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another, whox whew reproved, wilt Ay into a passion, and there a thirdy who will stand sullen and silent before you when he has done wrong, and is neither to be touched by kindness, nor awed by authorityNow allerbese characters' must be studied." * By understanding the dispositions and characters of such a class of pupils as I have described, I do not mean merely watching them with vigilance in school, so that none of their transgressions shall go 'unobserved and unpunished. I intend a far deepen and more thorough examination of character. Every bop bas something or other which is good in his disposition and character which he is aware of, and on which he prides himself; find out lwhat it is, for it may often be made the foundation on whicb you may build the superstructure of reform. Every one bas bis peculiar sources of enjoyment, and objects of pursuit, which are before his mind from day to day: find out what they are, that, by taking an interest in what interests him, and perhaps sometimes assisting him in his plans, you can bind him to you. Every boy is, from the cireumstances in which he is placed at home, exposed to temptations, which have, perhaps, had a far greater influence in the formation of his character, than any deliberate and intentional depravity of his own. Ascertain what these temptations are, that you may know where to pity him, and where to blame. The knowledge which such an examination of character will give you, will not be contined to making you acquainted with the individual. It will be the most valuable knowledge which a man can possess, both to assist him in the general adininistration of the school, and in his intercourse with mankind in the business of life. Men are but boys, only with somewhat loftier objects of pursuit. Their principles, motives, and ruling passions are essentially the same. Extended commercial speculations are, so far as the human heart is con: cerned, substantially, what' trading in jack-knives and toys is at school; and building a snow fort, to its own arehitects, the same as érecting a monument of marble." I.fu
--Mr Abbott's mode of reforming vicious or disobedient children, is altogether in accordance with sound principle and enlightened benevolence. . He discards every thing like severity froin bis regimen, justly believing that its tendency is only to excite to a still higher pitch those very propensities whose superabundant activity is the source of the evil to be removed. The first thing to be done, says he, is to secure the personal attachment of the boy to be reformed. >“ Approach him as his superior, but still as his friend ; as desirous to make bim happy, not merely to obtain his good-will. And the best way to secure these appearances, is just to secure the reality. Actually be the boy's friend. Really desire to make him happy ; happy, too, in his own way, not in yours.” One of the means recommended
by Mr Abbott, of securing the personal attachment of boys, is
The following observations shew that Mr Abbott is aware of the true method of improving the moral character. In a recent article on penitentiary discipline, we recommended its application to criminals * “We should all remember that our pupils are but for a very short time under our direct control. Even when they are in school, the most unceasing vigilance will not enable us to watch, except for a very small portion of the time, any individual. Many hours of the day, too, they are entirely removed from our inspection, and a few months will take them away from us altogether : so that subjecting them to mere external restraint, is a very inadequate remedy for the moral evil to which they are exposed. What we aim at, is to bring forward and strengthen an internal principle, which will act when both parent and teacher are away, and control where external circumstances are all unfavourable."
The teacher ought uniformly to address his pupils in a goodhumoured though decided manner. Were this rule attended to, his correctory remarks would on almost every occasion be well received. “ Wienever strictness of discipline,” says Mr Abbott, “is unpopular, it is rendered so simply by the ill-hu. moured and ill-judged means by which it is attempted to be introduced. But all children will love strict discipline, if it is pleasantly, though firmly, maintained. It is a great, though very prevalent mistake, to imagine that boys and girls like a lax and inefficient government, and dislike the pressure of steady control. What they dislike is sour looks and irritating language, and they therefore very naturally dislike every thing introduced or sustained by their means. If, however, exactness and precision in all the operations of a class, and of the school, are introduced and enforced in the proper manner, i.e. by a firm, but mild and good-humoured authority, scholars will universally be
* See vol. viii. p. 594.
pleased with them. They like to see the uniform appearance, the straight line, the simultaneous movement. They like to feel the operation of system, and to realize, while they are in the school-rbom that they form la community, governed by fixed and steady laws, firmly but pleasantly administered. On the other hand, laxity of discipline, and the disorder which will result from it, will only lead the pupils to despise their teacher, and to hate their school." :1 ,1'10 15 tot orfs
Mr Abbott strongly insists on the necessity of conducting the business of schools in a systematic manner. Instead, says he, of vainly attempting to attend simultaneously to a dozen things, teachers shouki so plan their work, tbat only one will demand attention ii 44 During the winter months, while the principal common schools in our country are in operation, it is sad to reflect how many teachers come home, every evening, with bewildered and aching hearts, having been wainly trying all the day to do, six things at a time, while He who made the human mind has determined that it shall do but one., Ilow many, become discouraged and disheartened by wliat they consider the unavoidable trials of a teacher's life, and give up iu despair, just because, their faculties will not sustain a six-fold task. There are multitudes who, in early life, attempted teaching, and, after baving been worried, almost to distraction, by the simultaneous pressure of these multifarious cares, gave up the employment in disgust, and for ever after wonder how any body can like teaching. I know multitudes of persons to whom the above description will exactly apply." ..
