Past and Present of Our Common School Education: Reply to President B. A. Hinsdale, with a Brief Sketch of the History of Elementary Education in America

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Leader Printing Company, 1877 - Public schools - 87 pages
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Page 7 - It is therefore ordered, That every township in this jurisdiction, after the Lord hath increased them to the number of fifty householders, shall then forthwith appoint one within their town to teach all such children as shall resort to him to write and read...
Page 43 - I have devoted especial pains to learn, with some degree of numerical accuracy, how far the reading, in our schools, is an exercise of the mind in thinking and feeling, and how far it is a barren action of the organs of speech upon the atmosphere.
Page 15 - ... the constitution of Pennsylvania made it obligatory upon the Legislature to foster the education of the citizens ; notwithstanding all this, it was not till 1833-34 that a system of common schools, supported in part by taxation of property of the State, for the common benefit of all the children of the State, was established by law ; and although the law was passed by an almost unanimous...
Page 33 - The improvement of the schools has of late years permitted the college to advance the grade of its teaching and adapt the methods of its later years to men instead of boys. This improvement of the college reacts upon the schools to their advantage; and this action and reaction will be continuous.
Page 15 - That therefore, which makes a good constitution, must keep it, viz: men of wisdom and virtue, qualities that because they descend not with worldly inheritances, must be carefully propagated by a virtuous education of youth, for which after ages will owe more to the care and prudence of founders, and the successive magistracy, than to their parents for their private patrimonies.
Page 38 - At the age of six and a half years, I was sent to Master John Lovell's Latin school. The only requirement was reading well ; but, though fully qualified, I was sent away to Master Griffith, a private* teacher, to learn to read, write and spell. I learned the English Grammar in Dilworth's Spelling Book by heart. Griffith traced letters with a pencil, and the pupils inked them. " Entered Lovell's school at seven years.
Page 45 - In the summer there were few, if any, schools, as all who could hoe a hill of corn, or do housework, were required to labor. At this early period, the attainments of those who had no further instruction than was received in the district school were limited to very few branches, the reasons for which are quite obvious ; namely, the inability of the teachers on the one part, and the limited time of attendance allowed by the parents on the other. Spelling, reading, writing, and arithmetic as far as...
Page 16 - Legislature, so foreign was the idea of public schools to the habits of the people, so odious was the idea of taxation for this purpose, that even the poor who were to be specially benefited, were so deluded by political demagogues as to clamor for its repeal. Many members who voted for the law lost their nominations, and others, although nominated, lost their election. Some were weak enough to pledge themselves to a repeal of the law; and in the session of 1835 there was an almost certain prospect...
Page 43 - The result is, that more than eleventwelfths of all the children in the reading classes, in our schools, do not understand the meaning of the words they read ; that they do not master the sense of the reading lessons, and that the ideas and feelings intended by the author to be conveyed to, and excited in, the reader's mind, still rest in the author's intention, never having yet reached the place of their destination.
Page 37 - Furthermore, it was ordered that, in the writing schools, the children "should begin to learn arithmetic at eleven years of age ; that, at twelve, they should be taught to make pens." Until eleven years old, all the pupils did, in a whole forenoon or afternoon, was to write one page of a copy book, not exceeding ten lines. When they began to cipher, it rarely happened that they performed more than two sums in the simplest rules. These were set in the pupil's manuscript, and the operation was there...

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