even from the admirable display of a few of the pupils. No signs can be more deceptive and delusive. The intellect of all must be gradually guided from that which is precisely known to the unknown ; and the moral sense must be formed on the great standard that is the foundation and guide for all that is good in time and eternity.

But have infant schools, which professed so much a considerable number of years back, as tested by experience, fulfilled this mis

sion? Have they realised in regard to disposition, discipline, judgment, and intelligence, what was promised by their patrons ? Has the system of that period received gradual improvements, till it has reached a mature excellence, or has it degenerated and utterly failed? Let that high authority, the Rev. Dr. Mayo, give an answer, as we find it in one of the publications now before us, viz., "Practical Remarks on Infant Education." He there says, speaking of these establishments four years ago,-

These institutions held out the cheering promise of ameliorating the moral, as well as the intellectual condition of the working classes ; and it was delightful to witness the lively intelligence, the cheerful good humour, the pure morality, the simple piety that prevailed, in many of these schools. Numerous were the instances, not only of children improved, but of parents reclaimed through their happy influence. But, alas ! our expectations were found to be too sanguine, and the infant school system had scarcely been formed, when symptoms of degeneracy began to manifest themselves. The teachers, hastily, and, in consequence, superficially instructed, caught up a few forms, and failed to imbibe the spirit of the method. In some instances, it was made a mere plaything : to sing a few vulgar or trivial songs, to make certain ludicrous movements, and to talk over a few pictures, were thought to be the principal business of the school. In many more, it was made an exhibition; a few children more lively than the rest were continually paraded before visitors, and a great deal of wonder was excited by the repetition of words which were not understood, or the display of knowledge, which puffed up rather than edified. If the coarser exhibitions of brutal passion, which disgrace the infant population in our streets, were restrained, still it was most painful to see pride, vanity, and other works of the flesh nurtured where they should have been checked. Out of this very spirit of display, it arose that in a large proportion of the schools, the communicating information on a variety of ill-selected topics was made of more importance than training the children to habits of accurate observation and correct expression. Indeed, it was too generally the case, even in the schools enjoying the highest reputation, that the development of the mind was more sedulously pursued than the improvement of the temper and the formation of the moral character. And whence did this rapid degeneracy spring ? Partly, as I hinted before, from the inadequate instruction which teachers received, but still more from forgetfulness of the great objects for which infant schools had been established. Inferior temporal considerations had occupied the place of superior and spiritual aims. We must then retrace our steps; we must supply our deficiencies. The infant school must be once more a sacrifice to the Lord; the humble and grateful offering of Christian charity and zeal to Him, who once lisped in the accents of childhood, and tottered in the weakness of infancy. Once more must be inscribed on the portals of our Infant Schools—“Holiness to the Lord.” While all the sensibilities of infancy are waiting, as it were, for the first influence that shall call them forth, the precious but fleeting hours must be consecrated, not so much to a "knowledge " that "vanishes away," as to that knowledge which is "life eternal,"

the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. The school of infancy must be as the gate of heaven, and the scenes of early instruction be regarded as “ holy ground.”

Now, here the real and actual objections which have arisen to infant schools are plainly and honestly stated. But it is most natural that the person who clearly perceives error should suggest how it may be avoided; that he who discovers the seat of the disease should point out the remedies for its cure. No doubt dwells in any reflecting mind with regard to the fact of moral training being indispensable, together with intellectual teaching; but most fit it is that he who has made the two branches to unite with marked effect,--who has by selection and rejection of principles and means,-pioneered, it is true by a Pestalozzi, -should evolve a system that would simultaneously educate the whole man,—that would like a kindly handmaid acceptably assist to develope, invigorate, and at the same time to purify from obstructive coarseness every element and faculty of our being, whether material or spiritual, whether physical, moral, or intellectual.

Accordingly, we learn that Dr. Mayo had for a series of years been practically testing a scheme grafted on Pestalozzi's principles, but accommodated to English character and sentiment. This system he has carried out in his school at Cheam, which is now not uncelebrated as a private establishment. It remained, however, to introduce the plan modified and amended, so as to meet the necessities of poorer and larger numbers of scholars. This is what has been done in the Home and Colonial Infant School; and the results, we augur, will far outshine what have been witnessed in any academy limited to the sons of the rich, or order of schools that has ever yet been opened to the children of the middle classes.