Some excellent remarks on the subject of themes or essays written by boys, well deserve to be quoted :-" There is no branch of study attended to in school, which may, by judicious efforts, be made more effectual in accomplishing this object, -leading the pupils to see the practical utility and the value of knowledge, -than composition. If such subjects as are suitable themes for moral essays are assigned, the scholars will indeed dislike the work of writing, and derive little benefit from it. The mass of pupils in our schools are not to be writers of moral essays or orations, and they do not need to form that style of empty, Horid, verbose declamation, which the practice of writing composition in our schools, as it is too frequently managed, tends to form. Assign practical subjects-subjects relating to the business of the school, or the events taking place around
you. Is there a question before the community on the subject of the location of a new school-house? Assign it to your pupils, as a question for discussion, and direct them not to write empty declamation, but to obtain from their parents the real arguments in the case, and to present them, distinctly and clear
VOL. IX.NO. XLIII.
ly, and in siniple language, to their companions. Was a building burnt by lightning in the neighbourhood ? Let those who saw the scene describe it, their productions to be read by the teacher aloud; and let them see that clear descriptions please, and that good legible writing can be read fluently, and that correct spelling and punctuation and grammar, make the article go smoothly and pleasantly, and enable it to produce its full effect. Is a public building going forward in the neighbourhood of your school 2. You can make it a very fruitful source of subjects
and questions, to give e interest and impulse to the studies of the school-room. Your classes in geometry may measure your arithmeticians may calculate and make estimates—your writers may describe its progress from week to week, and anticipate the scenes which it will in future years exhibit.” The following short sentence embodies an important truth.
. "A class should go on slowly, and dwell on details, so long as to fix firmly, and make perfectly familiar, whatever they undertake to learn... In this manner, the knowledge they acquire will become their own. It will be incorporated, as it were, into their very minds, and they cannot afterwards be deprived of it. Mr Abbott offers to teachers an advice, of which they rand,
we may add, clergymen too frequently stand much in need. 4 The teacher should guard against unnecessarily imbibing those faulty mental habits to which his station and employment expose him. Accustomed to command, and to hold intercourse with minds which are immature and feeble compared with our own, we gradually acquire habits, that the rough collisions and the friction of active life prevent from gathering around other men. Narrow-minded prejudices and prepossessions are imbibed, through the facility with which, in our own little community, we adopt and maintain opinions. A too strong confi
de dence in our own views on every subject
, almost inevitably comes from never hearing our opinions contradicted or called in question; and we express those opinions in a tone of authority, and even sometimes of arrogance, which we acquire in the school-room : for there, when we speak, nobody can reply
: A great proportion of Mr Abbott's work is occupied with a detailed description of the management of his school; and hence it is hardly susceptible of abridgement. Instead, therefore, of attempting to give an abstract of it, we have preferred to lay before the reader a few detached passages on subjects of importance in every system of education. These extracts at once furnish a specimen of the author's style of writing and thinking, and embody ideas and facts well deserving to be recorded in the pages of a Journal having for its chief object the elucidation and improvement of human nature. By reprinting the work in England, Dr Mayo has performed good service to the British public,
PHYSIOLOGIE DE L'HOMME ALIENÉ APPLIQUÉE À L'ANA. LYSE DE L'HOMME SOCIAL. Par Scipios Pixei, &c. Paris, 1833. :K *Dila!
1 1 The name of Pinel is associated throughout the civilized world with the humane method of treatment now so generally employed in the management of the insane. When the father of the present author was first appointed to the charge of the Sal. pétrière in the neighbourhood of Paris, the insane were treated there, as every where else, with a harshness, severity, and neglect, which rendered an asylum the abode of terror and misery, and which accounted perfectly for the horror which is still so generally felt at the very notion of a place of confinement.
No sooner had Pinel time to study the actual state of mind of the unhappy înmates, and to observe the irritating and hurtful consequences of severity, than he set himself to improve their condition, by treating them with kindness, and soothing their morbid feelings by every means in his power. He reformed the whole system of discipline, and substituted watchful attention on the part of the attendants for the chains and seclusion in which alone security had previously been sought. He introduced order, cleanliness, and comfort, where nothing but suffering and confusion were formerly known. The consequences were surprising. Tranquillity prevailed among the patients to an extent far exceeding all past experience; while recoveries became more rapid, and more numerous.
Having accomplished so much, Pinel announced to the world the principles which had guided him, and the success which had attended his efforts. Backed by results so decisive, and by the extensive opportunities which he enjoyed, he spoke with an authority which prejudice could not long withstand, and with a philanthropic eloquence not less convincing to the reason than cheering to the best feelings of human nature. · And from the extensive circulation and influence of his work throughout Europe and America, it cannot be doubted, that to Pinel is, in a great measure, due the beneficent impulse which has already materially alleviated the sufferings of thousands, and which promises ere long to render insanity a much less terrible affliction than it has been in times past. Pinel, in short, was a notable instance of the advantage of placing at the head of a large public establishment a man fully qualified for the situation, and capable of availing himself of the opportunities afforded for adding to the stock of human knowledge and thereby to the sum