Confessing our own inadequacy to treat of Infant Schools,—to describe what the teachers ought to be; what the manner and nature of the training and tuition, in order to a proper formation of character; what the results reasonably to be looked for from a right system sedulously carried out; or what have been the fruits already realised of the experiment so anxiously commenced and conducted in Gray's Inn Road, -we with alacrity and confidence refer to some of the contents of the publications before us, where we find ample and excellent substitutes for the business of explanation. In the "Practical Remarks on Infant Education,” by Dr. Mayo and his sister Miss Mayo,—the latter standing in the foremost rank of philanthropists in respect of valuable efforts as well as of ardent zeal and sustained enthusiasm, --we find, for example, that lady thus expressing herself on the subject of religious instruction:

Before a teacher begins a Scripture lesson, he should endeavour to prepare the children's minds to take an interest in the subject of it; this may be done by exciting their curiosity, and finding some point in their own experience

analogous to the one it is wished to bring before them. Suppose you are going to give your first lesson on the creation of all things by Almighty power; you should prepare them to receive the truth and to be interested in it, by leading them to the consideration of what man can make—what he requires before he is able to make anything,—what he cannot makewho must have made the things that man could not have made ; when their attention and interest are thus drawn to the point desired, then show from the Bible how God in the beginning created, or made out of nothing, the heavens and the earth.

Study to present the subject of every lesson in a simple, clear, and striking manner; the great fault in oral instruction in general is, that it is diffuse and rambling. When you get interested in the subject many ideas will suggest themselves, and you will be in danger of not observing whether the children keep pace with you; but remember the great point is, not how much you can say, but how much they can receive with advantage. Your endeavour in each lesson should be to imprint on their memories one simple fact, one important truth, or influential precept. Let the whole instruction more or less tend to the one point; and do not ingeniously endeavour to see how many different parts of Scripture you can hang on to the lesson, for by so doing you distract the children's attention from the main subject, and weaken its interest.

Again, do not treat children as mere recipients of knowledge, but bring their minds into activity by questions calling forth thought, and by so presenting truth to them that they will seek and grasp it for themselves; they then, in addition to the knowledge communicated, improve the power of thinking and acquiring habits of investigation. Endeavour to engage all the school to feel an interest in some part of the lesson, if they cannot understand the whole ; and before closing, repeat the substance of it in condensed, simple language.

With regard to moral education, we have these suggestions and lessons :

One of the first impressions that a teacher should endeavour to make on children's minds, with a view to their moral education, is the conviction of their responsbility to God. They must be taught that they are not at liberty to sin,—that it is not a matter of indifference how they behave, so that they injure no one,—but that, on the contrary, they will be called to account for the omission of what is right, as well as the commission of what is wrong. With the knowledge of their responsibility, let the impression that the eye of the Lord is ever upon them be connected, that their habitual feeling may be, “Thou God seest me.”

It is very important also to accustom them to consider their right position in society, and their consequent duties. Teach them that the different grades of rank are established by the Lord, and that each has its appointed. work, as each member of our body has its peculiar office. By leading them to look to God as the disposer of their lot, and to themselves as unworthy recipients of his mercies, you will promote a spirit of cheerfulness and contentment, and a desire of rendering to all their due.

In order to correct that selfish principle which disposes us to view things through a false medium, considering more what others owe to us than what we owe to them, bring before them the claims of their companions—of their master-of their parents—of God. Teach them to consider their actions in reference to these claims, and see that they not only acknowledge the principle, but that they carry it out into practice ; for it is essential, whilst awakening feelings and instilling principles, to cultivate moral habits; and habits are formed by the frequent repetition of an action. Call upon them in their intercourse with each other, to exercise kindness and sympathy. Your own conduct should awaken the feeling, and the habit will be formed if the children be stimulated to little acts of kindness and tenderness. Selfdenial also may be called into action by encouraging a readiness to give up their own pleasures and privileges to administer to some less favoured companions; and in their daily intercourse, abundant opportunities will occur for the formation of a disposition to forbear and to forgive.

Intellectual culture obtains, among other excellent hints and directions for infant-school teachers, with regard to one great object to be sought,--viz., the exercise and improvement of the senses, the following observations:

To attain this end, lessons on objects should form a prominent feature in all infant schools ; at first the selection might be miscellaneous, but in every lesson the teacher should have some definite aim. The children should examine the objects presented to them; and any simple experiment which renders their qualities obvious, should be performed in their sight: they should then be called upon to mention their qualities, parts, (if the object has any peculiar parts) and uses ; to discover what qualities fit them for their particular uses occasionally having their attention directed by a question, but never having a name given to them till they feel their need of it. The name will not communicate to a child the original idea, but the idea being formed by means of perception, a name fixes it upon the memory, and is the means of communication with others. Children derive little pleasure from words, whilst they are all activity when called to observe things; the reason is obvious ; words are only the signs of ideas, and there must be a clear notion of the thing signified before the sign can be of use.

In commencing a course of lessons on objects, the first substance chosen should be one in which some quality exists in a striking degree! the cause, it may be of its usefulness, -as in glass, transparency; or in sugar, sweet

Care should be taken, in the course of a few days, to present a different object, in which the same quality is obvious, that the abstract idea may be formed. In this way a series of objects should be brought before the children, for the purpose of making them acquainted with all the several qualities cognizable by their external senses. This plan has been adopted in the first series of “Lessons on Objects ;' and might be carried out to a greater extent; but teachers should endeavour fully to understand the principle upon which these, or any other model lessons are formed, otherwise they will be continually making mistakes in the application of them, and be unable to carry them out with effect.


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